Ghost In The Shell Blu-ray Review
While it has much to offer, “Ghost In The Shell” lacks an emotional impact.
Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow, director Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime film “Ghost In The Shell” is a wildly ambitious cyberpunk story about corporations, identity, politics, hackers, cyborgs, law enforcement, and technology. The primary story involves two law enforcement agency members from Section 9 (Major Kusanagi and Batou) trying to track down a dangerous hacker dubbed the Puppet Master. The investigation leads them down a complex hole that possibly involves a secret project and a mysterious organization.
With the release of the 2017 “Ghost In The Shell” starring Scarlett Johansson a few weeks away, it was a no-brainer that the original film would get a new tie-in release. Having only seen the film once many years ago, this new Blu-ray release certainly came at the right time as I was eager to give it a rewatch. Alas, my opinion on the film has not changed.
The influential “Ghost In The Shell” is a film I admire more than I like. From an animation perspective, there’s no question that the animation work is flat-out stunning. Mamoru Oshii and his crew have created a fully realized sci-fi world with towering cityscapes, advanced technology, and a lived in feel. The story itself is also incredibly deep as it gives viewers a lot to ponder about reality, humanity, technology, and memories. With all of that said, the animation and concepts can’t quite overcome the script’s shortcomings. Writer Kazunori Itō simply crams too much into this script. With a rather short 82 minute runtime, the movie is overloaded with exposition heavy moments, convoluted story elements, and a severe lack of emotion. As thought provoking as the material may be, nothing really resonated with me on an emotional level. It all feels so distant and cold due to the overabundance of lengthy world building explanations.
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? More often than not the underwhelming transfer unfortunately resembles that of a DVD. Still, there are some shots that look crisp and colorful every now and then.
Audio Tracks: English 5.1 DTSHD MA and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0. How do they sound? Fans will undoubtedly be let down by the fact that this set contains a mere 2.0 original language Japanese track. The 5.1 English track is certainly layered, but the voice acting is incredibly stiff.
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