The 2017 live action version of Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, is upon us. I am a fan of the 1995 anime, though it isn’t a perfect movie. It’s a bit dry with a lot of speeches about identity and the nature of consciousness. But I still like it and have seen the anime several times. I’m also a fan of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series and I’ve read some of the original manga, which has a different tone from all the other versions of the story. This review focuses on the 2017 movie, which I think of as the “Scarjo” version.
The new live action movie basically keeps the same world and characters from all the other versions of Ghost in the Shell, more or less. It take’s place in a near future world where cybernetic implants are commonplace and people can surf the web with their minds. The main characters are the crew of Section 9, which I think of as a team of semi-military cops. OK, so maybe just cops. They can also be likened to the FBI and other federal agencies that stop crimes. In most versions of Ghost in the Shell, “the Major” – usually named Motoko Kusanagi – is the central protagonist, although the Scarjo version calls her Mira Killian. Each version of the story pits the Major and the rest of Section 9 against opponents with advanced computer hacking abilities that allow them to infect cybernetic human beings with viruses, new memories, and all that scary stuff.
So now for the big question: Did the live 2017 Ghost in the Shell Scarjo version of the movie suck?
No, it turns out that The Dark Knight Rises is not a porno featuring Anne Hathaway in a fetish costume. Dammit. But it is the latest, and probably last, installment in a series of Batman movies that sucked way less than the ones we got back in the nineties. Oh, and to anyone who thinks Jack Nicholson was a better Joker than Heath Ledger, please stop talking to me. My faith in humanity has been challenged enough without that crap on my mind. Seriously, don’t make me destroy you.
So was the The Dark Knight Rises any good? What’s up with that Bane guy? Did Jim Carrey appear as the Riddler and ruin the whole film with a closeup of his batch? And most importantly, did Anne Hathaway get nude? (Spoiler alert: Disappointed!!!!)
Why, some may ask, am I poking fun at sad little Star Trek: Enterprise now? Can’t I just let it die in peace? Well no, as a matter of fact, I can’t! I’m sorry, but it was on for four God-awful years and I can count the number of watchable episodes on one hand! I kept waiting and hoping, but nothing! So I’ve got demons to expel. Besides, I can easily poke fun at anything Star Trek and I’m determined to do just that.
Guys, don’t take my dreams away. Some days, they’re all I have. ::Sniff::
Now let’s talk brass tacks. Why did Star Trek: Enterprise suck so bad? The answer is simple: the characters were awful. They were as bland as your mom’s unsweetened vanilla yogurt. Or your dad’s idea of porn (it’s called Baywatch, not Fuckwatch, Dad!). Yes, it was that bland. Note: that’s on the Star Trek scale of bland!
“But Star Trek is awesome!” some of you will say. “You must be jealous, Geek!”
Sure I am. Feel better? Good. Where was I? Oh, that’s right. Still tearing your favorite franchise a new one! Let the exorcism begin.
My wife and I saw The Hunger Games recently. I had just read the novel and wanted a movie to poke fun at because I hadn’t done a mean-spirited review in a while. (Dammit all to hell and stuff.) So, like a serial killer in need of a fix, I eagerly stalked The Hunger Gameswith a club in my hand and a twinkle in my eye. Hey, I just wanted to make someone cry. Is that so wrong?
Religions have spent eons honing defenses that keep outside information away from insiders. The innermost ring wall is a set of certainties and associated emotions like anxiety and disgust and righteous indignation that block curiosity. The outer wall is a set of behaviors aimed at insulating believers from contradictory evidence and from heretics who are potential transmitters of dangerous ideas. These behaviors range from memorizing sacred texts to wearing distinctive undergarments to killing infidels. Such defenses worked beautifully during humanity’s infancy. But they weren’t really designed for the current information age.