Set in a world where people are enhanced with technology, "Ghost In The Shell" follows Major (Johansson), who believes she was rescued from near death. The first of her kind, Major is a human mind inside an artificial body designed to fight the war against cyber-crime. While investigating a dangerous criminal, Major makes a shocking discovery––the corporation that created her lied about her past life in order to control her. Unsure what to believe, Major will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery of her true identity and exact revenge against the corporation she was built to serve. Based on the comic "Ghost In The Shell" by Shirow Masamune. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes "Hard-Wired Humanity" (HD 30:05), "Section 9: Cyber Defenders" (HD 11:29) and "Man & Machine: The Ghost Philosophy" (HD 10:36); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 1.78:1 1080p MVC 3D picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa 65 camera system in Super Panavision 70 and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The 3D conversion was performed by Prime Focus Creative Services and is one of the best, natural 3D experiences converted from 2D to date. With such visual quality and realism to be had with a well-crafted 3D presentation, it is sad to see studios fading out 3D releases on home media and cutting review copies of 3D Blu-ray Disc releases. "Ghost In The Shell" is an exemplary 3D Blu-ray, proving that 3D is a viable format capable of producing excellent images. The 3D presentation is depth focused with the result that the production design is enhanced throughout. There are incredible dimensional images of holographic displays floating within city vistas with natural and realistic scale between building façades and the huge holographic signs and markings that engulf them. The city streets are full of 3D goodies to explore. While depth is striking, there are some sporadic, and jolting elements that appear to extend out of screen's front, such as debris in the form of small particles and shattering glass seen in slow-motion during the movie's first major action scene. Overhead city shots reveal protruding digitally projected graphics and building tops. The entire movie delivers a visually stunning 3D palette. Resolution is excellent throughout. Complex city streets and cityscapes reveal no shortage of impressive texturing. All manner of implant and body structural nuances are finely detailed, as well as facial features, skin pores, hair, beards, clothing, and body suits and object textures. The color palette, by design, is generally drab and dark with vivid spots of popping saturated hues. Yet fleshtones retain a realistic naturalness under various lighting conditions. Contrast, within the context of the overall darkness of the production design and cinematography, is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Minor jagged edges and image shimmering can be noticed upon careful viewing, but the story and action flow is so captivating that they never intrude on the viewing experience. As a 3D visual experience, this is one of the best thus far produced, and it perfectly complements the futurist themes of technology enhancing one's physiological processes and senses. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack delivers virtually non-stop action with intense gunfire and rocket propelled explosions––all aggressively panned or positioned in the four surrounds. Throughout, the sound of destruction from the numerous gun battles is dynamic and exciting. Sonic depth is often impressive as bullets zip from channel to channel within the soundfield. Toward the end, a monstrous robotic spider tank fires on Major with its rapid firing and follows her every move to escape, sending out the sounds of shrapnel and debris throughout the soundfield. Atmospherics are convincing and engulf the soundfield. Sound effects, other than those that define the gun battles, often are nuanced, such as the proceedings defining the creation of artificial body implants. Such nuanced pinpoint sound effects are effectively positioned across the soundstage. Of course, deep bass is prevalent throughout with extensive impact to sub-25 Hz in the .1 LFE channel. Throughout, Foley sound effects are convincingly realistic. The electronic music score occupies a wide and deep soundstage and extends aggressively to all four surrounds. Dialogue is consistently intelligible and generally well integrated spatially.
The Immersive Sound element is effective in numerous scenes. During the cityscape panning, a complexity of sound effects are heard, including swooping sounds. Other distinctive sound effects are dripping water, shattering glass, running footsteps, gunfire, a helicopter, whizzing vehicle sounds, voices, sound effects representing brain fusion, city crowd sounds, punches and other body blows, swooping laser light sweeps, echoed voices, harbor sounds, thunder, an alarm sound, a baby crying, birds chirping, a directionalized robotic spider tank movement and rocket fire, falling debris, underwater turbulence, and wind. The electronic music score also is present throughout at varying SPL. Additional overhead engagements are numerous indescribable ambient sound effects, all adding up to an effective Immersive Sound enhancement.
This is a very well-crafted, reference-quality soundtrack with impressive soundfield dynamics and holosonic® depth and spherical surround dimensionality, with excellent fidelity. (Gary Reber)