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|Home: BigScreen Journal - Blu-ray Review: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past|
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Warner Home Video
List Price: $35.99 (Check Price at Amazon.com)
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| Video Format:
Movie: BD-25 (x1) BD-J
Connor Mead is the kind of guy who dumps three girlfriends. At the same time. By teleconference. So when he attends his brother's wedding he has a single goal: score with the only bridesmaid he somehow missed. But the ghost of his departed Uncle Wayne -- who taught him to love 'em and leave 'em -- has another goal in mind: restore Connor's lost faith in true love, a tough assignment requiring the services of many, many Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
The picture quality of this title is acceptable, but not up to the same standard as other releases by the same studio. The color is slightly uneven during some scenes (e.g. the kitchen scene between the two leads) and overall, there's nothing spectacular at work here. It's not bad, but it's not impressive either.
The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is largely underutilized here, with the surrounds providing ambience during crowd scenes, but the dialogue takes place entirely in the front center with little directionality. Par for the course for a romantic comedy, so nothing to complain about here, just nothing to brag about either.
I like to see the theatrical trailer included with movies, so I was disappointed that one was not included here. Being able to watch the trailer helps one to appreciate how the movie was marketed during its theatrical release, and it's a nice extra to have. While the trailer is available in the BD-Live section (see below), I fail to understand why it couldn't have been included on the disc instead (where it could have been full-screen, in HD, and in multi-channel sound).
The additional scenes do nothing to add to the movie, so (like so many such extras) we get to see why the editors get paid. Recreating the Past, Imagining The Future is an interesting behind-the-scenes featurette, but there aren't any major revelations to be had from the production of this movie. It's All About Connor is just like it sounds. Everyone on the cast gushing over Matthew McConaughey, talking about what a great guy he is and a terrific actor to work with, etc. The Legends, the Lessons, and the Ladies shows McConaughey and Michael Douglas talking about playing leading men.
The BD-Live section contains the usual Warner Bros. BD-Live content (as well as the "Coming Soon" features that have been coming soon for quite some time), complete with the still-frustrating interface that makes it difficult to tell which item is selected. The designers need to realize that we can't use a mouse to hover over these choices to see what reacts and what doesn't. When an icon barely changes between selected and unselected states, it's difficult to use when all you have to navigate with are directional keys on a remote control.
On the day of release, there are no videos listed in the Extras section. Even though the box promises a BD-Live extra titled "Sea of Women," nothing was found after repeated attempts over the course of the last two days. Perhaps someday, studios will deliver content for Blu-ray releases on an ongoing basis as a reward for those who purchase the movie (as opposed to renting it).
The "Trailers" section of the BD-Live section contains trailers for a variety of Warner Bros. movies. The videos load quickly, but you'll experience similar or better quality and a wider variety of content by going online to services like Hulu, Quicktime's site, or so many other web sites that deliver video in a variety of formats and quality settings, including 1080p HD. Several of the available titles are video games, which is odd given the target audience of a movie like this.
The BD-Live section for this title does little to advance the feature or show off its potential. It's possible that more will appear in the coming days, but if you're going to do something, shouldn't it be ready for release day?
It appears that we'll be waiting longer for Warner Bros. to really innovate in this space. Perhaps they just need a movie that is more worthy of the production effort?
There is a second disc which contains a Digital Copy. Fans of the movie might enjoy the digital copy, as it would allow you to download the movie and enjoy it many times on your portable device. By inserting the disc into a Windows PC or Mac, you can obtain a digital copy of the movie for playback on your PSP, PC, Mac, or iPod. I didn't explore this option, so I can't comment on the picture or sound quality. The documentation says that the Digital Copy must be redeemed by 9/22/2010.
This disc is BD-J formatted, and our PlayStation 3 was able to support auto-resuming the movie if the disc is not ejected. Bookmarking is not supported. Since some Blu-ray discs are equipped with the ability to resume playback (Disney releases, such as High School Musical 3, have this), it would be nice for all studios to include such a feature. This is one of the biggest usability problems with the Blu-ray format that studios need to recognize and support.
This movie is a tough sell! It's a Matthew McConaughey vehicle, so immediately you think it is primarily for the ladies in the audience. However, its tone is incredibly negative towards women and relationships, and treats them as sexual conquests instead of human beings. This movie actually works for the guys in the audience, because they would have to be pretty bad at relationships to be worse than Connor Mead!
All that said, however, there is an audience for this movie, and they will most likely not be swayed by any critical review of the movie. That leaves this title to stand on its own merits and whether it is worth buying or renting. There are about 30 minutes worth of extras, but the BD-Live section is completely void of any content related to this movie (at least on release day) aside from a windowboxed streaming trailer in 2-channel sound. If the Digital Copy doesn't attract you, this is a difficult title to recommend buying due to the low amount of compelling extras backing up a disc with acceptable (but unimpressive) picture and sound quality.
If you're not sure about buying this title, put it on your Netflix list or rent it via the Video-on-demand services listed above and check it out for yourself!
Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the disc.
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