25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2006
I went to see this film in the cinema in France out of curiosity and I was blown away by it. The animation is absolutely superb; a faultless mix of 2D cartoon characters with realistic 3D CGI backgrounds and objects. It sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does, in fact on several occasions I even forgot I was watching an animated film!
As for the story, although it seems like every other line is a proverb, it is very thought-provoking and will keep you thinking long after you have watched it. It deals with existence, humanity , animals, memories and artificial intelligence. Prior knowledge of the story isn't necessary - there is a brief recap at the beginning. Having since watched the first installment, I can safely say that, while the first film had great animation for its time, this version is infinitely better visually and, I might add, has no gratuitous breast shots or close-ups.
Ghost In The Shell Innocence is of a different style to the first film; it has fewer action scenes, focusing more on visuals and the numerous dilemmas thrown up by the question of artificial intelligence, human rights and the laws of robotics. That's not to say that there isn't tension or excitement. A gunfight with the yakuza and souless robot drones are also thrown into the mix. I'm not a fan of anime, but I loved this film - highly recommended.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2007
The first thing I ought to say here is that if you expect a similar film to the first Ghost In The Shell, you're going to be disappointed. However, if you want a more thought-provoking, visually involved film then you're definitely in the right place.
As I've said, it's not much like the first film. Although the plot retains the same pacing and tension, and the visuals are in the same style, the star of the previous film (the Major) is mostly absent, and instead the plot focuses on Batou, her former police partner. There is still the odd fight scene, but mainly this film focuses on what happens between the violence. Some people may find this offputting, but many will appreciate this change of focus, particularly in an anime film.
However, the film is not worse because of this. Innocence gives insight into a very different mind; this is reflected in the more philosophical plot, and bleaker locales. It develops characters in a far more subtle way to the original, which was fairly subtle already, and gives a genuine insight into the viewer's own life- more so than any other film I have seen.
The imagery used in Innocence is definitely among the greatest that I have seen. The blend of 2D cel animation and 3D CG materials is seamless and they always complement one another to a very high degree. The music is also used to great effect, and the ending theme suits the film perfectly.
Although this is very different to its predecessor, it is still a breathtaking masterpiece, which will stay with you for a very long time. If you haven't seen the original, or if violence is all that it takes to satisfy you, there isn't much here to like. But for everyone else this is a essential purchase.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2013
Being a blind Ghost in the Shell fan willing to spend money on something I already own, I bought this. It contains both the first and second Ghost in the Shell films, as well as the Ghost in the Shell 2.0 remakey thing, on Blu-ray. I didn't care at all for 2.0, finding the CGI to add nothing to it, so just turn to the original instead.
My version came with a cardboard slip and the two films in their respective Blu-Ray cases, which appears to be different to what others have received.
Buying these two bundled together is cheaper than buying them separate, so it's a great buy. There seems to be some confusion, so just for the record: the original Ghost in the Shell film is included as well as the 2.0 edition.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2011
An excellent price combined with a proper dubbed track from the English voice cast from GITS: SAC make this purchase a no brainer. Plays on US Blu ray disc (I have played both discs on my Sony BDP-S570) When the lowest price on GITS 2 on the US site is $149.96 new and $115 used makes the purchase of the UK version of these films by a Colonist, such as myself, a must. And yes the subtitle track for GITS 2 is nonsensical compaired to the US subs but I didn't buy it for the subs I bought it for the great dub track.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2007
"Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble." - Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence -
Filled with puzzling quotes, this one being crystal clear - No ties, no goals, no control, no purpose. An apt phrase written on the walls of a lunatic ex-hacker's home. As a sequel with a deep and frighteningly thought provoking storyline, GITS2:I is best viewed with the experience of viewing (and understanding) the first Masamune Shirow film, because while it could work as a stand alone film, there are several references, returning characters and themes that are best grasped beforehand.
"When dialog fails, it's time for violence"
Those familiar with the original film from 1995 will be fairly better off interpreting the story here, as Batou, a beast of a heavily machine augmented man, struts about his police unit with his new partner, Togusa, often taking the law into his own hands when he deems fit. Even when troubling crimes arise, his attitude stays largely the same. The crimes in question are grim and the reasons behind them even worse - most likely why the film has a over 15's rating. Set in 2032, mankind has implemented machines into everyday life, more importantly, machines that ressemble the appearance of humans. This is the creepy theme that runs through the film, questioning a humans need for its creations to ressemble the creator. GITS2:I reveals the harsh but inevitable truth that these androids (gynoids) are being created for far sinister purposes than to aid in the workplace. As the title suggests, these machines are inhabited by the 'ghosts' or essence of the people they once were or resembled. However when a series of these machines malfunction and commit gruesome crimes, Batou and Togusa are called up to figure out just what the hell is going on. The one thing these gynoids have in common? They're all sex dolls. So when the crime syndicate, the Yakuza are revealed to be involved in the kidnapping of young girls, the situation becomes even more dire. The story is intriguing and unsettling, but unfortunately let down whenever a conversation lasts over 5 minutes.
