Ghost in the Shell (2017 Movie)

gitsblurayGhost in the Shell.  I’ve got a history with this franchise, so I’ll get that out of the way first. Going to be a long paragraph.

I got into anime in roughly 2001. Things like Tenchi Muyo and whatnot. In my quest to explore more anime, I joined various forums and heard tons and tons of praise for an anime movie called Ghost in the Shell. I watched it and was shocked at how graphic it was in terms of sexual content and violence. I wasn’t into paying attention to artists or directors at that time, just the name. So Ghost in the Shell, to be abbreviated GitS for the rest of this review, became something that I wanted nothing to do with. By 2004 I was more aware of things like artists, creators, directors, etc, etc. I became a huge fan of the Appleseed movies and realized that Shiro Masumi was the creator of them. That was when I realized that he was also the creator of GitS. So I figured I’d check out the source material for GitS and read the manga. That was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in regards to my anime/manga time. Halfway through the manga was a large section that was in color and it was a pornographic orgy between the Major and her lovers.  I’ve never read another manga by Masumi again and it cooled my interest even in Appleseed.

When I met Miss Librarian, later to become Mrs Bookstooge, we both had an interest in anime and manga. She started talking about this tv show, GitS: Standalone Complex (abr GitS:SaC). I was shocked that this lovely christian woman was watching something like that, as I figured it was at the same level as the original movie or manga. Thankfully, she informed me otherwise and we ended up watching it together after we got married and it became one of my favorite animes. GitS:SaC 2nd Gig was just as fun for me. GitS: Arise (a reboot/retelling of the origins of Section 9) was even better but had such a limited dvd run that I was never able to afford them.

Edited to Add: It appears that Amazon has the Arise franchise on bluray for pretty cheap. I now know what I’m getting myself for Christmas

So the long and the short of it is that I have a very mixed set of feelings about GitS. I love the ideas, what it means to be human in a world where robotics and humanity are almost interchangable. I just didn’t like the graphicness of the movies.

Ok, now on to the review for this live action 2017 movie.

First, I probably wouldn’t have given this the time of day, given my history with the movie side of GitS, except for all the ballyhoo by “social justice warriors” decrying the complete rascism and whitewashing of everything in Hollywood. I think Hollywood is already a pit of iniquity, so to hear people like the SJW’s suddenly getting up in arms about it just made me roll my eyes. It also kicked in my perversity gene so now I wanted to watch this. Yep, kind of the opposite side of the “it’s popular so I must hate it” coin.

This was the origin story of Major Kusanagi. I enjoyed my time watching this. There is a lot of angst about just what Major is, as she can’t remember things very well before her inception into the new robotic body.

Plotwise, I was afraid they were going to just copy a version of GitS:SaC and have the Laughing Man storyline. Thankfully they didn’t and had their own little cyber-hacker monster storyline. It did a good job of introducing us to the world of tomorrow. I did feel that Section 9, which deals with cyber-terrorism, wasn’t explained so well. I had no problems with it but I’ve also got some GitS experience to fill in the blanks.

I really liked that the head of Section 9, Aramaki, spoke in japanese. I’ve seen the guy in other japanese movies and enjoyed his performance. Aramaki was always in the background and that was kept the same here, as it should be. The guy they chose to play Batou was spot on and I enjoyed how he got his distinctive set of eyes.  I thought Johansson did a good job of playing Major and that the studio made the right choice in employing a big name actress in the lead role. They wanted to draw in more than just die-hard GitS fans and Johansson’s presence would definitely do that. With the Major being a construct, they can also easily replace her with other actresses in future movies and have it be explained by her changing shells. Bodies for the Major are like clothes, easy to change.

Overall, I enjoyed this more than Doctor StrangeNot a movie I’d want to own or even rewatch to be honest but if they make more and turn it into a franchise, kind of like the Resident Evil franchise, I’ll definitely tune in. If you liked this movie, then I’d definitely recommend watching the 2 GitS:SaC tv series.

 

bookstooge

14 thoughts on “Ghost in the Shell (2017 Movie)

  1. Manuel Antao says:

    I hate this movie with all the fibres of my being…

    See my issue with this isn’t the whitewashing (although it is stupid), it’s the lack of originality. Films like this don’t look at the source material, take a few unique aspects and make something new, Films like this take the source material, analyse what’s popular and recreate it verbatim.

