|Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence [Blu-ray]
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Studio: Infinity Resources Inc Release Date: 01/13/2009
Mamoru Oshii's landmark Ghost in the Shell (1995) largely defined the cyberpunk genre and influenced the Matrix films in the U.S. The long-awaited sequel continues the adventures of Batou, Major Kusanagi's former assistant, who was left behind when she disappeared into the cyber-realm of the Net. With his new human partner, Togusa, Batou investigates a series of bloody murders involving gynoids, robots with sexual functions. The case leads them to the headquarters of the Locus Solus company, where Batou uncovers the evil secret behind the creation of the gynoids. Innocence includes some staggeringly beautiful CG images, especially a parade depicting characters from Chinese mythology. Oshii contrasts this glittering beauty with a Blade Runner-esque dystopia. But even his skill as a director can't disguise the fact that the underdeveloped story and flat characters are far less interesting than the opulent visuals. (Rated PG-13: graphic violence, violence against women, brief nudity, profanity, alcohol and tobacco use.) --Charles Solomon
- Spielberg free at last
The US DVD release of this film was such a spectacular failure that pretty much anything else would be an improvement, so disappointment is almost impossible. Bandai actually made an effort to procure a cover illustration that did not look like it came from some teenager's deviantart page, and they gave us a pretty good HD transfer of the film which allows the viewer to see all the painstaking detail work that was done on the background renderings.
Unfortunately, the disc is far from perfect. The menu takes so long to load you'll wonder if your player isn't hung, and you can't bring it up while the movie is running the way you can with most Blu-Ray titles, either. They basically put this together as though it were a regular old DVD, which suggests some degree of laziness; a suggestion which is reinforced by the fact that there aren't any new bonus features, and the original theatrical trailer is the same super-compressed ultra-low resolution clip from the last disc--very lame.
I have mixed feelings about the new subtitles. On the one hand, the more complex soliloquies (of which there are many) are much more coherently translated, but on the other, the everyday language and technical terms are a bit botched in places. I also don't like the fact that the lyrics to the music have to stay on the screen for as long as they do as they tend to obscure and distract from some of the better scenes. I cannot comment on either dubbing as I'll never listen to them.
If you're a fan of the film, you can't not buy this, but don't let anyone convince you that Bandai's pulled out all the stops here. This is just another unit shifter for them....more info
- great anime
I don't think it is fair that everyone is rating this 1 star because of the subtitles. The hearing impaired subtitles do not appear as often as other reviewers make it seem.
Theres about 1 or 2 every 5 mins and they are very brief.
The animation and the story line is fantastic. Toshio Suzuki from Studio Ghibli was brought on board as producer and his effort reflects that.
This is one of the most beautiful looking anime around and we all know that anime is always better in Japanese with subtitles then English dubbed....more info
- Wait for Bandai Visual's rerelease!
If you're interested in getting this movie I'd suggest preordering the version coming out next month by Bandai Entertainment/Bandai Visual USA. That release will have newly translated subtitles, the original Japanese dialog in Dolby 5.1, two English 5.1 soundtracks (The R2 UK dub that was produced by Richard Epcar, the English voice of main character Bateau, and a newly commissioned dub adapted from Bandai's new translation), and Director's commentary. There is officially no reason to buy Dreamworks' pitiful release....more info
- Not as bad as some think
The film is quite good, just not as good as the original. I liked the deeper psychology and less violence than the first GitS film. There were some parts where I found myself thinking that they were stretching in order to fill time but most of it did not drag. The artwork is an odd mixture of 2D animation and CGI 3D for some scenes. It felt a little funny but overall it worked. The subtitles and lack of an English track is a huge omission but I had no trouble following what was going on. I got mine used at a deep discount so maybe I'm a little forgiving. I'll probably pick it up again when the English dubbed version gets here. That would raise it up to a 4-star. ...more info
- Excellent, a must see.
