The Americanized remake of anime classic Ghost in the Shell finally crashes into theaters this Friday, like a bodysuit-clad Scarlett Johansson bursting through a glass window, guns blazing. While Paramount has managed to delay advance reviews by cancelling many press screenings (which is, traditionally, a bad sign), that has done little to deter the fans’ many burning questions. What secrets are being hidden from Major Motoko Kusanagi, and by whom? What are the tactical advantages of clothes that appear to be made of shrink-wrap? Will the movie be racist, and if so, how racist is it going to be? Why is English trip-hop musician Tricky in the film? Truly, The Ghost in the Shell is rich with secrets.
One thing’s for sure about the new Ghost in the Shell movie: There’s gonna be a whole lot of cyber. Cybercrime, cyber-people, there all is cyber. The plot hinges around, among other things, an android with a human mind investigating a string of brain-hacking crimes that leads her to a bunch of realizations about the nature of consciousness and humanity. Ghost in the Shell imagines a world where the line between human and machine is blurred almost to the point of nonexistence, with corporations selling body-augmentation technology amongst colleagues at fancy dinners. That’s where the opening of the movie finds Major, played by Scarlett Johansson, surveilling a corporate meeting that goes terribly wrong.
The whitewashing controversy surrounding Ghost in the Shell may keep it from becoming 2017’s big box office hit, despite how faithfully the filmmakers have recreated some of the most visually-arresting scenes from the 1995 original. It’s a bummer that Motoko Kusanagi is now Mara Killian because the movie looks absolutely gorgeous, as evidenced in this new clip, which takes its cues directly from an iconic scene in the original.
Could this be it? Could Rough Night be the hilarious female ensemble comedy successor to Bridesmaids? A handful of films have made that promise since 2011; few have succeeded, many have disappointed, but Rough Night seems like a real winner based on this great red band trailer — appropriately released on International Women’s Day, no less. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Ilana Glazer and Jillian Bell, you could hardly ask for a better ensemble of funny women.
Female-driven comedies are having what they call a “moment.” It’s like after Bridesmaids came out, studios discovered, hey, women can be funny too! The latest of these lady-driven entertainments is Rough Night, formerly titled Rock That Body (possibly renamed because of copyright issues with one Justin Timberlake), starring Scarlett Johansson, SNL’s Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer, and Jillian Bell, and Sony just released a first look.
Now that March is officially part of the summer movie season, the deluge of blockbuster marketing has started earlier than ever. We used to be able to wait until the summer to comb through a batch of brand new television spots for new footage from upcoming releases; instead, with Ghost in the Shell landing at the end of this month, we’re being treated to the same escalating series of theatrical trailers and short television spots. No wonder the climate seems to be changing so rapidly: if Mother Nature gets her news from basic cable, she’d be forgiven for thinking it’s almost Fourth of July weekend.
Blockbuster movie season is officially upon us, kicking off this week with the release of Logan and continuing all month long with a flurry of major (no pun intended) titles: Beauty and the Beast, Kong: Skull Island, and, last but far from least, Ghost in the Shell — the live-action remake starring Scarlett Johansson, who has surprisingly (but delightfully) become the queen of sci-fi. We’re unlikely to get a new trailer between now and the end of March, but how about some new motion posters to help you get acquainted with the film’s cast of characters?
SNL didn’t quite have its ducks in a row with the announcement that Hidden Figures star Octavia Spencer would lead the first March show; lacking a musical guest to accompany. Now, not only has NBC filled out the March 4 dance card, but so too will Scarlett Johannson make a return appearance the following week.
With increasing pressure on studios to hype their big blockbusters as much as possible before their release, some are pulling out some new tricks to keep the wave of excitement flowing. Paramount has announced that it’s offering a free preview, in IMAX, of Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell, in fourteen cities nationwide before the film officially hits theaters.
The government is not to be trusted, not at present and certainly not in the trippy future Japan of Ghost in the Shell. Major Motoko Kusanagi (Scarlett Johansson) has been led to believe that she endured some manner of terrible accident in life, and the police department salvaged her body by augmenting it with cybernetic implants. In exchange for a second chance at consciousness, all she has to do is devote herself to fearlessly cleaning the street of crime and to surrender what’s left of her free will; naturally, she has some doubts about this. And when she meets an enigmatic stranger warning her that all is not what it seems, her whole understanding of who the bad guys are starts to shift.