First trailer for the Battle Angel Alita live action is out.

Tambourine

Spirit Princess
Validated User
I didn't mind overprotective Christoph Waltz nor Stupid Teen Boy doing Stupid Teen Boy things, I didn't feel like they were portrayed in ways that we were supposed to feel that they were in the right, or at least that was my takeaway from it. It was definitely a shame however that Jennifer Connelly's character development appeared to happen almost entirely off screen, because those few scenes she was in she was incredibly badass and a credible antagonist with a believable motivation.

My one real grievance with the movie though is that taken as a whole, it felt thematically incongruent, as in, I'm not sure what the movie is supposed to tell me. Am I to cheer that Alita is eventually going to kill that Nova dude maybe? Is it supposed to be tragic that she returned to her old ways as "a weapon" rather than exclusively fighting to protect people? What was the point of the last 15 minutes when I wasn't going to get a resolution to the whole business with Nova anyway?
 

Caseyg

Registered User
Validated User
I didn't listen to much of the podcast, but as I recall one of them was going on a rant about how the crashed spaceship (wherein Alita found the Berzerker suit) was a huge plot hole. In her opinion city people would have salvaged that wreck ages ago. All I could do was quietly shake my head.

They clearly stated in the movie that the ship was URM tech, and as such incompatible with anything made on earth. Nevertheless some people had taken bits and pieces off it over the years as trinkets. The bridge was underwater so not exactly easy to get to...and before anyone says, "so, use some SCUBA gear," talk to any professional diver and they'll tell you that swimming inside a sunken wreck is a great way to get killed. Besides, who is to say salvage attempts on other crashed URM ships weren't attempted in the past? Sounds dangerous to me...unexploded ordnance, radiation, not to mention boobytraps...for all we know if Alita had entered the wrong clearance code the spaceship might have self-destructed.

Then again this has always been a problem with Anita Sarkeesian. I appreciate that she has gotten video games out of the "every protagonist must be a 30-something, short-haired, scruffy, white dude" rut it has been in for a long-ass time. The thing is though I took an intro class to critical thinking in college and something the teacher stressed was if you got three points to back up your claim, two inductively strong and one weak, drop the the weak one. It might seem like three points is better than two, but the weak one leaves you open for counter arguments, and can even cast doubts on your strong points. Obviously the vast majority of flack Sarkeesian has gotten over the years is not actual meaningful debate, but rather a bunch of hissing and spitting from internet troglodytes. Still, she could have done it better in some pretty basic ways.

For what it's worth I completely agree with her thesis statement that video games are sexist. It's just the way she goes about proving her statements that need work. It seems to me the same holds true for her movie analytical skills as well.
 

Isator Levie

Registered User
Validated User
Something I wondered about on my second viewing of the film:

So, the hunter-warriors that Vector was bringing in to try and kill Alita were all clearly varying degrees of cyborg, but when they're added to the motorball arena they look like they've been dramatically transformed. Like, they've gone from human with a few metal bits to a meat head sticking out of a military grade vehicle.

I get that part of the premise of cyborgs is their "cores", encompassing the hook-up between their brain and power source. It's clear when Alita and Greewishka can have their heads and upper abdominal sections separated from their otherwise 90%+ robotic bodies.

In the mythology of the manga, is that the kind of thing that can go for less thoroughly transformed cyborgs? You can have your core briefly separated from a lot of your meat parts and slotted into a more heavily robotic body, and when you're done with that you get put back into them?

Or would the implication have been that the promise of such a massive payout was enough to motivate them to impulsively undergo massive, irreversible transformations of their bodies (that I guess they have the tech to undertake fairly rapidly), that they'd then have to deal with in the long run?

On the other hand, Alita refers to some of the bar patrons as motorball burnouts, and none of them seem to be as drastically transformed as the average player, sooo… maybe they can go back and forth?

Incidentally, the second view clarified for me why I had an impression that Grewishka was a former player who became severely messed up; the fact that his first impulse on being severely damaged was to head to Vector's penthouse, and he even seemed to know Shurin personally.
 

