Movie Review for Ghost Town (2008)

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Review #701 of 365
Movie Review of Ghost Town (2008) [PG-13] 102 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $13.50
Where Viewed: United Artists Denver Pavilions Stadium 15, Denver, CO
When Seen: 8 October 2008 @ 5:10 pm
DVD Release Date: Unscheduled (please check back)
After the Credits: There is nothing
Unsung Crew Member: dolly grip operator – Arthur Bloom

Directed by: David Koepp (Secret Window)
Written by: David Koepp (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) • John Camps (Zathura)

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Ricky Gervais ("The Office") • Greg Kinnear (Flash of Genius) • Téa Leoni (Fun with Dick and Jane) • Aasif Mandvi ("Jericho") • Bill Campbell ("The 4400") • Kristen Wiig (Semi-Pro) • Alan Ruck (The Happening) • Dana Ivey (Rush Hour 3)

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Arriving in a flurry of films released in September 2008 without an incredible amount of fanfare or studio promotion, it turns out Ghost Town is a relatively undiscovered dramedy gem. Starring "The Office"'s Ricky Gervais as a relatively obnoxious, solitary, Manhattan dentist named Bertram Pincus who, as a result of having died for nearly seven minutes during a routing colonoscopy, now can see dead people. They discover he can see them because he talks to them which regular living people don't. Each disembodied soul is stuck there, wearing exactly what he or she was wearing at the time of death until they can fix some troubling entry from their past. One ghost, in particular, latches on to him. It seems that Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear) who was hit by a bus after just missing being hit by a falling air-conditioner, believes that he's still here to protect his wife, Gwen (Téa Leoni) from marrying socially conscious lawyer Richard (Billy Campbell).

… Ghost Town serves up like comfort food for the soul.
So, after many threats, Frank finally convinced Bertram to help him fulfill his mission. He does not do so, however, with a completely clear conscience—he's actually quite open to ascertaining if she might be a good life partner for himself once he sees her in action at the Museum where she's an archeologist. He attracts her attention, though not all the right kind of attention for he's not changed, he's still as obnoxious as ever, when he suggests that the mummy she's working on may have died of an infection induced by an abscessed tooth. She's intrigued by his suggestions if not by his loathsome personality. Still, Frank thinks this could be the very best way to break up her relationship with Richard.

The film is surprisingly hilarious and filled with touching moments. It nods to The Sixth Sense when it comes to ghost mythology, only there's no great plot twist in the end—other than what it is that will finally release Frank into the afterlife. The principle actors are excellent with Ricky Gervais proving himself quite capable of taking the lead role and this exceptionally interesting character all the way to the top. In some ways, Ghost Town serves up like comfort food for the soul. It's a tiny bit predictable, but with some interesting turns and complications arising to keep you off balance, must as Dr. Pincus is throughout.

… a sweet and sour film populated with great characters, smaller stories, and lasting moments to cherish.
Téa Leoni is purely wonderful, causing one to wonder why she's not done more work lately. She's such a refreshing face, beautiful in an understated way with a warm smile and sensitive demeanor--she hasn't aged a day since her days on "The Naked Truth". Greg Kinnear, who's been one of the busiest actors of the year, comes through with a different sort of performance and character for him. He's not a deep, introspective, nice guy this go round. Rather, he's a two-timing, no good scoundrel, who wants to get ahead even in death. Seeing him in this contrasting role reminds us that he's a lot more capable and actor than he might generally be given credit.

Ghost Town is a sweet and sour film populated with great characters, smaller stories, and lasting moments to cherish. Don't keep this film, elegantly directed by David Koepp, a secret, take a close friend or loved one out for dinner and then see this film together.

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Other Projects Featuring Ghost Town (2008)
Cast Members
Ricky GervaisGreg KinnearTéa Leoni
Aasif MandviBill CampbellKristen Wiig
Alan RuckDana Ivey
David Koepp
David KoeppJohn Camps

Review-lite Ghost Town (2008) [max of 150 words]
Ghost Town is a one of those gem films that kind of got lost in the shuffle—this time it was the massive releases of films in September of 2008. Borrowing from the mythology of The Sixth Sense, a dentist in for a routine colonoscopy dies and comes back to life after 7 minutes no capable of seeing ghosts. They want him to help them, he wants to be left alone. That is until one particularly pesky ghost convinces him to help break up his wife's current affair. Filled with great moments, this dramedy is both endearing and hilarious with great characters and performances written and directed by David Koepp. The sweet and sour film serves up like comfort food for the soul. Take a loved one with you to see it and share the experience.

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