Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Henry88 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:33 pm

'Alita: Battle Angel' First Reactions Surface Online
https://comicbook.com/anime/2019/01/10/ ... ons-anime/
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Dai » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:26 pm

I can now exhale a sigh of relief I've been holding in for 20 years, because this movie was really good. My main concern going in turned out not to be a problem: I didn't think it was possible to cover all of the manga's first three arcs in a 2-hour movie. Turns out, it doesn't try to. This is primarily an adaptation of the hunter-warrior and Hugo arcs; some motorball is thrown in for flavour and to provide one of the movie's best action scenes, but it doesn't try to cover that whole part of the story.

The most obvious change from the manga is that all of the overt philosophy has been removed. The other major change is tonal. While this is still a brutal story at times, character motivations are made more relatable, and some of the hard edges are sanded down. For example:

Spoiler Below:
In the manga, Hugo remained unrepentent about stealing people's body parts to pay his way to Zalem, but in the movie he has a change of heart late in the story. As for the surrogate father/daughter relationship between Alita and Ido, that's been smoothed out a lot. Ido now has a more understandable reason to be protective, whereas in the manga he was revealed to be quite possessive and controlling.


The Alita manga was a world full of characters who never compromised on what they wanted, often until it destroyed them. The movie, despite Rodriguez stepping into the director's chair, has James Cameron's fingerprints all over the script. That means more sentimental, humane relationships, and a more traditional Hollywood romance arc than the messy, selfish desires presented in the manga. I won't call this a flaw, since it does give the movie a strong emotional core, but it is a very different perspective compared to the original, even though it does lead to the same end.

Those hoping this would be a completely self-contained story may be disappointed on that front. I was surprised to see Desty Nova make an appearance (and even more to see a familiar face in the role), and he's very much set up as the potential main villain for a sequel. The movie does give the viewer a clear idea of the trajectory Alita's life would take after this story though, so the ending doesn't really count as a cliffhanger.

My only real complaint is that the story's seams show in places. Particularly in the first hour, the structural editing can throw the pace off on occassion. It's nothing major, but a noticeable artefact of the many threads this story pulls together. Of course, some of that could be down to me comparing it to the structure of the manga and anime versions. A new viewer might not find fault with how the movie is constructed.

Overall, this is a highly entertaining slice of cyberpunk, where both Rodriguez and Cameron bring their personal strengths to the table. I hope it does good enough business to greenlight a sequel, but I don't know if its action is flashy or excessive enough to woo modern audiences used to larger-scale conflicts than the personal battles presented here.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Gargantuan Gargantua » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:56 pm

I see this Friday. When I bought the tickets nobody had bought seats yet so I picked what I wanted. Of course I bought a 12:30 pm showing on a Friday so... Heres hoping my dad and I are the only ones there so I can nag them to turn the surround sound up for me. =)
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Dai » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:32 am

Some more thoughts, now that I've mulled over the movie.

Spoiler Below:
The Alita manga is known for being a subversion of the 'born sexy yesterday' trope. Unfortunately, the movie veers dangerously close to undoing this. In the manga, Alita falls for Hugo because of his passion for chasing his dream of reaching Zalem, ie. a trait specific to him. There's an element of this in the movie, but it also leans into Hugo teaching Alita 'the ways of the world' (and introducing her to chocolate), ie. things that any non-amnesiac could have done, and a key element of the trope. It's not a complete 180, but it's a change the movie would have been stronger without, and is the most prominent element that suggests James Cameron may have had a version of this screenplay knocking around for the last two decades.

As for the Alita/Ido side of it, that's a bit more complicated. In the manga, Alita and Ido didn't completely fall out until she ran away in the motorball arc, which the movie doesn't really cover. The movie does show them fighting over Alita's desire to use the berserker body and become a hunter-warrior though, which fills a similar narrative role. The scene where Ido reveals that he's made a set of specialised feet for her motorball tryouts does a good job of showing that he's chosen to respect her independence. This is somewhat undermined by a (very James Cameron) moment where they snuggle up together on the sofa, but whether you read this as dependence or a reconciled family is down to the viewer.


Another significant change from the manga is the nature of the threat posed by The Factory and Zalem. The movie makes the conflicts more direct and specifically motivated, whereas the world of the manga often killed people through callous indifference.

Spoiler Below:
The most obvious case of this comes at the end. In the movie, Nova intentionally sends the saw-ring that knocks Hugo off the pipe. In the manga, the saw-rings are just an automated system that pass at regular intervals, and Hugo gets treated like any other vermin caught in their path. One is a murder intended to make Alita suffer, the other is the cynical routine of a city that doesn't see ground-dwellers as human. I'm not sure how I feel about that change. It's not really better or worse, just different.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Gargantuan Gargantua » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:58 pm

I just saw it and liked it a lot even though some stuff involving Hugo was a bit much... Never read the manga, I only saw the 60 minute anime that I had from years ago.

I can say it is probably the best Anime adaptation ever. I think it is getting criticized a little harshly. I'd say maybe the way scenes get pieced together sometimes happen abruptly and the dialogue can be a tad cliche but what ya gona do.

I doubt I'll go back to seeing it in theaters but I'll buy it on BluRay.

7/10
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:48 am

I saw Alita: Battle Angel last night and it rocked! It's a very fast-paced movie that's packed with plot and world-building but it's rooted in heart and carried by a fantastic mo-cap performance from Rosa Salazar as Alita. The supporting cast is stacked with top-tier talent like Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali and it was cool to see Jeff Fahey pop up as the hunter-warrior with the robotic dogs.