This movie was excellent. It was even better than Ghost in the Shell 1. There were indeed some annoying, unnecessary subtitles like "[crowd laughing]", but to flunk this movie just because of those is unintelligent. The astounding scenery and graphics were par with Final Fantasy, and as usual, there were a few mood-setting montages that give Ghost in the Shell its flavor. The reason I rated it 4 stars instead of 5 was only because it was a bit hard for me to follow at times, but others may have an easier time. I notice that others have rated this movie a 1 on account of the lack of english dubbing, and "bad" subtitling, but it seems unfair to bash such a good movie because of such a trivial thing....more info
- Goes beyond the stars
State of the art animation with deep idea behind it. It grabs you right from the start. One can find only the quality of the picture, but there is more and more. Perfecly depicted characters fited in a time wich can come true some day. I think this anime is one of the best there is. And the soundtrack is amazing. Combination between tradition and new motives, the music find you and it holds you till the end....more info
- The Blu-ray is visually stunning. What I would expect from a Mamoru Oshii film. Although a bit disappointed about the audio.
"GHOST IN THE SHELL" definitely made impact around the world with its release. The film was one of the first animated films to blend computer animation with cel animation perfectly. I remember purchasing every VHS release when it first came out, I remember watching it many times and just being in awe of its visuals but its cerebral storyline.
The same can be said with the second film "GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE", the second film loosely based on the popular manga series by Shirow Masamune and written and directed by Mamoru Oshii.
But there is one thing about Mamoru Oshii's work that hasn't changed since the 1980's (from the second "Urusei Yatsura" 1984 film titled "Beautiful Dreamer") and now and that is unique storytelling and his keen eye for visuals. And actually, visuals are his priority and storytelling and its characters come after.
But every film that he has worked on from "Beautiful Dreamer", "Angel's Egg", the first two "Patlabor" films, "Avalon" and of course the "GHOST IN THE SHELL" films, his films are the type that I can never truly understand during the first watch. In fact, I start to realize certain details during the second, the third and fourth watch because I feel that he's a filmmaker that has certain intentions and things nicely placed that only those who really, try to analyze, you get a different and possibly a much better interpretation with repeated viewings.
I can tell you that "GHOST IN THE SHELL" required several viewings and I can tell you that this second film "INNOCENCE" required repeated viewings and after the third viewing, I was amazed how much I truly missed. I feel that during the first watch, your eyes are so focused on the visuals, the details and also the audio (which I watched in English dubs, going back and forth with the two included English dubs). By the second watch, you are now following the actually storyline much more closely. The third was watching it with the director's commentary and the fourth was watching it in Japanese.
VIDEO AND AUDIO:
The video quality of "GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE" is just beautiful. The video is featured in 1080P High-Definition and there is so much detail in this world. From the buildings, the shops, indoors, outdoors, you name it. Also, a variety of colors.
I know that this film was not the easiest to create and even the animators talk about their challenges that they had in this film and also during the commentary, both director Mamoru Oshii and animation director Toshihiko Nishikubo discuss the challenges in creating the film.
If anything, Mamoru Oshii's films will always be expected to have awesome visuals and having anything less than that wouldn't be an Oshii film. So, "GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE" really has its share of breathtaking visuals that just look so vibrant on Blu-ray. From the ambers of the sunlight to the blues and blacks showing the grittiness of the streets. Overall, video quality was well done!
As for audio quality, Bandai Entertainment included a very well done English voice dub and also the Manga UK dub (which I didn't really care for). Both are offered in Dolby Digital 5.1. And there is a Japanese audio track which is also Dolby Digital 5.1.
I am aware that the Japanese release of this film contains an uncompressed track that you would expect on a Blu-ray release. And so far, Bandai Entertainment and Bandai Visual releases tend to be top notch for its delivery on the video and audio side of their Blu-ray releases. So, I was surprised that HD audio was not included in this US release and it is quite disappointing because for Blu-ray, Bandai Entertainment has always delivered even on their DVD releases.
