Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii) 1995

One of those animes which brought Japanimation to Western audiences.  I wanted to really like Ghost in the Shell, buuuut I had a few reservations with it.  GitS is absolutely beautiful and probably one of the best animated.  I guess my main issues have to come with the plot and the endless running of the mouth philosophizing.  If you thought the Matrix was bad with endless debates on fate and free choice, you will groan at the monologues on identity.  At one point I thought all the characters were going to have a sit down debate ala Dinner with Andre.  The second issue is with the overly complex plot.  Usually I shake my head at people who don’t get 2001 or the Fountain but I was really paying attention and was having trouble with what the hell was going on.  Of course, that may have to do with the dubbing and the subtitles being two entirely separate entities.  I swear it would be the same as watching Blade Runner and having the dialog being from Alien 3.  I mean, one line would be translated “It must be her time of the month” and in the dubbing it would be “Must be a loose wire”.  Loose wire?  WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!  I was watching with both the dubbing and subtitles on and was absolutely floored by how different they are.  I don’t feel so bad about not understanding the Puppetmasters plot or what Section 6 is all about when the people writing it don’t even know what they are talking about.  The movie also seemingly wants to have its cake and eat it too.  It wants to be a thoughtful and intelligent sci fi movie yet also wants to appeal to bloodthirsty ADD fanboys.  Within the first five minutes the lead strips down nude and blows a few people away.  You can’t give me porn one minute and ask me the next to deliberate on evolution.

GitS is a good movie (for all my bitching).  I will eventually see it again to better understand all the concepts and themes.  The animation again is beautiful and the action is solid.  There are a few problems with the execution and writing which hold me back from really liking it.


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