DVD Review: Ghost Rider
Movie ••½ Picture •••• Sound •••• Extras ••½
A lot of the action takes place in dark alleys and nighttime desert landscapes, but thankfully the transfer is up to the challenge. Blacks are rich and deep, with extremely sharp detail. And the brightly lit scenes fare just as well. Particularly noteworthy is Johnny Blaze's stunt of jumping from one goalpost on a football field to the other, where his brilliant white costume stands out beautifully against the rich red of the ramp.
The soundtrack isn't subtle - but most of us aren't looking for subtlety in a superhero movie anyway. The roaring motorcycle really pumps the subwoofer, and these action scenes are punctuated with strong panning effects. The dynamic range is slightly wider on the DTS track, but the Dolby Digital mix works just fine.
Even the single-disc edition of Ghost Rider manages to cram in a lot of extras. Two 30-minute featurettes include the standard blend of behind-the-scenes footage with all the talent involved patting each other on the back. There's a commentary by Johnson and effects guru Kevin Mack; Johnson is very enthusiastic, and Mack offers some technical insights. Another commentary, by producer Gary Foster, doesn't hold a lot of interest. If you think you can manage to get through both, you'll probably want the two-disc edition, which contains an extended version of the film that's 15 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. It also adds the animatics that the filmmakers used to work out how scenes would be shot and a 45-minute documentary on the comic-book origins of Ghost Rider. [PG-13] English, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (2.35:1); dual layer.