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Keiichi Morisato

Ghost in the Shell Live Action, Your Thoughts?

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Keiichi Morisato    424
Keiichi Morisato

I don't know if anyone has had a chance to watch the live-action feature film, Ghost in the Shell, something just didn't feel right when I was watching it.

What I'm referring to isn't Scarlet Johansson but rather that ridiculous vanilla colored plastic suit that she was wearing. The movie, or rather the story they came up with to make this movie, was so unbelievable that I'm a firm believer that Hollywood should not be optioning, licensing or bidding for the rights to make a big budget live action film based on established anime or manga. Sure, they do fine remaking Japanese horror films (that aren't based on any anime or manga) or with adapting such classic kaiju like Godzilla (or Gojira, for true Asian cinema fans who prefer the original Japanese media names for these adaptions but every time Hollywood has tried to adapt an anime film or anime series, whether an original anime property or based on a manga series, they always end up screwing it up beyond all redemption.

Ghost in the Shell, Speed Racer, Dragonball Evolution, The Last Airbender are just a few in recent memory that have bombed at the box office and Death Note has been receiving all kinds of bad press over its attempted adaption of Death Note. With such upcoming live actions already coming up into production such as Robotech, Akira, Battle Angel Alita, Blade of the Immortal, Voltron, Sword Art Online, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Tokyo Ghoul, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gintama, Cowboy Bebop, Bleach, Naruto and Attack on Titan are all being remade into live action films (with an eye for film franchises), the future of anime as live actions films look very bleak in Hollywood. many of these upcoming projects are fan favorites and I suspect there will be even more, if not higher degrees of white-washing.

Rumors have been awashed that Akira won't take place in Neo Tokyo and that it would take place in "Neo-Manhattten", switching the location to the United States.

While Speed Racer, I thought, was the better of the live action remakes, the others were horrible adaptions. But, as Ian Malcolm once said, "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should". Prophetic words from a fictional character on a movie screen. Tom Hanks learned this firsthand over his movie, The Circle, which bombed at the box office. He's a big fan of the author, Dave Eggers. Unfortunately, he found out that just because a book is good doesn;t mean it's the right venue for a movie adaption.

Hollywood needs to start casting Asian American actors into the major roles of these live action anime films they are doing, or they can expect similar failures at the box office.

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winedrinkingcritic    22
winedrinkingcritic

The problem, for me, with Ghost in the Shell, wasn't the execution of the live action movie because I thought it was the live action blade runner atmosphere was an improvement upon the anime version. The problem is the Anime version just isn't a very good movie. It's not necessarily a bad movie either, I give it points for originality, it's just not the classic that it's made out to be. Something about it feels like it's missing it's soul. And the english voice cast feels very wooden. Or maybe I just don't watch enough anime.

 

Anyways, I tracked as much as I could of the Alamo Drafthouse preshow for the live action version and posted it as a youtube playlist.

 

 

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Sugoi    47
Sugoi
On 9.7.2017 at 7:59 AM, winedrinkingcritic said:

The problem is the Anime version just isn't a very good movie. It's not necessarily a bad movie either, I give it points for originality, it's just not the classic that it's made out to be. Something about it feels like it's missing it's soul. And the english voice cast feels very wooden. Or maybe I just don't watch enough anime.

*gasps* Heresy!! Get the pitchforks!!
Just kidding. I personally have very fond memories of the original GitS movie. Which of course I watched in Japanese with subs (anything else is just unbearable to me as for anime). As for the Hollywood live action adaptation I can't really say anything yet (haven't watched it so far) other than that I don't like the fact that they deviated from the source material too much for my taste (e. g. "whitewashing").

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winedrinkingcritic    22
winedrinkingcritic
1 hour ago, Sugoi said:

(e. g. "whitewashing")

ROFL oh yeah, whitewashing... I think the most offensive version of whitewashing is the Brian Yuzna version of The Guyver, followed by Gods of Egypt.

