We Made You a New Body. A Synthetic Shell. But Your Mind, Your Soul, Your “Ghost,” It’s Still In There: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

We made you a new body. A synthetic shell. But your mind, your soul, your “ghost,” it’s still in there.

So I had never seen this film before but my sister wanted to watch it during our Dystopian Future film fest during the beginning of shelter in place. I did remember the film as the controversy was huge. People were extremely upset over them casting Scarlet Johansson instead of an Asian actress, then getting mad when they tried to CGI a more Asian face, and so on.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

 

So I watched this and…I hated this.

I was so bored fell asleep halfway through and then tried to watch it again, but just couldn’t connect to it. I couldn’t even tell what was going on.

I watched the anime film and that was much, much better. It is a high concept but it was understandable and much easier to follow. I was riveted to that story.

The biggest problem with this film was Scarlet Johansson. She was horrible.

She was so wooden and acted robotic. I don’t know if the director was overcompensating for making her not Asian and trying to say it wasn’t about race, if it was because of the CGI they planned to add and removed, if she just struggled with being robotic in her body and voice instead of just focusing on the voice like in Her. I mean there is a way to have a person be a robot/cyborg and still be able to connect to them and understand what they are experiencing and going through. Look at Robocop, look at the Terminator, etc. All those were much better depictions. I don’t know where the blame truly lies-director or actress, all I know it was awful…just a mess.

I don’t know…

I also felt the story really strayed from the original concept and became like a ripoff of Robocop meets Blade Runner.

It just was a big mess, and I’d skip it.

For more Dystopian Future films, go to Any Longer Out On That Road and I’m One of Them, You Know? A Terminal Crazy…: Mad Max (1979)

For more cyborgs, go to This is a Bad One, the Worst Yet. I Need the Old Blade Runner…: Blade Runner (1982)

For more Scarlett Johansson, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

This is Not the End…It Will Never End

I love October:

I’m so sorry it is over.

I love doing Horrorfest and I am so happy that this year I was able to do all 31 days!

Let me apologize for the messy postings, they weren’t as edited and full of images as I would have liked but I was so eager to have 31 posts done for publishing that I didn’t take the time I should have to make sure they were fully ready for publishing.

But I did it!!!!!!!

Great choices

So let’s see I promised you horror, suspense, mystery, film noir, monsters, ghosts, Alfred Hitchcock, Lifetime movies, aliens, witchcraft, murder, and cyborgs.

And what did I deliver?

Hmmm…

So lets start off with our yearly films. We always have Alfred Hitchcock, this year with me finally reviewing The Birds and a nod to Psycho with a Boy Meets World episode. Our Tim Burton film with Edward Scissorhands; a double dose of Disney with Maleficent and The Great Mouse Detective; an animated film with The Great Mouse Detective; yearly Stephen King film with The Tommyknockers; and a double dose of Vincent Price with Edward Scissorhands and The Great Mouse Detectives.

Our Lifetime movie in The Stranger Beside Me. I watched a ton of them but only reviewed one-probably because this one struck close to home.

AHHHHHHH!!!!

Had some spy action in The Glass Bottom Boat andThree Days of the Condor

And a lot of film-noir with The Blade Runner, The Blue Gardenia, Deadline at Dawn, A Letter to Three Wives, and Possessed 

I also for the first time, reviewed a video game It Lives in the Woods for Horrorfest. I’m thinking about doing it again next year.

We had horror-comedy in Fashion Model and The Glass Bottom Boat

Lots of psychopaths: multiple family members in American Gothic; the husband in Double Jeopardy; the dad in The Good Student; Griffin in The Invisible Man; the car jackers in Nocturnal Animals; the criminals in Rawhide; and the husband in The Stranger Beside Me.

We had quite a few literary nods-Sherlock Holmes with Basil of Baker Street, Agatha Christie’s Crooked House, H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew, and Phillip Pullman’s Ruby in the Smoke.

Had our Jane Austen fix with the final review of Death Comes to Pemberley. Now I guess I’ll have to review Pride & Prejudice & Zombies in order to keep Jane Austen in Horrorfest.

Mystery, you say?

Aliens in Independence Day and Tommyknockers:

Witches in a Murder She Wrote episode:

Cyborgs in The Blade Runner:

Classic monsters with Dr. Jekyll in Sccoby-Doo, Dr. Jekyll in Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf, and the Invisible Man in his first film appearance.

