August 25, 2019

Riefenstahl WEEPS!

Great movie! But...

WORST. NAZI Film. EVAH!1!

Allow me to explain....

Alita: Battle Angel was something of an underdog in comarison to the Marvel franchise and so had quite an uphill battle in its quest for box-office success. Because it's 2019 and the world is stupid, one of the  complaints that gained traction (after the film had a brief and very atypical surge in interest towards the end of its run), was the idea that ABA was a movie for...wait for it....NAZIS (no really).




Now that I have finally seen this film, I am going quite confidently and happily postulate that Leni Riefenstahl would not approve of it. AT ALL.

Alita: Battle Angel is a surprisingly good movie. The story is solid, the main characters are much better realized than is typical for summer blockbusters and the effects are top of the line.

What is most remarkable is how well this cinematic adaptation of a manga transferred Yukito Kirishito's visuals to live action. Several of the costumes for instance, really ought to just look goofy but they actually work quite well to the point of being utterly badass.  Some of these decisions were braver than others, particularly the decision to give Rosa Salazar extra large anime eyes, but the film pulls it all off with panache. Far beyond showing considerable respect for the source material, this results in a very distinctive, occasionally whimsical art direction that leaves the portrayed world feeling surprisingly real.

Alita is a likeable and idealistic heroine. Because this is based on a shonen/ seinen manga with some superhero tropes, she soon surpasses her peers in ability. However, remarkably for girl power movies in current year, her male peers, mentor and love interest are never flaming incompetents, occasionally saving the day in their own right. Alita is not surrounded by idiots, she's the best OF THE BEST, which makes her a much more compelling heroine.

Despite cramming about 5 tankubon/graphic novels into two hours, the film is reasonably well paced and it captures the escalating threat vibe of the genre quite well. The story is eminently accessible to those who have not read the comic (I've only read an issue or two of the American release). Despite its dystopian setting and often grim story, this film manages to be both idealistic and just a rolicking good time that actually passed the butt test (at no point did I become terribly aware of how long I'd been sitting).

The only complaint I have is both minor and unavoidable: It was pretty much impossible to conclude a 9 volume manga series in a single film, so the ending, while satisfying, definitely anticipates a sequel.  Whether that comes to pass is unclear, but I, for one, am am rooting for it.

Finally, while not in any way a complaint, it should be noted that the film's themes of individual responsibility, a fight for universal dignity, redemption, tolerance and understanding of the designated "other" make this film a very poor vehicle for the transmission of national socialist propaganda.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:14 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Well, you know how New York anime con (Anime NYC) banned ACCA cosplay, right? For some people Nazis are under every bed, but Muslims throwing gays off the roofs is a Republican conspiracy.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Sun Aug 25 22:38:57 2019 (LZ7Bg)

2 I should watch this.

(Checks iTunes.)

So,  4K now?  I've never actually watched a movie in 4K.  Next rainy weekend I think I'm going to watch Alita and Detective Pikachu.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Aug 25 22:52:50 2019 (PiXy!)

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What colour is a green orange?




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