As a big fan of the original anime movie, I was somewhat disappointed by the original live action Ghost in the Shell release, which I saw in theatres. The main criticisms I had were around the dumbing down of the material, significant changes to the overall visual style, lack of story coherence, and the score. Nerdwriter does a very insightful comparison of the visual elements here, which really resonated with me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2soHxEN79c&feature=youtu.be
This edit does a fantastic job at fixing these issues, as much as possible in a fanedit, while also improving the pacing. I think removing some of the 'on the nose' explanations helps the viewer focus on exploring core cyberpunk elements themselves. Trimming sub plots to focus on the main story arc works really well, and gives more relative time to the core Major experiences.
Thoroughly recommend over the main theatrical cut.
To be clear I have not yet delved into the gits franchise or watched the original live action film. In fact, I have only seen the animated film that started it all. I liked the themes of the animated film, and it's imagination for what it saw in our potential future.
When it comes to live adaptations, I am not one of those that likes them only and only if they are extremely resembling their original materials. I am more than happy if they are crisp, and have interesting things to say. Another thing I dislike is when they are westernized, especially if being adapted from eastern media. A good example of this is the death note adaptation in 2018. In westernizing media, it is made generic, and in my opinion loses what makes it unique.
Now that that is out of the way, when I saw the beginning of this film with the intro and all, I was like "Holy shit!!!" I found myself enjoying the themes portrayed, and the questions posed by the movie. I also, loved how to the point and concise your edit was. It was streamlined. There were some cuts that were noticeable, but they didn't break my flow of the film to a halt. I really do believe that based on the noticeable cuts, you were able to strengthen the narrative focus of this movie. And props to you for that.
I can't even wrap my head around how this film was made. It is so packed with visual activity. I had dismissed it originally because of the reviews, but this edit made me interested in checking it out. Thank you so much for your time and effort into making this. I loved this movie/edit. There are very few fan edits on here that capture that perfect narrative flow, and in my opinion those are the best ones. I don't know about everyone else, but yours is one of them in my books.
As a fan of the franchise (and even the original cut of this film) this edit was amazing. My main complaint of having things dumbed down and over explained in the movie was fixed, which already made this edit an improvement, but then the additional editing used to speed up the pacing and give the movie more focus also helped the story's flow. The editing itself was also executed very well, with no noticeable cuts in audio or video. Overall everything that changed here was an improvement and was done perfectly. The only scene that I would've possibly kept is the "prostitute scene" because of what it adds to The Major's identity questions like in the 1995 film, but given that the scene is so short it doesn't make a huge difference to the film and would likely slow down the pacing, so I'm willing to give it up. Otherwise this was a great edit that pretty much improved the movie in every way it could've.