So as you see, there is something for everyone. For all the films and TV shows reviewed:

The Invisible Man (1933)

Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

Fashion Model (1945)

Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Possessed (1947)

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Rawhide (1951)

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

The House of the Arrow (1953)

The Birds (1963)

The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Blade Runner (1982)

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The Witch’s Curse: Murder She Wrote (1992)

The Tommyknockers (1993)

The Stranger Beside Me (1995)

The Psychotic Episode: Boy Meets World (1999)

Double Jeopardy (1999)

Independence Day (1999)

The Good Student (2006)

Ruby in the Smoke (2006)

Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

Maleficent (2014)

American Gothic (2016)

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Crooked House (2017)

It Lives in the Woods (2017)

 

This is a Bad One, the Worst Yet. I Need the Old Blade Runner…: Blade Runner (1982)

I need ya, Deck. This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the old blade runner, I need your magic.

So this movie was reccommended to me by one of my closest friends. She said I would love it. It is a dystopian future film, and you know how I love that…

wow

Plus film-noir, one of my faves!

Has Harrison Ford as the star

Has android/cyborgs:

And the film is about questions of morality, the soul, what it means to be human, is it wrong to create life, etc. You know…

And…

Jurassic Park (1995)

So what did I think if it?

I HATED IT

Huh?

I know-it makes no sense. How can all these elements blend together, and not be something I love? It makes no sense!

So the film is based of the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? by Phillip K. Dick. It is set in 2019 and follows Rick Deckard, Harrison Ford, who is a bounty hunter hired to “retire” (kill) replicants. Replicants are androids who look like humans with extras -such as speed, agility, and strength. They have no empathy or other emotions and are created for services-mining, sex, etc. Deckard is the best in the business, the “Blade Runner”, and is hired to take down a serious group of runaway replicants-Roy Batty, Zhora, Leon, and Pris.

He visits Tyrell Corp. to speak to the owner and creator of the replicants. Tyrell asks him to talk to his assistant Rachael who is beautiful, intelligent, a femme fatale, and a replicant. So good she almost fools him.

I didn’t think she was a very compelling character. I also didn’t get the relationship between the two-I didn’t feel any chemistry. I thought Rachael was very robotic and lost in the eyes.

Meh.

The rest of the story has Deckard trying to track down these killers-while we also see their side of everything. They want to live and as people-not four years on the outerplanet mines where they are worn out, or used for sex/to excite people. Life is not good for them and they want better.

In theory it should be good, but I just did not get into it. The visuals were good, but the people- I didn’t feel their emotions. I know a lot love it, but for me it was a complete wash.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to The Witch’s Curse: Murder She Wrote (1992)

For more film-noir, go to You Don’t Know Which Way to Turn, There’s No Place to Hide, Nowhere to run…: The Blue Gardenia (1953)

For more dystopian futures, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 

For more cyborgs, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

For more Harrison Ford, go to I Know You Can Do This: Working Girl (1988)

For more bounty hunters, go to I Only Care That You Succeed: How I Met Your Mullet, Raising Hope (2014)

The Cruel Giggling Ghoul: Teen Titans Go (2016)

So you know what that means: Horror TV episodes Tuesday

I know this is a little odd, TV episodes on a Tuesday instead of Friday as I’ve been doing for the past few years?

Help me! I’m confused!

Well this year I decided to do something special for Friday the 13th, which means I can’t put my reviews of TV shows on Friday.

So instead we will be reviewing TV episodes on Tuesdays, TV Tuesdays.

Now I HATE Teen Titans Go.

I grew up watching the original Teen Titans and it was hilarious, fun, serious, dramatic, etc. Simply amazing! In this one they don’t even fight crime!!!

Huh?

Superheroes who don’t fight crime????!!!!!!!!

Yeah it is about them doing mundane “normal” people things or redoing movies/TV shows.

And none of the episodes really go together in a sequence.

I don’t usually care for it, but this particular episode was pretty funny.

So the gang: Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg are headed to a nearby amusement park to see Lebron James perform. Right away I notice Beast Boy shapeshifting into a dog and Raven wearing something she doesn’t typically have on.

There are five in the group-two girls, two boys, and an animal (Beast Boy). It is clear what they are parodying:

Yes the gang of superheroes have come to the amusement park only to see it empty of customers. There is a giggling two-headed ghoul, who is awfully reminiscent of the Creeper:

It is really silly. You have the cameo of the famous celebrity, Lebron James, and him popping up everywhere dribbling. Which reminds me of the Harlem Globetrotters episode.

Robin gets to be Fred going off with Starfire (Daphne) and Raven (Velma).

And then Cyborg and Beast Boy do all the silly dress-up, out maneuvering, eating, etc that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo would do.

Yep it gave you all the stuff you loved of the original, poking fun at it in a good way. And who does it turns out to be? You have to watch and find out.