But with that being said, the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is still very good. There was good use of the rear channel tracks during the action and aircraft scenes and the front speaker channels brought out the dialogue and the music quite clearly. And I found that the quality of audio was much better in the newer English dub versus the Manga UK dub.
Included on the Blu-ray disc are:
* The "Making of `GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE" - Quite a bit of information on this 16-minute featurette in regards to the making of this film. From Production I.G. aligning with Studio Ghibli, the challenges that the animators had in making this film, interviews with Oshii, the voice talent and other key staff members and leading up to the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
* Director's Commentary with Mamoru Oshii and animation director Toshihiko Nishikubo - Personally, any commentary that you can have Mamoru Oshii be a part of is excellent. Both men had a lot to say in terms of the animation, what they were going for, what challenges they had, the use of music and voice acting and the challenge of trying to finish the film in under three years (most animated film takes two years) and knowing that time was running out. So, I enjoyed the commentary. It maybe technical for some who enjoy commentary that is fun and shooting the breeze, casual conversations but this commentary is pretty much focusing on the film and the people involved in making the film happen.
* Theatrical Trailer - A 5+ minute promotional anime trailer
After watching the Blu-ray and taking in the visuals, storyline, commentary and special features, you get a good idea of the challenges that Oshii and crew had faced.
Part of the challenge in the beginning was the production budget of $20 million, so Production I.G.'s president Mitsushia Ishikawa asked Studio Ghibli president Toshio Suzuki to work with him as a co-producer.
And once the film was underway, the film surpassed the typical two year deadline and the film was going in its third year for completion. And for an animated film to go in production that long, not only is that expensive but I can see how much stress it would put on the producers and the entire staff.
So, this film had quite an interesting storyline in itself behind-the-scenes and you learn a lot of this through the commentary and the featurette.
"GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE" is not going to be for everyone. I've always felt that Oshii's work could be deemed cerebral and possibly to intelligent for the casual animation fan to watch.
I really enjoyed this film but I suppose a film that featured around Batou's character, especially for those who were so used to seeing Makoto in the first film, the manga series, the video games and even the television series of "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" may feel that something is quite missing without Makoto having a prominent role.
But nevertheless, I think that Oshii did a great job in showcasing that sense of sadness with Batou not having his partner but then knowing that no matter what, she will still be there for him in some sort of way.
And again, to truly grasp this film, you need to watch this film (or any of Oshii's works) more than once. In fact, Oshii's films deserve repeated viewings because of the detail of the visuals of his films, the layers of his storyline and really, he has this philosophy about life and his own life that he puts into the film. It's complex.
But I think that's what attracts me to his works is because it is intelligent but yet you manage to find beauty in the worlds that he creates. "GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE" and the original "GHOST IN THE SHELL" are perfect examples of that complexity and beauty of visuals and storyline. Some get it and some won't. But once you become a fan of his work, you realize that he's a master storyteller with a keen eye of what he wants to accomplish. And you know that you will need to watch his films again.
As for the Blu-ray, video quality is well done. There is so much detail incorporated that the 1080P High-Definition really makes those details come out. And really, beautiful sharp and vibrant colors. But on the flip side, there is also a bit of disappointment with no DTS-HD or TrueHD track in this US release but yet knowing that it's in the Japanese release. And that is quite surprising for a Bandai Entertainment Blu-ray release.
But the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is still very good but for audiophiles that want the best in their films on Blu-ray, I can understand why one would be upset that the uncompressed audio track(s) were not included in this US release.
With that being said, I did feel that this Blu-ray release was still highly enjoyable and to hear the commentary by Oshii discuss his work is always a major plus.
