Sep 152020
 

Ghost in the Shell still has its influence all these years later and is telling that studios continue to re-release the movie and although I sometimes criticize double or triple dips, at least here in North America, this could be the definitive release.

 

 

Ghost in the Shell
(1995)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Anima, Suspense, Drama
Lionsgate | NR – 83 min. – $22.99 | September 8, 2020

Date Published: 09/15/2020 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Mamoru Oshii
Writer(s): Shirow Masamune (original story/manga); Kazunori Ito (screenplay)
Japanese Voice Cast: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Ôtsuka, Tamio Oki, Iemasa Kayumi
English Voice Cast: Mimi Woods, Richard George, William Frederick, Abe Lasser


DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2


Audio (4K): English (Dolby Atmos), Japanese (Dolby Atmos), Japanese (PCM 2.0)
Audio (BD): English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Japanese (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Japanese (PCM 2.0)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 1.85
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


Plot Synopsis: Cyborg federal agent Maj. Motoko Kusanagi (ATSUKO TANAKA/MIMI WOODS) trails “The Puppet Master” (IEMASA KAYUMI/ABE LASSER), who illegally hacks into the computerized minds of cyborg-human hybrids. Her pursuit of a man who can modify the identity of strangers leaves Motoko pondering her own makeup and what life might be like if she had more human traits. With her partner (AKIO OTSUKA/RICHARD GEORGE), she corners the hacker, but her curiosity about her identity sends the case in an unforeseen direction.

Quick Hit Review: Ghost in the Shell, as has been mentioned over the years, was the influence behind the Wachowski’s Matrix movies, and seeing this anime featured film from 1995 for probably the third or fourth time, still is so damn good, while I still prefer the series for both the style and voice acting, this film has a complex plot set against some absolutely beautiful animation and a city design reminiscent of Blade Runner.

The film is only 83-minutes long (with credits) and probably could’ve used an additional 15-minutes to flesh out the supporting characters and their respective relationships with one another, probably another reason I love the TV series as the format has the ability to give more character development. Still, there’s no denying the importance Ghost in the Shell has had not just for when it was released (and its immense popularity upon release on VHS), but how it has endured in the decades since. It also is the gold standard of anime with its deep-thinking themes and incredible animation, which probably led to the amazing Cowboy Bebop a few years later.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5


This release comes with a glossy and reflective slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – English Language Scriptwriter Mary Claypool, Animation Producer/Writer Eric Calderon, Voice Actor Richard Epcar and Animation Historian/Critic Charles Solomon. Pretty good collective of commentators breaking down the themes of the film, anime style and other topics from different perspectives.

Accessing Section 9: 25 Years Into the Future (18:42) is a new featurette looking back at Ghost in the Shell and how it transformed anime and its influence over the course of two decades plus. Has new interviews with experts in anime and those who worked on the film.

Landscapes & Dreamscapes: The Art and Architecture of Ghost in the Shell (10:50) – This new featurette examines the beautiful architecture of the film.

Production Report (27:04) – Promotional featurette from 1995 and feels like those old educational videos the professor made you watch when they clearly didn’t feel like teaching that day. (Blu-ray Only)

Trailers (1:37) (Blu-ray Only)

Digital Works (29:34) is a collection of old interviews covering CG and computer graphics. (Blu-ray Only)

 


4K VIDEO – 4.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.25/5


Ghost in the Shell comes to the 4K Ultra HD format presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer. Also included is a new Blu-ray disc, as the movie has been released in 1080p HD a few times prior. In terms of the 4K, it doesn’t at all look bad but honestly didn’t discern a big difference when comparing it to the Blu-ray, perhaps a slight boost to the colors thanks to the HDR (Dolby Vision is also available for those with the proper equipment), but otherwise detail is decent but I did notice some minor banding, however nothing especially distracting. I have to wonder if perhaps this being a traditional animated movie from 1995, it doesn’t get the extra benefit in 4K, in addition I wonder if this is based off of a 2K scan and not true 4K…

Note: The ratings are comparative to their format counterparts.

4K AUDIO – 4.5/5, BD AUDIO – 4.25/5


The 4K Ultra HD comes with a new Dolby Atmos track in both English and Japanese, the former being the default option (for the record, I watched in the original Japanese language), while the Blu-ray comes with both English and Japanese languages in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I found both the Atmos and TrueHD tracks to be fine although it wasn’t mind-blowingly incredible, dialogue does come through the center channel with good clarity, and there is some okay depth during the action sequences, particularly noticeable was when characters would be speaking through their implants rather than out loud.

Note: The ratings are comparative to their format counterparts.

 


OVERALL – 4.25/5


Overall, Ghost in the Shell still has its influence all these years later and is telling that studios continue to re-release the movie and although I sometimes criticize double or triple dips, at least here in North America, this could be the definitive release containing a couple new featurettes alongside a few older ones to go along with good video and audio transfers.

 

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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