Ghost is a 1990 drama film directed by Jerry Zucker (Airplane!, Rat Race, Top Secret!, & Ruthless People). It was written & produced by Bruce Joel Rubin (Jacob’s Ladder, Deadly Friend, Brainstorm, & Deep Impact). It was produced by Steven-Charles Jaffe (Near Dark, Motel Hell, The Fly II, Demon Seed, & Strange Days). It won two Oscars & it got five nominations. It was the highest grossing film of 1990. The budget was $22 million & it made $505.7 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
Banker Sam Wheat (played by: Patrick Swayze from Road House, Red Dawn, The Outsiders, & Point Break) & his girlfriend Molly Jensen (played by: Demi Moore from The Seventh Sign, A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal, & The Juror) move into an apartment in Manhattan with the help of Sam’s friend Carl Bruner (played by: Tony Goldwyn from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Kuffs, The Last Samurai, & Kiss the Girls). One afternoon, Sam confides in Carl his discovery of unusually high balances in obscure bank accounts. He decides to investigate the matter himself, declining Carl’s offer of assistance. That night, Sam & Molly are attacked by a mugger. Sam gets killed in the scuffle.
Sam discovers he is now a ghost, invisible & unable to interact with the mortal world. Sam follows the mugger to his Brooklyn apartment & learns that Willie Lopez (played by: Rick Aviles from The Cannonball Run, Waterworld, The Stand, & Monsters) was sent by an unknown party. Sam stumbles upon the parlor of psychic Oda Mae Brown (played by: Whoopi Goldberg from The Color Purple, Sister Act 1/2, The Stand, & The Lion King), a charlatan pretending to commune with spirits of the dead who is shocked to discover her true psychic gift when she can hear Sam speaking. Sam persuades her to warn Molly that she is in danger. Oda Mae relays information that only Sam could know. Molly later gives Willie’s address to Carl, who volunteers to investigate. She then goes to the police but they show her Oda Mae’s lengthy one as a forger & con artist. Molly tries to distance herself from the mysterious woman. Sam finds out who had him killed & learns how to move things plus other secrets from fellow ghosts. Sam is desperate to save Molly & convince her to trust Oda Mae again before it’s too late. Can he pull this all off while being invisible to everyone else????
Ghost has a little bit of everything in it. It features drama, comedy, romance, & it’s more of a thriller than you would expect. Screwball comedy director Jerry Zucker was such an odd choice for this project but he proved he could do any material that was brought to him no matter what genre with this. It’s definitely his best work as a filmmaker & I am really surprised that he only did one other serious movie after this one. The visual effects at the time were top notch, they haven’t aged well but it’s still cool to see where technology was at during 1990. Ghost had a great score & soundtrack, I still think of this film every time I hear them somewhere. Patrick Swayze & Demi Moore had amazing chemistry in Ghost. It’s one of their best performances in their entire career. It gave you the feels & pulled in all your emotions. Their love was so strong in this. Mainly known for action & other material, Patrick Swayze really stepped out of his comfort zone at the time for this role. He showed the world that he was more than an action star here. Whoopi Goldberg was hit or miss when it came to acting but she nailed this character. In her Oscar winning role, she proved that she could do more than comedy at the time. Tony Goldwyn is a great character actor & this is the one got everyone’s attention when it came to his career. He’s been doing solid work ever since then, it’s a shame that it didn’t get him some leading roles after this. The main cast for this was on point plus it had some nice cameos from a few familiar faces. The pottery scene in this is one of the most known in cinema history. Besides the visual fx, Ghost really holds up after all these years. It’s something that you can enjoy with anyone, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Paramount Pictures! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is from a 4K restoration supervised by Director Jerry Zucker. I’ve owned almost every home video release of Ghost & this is a massive upgrade compared to them. It’s the best it’s ever looked! It has a few audio options which includes English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kGerman: Dolby Digital 5.1 & Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the release. It’s the exact same audio from all the other home video releases. It still sounds pretty good but I am surprised that they didn’t upgrade this technical aspect also for this brand new release. The score & soundtrack have a nice boost to them. All of the dialogue is very clean & there’s a few moments that really stand out when it comes to sound. It has English, English SDH, French, German, & Japanese subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! “Filmmaker Focus: Director Jerry Zucker on Ghost”is a little over 6 minutes & it’s a brand new interview with director Jerry Zucker. He jokes about no one expecting him to do this type of movie especially the writer who was very upset about it at first. He chats about his experience on Ghost & memories from the production. He talks about the cast especially Whoopi. He brings up the famous pottery scene & tells a story about a Paramount executive calling it sexy. He wasn’t sure about it at the time. He mentions it being one of the first features to mess with digital fx. He goes what it means to him & the ending. It has an older “Audio Commentary” with director Jerry Zucker & writer Bruce Joel Rubin. It’s basically all the same stuff discussed in the extras but in greater detail. “Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic” is a little over 13 minutes. It has interviews with director Jerry Zucker, writer Bruce Rubin, actors Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, & Whoopi Goldberg. They joke about the first reaction of Zucker getting the movie. Writer Bruce Rubin said he cried when he heard the news because he was expecting one of the bigger serious directors at the time to do it. They chat about them meeting up & getting to know each other before they started working together.
They didn’t bring up the movie at all during it. They talk about Zucker not wanting to cast Swayze originally. After seeing Road House to decide on it, he walked saying “over my dead body”. Almost everyone turned down the role. Swayze didn’t give up on it & he came in for an audition where he never had to do back in the day because he was such a big star. He blew them way there & got the lead role instantly. They go over the cast & they discuss how they got involved with the project. Whoopi said they had no interest in her but Swayze requested her for it. They bring up the chemistry & the overall movie. “Alchemy of a Love Scene” is a little over 6 minutes. It has interviews with director Jerry Zucker, writer Bruce Rubin, actors Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, & various members of the production. They chat about the iconic pottery & love scene from the film. They bring up their original ideas. They go over how pottery was picked & how it changed everything. They mention the amazing chemistry between the leads. They chat about the song & how it got a brand new life after Ghost. It has “Theatrical Trailer” for Ghost. It’s actually missing a few extras from the old disc so you might want to hold on to that one for these: Inside the Paranormal, Cinema’s Great Romances, & a Photo Gallery. It also includes a really cool slipcover that folds out to the original poster & a clear case with additional photos. I really liked the unique packaging for this blu ray. This is from the brand new Paramount Presents line. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!