I was a fan on the anime, the show and the movie.
In fact I thought that one of Ken Liu's short stories that took place ina futuristic Boston's Chinatown was very similar to the "Laughing man" epsiodes and his heroin was a mixed race female.
Well a movie based on that short story would be something to look into producing for the many artists and activists that had an issue with Scarlett Johansson being cast. I am actually I fan of her. In that I have fan crush on her... but honestly maybe I just like her and not her acting so much. I like her in the avengers... but as a robot... meh.
I enjoyed the movie but I didn't like it. Much the same way I enjoyed the new CGI Love action Beauty and the Beast... but I didn't like it. What happens when you go all out on the special effects is that the acting the directing the cuts, the art.. they all suffer. In this case they really tried to copy the anime. But would they have tried to shoot the scenes in that manner if an anime version did not exist? A copy cannot compare with an original. It's kind of like "The Last Supper" made of felt or macaroni or crayon or whatever... and comparing that with the original work of art.
As you can tell, I was not that disturbed by Scarlett being white. I know why they cast Johansson. It has to do with her work on the avengers and even being in "Lost in Translation." And I feel that even the anime may have racial issues if you want to start talking about where the story is set... a futuristic Japanese Hong Kong.
Yes I mean ok is it weird that she is white? Sure sort of. But isn't it more weird that she is a robot and Hong Kong is populated by Japanese Asians and then everyone else.. and practically no Chinese people and the Yakuza are running the night clubs?
My real WTF moment in the movie was something a lot of people haven't talked about at all.
I saw a Facebook post showing two movies playing side by side... Kenneth Eng's "My Life in China" and "Ghost in the Shell." and the tag line was "you choose" or something like that.
When I saw Ghost in the Shell with my friend I couldn't help but notice that the cemetery that Major visits... is definitely the same cemetery that Kenneth Eng's father visits in Hong Kong.
Somehow through effects or CGI the Japanese bod'es ashes head stone is there. Scarlett Johansson sees her mom and they hug, the whole shell thing is explained. None of this is in the anime btw. By not explaining it made the whole thing much more Buddhist as with the philosophy of "no self" we are all already Ghosts in the shell of a body which is illusion etc. and reincarnation is just the passing of a flame from shell to shell, memories or data if you are a robot, but it does not define who you are per se.
But anyway, Major is in this cemetery and sees her mom and then walk OVER the bodies of the dead when there is clearly a path on the side WTF!!!!!!
I actually said something out loud in the empty movie theater .
Why couldn't she just go around? Seriously.
Side note: The parts of the movie with Takeshi Kitano, who apparently is in a lot of Yakuza movies was pretty bad ass. other than that the movie was not so good, which goes to show that no matter what your special effects are.. acting is very important. Watching him shoot people with a revolver and virtually no effects was much more fun then everything else. Just saying.