"Just as luck appears in three, so does misfortune."
This is when the visual come into question - as this film is very well received thanks to its glorious CGI integration with the animation, its obvious that its where all the budget went. Many conversations are dreerily held in dark rooms with 2 or 3 people talking, with a mouth moving and the occasional blink. This is the problem in my eyes, because all the animations of movement looks fantastically smooth, but there are so many times when everyone stays completely still whilst the they dish out pages of dialogue thats as dim as the lifeless pictures. The surroundings in particular look devine, with bright neon signs outside, lighting up the night sky and classy roll's royce style cars polluting the roads. The design of the gynoids is menacingly awesome as their eyes glow and all seem to loo like geishas. My personal favourite graphics where scenes with Batou's dog. That's right, the most inappropriate, unnecessary aspect of the film. The director makes it personal as he has the same breed of dog (a Basset Hound) and makes sure all the visuals with the dog very well done, and as a dog owner myself, I can see the attraction and similarities. Conversations aside, the action scenes normally contain anime character designs and extremely detailed CGI surroundings, blending together seamlessly.
"No, I'll lead. You're so damned big, I can't cover you!"
Being totally honest, I like the idea of the film more than watching it - kind of makes me sleepy - and at 100 minutes, I believe it is too long for what's in store, almost as if some scenes are used as filler and not relative. There's also several sayings, mainly from Batou, that just sound a bit silly really such as: "no matter how far a jackass may travel, it will never return as a horse." and "When there is no right or wrong it's time to beat the drums and attack". The case may say 'from the makers of spirited away and howl's moving castle' but this isn't a legitimate fact as Studio Ghibli films are renown for their stories, so the creators are behind the visuals more than anything else. The music though is just spine tingling as before, with the same theme song used again - a chillingly beautiful Min'y' 'Japanese Wedding' song supposed to ward of evil influences. Also, the CGI interludes (with the aforementioned song) are visually dazzling, if a little mental with its parade balloons, performers and machines.
Double Disc Set DVD Features
-Sneak Peaks for GITS series
-Interview with director
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2006
First things first. This is Manga UK's best DVD release, by far. Forget past efforts with horrible picture (e.g. Macross Plus). I watched this on widescreen HDTV coupled with progressive scan DVD player. The image is 1:85 widescreen / fullscreen, beautiful, crisp without a flaw. The package is rich with extras and comes in a nicely printed case.
Good job Manga UK! Let's hope you stick to this kind of quality, from now on.
Now, on to the film itself. The simplest thing to say is that if you're a fan of Masamune Shirow and /or Mamoru Oshii you will absolutely love this movie (like I did). Other's, especially those unfamiliar with serious Japanese anime, might find it a bit heavy-handed.
It is certainly visually extravagant. The city parade sequence is particularly well executed. Every design exhibits such artistic care and attention to detail that is simply awe inspiring. Mechanical designs are so well done you can visualize production lines in some factory actually putting these androids together, in real life. Some scenes are very reminescent of "Blade Runner", as well.
This movie takes its time and is very demanding on the viewer. It is a slow, deeply philosophical film. There are a few action sequences but in general, this is a film meant to be viewed repeatedly, each iteration revealing more layers and new insights into the minds of its creators.
An amazing effort, that is more classroom material than pop-corn fodder.
Prepare to be dazzled.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2006
This is a film packed with many deep meanings and symbolic languages. Because of its multi-layered nature it will be hard to notice and digest all the fine details and informations it contains at a single viewing.
The director Mamoru Osii has said in one of his interviews that he deliverately made things obscure and hard to understand because he wanted to challenge the viewer to think and reflect on what they have seen, and heard in the film.
I will suggest you watch it once, then watch the interview included in the pack, and read other people's opinions and interpretations on the net (I reccomend you to see the article in Wikipedia too), and having done that come back to the film and watch it again. I promise you that you will be able to see it in a completely new light.
