Grease Scene Breakdown

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Grease director Randal Kleiser breaks down perhaps the most famous sequence from the classic musical. Plus, Ralph Macchio dishes some secrets about the making of The Karate Kid while on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Adam Savage gets to play with some of the props from the recent adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. Read More »

Craig Drake Artwork - Solo Show 4

Craig Drake is one of our favorite artists paying tribute to our favorite movies and TV shows year after year, and he’s also one of the few who can be relied upon to have a solo gallery exhibition every couple of years. This past weekend brought the Craig Drake Solo Show 4 to Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles, including pieces paying tribute to The Iron Giant, Kill Bill, Gremlins, Suicide Squad, The Royal Tenenbaums, Ex Machina, Labyrinth, Spider-Man and more.

The entire collection of new work from Craig Drake is available for you to check out (and purchase) below. Read More »

Dunkirk Comparison - Morning Watch

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, see footage from Christopher Nolan‘s film Dunkirk compared to archival footage and photos from history. Plus, go behind the scenes of the practical effects created for Ghost in the Shell, and see an impressive fanmade time lapse of the Death Star being constructed from scratch. Read More »

Ghost in the Shell Video Essay

It’s no secret that Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of Ghost in the Shell did not make a splash at the box office in the way executives had hoped. The film pulled in $169.8 million worldwide on a budget of $110 million, but that’s not including the massive, expensive marketing campaign, and the movie was considered a failure in the film industry.

It’s easy to attribute the failure of Ghost in the Shell to the fanbase that turned its back on the sci-fi adaptation due to the whitewashing of much of the cast, including actress Scarlett Johansson in the lead. But a new video essay breaks down the various ways that Rupert Sanders‘ adaptation of the beloved anime falls short, including aesthetic choices and a misunderstanding of the significance of the visuals from original anime that the film attempts to mimic throughout. Read More »

Ghost in the Shell Featurette - The Morning Watch

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, a video essay takes a closer look at the ending of No Country for Old Men, ten years after the movie hit theaters, and a Ghost in the Shell featurette looks at one of the few things the movie did right, which is the incredible practical effects created by Weta Workshop. Plus, Eclectic Method created a catchy track composed entire of Star Wars sound effects, and it’s better than most songs you hear on the radio nowadays. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Ghost in the Shell Honest Trailer

There was plenty of controversy stirring around Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell. Most of it was because of the continued whitewashing of source material, but aside from that large complaint, the movie really just wasn’t all that remarkable. Even if the lead weren’t played by white Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, it would still have been quite the disappointing adaptation of a beloved piece of anime.

That means it’s time for Screen Junkies to do their worst by delivering the Honest Trailer for Ghost in the Shell, pointing out all the places it went wrong, and somehow only clocking in around four minutes.

Watch the Ghost in the Shell Honest Trailer below. Read More »

Hollywood adaptations of asian movies

A lot was riding on the success of Ghost in the Shell. The upcoming wave of anime adaptations such as Death Note and Akira, Paramount Pictures’ chance for a new sci-fi franchise led by Scarlett Johansson, and the chance to stymie the steadily-growing outcry against whitewashing.

But when Ghost in the Shell limped into theaters last weekend, bringing in a meager $20 million domestically on a $110 million budget, that may have spelled the end for Hollywood adaptations of anime classics. But this is not the first time Hollywood has tried and failed to remake a critically and financially successful film based on an Asian property — nor will it be the last time. The question I’m interested in answering is whether or not these Hollywood adaptations of Asian movies actually make money. Let’s look at the numbers. 

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ghost in the shell whitewashing

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, and opinionated about something that makes us very happy…or fills us with indescribable rage. In this edition: the subject of racial erasure in Ghost in the Shell.)

The live action Ghost in the Shell has been the eye of a storm of controversy ever since its inception. It’s been accused of whitewashing due to the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the franchise’s protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi, as well as deeply unpleasant rumors that CGI had been used to alter an actor’s appearance to “shift [their] ethnicity.” Coming on the heels of similar controversies (Doctor StrangeIron Fist) and discussion, the conversation around it (arguments that the movie speaks for itself when it comes to the casting controversy, that the movie’s visuals are merit enough to disregard the problems inherent in it) only seems more tone-deaf, especially considering how those problems stack up.

Spoilers ahead.

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Ghost In The Shell spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell.)

Ghost in the Shell sometimes feels more preoccupied with how characters are framed than what they’re doing and saying. They usually look and sound fantastic, but rarely do they register as real flesh and blood in director Rupert Sanders‘ adaptation of the classic manga and anime. Ghost in the Shell is a distancing movie never quite as humane as its themes.

Below, check out our Ghost in the Shell spoiler review.

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Ghost in the Shell review

The live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell is a cinematic cubic zirconia that thinks it’s a diamond. The real thing exists, and is much easier to recognize; even at its gloomy, stylish best, this version is a poser unable to hide its true nature. The 2017 Ghost in the Shell is itself a ghost, a trace of something familiar left behind that can’t quite replicate the sense of being introduced to a strange new world that feels disturbingly close to our own. Though many of the themes inherent in this story are still relevant in 2017, nearly 30 years after the Masamune Shirow manga was first published and more than 20 years after the release of the iconic anime, Ghost in the Shell fails to capitalize.

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