Overall, this is still a solid Blu-ray disc release albeit not perfect but for fans of Mamoru Oshii or "GHOST IN THE SHELL", definitely give "INNOCENCE" a try!...more info
- Audio Warning on US Blu-ray release
Just a quick warning to those after the "high Definition" experience with this blu-ray, while the domestic US release has an English dub, there are no high definition audio tracks on this disc at all. Just plain old Dolby Digital. The Japanese versions (there are 2) have either Uncompressed PCM or Dolby True HD and DTS HD MA. If you are happy with subtitles, these are far superior versions. I have compared both Japanese versions against the US and would recommend the Japanese Absolute Edition over this US one. You can pick the Absolute Edition up from amazon.co.jp or other sellers, however it is quite a bit more expensive than this release. But if you love this film and have the sound system for HD audio, it is well worth it.
One other point for international buyers, this version and the 2 Japanese releases are region locked to "Region A"
Score marked down for the poor audio....more info
- Fro the demo it looks amazing.
I got the Dolby Digital Bluray demo disc from a home expo in Orlando and it has a short scene from this movie on it. The picture looks absolutely jaw dropping and the audio is very good quality. A lot of the demo booths at the show were using the scene on the dolby disc from this movie as their demo material. I've been debating on whether to order an import version of this for $90, but thank god I waited. Thanks for finally releasing this in the US on Bluray!!!
- Wish I could give this 0 or .5 stars .. horrible job DreamWorks
Actually, I wish Amazon would allow for two ratings ... one for the movie itself, and one for the DVD. Fantastic movie, horrendous DVD transfer by DreamWorks. As has been stated by everyone here, the way DreamWorks has handled this movie is shameful and beyond disappointing.
Do NOT buy this DVD ... it simply is not worth parting with your hard earned cash. Either rent it or find a away to watch the newly released Australian or UK releases (~March 2006) which have DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 English voice-over tracks....more info
- Not as good as the first.
The thing that bothered me the most about this movie is the PG-13 rating, which you can tell in the movie they strived for. No gore at all! Not that gore is the number one factor in an anime, but it feels like a more kid friendly version of the first movie. Also, with Studio Ghibli being involved, I thought the animation would be better....more info
- Forgive the DVD, the Movie Didn't Know It Would Turn Out Like This
It's very sad, really, that Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence was handled the way it was. A lot of people just can't forgive Dreamworks for basically throwing this together as quickly as possible to make a quick dime from the fans of anime. And the exclusion of a dub track is what really damages this movie. There is a lot of dialogue in this movie, long moments when the characters are basically stationary and the only action is the moving of mouths. It can be frustrating having to read a movie as gorgeously animated as this one, especially for fans who don't have much of a care for foreign or subtitled tracks.
But I don't think it kills this movie, mostly because, though I generally prefer a dubbed track, I will watch a subbed track if that is all that's available. And the subs weren't bad in this, so that makes things a little better.
Plus, like the last Ghost in the Shell, Innocence has a quality story filled with plenty of side-plots and mysteries to unfold. Also like the last movie, it's great getting the feeling of accomplishment when you finally begin to put all the separate pieces together. In this one, it follows Batou, the Major's partner from the previous movie, as he investigates a series of murders done by robots. Along the way, he finds "sex-bots" are some of the ones responsible for these crimes, and finds himself in an interweaving world of internet hacking and tough crime fighting. And during all of this, Batou continues his search for the Major, who is still missing after the events in Ghost in the Shell.
Despite my ranking of a four, it is still difficult to recommend this. That's more a personal four than an all around four. I felt the story and the animation still hold up despite the dismal DVD release. So, if you enjoy subbed tracks over dubbed, then you will most likely find nothing wrong with this DVD in any way. Also, if you liked Tokyo Godfathers, Millennium Actress, and/or Memories because of the great stories despite them having no dubbed track, then I also think you'll find Innocence worth watching. But if you don't like foreign movies, and hate reading subtitles, then stay away from Innocence; it will only leave a bad taste in your mouth and you'll find yourself disliking anime because of it....more info
- Excellent Movie...
