gaming since 1997

Ghost World

Rebecca: This is so bad it’s almost good.
Enid: This is so bad it’s gone past good and back to bad again.

Oh no, not another teen movie I can hear you thinking… well, if this title brings a spontanious smile to your face and some fond memories of hysterical teen-comedy humor… then please… stop reading… now! Because Ghost World is a drama comedy with and somewhat about teenagers, but it’s with dry humor, the kind that’s appreciated nor understood by 99% of the world population.

Ghost World is based upon the original characters from cult comic book author Daniel Clowes. The movie depicts a turning point in the life of two teenage girls during the summer following their graduation from high-school. Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) are two teenagers who have a clear view on their surroundings. A view that some of us will recognise when they were going through their teen years: the world is filled with idiotic morons. The girls spend their days mentaly harassing people around them, one of which is Josh, played by Brad Renfro. During one of their pranks, they meet the social distinctive oddball Seymour (Steve Buscemi), a lonesome geek with a compulsory urge to collect old records. Enid is strangely attracted to Seymour and she befriends this strange man, while her best friend Rebecca takes a more classic approach to life. She sets out to find a job in order to move into her own place. A turning point in their relationship.

Sound and Vision:
Ghost World has a good 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer. There are a few occasional print flaws but they aren’t disturbing. The colors are warm and fit the movie well whilst the whole image remains well defined yet not too sharp. In some scenes the grain was slighty visible – right at the end, while looking at the bus bench.

As the picture is primarily dialogue-driven, your surround sound system won’t have it hard. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack will mainly focus on the front and center part of the soundsystem, but occasionally the surrounds do kick in at just the right moment to further enhance the ambiance the director was aiming at. The music score is quite unique – a wonderful change from the normal filmscores – and clearly audible at all times. Same goes for the dialogues, but that goes without saying.

There are 5 extras on this version of the DVD release. The ‘making of featurette’ is quite nice and gives you a limited view of director Zwigoff and co-writer Daniel Clowes and the rest of the cast on the script. Unfortunatly I would have prefered a feature length commentary by director and/or some of the cast members.

Next to that there are 4 deleted or alternate scenes which I appreciate. A Bollywood music video is also on the DVD but while funny for a while, you’ll find yourself fastforwarding unless Bollywood kitsch is your thing. Furthermore the DVD features the trailer and a cast & crew biography. Nothing to get excited about.

This movie respects its characters and offers you intelligent dialogue, something that is hard to find these days. It is unnecessary to share my views on the deeper thoughts behind the characters and why they do what they do. Instead, I urge you to discover this movie for yourself, although the word ‘movie’ is a little disrespectful for this filmographic story director Terry Zwigoff made.
This is a picture to cherish, to watch when you feel like watching a movie, but you don’t really know what genre you feel like at that moment. Definitely worth owning, unless you actually want another teen movie.

Our Score:

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal

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