HTF REVIEW: "Ghost World"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Ghost World

    It's very interesting how you can look at
    a movie poster or DVD cover and make an
    automatic assumption of what a film is going
    to be about and base your viewing choice upon it.
    When I first heard about Ghost World, I
    pawned it off as another goofy teenage comedy
    that I thought I would never enjoy. It's always
    in these moments that when I finally do get to
    see the film on DVD, I walk away with such
    appreciation over what I had just seen.
    Ghost World is not a teenage comedy.
    It's a totally untypical coming of age movie
    about two un ordinary women, Enid (Thora Birch)
    and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson). These best
    friends are so casually antisocial that we
    can't help but to love them. They spend their
    day exploiting and embarrassing the people around
    them for their own personal amusement.
    The two friends slowly find themselves drifting
    apart. Rebecca tries to find her place in society
    by getting a job and finding an apartment. Enid,
    full of bitter cynicism, remains indifferent. She
    takes an interest in a dorky loner, Seymour
    (Steve Buscemi), a collector of jazz and blues
    music. As Enid becomes more involved in Seymour's
    life she ultimately learns some harsh realities of
    her own.
    "Ghost World" pertains to the world in which these
    women live in. A town that has little personality
    and is a mere ghost of what it once was. It's an
    interesting look at the society which inhabits it.
    How does the transfer look?
    I would not hesitate to say that this is one
    of MGM's finest transfers.
    The transfer exceptional. Colors are right-on
    beautiful -- from the bright red of the women's
    gowns, to the beautiful array of colors that
    adorn Enid's bedroom and later, art class.
    Even flesh tones are extremely accurate.
    Picture is extremely crisp throughout.
    While overall sound is very robust and clear, the
    5.1 digital surround isn't overly impressive with
    most of the mix remaining in the front speakers.
    This is usually the case with movies like this and
    I expected nothing more or less.
    Special Features
    MGM has put together a menu that totally gives
    this film a very hip initial feel to the overall
    presentation. A plain menu with cartoon balloons
    that represent menu selections are enhanced by
    still pictures that come alive with different
    scenes from the film. Nothing overly extravagant,
    but very stylish with the movie's overall theme.
    There are 4 short to very short Deleted/Alternate
    Scenes presented on this disc. Two are of of
    Ninja-dude Doug (Dave Sheridan) having a hilarious
    confrontation with the convenience store owner. One
    clip is a battle of David's waving nunchuks against
    the store owner's mop. Another is a short clip
    of the art teacher explaining a piece of art. The
    last clip is of Seymour trying to sell a collector
    one of his records.
    One of the most interesting things I discovered
    through The Making of Ghost World is that
    this all started with a comic book of the same name.
    Writer/Director Terry Zwigoff explains that his wife
    asked him to read a comic book called Ghost World,
    and that he was impressed with the characters. We
    then meet the individual actors and actresses who
    talk about their roles, how they met each other, and
    the overall experience of working on this film. This
    11-minute featurette was very fun to watch -- especially
    since it gave individual insight to a movie that
    comes off slightly wierd.
    For those of you that were really hip to the film's
    opening musical number, a clip of 1965's Gumnaam
    is included.
    Three Trailers have been included on this
    DVD. In addition to the film's original theatrical
    trailer, there are trailers for "The Princess Bride"
    and "The Terminator" Special Edition DVDs. A promo
    for the "Ghost World" soundtrack is also included.
    Final Thoughts
    MGM has done such a remarkable turnaround in the
    past year. They have been putting out some
    extraordinary DVD product with lots of thought-
    provoking menus and supplements as well as transfers
    that are just mind-boggling compared to what they
    used to put out. I am so proud of this studio.
    Ghost World is the best looking transfer
    I have seen from the studio to date.
    I am very happy that the studio put a nice effort
    into this disc. The movie took me by total surprise.
    It's a wonderfully weird, often funny and touching
    film that redefines the teenage coming-of-age story.
    It's a remarkable film that I would hope everyone
    will take the opportunity to watch upon its release.
    Release Date: February 5th, 2002
  2. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

    Nov 3, 2000
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    Nice review Ron, I agree that MGM has done a total 180 on their DVD product... the stuff they are putting out now is great (like the awesome Buckaroo Banzai SE). I have heard so many good things about this movie, I am going to pick it up on release day. Thanks. [​IMG]
  3. mike martin

    mike martin Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 27, 2001
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    Great to hear. I've known all about Ghost World and where it comes from and who directed it (loved Crumb!); but this movie was never going to come to my town. So I've been waiting for this release more than just about any other for early 2002. Thanks for the review!
  4. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

