Cinema Stoner: Ghost in the Shell & Super Silver Haze

Watching Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell is like being snowed inside a cabin. Sure, there’s tons of pretty stuff to look at outside, but mostly you feel simultaneously trapped and sleepy.

The Super Silver Haze did not help. While a speedy marijuana in the open air, the Silver melted me into my seat while a backflipping Scarlett Johansson pondered her life as a machine while occasionally kicking a lot of cyborg ass.

At times, Ghost in the Shell is a shot-for-shot live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii’s original, an anime classic about a government assassin who gains digital sentience with an online-spawned being named The Puppet Master. Oshii’s mesmerizing visuals – from a watery fight scene involving two cloaked combatants to an operatic finale between a naked woman and armored battle droid  – are so thoroughly copied here that the Japanese director deserves a co-credit.

Before the screening, I smoked the oddly odorless Silver and went to the post office and the drug store and cleaned my entire apartment and played with cats then went to the movie. The highly productive sativa strain allowed me to organize my day effortlessly. When I got the munchies, I chose saltless popcorn, a ziplock of almonds, and a seltzer. This weed has a tie on.

If only the movie were better matched. During a fight scene where robotic warriors wielding staffs burning with blue electricity zap a twirling Johansson, I found myself jerking my head up after nodding off. My lover also pulled her woolen jacket over herself like a blanket. Eventually, we fell asleep nestled against each other as ScarJo ripped off her own arms trying to enter the cockpit of a spider tank.

This should be prime material for a weed movie, but somehow the seriousness of the direction deflates any joy from the rich world. Scarlett and company are so humorlessly committed to copying the original’s story beats that they never dance outside the steps. And critics of the film’s whitewashing will find plenty of ammunition here. (Imagining Rinko Kikuchi as the Major makes one happier than watching this whole movie.)

But like the updated Total Recall, Ghost in the Shell is also so thoroughly forgettable that it ruins none of the enjoyment of Oshii’s originals. At the moment of writing this, I am smoking the adaptable Super Silver Haze and halfway through the noir cyborg masterpiece Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. I suggest you skip the cinema and do the same.


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