‘Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie’ Blu-ray Review
The Film Itself
The New Movie begins with sweeping cinematography of Motoko in an orphanage for AI children. It shows some of the backstory between Motoko and introduces the early relationship with Kurutsu (a major character in the new series). From here, the film cuts to Motoko and her team attempting to control a hostage situation, but the memory-altering Fire Starter virus adjusts the status quo of the situation. Cut to a bomb exploding and blowing off the faces of both the Prime Minister and Kurutsu, and we finally get going on the major plot. From here, we follow Motoko and her team as they try to unravel who is behind the assassination.
Motoko, or Major, as she is commonly referred to in the film, views her team as a family; in fact, more than once, she refers to her team as mere “parts.” Not parts in a term of being dispensable, but parts that they all work together as the perfect machine. From this term of endearment, the team must decide how important the Major is to them and how important they are to them. From this personal reflection upon their relationship with Major we see some character development, although brief and surface-level, which makes sense, as The New Movie and Arise nicely set up the original Ghost in the Shell.
Aside from the basic character development, the one thing that roped me in to continue watching was the action. The action scenes were phenomenal; a nice mixture of CQC to full-on mecha assaults, The New Movie had it all.
The one thing I did not care for was the constant homages to the original Ghost in the Shell; we understand that you have to respect your roots, but lets not strangle them in the process. In fact, The New Movie closes out with most likely the most iconic scene from GITS, (Spoiler alert! But not really, because you should have watched the original Ghost in the Shell by this point) Motoko aimlessly jumping off a roof and switching on the invisibility cloak.
Musically, the ’90s techno-driven score was neither refreshing nor remarkable. About halfway through, it became somewhat distracting.
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie comes to you in beautiful 1080p HD 16×9. Here is glorious and rich color and razor-sharp precision; I could almost still see the pencil marks from the original sketches!
Audio-wise, we are looking at Dolby TrueHD: English & Japanese 5.1. Now, I have always been a subs > dubs man at heart, so I can’t really attest to the English dubbed version of The New Movie; it just doesn’t feel right to not watch something in the language it was originally shot in.
For those who had not seen the other parts of the series, the extra features offer a 25-minute special discussing and explaining the series. Also, coupled with the Arise explanation segment, the extra features offer a nice overview of the last 25 years since we were first introduced to Motoko Kusanagi.
- Inside the world of Ghost in the Shell Part 2
- Special: “Arise Explained in 25 minutes” (Extended Director’s Cut)
- Special: “25 years reviewed in 25 minutes” (Extended Director’s Cut)
- Promo Video
- Theatrical Trailer
- S. Trailer
For someone who has not been on the Ghost train for a while, this movie was a bit hard to follow. However, for those who have been following the new Ghost series, from what I have gathered, this was a nice wrap-up to the AAA series.
The animation and drawing were superb; in this day and age where CGI is quickly taking over animation, it was nice to see that The New Movie and AAA overall stuck to its roots of hand-drawn animation and minimal CGI usage.
At its core, The New Movie is not so much a sequel to Arise as it is the end of Arise; the mystery behind the memory-altering Fire Starter virus is finally laid bare for all to see.
The New Movie is not as cerebral as the first Ghost in the Shell, but it is still an effective balance of content and futuristic action.