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DVD Review

DVD cover

Ghost in the Shell


Starring (voice): Akio Ohtsuka, Atsuko Tanaka and Kouichi Yamadera
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 October 2009

The year is 2029 and a female government cyber agent and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of a "The Puppet Master", a computer virus capable of invading cybernetic brains and altering the memories of its victims. Created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and codenamed "Project 2501", this "hacker" is actually a prototype virtual agent which has now defied its makers by seeking asylum within a new host body outside of the electronic net. Now the two agencies must manoeuvre against each another in a violent, high-tech race to capture the omnipresent entity...

Director Mamoru Oshii has revisited his original movie to create a new "director's cut" in the form of Ghost in the Shell 2.0. Containing over 90 altered and enhanced scenes and an all-new soundtrack that includes dialogue re-recorded by the original actors (with the exception of one new voice cast member who adds a unique spin to the plot), this new release allows fans to see this film as the director intended (or so the press release says).

While the jury's still out on whether the reworked animation actually adds that much to the overall story, what is plain is that the actual plot is paper thin. If you've seen one Ghost in the Shell story you've seen them all. Yes, it tries to be clever. Yes it tries to be deep. But in the end it just comes across as a little pretentious. I was also not overly taken by the switch in animation styles. One minute it's CGI, the next traditional animation... it just became too distracting after a while. For me the animation is there to tell a story, not to stand out and make you go: "Wow!".

For some strange reason there are no extras on the DVD - even though the few extras that are included on the Blu-ray edition would have easily fitted on the DVD. To be honest, with such a bare bones release I'm surprised they have the check to charge £20.

Fans of the original may want to take a look, though everyone else may find this a rather bland offering.


Nick Smithson

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