In Episode Three of the Safe Spaces podcast our own culturally appropriating co-hosts took on many things, with a special look at Paramount Studios’ controversial remake of the beloved 1995 anime, Ghost In The Shell. (Wrongheaded) cries of “whitewashing!” and lobs of “cultural appropriation!” aside, the guys stressed the importance of not judging something before seeing it.
In this exceedingly gassy and musically augmented special episode of Safe Spaces one-half of the team took the plunge, survived, and is back to tell the tale of Ghost In The Shell 2017! That’s right, Nathan Evans examines the movie starring Scarlett Johansson as a maybe/possibly Japanese/Non-Japanese cyborg searching for her mysterious past while leaping nippleless from building tops and blowing up scary geisha bots. It’s not nearly as bad – or offensive – as you’ve heard elsewhere, and should please most open-minded fans of action and mildly contemplative speculative science-fiction.
But that’s not all! Nate also delves into another remake – The Unforgiven (aka Yurusarezaru Mono), a 2013 Japanese redo of Clint Eastwood’s celebrated 1992 Academy Award-winning Best Picture that changes up 19th century Wyoming for Japan’s Hokkaido frontier in the Meiji period. Starring Ken Watanabe as a rogue ronin (aren’t they all?), it’s a beat-for-beat remake that demonstrates nicely why such a rich history of cultural interplay and long rich cinematic borrowing that exists between both Hollywood westerns and Japanese jidaigeki.
As good as both films are, however, neither holds a candle to what’s arguably the greatest disembodied-brain-transplanted-in-robot-turned-crime fighter action flick ever, RoboCop! And by that we mean the original 1987 RoboCop, not the lifeless 2014 remake. It’s a movie so good and so iconic that even the Ghost In The Shell remake couldn’t help ripping it off, too. Hey, if you’re gonna steal, steal from the best!
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