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Keiichi Morisato    424
Keiichi Morisato

Tell me about it, Sugoi. I had the same experience with Appleseed. I absolutely loved the original film that was released back during the 1980's. Then, when they redid the film, it just felt that they took the exact same script and dialogue and just redid the movie. Then, when that piece of crap Appleseed XII was released, I was disappointed. The CGI just seemed to not fit with the atmosphere of the series and this is coming from one of the very first translated manga titles I had ever read. Akira (from Marvel/EPIC) and Appleseed (Eclipse International) have always been my favorites. Considering the problems that the anime studio had to deal with when it came to the budget of the series as well as production problems, it's no wonder that anime fans have such distaste for the anime series.

Ghost in the Shell, the movie, was just kind of odd seeing that exo suit, it was supposed to be a seminal point of the whole film and Dreamworks simply ruined this movie. Far too often, Hollywood movie studios worry too much about Americanizing anime or manga  properties and they never do well at the box office. I cannot remember a single Hollywood remake of an anime or manga property that has even been successful.

I just think that Johansson's portrayal of Motoko Kusanagi was just so far off the mark that it was hard to watch the rest of the film.

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winedrinkingcritic    22
winedrinkingcritic

I just bought the Anime Ghost in the Shell on Bluray (with a steelbook cover by Mondo). We'll see if it holds up. The only other time I've seen it was in a theater.

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Sugoi    47
Sugoi
On 11.7.2017 at 0:55 AM, Keiichi Morisato said:

Far too often, Hollywood movie studios worry too much about Americanizing anime or manga  properties and they never do well at the box office. I cannot remember a single Hollywood remake of an anime or manga property that has even been successful.

I just think that Johansson's portrayal of Motoko Kusanagi was just so far off the mark that it was hard to watch the rest of the film.

IMHO Hollywood studios just don't get it. I mean people like a certain "product" for specific reasons. And if you change "the formula" the fanbase logically just won't be happy about it.

And if the fans don't support or rather approve of the product it's doomed!

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winedrinkingcritic    22
winedrinkingcritic
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Sugoi said:

IMHO Hollywood studios just don't get it. I mean people like a certain "product" for specific reasons. And if you change "the formula" the fanbase logically just won't be happy about it.

And if the fans don't support or rather approve of the product it's doomed!

That's what happened to me on my fan film series. I changed the formula to something that only appealed to myself, so everyone bailed on it in the first episode. The only people who liked my episodes are the ones who didn't know what Oh My Goddess was in the first place, and thus had no basis for comparison. Likewise, the people who like the live action Ghost in the Shell probably aren't anime fans and are judging it against Blade Runner and The Matrix rather than the original Anime movie. I must've been inner distracted in the theater, because I saw nothing wrong with the Anime Ghost in the Shell on Blu-ray last night other than the Major was kind of boring. Everything about the movie was beautifully animated, and every frame was something that I'd want to frame and mount on my bedroom wall. 

Edited by winedrinkingcritic

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Keiichi Morisato    424
Keiichi Morisato

Personally, I get the fact that Hollywood needs to adjust its adaption of an anime film to a live action film, which is what happens to movie adaptions of popular books. But, Hollywood always had a morbid desire to drastically change the concept of the original source material to the point where it's not recognizable. The only adaption I enjoyed was the Spe3ed Racer movie because it didn't require a faithful adaption of the original source material and the Wachowskis, I thought, did a wonderful job on their version of the hit anime and manga series. But, it seems that with other properties like Ghost in the Shell and Dragonball Evolution, you cannot take those same liberties. They could probably get away with doing a similar approach to a You're Under Arrest live action movie but I doubt it would work for Ah! My Goddess. The movie adaption I'm dreading is Akira, which has suffered problems trying to get that movie out of developmental hell.

