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April 15, 2017 | movie reviews

Ghost in the Shell

Sean Kilpatrick

Ghost in the Shell photo

I got to play musical chairs in 3D because chain theaters want to let you pick your seat as if they’re the Alamo Drafthouse when what they decidedly are is a babysitting fat farm where families pass between diabetic napping and clawing their candy pails like someone dumped bennies in a lobster tank. The automatically reclining million dollar lounge furniture that has replaced the bucket seat so filmgoer gaggle number a thousand can wobble beneath their tarp in the very seat where a computer told me I should kick back buzzes as futuristically as the exposition on screen. Of course, the teen couple on the other side of me with their hands inside each other’s jeans decided to break into a backyard volume dialectic instead of swatting their smegma and the late arrival, whose seat I then forced myself into for want of not disturbing the family’s Friday coma by, perhaps, stomping each snoring galoot deep within the complicated gears of the fake living room they’ve come to shit-stain, is confrontationally tapping me through the credits in an almost empty theater full of closer vantage points because his sense of justice has been displaced for ten seconds. For fifteen dollars I should own this fucking movie and the seats must hurt so you pay attention, drop that dopamine slit of telephone light, and are not confused into believing your cat piss reeking homestead was magically transported alongside you like it's been glued to your rear by the inconsolable leakage. In my interminable befuddlement, I am greeted by the first marketing campaign more artistic than the product it promotes. In this alternate hell of a life through which I plunder mid-stasis, in this bizarro politico internet illiterate religion of a backwashed townhall meeting, in this hit piece landscape of millennial fuck facts, I have beheld some demonically clever, postmodern turntabling of the whitewash concept to explode bemoaners of its practice as further agents of PR for the trademarked character’s overt renunciation of that anyway by now pansy accusation against art in the first place. What we get is a big studio film that begins with a literal washing in white to denounce that practice as evil and corporate, thus converting the online bitching about such into an unpaid commercial in favor of the studio. People really believe in their commercials these days, especially since we found a way to capture the rapture of pleasing the indignant, starting with Gone Girl’s timely consent hysteria PR trick. I wonder if the bright money-heads who dreamed this up have a dress code in their offices. I’m thinking hoodies and gym shorts and I’m thinking these glad idiot clickbait sites (baited in return) and young half-assed fashionista activists feel exceptionally useful for them. I miss when traditional religion was the main bad guy. This is how they meddlesomely dildoed your expectations back then, how they staved-in your spirit (at least you knew who to fight): you were sixteen and had seen more films than anyone at the theater, films of greater intensity than anything viewed by anyone polluting those grimy seats (back when had you stomped someone their face would've adhered forever to that caramel vomit & pee floor) with their ignorance and they sold you a three dollar ticket to an R-rated film of which you could name the director and all of their films, back when you actually had to search for that information, but then the ticket tearer popped up like a ninja for Jesus and asked you for ID a foot away from the screening entrance and back you went for a refund. We are alive now in that refund.

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