    They could have done a fantastic “What america is like in this period” instead using a similar theme or even (shock) a new one. Perfect reason for the casting to. Nope same old song and dance.

    Ghost in the shell Stand alone complex is the best representation of the original manga imo and this film is just another “should have been scrapped at concept”.

    NB: If Scarlett wants to be taken seriously as great actress, she needs to do a film or two in a fat suit or something where having impressive boobs doesn’t really come into it for a change. I just find that some seem to be constantly lauded as belonging to an uber-sexy clique and that their acting seems way too self aware as a result – Angelina Jolie is another one who springs to mind. I don’t think much of SJ’s acting skills but it also seems to me to be a classic scenario whereby a female actor who has been deemed uber-sexy mostly gets parts that play to that, and perhaps as a result she always seems to be infusing every role with that sexiness that directors are so keen to take advantage of. I just think that it creates a kind of vicious circle, which seems a shame in a way. It might be nice if she got some roles where being sexy wasn’t key so that she might be able to convince a bit more on the acting front.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      See, I don’t take most of my movies nearly as as seriously as you, so getting the idea of GitS was more than enough for me. Considering that this franchise is 30+ years old, and the way Hollywood has been pumping out reboots, etc, I didn’t expect one ounce of originality.

      That probably helped my enjoyment 🙂

      I also didn’t get into the whole boobs on a stick thing with Johansson because I’ve come to realize that what is seen on the screen isn’t real,in any sense. She’s nice to look at, yes, but since I couldn’t imagine living with someone like that, that type of thinking never even enters my mind anymore.
      Mrs Bookstooge understands my quirks and puts up with them. To me, that is worth more than any pinup models physical attractiveness.
      Especially as I get older and quirkier 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Manuel Antao says:

    Yep. I’m a mammal and I know what you mean. My wife says the same thing about me…lol

    Where is evolution when you need it?? And in a billion years when an alien researcher decodes this shit they will conclude that we were a civilisation with much time on our bitentucular manipulative “appendages”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw some episodes of Stand Alone Complex on TV. I liked them, but I saw them out of order and didn’t see the a whole season, so I’m sure my brain made a mess of the overall plot.

    Apparently, there’s a law in Japan that every anime, no matter how serious the subject matter, has to have a child character who bounces around and speaks rapid-fire in a high-pitched voice. I thought it was funny/innovate that in Stand Alone Complex, they gave that role to battletank-spider-robots.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hehe to my mind Hollywood is the den of lefties- and yet according to the same lefties, it seems to be plagued by the worst racism and sexism- funny how that is 😉 haha I think I can relate to the perversity gene. Glad it was enjoyable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be great it hollywood just imploded?

      After Iron Man, I was worried that I might be burned out on movies altogether. This gave me some hope 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • hehe it is a bit- I love being schooled on morality by the likes of Meryl Streep 😉

        Well that’s good- I’m not going to lie, I rarely watch new movies now, cos most of them are just background noise (emphasis on the noise) so I’m glad this one’s worth watching! (especially since the helpful SJWs already brought it to my attention as something that might be worth watching, cos they didn’t like it 😉 )

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice to hear that the movie wasn’t a complete disaster for you. It did get bashed insanely by critics and hardcore fans, but… nowadays… after how critics treated BvS, Justice League and Star Wars The Last Jedi, I’m pretty much done with their bs… I’m going to have to try the manga some day first though. And then those animated shows/movies before giving Johansson a shot at adapting it all. The concept of it all sounds pretty good to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Matt Ries says:

    I was’t interested in this movie period, so any “controversy” didn’t register with me.

    But one day I read a comment or something to some article in which the person said that he didn’t under stand the whitewashing charge since the Major apparently preferred white female shells.

    I found the comment interesting and no one really contradicted the statement, which I found further enlightening. However I never returned to the article to see how the “discussion” progressed. But I began thinking that some of these “controversies” are just manufactured by people will too much time that use whatever useful jargon they can in an attempt to make it go viral.

    I just spent a quarter of an hour figuring out how I wanted to write this comment, which shows you what can happen if a person has too much time on their hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Yeah, it was a smear campaign by sjw’s. Anyone who’s actually ever watched any of the anime versions knew this.

      Sometimes I think that having it so easy in the US has some real downsides and the whole “too much time on your hands” is definitely one.

      Liked by 1 person

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