Thursday, October 09, 2008

Review: Ghost Town

I went to see Ghost Town yesterday, the 2 pm showing at my local theater, and quite enjoyed it. It came out on September 19, and so has been playing for about 3 weeks, and I'm disappointed to see that it's never even cracked the "Top 5" movie makers that the IMDB reports on its site.

However, Ghost Town is infinitely better than Beverly Hills Chihuahaua or NIck and Nora's Infinite Playlist - garbage. (You will ask, "if you haven't seen them, how can yo call them garbage?" Easy, all you have to do is look at the that's all you have to do for such garbage as Knocked Up and Steve and Mary Make A Porno - or whatever the title of that piece of garbage is.

And yet they will undoubtedly each made more money then Ghost Town, and that's sad. Scary, as well, when I think of the lowest common denominator of movie goer and what they like...

Well, perhaps Ghost Town is hurt by the title, as it doesn't really give an idea of what the movie is about.. who knows?

Here's the plot: Bertram Pincus, a dentist with absolutely no social skills, indeed, even a bit anti-social, goes in for a colonoscopy and ends up clinically dead for 7 minutes. When he wakes up, he can see dead people. (And they annoy him.... love that line on one of the posters!) Once the dead realize he can see them, they all want his help - they have loved ones who need help. However, Pincus, a jerk, refuses to help them. Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear) a ghost who had philandered on his wife while he was alive, says he will get rid of all the ghosts if Pincus will just help him, by driving his wife's new boyfriend out of her life.

Pincus agrees. And, since this is a romantic comedy, you can guess what happens.

All the actors are excellent. Ricky Gervais plays Pincus. I've never seen the American version of The Office, let alone the British version in which he stars, but I have seen him in Night at the Museum and liked his "schtick" of getting lost in convoluted sentences and just stopping and walking away. He does a bit of that here, but also shows that he can underplay and overplay with equal facility. [I don't know that I'd like him in real life, however, as apparently he has a big ego, and indeed in the few publicity shots I've seen of him standing with other actors, he's always got a big grin on his face as if he's trying to "steal the shot" as well as the scene....] And I've never seen a pic of him and Tea Leoni together off-screen!

Tea Leoni plays anthropologist Gwen, an expert in mummies and the widow of Frank Herlihy. (So much nicer to have a female character who is an anthropologist and not some check-out clerk or bartender with no ambition to be anything more in life except a sex object to a boyfriend).

Greg Kinnear as Frank Herlihy also does a good job. Bill Campbell plays Richard, Gwen's new love interest. His must have been a difficult role to play, as we're not sure (and I'm not sure if we're supposed to be sure) if he's a jerk or a nice guy...)

Oh, it's a bit derivative of other ghost films such as Topper, maybe even Quantum Leap (in which the character had to solve a situation regarding the character he'd jumped into, and would not "leap" until he'd solved that problem)... but then, name me one film since movies have been made that isn't derivative!!! Everything's combined here to make it fresh and delightful.

Not sure where this poster comes from, but it certainly does the movie a disserve. Makes one think the guy's a gynecologist, not a dentist! Stupid.

Much better is this one:

and here's one of Tea Leoni with her mummy.

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