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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated, funny and sweet.
Bertram Pincus is a grouchy and bad-mannered middle aged English dentist living in Manhattan, New York. Bertram hates people; he lives in the apartment building next to his dental surgery to avoid mixing with commuters, stuffs patients mouths with cotton to stop them from speaking and avoids any unnecessary contact with work colleagues.
When Bertram goes into...
Published on 4 July 2010 by Ernie

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars No sign of tumbleweed here...
Been a fan of Ricky Gervais since the early days, and loved what he did, but I felt, and I've heard him say this in interviews that he's not an actor, he's just being an accentuated version of his annoying self, which worked a treat for The Office and Extras, but his dabble in Hollywood left me a bit disappointed. His spell in Night at the Museum and the like was...
Published on 16 Jun. 2009 by Coles Law


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated, funny and sweet., 4 July 2010
This review is from: Ghost Town [DVD] (DVD)
Bertram Pincus is a grouchy and bad-mannered middle aged English dentist living in Manhattan, New York. Bertram hates people; he lives in the apartment building next to his dental surgery to avoid mixing with commuters, stuffs patients mouths with cotton to stop them from speaking and avoids any unnecessary contact with work colleagues.
When Bertram goes into hospital for a colonoscopy under general anaesthetic, he dies for seven minutes and when revived leaves hospital to find he can see and communicate with ghosts, all of which want his help to finish their personal business on Earth. The most forceful of the ghosts is Frank, a sharp talking businessman and adulterous husband of Gwen, an Egyptologist who lives in Bertram's apartment building. After constantly being harassed by ghosts and worn down with lack of sleep, Frank manages to make a deal with Bertram, if he can break up the engagement between his widow and her do-gooder lawyer fiancé, Frank will make all the other ghosts go away. Bertram then embarks on forging a relationship with Gwen in order to complete his side of the deal, the trouble is Bertram soon realises he's falling in love with her.
While it's doubtful Ricky Gervais is ever going to win an Oscar for best actor, he does a fine job in this film and makes the character of Bertram fully formed, completely believable and throughout the film progressively more and more likeable. Greg Kinnear is a solid support and Tia Leoni is a clever choice as the attractive, intelligent though believable romantic interest for Bertram. The pacing and direction of the film is good with some beautiful shots of Manhattan and the dialogue is sharp, funny and well suited to Gervais' dry wit and comedic timing. Overall the film is a funny and engaging mix of comedy, romance, drama and human redemption, and the final 20 minutes of the film are exceptionally sweet and tender. And while the story is a bit predictable, the interesting, likeable characters, charming nature and sheer quality makes this a must see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only Floss The Teeth That You Want To Keep., 4 Dec. 2009
By 
A. Mckellar "Andymack" (Wokingham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Town [Blu-ray] [2008] (DVD)
This is one of those films that looked really good on the adverts and while I had a little trepidation about watching it, I decided to go into it with an open mind. My main concern was whether a comedy about a Dentist who could interact with dead people would work and particularly as Gervais was taking the lead role. Despite my slight concerns I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the film and as romantic dead comedies go it was particularly funny.

It's a slightly different type of movie to the usual films from director David Koepp with his previous films including Secret Window and Stir of Echoes. He has put this film together particularly well and the special effects are really well done. In particular the sneeze as someone walks through one of the ghosts is a very clever concept. He uses some very clever camera work and creates some very amusing scenes. His direction and use of the lighting and sound work particularly well and I was very impressed with the finished article.

With Koepp also taking on part of the script writing with John Camps it meant that the script and direction stayed true to the original vision. The plot travels at a reasonable pace and while it doesn't follow quite the regular path you would expect it works as something slightly different. The character of Pincus is very well written and you really get a good feel for how he is and as the films progress and you find out more about him you start to understand his hatred of pretty much anyone.

The role of Pincus is portrayed particularly well by Ricky Gervais in his first lead role in a Hollywood movie. He adapts to the part particularly well and this dispelled one of my earlier worries. I was expecting to see just another version of the Office's David Brent but thankfully Gervais did something a little different with Pincus and it worked very well. You want to hate him because of his attitude to everyone, but as you learn more about him and he comes out of his shell you grow to like him. I feel I should warn you though if you're not a fan of Gervais and his humour this isn't a film for you.

