(Elements of this review are taken from the review of the prior release done in 2001.)
It's unfortunate that Demi Moore's star seems to have slightly dimmed out. After a very promising begining and some big hits (like "Ghost", for example), but after several mis-fires ("Striptease", "Scarlet Letter"), attempts at a comeback generally went unseen. It's really unfortunate, especially because I really think that she was an actress who was suddenly really getting better in films like "G.I. Jane" and the largely unseen (but very good) "Passion of Mind".
Anyways, "Ghost" was a pretty massive hit, although I've never really understood its appeal. Not that I'm against romantic dramas or anything, but I never really found too much remarkable about its story or performances. Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) are a Manhattan couple who are getting more and more committed, and yet, their love is brought to a tragic end when Sam is killed one night. His ghost watches over her, unable to comfort her, but also finding out that his murder was no accident and Molly is in trouble.
Finding that he can communicate through a "spiritualist"(Whoopi Goldberg), he goes about trying to protect Molly. "Ghost" moves between comedy, drama, action and other genres and does a fairly good job at it - there are smooth shifts between the tones. The only part that really brings out the comedy well is Whoopi Goldberg, who gets several of the movie's best lines in her award winning performance. Swaze and Moore, though, are not particularly impressive in any way - Moore has gotten better, although her career has gone South. On the other hand, I really can't remember anything Swaze did afterwards, besides "Point Break" a year later, in 1991.
"Ghost" also succeeds due to a very talented crew. Walter Murch, the famed editor who worked on many of director Francis Ford Coppola's pictures, does the editing here, and Adam Greenberg ("Rush Hour", "Sphere")'s cinematography is also excellent. Overall, "Ghost" isn't a bad film by any means, it's just a film that I never really got into.
VIDEO: "Ghost" is once again presented here by Paramount in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation quality is an improvement over the prior release as while some moments are a bit soft still, the picture as a whole looks crisper and more detailed here. Some minor specks still occasionally show up on the elements used, but overall, the picture looks cleaner and smoother here than it has in the past. A couple of slight instances of edge enhancement and artifacting were spotted, but not very distracting at all. Colors looked bright and warm, with solid saturation and no smearing or other faults. Flesh tones also looked accurate and natural. Overall, while not flawless, this was certainly the best the film has looked on home video so far.
SOUND: "Ghost" gets a good Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation for this DVD release. Although not an effects-heavy soundtrack, there are moments when the surrounds do come to life nicely, bringing the viewer into the more intense moments of the film. The score, which is a little bit sappy at times, generally sounds warm and crisp, filling the listening space at times and enhancing the drama. Dialogue remains clear and natural, with no issues of harshness or other flaws. A fine presentation.
Commentary: This is a commentary from director Jerry Zucker and writer Bruce Joel Rubin. It's an odd commentary in the way that you have the very funny Zucker paired with the rather subtle Rubin. Rubin goes on and on about various things (some of which have nothing to do with the picture) and then Zucker really goes after him. He spends 10 minutes going nowhere about his life story, and then Zucker really rips on him ("press 4 if you want to hear Bruce's life story.") Rubin does talk about the issues and story, as well as his analysis of the final feature - for the most part, he is informative and insightful, but there are moments when he starts to get into "deep thoughts" territory. Overall though, a good mix of humor (from Zucker), and insights/information from both.
"Ghost Stories: Making of a Classic" is a 13-minute documentary that starts off with Rubin hilariously recalling how he was hoping for Spielberg when he was told his script had a director and finding out what the director was "the guy who did 'Airplane'." Zucker also talks about how, in no uncertain terms, he didn't want Swayze for the role. The documentary doesn't go in-depth, but provides some entertaining stories and a decent overview of the production. "Inside the Paranormal" is an 8-minute featurette with psychics discussing the events of "Ghost". "Anatomy of a Love Scene" is a short featurette discussing the main scene of the film between Moore and Swayze. We also get a 19-minute featurette looking at other romantic films from the studio.
The DVD drops the 22-minute "making of" from the prior release and the commentary is carried over from the prior release. We also get the trailer and photo gallery.
Final Thoughts: "Ghost" gets a somewhat improved special edition here, with slightly better image quality and some new supplements. While fans who have the prior release don't really have a strong reason to upgrade here, fans who haven't bought the film yet should seek out this edition.
The Film B