GHOST IN THE SHELL – The Top Three Reasons I Liked It And Think You Will Too
Let’s be honest, if you’re on this site (AnimeMojo.com), you’re probably familiar with Masamune Shirow’s original manga and anime adaptation of “.” There’s probably a good chance you’re even a fan of the 1995 ground-breaking anime that’s influenced many Hollywood films, including The Matrix. I’m not going to offer a review of the film here, you can find that over on ComicBookMovie.com. Rather I’m going to share the top three reasons that I enjoyed the film. Note that this is coming from a fan of the original anime, as well as a fan of comics, sci-fi, action, and film in general. I’m not a critic and I don’t claim to be. From the ones I’ve met and interacted with, I count that a blessing. Alas, that’s another topic for another time…
Ghost in the Shell hits theaters today and I thought I would share the top 3 reasons that I enjoyed the film and why I think you will as well. Get my thoughts after the link!
#1 – Scarlett Johansson As “The Major” Kicks @$$!
I’m not going to get into the whitewashing controversy that’s followed Ghost in the Shell from the moment that Johansson was cast as the lead. Is it an issue or controversy for controversy sake? The fact that I have yet to hear her Japanese/Asian co-stars speak up about it, and the fact that I haven’t seen the overseas box office numbers leads me to believe that it may be the latter… What I will say is that we may be on the verge of a female action-lead revolution. Scarlett Johansson is great as the fearless cyborg and absolutely owns the role. She’s unfeeling and reckless at times, confused and wandering at others, and finally finds herself in the third act. My only complaint? We the Thermoptic Suit deserved more screen time.
#2 – The Visuals And Effects Were Absolutely Breathtaking
Ghost in the Shell is a sci-fi/cyber-punk action movie. You’ve undoubtedly seen the trailers, TV spots and videos, and let me tell you, they don’t do the film justice. It’s a living breathing world, yet it’s a dingy and ugly word at the same time. The combination of practical effects and CGI are pretty well done for the most part. Futuristic Tokyo offers up sensory overload at times because there is just so much going on and happening at all times. The Thermoptic Suit was VERY well done and they even included flickering and dancing lights on it when Johansson/Major was visible, which was a nice touch. The CGI enemies she faces during the film were incredibly well don as well, especially Michael Pitt’s “Kuze.” You’ll have to see the film multiple times just to find all of the things you missed!
#3 – A Great Homage To Masamune Shirow’s Original Anime and Manga
If you’re a fan of the anime and manga like me, you’ll have a hard time NOT liking the film. Some of the scenes are almost frame-for-frame copies of the original 1995 anime film. I don’t want to spoil which ones you’ll see, but you’ll know them when you see them. I’m not as familiar with the manga, but there were a few scenes I could tell were almost ripped directly from the covers and pages. Is it as good as the original anime and manga? Probably not… The original anime adaptation was ground-breaking back in the 90s, but Ghost in the Shell is the best live-action adaptation I’ve seen from Hollywood and I hope that the trend continues.
Have you seen the film? What did you think? Leave your comments below!
In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, 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 she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Manga, “The Ghost in the Shell.”
Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, and is directed by Rupert Sanders.
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