While the film really appears to be a vehicle to launch Gervais in America there are also a couple of good performances from his supporting cast. In particular Greg Kinnear's performance as the dead cheating husband Frank is particularly enjoyable. He plays the character well and while you find yourself won over by Gervais you love to hate Frank throughout. The other notable performance is from Tea Leoni who plays Frank's ex wife particularly well. There is some great chemistry between her and Gervais and i really felt that added a bit of conviction to their performances.

Overall I have to say that whilst I did have my concerns before sitting down to watch it, they were quickly dismissed. This is an enjoyable comedy film that plays on an old style of story and gives it a nice new twist. The soundtrack adds some real feeling to the movie and as well as countless funny moments there are some rather serious scene that Gervais in particular pulls of very well. If you're not a fan of Ricky Gervais this really isn't for you, otherwise it s a film that will make you laugh and if nothing else will pass 102 minutes of an evening without any problem at all.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant! 10/10!, 14 Jan. 2009
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ghost Town [DVD] (DVD)
In `Ghost Town', Ricky Gervais plays the miserable, unfriendly dentist Bertram Pincus who during some simple colonoscopy surgery he dies for 7 minutes. After this event he begins to see ghosts who all want his help. One ghost in particular is Frank (Greg Kinnear) who died a few months ago when he is hit by a bus. He wants Pincus to stop his wife (Tia Leoni) from marrying her new boyfriend.

As well as giving us the side-splitting performance you'd normally expect from Gervais, he also shows us that he really can act. Once the love story kicks in, he really does become likeable and I found myself feeling sorry for him for being so lonely and having the ghosts following him all the time. The supporting cast are all excellent too. The script is very well written - it's not the most original story ever, with someone who sees dead people and has to help them, but it does work really well and is a clever spin on a very over-used formula.

Overall there's not really anything negative I can say about this great little comedy other than it has been extremely over-looked. If you're after a nice, heart-warming and hilarious comedy then look no further than this! I highly recommend it to anyone.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 24 Mar. 2009
I am not a huge fan of Ricky Gervais, but liked the idea for this film very much, and to be honest was surprised how much both myself and my husband enjoyed it.
Well written, it had us in stitches in places, and with a few tears thrown in for good measure it was an all round good film! Ricky plays a very good, and believable role,managing to get akward geekiness/englishman in New York role off to a tee, the film is well written and resulted in probably one of the best alternative rom coms i have watched for a while, after seeing this at the cinema, i eagearly awaited its release on dvd, and bought it at the earliest opportunity.
Do not be put off, if you don't like Gervais, this is a film that will make you smile, i would fully recommend it!!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gervais in his Perfect Role!, 3 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Ghost Town [DVD] (DVD)
The dentist with dire need of a People Skills course was always going to be one for Ricky Gervais. He plays Dr. Bertram Pincus, who after having an operation and dying for 7 minutes, is annoyingly able to see ghosts. Greg Kinnear is the dead buisnessman who needs Dr. Pincus' help to break his widow Tea Leoni, and 'perfect man' Billy Campbell, up.

Ghost Town is hilariously funny with some side splitting moments (Pincus and his gag reflexes) but also with a clever storyline that makes you enjoy the film, instead of just laughing at it.
Ricky Gervais is, as always, brilliant with his sarcastic tone and his great facial expressions and the characters have all different and interesting.
A brilliant film that is guarenteed to make you laugh out loud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghostly comedy: a bit like "The Sixth Sense" played for laughs, 28 July 2009
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Ghost Town [DVD] (DVD)
Yet another film about ghosts, but I enjoyed this one more than most.

It was appropriately advertised with a reference to the line spoken in The Sixth Sense [DVD] [1999] by little Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment). Where Cole Sear said "I see dead people," this film has been advertised with a similar comment about the central character of this film, played by Ricky Gervais: "He sees dead people - and they annoy him."

Imagine "The sixth sense" remade as a comedy, with Haley Joel Osment's little boy replaced by a misanthropic dentist with the people skills of David Brent from "The Office" (Link:The Office - Complete Series One & Two and The Christmas Specials [2001] [DVD] ) and you have "Ghost Town." At times this is very funny, at times quite touching, and always entertaining.

Bertram Pincus (Gervais) is an English dentist working in New York. He likes his job because most of the people he meets cannot talk back to him when he's working on their teeth and because it's a job in which the fact that he is incredibly rude to everyone doesn't matter too much. The role is like a cross between the "boss from hell" characters Ricky Gervais plays as the museum director in "Night at the Museum" and David Brent in "the office."