Well, i just wanted to say, that the fact that the movie doesn`t have an english audio doesn`t mean the movie is Bad, most of the comments here are like "i am not going to read a movie" or "i am not japanese" but think about it.., the movie was made in Japan, what you were specting? well yes, Dream Work could work a little more like "special features" or the audio stuff (then i should blame it cause they don`t work in the spanish version) but for that the movie is no bad, and for the ones that says "they should say that the movie haven`t audio english" well.., read better, cause in the "details" says that the audio its only japanese..,
If you are not ok, reading, then you can wait another version, or just enjoy it, i really don`t think that you buy a dvd to watch it just 1 time, if that is the case, then go and rent it..,
Overall, its a nice movie, have some animation like Final Fantasy's movie,
Its hard to read those comments of people calling him/her self BIG FAN and they are just giving bad reviews just cause they don`t want to read.., :S:S that`s a shame.., ...more info
- Ignore the DVD Cover, and Enjoy the Stunning Visuals of the Film Itself
It is a sad thing, but `Innocence' was not a big commercial hit in Japan where I live despite its wide theatrical release in this country and promotions involving one major convenience store company. But this may not be surprising. Oshii Mamoru's world is made of his philosophy about the cyber world that was also seen in his previous film `Ghost in the Shell,' and he pushed it further in this rivetting sequel of which visuals refuse to be boring, not even a second.
As the "Major" Kusanagi has disappeared into the vast world of cyber space, it is Bat? and Togusa who play the central roles in the investigation of bizarre murder cases. To be frank with you, in spite of the fierce gun-fights with yakuza and robots, their investigation has no big mystery from the start, and director Oshii is well aware of the fact. In other words, don't follow the story. The film is not about that. It is about its breathtaking visuals and Oshii's own idea about cyborgs.
Even those who is not impressed with the film's thin story would admit the stunning visuals and mesmerizing soundtracks. The production designs are directed by Yohei Taneda, the Japanese designer who made the set of `Aobaya' for Tarantino in `Kill Bill Vol.1.' The soundtrack by Kenji Kawai, especially the fantastic chorus part, perfectly matches the visuals to create the metropolis of the other world.
The unique but credible world of `Innocence' is based on Oshii's interest in dolls and marionettes in general. Bat?, robot detective and Togusa family man co-exist in the same section of the police, and to solve the case they have to cross the line that divides the humans and non-humans. In Oshii's world, the line between them is very thin, or non-existent, and it is suggested that robots can claim love from another - robot or human.
The theme may sound peculiar, but in fact it is not so. (`Blade Runner' is always quoted to tell you this obvious fact.) What is unique about the film is the amount of ideas quoted from philosophy and literature. You don't usually see the characters cite the words from the Bible and Milton as if it is nothing. Even in the original language which I heard, the information given through the dialogues amount to the level that requires repeated viewings, and if you are watching it with subtitles, and think that you cannot follow perfectly what Bat? and his sidekick are talking about, remember that that kind of trouble also happened to me. Of course, that doesn't mean the complaints about the subtitles heard in the previous reviews are not justified.
So keep watching it even if you don't understand some part of it. Enjoy the visuals and for those who still remember the relations between Bat? and The Major Kusanagi, yes, she comes back though briefly. That brief moment is perhaps better than the long conclusion of the Matrix trilogy, though....more info
- My new favourite Blu-Ray
I loved the DVD, but it PALES in comparison to the Blu-Ray edition. The Bandai English dub track is superb. The Manga UK track, while the same voice actors, adds a different emotional feel to the story. I haven't heard the Japanese track yet since we had that in the DVD. The sound in any case is stupendous. It must be watched and listened to on a 6.1 or more system to get what I mean. Visually? Gorgeous.
This Blu-Ray is a treat....more info
- Pretentious and meandering, but still worth a look
First off, most of the one star complaints stem from the awful subtitling for the hearing impaired. This means you'll get the [helicopters approachine] and [dog barks] subtitles. This is annoying, and hopefully a subsequent release will have simple english subtitles.
