My prior knowledge of Ghost in the Shell consists of the following: There was a game on the Playstation 1 in which you drove a red ladybird tank and that the original story is supposed to be kind of a big deal. That’s pretty much it. I ended up deciding not to colour my opinions the movie by searching out any of the source material beforehand. In part because a lot has been said in the build up to this movie and little of it positive. I realised that much of this was to do with the choice in casting and differences in tone. In the end, I thought I’d be better off just going to see the movie and judge it by its own merits, not involve myself in any of the debate that seems to dog the film.
I get the feeling this movie started off life as something more. Like it might have been Ben Affleck’s shot at a real epic crime drama like Once Upon a Time in America or maybe The Godfather series. It has all the hallmarks of wanting to be a longer movie, documenting the rise of one man in crime over a long period of time. All the same though, I liked Live by Night quite a bit in spite of the very mixed reception it got.