    Apr 29, 2000
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    One of my favourite films of last year. I really hope it finds its audience on DVD, it deserves to do well.
  5. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

    Aug 17, 2000
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    Thank you MGM! This is one of my absolute favorites from last year, and I can't wait to get the DVD!
  6. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

    Jul 11, 1998
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    Can't wait to see this one. It made many critics' best of 2000 lists.
  7. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

    Jan 6, 2002
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    I havent seen this film yet, but Im dying to and will most certainly pick up the disc. Sounds great!
  8. Kenneth Cummings

    Kenneth Cummings Supporting Actor

    Aug 7, 2001
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    Cool, my brother will be happy, because he went to see this movie(alreadly reading the graphic novel of it) and liking it a lot. I will borrow the disc when he gets it and if I like it, I will have to pick a copy myself(least I could do, I got him into Memento).
  9. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

    Mar 31, 2000
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    You guys wont' go wrong picking this DVD up. It's a fantastic film and I'm glad to hear Ron praise the transfer and the DVD itself.

    I'm looking forward to owning this wonderful film.
  10. Michael Dehaven

    Michael Dehaven Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 15, 2001
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    Ron, I wouldn't describe the protagonists as women. They live at home and are preparing to leave the nest for the first time. Teenagers, as trite as that sounds, is what they are. I saw the academy screener and agree that the audio/video presentation is good.I didn't enjoy the endless sarcasm and attitude of these girls, it feels real but it is boring an hour later. Anywho, many do love this film. MGM has unleashed a fine presentation of a film that is surely an acquired taste.
  11. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

    Nov 21, 2001
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    It not only made my personal top ten of the year, but my top 3, along with Memento and Moulin Rouge. Thank you for reviewing it. I'll never understand how gems like this seem to only draw sparce crowds. I'm hoping it draws some attention from the academy. There's no way 5 other actors deserve the Best Supporting nomination over Steve Buscemi.
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Jan 18, 1999
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    I too loved this film- and recommend it to anyone who loves the slightly off kilter film (Crumb, bottle rocket, John Waters films come to mind).

    Great movie, the comic is also really good.

    Check it out. I can't wait to get this DVD-- just so I can show the movie to friends who missed it in theaters.

  13. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

    Jun 19, 1999
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    I can't wait to receive this DVD. I've never seen the film, but I'm a fan of quirky material - and this looks very good.

    Thankfully the online retailer that I ordered from shipped this to me on Friday (a whole 12 days early).
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    Anyone who knows an obsessive collector of "stuff" will sympathize with Seymour (Steven Bescemi's character) very well. It is along the same vein as Wes Anderson's work, but with a slightly askewed worldview but also character-driven. I would suggest at least giving it a shot by renting it, it'll be money well spent.

    I'll be picking it up when it comes out soon.
  15. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

    Aug 13, 2000
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    Real Name:
    Just joining in with the rest of the bunch in saying that I really enjoyed "Ghost World", exceptionally funny performances all around.
    I particularly liked the ending

    where Enid gets on the bus (the one which no longer had a route on that street) and drives off, unannounced....
    For those of you who didn't stick with the end credits, you missed a rather amusing, alternate take of Seymour confronting Josh at the convenience store. You could even hear the crew members laughing....
    Highly recommend the DVD as a definite rental, if not purchase.
  16. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Excellent review.
    Fantastic movie.
    Wonderful DVD.
    If any of you were on the bubble regarding this title, take Ron's advice and give Ghost World a shot.
  17. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Jan 17, 2001
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    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    Seeing this movie again, reminded me how much I enjoyed it. Actually, I loved it better the second time around.
    It also brought back fond memories of when Vince Maskeeper, myself and Andrew Farra saw this at the SUNSET 5 during the HTF LA MEET[​IMG]
  18. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

    May 8, 1999
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  19. Jamie Cole

    Jamie Cole Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 8, 1999
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    Funny how different people see movies in different ways...

    I didn't see this as a coming of age film at all. Thora Birch's character is locked in to her own morose existence and doesn't seem to learn anything (she's still running at the end of the film, IMHO)... Scarlett Johansson conforms rather than transforms... Brad Renfro is the typical anykid (is it just me or does EVERYONE know this character?)... Buscemi, who has the best chance to grow and branch out, actually regresses.

    It's kinda like real life that way!

    But I do agree with Ron that this is a most excellent movie. It's also a no-brainer buy for me (cheap!!!). Given the glut of teen smut movies hanging around over the last few years, I'm happy to see somebody get it right. I think it's the best artful comment on teen life since "Welcome To The Dollhouse."
  20. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

    Jan 29, 2001
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