Blurbarella: “MOST– UNDERRATED– PIECE OF MASTERY– IN ALL FLESH-BAG CINEMA: Rupert Sanders’ adaptation of visionary mangaka Masamune Shirow’s books and of prophetic filmmaker Mamoru Oshii’s influential movie — “GHOST IN THE SHELL” from Year-of-Human-Occupation 2017.– FINALLY, A HEROINE THAT REPRESENTS THE ANDROID EXPERIENCE!!! #SCARLETTWASROBBED #OSCARSSOHUMAN”
Hank: Someone do me a favor and please dial back the Enthusiasm on Blurbarella’s settings? I heartily give “Ghost in the Shell” a Cherry on the grounds that it has 1) fantastic cityscapes, 2) exciting and frequent action scenes, and 3) a plot that I could follow because it wasn’t entirely composed of talking cartoon heads sputtering out pseudo-philosophical cyber-gibberish. The original anime only hit TWO of those targets. You can guess which ones.
Beatricia: This adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell” serves but one purpose: to make it so that I can get a sense for the “Ghost in the Shell” franchise without having to expose myself to some seizure-inducing cartoon about rapist robot ninjas, or whatever it is that the Japanese allow their offspring to watch. No Cherry.
Trent: I had hoped this movie might allow Scarlett Johansson to fully expand the full range of her boobs in cinema, a process that had gone from “Her” (whaddafu, you don’t see ScarJo at all!) to “Lucy” (tight top) and culminated in “Under the Skin” (YES!) But “Ghost in the Shell” goes pretty extra, with Scarlett O’Hottie taking off her clothes every time she makes a grand entrance. “Time to throw myself off the 50th floor? OFF GO MY CLOTHES! Time to buy cantaloupes at the supermarket? BYE BYE, TRENCH COAT!” Therefore, Cherry!
Tracey: WHITE WASHING! IT IS WASHED WITH WHITENESS! THE WHITENESS DRIPS FROM IT! NO CHERRY.
Hank: But, kiddo, you barely watched the movie! Didn’t you see all the Asian actors? Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese! Looks like half of Hong-Kong was put to work as extras! Ok, fine those were probably holograms. But still!
Cousin Franz: “Ghost in the Shell” is one of the most inoffensive, by-the-number entertainments to ever create pre-release controversy. There is merit in questioning whether a movie that tackles issues of identity should have cast an American actress as, basically, a Japanese woman inside a synthetic Western-ish cage. But “Ghost in the Shell” makes that the only addition to the original that justifies its existence: Nation and ethnicity disappearing due to globalization is one of the few philosophical issues NOT discussed in the manga (and one I don’t necessarily see as a negative progress.) Those who preemptively determined to see L. A. whiteness in the casting were ignoring a deliberately diverse group of international actors ( Japanese “Beat” Takeshi Kitano; French Juliette Binoche; Danish Pilou Asbaek; Singaporean Chin Han ) in a story meant to sell tickets on a massive international level. “Ghost in the Shell” did only fittingly in that aspect. As a live-action American adaptation of an anime movie, though? It’s easily the best in a field that threatens to grow as grotesque and disturbing as Tetsuo’s body at the end of Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Akira.” Brave souls who don’t believe me should feel free to check out the “Dragonball Evolution” live-action movie. Yes, THAT exists, and you know it exists too; it’s just you’ve altered your code to repress the memories of James “Spike” Marsters playing Lord Piccolo.
Tracey: NO! Scarlett Johansson is WHIIIIITE! The original character was AN ASIAN WOMAN! End of conversation!
Trent: I ain’t no nerd or nothing, but the original character was a “synthetic full-body prosthesis augmented-cybernetic human.” Also she was a cartoon from a fake future. It’s not like this is Yoko Ono’s biopic. (For which they’ll cast Emma Stone, of course.)
Tracey: They couldn’t find a single Japanese actress interested?!? White people play white people; Japanese people play Japanese people!!! Simple!!!
Grandpa Felicius: Tracey, for once you’ve shown good judgment, as befitting your true Picksherrian merits. I quite concur with you. Scarlett Johansson is indeed thoroughly white, a woman of pure Danish blood, (well, with a smidge of Hebrew, but perfection is the province of few). To see her in abject degradation, to see her forced to play a role best suited to an Oriental… is THIS the legacy of hybrid sanguinity granted to us by globalization? Is THIS why I courageously waded through the warm waters of the beaches of Iwo Jima (while vacationing there in 1977)? NO! It is exactly as you said: “White people play with white people, Japanese people play with Japanese people.” Or as I more sonorously phrase it: WHITES AND YELLOWS MUST NOT BE FELLOWS!
Tracey: WHOA!!! WHAT THE— That’s not what I was saying, Grandpa Felicius!!! GAAAHHHH!!!
Grandpa Felicius: I merely agreed with you? I confess to confusion, then.
Blurbarella: “SHELL SHALL RULE! 6 OUT OF 6 CHERRIES!”
Grandpa Felicius: Accurate tally of Cherries suggests 3 out of 6 Cherries.