Ghost World


MGM Home Ent., $26.98

ADAPTED FROM Daniel Clowes' teen-angst comic book, Terry Zwigoff's Ghost World met with some critical raves last year but didn't quite stir up the interest needed to make it a big cult hit. It's easy to see why from the original trailer and cut-and-paste promo documentary provided on this disappointing Feb. 5 DVD release. What was, in reality, a tender mood piece—about the numbing, inexplicable loss felt by an outsider (Thora Birch) when she graduates from high school and feels herself drifting away from her pretty best friend (Scarlett Johansson)—was hyped as an aggressively quirky laugh riot for the alternative crowd.

The real mystery is why this single-disc package lacks a commentary track from either Zwigoff (Crumb) or his co-writer Clowes—you wonder how a film this resolutely idiosyncratic can be left hanging without backup yet padded with a trailer for the "special edition" DVD of The Terminator. We just aren't offered any extras that special here, which is a shame considering the movie's singular, lingering melancholy. Its obligatory "making-of featurette" is just one of those hasty puff jobs.

The deleted/alternate scenes combined run about a minute (they're simply trims or dialogue tweaks). The only thing of passing interest is the full-length version of "Jaan Pehechaan Ho," the delirious, hip-swinging number from the 1965 Indian flick Gumnaan that opens World. Here's the kind of insane go-go shimmying that would make Ann-Margret proud; it's a shame that nothing else on this release offers a peek outside the ordinary that Zwigoff's film merits.

Steve Wiecking

FEBRUARY ALSO sees a rerelease of Disney's animated 1953 Peter Pan (Feb. 12) with plenty of extras to help hype its new Feb. 15 sequel (Peter Pan: Return to Never Land). Kids will probably approve. Also on Feb. 12, there's a spiffy new Criterion Collection DVD set for Bergman's 1957 Wild Strawberries, and Hearts in Atlantis, which has precisely nothing to recommend about it. The equally dreadful Captain Corelli's Mandolin arrives Feb. 5, as does the superior 1971 Klute, with Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, as does Robert Zemeckis' funny 1980 Used Cars (supposedly a special-edition DVD), a reminder of his once-promising, pre-Gump career.


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