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Ghost in the Shell
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Clinically Insane
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Mar 17, 2017, 10:01 PM
 
Okay, I'm not imagining how bad ScarJo is in the trailers, right?
     
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Mar 19, 2017, 07:38 AM
 
In what way?
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 19, 2017, 10:51 AM
 
I saw a grand total of one expression, which I would term "slack jawed".
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 19, 2017, 11:53 AM
 
This expression.

     
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Mar 19, 2017, 12:26 PM
 
It fits the character, though.
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 19, 2017, 12:30 PM
 
I don't remember her being so blank, though I admit it's been awhile since I've seen it.

Edit: wasn't she kinda angry?

Edit 2: not RAEG angry, but irritated angry.
( Last edited by subego; Mar 19, 2017 at 12:41 PM. )
     
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Mar 19, 2017, 10:11 PM
 
Half of me is giddy with excitement, the other half is apprehensive — if they screw this up … I am a huge Ghost in the Shell fan, the first two animated series are amazing, even better than the first movie. (To the degree that I was considering to name my future daughter Motoko, but my wife vetoed the suggestion. )
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
subego  (op)
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Mar 20, 2017, 11:08 AM
 
As someone more familiar than myself, feel free to opine on whether the expression in the ScarJo pic captures the Major.
     
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Mar 21, 2017, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
It fits the character, though.
This.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
(To the degree that I was considering to name my future daughter Motoko, but my wife vetoed the suggestion. )
BAAAHAHA
     
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Mar 22, 2017, 04:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
BAAAHAHA
Yeah, I know. It makes slightly more sense in my case since I live in Japan and my wife is Japanese. (My bosses first name is also Motoko, and she is quite like the major.)
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Mar 23, 2017, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yeah, I know. It makes slightly more sense in my case since I live in Japan and my wife is Japanese. (My bosses first name is also Motoko, and she is quite like the major.)
Ahhh...

Then it actually makes a lot more sense. I wish it would've happened.

I managed to sneak one through in my family. Our second son is named River. Got it from Rivers Cuomo — just dropped the "s". My wife probably doesn't even know who Weezer is.

[EDIT] Forgot: his first name is Owen. It's also a western-style name, which my wife understands. The other part...nope. She would kill me if she found out.
     
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Mar 23, 2017, 05:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I managed to sneak one through in my family. Our second son is named River. Got it from Rivers Cuomo — just dropped the "s".
I would have associated it with River Tam. If he starts doing creepy stuff or reading minds, let us know. We could make a fortune.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 9, 2017, 11:17 PM
 
It was... okay.

ScarJo was better than I thought, but not exactly brilliant.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 10, 2017, 03:07 PM
 
I'll say this movie has 11 characters (maybe 13), and three are Asian.

I'm not the type to complain about whitewashing, but for a movie about a Japanese government agency in Japan, there's a verisimilitude problem here.
     
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Apr 10, 2017, 08:37 PM
 
So I saw the movie, and the closest analog I have is Prometheus, really, really amazing visuals but the story lacks what is part and parcel of any Ghost in the Shell: the story is confusing and the lines between good and bad guys is quite blurry. To be fair, the story was better than Prometheus, and if it were a random action flick, I wouldn't have minded. If you bill yourself GitS, though, you are measured by a different standard.

Characters
Apart from Aramaki, Kusanagi and Bato, none of the characters are really fleshed out. And even those three are all wrong. Aramaki gets into a shooting match and executes someone, instead of being someone who has a strong sense of justice and is a political genius. Most importantly, he is fiercely protective of his unit in the rest of the GitS universe. Bato is too affectionate towards Motoko and way too serious. Kusanagi seems too much like a robot and a tool rather than cerebral, analytic and perhaps cold with a strong inner compass. I realize the original movie also focused mostly on these three, but it did manage to get more members of the original team in. Togusa's personality is gone. Saito gets one sentence. Ishikawa also doesn't really speak. Boma is MIA.

Story
The movie was made by someone who loves the iconic scenes of the original and goes as far as recreating many of them 1-to-1 (or very close to that), but lacks any understanding or ability to create a story of its own. This is a hodge podge of famous GitS scenes strung together with duct tape and chewing gum. Unlike previous stories, there is clear black and white, and the villains are one-dimensional. In most GitS stories, the initial antagonists often become allies or at least it becomes clear as to why they do what they are doing. In the original movie Project 2501, for instance, is not destroyed at the end and the conflict Section 6 ends in a draw. Ditto for the Laughing Man or the original Hideo Kuze. It is worth noting that both, the anime and the movie heavily discussed politics (e. g. the Japanese-American defense treaties are seen very critically), and that governments do bad things. In fact, many of the antagonists come from inside the same (Japanese) government.