St.Just

Lacking all conviction
Validated User
Saw it tonight with friends, basically on collective whim (the most any of us new about it was '...the anime one? And people were saying the lead's face was all uncanny-valley when the first trailer hit?'

Very pleasantly surprised! Though very much hoping we get a sequel now.

The bar scene's easily my favorite, though I'm honestly kind of surprised no one released a gifset for the whole "some guys might think a woman like you is intimidating?" "Why?" "Because you could tear my arm off and beat me with the wet end." bit.

I've got zero grounding in the manga whatsoever, but I found Nova to be a pretty effective 'decadent voice of the system' sort of villain. And "I don't need your permission to live." "Others might." is a great superman-and-lex-luthor sort of line.
 

Gogmagog

Registered User
Validated User
Something I wondered about on my second viewing of the film:

So, the hunter-warriors that Vector was bringing in to try and kill Alita were all clearly varying degrees of cyborg, but when they're added to the motorball arena they look like they've been dramatically transformed. Like, they've gone from human with a few metal bits to a meat head sticking out of a military grade vehicle.

I get that part of the premise of cyborgs is their "cores", encompassing the hook-up between their brain and power source. It's clear when Alita and Greewishka can have their heads and upper abdominal sections separated from their otherwise 90%+ robotic bodies.

In the mythology of the manga, is that the kind of thing that can go for less thoroughly transformed cyborgs? You can have your core briefly separated from a lot of your meat parts and slotted into a more heavily robotic body, and when you're done with that you get put back into them?

Or would the implication have been that the promise of such a massive payout was enough to motivate them to impulsively undergo massive, irreversible transformations of their bodies (that I guess they have the tech to undertake fairly rapidly), that they'd then have to deal with in the long run?

On the other hand, Alita refers to some of the bar patrons as motorball burnouts, and none of them seem to be as drastically transformed as the average player, sooo… maybe they can go back and forth?

Incidentally, the second view clarified for me why I had an impression that Grewishka was a former player who became severely messed up; the fact that his first impulse on being severely damaged was to head to Vector's penthouse, and he even seemed to know Shurin personally.
There can be work/non work bodies. In the manga, Jashugan has a motorball body for games and civilian body for walking around. So , in Eclipse Phase terms, you can 're sleeve' if you have the bodies for it.
 

PenguinZero

Wark!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Of course, getting your brain and other essential bits shifted between bodies can be on the pricey side, especially if you want it done right, and maintaining two or more bodies isn't cheap either. So it's not something your average cyborg on the street is going to be doing on a daily basis, but a motorball star who's won some decent prize money might consider it a good investment. (Among other things, it lets you reduce wear and tear on your high-end racing body, and let it be tuned up while you're out on the town.)

In the manga, there are all sorts of motorballers -- some have basically humanoid bodies with a bit of extra armor plating, some have extremely flat, low-to-the-ground bodies streamlined for speed, some have significant built-in weapons, and there's even one who gave himself an extremely slow but heavily-armored body the size of a truck.

If there's a sequel, and it holds to the manga to the same degree this movie did, we're likely to see some of Alita's time in the motorball leagues as one of the major plot threads, so it'd probably be explored more then.
 

ResplendentScorpion

neither glitter, nor substance
Validated User
I appreciate that she has gotten video games out of the "every protagonist must be a 30-something, short-haired, scruffy, white dude" rut
I know the slow cycle of production might have make it seem like she has had any influence in this, but really, she did not.
Keep in mind that, especially for AAA games series that infamously play it safe, what you see today is usually what somebody envisaged 3-6 years ago. In the case of "yearly" series, this often also means "we wanted this in 2-3 installments ago, but could not afford including it right away for various reasons".

