Despite its low box office numbers and numerous negative reviews, I am one of the few that actually liked this live-action take on the famous anime franchise and saw it for what it is, an awesome sci-fi police thriller with plenty of action and amazing special effects. As I told our friends at Paramount, I was waiting for the 4K UHD release the day I saw this at theaters, and now it’s here with the Ghost in the Shell 4K Blu-ray. As I predicted, the film looks and sounds even better than I hoped and is the best way to watch this epic sci-fi piece in or out of your shell.
Hopefully you’ve read my review earlier in the year when I watched this at the movies. There you’ll find the plot details, my take on the theatrical presentation, and such. With that out of the way, I’m left to go on about this release, its special features, and so on. As with my experience at the movies, I enjoyed watching this again at home, and probably even more so this time around thanks to checking it out in 4K UHD. The visuals and sound come alive and capture every detail perfectly, with the HDR colors looking beautiful and precise as always. I also love the Dolby sound booming through my theater setup whenever the action got intense, which is quite often during this movie.
The special features are few, but what’s included is pretty awesome. “Hard-Wired Humanity” is a nice feature that sits down with some of the cast and crew as they discuss the making of the movie, the 1995 anime movie it’s based on and how it compares, and other behind the scenes footage. “Section 9: Cyber Defenders” goes into the characters and their unique personalities, as well as their cybernetic enhancements. I only wished that more of the secondary characters had a bigger part to play in the film, but here’s hoping against hope that a sequel can somehow be made with them having bigger roles. Lastly there’s “Man & Machine: The Ghost Philosophy” which talks about one of the biggest things that pulled me into Ghost in the Shell and its many movies and series, which is the thought of using science to give people a new body and/or enhancements, but at what cost? It also goes into how technology today is getting ever closer to making this kind of science fiction no longer fiction.
Now that Ghost in the Shell is available on home video, I really hope people who turned their noses up at it for all sorts of reasons will give it a chance and see it for what it is, a cool, cyberpunk action film that stimulates the mind without ever being dull. To me, it felt like watching a great police procedural with sci-fi technology thrown in along with great special effects, casting, and well-done action parts. Please do yourself a favor and come out of the shell to pick up this ghostly good time of a film.