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One of the most memorable romantic films ever and winner* of two Academy Awardsr, Sam (Patrick Swayze), living as a ghost, discovers his death wasn't just a random robbery gone bad. To help him reconnect with the love of his life, Molly (Demi Moore), and solve his own murder, he enlists the talents of a skeptical psychic (Oscarr-winner Whoopi Goldberg), who doesn't even believe her own abilities. Ghost is a supernatural mystery-thriller that will cross over into your heart and never leave. Ghost will surprise you, delight you, make you believe. Patrick Swayze plays a ghost who teams up with a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg) to uncover the truth behind his murder - and to rescue his sweetheart (Demi Moore) from a similar fate. "The word of mouth is that Ghost is a must-see romance," says Entertainment Weekly. Ditto to that!
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Swayze's partner (can't remember his name and too lazy to look it up) does a fantastic job of playing his role, as well. I could actually smell his sweat when he lost the cash in the account.
Rather shallow indeed compared to its source material (Shakespeare's "Hamlet"), "Ghost" nonetheless manages a certain level of effectiveness, mainly due to Swayze's gifted portrayal of the wronged man--but Moore herself is really given nothing to do (with the exception of weeping), and director Zucker knows how to handle a romantic ghost tale in the mainstream American movie way...but all of this is a bit too safe to be a genuinely supernatural story, and the interlocking plot featuring corporate corruption and street crime feels a little less involved than it should (Zucker offers no commentary on these things, they simply are). But "Ghost" is enjoyable on the level of a romantic movie, and that certainly says much about its popularity and phenomenal box office intake.
There is one significant scene that separates "Ghost" from the world of ghost cinema though, and that is the scene in which the spirit separates itself from the body after a tragic occurrence. This is a great (and I suspect, accurate) idea of what it may be like to die--this is similar to the experience that you have when falling a ways to the ground. You know that you are going to fall and you sort of "lean in" to it before it happens, having the feeling that you can't avoid it. This happens, "Ghost" seems to be implying, so that if you are killed when you fall your awareness (your "spirit") will be prepared to jump from the body at this crucial time.
Now that you are creeped out, I have to add that Bruce Joel Rubin is one of the more interesting Hollywood-based film writers about the paranormal plane (although I also suspect that his original script was grittier than this Zucker-helmed released version), but he seems to have more literary leanings than he realizes. I don't know if the vision of "Ghost" (and "Jacob's Ladder", for that matter) are as true to Rubin's probing psychic questions as they should be, but as long as he is paid well it probably doesn't matter to him if he uses Hollywood as his writing playground for experimentation with religious themes and paranormal ideas. "Ghost" is peppered with early 90s popular culture references (such as the Arsenio Hall Show), and in some ways it feels like a time capsule. And on that level it works.
Extras are copious but not always substantial. The 'making of' (featuring Demi in her hot "Nothing but Trouble" dress!) documentary is not terribly essential, but at least you hear the principal cast and creators discuss the film. The best extra is the audio commentary, in which Zucker and Joel Rubin discuss the conflicting ideas represented in their two visions of the film, which eventually emerged into one. I don't think Joel Rubin should have moved into directing or anything, but I think he might be wealthy enough at some point to become a novelist instead of trying to barter with these movie folk. Just my opinion. C+
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