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Live-Action Ghost in the Shell movie - your thoughts?

OoTmaster

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Because she's popular and attractive. It's a good way to sell tickets. While pandering to expectations on the other hand is not ("Ghostbusters" 2016).
 

nahadef

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More Asian Americans explaining their issues with Hollywood's casting system. It's their lives, you can can consider what they have to say, but of course, you can't make a horse drink as is said.

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OoTmaster

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Not to step on their toes but casting directors don't care about representation they care about money. I can complain just as much I'm not cast in hollywood films for white males but it's not my choice who to cast. That's just the way the industry works it's all about the money.
 

nahadef

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Hollywood is about money? That's a risqué take you have.

Anyway, no Asian-American is talking about profits in these cases but...
-Ghost in the Shell flopped despite having a white lead.
-The Great Wall flopped despite having a white lead.
-The largest original Hollywood property (not a remake, not an adaptation) is the Fast and Furious series, which also happens to be the most diverse.

When talking about representation in media, blaming money is lazy, and it also happens to be wrong. Movies starring white people fail all the time. They're still making Johnny Depp movies despite the last decade of money pits he's been in. It's time to improve.
 

OoTmaster

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It's just the game of Hollywood. I would suggest to anyone that feels slighted by it that they make a hasty exit. The nature of Hollywood won't change simply because you dislike it and suggest it should change.
 

OoTmaster

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Outside of my edit window. But I would like to mention that there were huge posters literally everywhere in Japan while I was there advertising the movie. So if the actors/actresses seem to have an issue with it the consumers in America and Japan for the most part don't seem to have an issue.
 

OoTmaster

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I fail to see how I'm a lazy thinker. Would you care to clarify or do you simply wish to insult me because you can't refute my argument?
 

nahadef

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As I did for Wonko and the other guy, I'll give you the benefit of explaining before moving on.


Yes, money is a thing, and many people love money before they care about racial issues, on either side of the spectrum. The argument that you make, that "It's just the game of Hollywood. I would suggest to anyone that feels slighted by it that they make a hasty exit."... that's super lazy. That is an argument that people should accept the status quo or not participate. It is the argument of someone comfortably in the mainstream (are you a straight white male?). There is no blackface in American movies today, because people had a voice and used it. Women have somewhat better roles today because they used their voice.


Your argument is that Asian Americans should accept it or give up.To me that is the opposite of the little good that we can get from American culture. Maybe some think the heroes of America accept social inequality and smile, but personally, what I get motivated about American culture is the push for equality; the Lincolns and Kings. Certainly, I wouldn’t argue against anyone trying to improve equality.


You then doubled down by saying that Japanese and Americans had no problem with Ghost In The Shell, because there were posters. First, Sony making a promotional push doesn’t equal acceptance. It’s a corporation trying to sell tickets. Second, as was stated very early in the thread, Japanese are not Japanese-Americans. Japanese grow up on a diet of Japanese pop stars, actors, and tarento. They couldn’t care less. Asian/Japanese-Americans do not. They are raised on a diet of stereotypes (as well as white high school dudes fetishizing them) and are making their voices heard because this year starts with a two and like, seriously, this stupidity isn’t justifiable with the argument ‘it is what it is.’ Third, American consumers are massively white, myopic and selfish, and, yeah, they like totally like Scarlett Johanson, she’s totally hot!!!! So no, I don’t expect people in Ohio or wherever to actually care about Ghost in the Shell.


If you think humans are purely animals without any depth of thought, I think you’re on to something, but the truth is, only 50% of us are. Lots of us can empathize for people with different skin colours, and the media we take in now sets the stage for the next generation. There are countless examples of ‘unacceptable’ media (last month’s Pepsi commercial, for example), and public voices make the change, now more than ever.


Your argument that it’s gonna be white because $$$ is wrong (as I wrote in a previous post), but it’s lazy because it’s expecting people to silence themselves because the system is apparently unable to change. You’re young; hopefully you’re able to listen to the actual people affected by these things and consider their point of view as you grow in life, and demand better, not simply a media serving $$$. Calling you a lazy thinker is much different than calling you stupid. Stupid people love their home and never leave because they know no better and refuse examples otherwise. Lazy thinkers make excuses for the status quo. Humans often suck. Don’t be one of the ones that sucks.
 

OoTmaster

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I didn't say you called me stupid. Calling me a lazy thinker is what I would call an insult though as I stated.
I fail to see how my, race, gender, sexual preference have anything to do with my ideas. There are people of all race, gender and sexual preference that agree with my thinking and people that are the same race, gender and sexual preference that disagree with me. The problem with people like you are that you automatically assume that if something isn't equal it must be a systematic prejudice against the one disadvantaged. Some things are and some things aren't don't simply assume that's the case. Asians are represented in media in the United States but not all media. The majority of characters in movies, shows etc are white because the majority of people in the United States are white as well. I fail to see how this is a problem. It's the same with any other country. I doubt you'll hear the same complaints in Spain for example because their people are much more homogeneous as is the same with Japan.
To simply boil something down to "it's a white male dominated world" therefore racism/sexism is lazy thinking in my opinion.
 

nahadef

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Boiling my post down to "therefore racism/sexism" is making me wonder if lazy thinker was an inappropriate judgment of your posts.

