The Matrix tagged posts

Shell-Praiser: A Defense of Ghost in the Shell

SPIRITED REIMAGINING

(Spoiler warning: key plot points from Ghost in the Shell 2017 revealed in this feature)

Mired in whitewashing accusations since 2015 when Scarlett Johansson was announced in the lead. Subject of sustained online fan fury. Mediocre US box office Paramount Studios acknowledged was partly due to this controversy.

Is now a good time to admit I’m a fan of this incarnation of Ghost in the Shell? A reason for this being because of how it addresses its own casting and the surrounding debate? Please give me time to outline the case for the defence.

From Masamune Shirow’s 1989 manga, to Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime, its 2004 sequel Innocence, the Solid State Society and Arise spin-offs, Ghost in the Shell is constantly evolving and reworking its themes.

Themes of identity flu...

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Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Director: Rupert Sanders

Writers: William Wheeler, Jamie Moss, Ehren Kruger (screenplay), Masamune Shirow (manga), Kazunori Ito (1995 movie)

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Chin Han, Peter Ferdinando, Danusia Samal, Michael Pitt, Rila Fukashima

Cert: 12

Running time: 107 mins

Year: 2017



What’s the story: In New Port City, a Far Eastern metropolis of the future, Major (Johansson), a human brain planted into a cyborg shell after a terrorist attack, is a front-line soldier in the city’s counter terrorism unit. A cyberhacker killing high ranking personnel at technology company Hanka is her greatest threat to date.

What’s the verdict: Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell, based on Masamune Shirow’s manga, hit Hollywood influencers with...

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Doctor Strange

doctor-strange-posterDirector: Scott Derrickson

Writer: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong

Cert: 12A

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2016


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What’s the story: After a serious accident, brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange embarks upon a quest to heal his shattered body. But, he discovers the universe has many more exciting and dangerous things to offer.

doctor-strange-benedict-cumberbatch-tilda-swintondoctor-strange-benedict-cumberbatch

What’s the verdict: Watching Doctor Strange is similar to observing Alan Partridge ordering a cinema ticket over the phone.

“Inception. IN-ception. IN-SEP-SHUN. Inception…?”

Or is it Matrix, Matrix, Matrix? Or Batman Begins, Batman Begins, Batman Begins? Or Avatar: The Last – oh God no, not that one.

What Doctor Strange definitely i...

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Lucy (2014)

Lucy - Scarlett Johansson, posterDirector: Luc Besson

Writer: Luc Besson

Cast: Scarlett Johnasson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked

Cert: 15

Running time: 89mins

Year: 2014

 

As Lucy is the work of a teenager whose read some Richard Dawkins and watched a few John Woo movies, we’ve decided to publish the director’s school report…

Summary: This year Luc Besson submitted “Lucy” as his end of term project. In Lucy Scarlett Johansson plays the titular average girl, who is forced to become a drugs mule by Korean gangsters, transporting a new narcotic in her belly. The drug bag bursts when she is assaulted by Taiwanese thugs, releasing large doses into her bloodstream, making Lucy super-intelligent. She then has to defeat the gangsters, get more of the drug to survive and unlock the secrets of the universe...

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