"Ghost In The Shell" is set in 2029. A female cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of "The Puppet Master," a mysterious and threatening computer virus capable of infiltrating human hosts. Together with her fellow agents from Section 9, Kusanagi embarks on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Mary Claypool (Animation Writer and English Language Scriptwriter), Eric Calderon (Animation Producer and Writer), Richard Epcar (Voice of "Batou) and Charles Solomon (Animation Historian and Critic); four featurettes: "Accessing Section 9: 25 Years Into The Future" (HD 18:42), "Landscapes & Dreamscapes—The Art And Architecture Of Ghost In The Shell" (HD 10:50), "Production Report" (HD 27:04) and "Digital Works" (HD 29:34); theatrical trailers and a digital code.
The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was animated digitally and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Picture quality is not consistent. The animation is very simple with virtually no textural detail. Colors are rendered basically natural, if a bit undersaturated with no exaggeration in hue density. Reds are the most vibrant. Contrast is excellent with deep black outlines and shadings along with shaded shadows. Resolution is good but limited to the sharpness of the line drawings. Overall, this is a stylized animated feature that exhibits no really impressive visuals. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is available in both the original Japanese language and the dubbed English language version, as well as the original Japanese stereo version in uncompressed LPCM. The best element is the orchestral score, which delivers dimensionality across the soundstage, extending to the surround field as well as to the height layer. The music is comprised of Japanese instrumentation along with traditional strings. Bass extension is deep in the .1 LFE channel, and supportive sound effects are at times powerful in articulation and energy. Various computerized sounds are frequent. Ambience sound effects are realistic. A helicopter overhead immerses the soundfield. Foley sound effects are generally well synchronized with the proceedings. The English ADR dialogue is nicely integrated spatially and at times directionalized. The Puppet Master voice totally envelops the soundfield with totally immersive height enhancement. This is an excellent holosonic® spherical surround soundtrack that will thrill fans. (Gary Reber)