Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ghost Town DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Sitcom Starring Ricky Gervais as Dentist Who Sees Dead People

What happens to you when you die? Perhaps you remain on Earth unable to rest in peace until you resolve all of your unfinished business. This is the sort of limbo Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear) finds himself in following his untimely demise on the streets of Manhattan.
Hope for completing the transition arrives the day that something goes horribly wrong during Bertram Pincus’ (Ricky Gervais) routine colonoscopy, an anesthesia accident that leaves the dentist dead on the operating table for several minutes. Once revived, he can suddenly see ghosts, and this development is not lost on Frank who befriends Bertram hoping to sabotage his widow Gwen’s (Tea Leoni) impending remarriage to a conniving attorney (Billy Campbell).
Although Bertram is a misanthrope not inclined to do anything for anybody, he promises to help prevent her from walking down the aisle. In return, Frank agrees to keep all the other ghosts suddenly annoying Bertram at bay. However, what neither anticipates is that Bert might develop feelings for Gwen, and the love quadrangle which ensues is the hub around which Ghost Town revolves.
Directed by David Koepp, this offbeat sitcom might be best thought of as a bittersweet cross of Ghost (1990) and The Sixth Sense (1999), as it combines some of the former’s romantic elements with the latter’s “I see dead people” theme. Moreover, this pleasantly-unpredictable picture adds a few surprising wrinkles of its own to the macabre mix which make it feel like a totally fresh concept.
A Ricky Gervais vehicle likely to work for you to the extent that you enjoy laughing at the cliché of a coldhearted cad who ultimately experiences an 11th-hour epiphany right on cue for the flick to deliver a universal message about what really matters most in life.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, profanity and drug references.
Running time: 102 minutes
Studio: Dreamworks Home Video
DVD Extras: Commentary by Ricky Gervais and director David Koepp, a gag reel, “The Making of” and special f/x featurettes, plus Dreamworks previews.

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