Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.
So, here is what I watched this past week:
Ghost in the Shell
One of the most popular anime films in history, Ghost in the Shell was adapted from a celebrated manga and has now been turned into an American theatrical motion picture. Built in the same world and with the same characters as both the manga and the anime, this new live-action film takes the events of those two distinct stories and creates a third variation on the theme with Scarlett Johansson in the lead role.
The story of a human brain installed in a synthetic body gives the audience a glimpse into the future of human technology as a way to preserve the identity of the deceased within the construct of a machine. This concept has been discussed frequently in science fiction and while the film has some questionable elements, it’s a bit more easy to follow than the Mamoru Oshii film from 1995. While each have some contemplative elements to them, this version is more tightly packed and existentially explanatory than the animated film.
Johansson gives a good emotionless performance, though at times it doesn’t fit the growth her character goes through. The mixture of American and Japanese actors is a solid bunch and the tributes as well as derivations from the original film are thrilling enough to provide a unique experience to fans and new audiences alike. Whether the philosophical discussions that develop from this film will be as deep as those surrounding the original, it must be said that the film doesn’t shy away from those themes while juicing the story up with enough Hollywood-style action to keep the audience engaged for much of its running time.