Ghost in the Shell appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The flick boasted a fine presentation.
At all times, sharpness excelled. Nary a sliver of softness popped up here, so the end result appeared tight and concise. Both moiré effects and jaggies remained absent, and I saw no signs of edge haloes or print flaws.
For the film’s palette, we got a definite orange and teal bent much of the time, but other hues showed up as well, with good examples of reds, pinks and purples. The Blu-ray reproduced these in a vivid, dynamic manner.
Blacks looked deep and rich, while shadows demonstrated nice delineation, as low-light shots brought out positive clarity. Everything about the image lived up to my high expectations.
I also felt happy with the solid Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Ghost. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it took good advantage of these.
From an early assault scene to chases to gunfire to explosions to other action elements, the mix filled the speakers on a frequent basis. The track placed information in logical spots and blended all the channels in a smooth, compelling manner.
Audio quality was also positive. Music sounded lively and full, while effects delivered accurate material. Those elements showed nice clarity and kick, with tight low-end. Speech was always distinctive and concise, too. This mix worked well for the film.
The earlier picture comments reflected the 2D presentation – how did the 3D version compare? In terms of quality, the 3D edition largely matched up with its 2D counterpart, but I noticed occasional instances of softness in the stereo presentation. These weren’t major, but they added a sporadic tentative impression during the 3D transfer.
As for the 3D imaging itself, Ghost tended toward something of a “pop-up book” feel. While it gave us pretty good depth, it didn’t always integrate characters and motion in an especially smooth manner. Though I thought this was a more than acceptable presentation, I’d recommend the 2D image as the superior rendition of the film.
Three featurettes fill out the disc, and these start with Hard-Wired Humanity: Making Ghost in the Shell. It runs 30 minutes, five seconds and includes notes from producers Ari and Avi Arad and Michael Costigan, director Rupert Sanders, effects supervisor Richard Taylor, costume designers Bart Mueller and Kurt Swanson, executive producer Jeffrey Silver, director of photography Jess Hall, art director Andy McLaren, weapons master Nick Komornicki, 2nd unit director/supervising stunt coordinator Guy Norris, stunt coordinator Glenn Suter, fight trainer Richard Norton, fight choreographer Tim Wong, visual effects producer Fiona Campbell Westgate, editor Neil Smith, 1995 film director Mamoru Oshii, and actors Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, “Beat” Takeshi Kitano, Daniel Henshall, Chin Han and Pete Teo.
“Humanity” discusses the source and its adaptation, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, makeup, effects and costumes, stunts, weapons and action, and editing. That’s a lot of territory for one 30-minute program, but “Humanity” handles the material well and gives us a quick but engaging overview of the production.
With the 11-minute, 29-second Section 9: Cyber Defenders, we hear from Sanders, Johansson, Han, Avi Arad, Asbaek, Kitano, Komornicki, screenwriter Jamie Moss, and actors Danusia Samal, Yutaka Izumihara, Tawanda Manyimo and Lasarus Ratuere. The show offers a few thoughts about cast and characters. :”Defenders” tends to be fairly forgettable.
Finally, Man & Machine: The Ghost Philosophy lasts 10 minutes, 36 seconds and features Sanders, Taylor, Johansson, Avi Arad, Smith, Moss, Binoche, Asbaek, and Pitt. “Machine” looks at the nature of artificial intelligence and technological elements in the movie. This turns into a decent but not especially insightful piece.
Fans who waited more than 20 years for a live-action Ghost in the Shell seem likely to feel disappointed with the end result. Despite a slew of potential positives, the 2017 film provides a largely dull, meandering tale. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio along with average bonus materials. Ghost turns into a forgettable experience.
To rate this film, visit the original review of GHOST IN THE SHELL