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Having no significant female in my life at the time of its theatrical release, meant that there was no one to drag me to the movie theater to see GHOST ($30). When the film hit Laserdisc, I was still in no hurry to check out GHOST, so I kind of forgot about the movie. However, since more than a decade has passed and the movie is now out on DVD, I figured it was time that I sat down and watched this incredibly popular supernatural love story.

After seeing the film for the first time, I can see why the masses flocked to see GHOST, making it one of the most popular movies of 1990. The film drips of love and romance, which secured the female audience- plus, GHOST offers the supernatural thrills, suspense and comedy for the male audience. Of course, the icing on the cake is the fact that GHOST stars Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, whose sex appeal pushes all the right buttons. In GHOST, Swayze and Moore play a loving couple Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes the couple, with Sam being killed during a robbery. Although dead, Sam has not left this plane of existence and remains to watch over Molly. However, when he sees the man who murdered him entering Molly's apartment, he tries to find someone with whom he can make contact and warn the woman he loves. Whoopi Goldberg earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as con woman Oda Mae Brown, who passes herself off as a spiritualist. When Oda Mae begins hearing Sam's voice, she discovers she has a true gift for conversing with the dead. Although she wants no part of Sam, he refuses to leave her alone until she helps him to contact Molly. The cast of GHOST also includes Tony Goldwyn, Rick Aviles, Phil Leeds and Vincent Schiavelli.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made GHOST available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The transfer is very clean, very sharp and nicely detailed- quite good for a circa 1990 movie. Colors are quite vibrant and wholly stable. Flesh tones are usually very appealing, although in a couple of shots they look a little too ripe. In addition, there are sequences are lit with strong colored lighting and these too are rendered without flaws. Neither chroma noise nor bleeding caused any problems during the presentation. Blacks are pure and the image provides very good shadow detail and depth. Contrast is excellent, including sequences that utilize strong white lighting for an otherworldly effect. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed by clean dual layer authoring.

For this release GHOST has been given a new Dolby Digital 5.1 channel re-mix. The mix is pretty aggressive- making full use of the format's discrete properties. Split surrounds are effectively used throughout the movie, which indicates that this mix is new from the ground up. The forward soundstage has great channel separation, with cleanly positioned dialogue and effects. Dialogue reproduction is natural and fully intelligible. Music is reproduced with excellent fidelity and the bass channel is very solid. Overall, this is an excellent re-mix of this material. English and French Dolby Surround soundtracks are also provided on the DVD, as are English subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice supplements. Director Jerry Zucker and writer Bruce Joel Rubin are featured on a running audio commentary. Their talk is informative, although it is Zucker's comic sensibilities that make it entertaining. Also included on the DVD is Ghost: Remembering The Magic, which features recent interviews with Zucker, Rubin and Swayze. This retrospective runs over twenty minutes and brings out some interesting aspects of the production that fans probably never knew. A theatrical trailer closes out the supplements.

GHOST is an appealing movie, with an appealing cast that is now available on a very appealing DVD. Fans will definitely want to own a copy.




DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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