Your main reply has nothing to do with the topic. Nobody is complaining about white people in media. They're complaining when the very few roles Asians are even appropriate for are given to white people. Those are two very different situations. Hopefully you grasp that that was the Ghost in the Shell 'controversy', not in any way what you described.

And yes, your race is very important when taking an opposing side against Asian Americans on this topic. When Jim Crow law was opposed, do you think it was white people voicing anger? When feminism became a movement, do you think men started it and did the work? White people fought to keep Jim Crow, men fought against feminism, and, shockingly, this thread has three white dudes saying there is no problem (and across the Internet, white keyboard warriors make similar arguments). If you are a white person saying there is no issue and those Asians complaining should accept it or give up... Either you understand how problematic that is, or you don't. And if you don't, hopefully one day you get to the point of actually listening to the people affected by this, since you literally aren't one of them.

I was listening to an interview with W. Kamau Bell this week, and he was saying lots of liberal white people ask him what they can do about racism, and he shrugs his shoulders since he doesn't have all the answers, but his answer to them is talk to other white people'. So I do, when it comes up.
 

OoTmaster

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Your straw man attacking and deviation techniques are quite impressive. I hate to tell you but there were whites on both sides of the Jim Crow laws and there were men on both sides of the feminist movement. Just like there were people on both sides of the American civil war.

I'm sorry I'm guilty of white people wrong think though. Which is funny if you think about it because you seem to think that everyone that disagrees with you is a white male. The only people that think that way aren't just white males. But of course you don't know how to divide people based off diversity of thought.
 

nahadef

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More educated, informed people, affected by this topic, having opinions contrary to those of the uninformed, unaffected white guys who have no interest in this topic outside 'winning' an argument on the Internet.

Code Switch by NPR on Apple Podcasts

I don't what it is that makes straight white guys so allergic to other viewpoints.
 

HanSolo

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I saw this recently on a flight, and I wanted to give my review.

I was a great fan of Ghost in the Shell since I saw the first movie. I bought all the DVDs of the series, and loved it. I think it was mostly the cognitive element of it: having complicated plots which also end in battle scenes give more meaning to battles than just "OK this is hollywood so things explode now".

I originally swore I wouldn't watch it because I assumed it would be a typical western "ruining of the original", but frankly I was pleasantly surprised.

So my rating is: worth a watch, even for fans of the original.

So from here on in, spoiler alert.

The live action movie mostly follows the original, everything from Motoko fighting cloaked in the puddle/rain, to her trying to rip open the tank at the end. But they superimposed a dark twist that I found actually made the story more intense than the original. Fancy that. It did have a certain Hollywood tinge, of the "we think cameras dwelling on serious faces is somehow meaningful" variety, which took a little away from it, but the dark twist overrode this. The dark twist in question is the change in the plot from the original "Motoko's brain was saved from a terminal accident and put in a cyborg shell" to "people were being kidnapped in their hundreds and killed during experiments to try and put their brains in cyborg bodies, of which she was one and the accident story was a lie". That was a pretty hardcore plot change and didn't disappoint me.

The other notable feature was Aramaki. They cast Beat Takeshi as Aramaki (awesome), and he only spoke in Japanese. In the original, Amaraki is a very intelligent "working in the background" courtier/general kind of character, but in this movie they superimposed him with Takeshi's typical gangster style character, creating a uniquely interesting badass who is both cool & collected and intellectual, but blasts bad guys away himself when the time comes, with excellent Japanese one-liners accompanying the blasting.

I'm wildly guessing Johansen was cast as Motoko because of her famously appearing in Lost in Translation, which somehow "makes the sale" better because Japanophiles already associate her with "western actress who made a good movie involving Japan". Also her physique matches Motoko decently. But she was no Motoko. She didn't have that fast, cognitive edge that Motoko had, or her intensity (Johansen always comes off as a bit fundamentally soft/gentle even when that's not the character she's playing, even in movies like Lucy). But I don't know who would've made a better casting that would've sold as well. So she didn't do a bad job in my opinion.

Also Batou looked badass and quite close to the original Batou.

As for the race stuff, I'll never get it I guess. I guess people enjoy the drama of making anything they can into a race thing. In this movie her mother is Japanese, and she's, well, a cyborg. And in the anime: a cyborg with purple hair and red eyes, big tits but not fat, and long & strong legs - and someone will claim it's unreasonable she's not cast as a Japanese? What a laugh. And Batou, well, find me a Japanese guy who looks more like the anime Batou than the white guy they cast for him. Frankly I find much more enjoyment in the movie than getting worked up about some race nitpicking someone chooses to fabricate within it. But each to their own. I didn't even want to mention it because in a way it eggs them on, but it's hard to keep your mouth shut in the face of absurdity, instead of saying "absurd!". For anyone who gets worked up about such imaginary things, god knows how you'll respond to a real problem in your life.

