Monday, August 9, 2010

Ghost Town (David Koepp, 2008)

Classicist, if not downright classical, and anachronistic in the unfussy care put it into images and edits. Takes of Studio Era length, sequence-shot gags (the delivery boy catches Ricky Gervais' cold; a man goes from living to ghost in a single shot, his death occurring off camera; the "Sabre Dance" being played during a chase scene is revealed to be coming from a street busker) and the 1.85 frame treated as though it was Academy Ratio. All that and an old-fashioned plot, too: fussbucket dentist who begin to see ghosts after a near-death experience is hounded by a dead philanderer into breaking up his widow's impending marriage. Best part's the ending, which develops slowly and "naturally" and cuts to credits just when a 1930s movie would would say "The End." Speaking of Gervais-in-America comedies, I'm not sure where all the fuss about Invention of Lying as an "underrated movie" comes from: it's about half of a good idea executed very poorly -- funny every now and then but mostly misanthropic (not always a bad thing, but hypocritical in an ostensibly humanist film) and facile; this is an ordinary, okay idea executed smartly and with feeling, and that's always better.