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 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 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 (not 4K) format (even though photographed in 5K). As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. While not exhibiting the impressive depth of the 3D presentation, the spatial qualities of the production design are effectively revealing. 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 visual goodies to explore. Overhead city shots provide a sense of protruding digitally projected graphics and building tops. The entire movie delivers a visually stunning palette. Resolution is excellent throughout, including the CGI elements. 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 WCG 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. HDR contrast, within the context of the overall darkness of the production design and cinematography, is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Further, lighting effects are intensely bright, enhancing the overall dynamic contrast. WOW! segments include 00:08:13 to 00:09:10, 00:15:54 to 00:16:17, 00:36:54 to 00:37:44, 00:46:47 to 00:48:10, 01:22:46 to 01:23:13, and 01:28:11 to 01:29:48. Overall, the picture exhibits impressive clarity and sharpness, as well as pristine imagery. This is a stunning visual experience, 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)