Ghost In The Shell (1995) Blind Spot Review

Ghost In The Shell (1995)
攻殻機動隊
Gōsuto in za sheru / Kōkaku kidōtai (Ghost in the Shell / Mobile Armored Riot Police)

Directed by Mamoru Oshii

Based on Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow

Starring Voice Actors: Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Ōtsuka, Iemasa Kayumi

Running time: 82 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Ghost in the Shell follows the hunt of the public security agency Section 9 for a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master. With the assistance of her team, Motoko Kusanagi tracks and finds their suspect, only to be drawn into a complex sequence of political intrigue and a cover-up as to the identity and goals of the Puppet Master.

My Opinion:

So this was an “alternate” Blind Spot choice of mine (I guess I need to kick one of the main ones off the list now). I decided to watch this because a) the live-action American remake was out recently and b) I noticed the running time of only 82 minutes! Okay – the running time was the biggest reason. Why are so many “worthy” films at least 2.5 hours long? I’m too busy!

I’m glad I did finally get around to watching this. I really enjoyed it. I do want to see the Scarlett Johansson one at some point too just to see how they recreated certain scenes but know that it will of course pale greatly in comparison to the original. I’d be interested to hear from those of you who’ve seen both and from fans of the original.


I’m not going to write a lot about this film as I don’t have much knowledge when it comes to Japanese anime (other than my beloved Studio Ghibli). It’s a genre I’m becoming more & more interested in and want to explore by at least watching some of the most well known stuff. I watched Akira as a Blind Spot choice last year (I decided to dive in at the deep end!). Akira isn’t quite like anything I’d seen before and I loved it (it was my favorite of my twelve 2016 Blind Spot films).

I think Ghost In The Shell is fantastic too and I can understand why it’s so popular but, unfortunately, I wasn’t as blown away as I was with Akira. I think a lot of that is probably thanks to me seeing things like The Matrix and even Ex Machina before seeing Ghost, meaning that Ghost feels almost dated now even though it came beforehand and clearly had a big influence on a lot of later films.

Okay – I don’t think “dated” is at all the right word to use… The animation is beautiful and the story is probably even more relevant now than in 1995. I think anyone who enjoys this type of science fiction would definitely like this film if they haven’t seen it. I suppose it’s just that the themes in Ghost In The Shell have been explored in loads of entertainment over the years (and especially in the years that followed its release), meaning that it doesn’t feel quite as original in 2017 as it will have 22 years ago. But it’s still a damn good science fiction anime & worthy of its status as a classic in this genre. There’s a lot of iconic imagery & an amazing musical montage (I’ve included a clip of this below). I’m happy to say that Ghost In The Shell was well worth my time & a worthy addition to my list of Blind Spot movies.

My Rating: 8/10

Oh, and I love this Mondo poster created by artist Martin Ansin

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Mondo Poster For The Rocketeer By Kevin Tong

I always have to share Mondo movie posters when I see them. Here’s another great one for The Rocketeer by artist Kevin Tong. I remember really liking this movie at the time but I haven’t seen it since it first came out. Time for a re-watch, I think! 🙂

You can read the article about the poster & see an alternate color variant here: GeekTyrant.

Mondo’s Back To The Future Part II Poster Art By Matt Taylor

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Hi all! I have nothing ready to post for today (but I suppose no one will be around anyway since it’s Good Friday) so here’s another one of my movie poster posts! I always love the Mondo posters & this Back To The Future Part II one is from artist Matt Taylor (see it at GeekTyrant HERE). He also did the below poster for the first film a few months ago:

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Thanks to everyone who has voted in my Which movie should I review next? poll. So far, Spirited Away looks like it’ll be the winner (hey – I DID do a bunch of Studio Ghibli reviews through all of January…). 😉 I’m on vacation at the moment so won’t be reviewing any of those quite yet (plus I have a review of the new Cinderella that’s 90% written which I’ll post first) but I’ll review the ones with the most votes as soon as I can. I’m leaving the poll open so you can still keep voting through next week – I’ll probably start posting the winners the week after. You can vote HERE.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter! 🙂

John Hughes Movie Quote Of The Day: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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“I do have a test today, that wasn’t bullshit. It’s on European socialism. I mean, really, what’s the point? I’m not European. I don’t plan on being European. So who gives a crap if they’re socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

**Okay – I LOVE how successful this blogathon has been but MAN I miss posting random stuff & current movie reviews (Just saw The Zero Theorem yesterday – review in April after this blogathon!). But two things I love have come together so I must share this immediately. Mondo posters and Frozen!!! Check out this Frozen poster by Tom Whalen for Mondo. Nice! Link here: GeekTyrant. There’s also a poster in the link for American Hustle which is way better than the movie. You can read my review for Frozen HERE. Spoiler: I loved it. 🙂

