From Dreamworks Studios and director Rupert Sanders, comes the science fiction thriller Ghost in The Shell, based on the acclaimed manga series created by Masamune Shirow. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt and Juliette Binoche, the film is available now on Blu-ray/DVD!
In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that her life was stolen instead of saved. Now, she will stop at nothing to recover her past while punishing those who did this to her.
Ghost in The Shell was mired in controversy long before it ever hit theaters, because of Scarlett Johansson landing the role of Major — who in the original manga and anime, was a Japanese character. Accusations of white-washing and all kinds of hate flowed towards this new film adaptation and for all the wrong reasons, I think… I understand why people were angry, but I don’t think the casting was done on purpose to be racist… Aside from the plot of the film which explains this, the special features even include the original manga creator visiting the set and telling everyone to make their OWN version of his story. When the person who created Ghost in The Shell sees what they are doing and gives his blessing to go wild creatively? I take that as a sign that the adaptation is being handled appropriately.
I loved this movie. It was weird, beautiful and reminded me of the first time I saw The Matrix. The future is stunning, disturbing and all too realistic when we see the direction we are headed technologically today. People enhance themselves with robotics, whether it’s those creepy-ass eyeballs that Pilou Asbæk straps on eventually, or something else bizarre, it all works and builds this incredible world that I honestly wish I could spend more time in. Ghost in The Shell was too short – I would’ve loved spending more time with Major and her team, fighting crime and just getting to know more of these fascinating characters. But instead, Ghost in The Shell gets right to the point as Major is starting to glitch out and remember her past, before she was just a brain trapped in a machine sent to wipe out cyber terrorism.
The opening action sequence is one of my favourite movie moments of the year and after seeing Ghost in The Shell twice, I can honestly say it is easily the most underrated movie of 2017 so far. Johansson works, because she’s playing a robot, sorry, but that’s why it works. Pilou Asbæk is wonderful as her more human partner and even when he equips those freakish peepers later on, he’s still energetic and fun to watch as the relate-able Batou. Michael Pitt plays this dark and brooding villain that they are trying to track down, but soon find out there’s more to his motives than they initially were led to believe. I would have liked spending more time with Pitt’s character and I loved how he played him, with those glitchy movements and that malfunctioning voice.
It may not be as revolutionary as the anime or manga that made way for an American film adaptation all these years later, but that’s because Ghost in The Shell has been a direct influence visually and story-wise for other movies for years already — like The Matrix… This film however, is an honest and faithful adaptation that manages to grab the coolest moments from the source material and still entertain audiences. I think it’s definitely worth your time, I just wish the film was longer to let me soak in this amazing world that director Ruper Sanders brought to life from the pages of a legitimate work of art.
- Hard-Wired Humanity: Making Ghost in the Shell
- Section 9: Cyber Defenders
- Man & Machine: The Ghost Philosphy
Just listening to Pilou Asbæk say that he made the manga his bible while working on Ghost in The Shell was enough for me. Everyone working on this film took such tremendous care in making sure this adaptation was faithful to the original comic and anime. All three features are intriguing and well put-together, making this Blu-ray a must-own if you enjoyed this flick in theaters.