Head to Head – Ghost Town

Welcome to the latest edition of Head to Head, in which our Quickflix critic takes on our readers in a rip-snorting battle to the death! You pick the film, and we pick the fight!

This week, Chris Richardson called the ghostbusters on David Koepp‘s Ghost Town. For his troubles, he scored a double pass to Robin Hood! You can win free movie tickets too by sending your mini-reviews to us here at Quickflix!

Chris Richardson will argue AGAINST the film while Quickflix critic Simon Miraudo will argue FOR it. Let us know in the comments section below who you agree with. Spare no vitriol! Choose your side! There can only be one winner!

Chris Richardson – 2/5

Let me just preface this mini spiel by saying that I am a massive fan of the UK version of The Office, so I really wanted to like Ghost Town. Now don’t get me wrong; I did chuckle once or twice. But for a film starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear (both of whom I always enjoy) a couple of laughs is falling well short of the mark. The movie felt sluggish and boring, with the truly funny moments being few and far between. That said, I do need to mention the brilliant cameo by Kristen Wiig, one of the funniest females in the business today. All in all Ghost Town was boring, predictable and just not funny enough. Oh Ricky, please go back to Slough. Good comedy needs you to come back.

Simon Miraudo – 3.5/5

Who isn’t a massive fan of Ricky Gervais? His work on The Office alone has him enshrined in the pantheon of comedy greats, and that doesn’t even account for his genius follow-up project Extras (or his amazing series of podcasts). He isn’t infallible of course – his live stand-up routines rely too heavily on his ultra cocky persona, while his cinematic directorial debut The Invention of Lying is muddled and bland. HOWEVER, Ghost Town (although not written or directed by Gervais and frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant) is charming, sweet-natured and anchored by a great lead performance from pug-nosed Gervais. I don’t think we’re disagreeing too strongly here Chris – I will admit that Ghost Town is light on thigh-slappingly funny moments. However, the relationships between the characters are rich, warm and surprisingly touching. That is what elevates the film above your traditional gimmicky romcom, and makes it an affecting supernatural comedy along the lines of Heart and Souls. Oh and Chris – massive respect on the Kristen Wiig shout-out. That is one funny lady.

Now it’s over to you! What are your thoughts on Ghost Town? Let us know in the comments section below. If you would like to be featured in the next Head to Head and possibly win some free movie tickets, send your mini-reviews to us here at Quickflix!

3 Responses to “Head to Head – Ghost Town”

  1. I find it puzzling that Simon found "The Invention of Lying" bland, but liked "Ghost Town". For my money, these movies have a shared deficiency. Gervais is trying to crack the American market, and clearly believes that he needs to dumb his style down (which is probably true). As such, he's not doing what he does best (situational comedy grounded in the absurdities of everyday life), and has instead opted to try to emulate Hollywood studio comedies.I found both "Ghost Town" and "The Invention of Lying" to be passable and mildly entertaining, but both lacked the emotional depth and dry wit of just about everything else that Gervais has done.**www.thefilmbrief.com

  2. Seems to me that much of the criticism of this movie is from Ricky Gervais fans expecting "The Office" style comedy on the big screen. I had no such expectations having not seen much of The Office and found this movie to be thoroughly enjoyable. Ricky successfully pulls of being the most unlikely leading man in a romantic comedy for some time. It made his relationship with Tea Leoni's character that much more credible in my eyes. It was great to watch his character develop from miserable coot to one with more compassion and humanity. One of my favourite movies of 2009.

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