Friday, December 31, 2004 — New Year’s Eve

[Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence artwork]

I did very little today. Basically just took care of a few things online, and watched Hong Kong film and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

I didn’t like Innocence much, though that’s mostly due to my love of the original characters from the manga, and the movie characters deviate very far from those in the manga. And I know that the director intended to deviate. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop comparing the movie characters to the manga characters, and the movie characters just weren’t as interesting.

But that’s part of the point of the movie, which is about humans and dolls. It’s similar to the emotionally lifeless acting in 2001 which contrasts with the relatively human HAL; the humans in Ghost in the Shell seem more doll-like than the androids and dolls that have been created to reflect humanity.

But frankly, emotionless acting makes for pretty dull cinema. Combine this with a lot of visually pretty animation that frankly does nothing to push the story forward, such as the amazing parade that the protagonists pass by, and the movie turned into a series of yawns.

Now, that can be offset by good intellectual content, which Innocence does provide, but there’s not enough of it. The main problem is that the movie doesn’t provide a consistent argument; characters spout bits of moral philosophy and one-liners comparing humans to dolls, but we don’t get a sense of progression or even much sense to any of it. Yes, there are many ways one can compare and contrast humans and life-like dolls, but so what?

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