Written by Senora Bicho
Ghost has always been one of my fondest movie memories. My girlfriends and I saw it multiple times when it was in the theaters in hopes that one day we would find a love like Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Ghost came out in 1990 and was a big box office success and even earned Whoopi Goldberg an Academy Award for best supporting actress.
Ghost is the story of Sam (Swayze) and Molly (Moore) whose relationship is cut short when Sam is killed during a robbery. At the time of Sam’s death he has the chance to go into the light but he goes back to Molly instead and is then stuck living as a ghost. Soon after his death, Sam discovers that it was not just the result of a botched robbery but was part of a larger scheme and is determined to solve his own murder. There is one big problem, however, he can’t communicate with the living and is worried that Molly might be in danger. As luck would have it, Sam comes into contact with a spiritual advisor who can actually hear him. Oda Mae Brown (Goldberg) has been a fraud up until her encounter with Sam and has a hard time believing he is really a ghost and that she actually has psychic abilities. Sam eventually convinces her to go and talk to Molly. Unfortunately, Molly doesn’t believe her and so it seems that he has hit a dead-end. As Sam is trying to figure out what to do next, he comes across another ghost who is able to make things move with his mind and he teaches Sam how to do it too. Armed with this new ability, he goes back to Oda Mae with a plan to bring his killer to justice and to save Molly.
Ghost is far from being a complicated murder mystery but it adds an interesting dimension to the love story. The chemistry between Swayze and Moore is the foundation of the movie and Goldberg steals every scene she is in. Goldberg portrays the con artist with a heart perfectly and still makes me laugh out loud in several scenes. The other aspect of the movie that made it such a huge hit and that is still well known for today is the love scene involving pottery and “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. The scene also helped to revive the song originally recorded in 1965 and garnered it billboard and radio success.
Ghost is still an enjoyable and touching love story. There is one scene towards with end that utilizes one of Oda Mae’s abilities that bothered me when it first came out that is supposed to be help bring closure to the relationship between Sam and Molly but I still think it is ridiculous. Aside from that, it still managed to make me cry in the end.
The special features on the DVD have all been offered in previous editions. There is a commentary track by director Jerry Zucker and writer Bruce Joel Rubin. “Cinema’s Great Romances” offers clips from the American Film Institute’s list “100 Years, 100 Passions” on which Ghost was ranked number 19. “Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic” is a retrospective featurette which includes interviews of the cast and crew. “Inside the Paranormal” offers interviews with real life psychics and mediums. “Alchemy of a Love Scene” highlights the big love scene and the reasons why it is so iconic. The theatrical trailer and a photo gallery are also included.
The video looks good for a movie that is almost twenty years old. The colors are slightly muted. The detail and texture are clearer, but that’s actually a detriment because the special effects, like when the ghosts pass through solid effects, are more obvious and look terrible.
The English 5.1 Dolby True HD is wasted on this presentation. The movie is mainly dialogue. The surround is barely used, just for ambiance and music. The subwoofer also hardly gets used, mainly when the subways pass. For some reason the audio with the DVD menu is louder than the movie.
The Blu-ray disc I reviewed has English subtitles set as a default, which is rather annoying to have to turn off when starting the movie. Maybe a ghost in the machine.