First, I've been a fan of the original 1990 manga by Masamune Shirow.
I was also very impressed with the 1995 anime film.
So I'm afraid that after hearing initial lukewarm to bad reviews, I kept putting off seeing this movie until I missed the theatrical release.
However, I am very pleased to say that this live action version of the film delivered on a lot of levels - color me impressed!
Although the director chose to exactly replicate key moments from the anime instead of producing a truly unique take on the material, I do applaud the effort.
And if given a choice between honoring the source material versus a complete Hollywood rewrite to appeal to the taste of a perceived "current movie audience" (hyper-fast and incoherent editing, CGI overload, and major destruction/bombast at every turn)…
Well, I'd choose the former every time!
This story, like many of my sci-fi favorites, deals with a lot of cool themes: sense of self, what is consciousness, what does it mean to be truly human, the vital connection to others, etc.
Like Blade Runner, Total Recall and Moon, Ghost in the Shell needs time to unfold the story and let experiences impact the characters.
And speaking of characters, ignorant outcries of whitewashing regarding the role of Major-- All I need to say is if you're familiar with the source material, then you would see how misguided those protests are.
Sad, self-righteous people just looking for a trigger to be offended… pathetic.
I regret not seeing this in the theater--
It's a gorgeous visual feast, tells a great story, and has a high rewatchability factor!
And I'm a big fan of the gorgeous steelbook graphics as well…
Two thumbs up!