Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Rated PG-13
Action / Mystery / Sci-Fi
Try pairing with:  Chicken Tikka w/ Cauliflower

Jen’s Rating:  F

So I never heard of the Ghost In The Shell and I wish it remained that way. However, the movie synopsis reminded me of Terminator meets Tron plus it has Scarlett Johansson as the lead role so I figured it couldn’t be all that bad. WELL…. I couldn’t get into the movie at all. There are other movies that I have given an “F” that I actually watched the whole movie, but this one was different. I just couldn’t watch it. There wasn’t a single part that sparked my interest. I sat next to Jeremy and played Mr. Crab on my phone.

Jeremy’s Rating:  B+

So, being an immense fan of the original anime classic by Mamoru Oshii when this live-action version of the film released, I met it with extreme skepticism.  After putting off seeing it in the theater and also avoiding the rental for several weeks, we finally picked this up on a whim and I decided to give it a try.  From director Rupert Sanders, this recreation surprised me on a level I had not expected.  While saying it was a scene-for-scene recreation of the original, not only was it extremely close, it had the same slow, surreal feel about it that the original film did.  I feel that this feature is why the film was not originally received well, as it really should have been.  It is a faithful and wonderful live-action representation of a classic, and it leaves nothing out.  There are multiple scenes that are recreated shot-for-shot and really make the film feel familiar for someone like me who vividly remembers the original.

The story follows Major Makoto Kusanagi (Scarlett Johansson), the first artificially created android that uses a human brain to take robotics beyond the fold and allow for cognition and decision on the level of a human counterpart.  The only problem is that when a mind becomes a network interface, it becomes possible to hack and control those who are connected.  Paired up with her friend Batou (Pilou Asbæk) she is assigned to Section 9, a government organization tasked with taking down some of the most dangerous criminals in the world, and cyberspace.  When trying to track and locate a particularly heinous criminal who has been stealing people’s minds and identities to further his own ends, Kusanagi ends up so close to the enemy, Kuze (Michael Pitt) that he reveals to her his true purpose.

I really enjoyed this film, and like I said earlier, I really didn’t think I would.  The acting was great with everyone putting for a wonderful performance.  Another highlight that I also stated earlier was how true to the original this iteration is, and if you are a fan of the original, this is a must see.  For those of you who have never seen the original, this isn’t a bad place to start, but there are parts that are not completely well explained.  This is why I couldn’t give it a higher score, but it definitely is a solid and fantastic B+.

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