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October 25, 2009
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
2/8/20081/10/2009Village RoadshowMark Waters
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
VC-1Dolby TrueHD 5.1MMatthew McConaughey

THE MOVIE
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Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is essentially a clone of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol this time the ghosts aren't there to show the lead character how to be kind to others, but rather that love really does matter, and that he is about to lose the girl of his dreams if he doesn't smarten up his act. Predictable? Yes. Entertaining? Mildly.

Connor Mead (Matthew McConaughey) doesn't believe in love. Indeed his uncle taught him that when the relationship turns into love, it's time to bail and move on. This freewheeling libertine is haunted by the spirits of girlfriends of the present, past, and beyond at his brother's wedding, awakening long-lost feelings for his first love.

Matthew McConaughey is pretty good in the lead role of Connor Mead. You know he's a sleazy character, but he's also somewhat mistaken, and his transformation from quite nasty, to a much more caring person is nicely handled, if rather predictable. He also has some great moments; trying to pick up at the bar, attempting to save the wedding cake, and even the more tender moments looking back at his childhood.

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Surprise with the champagne.
It's funny when I watch Jennifer Garner in movies, and despite her beauty, I actually see her more of an action star then a good romantic comedy lead. She was great in the TV series Alias and equally impressive in the much overlooked movie The Kingdom with Jamie Foxx. Don't get me wrong though, she is certainly a beautiful actress and she is pretty entertaining in this movie.

The one person who I absolutely loved in this movie was Michael Douglas who plays Connor's Uncle Wayne, a man who taught Connor everything he knows about women, and how to get them in bed without any form of commitment. Uncle Wayne comes across as a sleazy Hugh Hefner type of person, but also has plenty of charm and personality to make him quite likable at the same time - in much the say way that Connor comes across.

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Michael Douglas in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was a pretty average movie which actually lacked much romance. Characters are interesting enough, and performances are solid, but there's little here that really surprises or shocks although there are some mildly entertaining moments. In fact, this movie is an Utterly predictable clone of A Christmas Carol but lacks the gut-busting laughs to make it a classic, or even a movie you'd watch more then once. Ultimately an average movie which will easily be forgotten in time.

VIDEO
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is presented on Blu-Ray in the films original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 using the VC-1 codec. The films has a somewhat understated look to it, but it does hold up with good levels of detail, nice colour saturation and solid shadow detail. This isn't a movie which will define the Blu-Ray format, but the improvements over the DVD release are quite striking.

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Seems like a problem with the cake!
Having said that there were some minor instances where the image appeared a little softer and there were also a couple of scenes where there was some very light colour banding. They are only minor issues, so the picture quality won't lose too many marks as a result.

AUDIO
There are two audio tracks on this disc a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track (16-bit/48Khz) and a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. This isn't a movie which is going to push your system to its limits, nor provide a reference disc to blow your friends away with an amazing sound system. This is very much a dialogue driven movie and as such there isn't an abundant use of the rear channels in the mix, but the do come into play on occasion.

There is one single English subtitle track which accurately reproduces the dialogue on screen with good pacing and clear text.

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Jennifer Garner and Lacey Chabert.
EXTRAS
There are a couple of extras on this disc, but nothing of any real substance sadly.

Recreating the Past, Imagining the Future (8:39/HD): An EPK styled extra in which the movies participants, for the most part, just retell the story.

It's All about Connor (aka It's All about Matthew) (4:05/HD): The actors all talk about Matthew McConaughey and how great he is as an actor and a person. Pretty much pointless.

The Legends, the Lessons and the Ladies (8:00/HD): Yep another extra which again simply tells us about the characters in the movie. A bit of a focus on Michael Douglas as Uncle Wayne and the way he deals with the ladies!

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Michael Douglas, brilliant as Uncle Wayne.
Additional scenes (9:32): Four additional scenes are presented here - Alternate opening, Exiting the Studio, The Bridesmaid's Toast, Uncle Wayne gives advice - Extended Scene. It's quite disappointing that these are the only extra on the disc presented in standard definition with 2 channel audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2:26/HD): The Theatrical Trailer for the movie.

OVERALL
Ghosts of Girlfriends Pasts is a rather forgettable movie which didn't do much from me at all. Sure there's the occasional humourous line, and despite his terrible ways one can't help but start liking Connor. The transfer is above average, but the extras lacking. One for a rental.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
6/10
THE VIDEO
8/10
THE AUDIO
8/10
THE EXTRAS
3/10
OVERALL
6/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.