Friday, March 31, 2017

Ghost in the Shell [2017]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) (2 Stars)  AVClub (B)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review (A.J. Bastien) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review

Ghost in the Shell [2017] (directed by Rupert Sanders, screenplay by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger, a live-action "remake-of-sorts" of the Japanese R-rated anime cult-classic Ghost in the Shell (orig. Kôkaku Kidôtai) [1995] [IMDb] [AW] (directed by Mamoru Oshii [IMDb] [AW], screenplay by Kazunori Itô [IMDb] [AW]) both based on the manga comic "The Ghost in the Shell" [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] by Masamune Shirow [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb]) is a VISUALLY STUNNING if _definitely_ MIS-RATED Blade Runner [1982] / The Matrix [1999]-ish SciFi film (I would think that _most_ North Americans viewing this film would _simply assume_ that the current film is R-rated -- like its above mentioned spiritual cousins -- for all the reasons that a film like this would be rated-R -- theme, violence and here, okay "de facto" (the main character's a cyborg, rather than a human ...) nudity).

Yet, outside of the IMHO rather "no brainer" ratings-controversy and then _quite legitimate questions_ raised by the Asian American community / manga fans (fairly large out here on the West Coast) that ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC HEROINES IN _JAPANESE_ MANGA COMICS was played here by a Caucasian actress (Scarlett Johansson), see Justin Chang's review from the LA Times (above), even if the role was right up Johansson's alley, THE VISUALS in the film as well as ITS PREMISE are WELL WORTH the view:

Honestly folks, set in a BladeRunner-ish Tokyo of the near-future, this film is WELL WORTH seeing in 3D (as I did this time).  I usually don't go for the 3D glasses, but here it's _definitely worth_ the extra charge. 

Then at a time when we all wonder if the Russians were somehow able to HACK / INFLUENCE the recent U.S. Presidential election "from afar" ... the current film's premise that in a world (set a few decades, or in reality a generation or two, in the future) where humans would be choosing to get technological enhancements -- better eyes, better limbs, better organs, better "interconnectivity" with others -- and then straight-out machines would-be becoming more lifelike, A HACKER would enter the scene to try to mess with the programming of all these often literally inCORPORATED gadgets is a REMARKABLY TIMELY story, if also a similarly DISCONCERTING one.

So Parents, DON'T TAKE your 10 year-olds to this film (again, the PG-13 rating here is ridiculous) but have fun talking to your older teens and college-aged adults about how this film compares to the "far out" dystopic SciFi films of _our_ younger days.  All in all A GREAT JOB worthy of its predecessors.

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