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Ghost In The Shell 4K UHD Review

“Ghost In The Shell” is a groundbreaking anime film in need of more character.

1995’s anime film “Ghost In The Shell” (which is based on the manga by Masamune Shirow) tells the story of 2 members of the law enforcement agency Section 9 (Batou and Major Kusanagi) tracking down a notorious hacker known as the Puppet Master. As they search for the hacker, they discover a secret project and a mysterious organization which leads them down a different rabbit hole.

In its 25 year anniversary, “Ghost In The Shell” has remained an important piece of sci-fi storytelling. Not only is it an influential and relevant cyberpunk tale about corporations, politics, technology, and law enforcement, but it changed the game for anime. No matter how one may feel about the film as a whole, there’s no denying it is a visual triumph in the animation realm as it is filled with breathtaking backdrops, vivid worldbuilding, unique long shots, and stylized direction by Mamoru Oshii. As we know, the movie even went on to have a live-action version in 2017 (the less said about the better though). 

Where ‘Ghost’ tends to falter a bit is with the script by Kazunori Itō. While the script itself is deeply ambitious in its attempts to tackle numerous subject matters about everything from humanity to technological advancements, it feels as if there are too many ideas running rampant. There’s enough material here for at least 3 movies and yet it’s crammed into an 82 minute package. It doesn’t help that the story is overloaded with exposition, convoluted plotlines, and characters that lack development and emotion. ‘Ghost’ would have greatly benefited from a little more characterization, some plot tightening, and a little less world building. Granted, the world building is the film’s strong suit, but it overshadows everything else. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? ‘Ghost’ gets a nice picture quality upgrade with this 4K disc as it’s the best the film has looked. The Dolby Vision certainly helps!

Audio Track: English and Japanese Dolby Atmos and Original Japanese 2.0 PCM Stereo. How do they sound? The Atmos tracks sound superb while the 2.0 track does the job.

Extras include a Blu-ray copy, a Digital copy, 2 ”Ghost In The Shell” trailers, a retrospective about “Ghost In The Shell” titled “Accessing Section 9- 25 Years Into The Future,” a featurette on the animation backgrounds called “Landscapes And Dreamscapes- The Art And Architecture Of Ghost In The Shell,” and commentary by English scriptwriter Mary Claypool, producer/writer Eric Calderon, voice actor Richard Epcar and animation historian Charles Solomon. The Blu-ray release contains the archival production report extra, the original theatrical trailer, and an archival featurette on digital effects called “Digital Works.”

September 11, 2020 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | ,

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