I'm not sure what the movie is supposed to tell me.
A work does not need to be limited to trying to say one thing. Nor does it need to have only one narrow interpretation.
A lot can be taken from the movie, starting from the characters' growth, to even throwaway lines like "That was 300 years ago." subplots like the chopper business being about poor people preying on each other for the sake of wealthy masters, or how doctor Ido was initially trying to force his patient into being his daugther.
 

Kreuzritter

Registered User
Validated User
Something I wondered about on my second viewing of the film:

So, the hunter-warriors that Vector was bringing in to try and kill Alita were all clearly varying degrees of cyborg, but when they're added to the motorball arena they look like they've been dramatically transformed. Like, they've gone from human with a few metal bits to a meat head sticking out of a military grade vehicle.

I get that part of the premise of cyborgs is their "cores", encompassing the hook-up between their brain and power source. It's clear when Alita and Greewishka can have their heads and upper abdominal sections separated from their otherwise 90%+ robotic bodies.

In the mythology of the manga, is that the kind of thing that can go for less thoroughly transformed cyborgs? You can have your core briefly separated from a lot of your meat parts and slotted into a more heavily robotic body, and when you're done with that you get put back into them?
the only cyborgs we see doing this are the full conversion ones like Alita, where only the head or brain are still meat

Or would the implication have been that the promise of such a massive payout was enough to motivate them to impulsively undergo massive, irreversible transformations of their bodies (that I guess they have the tech to undertake fairly rapidly), that they'd then have to deal with in the long run?

On the other hand, Alita refers to some of the bar patrons as motorball burnouts, and none of them seem to be as drastically transformed as the average player, sooo… maybe they can go back and forth?
the only hunter I recognized from the bar who was in Alita's trial run was Screwhead, who was a rather out there total conversion herself.

as for the massive shift, Motorbal basically works by "Detroit rules". Other than that "whoever has the ball when it makes the final lap wins", there basically are no rules. ballers can be literally torn apart on the track and that's just as viable a strategy as "grab the ball and run". though as gogmagaog and Penguinzero note, re-sleeving is an option, but something only available to high-end motorballers. in fact, in the manga, even proper cyberspines are hard to come by, so Hugo and his crew prized people's backbones when they put cyborgs up on blocks

Incidentally, the second view clarified for me why I had an impression that Grewishka was a former player who became severely messed up; the fact that his first impulse on being severely damaged was to head to Vector's penthouse, and he even seemed to know Shurin personally.
For what it's worth, in the 90's OVA, Grewishka wasn't a motorballer, but he was a known cyborg gladiator whose cyberdoc was Shurin.
 

Shawn_Hagen

Shawnya the Evil?
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I watched this last night. It was an enjoyable movie. I had fun watching it. It was a decent adaptation of an existing work, not the best, but probably one of the better North American adaptations of an anime/manga that we've seen in a while.

There were about three separate story arcs (any of which might have made a complete movie) that were woven (or jammed depending on how skillfully one thought it was done) together, so I felt the story I was seeing was lacking details that the manga had. Ultimately like many other adaptations I would say that they took a great story, and made it merely good by ensuring it followed a narrative that a general audience was familiar/comfortable with.
 

Kreuzritter

Registered User
Validated User
I watched this last night. It was an enjoyable movie. I had fun watching it. It was a decent adaptation of an existing work, not the best, but probably one of the better North American adaptations of an anime/manga that we've seen in a while.

There were about three separate story arcs (any of which might have made a complete movie) that were woven (or jammed depending on how skillfully one thought it was done) together, so I felt the story I was seeing was lacking details that the manga had. Ultimately like many other adaptations I would say that they took a great story, and made it merely good by ensuring it followed a narrative that a general audience was familiar/comfortable with.
yeah, it's the price you pay when you hit the "I want to adapt this really cool series, but I'm under no delusions I'm getting a sequel" curse that afflicts passion project adaptations. thankfully, as said, this movie chose to cherrypick just enough from future volumes that they actually fit what's in the adapted story, as opposed to other live action anime/video game adaptations that try to cram in EVERYTHING (looking at you, live action Full Metal Alchemist movie)
 
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