Compared to some other recent Hollywood cyberpunk adaptations, it's as if they took the most interesting parts of Ghost in the Shell (an amnesiac female cyborg) and Ready Player One (people living in a technologically advanced but heavily classist society in a dystopian future) and built a much better, more dynamic movie around those elements. I enjoyed both Ghost in the Shell and Ready Player One when I watched them but they're not movies that I feel compelled to ever see again, whereas Alita: Battle Angel is a film I'd like to own and rewatch in the future.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby lhb412 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:16 am

Loved this flick. Savage action, cool designs, interesting world, loveable characters, and did I mention how great the action was?

It's crazy that superhero movies have become the dominant pop culture Force yet the action sequences in them are often the least interesting parts of the movie, lacking the intensity that great comic book battles can give you. Alita, as well as Spider-Verse, go a long way to correct that!
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:49 am

/Film, 02/18/2019:
‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Star Rosa Salazar on Transforming Into a Digital Cyborg Character [Interview]

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby william newell » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:40 pm

Just got back from seeing this for the second time, and boy, is this a fun flick! Best live action anime yet, in my opinion. Can't wait for the Bluray!
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby mr.negativity » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:05 pm

THR FEBRUARY 24, 2019:
Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Scores Needed Win With $62M China Debut
Pamela McClintock wrote:Alita: Battle Angel secured a key victory with a China debut of $62.3 million, the best showing ever in that market for 20th Century Fox.

Nevertheless, the big-budget cyberpunk adventure — a passion project for James Cameron that was directed by Robert Rodriguez — isn't out of danger financially after costing a net $170 million to produce before marketing.

China's performance is certainly good news. Alita is pacing 8 percent ahead of 2018's Ready Player One, which topped out at $216 million in the Middle Kingdom. One hitch: Alita will face competition in the coming days from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and then Captain Marvel.

In North America, Alita tumbled 58 percent to $12 million for a domestic total of $60 million.

The movie's international total through Sunday, including China, stands at $202.7 million for a worldwide cume of $263.4 million. Fox insiders say the movie needs to reach $350 million globally to break even; outside analysts put that number between $400 million and $500 million.

While it placed No. 2 in North America, Alita topped the foreign weekend chart with a total $94 million.

One of the strongest points in the pic's favor in China is the involvement of Cameron, who is arguably the country's most revered filmmaker, thanks to Avatar and the 3D rerelease of Titanic ($145 million in 2012).

Fox is aggressively marketing Alita as a "James Cameron production" in China. And last week, Cameron hosted the Chinese premiere of Alita at a Wanda cinemaplex in central Beijing, with stars Rosa Salazar and Christoph Waltz also in attendance, along with fellow Alita producer Jon Landau.

Imax theaters in China turned in $9 million, a record for the month of February.

The previous biggest China opening for a Fox release belonged to 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes.

The family offering How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World came in second overseas among Hollywood movies with $34.7 million for a foreign tally of $216.9 million and $274.9 million globally.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby lhb412 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:09 pm

^ Hell, yeah!

I'll be seeing it a second time today, IMAX!
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby sentaison » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:28 pm

Watched it yesterday and loved it! A well done mash up of the first few storylines of the manga, with the inevitable changes that always happen from print to film. It's definitely going into my library when the blu ray is released. I would love to see the direction they take the story if they do a sequel.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:31 am

This was...fine.

I was mostly entertained but the second act didn't do enough to unspool some of the backstory required to make me care about the larger story as a whole. As a result, the third act is an anti-climactic, rushed bit of clunkery that crams in SO much it feels like there's a FOURTH act also.

It certainly doesn't help that one of the emotional centers of the movie, Hugo, was so grating to me I couldn't stand him or any time he was even on-screen. I hated both the actor and the character, and I think most of what was done with him was such a massive miscalculation it nearly torpedoed the entire experience for me. I never read the manga, but reading the spoilers about how he's treated there vs here kinda makes sense then that I hated him and his redemption moments felt really unearned and I just wanted him to not be in the movie anymore.

Ultimately, there was enough for me to have fun with it, but I don't know that I'd ever want to revisit it. The character and performance of Alita are charming as hell, and the goofy fun stuff like Jeff Fahey's character and tiny little Jackie Earl Haley's head on a ginormicous body are goofy and bonkers and fun...but then there's the gigantic wet fart of a character in Hugo, and the movie's utterly unsatisfying ending to sit there and drag the entire experience down for me.

3/5. I think a sequel that actually gives a satisfying conclusion would be the only way I'd ever come back to this.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby lhb412 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:29 am

^ Hugo reminded me of all the garbage male role models I had as a '90s kid; imagine Jonathan Taylor Thomas in a backwards baseball cap.

To me he made perfect sense as Alita's dumbass love interest. Of course this naive child would fall for this guy!

I'm not usually one for IMAX 3D stuff, but I really dug watching the movie in this format! Makes me consider saying Godzilla this way.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:50 am

It's not that it doesn't make sense, it's that it's off-putting to see and experience. His character was a dumpster fire, and that he was attempted to be redeemed instead of saved simply because Alita values life was a major miscalculation.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:20 pm

I agree with both of you regarding Hugo. He's a very grating character and I didn't like him but I thought he was an appropriate fit for his role in the story. He's an unsympathetic douchebag who is totally unworthy of the girl who has fallen in love with him, and while he does eventually recognize the error of his ways, he still pays for his crimes. Hugo had been stealing body parts from cyborgs and he ends up spending the last day of his life as a disembodied head on a clunky robot body before falling to his death without ever reaching Zalem.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby lhb412 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:27 pm

Man, the fights in this movie were so brutal and stylish and amazing!

I'm still riding the high of this movie and Spider-Verse.
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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Postby mr.negativity » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:01 pm

Tilly Lockey Receives Alita: Battle Angel Bionic Arms
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FORBES MARCH 10, 2019:
Box Office: 'Alita' Tops $300M Overseas
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