A&E // 2010 // 157 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 29th, 2010
Like all those other ghost hunting shows, except this one has a guy who smokes a cigar.
From A&E, yet another entry into the already jam-packed bucket of supernatural snoopers. Here's the gimmick that Paranormal Cop is hanging its hat on: they're real cops. Evidently not exhausted enough from their day jobs as genuine Chicago police detectives (a city known to be relatively free of crime, I hear), a group of like-minded detectives decide to apply their investigative prowess towards unraveling the secrets of the beyond.
When frightened bystanders ask them to help with their ghostly encounters, the Paranormal Cops hustle into their awesome vans -- complete with logos! -- and get their ghostbusting on. Episodes unfold similarly: the cops brief the aggrieved party, set up their fancy equipment, turn off the lights, fart around in the dark a bit while the night vision captures their antics, talk amongst themselves for a bit, then have a final meeting with the client where they unveil their findings...
...which are quite sparse as far as Hard Proof for Supernatural Activity goes. Look, Paranormal Cops follows the same playbook and produces the same "evidence" as all of these shows do. Which is, specifically, a whole lot of random noises, sporadic blinking on the ghost meter of choice, and eager testimony from the token medium.
The wrinkle in this formula is the "cops" themselves. I don't mean to denigrate their day job professions with those quotation marks. Apparently they are indeed real cops and that's great. But the hard-ass, gritty cop personas they bring to the paranormal investigations are tough to swallow. The cigar-smoking, the gruff demeanor, the heavy Chicago accents, the burrowing eyes -- that might work against a jumpy perp in an interrogation room but when it's being used against ghost, it's just a bit silly.
If you can't get your fill of these kinds of shows, then I suppose there's some potential value here. You'll get different haunted milieus and some cool new blinky ghost tracking gizmos and more night-vision-enhanced basement crawling...and that's about it.
A&E's DVD is simple, episodes transferred in full frame (fake widescreen, too) and given 2.0 stereo mixes. Additional footage is your lone extra.
Guilty. Maybe the ghosts left to score some delicious deep dish pizza?
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 157 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* Official Website