As for the movie itself, the artistry in this movie is incredible, with a smooth mix od 3D and 2D animation in all sorts of surreal vistas. It's alomst worth watching in and of itself. The future looks very real, with the grittiness of the streets to the almost disturbing cleanliness of the laboratories they visit.
My personal favorite scene was when Togusa and Batou were entering a hackers mansion, and get stuck in an hacked into and thrown into a "virtual tangle" causing them to go through the same motions in a slightly different environment every time. The shootup in the grocery store was another excellent scene, making the viewer think along with Batou that he being attacked while his brain is actually getting hacked.
There is way too much meandering talk about free will versus determinism, how one can realize whether someone is truly conscious or not, and the nature of what is a "true" experience. The long monologues lead to no real further understanding of the subject, were oversimplified, and destroy the entire point of fiction, which is to SHOW these dilemmas rather than TELL. The movie SHOWS very well, and doesn't need to dumb down the conversation by stating explicitly what the viewer should ponder while watching it.
Overall, not nearly as good as the classic first, but still pretty good....more info
- Audio - epic fail
Import the Japanese release. Then you get lossless audio. The dub is bad and has problems. The Japanese TrueHD track with subtitles will blow your mind. ...more info
- Greed touches everything!
Review? Review?! Quality and really caring about providing a product the customer will actually be happy and proud to own is being replaced with making a fast buck. I dare to say that many Anime fans are also science fiction fans. My best example is what 'they' did to Star Trek. Just milk the fan for their money. Do the least 'they' need to do as the fans are already hooked.
So, the Australian version of this has an English dub option? Why isn't it on the USA - Canadian release? Doh!
If anyone buys this half-product they are feeding the greed and careless attitudes of those in charge of delivering this type of rubbish. The only one's who may have a reason to own this release is the true collector. Even then it's a rip-off not to have an English dub available.
What a shame......more info
- The Best Release Yet!
Let us be blunt, the initial dvd release of "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence" was flawed. From the subtitles that acted more like the captioning for the hearing impaired, standard sound and visual presentation. Never mind no option for listening to the film in english.
Bandai has now corrected the mistakes that were made upon the initial dvd release with a stunning blu-ray that is a must own for any anime or science fiction fan. The picture quality and detail now present is much better then ever before, the sound is incredible even on your regular speakers. The subtitles and languages are possibly though the biggest improvement. Bandai has given this release proper subtitles, including an option to even have the songs translated. They also have included the english language option which is the cast from the series and the previous movie.
Now the film itself is more philisophical than action orriented, this one continues on the themes of man, machine and the relations there in. This film is very much in the vein of Blade Runner, so if you are wanting a strong story that will actually make you think then you will enjoy. If you are expecting the non-stop action that some episodes of the series contained then you may be dissapointed.
This film is rated PG-13 and is recommend for mature viewer, not necissary due to the violence, but more because of the complexity of story and it's themes.
Final Grade: A ...more info
- Great service
Great service birthday present for my brother in NY got it very quickly in tim for his birthday....more info
- verry lazy
I agree with most of what is being said about this edition of this movie and if I could get in toutch with dreamworks I would tell them to offer this movie with what the fans want and maby it would have better sales here the artwork was amazing but i am not deaf and i do not want to read the movie that is what the manga (graphic novel) is for...more info
- Special Edition English Dub needed NOW!
1st off I love this film.It took repeat viewings,but after awhile the exposition in the film began to click!However the issue I have is that after nearly 2 years there is no english dub special edition. Please hurry!!!!!...more info
- Ghost in the shell 2 Innocence Blu-ray.
