I've mentioned in several posts about my apprehension over this live action version of one of my favorite bits of anime. I wasn't pleased with the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the Major, simply because I don't think we need her in every single movie about a stoic female type -- Avengers/Natasha Rominoff, Under the Skin, Lucy, etc.
I've also mentioned how I'm concerned about the basic plot of this movie. The original anime was about an AI program that had amassed enough data to become sentient, sort of like Skynet or if you really want to go back to a great flick -- Colossus: The Forbin Project (that's some great stuff right there, watch it if you haven't seen it).
It appears they're taking a bit of that for this live-action version and trying to build in some back story for the Major. Will it work? I don't know, I'm sort of torn here. Part of what I like about these animes is their talkiness. I know it can be a pace killer at times, but that's part of the fun. For me at least.
The movie makers are trying to pull in bits from the anime, as in particular scenes and props -- the suitcase gun, the scene of an android body floating upwards in the skin generation pool, the Major sitting by the window, the opening sequence (which I've referenced before), etc. We get a look at the automated tank that the Major fights toward the end of the anime. That looked pretty cool. I wonder if they'll show the scene where the tank shoots at the Major and the spray of rounds tracks down along an engraving of a species tree. A nice touch, that.
I'm initially disappointed in Bato, the Major's partner. In the anime, part of his cybernetic upgrade are his eyes. In the live-action, they apparently switch from implants to regular eyes as needed. I can only imagine that the producers thought they could get more emotion for the scenes from real eyes. But that's part of the point of the anime -- as Bato points out to Togusa at one point, he (Togusa) is the only one in Section 9 that doesn't need regular maintenance on his body as he has only minimal implants (the back of the neck stuff that allows communication and cool stuff like auto drive for cars and such).
The movie looks lush and CGI heavy. I hope it does well. I guess I'll see it in theaters. I want it to be good because of my feelings about the original, but man, I'm on the edge about this one.