I just think that when a Hollywood movie studio does an adaption based on an anime or manga series, that they need to actually cast Asian actors to fill out the main character roles of the film and there are a lot of Asian actors who could fit the bill. Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Sung Kang and many other talented actors. They just choose to cast American or British Actors Caucasian-looking actors into those roles and I just don't think that's a good decision to make when you're dealing with cultural entertainment like anime. These studios need to get anime and manga fans to see these live action adaptions but that's not likely to happen until they start casting these movies the right way.

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Sugoi    47
Sugoi
6 hours ago, Keiichi Morisato said:

...They could probably get away with doing a similar approach to a You're Under Arrest live action movie...

I think this wouldn't go too well due to the cultural differences. For instance in Japan traffic police officers in general do not carry any guns. And that is simply because there is pretty much no gun crimes in Japan due to very strict gun control laws. And this is why the YUA protagonists can solve problems and cases in their own unique way if you know what I mean.

I really can't imagine this happening in a "hollywoodized" version... it wouldn't even surprise me if they hired Michael Bay to do the adaptation...  :lol:

 

6 hours ago, Keiichi Morisato said:

I just think that when a Hollywood movie studio does an adaption based on an anime or manga series, that they need to actually cast Asian actors to fill out the main character roles of the film and there are a lot of Asian actors who could fit the bill. Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Sung Kang and many other talented actors. They just choose to cast American or British Actors Caucasian-looking actors into those roles and I just don't think that's a good decision to make when you're dealing with cultural entertainment like anime. These studios need to get anime and manga fans to see these live action adaptions but that's not likely to happen until they start casting these movies the right way.

That's exactly what I'm talking about!!
I mean imagine Captain America being portrayed by non-caucasians like Will Smith or Shah Rukh Khan!! And please don't get me wrong. I think they are great actors. But they just wouldn't fit that role well (without tons of make-up and maybe plastic surgery).

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Keiichi Morisato    424
Keiichi Morisato

For that matter. imagine Robert Downey Jr. Portraying Malcom X ... it's just inappropriate casting and these Hollywood studios don't seem to grasp that. If they want to keep optioning the rights to anime and manga properties in Japan then they need to start casting appropriate actors to fill lead roles. It's not like there isn't a large enough pool of talent in the Asian American or even in the Asian acting community that couldn't fit those roles. I did a simple search yesterday and what I found were quite a few Asian actors who have starred in movies and television shows that Hollywood movie studios have produced and that talent is extraordinary. Even cross-cultural actors like Michelle Yeoh, Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat have done American movies and television shows. Michelle Yeoh is even signed on for the upcoming new Star Trek Discovery TV series debuting on CBS All Access. Jackie Chan has done the Shangai Knights and Rush Hour, Donnie Yen has done Star Wars: Rogue One and Chow Yun Fat has done Bulletproof Monk. While they have been primarily Asian films, they have crossed over into doing work with Hollywood movie and television studios.

These movie studios will continue to throw money away until they stop "white-washing" these roles for these live action anime films. But, you're right, Sugoi, about You're Under Arrest. I was just throwing an idea out there. My guess is that some movie studio would try to turn You're Under Arrest into a buddy cop movie franchise like Lethal Weapon or Rush Hour.

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winedrinkingcritic    22
winedrinkingcritic

They did a live action Japanese version of You're Under Arrest and I bailed on it almost immediately because the two Japanese actresses weren't distinguishable enough for me. Anime is an art form and not all animated films deserve to be done in live action. They also did a live action Kiki's Delivery Service, which looks horrible from the trailer.

Personally, if somebody did a live action Ah My Goddess movie, I'd be kind of interested in seeing what Sion Sono, the director of Why Don't You Play in Hell, would do with it because he showcased a talent for casting distinguishable cartoonish comedic actors... and I mean, how hard is it to downgrade himself to a PG-13 film?

Personally, I was insulted by The Great Wall for making Matt Damon the lead. That director made two of my favorite movies, Raise the Red Lantern and To Live, until the Chinese government stepped in for being too thought provoking and forced him to go into fantasy action films. The only good thing about that movie was the costume design.

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