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The Lego Movie (2014) Review

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(I had to use this amazing Mondo poster by artist Tom Whalen. Link here: GeekTyrant)

**SPOILER-FREE REVIEW**

The Lego Movie (2014)

Directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Starring:
Chris Pratt
Will Ferrell
Elizabeth Banks
Will Arnett
Nick Offerman
Alison Brie
Charlie Day
Liam Neeson
Morgan Freeman

Music by Mark Mothersbaugh (Yo Gabba Gabba! Yes! And Devo, of course)

Running time: 100 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The wizard Vitruvius attempts to protect the “Kragle”, a superweapon, from the evil Lord Business. He fails to do so, but warns Lord Business of a prophecy where a person called the “Special” will find the Piece of Resistance capable of stopping the Kragle.

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My Opinion:

I don’t know how many of you will have read it but when I reviewed Mr Peabody & Sherman recently, I was pretty mean. My main problem (besides one terrible character) was that the movie didn’t seem to know what sort of an audience it was aiming for and ended up making something I think only those between the ages of 6 and 10 will enjoy. I moaned, as I always do, that only Disney and, especially, Pixar seem capable of making kids’ movies that people of all ages love. Well, I’m very happy to report that The Lego Movie achieves this perfect balance as well. And, although aimed more at boys, it’s one that girls will also love thanks to the characters of Wyldstyle and, my personal favorite, Uni-Kitty. Hooray for The Lego Movie! 🙂

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I’m actually going to say nothing whatsoever about anything in this film. My ONLY complaint about this is that I think the trailers showed too many of the funniest scenes, meaning I didn’t get as many surprises as I’d have liked (although there were still some great ones). I absolutely LOVED a few of the surprises but think I’d spoil it for anyone who’s not seen this yet so, unfortunately, I can’t discuss those things! I can be vague and say that I loved loved loved the ending, though – especially the very final thing. It’s so satisfying when a movie gets the ending so right!

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The characters are strong and there are a lot of them & they’re so varied that everyone will have a favorite (go Uni-Kitty!). The “hero”, Emmet Brickowski, is completely ordinary & totally loveable. Wyldstyle is cool & a strong female character great for the young girls watching, Morgan Freeman is of course perfect as the Gandalf-like Vitruvius as he has the coolest voice EVER (well, maybe after James Earl Jones), and there are several superheroes which will make a lot of geeks happy (I say “geeks” in a nice way because we’re all geeks here. And we rule!). One lesser character really cracked me up and, oh my god, the cameo(s) I didn’t know about…. LOVE! (Everyone probably knows by now but, hey – I don’t want to be the person who ruins it for the few people who maybe don’t know everything about this movie by now).

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Summary:

I know I’ve not said a lot about this movie but that’s the whole point. If you’ve not watched every single trailer by now and if you’ve not read much about this film yet – DON’T. I think you’ll enjoy being surprised by just how funny and, quite frankly, epic The Lego Movie is. A lot of talk online says this is the perfect little kids’ introduction to the teachings of Joseph Campbell. It is. It’s an epic adventure with a really great message told in a very unique & un-preachy way. It’s been seen plenty of times but not quite in this fashion and not often in a “kids’ film”. Awesome.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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Mondo Gallery to Host Full Disney Art Exhibit at SXSW

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Mondo & Disney?! It’s like a dream come true for me! I cannot WAIT to see more artwork from this! This Alice In Wonderland piece by Ken Taylor is the only one we’re being shown for now. The following & poster are from this link: SlashFilm

Every year, the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas hosts a massive art exhibit during South by Southwest but, this year they’ve outdone themselves. They’re teaming with Oh My Disney for a show called Nothing’s Impossible, and it’s all art based on Disney properties.

The show opens March 7 and remains open until March 11.

Mondo Posters for Brick and Where The Wild Things Are

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I love Mondo posters…

These were created by artists Ken Taylor & Matt Taylor for Mondo. Link to posters here including alternate version of the Wild Things one: GeekTyrant

Also – has anyone else seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Brick? I had to go into London to catch that one years ago. I liked it – the hubby didn’t.

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Thor! HUH! Good God. What is he good for?

(Answer: Looking hot & taking his shirt off. Phwoar!)

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Okay – I’ve had a lot of Thor-related stuff to post this past week but just haven’t had the time so I figured I’d stick it all in one place now. I really enjoyed The Dark World & thought it was fun (Don’t listen to the haters! You can read my review HERE).

First of all, the above poster is by Ken Taylor for Mondo (link: SlashFilm). There’s also the below Loki poster by Mike Mitchell at the link. I love Mondo posters.