So in conclusion, the movie was worth a watch, even for fans of the original.
 

nahadef

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Like those who came before you, I applaud your courage to dismiss the opinions of the many Asian Americans without a single statistic or personal experience to support your opinion that theirs is "absurd!" Your location seems to be Asia, but please correct me if I'm wrong in simply assuming you're yet another straight white dude, aka, the ones who seem to be most upset that anyone ever brought up this topic.

I watched this on the plane last month, and fell asleep somewhere. If this came out 25 years ago, it really would be a visionary piece of film, but I thought it was pretty boring, and I'm sure I slept through half an hour of the second half (I watched it on the long flight, then on the short flight it was the shown movie, and I didn't remember some parts, but I also wasn't wearing earphones for it). I thought the geisha-spider robots in the first half looked pretty amazing though. That scene caught my attention quite well. That was dynamic and interesting. The rest of the movie was not so compelling. When controversy comes up for a movie, at the least I hope there's something interesting behind it to make it worth watching. This wasn't that. This was a paint-by-numbers big-studio remake adding pretty much nothing. If you love sci-fi, this is a competent movie (and lord knows I've sat through countless competent movies) which might make for a fine Saturday night viewing, though it isn't fun, it isn't deep, it isn't compelling; it's competent. This was a good airplane movie, right up there with Fast and Furious 8.

Personally I wasn't so offended by any of it, though I respect the voices of those that are, since I have empathy and don't get upset at people having a voice different than my own (respect to my parents for being competent parents!). At the end of it all, the movie felt like a port, with not much to add to things. If you've never seen a sci-fi vision of the future, it may be pretty kool though.
 

OoTmaster

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I'd like to look into some of the relevant data for you as the issue has intrigued me more than I expected it to. My question for you is what kind of data are you looking for in this? Overall representation of Asian Americans in films, representation of Asian Americans in lead roles in films, overall income of Asian Americans compared other Americans, etc. I know for example because of programs like affirmative action an Asian trying to get into a college has a 200 point penalty against their scores when applying to a lot of the main colleges. So it certainly wouldn't surprise me if racism plays at least some part.
 

HanSolo

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@nahadef, what you demand to be important is simply not important. You demand that, of the 20,000 people who flock to Hollywood to become movie stars, and the 20 who actually become one and get paid millions of dollars, maybe 1 or 2 more of those end up Asian actors instead of White or Black actors.

And concurrently, 1 million people die each year from malaria. 1 child every 30 seconds. As someone possessing a Tumblr account no doubt you care and know about that big picture stuff of course.

Your chief gripe is that some Asian guy in America somewhere won't get to drive a Ferrari, instead of getting worked up about stuff that matters. 1st world problems, eh? I join the rest of the planet in saying "you western common scolds are on the way out, not on the way in".

And feel free to indulge in your standard western leftist variety of "I suspect you're white so your opinion is null" racial prejudice, or "I suspect your sexuality is X so I dismiss you" sexual prejudice, but everyone's used to it now: keep pulling that tree-branch back buddy! No signs of rebellion yet at the polls & plebiscites at all, right? Fortunately plane tickets and staying outside the (tiny) expat/tourist areas rapidly vaporize your toxic culture from our ears and our lives.

And it was a good movie, if only because it was a Hollywood rendering of a Japanese intellectual classic that wasn't completely dumbed-down garbage, which I consider a surprising feat.
 

johnnyG

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Never heard of the original, and probably skipped this thread due to that.

I wonder if this will appear on one of my cable channels someday. I might watch it, depending on what its competition is.
 

nahadef

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@nahadef, what you demand to be important is simply not important. You demand that, of the 20,000 people who flock to Hollywood to become movie stars, and the 20 who actually become one and get paid millions of dollars, maybe 1 or 2 more of those end up Asian actors instead of White or Black actors.
Wow, you think representation in movies and media are merely a matter of the paychecks of the people appearing in them. Are you even a university grad? That is such a junior high school take on reality.

You be you, but not much use in me continuing the conversation with you as you are now. Talk to some Asian Americans and ask them how they felt growing up having mainly white characters as cultural heroes, with Asian people as sidekicks or love interests. But never the hero. Never. Unless they do kung fu and proved themselves in the Asian market first. Seriously, ask them, listen to them, get their opinion on how it affected them. Listen to them, consider their words carefully, and then come back and tell me that the topic is about who gets Ferraris. ***.

Until you do, take care. For now, you're talking out your butt, I'm echoing the words of the people involved, plus my own capacity for human empathy.

The Internet is full of dudes, and as much as I think people need to speak up against them/you, I won't pretend that I think I'm changing your mind. These sorts of posts are really intended for the casual observer. Absurd is right.
 
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