I'd like to offer some thoughts in summary about initial viewing of the adaption.
It is an imperfect film. I found it sort of sways from different subplots a little too disjointedly, and though the original content in the film is strong, something about it doesn't gel all too well with the scenes adapted from the Oshii films and S.A.C. Something's also off with the setting: though the set design is strong and the computer generated imagery complements it, I got the sense midway through that some of the spaces seemed un-lived in as though the streets needed more people, or that perhaps an absence of 'public space' or 'the public'.
It's a good film, if one recognises that there's a recurring feeling of off about the direction of the film, and that all one can do is roll with that and appreciate what works - and I felt that there is a lot that works (for what there is). I found the opening sequence deftly introduced us to the setting and to the principal drama, and the sequence that follows (adapted from the original Oshii anime, though different and appreciable in its own right) is good. I guess I should say that though the Major's nature as a cyborg agent is given a solid introduction, there's a slight gap in the premise about the Major's personal motivations as an agent in Section 9 and why she acts the way she does, and I found this inhibits how her arc fits in with Section 9's initial investigation. I found the cast gave strong performances, though they were undoubtedly stronger performed than they were written. There is some of that classic Ghost in the Shell philosophy in the course of the film, though I felt it's more of a theme than the primary thrust of the story (as some might argue about the Oshii films) and so the depth in this film is found in the Major's arc and the ethical questions that it raises. I realise that the action sequences are a crucial point for some people - personally I found the action appropriately paced, had the right amount of stakes to retain to my interest, and apart from the last sequence, the direction in those sequences achieved a fine kinetic quality that I felt did a good service to the source material. I'm also obliged to note that the set design and use of real locations is on point (as are the costumes and props and the like), and the computer imagery for the cyborg bodies is pretty darn good, though I got distracted with a few computer generated set pieces and backgrounds that I felt were on a different visual register to the action.
Although it'd be more in my style wait until more of you have seen and spoke about the movie before addressing particular story points in great depth, I believe it's worth noting that I particularly appreciated the angle on the question of the Major's background - I should stress to name her as 'the Major' here, as anyone who will watches the movie will understand - something that's pretty much untouched in the Oshii iterations. Though as anyone who's seen 2ND GIG knows, there are threads this story that are borrowed from an arc near the end of that series. I suspect those who have seen 2ND GIG and know the Kuze arc well will be able appreciate how his background in that series has been utilised in this adaptation - and it's significant, as it's paced in a manner that highlights questions about the Major's arc which had me intrigued and interested to know what would be next.
And that's one of the smartest things about this adaptation, as it sets the groundwork for a scene near the end of the second act - and another in near the end of the movie - where we're shown a side another side of the humanity about the Major (and about the ethical questions of putting people artificial bodies, and so on) that I have to admit is beautifully handled.
Overall I had a good time with the movie, and my stepfather enjoyed it as well. We took the two o'clock afternoon session to see it and there were actually about a dozen or more other people in the theater. Though it's hard to know how many people in the audience had experiences with the movie, I'm inclined to state at this time that it's a decent introduction to general audiences and a sound live-action adaptation for those of us who have been with the franchise for a while.
With that said, I am sad to say that whilst I was writing some slightly-serious thoughts in spoiler boxes, I made the mistake of loading up the Wikipedia page and ... well, those aggregate scores aren't so encouraging. Evidently there many mixed opinions about it. It's to soon to say anything about how this movie will be thought of over time, though in the immediate future I feel it offers fertile ground for discussion of the franchise.
There is a Basset Hound in this film in at least three scenes.
First, the Basset Hound appears last amongst the Dog that Batou feeds in the alleyway, and IIRC it snags a brief shot all to itself.
Second, the Basset Hound is the only dog the reappear when the Major revisits the alleyway.
and Third, the Basset Hound reappears alongside Batou in the third act, sitting in a beach chair beside Batou as he readies himself to shoot the shit out of some section six agents sneaking up behind them
And BONUS BASSET HOUND ROUND: In one of the computer-generated overhead camera shots halfway through the movie, for about a second a giant animated holographic Basset Hound can be seen off of the side of a building.
Better believe it folks: the film retains Oshii's strange obsession with Basset Hounds. I have to admit, it got me smiling and laughing in the theater that they did this not once but several times.