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gazing from the shadows
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I was looking forward to the new live action Ghost in the Shell. Even with criticisms of the production "white washing" the characters, that wasn't going to deter me. But then the ad campaign was massive and long running, and I always consider that a bad sign. So I skimmed some reviews.

Impressive, but soulless. Visually great, but blah plot and action. That kind of thing.

Looks like they took out what made it great, and made it.... meh. I'm passing on paying for it. But would be interested in seeing what people here who see it think.
 

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I was looking forward to the new live action Ghost in the Shell. Even with criticisms of the production "white washing" the characters, that wasn't going to deter me. But then the ad campaign was massive and long running, and I always consider that a bad sign. So I skimmed some reviews.

Impressive, but soulless. Visually great, but blah plot and action. That kind of thing.

Looks like they took out what made it great, and made it.... meh. I'm passing on paying for it. But would be interested in seeing what people here who see it think.
The only key visual my brain seems capable of remembering from the trailers is Scarlett in a flesh-tone cat suit.

I'm sure it's plot device, and not just pandering.
 

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The only key visual my brain seems capable of remembering from the trailers is Scarlett in a flesh-tone cat suit.

I'm sure it's plot device, and not just pandering.
Considering she's supposed to be nude if they stayed true to the comics and anime, it's more of a disappointment than anything....
 

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I was looking forward to the new live action Ghost in the Shell. Even with criticisms of the production "white washing" the characters, that wasn't going to deter me. But then the ad campaign was massive and long running, and I always consider that a bad sign. So I skimmed some reviews.

Impressive, but soulless. Visually great, but blah plot and action. That kind of thing.

Looks like they took out what made it great, and made it.... meh. I'm passing on paying for it. But would be interested in seeing what people here who see it think.
I don't get why people think this movie is "white washing". If you look at all of Japanese cartoons, the characters that portray human beings are all white.

Honestly, what people should get very upset about is that the chick that plays the main character should've been naked.
 

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It's not even one of my favorite animes to begin with (it's not bad, but IMO is a bit overrated), and Scarlet Johanssen wouldn't be my first choice to play lead in a live action version... she seems to be caught in a bit of "oh well, at least she's hot" miscasting. As she regularly is.

The director of this apparent hot mess is Rupert Sanders, who's best known for Snow White and the Huntsman (which I thought was a pretty crappy movie), and for cheating on his then wife with actress Kristen Stewart during the filming of said crappy movie.

Yeah, doesn't look promising. The trailers for it also tripped my "it probably sucks" spidey-sense.

I think I'm gonna go see Life instead, which has been getting decent reviews. Or if I'm smarter, go hunt down a theater that's still showing Moonlight, which I haven't seen yet.
 

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wots...uh the deal?
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I'm a while behind on anime. But, Ghost is on hulu, so watched it there. Considering when it came out, it was probably spectacular at the time. And if the Manga is (almost) as old as I, impressive. (maybe not the very first in the concept, but still impressively in front of the curve)

I will go see this in the theater. I am interested in modern English version of non-American material. Anime seems ripe material and if done right, I will encourage by paying popcorn money. Give us more non-Hollywood movies!

The question, of course, is how well done is it. How "true" to the original. Since I am not married to the original, I will give it a chance.

Girl with the Dragon Tatoo Hollywood remake was good. It stood on it's own. The changes were acceptable. I would have gone to see the next two. Daniel Craig worked as the lead. I expect his paycheck vs box office is what killed any idea of the other movies. Will Hollywood make the same mistakes going forward? probably. Why can't we get a down budget version of non-Hollywood material? The title will be the draw, don't need a high paid name to pull it in. (unless it is a good director and I can't name any of those anymore.
 

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I don't get why people think this movie is "white washing". If you look at all of Japanese cartoons, the characters that portray human beings are all white.

Honestly, what people should get very upset about is that the chick that plays the main character should've been naked.
How can you tell if they are white or Asian based on their blue, green, or purple hair?
 

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Considering she's supposed to be nude if they stayed true to the comics and anime, it's more of a disappointment than anything....
I didn't read the manga, but isn't Scarlett playing a cybernetic?

Would such a creature need, e.g., nipples?

I agree on the disappointment re Scarlett, though, she should've played the character fully nude--even if the original manga character had worn a burka.
 

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For those who seem only able to fixate on the whole 'Scarlett Johannsen shoulda been nude' angle (aka half the posters in the thread)... she has already done nude scenes, in the weird sci-fi film Under My Skin, a few years back. Google Image Search is your buddy.

Sigh. And I thought *I* had high hormone levels. :p
 

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Impressive, but soulless. Visually great, but blah plot and action.
That review is spot on. The "Visually great" part, I assume, is attributed to Scarlett Johansson.

I have to admit that I'm not that nerded up on my Japanese anime (I thought this one was about some dude on a red motorcycle) the end of the movie sort of brought home the message that human emotion (and the need to connect with other humans) is the most powerful drug/stimulant/religion there is.
 

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For those who seem only able to fixate on the whole 'Scarlett Johannsen shoulda been nude' angle (aka half the posters in the thread)... she has already done nude scenes, in the weird sci-fi film Under My Skin, a few years back. Google Image Search is your buddy.

Sigh. And I thought *I* had high hormone levels. :p
Pictures? We're too lazy.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm a while behind on anime. But, Ghost is on hulu, so watched it there. Considering when it came out, it was probably spectacular at the time. And if the Manga is (almost) as old as I, impressive.
In 1995, the animated Ghost in the Shell was in many ways a revolution.

