Alright guys and gals, we have a really good film that is not getting many good reviews now in these days during it’s first week but my hopes are that I change that. I will be giving all of you a review that is spoiler free that way for those who haven’t seen the film yet because maybe your waiting for five dollar Tuesday to come. I am reviewing tonight Alita: Battle Angel so lets get to this review!
So the basic understanding of the film is of a woman who doesn’t remember her name but is given the name Alita (Rosa Salazar) by the doctor Ido (Christoph Waltz); found in a junk yard and rebuilt with a sacred body to the doctor which you later find out why it’s so sacred but no spoilers as I promised. Alita tries to make a new life of hers while trying to trigger her past which is pretty awesome; a person to help her make a new life and new name to her is Hugo (Keean Johnson) which like in the manga became a love interest for Alita, now that’s not spoiler because it’s even given to you in the trailers. The design of Alita comes directly from the manga which started getting published in Business Jump magazine from 1990 to 1995. When the comic pages became very popular the author brought out a two part volume in 1993 which made Alita become incredibly popular in Japan, which was then released as an OVA anime in 1993 in Japan.
With a film as big as this, a question still looms in everyone’s minds; will this movie break the anime live action adaption curse that has loomed over Hollywood ever since they first adapted their first anime movie that bombed in theaters? To answer that question, it’s unclear but I will say that this film is the best adaption from a manga series by far to date. It’s visual effects, animations, and so much more that we will get into detail with in a little bit in this review. But for now I will make my own prediction and say yes we will get sequels, we will break that ever lasting curse that has been looming over our country for a very long time. I feel like if they make these movies as a trilogy instead of going full on sequel after sequel after sequel that it would be the better route. Only reason I say this is because not every movie needs like 5 to 15 movies made after the first successful film, instead it would be smart to make it as a trilogy and have the story fledge out successfully in that trilogy. But that’s my opinion!
Now the visual effects were amazing, the first thing that catches your eyes when the film starts is the amazing detail to every piece of junk in that junk yard that Dr. Ido is searching through. Just seeing all the amazing architecture of the 3D models, made me cry because it was so beautiful to see all the amazing art that I’ve even been trained in how to do to everything in 3D art. The motion capture which can sometimes be really hard to do especially when you are first starting out in that area of the 3D arts, and I don’t think a lot of people realize how hard it is to do motion capture, but I will try to paint a picture for you to see. So imagine having to spend hours and hours and hours in a studio for the whole day shooting these two, or three, or four actors wearing the motion capture gear putting the correct characters to their gear and hoping they get the choreography correct in the first takes; but they never do. Instead you have to spend days and days and days in the studio re-shooting that scene over and over again; once the scene is correct you take that file and you have to clean up the animation and visual effects in the process. Now in this part of the process you have to sit at a computer for days on days to clean up the animation and sometimes when your cleaning up the animation you make it worse to where you have to go back to step one of cleaning up the animation. Now if your painting this whole process in your head you can see how annoying and mind boggling it can be to do motion capture, it’s a long process that can sometimes take years and years in order to master and even when you think you have mastered the process you still make mistakes because we are only human. But I hope painting this picture it makes you understand how hard this process is and why it can take so long to bring out movies that use this process like Avatar, and Alita and many others that have used the process of Motion Capture.
Now I know that a lot of people are talking bad about this movie but it’s not bad at all, it’s a phenomenal movie that is perfect for it’s time, if this film would’ve came out lets say 18 years ago it would’ve been a film way before it’s time. But now that Syfy films are becoming more advanced and our world of animation is even evolving to become better to help both worlds collide to make better films, it’s a whole new world of sorts. The animation for the eyes which are identical to manga drawings of Alita with big anime looking eyes but at least it’s not as big as it was in the teaser trailers but I think that’s why they call it a teaser trailer to tease us. But overall the animations that went into animating Alita, Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley) and even characters like Zapan (Ed Skrein), Romo (Derek Mears) and Nyssiana (Eiza Gonzalez) all had to be motion captured and then animated to be perfected so that the film can go into editing.
In the film I had no idea that it was Edward Norton who played Nova for that little scene, I know that he doesn’t normally do comic book or manga inspired movies but it’s cool that he chose to actually do this film. Probably because he doesn’t have to do that much of an appearance in the film but the question is, if there are sequels will Ed Norton come back or give up the role? We’ve seen the guy give up roles before.
Rosa Salazar did an amazing job as Alita and I can not see anyone else ever doing the role, she literally brought the character to life and just seeing her act in the film bringing the heroic side and the strong female character to life is amazing. She did a phenomenal job and we need her to stay in the role!
I have to give a huge shout out to Robert Rodriguez who directed the film, he’s always done amazing work as a director, I remember the first film I went to go see of his when I was a kid. It was that Spy Kids movie, back then I thought that movie was the greatest movie ever made and I’ve always kept up with his movies for years and years he’s always done a phenomenal job and this movie that he’s brought to life and gave it a special heart in so many people’s hearts that get to see this film he is truly a special guy who deserves to be recognized in all his glory with this film. His style in cinematography is always a work of beauty and I am always in awe with his work and always will be, so go see this film guys and gals.
I highly recommend this film to everyone and if we want sequels to be made we need everyone to go see this film in theaters so that it can stay in high in the box office numbers!
Alita: Battle Angel is now out in theaters!