Great movie if you're a fan of the genre. The blu-ray doesn't disappoint. Great sound and picture. The over-dub is excellent for those of you who get sick of reading subtitles, since the ghost in the shell series talk about a lot of information in a quick manner. Good movie....more info
- Just a little audio/video review
I will skip the movie review there is plenty of those,I will say if you haven't seen it your missing out the visuals are amazing and the score is terrific.No,you don't have to watch the first Ghost in the shell or the TV series to follow this one but it helps in some spots.First I want to point out to the reviewer "orangekay" no the film takes no longer than other bluray to load and yes you can pull the menu up while watching the film.I believe you either have a bad copy or more likely need to update your bluray player's firmware.To watch this I used a Sony 350 player with firmware up to date.I don't like to comment on other's reviews but just wanted people to know and hopefully you read this so you don't miss future features on bluray titles.Ok here's the business part the video is good I wouldn't call it something special but it is an upgrade from the past dvd release,most noticeably the colors are nice and vibrant and the picture is sharp.Now this is most important SO READ THIS PART!!! I rarely if ever watch a film or anime dubbed in English but i thought I would give a shot and just be able to completely admire the incredible visuals,but as I switched to English dubbed from the original Japanese I noticed a huge drop in audio clarity from the musical score and a huge,huge difference in the surround and sub woofer or LFE.Although both are list as Japanese 5.1 and English 5.1 the difference between them are like the Japanese 5.1 is in DTS and the English dubbed is in 2.0 stereo.When and if you get this do a little back and forth checking yourself if you don't fully believe me,this is the main reason I felt I had to review this bluray.So enjoy and remember to check the the audio difference between the different tracks. ...more info
- Lost in Translation
I seem to own a DVD that's not from Dreamworks/Go Fish. I forgot how I got it (most likely from eBay). But the cover of the DVD I have (see the left pic here) is significantly different than what's shown here.
For my copy, I found the subtitle confusing. So perhaps the trade-off is that the Dreamworks release has more coherent subtitles? This movie inherently dealt with a lot of abstract topics, so confusing subtitles really made things a lot worse. With the first Ghost In The Shell, for example, I could get by with mediocre subtitles, but not this one.
So. From what I got out of it, the main story is pretty simple: a bunch of geisha robots are killing their human customers. And Section 9, the elite group of covert ops, is asked to investigate it. These guys are like the FBI/CIA/NSA all rolled into one, I guess. Two main guys follow the investigation to an industrial city and eventually end up breaking into an underwater facility (both physically and electronically) where the robots are manufactured. The good/bad news is that's only about 25% of the story; the other 75% deals with atmosphere, mind hacking, existential discussion about souls, political intrigue, and exploration of the relationships and lives of the characters, including a brief encounter with a character from the previous movie that now literally live in the Net (Internet?).
I mentioned atmosphere because there are some segments that contribute nothing to the plot but are there to define the world in which this story lies. The parade of the Chinese-inspired floats and the flight sequence at the middle of the film, for example, are marginally relevant. But they were extended sequences that end up giving us an awesome depiction of a wonderous world and shows off some quite impressive CG displays.
This would be quite an interesting movie if you can figure out the dialogue despite the subtitles. One more motivation to learn Japanese, I suppose.
- If you want the real deal go region 2
I'm amazed that the US still has to put up with this half baked rush release, If you want the fully realised package with English sound track from the usual cast then get the region two version ISBN B000BY9ALU. OK so it'll probably cost you twice as much and you'll need a multi region player. But for something this good why put up with second best.
This is one of those films where the brain really needs to be turned on, as treating it like a popcorn movie will leave you dazed and confused. It continues the theme from GITS 1 querying the boundaries between man and machine and the dangers of ghost hacking. At times it gets a touch pretentious with Batou and Togusa swapping obscure quotations, but it is both beautiful and thought provoking.
Again a split review 5 for the film, 2 for the slipshod DVD release....more info
- Please check out SAC instead
That being said, GITSI is ok......Again. It is far better than the first film. THe nudity is far less annoying and prominent (simply because Motoko isn't present) and i think it's better that we get to explore the character of Bateu. It's an ok film, but the fact there is no english voices will infuriate some, and the subtitles have captions (if you don't know what captions are you probably don't want to know.) ...more info