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to China is Here Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, The Wing Kong, They’ve Been Fighting for Centuries: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

For more on Scooby-Doo, go to To Kill a Fangirl

For more superheroes, go to I Always Knew and I Didn’t Care: Usual Suspects, Young Justice (2012)

For more parodies, go to I Don’t Want to Be a Vampire. I’m a Day Person: Once Bitten (1985)

For more TV episodes, go to The Hash-Slinging Slasher: Graveyard Shift, Spongebob Squarepants (2002)

For Darkness Shows the Stars

darknessshowsthestars

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1) by Diana Peterfreund

So I picked this book up as you know I will review anything Austen. I thought it was going to be about Pride and Prejudice as most are, but it surprised me and was about Persuasion instead.

persuasion

Persuasion was published in 1818 after Austen’s death, alongside Northanger Abbey. Out of all the Austen works, these two seem to have the least amount of fans and notice.

It is sad they don’t have more.

I have always found that strange as I love both of these novels.

Even though it isn’t as loved by people, Persuasion has had two films made of it and a lot of it is based on Austen’s feelings of her first love and a wish fulfillment of being reunited.

Anyways, just in case you’ve never heard of it (and as I have yet to work through it as I am still stuck on Emma) I think we need a quick review.

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Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth fall in love. He asks her for her hand in marriage, but Anne’s father refuses. Anne is unsure and goes to a family friend for advice; as her mother is dead, her father lives in his own world, and her sisters don’t care. This family friend persuades her to say no as Anne is above him in station, Fredrick has no options for promotion (as his family can’t procure it), the likelihood of him dying and living Anne a penniless widow (as her father will leave her nothing) is very high, and the two are so young.

Hmm…

Anne goes to Fredrick and refuses, him becoming angry as he thinks it is just because of his lack of money and station. (In Anne’s defense the real thing that made her unsure was the stressing of him most likely being killed and her being left alone.)

Years pass, Anne has never seen Fredrick again or stopped loving him. She had other men interested, but refused them as she didn’t love them.

What has changed is the Elliot family fortune, her father and older sister have blown through their money so fast that they are being forced to let out their home to a sea Admiral. A Captain Admiral Croft and his wife, Mrs. Croft. Mrs. Croft who turns out to be Fredrick Wentworth’s sister!

Anne goes to stay with her sister, Mary Musgrove, for a while, while her other sister and father are staying in Bath, with Anne to join them later.

When she is staying with Mary, Fredrick Wentworth returns to visit his sister and husband. Now a Captain, he has also become extremely wealthy; having taken so many risks in the war that he excelled monetarily and was promoted. Captain Wentworth is searching for a wife, and is funny and kind to all; but Anne.

It appears that old hangups remain so. Will Wentworth and Anne be reunited? Will Wentworth marry another?

You have to read the book!

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So this science-fiction/Fantasy book takes place in the not too distant future…

Sorry, anyways…there were advancements in technology, so much that they were able to do DNA procedures to make your body excel in ways previously unimaginable, almost cyborg like.

These DNA procedures cause a war between people who believe this is not what God wants, and those who believe that the pursuit of science is the only answer. Unfortunately, they discover they did not know everything, as many of these experiments go wrong as people lose a majority of their faculties.

After wars, bombing, and a complete restructuring of the world they know, the people are divided into two groups: Luddites and the Reduced.

Like the class system in Metropolis.

Luddites are the royalty and own all the land, they care for the Reduced in a feudal system/slave system as the Reduced are tied to the land, but more extensively like slaves, yet not traded and sold as slaves are. Reduced are mutes, who aren’t in complete control of their faculties, need to be supervised, etc.

Recently, things have been shifting as there are “Reduced” who are born very intelligent, able to speak, often called “Children of the Reduced” or “CORs”, and “Post-Reduced” or “Posts” by themselves.

Our main character is Elliot North (Anne Elliot) a wealthy Luddite, one of the oldest Luddite families. She, her father, and sister have a farm; but it is going downhill as her father and sister don’t care about the people, the farm, long term care, but only themselves and what they want. For instance her father has cut down all their apple trees for a “better view” or destroyed Elliot’s planted field for a racetrack.

Elliot tries hard to keep things running, to take her mother’s place, but finds herself drowning in the debt her father and sister, Tatiana North, create. In fact, they have had to rent out her grandfather’s, Chancellor Boatwright, home and ship yard to a set of wealthy free Posts- Admiral Innovation, his wife Dr. Felicia Innovation and their crew: Captain Malakai Wentforth, Andromeda Phoenix, and Donovan Phoenix.

Not good

Elliot’s only solace is the barn, where she would work on her plans, and relive her memories with her old friend, the boy she loved, and Post; Kai. Since she has lost her field and all her months of hard work, nothing seems right. But there is plenty to do on a farm.

