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.
I recently became an anime fan, through my persistence of my nephew who is a DIE-HARD. And I'm excited to say that the Ghost in the Shell is the first franchise that has really sucked me in! I couldn't wait to see this version of the film. So needless to say, this story and world has a very special place in my cyber-enhanced heart. And I was very happy with my experience watching this edit.
The cutting was seamless. The audio levels were all balanced and video was crisp. I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing. It was very PUNCHY and didn't lag at all by trying to explain to much subplot. Straight-forward. Boom in your face! And I had a really fun time exploring the world on a grander stage.
Looking forward to seeing more projects from you in the future FairFriend.
I was very impressed by this edit. The pacing was really good and it flowed very well. I enjoyed this far better than the theatrical cut. It felt more faithful to the source material than the original cut. The movie itself is gorgeous and I feel like less = more which was shown by your cut. The didn't hate the original cut, but I came away cold and it felt too dumbed down. I'm glad this was rectified with this cut.
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.