Gradebook: Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell: The Gradebook is the ratings of newly released films by the contributors and fans of We Live Film, and We Live Entertainment. If you are interested in participating, join the We Live Film Fan Chat Page on Facebook and look for the weekly posts of new releases, comment and join the fun.
Zachary Marsh: Ghost in the Shell (8.5/10)
I’ll admit, there were a couple of times during this film where I briefly dozed off, but I blame that mostly to being exhausted and tired than the film’s pace. With that out of the way, allow me to be one of the first to say that I was pleasantly surprised with Ghost in the Shell as a whole. Scarlett Johansson fit the role of Major extremely well and made her just as compelling as she is in the original film. The rest of the cast is solid as well, though it’s kinda odd how Takeshi Kitano is the only character speaking Japanese in the film while everyone speaks English and they don’t try to do something to explain why all the characters can understand him and vice versa. The visual effects are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a film, which makes the film worth seeing alone, in my book. In fact, I’d say to go see this in IMAX 3D if possible because of the large scope of the film complimenting the outstanding visuals and surprisingly well-done 3D. The score by Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe is also surprisingly good, adding the “punk” and “pizzazz” into this cyberpunk sci-fi flick. There are some “fanservice” moments that feel more obvious than others, but the homages and references to the original film and manga, for the most part, are well-done and aren’t entirely shoved down your throat. It’s clear that the filmmakers cared about the original source material and wanted to make the best live-action adaptation of it that they could. And in my eyes, they succeeded.
Matt Marshall: Ghost in the Shell (8/10)
For anyone who’s watched the anime, Ghost in the Shell is stellar love letter that’s missing its signature philosophical overtones. Perhaps mainstream audiences aren’t ready for quotes from Milton, The Bible, Buddha and Confucius flooding a cyberpunk film. Rupert Sanders’ vision rests much on the anime’s “inside baseball” technique to truly appreciate. Hence much disdain for the film. For anyone new to the anime staple, the approach might not grab the uninitiated with such equal impact. Visually, it’s superb, defining a world that very well could be the step-child of Blade Runner and The Matrix. It’s the rare anime-to-live-action adaptation that can survive translation. It’s no ‘Dragonball: Evolution’ for sure.
Mark Krawczyk: Ghost in the Shell (4/10)
The live-action version of the classic 1995 anime no one really asked for. Visually this film nails the look of the original. Production design of the set pieces, costuming and replication of many of the iconic scenes are spot on. Unfortunately, they have watered down the story, abandoning much of the philosophy with a basic plot that I just could not get into. Also, the story of the Major had major changes that took me out of the film and found unneeded. The film holds the audience’s hand way too much. If they could have had the story match the original, as well as the visuals did, I think I really would have enjoyed the movie.
Nick Casaletto: Ghost in the Shell (6/10)
My expectations may have been too high for Ghost in the Shell, and I understand that there will be an audience out there for this type of film. I thought I would be one of them; I wanted to be one of them. Sadly, besides a few memorable scenes and the visual/score matchup to be nothing short of brilliant, I was underwhelmed and bored by the once manga masterpiece.
Scott Menzel: Ghost in The Shell (4/10)
2017s most mediocre movie thus far. The live-action version of the anime of the same name might be visually appealing but in terms of its storytelling and performance, it is dead on arrival. While I am normally not one to discuss white washing in cinema the fact that they try to make Scarlett Johansson look Japanese yet sound like Scarlett Johansson is beyond lazy. Let me not forgot to mention that her mother character is the most stereotypical Japanese woman. The rest of the cast all seem bored while again being all white minus one or two characters that are actually Japanese and speak Japanese. I didn’t have any expectations for this film going into it so I’m sort of baffled at how lazy, and uninteresting the film is a whole. I feel like there is so much going on yet somehow due to the lack of decent storytelling, I found myself completely uninterested in anything going on. This is without a doubt one of the most mediocre films that I have seen in quite some time. I don’t even know why it exists.
Average We Live Film Gradebook Score for Ghost in the Shell: 6.1/10
*Keep checking back as more We Live Film fans see and review this film, we will be updating!