When the Innovations and their crew arrive, Elliot finds herself admiring and enjoying the company of the Innovations and the crewman Donovan. Andromeda doesn’t seem to like her one bit, although Elliot has no clue what she could have done to upset her. However, everything changes when she meets Captain Malakai Wentforth. It appears it is her old friend and love has returned-Kai (Captain Fredrick Wentworth).

Years ago the two forged a friendship, (despite her father’s constant striving to keep them apart), a friendship that turned into love. The two made plans to run away together, but in the end Elliot couldn’t do it. She knew she had to fulfill her promise to her mother and take care of the farm and the Posts. She wrote Kai a letter:

Dear Kai,

Please do not hate me. I couldn’t bear it if you hated me.

                      But I cannot go with you.

                      I thought I could. Last night, I thought everything was possible. I thought you were right, that there was nothing for me here, either. Mother’s dead, Grandfather’s locked in his own head, and you’re leaving. Why in the world should I stay? It was a beautiful dream. But outside your room, outside the barn, in the cold light of morning, I realized that was all it was. A dream. There is nothing for me here, but that doesn’t mean I am nothing to the North estate.

                     Today, when I was supposed to be packing, I wandered the estate. I watched the Posts in their little cottages, I watched the Reduced in the fields, and I thought about our lots in life.

                    We can’t escape who we are born to be, Kai. The Reduced are Reduced. They will always be Reduced. And I will always be a Luddite. I was born this way. I will die this way. I can’t turn my back on that. Luddites were handed a sacred trust-we are the caretakers of humanity. Without us, the world would have burned, and all mankind would have been destroyed. I cannot ignore that. I cannot forget who I am.

                    But you are not a Luddite.

                    That’s why I cannot go with you. And also why I can’t ask you to stay.

                     God be with you.

Yours,

Elliot

 Elliot’s feelings for Kai resurface but he wants nothing to do with her.

He is rude, cruel, cynical, and nasty around her. He spends a lot of time with their neighbors, the Groves-Horatio and his younger sister Olivia. Olivia has fallen for Kai, and to Elliot’s utter disappointment it looks like he feels the same way.

Noooo!

But Elliot cannot focus on that only as her long lost cousin, Benedict and air to the North estate, returns eager to regain control of the promised land, her grandfather grows more ill, and her father tries to engage her in even more power plays.

During one of her free moments, she joins Andromeda, Kai, Donovan, Olivia, and Horatio on an outing to the sea cliffs. Kai and Donovan jump from incredible distances, and Andromeda explains that they recognize the wind shifts because of their piloting expertise. As they continue, Elliot realizes something is not right.

When Olivia tries to do the jump, she falls and is horribly injured. While they try and help her, Elliot realizes that Kai is hiding a big secret, one that could destroy everything.

Not good

Once again Eliot finds herself at a fork in the road. Should she follow the man she loves? Or cling to her Luddite responsibilities.

***Spoiler Warning***

I thought it was pretty good story and interpretation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Having Wentworth as a slave/serf rather than lower standing put a completely new spin on the relationship.

I liked how in between the time of the novel, there were letters and notes their younger selves passed, giving us a view of how their relationship started.

Aw!

It doesn’t follow the book exactly, but the author did a good job in staying true to the core of the story, while at the same time doing her own thing.

Good job!

Now there are two things I didn’t like.

First, I didn’t like how the author inserted God to create conflict between those who wanted change and mutation and those who wanted things to remain the same. The insertion wasn’t really what bothered me as much as the author not really giving us a stand on how our main character felt. One of the laws is to not try to play with genetics as you are raising yourself for a a fall, messing with things you shouldn’t control, etc. As much as the main character struggles with her ideas and wondering if they are against God, we never see what her relationship to God is. Is she extremely devout? Who or What is her God? What exactly do they believe in their religion? She brings it up constantly, but we never really know why this is such an issue to her because the author chooses to ignore it. We never see her pray, attend church, do any type of worship, etc. In my opinion you either need to go all the way or just leave it out; no in-between.

The second thing that bothered me was how mean Kai was in this. I mean he was horribly cruel. Now in Persuasion she doesn’t really explain herself as to way she refuses him, so he draws his own conclusions. I this Kai knows! He knows that she needs to help care for the people! He knows how her father and sister are, and without Elliot they would be cruel, starve everyone, and run the whole farm down into the groumd! Yet even though he knows this, he is so horrible to her. I understand why the author made him that way, and it completely makes sense as to character to behave in such a way. But it makes it hard to read as he acts like a jerk, before he finally comes to his senses.

But otherwise I thought it was an excellent read and one of the better Austen reinterpretations on the market. I suggest you check it out for yourself.

For more on Persuasion, go to What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

For more Persuasion variations, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)