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April 5, 2017

The Ghost in the Shell (2017) --- "A Cyborg-Enhanced Soldier Discovers Her Origins Are Not What She Expected Them To Be."

Plot Summary
 In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people's minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Manga, "The Ghost in the Shell."
- Written by Paramount Pictures 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Let me start off by saying that I have never seen the original Ghost in the Shell (1995) and the end credits of Ghost in the Shell (2017) clearly state that this film is not based on the 1995 original but rather it based on the manga, which I have not read, and cannot compare to the 2017 version
     The premise of Ghost in the Shell (2017) is interesting, and encourages us to question technology as a double-edged sword; it can improve our lives or it can over influence many aspects of our humanity, including its innate nature. The evolution of technology makes us question the future; Where does our humanity end and the machinery starts?, What really defines us as human? Unfortunately, screenwriters Jamie Moss, William Wheeler, and Ehren Kruger were unable to answer those questions. I admire their effort but they just ended up using common clichés and recycled concepts that have been used in sci-fi films over the last 20+ years.
     One aspect that I found to be great in Ghost in the Shell was the solid performance of Scarlett Johansson as Major. Her portrayal of confidence offers some rare emotional moments which help give focus to this scattered story. Of course, some viewers are not happy with casting’s decision to hire a North American actress to play a Japanese character but the film offers some details that explain the change of race. The main aspect that I liked about her performance was the way she walked; it wasn’t entirely mechanical but it also wasn’t completely human.
     One aspect that I found to be very off-putting is the ridged structure of this film; not much imagination or suspense was put into it. As stated before I have not read the manga but I have read few details about it and I can say that it is not a juvenile and second-rate ‘origin tale’ about your basic super- heroine. Instead, it is a mature and relevant proposal about the connection between technology, biology, and philosophy. However, as a film, it is a well-built addition to the sci-fi genre and does manage to be somewhat thought-provoking. Of course, I do not believe this is the best adaption or sci-fi film I have ever seen but you have to admit that some good work was put into this film; since it was adopted from the original developers you can tell that they made an effort in trying to not destroy it, or so I’ve heard. Now, The Last Airbender (M. Night Shyamalan) is the perfect example of a movie-adaption being destroyed; especially since I have seen every TV episode multiple times. Ghost in the Shell is still an intact and an enjoyable film, with the potential for possible sequels.

     Overall, Ghost in the Shell (2017) does not add anything substantial to sci-fi films. In no way am I saying that this film was boring but I did find it to be a bit mediocre and lacking in some areas. Now there is the exception with its elevated visual values, which are overly-colorful and ostentatious that they often seem like a desperate attempt to compensate for the weak screenplay. Those who have not seen the original 1995 version, like me, will probably be more inclined to feeling satisfied by this version. However, you are going to have to see the movie and decided for yourself how you feel. Personally, it was a good film and I don’t think that I wasted any time or money on it but that doesn’t mean that I am going to buy the movie the moment it comes out. Watch Ghost in the Shell (2017) for what it is, not by comparison to its predecessors.

“They created me. But they can not control me.”
- The Major

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.6 of 5 stars
Worth Buying:  3.3 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
Aeon Flux (2005)

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

The Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Lucy (2014)
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
The Matrix: Revolution (2003)
Ultraviolet (2006)

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Rupert Sanders


Writing Credits:

     (Comic Book by) Masamune Shirow.

     (ScreenplayJamie Moss and William Wheeler


Produced by 

    Ray Angelic                     ---    line producer: L.A. unit
    Ari Arad                           ---    producer
    Avi Arad                           ---    producer
    Holly Bario                      ---    co-producer
    Michael Costigan           ---    producer
    Jane Evans                      ---    co-producer
    Tetsuya Fujimura          ---    executive producer
    Mitsuhisa Ishikawa       ---    executive producer
    Yoshinobu Noma           ---    executive producer
    Steven Paul                     ---    producer
    Jeffrey Silver                   ---    executive producer
    Maki Terashima-Furuta        ---           co-producer



Pilou Asbæk --- Batou
Takeshi Kitano --- Aramaki 
Juliette Binoche --- Dr. Ouelet
Michael Pitt --- Kuze 
Chin Han --- Han
Danusia Samal --- Ladriya
Lasarus Ratuere --- Ishikawa
Tawanda Manyimo --- Borma
Peter Ferdinando --- Cutter
Anamaria Marinca --- Dr. Dahlin
Daniel Henshall --- Skinny Man
Mana Hira Davis --- Bearded Man
Kai Fung Rieck --- Diamond Face
Andrew Stehlin --- No Pupils
John Luafutu --- Barkeep
Kaori Momoi --- Hairi
Kaori Yamamoto --- Motoko
Andrew Morris --- Hideo
Adwoa Aboah --- Lia
Chris Obi --- Ambassador
Joseph Naufahu --- Police Commander Johns
Vinnie Bennett --- Rookie Cop
Pete Teo --- Tony
David Johnson Wood --- Section Six Leader
Shinji Ikefuji --- Kinsana

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