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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Don't Make Movies Like This Anymore...
Ghost in the Shell: Special Edition is, in my opinion, the ultimate Ghost in the Shell DVD. Even better than the 2.0 thing they've come up with, since that edition only has certain parts rendered with (I'll admit) beautiful CGI; however, they did take out some stuff that had the potential to look better.
This edition, however, does not take anything out. No...
Published 12 months ago by The Nexus

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3.0 out of 5 stars Is this the future of Cinema?
Japanese animated films are unusual. A lot more effort goes into them than for conventional western animated films. The extras on this DVD illustrate this and show that the attention to detail included the fact that when bullets were fired they sparked when they hit metal but not other surfaces. The plots are also multi dimensional and the characters more realistic...
Published on Feb. 2 2004 by Tom Munro


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Don't Make Movies Like This Anymore..., June 21 2013
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This review is from: Ghost in the Shell - Special Edition [Import] (DVD)
Ghost in the Shell: Special Edition is, in my opinion, the ultimate Ghost in the Shell DVD. Even better than the 2.0 thing they've come up with, since that edition only has certain parts rendered with (I'll admit) beautiful CGI; however, they did take out some stuff that had the potential to look better.
This edition, however, does not take anything out. No censors, no renditions that I can think of, etc. It's just the movie, and a whole disc loaded with special features including TWENTY MINUTES of nostalgic anime trailers (Neon Genesis Evangelion AND The End of Evangelion trailers playing back-to-back!). This edition also has the remastered film, which makes the amazing animation look even better, and the sound even crisper. The English voice actors all played their parts well and matched their characters, though I disagree with some other reviewers when they say Matoko sounds just a LITTLE TOO robotic. She's a cyborg. That's the point.
Now onto the film itself: it's about an omnipresent hacker nicknamed The Puppetmaster who finds a way to hack into a government official, and Major Matoko Kusanagi with her Division 9 to back her up go out to track down this 'ghost hacker'. It's basically the same storyline as the manga it's based on by Masamune Shirow, except with a few divisions of the plot, without most of the subplots. Which is a good thing, because this movie's complicated enough, and while it does get by without being TOTALLY confusing (like the manga), just remember that this time we don't have Masamune Shirow's notes to help us out.
Also, this was one of the key inspirations for The Matrix, another favourite of mine.
This is also one of the 'Big Three' anime films that introduced anime to Western audiences. Ninja Scroll and Akira are the other two, and while it's hard to pick favourites I'd have to say Ghost in the Shell is my favourite out of these three.
****1/2 out of *****
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4.0 out of 5 stars good action and story, May 4 2014
This review is from: Ghost in the Shell - Special Edition [Import] (DVD)
the action was awesome but it could have used more. The story is deep and reminded me of a mishmash of terminator, matrix, and blade runner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The one to start your collection, Jan. 27 2014
By 
Niels Hansen (Shallow Lake, ON, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
Hands down, a great anime to start a collection, with a series that follows. A provocative and action packed storyline that has a life of its own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Mamoru Oshii award winner!, Jan. 8 2013
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This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
Based on Masamune Shirow's original Manga, renowned Japanese director and screenwriter Mamoru Oshii adapts Ghost in the Shell into a full length Anime film!

Taking place in 2029, cybernetic partners Motoko Kusanagi and Batou working with Public Security Section 9 led by chief Aramaki are after an infamous hacker called The Puppet Master. This hacker has hacked into the minds of many unsuspecting victims and gets them to commit various cyber crimes. Once further into the movie, you'll find out more about this being and what his true goal and nature are. What I found satisfying was the ending where Motoko Kusanagi is looking out to the city with a smile, saying ''The net is vast and infinite'' like The Major did in the Manga. I couldn't help but smile, as well!

What I regret is not purchasing the second edition Ghost in the Shell 2.0 that had some of the scenes digitally redone in CGI. I felt the computer animation was just incredible and a big improvement.

