So, I'm watching Ghost in the Shell and the only thing I can think of is, "these gringos don't get Japanese story tells." Not that such a thing stops white people from stealing non-white media and remaking it in their forced, anemic, pasty white image. It's clear that they cribbed mostly from the original film and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (an anime series) to create a franken-movie, not bothering to understand that the film and the series are two different tales which just happen to use many of the same characters. Just to be clear, GITS: SAC is one of the best anime series ever made. It's the only anime series that ever made me weepy over a robot. A ROBOT. GITS, the feature film, is considered one of the best examples of the art of animation, up there with Akira, Wings of Honneamise, and most of Miyazaki-sans works. The new American GITS would be awesome as an episode of the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 series on Netflix.
As for the whitewashing, it's just plain stupid. Everybody is hating on it, and Hollywood isn't listening. Dumb. You idiots are already losing tons of money because people don't want to spend $50 to watch TV in a big room for a few hours. There's TV at home, and it has better stuff playing. Whitewashing is also racist and puerile. We've got enough hate going around without having it shoved in our faces by what's supposed to be entertainment.
If the racism wasn't enough, there's the shitty, moody pacing and the constant, nagging remedial reminders that "Major" isn't really human and that's what the story is supposed to be about. So, GITS 101... What makes a human human? Can a thing be human if it contains the mere consciousness of a being, or is that just a clever copy that only seems alive? Ultimately, it questions the soul and where it resides, if at all. This is a subtlety that American filmmakers just can't seem to grasp.
See, there's this thing in Japanese storytelling, and even I don't fully grok it but I believe I'm well ahead of the curve for Westerners, that focuses on the experiential aspects of a tale. For example, in Mamoru Oshii's 1995 theatrical version, there are extended scenes which feature nothing but Kenji Kawai's haunting vocal track and scenes of New Port City in Japan. Not a single aspect of this sequence adds anything to the story, considered criminal in Western film-making, but adds both a layer of familiarity and presence to the teeming locale and injects a deeply emotional tone through the score.
Japanese storytelling often features the seasons with special attention to Cherry blossoms in Spring, the beach in Summer, festivals and fireworks in Fall, and Christmas in Winter. My intuition tells me that this is derived from the strong sense of tradition in Japan as native Japanese people culturally seek out the beauty and significance of life, the world, nature, and even human works. These are the bits and bobs that get left out or wholly misunderstood when translating Japanese media into American fare.
And that's all I have to say on that.