Instead the story reduces to the trope of obviously evil and immoral corporate guy wearing sleek clothes with a penchant for killing people. And the Major is very similar, she is a killing machine driven by anger, past memories and revenge.

Philosophy
I didn't see anything here. The first scene could have served as a way to look at another angle of how technology changes us, but nah, action scenes are more important. There were very few slow scenes that gave us a change of pace and allowed us to soak up the culture, philosophy and beautiful/dystopian landscapes.

Hackings
There is very little actual hacking, something that is a major theme, and you can see how some interfaces in GitS foreshadow reality (akin to Star Trek TNG). But action was seemingly more important than hacking — what a pity since the only proper hacking scene depicts the Major getting her ass kicked by the leftover memories of the geisha bot. In the series she is a genius-level hacker. Ugh. Hacking people and replacing their memories with fake ones is one of the staples of the series, and with the exception of the garbage truck driver, that doesn't really happen.

Acting
Scarlett Johansen did a good job interpreting the material she was given, so I can't blame her for the material. If she is asked to play a robot that doesn't (or almost never) blinks, that's what she will do. The ensemble, though, didn't make much sense top me. What weirded both me and my wife out was why only (Beat) Takeshi Kitano (one of the most famous Japanese actors, even if he has gotten old now) speaks and acts Japanese whereas none of his people do. (If you speak both languages, that is particularly jarring.) You could really tell that none of the actors could understand Kitano's Japanese and vice versa. With the exception of Bato, the characters didn't seem to have bonded, quite the departure from the original where the team is a tightly knit family where each person has his (or in Kusanagi's case, her) place. They implicitly trust and protect each other. Gone.

“Western Appropriation”
The movie was criticized in advance for “Western appropriation”, i. e. replacing Asian characters with white characters. They certainly did that, most notably relying on Scarlett Johanson's fame (I doubt many people know Kitano, even though he is an accomplished actor and director himself), but I think this could have been mitigated by modernizing the setting a little. Add a little more multicultural melting pot-ness a la Blade Runner, Firefly or The Expanse to the mix could have been a solution. But then I would have also replaced a few other characters by, say, women or included more ethnicities. In contrast, the aesthetics of the city landscape are completely “Eastern” (since Niihama was modeled after Hong Kong, it mixes Japanese and Kantonese design elements) with seemingly little to no Western influence. So a multicultural team in much more homogeneous, distinctly Asian surroundings doesn't mesh — especially if you know how skeptical Japan currently is of foreign influence*. Given how Japanese Aramaki still was, this made it all the less plausible.

* I don't mean to imply racism necessarily, Japanese just are very homogeneous and have a strong sense of what it means to be and act Japanese. Even Japanese who have lived abroad for a while are in some circumstances seen as no longer knowing “the proper way”. And the “Japanese way” is fiercely protected, much to the detriment of the country in many respects. But that is a post for another time.

Special Effects
No bad script can be saved by special effects. That being said, wow, I have to say that this was the most impressive bit of the whole movie, the images and realization were spectacular. Sure, the director was aided by having a drawer chock full of iconic scenes, but that bit they did excellently. I honestly put it just a notch below The Matrix, I can't fault it. In only one scene (the spider tank battle) did I see a movement where I thought “oh, that looks fake”. The special effects people paid a lot of attention to detail, and stuck to the visual language of the original even when they made alterations (the spider tank was much flatter, but it still looked like a freaking scary spider tank).
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 11, 2017, 06:08 AM
 
Prometheus is a good analogy. There was lots of wasted potential.

A quick acting note. The mom just wiped the floor with every other performance in the film.

Do you have an opinion (or canon knowledge) why the city was so empty? Is everybody supposed to be inside because they're hooked to the net? I feel there was an idea here which went nowhere.

Yeah... her parkour at the end was pretty goofy looking. I also thought her "broken robot walk" had a more "bad video game mocap" feel to it.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 11, 2017, 08:35 AM
 
One other thing.

I feel this movie has a lot more in common with Robocop than it should.
     
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Apr 11, 2017, 10:31 AM
 
@subego
In the GitS universe, things are less glamorous. In the anime, old Tokyo is essentially a slum, a nuclear wasteland. And even the new capital isn't displayed to be as colorful and “perfect”, hence my comment that they'd need a little more Bladerunner or Firefly where the universes are grittier. I'm not sure whether the lack of people had to do with a vibe they tried to go for or other (budget?) limitations. In the original, though, people don't really tend to stay inside since the net is literally everywhere. In one scene of the original, the Major hacks someone while driving, so the effect is more that real and virtual reality merge. They showed this a little with the “fishbowl” AR/VR environments, but in the original, it was more an image projected in your mind. There was no need for something externally visible.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
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Apr 12, 2017, 01:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
And the “Japanese way” is fiercely protected, much to the detriment of the country in many respects. But that is a post for another time.
     
   
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