Ghost Town (Blu-ray)
SRP $39.98 1.85:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 PARAMOUNT/DREAMWORKS
 

One of those more quiet, deliberately paced, romantic comedies, that ultimately works its magic, "GHOST TOWN," has been released on blu-ray and dvd.  Ricky Gervais stars as a dentist, whom an associate correctly describes as a "prick." He's intentionally condescending to everyone he works with or on in the office, and even to people in his own apartment building.  After undergoing a colonoscopy, he begins to see "dead people," and worse, they see him! These souls, unable to move on to the next place, until accomplished unfinished business want his help. Of course, he's unwilling to do favors for the living, such as holding an elevator for someone, so they've got a challenge. When recently deceased Greg Kinnear strikes a bargain to get the other spirits to leave him alone, in exchange for his help in fixing his problem, Gervais still is reluctant, until finding that the widow of Kinnear is both intelligent and pretty. Kinnear wants the dentist to prevent his wife from marrying a guy he finds unsuitable. Gervais wants the wife to fall for him. "GHOST TOWN" cleverly builds its characters, so that they all find some inner truths they'd been missing, and the message isn't heavy-handed, nor is anything about the film. It's a rare kind of romantic comedy, worth viewing more than once.

PARAMOUNT/DREAMWORKS has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for both the dvd(16:9 enhanced)and 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray. Colors are solid on both dvd and blu-ray, although the blu-ray fleshtones appear more natural. The detail for dvd is extremely impressive, however, the blu-ray offers the kind of increased depth, wherein scene after scene, jump with dazzling high-def detail. The blacks, while not inky, are still deep enough to offer incredible detail in darker scenes. The dvd doesn't handle the contrast nearly as well. "GHOST TOWN" is clearly one of the best looking blu-rays of 2008!

PARAMOUNT/DREAMWORKS has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for the blu-ray.  Better than a typical comedy mix, it's not aggressive, but still immersive enough to compliment the romantic elements at play and the liveliness of the city at night. The music is perfectly complimented through all speakers. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix offers the same use of discrete and surrounds, although the dynamic range is notably better on the lossy mix. Both mixes tend to be front heavy, with subtle ambient effects in the rear.

The supplements include a hilarious commentary track with the film's director and Gervais, as well as a featurette and outtakes. All of these have the advantage of full HD on the blu-ray.