GHOST IN THE SHELL - It was ok guys, don't panic.
No, it didn't ruin the original for me. I much prefer Stand Alone Complex, the original film can be hard to watch.
I don't think it was whitewashed. Yes, they changed the
Japanese names for SOME of the characters, but its a plot point. Anyway, no one in an anime is ethnically Japanese - they're based on 1950s Disney cartoons, the famous anime eyes as an example. Motoko is a generic robot body etc.
The easy part is getting the look right, which they did. Definitely filmed in Shanghai, with CG. Very dark, very cyberpunk, and beautiful in a body horror way. But did they get the themes right?
They kept the themes of the anime/manga actually quite well. Identity, what is human etc. I thought it would just focus on the action, but no.
They didn't focus on the amnesia for too much, and I'm glad for that.
I think it was well cast, although Scarlett Johansen looked constantly surprised. Batou was good too, Togasa, the villain. A mix of American & Japanese.
Several callbacks to the original animated film, either you're going to like it or not.
No tachikomas! Boo!
Take it from me, an actual GITS fan, it was a good movie. Don't listen to the crazies who say that "it sux" or its "ruined the franchise" or its become "hollywoodized", it was good.