The winner of the Silliest Statement Made by a Studio Executive award for this week, Paramount distribution chief Kyle Davies was discussing the box office results for Ghost in the Shell with CBC:
We had hopes for better results domestically. I think the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews.
You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie. So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience. That’s challenging, but clearly the reviews didn’t help.
We can even choose to let the derogatory use of the term fanboys slide, but Kyle is missing the main thrust of most of the poor reviews. Perusing over any sampling of the reviews that are out there will indeed touch on the whitewashing claims, but most of them review and rate it notwithstanding the race of the various cast members.
His comment that “..the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews,” seems to mean he’s not actually read most of them.
The RT summaries say it pretty clearly:
- A flimsy copy of a copy, one that recreates some of the anime’s set-pieces nearly shot for shot, but then pares away nearly everything else that made the original a classic.
- It’s unfortunate, if predictable, that Hollywood found it necessary to almost entirely eliminate deep think in favor of deep action.
- It gets bogged down in aesthetics that are stimulating only for the sake of stimulation, seemingly without a flicker of thought behind them. Shell indeed, but there’s no ghost at home.
- For a film that is constantly obsessed with the notion of identity and the soul, Ghost in the Shell is a film lacking personality and spirit
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