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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2009
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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on 24 March 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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on 3 November 2008
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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on 17 December 2008
After watching How To Lose Friends And Alienate People (Simon Pegg's latest foray) I wasn't overly enthused about this one. Hollywood went through a long love affair with Australians, and now it's moved on to British comedians. To its benefit. And to the detriment of the newly homogenised British comedians.

Unlike the sickly sweetness of How to Lose Friends, there are still some gloriously politically incorrect moments (such as Pincus - Gervais - asking his Indian Hindu business partner how to extract information from a hostile, to which the partner responds: "I suppose I'd ask politely...") and Gervais is absolutely the master of observational physical comedy. Make a mental note to rewind and rewatch his reaction when saying he won't be asking for morphine. It is perhaps the best little bit of acting I've ever had the pleasure of watching.

Ghost Town also stars Greg Kinnear and Tea Leoni as a dead dude and his ex-wife respectively, and despite their both being seasoned actors, Gervais steals the show in every possible way. However he and Leoni have no chemistry whatsoever. None. And therein lies the problem: while it's excellent that a chubby, older misanthrope is the star of a romantic comedy, it really feels like they've shoe-horned Gervais in. Or perhaps they tacked Leoni on at the end. Either way, they have as much chemistry as two like-poles of a magnet.

So I was very much left with the impression that anyone could have played his part. Not the little asides and facial expressions and none of that vintage Gervaisiness, but the role in and of itself is a rather dull one. Truth is, Gervais is better than the script, and any actor off the street could have played it - albeit not nearly as well.

But the chemistry issue doesn't ruin it, because the romance isn't what carries the film. You see, both Leoni and Kinnear are instantly forgettable; Kristen Wiig as a vapid, self-involved surgeon deserves a nod, but Gervais and Aasif Mandviwala (Mr Aziz, the pizza guy, in Spiderman 2) give stand-out performances that will have you glued to the screen. They carry the film, and their excellence mitigates the lacklustre love story and, ultimately, renders it obsolete.

So while those 2 get 5 stars each, the rest of the film gets considerably lower, and it evens out to a hugely watchable and enjoyable 4.
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on 4 July 2010
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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on 17 April 2016
We really liked this film ,its easy just to sit down too and just enjoy the simple story line,i am not normally a Ricky Gervais fan,but he did play his part very well,along with all the others, it was fun.
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on 1 March 2015
A very average comedy, which offers little original. Some mild laughs, some missed opportunities. Has a rather old fashioned feel about it, as though it could have been a remake of a James Stewart type film from the 40's. A lot also depends on if you like Ricky Gervais or not.
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on 30 October 2011
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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on 14 March 2015
This is true Ricky Gervais and the more the story progressed, luckily the more his character developed and became much more likeable; he really does make you smile throughout. It's a lovely heart warming rom-com!
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on 28 February 2009
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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