So special: Mamoru's genius; Kawai's epic choir; contemporary Warsaw as hyperreality; (the possible parallels with W S Anderson's Resident Evil saga;) the technical execution; the editing. Hard to penetrate until after the daily loop sequence, when the direction of the narrative and thematic preoccupations become clearer. Beautiful.
Between this and other later live-action work, his style doesn't seem to "click" with this sort of slick digital look, as his reliance on digital filters gets a little kitschy at times. But on the other hand, it has one of his stronger scripts, and some of the most fascinating and outright *strange* individual moments in his entire filmography. In hindsight, it almost feels like a warm up for The Sky Crawlers.
Something kept me from enjoying this, though I'm not sure what. I want to say the camera...something about it just seemed...off. It wasn't a bad film, and it had nice ideas and moments, but I think you can Oshii's GitS 1 & 2 have the same ideas (and Dogs) with a better execution.
The idea is visionary, but it does not survive its realisation. From technical aspects to plot development, this movie has many flaws. Thematically it is interesting, but shallow.
Not the best Oshii. It does deserve attention, but compared to his previous works...