Ghost – Blu-ray Review

Ghost

For thirty years, Ghost has been ingrained in pop culture history due to its pottery scene and the film’s use of Unchained Melody. However, it’s the theme of “love will conquer all even in death” that still resonates with audiences after all this time. Yet Ghost isn’t just a love story but an amalgamation of a ton of different genres as well. It’s a thriller, a mystery, and a comedy. It has something for everyone, and that’s why Ghost is one of the best supernatural love stories of all time.

Unfortunately, the mystery element is a big part of the film and also its weakest. For a mystery storyline, there’s not much mystery in it at all. Early into the film, you will realize who was responsible for Sam’s death. This isn’t a situation where you will eventually figure out the mystery through a series of clues. Instead, they’re so blatant that you might as well put a sign on the villains and have it say, “I did it.” Regardless, the mystery aspect is a big component of the theme of the film. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect her and show his love for her — even as a ghost. 

Despite the predictability of the storyline, the characters are what keep you invested in the film. Molly is a complex character torn between believing that Sam is there with her and coming to grips with his death and getting over him. Demi Moore plays this character beautifully as she displays a ton of emotion and depth whenever she’s on-screen. 

On the other hand, Sam is a simple character with a one-track purpose. Even though one cannot imagine anyone else playing Sam, Patrick Swayze does have several cheesy and laughable moments during his performance. Despite these moments, Swayze displays an abundant amount of likability in his performance. As the film progresses, you can’t help but fall for the guy. Not to mention, the chemistry between the Swayze and Moore is palpable.

As you can imagine, it’s Whoopi Goldberg’s Oda Mae Brown that steals the entire film. Yes, the purpose of her character is to drive the story along. However, Goldberg’s Oscar-winning performance cannot be denied. She takes this simple character and breathes so much life into it by adding her comedic flair to it.

Overall, Ghost is simply one of the best supernatural romantic films of all-time. Some may argue it might be the best romantic films of all-time, but Titanic might argue with them on that. Regardless, the film has something for everyone, not just the hopeless romantics around the world. Admittedly, I’ve never seen Ghost before until now, but I’m glad I did.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Ghost - Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze

Video

Ghost hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Although there’s been a ton of Blu-ray releases out for Ghost already, the “Paramount Presents” release is a brand new 1080p transfer from a 4K restoration supervised by director Jerry Zucker. Once again, this is another gorgeous transfer from Paramount. The contrast is strong which leads to some high brightness and deep blacks. The high brightness leads to some very bold whites, something you can see on Oda Mae’s ridiculous gold outfit. The highlights of her dress just shimmer off the screen. The blacks are deep and definite with little detail loss in the shadows. The colors are bold without looking too intense. 

There are a few compression issues such as the scene where Sam is fighting Willy Lopez in Molly’s apartment. Also, you can see the picture begin to soften with the rotoscope and special effects work. Of course, this is all because of the source material and not because of the transfer itself. The rest of the film looks sharp all-around. The film grain looks natural and adds a nice texture to the picture. Overall, this is an amazing video transfer despite a few anomalies.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Ghost - Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg

Audio

Ghost hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. Although we get a brand new transfer for this release, the audio mix is carried over from Ghost’s 2008 release. The mix, as a whole, a bit on the boring side. Due to the nature of the film, the audio mix is dominated by the crisp dialogue coming from the center channel. However, there are several instances where you can hear the mix come alive. Instances such as the demons that come after Willy and Carl. Their wails echo throughout the soundstage. You can also subtly hear the soundscapes of New York City. When it comes to Maurice Jarre’s score, that too also subtly fills up the soundstage. Overall, don’t expect much from this audio mix, but then again, Ghost was never meant to be a dynamic audio experience.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Ghost - Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze

Special Features

Ghost‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • Filmmaker Focus: Director Jerry Zucker on Ghost
  • Ghost Stories: The Making of a Classic
  • Alchemy of a Love Scene
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Commentary by Director Jerry Zucker and Writer Bruce Joel Rubin

“Filmmaker Focus” is an exclusive “Paramount Presents” featurette where directors provide a retrospective on the classic films that they created. It’s also the only new featurette in this release. “Ghost Stories” is a fantastic retrospective where the cast and filmmakers reflect and tell stories about the film. As you can imagine, “Alchemy of a Love Scene” discusses the infamous pottery love scene that’s defined the film ever since it came out over thirty years ago. With the commentary, director Jerry Zucker and writer Bruce Joel Rubin share personal stories about their careers leading up to Ghost and about the film itself.

Special Features Rating: 2.5/5 atoms


Overall, Ghost is a fantastic film about love overcoming everything, including death. It’s a sweet and simple tale that became one of the best romantic films of all-time. The video transfer looks amazing, but the audio mix is as straightforward as can be. It’s just unfortunate that there aren’t any new bonus features past the “Filmmaker Focus.”

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1598 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.