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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). Perceived chick flicks tend to rate as a rather low priority, so it took me more than a decade to see GHOST. However, after sitting down with GHOST for the first time, I could understand why the masses flocked to see it, and why it became 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 shot and killed during a mugging. 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, Stephen Root and Vincent Schiavelli.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made GHOST available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Considering that GHOST is from 1990 and doesnít look like a new film, I found myself generally impressed with the 1080p presentation. Image sharpness and detail, although not at the level of a brand new film, is quite good. Fine details tended to be pretty much excellent in close-ups; however, medium and long shots tended to appear a tad softer and a dead giveaway of the movieís age. Still, the picture exhibited a very good level of dimensionality. Colors are warm, fairly vibrant and completely stable. Additionally, flesh tones come across in an attractive manner. Blacks are deep, whites are clean, plus the contrast and shadow detail are very good. The elements from which GHOST has been transferred are in good shape, displaying very few blemishes. There is a mild veneer of grain throughout the course of the presentation, which helps maintain a nice organic quality.

GHOST is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. For its age, GHOST has a pretty effective sound mix. Sure, the sound design isnít as aggressive as a newer movie and the surrounds arenít as active, but it is robust sonic presentation. The forward soundstage has strong separations that enhance a number of sequences. Fidelity is also fairly solid, with a very nice sounding musical component and generally convincing sound effects. There is virtually nothing for the bass channel to do, other than keep the effects grounded. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese 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 extras. Director Jerry Zucker and writer Bruce Joel Rubin are featured on a running Audio Commentary. Featurettes include Ghost Stories: The Making Of A Classic (thirteen minutes), Inside The Paranormal (nine minutes), Alchemy Of A Love Scene (six minutes) and Cinemaís Great Romances (twenty minutes). A Photo Gallery and a Theatrical Trailer close out the extras.

Even after almost twenty years, GHOST has lost none of its entertainment value or appeal. The Blu-ray presentation is generally impressive for a film of this vintage. Fans will definitely be pleased.



Ghost [Blu-ray] (1990)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 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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