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Next, it’s been all over the blogs by now but I LOVE that this fan poster ended up being used in all seriousness in a Shanghai movie theater for the film’s release:

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As for Hemsworth’s rather gratuitous and completely unnecessary (but oh so welcome!) shirtless scene in The Dark World, the actor was apparently not that thrilled at having to film the scene. Hey – if they can do it for Star Trek Into Darkness, they can do it for those of us who like boys as well. 😉

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“Take it off!”

Here’s quite an interesting article at SlashFilm: What Loki Scenes Were Added to ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and What Did Joss Whedon Rewrite?

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And for those who care about this sort of thing, here’s a good article at io9: 8 Things Marvel Got Wrong About Thor and Norse Mythology. (I’m not too bothered. I’m just happy to drool over Hemsworth)

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And some info on the two end credit scenes in The Dark World (hold your pee & stick around, people!). Obviously SPOILERS in the link if you haven’t yet seen the film: There Are 2 End-Credit Scenes In The ‘Thor’ Sequel — Here’s What They Mean For Future Marvel Films. (Link here: Business Insider)

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Here’s some info on the upcoming Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D/Thor crossover episode airing November 19th in the U.S. (Yay! I better catch up on those episodes): GeekTyrant

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And the following short Comedy Central clip of Loki asking kids who they like better: Thor or Loki? is pretty damn funny:

Finally, Chris Hemsworth told Jimmy Kimmel the other night about the 600 calorie a day diet he’s on for Ron Howard’s Heart of the Sea, which is about a bunch of guys starving to death while stranded at sea. 600 calories? Yikes! Link HERE.

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Now let’s end with a sexy photo of Chris Hemsworth. He’s so pretty…

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Mondo Does Disney’s The Little Mermaid

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To commemorate The Little Mermaid showing in some cinemas in 3D and the upcoming Blu-ray release, Mondo is releasing this poster by Tom Whalen. This poster is great! Have to say it’s better than the actual film, which isn’t all that high on my list of My Top Disney Princess Movies.

Link to Mondo poster info here: SlashFilm

This blog is too family friendly lately. I really need to find a picture of Chris Hemsworth’s naked Rush bum…

Mondo Celebrates Alfred Hitchcock’s Birthday With Posters For Psycho and Vertigo

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Happy Birthday to Alfred Hitchcock – A true genius. Check out the following link for new posters from artists Tomer Hanuka & Ghoulish Gary Pullin for Mondo to celebrate Hitchcock’s birthday: SlashFilm

I love Hitchcock’s films. I’d seen all the biggest ones years ago but watched & reviewed a few I hadn’t yet seen when I started my IMDB Top 250 Challenge this year:

Notorious Review

Rope Review

Shadow Of A Doubt Review

This year’s Stoker has often been compared to Shadow Of A Doubt but really doesn’t come close to Hitchcock’s classic. Nothing does… I absolutely loved the TV episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents & The Alfred Hitchcock Hour as a kid as well.

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Happy Birthday, Mr Hitchcock – Thanks for all the great films. 🙂

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980)

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Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz & The World’s End (Cornetto Trilogy Review)

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Poster by Tyler Stout for Mondo. Link here for this & alternate poster: SlashFilm

1. Shaun of the Dead

The first and still the best. I don’t have a lot of history with Simon Pegg & Co. I watched Shaun of the Dead in the cinema when it came out and it was my first experience with them. And I thought it was pretty good! I’m a HUGE fan of Romero’s zombie films (especially Dawn of the Dead) so a zombie comedy spoof was something I was more than happy to watch. As I watched The World’s End and Hot Fuzz for the first time last week, I thought it was time to re-watch Shaun as well & review all three.

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I appreciate Shaun of the Dead more after this second viewing. I think it starts out VERY strong. I like how it takes a while to actually get to the zombies while they take time setting up the characters (these days not many people have the patience to wait that long for the “action”). The two morning walks where the first morning is normal and the second one is clearly not yet Shaun is completely oblivious to all the zombies lurking about is brilliant and probably my favorite bit of the film. This is closely followed by the other best bit of the film where Shaun & Ed discover zombies in the back garden and proceed to defend themselves with some vinyl records (but not the REALLY good ones…).

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Shaun & Ed are of course great characters and Shaun’s girlfriend is fine. I also really liked Shaun’s mother & stepfather but I found Shaun’s girlfriend’s friends slightly annoying. And while the film starts out brilliantly, I do think it loses steam once Shaun & Ed are joined by these friends. I feel this way about all three films, actually. I kind of feel like Shaun of the Dead (and the rest) isn’t sure how it should end. Then it just… Does. Not a horrible ending or anything but just a bit of a let down after such a strong beginning. But still a great movie for its genre.

