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Monday, March 4, 2013

Ghost In a Shell - Japanese Anime Review

I had never watched a full length Japanese anime film so at the request of a friend I checked out the movie "Ghost in a Shell".

Ghost in a shell is a futuristic sci fi cops and robbers flick. This film is a cross between "The Matrix" and "The Blade Runner" Basically a "shell' is the human body. In this no so far off future setting the shell can either be a human body as we know our's to be now or it can be augmented in part or in whole with some sort of performance improving technology. If your body is completely augmented it can no longer form its own identify (the ghost) rather it needs a program to do this. Much of society runs at least in part on some sort of computer technology. Enter "the Puppet Master" a futuristic hacker that begins to control people. Enter the authorities who want to stop him.

I won't get too in depth with the story here but what I explained is the gist of it. The rest of the film takes an interesting journey that involves some plausible sci-fi speculation about the future. Anyone who logs onto the internet can probably get their minds around the basic premise of this movie. You'd hate your internet experience to lead to identity theft, and many of us have experienced that on some level. The Puppet Master takes this step further by literally being able to steal your very identity (or soul if you want to but it that way)

Ghost in a Shell also raises some intriguing thoughts on what it means to be a human and the value (if there is any) of individual identity. These thoughts are discussed both scientifically and philosophically in between the fast paced shoot outs and the graceful almost-sensual parts in this film.

Ghost in a Shell isn't for everyone but it is pretty good. If you have any inner sci-fi geek at all within you you'll enjoy this film. Intellectual, sci-fi fans will 'get' this flick and like it. If you are passionate about the writings of Phillip K. Dick books (a very, esoteric, but significant sci-fi author) I think you'll love it and see his influence here as well.

Check it out.

Another Great Review on TurtleDog's Blog

Do you like video games?  There is a whole underground game movement that flies in the face of the big corporate gamers. Check out my review of Indie Games. An interesting look at a little known side of the gaming industry

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