Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Movie Review: "Ghost in the Shell" (1995)

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Director: Mamoru Oshii
Year: 1995
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes

A public security agency known as Section 9 conducts an investigation searching for a notorious 'Ghost Hacker' known as 'The Puppet Master.'

"Ghost in the Shell" is an animated film directed by Mamoru Oshii, with a screenplay by Kazunori Itô, based on the Manga by Masamine Shirow. The film follows Section 9 public security agent Motoko Kusanagi and her partner Batou who, like many people in this day and age, have cybernetic enhancements and capabilities of some kind or another. Currently, the two are investigating a 'Ghost Hacker' know as 'The Puppet Master.' Ghost hackers are a particular form of cyber criminals who specialize in hacking various cybernetic implants to manipulate the host. 'The Puppet Master' is a particularly dangerous hacker who has been very hard to trace. 

"Ghost in the Shell" is a dark, exciting and action-packed sci-fi crime thriller and pioneering anime that is somewhat realistic, somewhat futuristic. It keeps in line with many anime films from the 90's in that it is far more adult-oriented than what you typically see from animated movies released in and from the United States. The movie deals with the possibility of a cybernetic future dependent on technology for every aspect of life, including personal enhancements. It is loaded with nudity and graphic, ultra bloody violence as people have a good portion of themselves completely exploded in a splatterhouse fashion on more than one occasion. The animation is stellar and gorgeous, the same kind typically seen in this genre from Japan.

We were quite engaged by the story, as well as the very intense climactic showdown, which we fear will be completely toned down in the PG-13 live action adaption coming out in the coming weeks. This is an movie that will really make you think. Overall, this is quite a fun, strange (in a good way), enjoyable piece of science fiction that any fan of the genre will delight in watching.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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