In the first few minutes of the film most viewers will wonder whether Bertram Pincus is so rude because he hates people or because most of the people he meets are complete idiots. You rapidly realise that it's a bit of both, and the humour of the insults Pincus constantly throws at everyone around him fall into two categories. Many of his over-the-top insults are a response to ridiculous behaviour and work as humour because he is actually saying what most people would think but very few people would dare to say out loud.

In other instances the insults are uncalled for and the humour consists of Gervais and the scriptwriters seeing how outrageous he can be.

Dr Pincus goes into hospital for a routine operation, dies on the operating table and is quickly revived, but when he recovers he can see and hear all the many ghosts who are haunting New York.

As in many ghost-story films, the premise is that dead people who stay around on earth do so because they have unfinished business. As soon as they realise that Pincus can see and hear them, he is besieged by ghosts who want him to help them take care of these various issues.

A ghost called Frank (Greg Kinnear) had been an unscrupulous but persuasive rat who cheated on his archaologist wife Gwen (Tea Leoni). He convinces himself that the business he has to complete before he moves on is to stop his widow making another bad marriage. As the human rights lawyer who is now courting Gwen (Bill Campbell) appears from Frank's perspective too good to be true, Frank persuades Pincus to try to break up their romance.

In trying to do this, Bertram Pincus is forced for the first time in years to concern himself with how another human being thinks of him. This is the start of a process which continues as Bertram's long-dormant conscience begins to awaken. To get dead people out of his hair, Pincus has to abandon years of treating the living like dirt and try to act like a decent human being, with results which are as touching and surprising as they are comical.

A certain number of plot inconsistencies, but in general this is a good, professionally made film which was great fun to watch. A lot of the jokes are very funny, Gervais is, as usual, brilliant, and the supporting cast are also excellent. Strongly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gervais excels with gentler style of comedy, 28 Feb. 2009
By 
K. O'Leary (Milton Keynes, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Town [Blu-ray] [2008] (DVD)
An unusual choice for a leading man in a romantic comedy, the rather dumpy Ricky Gervais still manages to succeed, generally by convincing the viewer that personality does indeed count more than good looks. Although the living seeing the dead premise is hardly unique, in this case the idea has been freshened up, with Gervais' character finding the situation a tiresome nuisance rather than frightening or profound. Although not scripted by Gervais, he certainly must have had some off-the-cuff input, as some of the quips are trademark Ricky. Gervais also does an admirable job of believably bringing round the apparently aspergic Dr.Pincus to interacting with the human race (both living and dead).

Although well supported by the rest of the cast, it's Ricky that gets all the laughs. I think Tea Leoni does struggle a little to make us believe her character would fall for Pincus, but that is really a flaw in the script; she is allowed to tolerate him far too quickly (especially when she asks him to inspect the teeth of the mummy she's studying). However, a good job all round, this movie is a definite success.

As far as a technical review of the Blu-Ray goes, image quality is strong with good detail, although the colours appear to have been deliberately washed out a little, perhaps to add a Woody Allen style sheen to the city scenes. The sound is a little bit of a let down though, and is rather muted, although perfectly adequate for this type of film. At least the dialogue is clear, which is the important thing - you'll just have to turn it up a bit. There's a good score with some classic tunes though, which might have benefited from more bass weight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films ever!, 30 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Ghost Town [Blu-ray] [2008] (DVD)
The opening scene we see Frank (Greg Kinnear) walking along being questioned by his wife, Gwen, (played by Téa Leoni - the beautiful (ex)wife of David Duchovny) about an apartment - that he has actually started looking at for his mistress. Just as the smooth talker Frank reassures Gwen that it was for them, he meets an untimely end; staying in the outfit he died in.

Meanwhile, we meet Bertram Pincus (played by Ricky Gervais) who works as a dentist who is constantly tired of listening to people and is disinterested in his work colleagues - he even sneaks out of the office whilst Dr. Prashar and the other staff meet to celebrate the birth of his new baby.

So Bertram dislikes people and we even see him not hold the elevator for a lady who lives in his building when she is struggling with an enormous box. Up he goes to his bachelor pad to prepare for an operation.

It is during this operation that he dies - for 7 minutes - and this gives him the ability to hear the dead. Of course, all these ghosts are desperate to put things right with their loved ones and they all chase after him. This is Bertram's worst nightmare. One of the ghosts, Frank, makes him a deal - look after Gwen and save him from marrying her new partner (who Frank dislikes) and he will keep the other ghosts away.

