Definitely the go-to version of the film. Big fan of GITS here, and upon watching the theatrical version thought that the sequence of the story, mother subplot, extraneous scenes, lack of expositional restraint, cheesy 'on the nose' dialogue etc etc really detracted from and bogged down the kick-ass postcyberpunk film that could've been. Ever since that first viewing in the cinema, I've been waiting for a faneditor to craft the film I knew was in there somewhere. This is that fanedit. Though the film is by no means perfect, what FairFriend has done here is focus and ground the characters and story (as much as one could, given the material available) and eliminate the expositional overload (which deprived the audience's imagination any mysterious elements to explore) and the cheesy/pandering/on-the nose aspects to create a tight, immersive cinematic experience of the GITS world, ensuring that all the neonoir/cyberpunk/postcyberpunk themes of identity, memory, technology, transhumanism, corporate greed and corruption, the exploitation of marginalized sectors of society, and the procedural whodunnit mystery are intact. The 'lean and mean' approach of cutting everything except the essential elements of the story adds to further bolster and highlight the key strengths of the film: the production design, cinematography, effects, and amazing electronic score, creating a cult classic that should be shared w all fans of GITS who were disappointed by the original theatrical cut, and, as mentioned, should be the go-to version for those who haven't seen the original. Well done, FairFriend!
*Like digmodification, I too noticed the aforementioned audio/video sync at 16:58 and the sudden cut re Cutter's death; also, apparently in earlier test screenings there was a whole different scene involving Cutter's death that involved a geisha and Aramaki, a pity we don't have access to it.
After seeing the theatrical version I was sorely disappointed in the writing. It was less about the philosophy that the original animated movie explored, and more a romance movie that disguised itself as an action movie.
The edit is definitely smoother and has a better flow, but it seems to be lacking a backbone that I think without re-scripting and re-filming you won't be able to get.
The shelling sequence with the original song still gives me goosebumps.
I would definitely recommend watching this version rather than the theatrical release!
I pretty much enjoyed your altered edit of Ghost in the Shell (1. Anime 2. your edit 3.Hollywood movie). Always had trouble with the subplot of the mother, as you well stated it is going nowhere.
Didn´t notice 98% of your changes, really well made.
As stated by digmodification the audo/video sync at 16:58 catched my eye too. Also the connection between major and kuze seemed a little bit more hollow, maybe it would have been possible to keep one or two flashbacks.
I understood why you deleted the suicide of the prisoner, but i do not consent with this change. To me the original scene capped there perfectly.
But overall i enjoyed your edit more then the actual movie, so well done :)
I'm not a fan of the original source material or anime in general and originally only watched this as I was able to find a killer deal on the movie. This is my second outing with the film thus far. I purposefully did not return to my previous review of the movie or try to remember it before going in as to try and view this edit with the freshest of eyes and ears and narrative following as possible.
The file looks great. Some dark areas have some artifacts which I'd have thought wouldn't be as prevalent with the file size, but they aren't overly distracting.
Great visual editing here. The only issue I saw was a single video/audio sync error.
Again, great audio editing here. For the most part I didn't hear any of the cuts you made. There is a lip/audio/video sync issue at 16:58 that I'm guessing was a line replacement. The audio works, but the video doesn't quite work with it. The only other cut that stood out to me was the end when Cutter dies. The music jumps unexpectedly, though it isn't overly jarring. Other than those, the audio work was pretty flawless. The new song during the credit scene was seamlessly integrated.
The narrative changes really focused the story. I think the only part that might have suffered was the relationship between Major and Kuze. Their bond doesn't seem as strong in this one due to some removal of flashbacks and information that was removed about Motoko. I kept returning to those scenes in my mind so I'm not sure if a first time viewer would understand the totality of their connection. Does this diminish the narrative, not at all. It's still compelling and a tighter focus on the Major makes their intimate connection less integral to the story. One interesting thing that occurred from the rearranging of the beginning was that the credits scene almost made this feel like a tv show by it's placement after the hotel raid. It also created a perhaps unintentional implication that the Major would get a brand new body each time she is hurt, though we see throughout that this is not the case. Because of this, my mind took it as a TV like intro. This didn't harm the narrative, but it did leave a small inconsistency in my mind. While I personally like some of the omitted narrative components, this edit worked pretty flawlessly. Great work!
A tighter focus worked great with this film. I barely noticed or missed any of the 15 minutes cut from the story. The rearranging of certain scenes was also fantastically integrated. It's always enjoyable to see how adjustments alter the outcomes and presentation of a story. With a few slight adjustments to the audio this would be a solid 9.5 for me.