My Rating: 8/10

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2. Hot Fuzz

My least favorite of the three. Not saying I didn’t like it, though – it’s very close between this & The World’s End.

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I actually knew next to nothing about Hot Fuzz. I thought it was JUST a buddy cop movie spoof. But it actually ended up being more than that and I liked it better than the film I was expecting to see. I’m not a fan of the “buddy cop movies” that it does spoof (well, other than Point Break. I love Point Break!). So I wasn’t going to go for this one as much as Shaun Of The Dead.

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I didn’t buy into Pegg’s or Frost’s characters as much in Fuzz as in Shaun. And while there were some funny moments, nothing really compared to the funny moments in Shaun. I liked the story, though. I don’t know if this is a spoiler but I liked that Fuzz suddenly sort of went all Wicker Man on our asses. Hell, Edward Woodward was even in it! That was fine by me – The Wicker Man is a classic. So, again – not at all the movie I was expecting but that was a good thing in this case. However, I always enjoy a movie more when I feel they’ve done a really good job setting up the characters and I like them or maybe even identify with them in some way. Shaun is superior on story but also far superior when it comes to the characters.

My Rating: 7/10

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3. The World’s End

I actually saw this and then immediately watched Hot Fuzz when I got home from the cinema. Although Hot Fuzz is third for me, it’s probably actually a much better “film” than this one. I know it’s not out for ages in America (ha!) but I can see this one dividing people much more than the other two films. Not entirely sure but that’s kind of the impression I get from those in the UK who have seen it so far. I think it’s not going to be for everyone.

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So why did I like it more than Hot Fuzz? Well first of all – the genre, like zombie movies, is much more my kind of thing. I love sci-fi. And apocalyptic! Oh I love apocalyptic! (What’s with so much of that this year? You’ll have to check if The World’s End makes my list of My Top Ten Apocalyptic Movies HERE). 🙂 Secondly, as with Shaun, I think the characters are much stronger than they were in Hot Fuzz. Although this time, not necessarily “likeable”. Finally, because of my age, I was able to identify with some of the themes in The World’s End unlike in Fuzz (mainly the fear of getting older and wanting to relive the past but knowing deep down that none of us can). So, that’s why I prefer The World’s End. Oh, and decent music as well. Although nothing tops Grandmaster Flash in Shaun. 🙂

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The World’s End suffers the most of the three in “not knowing how to end”, I think. That’s the bit that will probably most divide people. As for supporting characters (so, other than Pegg’s & Frost’s), I think they’re actually the strongest in The World’s End. I really liked the different personalities of the friends in this one (which helped to make up for the two lead characters being a bit weaker & less likeable than in Shaun). I can see people not liking Pegg’s character in this one but I could really feel for him & what he was going through so I found him to be a good strong character. There’s not much more I can say about this as I try to keep my reviews spoiler-free plot-wise. I did quite enjoy The World’s End although I think it’s definitely flawed. I look forward to seeing what people in the US think of it once it’s out there.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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Quote from my hubby on the Cornetto Trilogy:

“I can’t believe they got away with making the same bloody film three times”.

(To be honest, that IS a very accurate summary. Much more concise and to the point than my three reviews.) 😉

Recap for those who don’t actually read my reviews & just scroll to the ratings:

Shaun Of The Dead: 8/10
Hot Fuzz: 7/10
The World’s End: 7.5/10

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Mondo Releases Studio Ghibli Compilation Album With Tyler Stout Artwork

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The following is from this link: SlashFilm

Mondo has teamed up with Studio Ghibli to release a compilation album featuring music from five different films: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Cat Returns and My Neighbors The Yamadas. There will be three different covers, all done by Tyler Stout.

Very cool. Click the link to see all three covers & read lots more about the album.

50 Greatest Mondo Horror Posters – Part 2

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This Shepard Fairey poster for They Live was already a favorite of mine (and a favorite movie of mine too). Love it.

Here’s the link to the 2nd set of 25 of the 50 greatest Mondo horror movie posters: FearNet

And my post with a link to the 1st set of 25: 50 Greatest Mondo Horror Posters – Part 1

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Mondo Releases Two Silence of the Lambs Posters Themed to New Wines

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These posters are excellent! The following is from SlashFilm:

The Alamo Drafthouse, in fact, has created two wines themed around the multiple Oscar-winning Jonathan Demme film, The Silence of the Lambs. There’s Hannibal Lecter’s “The Cannibal Chianti” and Buffalo Bill’s “Suit Yourself Pinot Grigio,” both of which are now on sale.

The posters were created by artist Caesar Moreno.

And here’s my confession: I don’t really like The Silence Of The Lambs. (Other than that Goodbye Horses song in it. I love that song. Cheesy goodness!) Discuss. 😉

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