So begins an odd courtship. It is hilarious - especially the part when he's in her apartment and meets her 'puppy' - a Great Dane - which was going to be put down until Gwen rescued him. And you, as the viewer, seem to fall in love with this odd dentist as well. So it comes as a shock when things don't go to plan and Bertram realises that the only way for him to get Gwen is to change: to help these ghosts with their problems. That way, they can 'find their way home.'

It's only when Bertram dies (again) himself, that Frank sees that Gwen has fallen for Bertram, that he is released. So everyone has been changed by the experience....

A sweet love story. I wanted to watch it over and over again. And each time I watch it, I realised how clever the narrative is. Bertram is often having a three way dialogue. Parts of the story, we see Ricky Gervais, and he is HILARIOUS.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The cover's funny, anyway, 19 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: Ghost Town [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film with more going against it than for it. As I watched it I was reminded of the fine As Good As It Gets [DVD] [1998] with the occasional paint splash of the equally fine "Ghost [DVD] [1990]". It gives both films and others, too, a nod but is far too knowing for its own good. First mistake.

True, it has all the acidity of Jack Nicholson's exploration of a sociopath in that fine outing but ultimately it lacks that film's fundamental sincerity. When Jack's character says "you make me want to be a better person" it's a wholly believable and touching moment. I'm afraid "Ghost Town" hasn't anything to match this and mostly this is down to its lead.

One thing I noticed in particular was that Mr Gervais seems to be looking forever over the shoulder of whoever he's talking to in much the same way that Tony Hancock did once he had discovered cue-cards in his later TV series. If you can be bothered, please just skip through the film again and I hope you'll see what I mean. He's forever looking off into the middle distance as he delivers his lines. It's quite distracting after a time and really rather annoying. If you add to the mix the Hollywood credo that tall, slim beautiful thirty-somethings always, just always, fall for slightly overweight middle-aged men (happens all the time, doesn't it?) the result is as realistic as it is funny.

Add further to the mix that the film is desperately short on laughs, plenty of savage remarks for sure, but simply not very funny and the whole lot makes for a pretty missable ninety odd minutes.

If you're determined to enjoy it, for one thing you'll have to accept Ricky Gervais as a romantic lead. No, I couldn't either. My best guess is that the small world of "The Office" and "Extras" on TV still, I think, suit him more than the wide-open spaces of feature films even the wannabe romantic, fluffy light-weight comedies such as this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars No sign of tumbleweed here..., 16 Jun. 2009
By 
Coles Law (Beyond Thunderdome) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ghost Town [Blu-ray] [2008] (DVD)
Been a fan of Ricky Gervais since the early days, and loved what he did, but I felt, and I've heard him say this in interviews that he's not an actor, he's just being an accentuated version of his annoying self, which worked a treat for The Office and Extras, but his dabble in Hollywood left me a bit disappointed. His spell in Night at the Museum and the like was strained, and he looked out of his depth.
Here though, with a bit of spit polish and quality support from Tea Leoni and Greg Kinnear, he actually does good.

Basically story goes along the lines of a sour English loner in New York dying during a routine operation, only for a matter of minutes but when he returns to his normal life as a dentist, he finds he can see and hear people who've passed away but stuck in limbo.

Not a new story granted, and it pans out like many others have; ghosts need help settling unfinished business, guy helps, along the way meets widow who happens to be hot, helps her, falls in love etc etc, but you have the character foibles of Gervais along the way. And it actually works pretty well. He is essentially the same as well, himself, but is gaining a little more depth and despite being annoying, has a way of making you feel for him. Probably because we feel like we know him over here in the UK, he's more accessible than a Hollywood star...if Matthew McConaughey was the lead, six pack and beautiful hair, this film wouldn't have worked...where have heard of that one? Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was it?

But all things considered, there are plenty of laughs, some tender moments, I don't know what it is with him but you seem to be able to see exactly what is going through his head, even though he has an expressionless face, you feel for him, and empathise...I think I've just realised that he is a better actor than I gave him credit for, I think it's because he is lifelike, he is who he is and not an off the conveyor, over the top American drama product. I mean, all you've got to look at is the difference between the UK version of the Office and the US version - which characters did you feel more for? The REAL ones based in Slough obviously?
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Ghost Town [DVD]
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