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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Ghost in the Shell Whitewashing PSA

The issue of whitewashing in Hollywood is a frustrating one, and the latest culprit in the struggle of non-white actors to have lead roles in major franchises is Ghost in the Shell.

Scarlett Johansson has the lead role in the American adaptation of the Japanese manga turned anime, a story which originally featured a female Japanese protagonist at its center. There are those who don’t understand why that’s a problem simply because the movie has to appeal to American audiences. But a new Ghost in the Shell whitewashing PSA by filmmakers Chew May and Jes Tom illustrates why having diversity in movies that are adapted from this kind of source material are important. Read More »

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell may come up short on humanity, but the early reviews suggest director Rupert Sanders‘ live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii‘s 1995 manga adaptation is satisfying eye candy. Some reviews note that the film features another exceptional performance from Scarlett Johansson, although some of the movie’s critics write that the script holds her back a little. Sanders’ second feature may lack a heart and a sturdy third act, but by most accounts, it overcomes some of its problems with style.

Now, let’s take a look at the reviews themselves.

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Ghost in the Shell TV Spots

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell.)

Elon Musk is on the verge of shoving AI into our brains, and Scarlett Johansson hits theaters this week to sell us on how cool becoming a cyborg can be. After almost three decades in the public consciousness, first as a gorgeously challenging manga and then as boundary-busting animation, Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell has evolved into human form.

Finding films to watch alongside it isn’t hard. The cyberpunk exploits of Public Security Section 9 chasing down a mind hacker have inspired the technological imaginations of plenty of modern movies (not to mention launching a franchise of three animated movies, a TV series and several Original Video Animations).

Ghost in the Shell is the godmother that came along at the perfect time to re-launch a vision of the future fueled by the incipient internet, our relationship to AI, and the near-inevitability of our fusion with machines. It turns out the only difficulty in hunting down its peers is finding examples that see that future as optimistically as it does.

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Ghost In The Shell opening scene

Snow White and the Huntsman isn’t the most lively adventure movie – it’s fairly serious and has a certain grit that, tonally, is quite distancing. Director Rupert Sanders seems to be going for a dour tone once again with his second feature, but it may actually suit the live-action take on Ghost in the Shell. Like the trailer featuring yet another sad cover of a terrific song (“Enjoy the Silence”), the first five minutes of the film are a bit on the grim and solemn side.

Watch it below and see if you agree.

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ghost in the shell clip

At the very least, perhaps we can expect the upcoming Ghost in the Shell to be mostly pleasing to the eyes and ears. Director Rupert Sanders has exhibited a sharp eye in his commercial work and even his underwhelming directorial debut, Snow White and the Huntsman, looked great. Accompanying Sanders’ high-tech futuristic eye candy is a score from none other than Clint Mansell (Moon). Their work hand-in-hand could be quite an experience on the big screen. Whether the movie is as good as some of the talent involved, including the film’s star, Scarlett Johansson, we’ll know next week.

In the meantime, we can watch this new Ghost in the Shell clip, which showcases an action scene from the film.

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Ghost in the Shell Dubbed

For fans of the original Ghost in the Shell anime and manga who might be perturbed by the fact that the live-action adaptation from Paramount Pictures is starring Scarlett Johansson, creating another instance of whitewashing in Hollywood, the studio is trying to make amends in an interesting but potentially problematic way.

When a Hollywood film is released in Japan, audiences can choose to see it with subtitles or dubbed by actors. In the case of Ghost in the Shell, the actors doing the voiceover work for the dubbed version will be the original voice actors of the anime adaptation from 1995. Read More »

Ghost in the Shell TV Spots

There are some really big movies hitting theaters this month. Logan is in theaters now, Kong: Skull Island arrives next week (and it’s fantastic), Beauty and the Beast arrives on March 17 (and it’s also pretty good), Power Rangers follows on March 24, and then we come to Paramount’s contribution to a surprisingly packed blockbuster month: Ghost in the Shell.

Based on the acclaimed manga of the same name, Ghost in the Shell takes Scarlett Johansson into the future as a new cyber-enhanced soldier who is part of a team tasked with taking down dangerous criminals. However, slowly the secret behind her creation starts to be revealed, and it has far more sinister origins.

Watch a batch of new Ghost in the Shell TV spots to see more from the film. Read More »

Ghost in the Shell Geisha Masks Featurette

Later this month brings the live-action adaptation of the iconic manga Ghost in the Shell. It remains to be seen if this new take on the material will be something that can resonate with both general audiences who may not be familiar with the title or those who are loyal to the manga and the beloved anime adaptation. Regardless of whether or not the movie turns out to be praiseworthy, one aspect of the production undeniably deserves acclaim, and that’s some of the work done by Weta Workshop.

Weta Workshop quickly became the go-to company for both practical and visual effects after their work on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and since then they’ve been part of countless Hollywood productions, churning out some truly outstanding work. Ghost in the Shell is no exception, and you can see their quality work in a video with former Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage exploring the robotic geisha masks created for the movie with Weta’s founder and creative director Richard Taylor.

Watch the Ghost in the Shell geisha masks featurette after the jump. Read More »

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Ghost in the Shell trailer

While Marvel continues to hem and haw about giving Scarlett Johansson her own solo superhero movie, Paramount’s swooped in and made her the centerpiece of her very own would-be sci-fi action franchise. She stars as the Major in Ghost in the Shell, a new live-action adaptation of the classic Japanese manga. With director Rupert Sanders behind the camera, the film seems to have no shortage of stunning visuals. But can the rest of the movie live up to those cool designs?

A new Ghost in the Shell trailer offers a bit more story, so you can judge for yourself. Plus: find out what Johansson has to say about the ongoing whitewashing controversy over the casting of this film. Read More »