I give this worthy Anime film five stars!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind/Body Duality Explored, Sept. 3 2003
By 
Miguel B. Llora (Bay Point, California USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
I'm hooked on anime. The movie is fantastic. Drawn in by the similarity between Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix and Matrix Reloaded, this stylistic exploration of an issue that constatnly defies resolution -- the mind/body duality -- is certainly getting a strong revisit here.
Ghost in the Shell is Kazunori Ito's futuristic vision where the confluence of the body (the shell) and the ghost (the mind) meets cyborg technology and all we are left with is angst. The film is certainly aimed at adults. I am new to the phenomenon of anime so I am still wondering about all the nudity and violence playing to a particular theme. My sense is that the intimate nature of man and machine and the particular threat that cyborg technology poses is considered real and immediate. Reference is made to the high maintenance nature of the cyborg and the technology in this movie. However, despite lines like "Aside from a slight brain augmentation, your body's almost entirely human" and "You're treated like other humans, so stop with the angst!" we are still confronted with the mind/body duality.
Framed in a stylistic space where characters like Maj. Kusanagi run after such unlikely characters as "The Puppet Master" and similarities of movies like Bladerunner and the X-Files I can't help but grin at the irony of so "western" (and I use this word cautiously here) a consideration played out in such an "eastern" space. Despite all that, Ghost in the Shell is a cinematic event and should be treated as such. With the fertile cross polination between the east and the west, who knows, we might see a new entity which is a simulacra of the androginous characters that inhabit this genre. Am I hooked? Absolutely! Can't wait for the sequel. If you have not seen this movie -- watch it! It will change your perspective on animation entirely.
Miguel Llora
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get your facts straight !, Oct. 31 2004
By 
Ryan G (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
This movies ideas do not come from the Matrix. It came out before the Matrix. They do not come from Blade Runner, but from the author Phillip K Dick. William Gibson invented the term cyberspace in his 1984-acclaimed science fiction novel Neuromancer. If you are unfamiliar with Gibson "Johnny Mnemonic" with Keanu Reaves is based on one of his short stories. All of these films can fall into the genera of cyberpunk.

Anyway this film is does what should be done with animation. It does things that otherwise would not work with a live action film. This film is very heavy on the philosophical side so for some people they may find it extremely boring. To give this film anything less then 4 stars would be a crime just because of the sheer artistry, and the amount of time spent by these people making this project.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best anime next to Akira!!, July 13 2004
This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
This anime was revolutionary, well drawn, well animated, and highly philisophocal. I love how GITS intrigues the mind with how technology has created highly sophisticated robots with human brains to make them the best replication of humans. Also, it teaches how science will never be able to define life. Lots of action, some violence, bare female robot flesh, and sophisticated thought have created a masterpiece. This not only challenged minds, but was the first animation to combine celluloid and computer animation. By the way, Paul Duet outta be beaten to death with a mace for saying Akira and GITS suck and saying that Trigun and Tenchi Muyo rule!! I also think genner outta be shot in the face with a 20-gage shotgun loaded with phosphor shells. Watch this, it's alot better than Princess Mononoke and Trigun combined!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Matrix like anime, July 5 2004
By 
M. Buisman (Amstelveen, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
Ghost in the Shell is by far the most intellectual anime I have seen so far. The story deals with a group of cyborgs running after a new sort of being, the Puppetmaster.
The animations are of course superb and even realistic. Try the Japanse voices, I heard the American and they are sometimes lacking in emotional depth and range. A little flat sometimes and that did not do good to this otherwise great movie.
If you like the Matrix, it looks a little like it. People who can hook up to the net etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest sci-fi films of all time., June 18 2004
This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
Ghost in the Shell is simply my favorite science fiction film second only to Blade Runner- Director's Cut. Which, not surprisingly, influenced this movie a great deal. I remember back in 1996.....already a full blown anime aficionado, I had followed the production of this film since the first Japanese press release and was eagerly awaiting its indefinate arrival on American shores. Having read Masamune Shirow's graphic novel that inspired the film, this became the first anime title that I ever pre-ordered and counted the days upon its release.
But the movie wasn't what I had expected. The entense action was toned down a bit. The humor in the graphic novel was entirely non-existent in the film. What was left were the deep philosophical ovetones. And I commend Mamoru Oshii for making the risky decision to focus mainly on this aspect of the story. The movie, in fact, was BETTER than I could have ever hoped.
The story seems simple even typical when described, but it's the underlining philosophical themes that make this film such a treasure.
Our protagonist is Motoko Kusanagi, an officer of a military division known as Section 9. On the trail of a Notorious hacker dubbed The Puppet Master, Kusunagi begins to question her own consciousness or "ghost" as she unravels the case.
Deep in 'noir' territory, Ghost in the Shell is definately not for the viewer who likes to check their brain at the door. You will be challenged to discover the existential nature of the characters as they discover it themselves. This is not bad filmaking rather than a forced empathy with Kusunagi that will hopefully get you contemplating some of the philosophical issues presented here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An instant classic., June 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghost in the Shell [Import] (DVD)
intellectually and visually stimulating. great shots, action, and dialogue.
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