Format: Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray
Price: $24.99 (Blu-ray) $37.99 (UHD Blu-ray)
Video: Blu-ray: 1080p (1.78:1) | Ultra HD Blu-ray: 2160p HDR (1.78:1)
Audio: Blu-ray & Ultra HD Blu-ray: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Between protests from fans, protests over casting choices, and some of the worst reviews a major film has received this year, Ghost in the Shell‘s journey to Blu-ray has been a long one that most involved with the making of the movie would like to forget.
Now that all the talk has died down, can this film find new life as a stunning showcase of your home entertainment system’s potential? Here is our review of the 2160p version of the film’s home release.
Ghost in the Shell is a 2017 American-made adaptation of the now-classic 1995 Japanese manga/animated film of the same name. It follows a woman named Mira Killian who is badly injured during a cyber terrorist attack. Because her body cannot be saved, a cybernetics organization elects to put her brain in an advanced mechanized body they intend to use as a counterterrorism operative.
This version of the original story has more in common with movies like Robocop and Blade Runner. The problem is Ghost in the Shell ultimately proves to be a pale imitation of those better movies. It has the basic plot structure and social commentary seen in Robocop but lacks that film’s charm. It’s a staggeringly beautiful movie to look at (much like Blade Runner) but most of the best visuals are barely paid any attention. Instead, the movie is more interested in getting to the next uninspired action sequences.
Scarlett Johansson tries to make the most out of a weak script, but her efforts are in vain. The special effects and set design are the real stars of the show, meaning that large chunks of the film’s script either don’t make sense or simply don’t work.
It’s a shame that Ghost in the Shell’s undeniably eye-catching visuals are wasted on a movie that tries and fails to be a thinking man’s sci-fi action film. Even if you prefer live-action over animation, there’s no reason not to stick with the original movie which succeeds in every way that this movie fails.
The Audio and Video
Thankfully, Ghost in the Shell‘s outstanding production values have survived the movie’s transition to Blu-ray. It’s the kind of transfer that makes you want to pause the film on occasion just to soak everything in. Actually, many of this disc’s biggest visual flaws can be traced back to stylistic choices within the movie itself. Aside from some intentional blurriness that dogs some heavy-light scenes, this is an absolutely stunning disc that just might be one of the best ways to test – or show off – your new 4K screen.
The audio is equally vibrant. Even the film’s unfortunately prolonged dialog sequences benefit from a crystal clear audio transfer that ensures every spoken line comes through clean. In fact, this is one of the best examples of audio balancing that I can think of. Again, the biggest flaw here is that some of the audio in the larger action sequences wasn’t that compelling to begin with.
Once again, we have another major release that lacks a single special feature worth getting excited about. There’s a 30-minute making of documentary that is serviceable and two shorter looks at the philosophy and characters of the film. In short, everything here is skippable.
Aside from those who really like the film itself and just have to own the disc, this version of Ghost in the Shell will likely appeal most to those who need a new disc to test their visual and audio set-ups with.