Osii wanted people to interepret the film in their own way, and for it to become personally meaningful to them.
For me among other things this film struck as about the life of the protagonist, Batou. Batou is a man who has a body which is almost all mechanized except a bit of brain, and who can only affirm his existence as a a human by the knowledge of his"ghost", the memory of Motoko, and his dog Gabriel(which is a fully warm-blooded creature completely free from mechanization)For me Osii suggests the way to survive in this modern age when we are increasingly isolating ourselves from society, and begining to lose awareness of our physical body as our life has began to center around the non-physical world of internet.
Lastly as I understand both Japanese and English I would like to give you a few informations about the translation. I think the script for English dub is good, but there are still many words which have been changed. Personally it was interesting for me because I seemed to discover the different side to the film when I switched from one language to another. The English subtitle however is worse than bad; it probably needed to cut back words due to the lack of space.The English voice actors are good, although Kim sounded more sinister in the original Japanese version (especially when he laughed!)
The film is on its own a work of art, with beautiful imagery and evocative music. This film is not for everyone (the director said that himself) but it has certainly had a profound effect on me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2013
This double-br pack is a great deal, especially considering the low price.
So, as many people were asking, what you get is:
GITS 2.0 disc:
GITS 2.0 - MPEG-4 AVC + DTS-HD MA 6.1 English & Japanese + LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese) + English subtitles
GITS - MPEG-4 AVC + LPCM 2.0 English & Japanese + English subtitles
MPEG-4 AVC + DTS-HD MA 5.1 English, Japanese & Spanish + LPCM 2.0 Catalan + English & Spanish subtitles
The original GITS is low quality transfer as mentioned by others, but it's still nice to have it as a bonus feature.
Also, picture on both GITS 2.0 and Innocence is a bit grainy (which isn't bad, just not everyone likes that). There are some additional bonus features on both discs, eg making-ofs and interviews.
Oh, and the English audio is really well done, but English subtitles on Innocence are indeed bad, can't say anything about the Spanish ones though.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2009
I honestly don't understand how Manga stuffed the subtitles up. The DVD release was fine. As a previous reviewer noted, Locus Solus was referred to as "Rox" - but they neglected to mention this was only for the first hour of the film. The last half hour they sorted it out.
The first hour of subtitles were just filled with so many glaring errors it'd take me half a day to table them all. But for a few examples:
- When Togusa was introducing Batou to Haraway (and yes they got her name wrong too - Haraday in the subs, Haraway in the spoken version (Japanese and English dub), they posed Togusa's intro as a question to Haraway. Eg "Who is this scary character?", rather than an interrupted intro "And this scary chacter is..."
- When Batou got out of the car with Ishikawa when discussing dog food Ishikawa was talking, reiterating that the wet food is bad. They subtitled it as Batou saying "ok I will try the dry food". Batou was not even speaking.
- When they are called to the murder scene, they say "The victim was an inspector". An inspector of what? They left off "of Locus Solus", which was in the dub and original audio track, as well as the DVD subtitles.
The subtitles are unforgivable rubbish.
Image wise, it was a pretty good reproduction. I've heard others mention compression artefacts on backgrounds but I did not notice any. I did notice noicable banding on the gold haze around the Innocence opening title, which was not present on the DVD.
If you are a sub viewer, avoid this as all costs. If you like dubs, this is probably OK for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2007
For me I feel Innocence suffered in the same way as the Matrix Sequals. Both Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix were good action films with a bit of subtle philosophising if you wished to pick up on it (which I did) however as this had been made an important part of the origionals due to it's excellent (subtle) handling, the sequals therefore felt the need to retain this but they struggled with how to handle it.
In the Matrix sequals they just talk really quickly so that you don't (immediately) realise they are just waffling. With GITS: Innocence, the philospohy looses it's subtlty and a lot of it just seems to be cliched staments rather than anything that made me go off and ponder as the origional did.
Regarding the rest of the film although it is in the univesre of the first film, I found the storyline to be closer to the TV series, this may have come from the mixture of CGI and cell animation. Although both were visually brillant I would have preferred the directors to have picked one format and stuck with it. In saying that though, they did handle it well with the switch to CGI being used for visual asides and ambience moments whilst the charcter shots use cell art.
In Summary this is a sequal and falls into the trap of trying to follow up a brilliant origional. Although it is not as good as Ghost in the Shell, it is still a good enough film to enjoy a few times as long as you are not expecting the mastery shown in the origional