The premiere of Rupert Sanders’ “Ghost in the Shell” adaptation is only a few weeks away, but before you see the Scarlett Johansson version, do yourself a favor and pick-up the new Blu-ray or DVD version that was released this week. The live-action film hasn’t hit theaters yet, so just how well the new adaptation holds up to the original remains to be seen, but we can say that the Paramount version has some very popular source material to live up to.
The original animated-film was an instant hit with fans back in the 1990s, and is still one of the most popular anime-features out there. The original “Ghost in the Shell” movie was directed by acclaimed director Mamoru Oshii, and should be required viewing before anyone hits the theaters. Now many say that if you want the full breakdown on the series, you will have to go to Masamune Shirow’s original graphic novels, and we won’t argue. That aside, the original film was quite popular with fans of the manga. The animated-classic was the first anime film to rank #1 on Billboard in video sales, and those sales currently total more than 1.5 million copies across the franchise. It’s also a great time to jump into the series in general, not only is the live-action adaptation set to hit theaters this month, but “Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie” recently released back 2016. This means that you will have a lot of new content to keep you busy if you enjoy the franchise. If you are completely new to all of this, and are curious to know more about the franchise, you can watch the trailer for the original “Ghost in the Shell” below.
Lionsgate also released a new, deluxe collector’s edition of the remastered original on Blu-Ray with Digital HD. This new edition features Steelbook packaging and unique Mondo artwork. The special edition is already available in retail outlets, so you can grab a copy the moment you are reading this article. You can find the special-edition on retailers like Amazon, but you will have to grab the digital-code that comes includes with he Blu-ray copy inside the case, so if you want to keep it completely sealed you’ll need to pick up two copies. Everyone wins in that scenario. Fans should be happy to know that the remaster includes Dolby 5.1 DTS-HD sound, and full-feature 1080 resolution on a 1.78:1 ratio. So the Steelbook will look great on your shelf, and the film will look great on your TV. I re-watched the film on a 3840 x 2160 UHD monitor and it was just terrific.
As for the story, the film takes place in the year 2029. Viewers will meet cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and follow along with the Internal Bureau of Investigations as they track down “The Puppet Master”. This mysterious and threatening computer virus is capable of infiltrating human hosts and must be stopped. Together, with her fellow agents from Section 9, the group embarks on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity.
The release of the limited-edition was timed to coincide with film’s release, and it gives everyone a chance to enjoy the original before Paramount’s big project hits the theaters. As for the live-action adaptation, that film was directed by Rupert Sanders and features Scarlett Johansson, Juliette Binoche and Rila Fukushima. Jamie Moss wrote the screenplay for the film, which again is based on the Masamune Shirow manga.