Now, if you have read my previous blog post about the Ghost in the Shell (Oshii, 1995) anime¹, you will know that it is a film that really spoke to me a lot, as a cinefile, as well as various figures in Hollywood. Now, the Ghost in the Shell franchise has inspired a live action film set in that universe.
And, while I could review that film too, I think it would be more interesting to do a roundup post of several different notable film critics and bloggers to see what they had to say about the film. I tried to pick five different reviews that all handle very different outlooks of the film itself.
The Guardian Film Blog, “Digital love: Why Cinema Can’t Get Enough of Cyberpunk”
This specific post dives into the development of the cyberpunk genre in cinema, the genre is a staple of anime, and some of the greatest anime films ever made are cyberpunk films, including Ghost in the Shell (1995).
The post follows the path of the genre as it winds its way through history before finally settling upon Ghost in the Shell (Sanders, 2017). Comparing the films various traits to the genre itself and discussing how the two intertwine.
This film is interesting because it not only looks into the film Ghost in the Shell (2017), but it provides a foundation for the existence of the genre that the Ghost in the Shell franchise has come to define.
Film Jabber, “Ghost in the Shell Movie Review”
This post is a review of the new Ghost in the Shell (2017), but what is interesting, is that the reviewer has not seen the original, as he notes that he has only read the Wikipedia article on the character at one point.
This adds a level of interest to the review, as the reviewer, Erik Samdahl, is able to be much more objective in his review of this specific film, as he doesn’t have the standard set by the original film to base his opinions off of.
Samdahl notes that the films visuals are interesting, but the story lacks the substance that a world as interesting and in-depth as Ghost in the Shell (2017) establishes.
The M0vie Blog, “Non-Review Review: Ghost in the Shell”
This post, written by The M0vie Blog founder Darren, is an in depth review of the various ideas and situations prompted by the setting and conditions of Ghost in the Shell (2017). The title, though odd, is reflective of the fact that the post is not as much a specific review of the film, but a deep analysis, that will divulge information that reviews the film along the way.
Darren also noted the cultural differences between the asian culture depicted in the original film and how it translated to an American screen, while also bringing up the idea of white-washing displayed in the film.
The interesting part of this post the depth in which Darren looked into the cultural divide between both the original film and the new one, as well as the cultural situations between both films and their intended audiences.
Slash Film Blog, “Erasing Motoko: The Question of Race in ‘Ghost in the Shell”
This post by film critic/analyst Karen Han explores the intricacies of the racial issues of the whitewashing displayed in Ghost in the Shell (2017). Be aware, if you do check out this post, there are spoilers addressed right away at the beginning.
Through analysis of the plot, characters, setting, and aesthetic styles, is both thorough, well justified, and interesting. One particularly interesting point Han brings up is the strange use of asian aesthetics throughout the film, depicting various styles and cultures that end up creating a society that is devoid of any specific all-consuming national identity.
This blank, vaguely asian society seems to annoy Han, as she calls the cultural genericism of the film “an uncomfortable sort of anonymity.”
This specific look at the film is interesting, as Han’s analysis goes deep into one specific subject, and while this subject has been addressed in the other posts, and her level of depth and clarity makes this article a fascinating read.
Oh! That Film Blog, “Ghost in the Shell (2017)”
This post is a review of the film from the perspective of someone who has seen the original 1995 film, so it contrasts the Film Jabber review who had not seen the original.
That said, it seems as though the author of this post came to similar conclusions as the previously mentioned post, that the film was very stylized and visually interesting.
However, while the Film Jabber post focussed a lot on the large scale story flaws and ideals, this post goes a little deeper, delving into specifics with plot, character intricacies, and other aspects of the film with pinpoint accuracy.
I love the specificity of this article as well as the voice used in writing it. Overall, the post really brings up a lot of interesting points about the film through the review itself.
Hopefully, these posts help not only give you an accurate depiction of the film itself, and the ideas and situations that surround it!