It explored of concepts of evolution, identity, and the human soul — and in a lineup of praiseworthy films that tackle those issues —such as Metropolis, 1931's Frankenstein, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and Ex Machina — Ghost in the Shell remains a standout.

Now that Rupert Sanders' remake has hit theaters, it's worth reflecting on Mamoru Oshii's film and examining which of his anime's praiseworthy elements have made their way into the 2017 film — and which didn't.

Even those who've not seen the ‘95 film will likely recognize a number of its striking visuals, many of which have been repurposed in films like The Matrix and Dark City. A moody, intricately designed cyberpunk Hong Kong. A nude, gun-wielding policewoman. Line after line of green tinted computer code. And those who have watched the entire anime know that every one of its 82 minutes is stuffed with enough additional detail to make even Terry Gilliam envious.

...

Even while both films' design work and style impressively display Ghost in the Shell's intellectual concepts, the aspect of Oshii's that elevates it most over the Sanders' is the emotional current with which he surrounds them.

Nearly every one of his characters is emotionally detached, keeping the aforementioned concepts from feeling pretentious and the characters' explorations of them cloying. The lead characters of Batou and Major especially are made inscrutable in the way that Oshii animates their eyes: the former's are constantly covered and the latter's almost always wide and blank. Even when delivering dialogue as on the nose as, "I feel fear, cold, alone… sometimes I even feel hope", Oshii doesn't allow his actor's vocal performances to betray too much melancholy or longing. Instead he displays those emotions by juxtaposing the characters to the color, light, and motion around them. In murky canals, we perceive Major's confusion. On rain-streaked windows we see her tears. Through half constructed buildings we understand her identity.

In contrast, Sanders' characters wear their emotions on their sleeves, conveying quite passionately and quite frequently what exactly they're feeling and why. I certainly won't deny that Johansson as Major, Pilou Asbæk as Batou, or Michael Pitt as Kuze all give fine performances, but their searches for answers are far less nuanced and much more predictable than their animated counterparts.

When it's all said and done, Ghost in the Shell is an incredibly difficult property to adapt. It revels in the enigmatic and rejoices in the undefined. It asks much and answers little. Even Roger Ebert thought the 1995 film was "too complex and murky to reach a large audience".
'Ghost in the Shell' Movie: Anime vs Scarlett Johansson Remake | Hollywood Reporter
 

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Didn't they already do this with Robocop, back in 1987???
 

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Well, regardless how one may feel about the anime, the film isn't doing so well.

Bad-to-'meh' reviews, and only $18 mil on opening weekend in the US. To be fair, overseas box office could help it out lots. But it sure doesn't look like a hit.

I dunno man, I just don't see Scarlett Johansson as an enduring action star. She's been getting away with it with the Avengers films, but that's an ensemble cast, being led by a genius writer-director (Joss Whedon). And Lucy did pretty well, but that was more a 'high concept' film than a pure actioner.

Front-and-center, as the main character in an action movie, she just seems miscast. She's too short and petite, and lacks that last bit of gravitas you really need to sell it.

Contrast her with Charlize Theron in the upcoming Atomic Blonde. Now THAT looks like it has potential (nsfw).



 

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That's a really interesting review. I don't fully agree with it (for instance, you can easily overdo it on emotional distance), but it's very well-written and argued. And, certainly, the nowadays-typical 'Hollywood summer blockbuster' style is going to fail most any concept that has deeper meanings and/or a philosophical bent.

I like critics who really think through their positions and aren't afraid to have a definite POV. Gonna have to read more of that guy's (Chris Hartwells) reviews.
 

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The coming out of the remake prompted me to see the original for the first time. I must say, after seeing the original, it would be very hard to watch the remake if the reviews are at all accurate. Despite the action scenes, the original has an almost meditative quality that I can only see a Hollywood remake doing violence to. It's a truly impressive movie (and I'm not generally an Anime fan).

The sad thing with most of these Hollywood dumbed-down franchises is that the dumbing down is rarely necessary. I absolutely get that mass audiences won't pay to see an art film, but a good writer/director can make an entertaining film that delights the masses without doing away with all artistic merit. I'd say the original Robocop (not the sequels) did a reasonably good job of exploring deeper themes while still keeping a Hollywood mass market appeal.

Regarding the comparison to Robocop, I think the original Ghost in the Shell addresses similar themes but takes them a bit further. It's not just the main character having an existential crisis over her(?) humanity and individuality. There's also a lot of thought given to the meaning of the growing human network and the place of the individual within that network. It was a really bold and forward thinking movie back in 1996 when the internet as a mass-accessed thing was a brand new phenomenon. The remake could have taken the original a step further- especially as smartphones have become ubiquitous and we are becoming more and more plugged-in like the cyborgs in the original. A good writer could have done a lot with the concept.

Ultimately, I think the remake probably failed due to the burning Hollywood desire to have a villain and a hero. That caused them to write-out all of the interesting material. In the original, the Puppet Master starts out as a personified villain, yet by the end we are left questioning whether the Puppet Master was a force for good or one for evil, or perhaps a little of both. Likewise, Motoko plays a hero, but the film plays with our unease about what she represents (especially at the end). My understanding is that the new one just goes with overplayed tropes about evil anonymous corporations.
 
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