Alita: Battle Angel (July 2018)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A thread search yielded no dedicated threads to this topic, but it does look like a few people around here know of Yukito Kishiro's classic manga series Gunnm, otherwise known in the US as Battle Angel Alita. It so happens this is probably my all time favorite action comic series. The live action adaptation has been a pet project of James Cameron for over a decade and he recently handed over direction of it to Robert Rodriguez. At first I was really iffy on all of this because I haven't been a huge fan of any US live action remake of an anime or manga series to date, but the trailer is out, and I couldn't be happier.



    Now, I will warn you, her eyes are going to be really freaky at first. They decided to mo-cap her face and give her huge eyes, and she's actually pretty spot on to how she looks in the manga. Alita is a cyborg and pretty much only has a human brain. At first I was off-put by it but after watching the trailer several times, I am really impressed they decided to go this route. It's a really bold choice. Fans of the manga series may notice how close attention to detail went into this film as the characters, costumes, settings, and cinematography look spot on to their comic counterparts.

    Cast list from Wikipedia:

    Given that some of the cast are Motorball players, this movie seems to be adapting the first two major story arcs of the manga. It also lists Chiren as a character, who was a female antagonist in the two-episode anime adaptation from the 90s, who was not in the original manga. The fight scenes towards the end of the trailer lifts shots directly from the anime adaptation.

    What do you guys thinks?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  2. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I made a few side-by-side comparisons from the manga to the trailer, because I am stupid excited about this.

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    To prove myself a total fan of this series, here is an image of a 3D model I was building of Alita this year that I never got around to finishing:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  3. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I’m only familiar with the anime from way back. It’s amazing to see anything on this movie cuz I swear it’s been rumored for 20 years.

    Not sure about Robert Rodriguez, some of his later projects I’ve found lacking, but it is interesting to see those scene comparisons above. Not sure about the uncanny eyes either.:eek:
     
  4. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^If you're into manga, you should totally give it a try! However the ending is not as satisfying as it deserved, and the continuations weren't that great.

    I'm also not particularly a fan of Robert Rodriguez either. I was very ehhh about hearing he was taking over. But the trailer looks as if he's going in the right direction. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

    Also I just noticed on the wiki cast that Hugo is the one to teach Alita about Motorball, a change to the story I'm also pretty iffy on. Hopefully the essence of the story remains intact, though.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not freaked out by the eyes at all. I guess I'm just used to cartoon characters with those facial proportions. Both Japanese and Western cartoon characters often have oversized eyes; it's a logical thing in a caricature, since caricatures tend to emphasize the features we find most important, and humans naturally focus much of our attention on each other's eyes. By the same token, it seems pretty inevitable that when we build androids (or gynoids), we might choose to give them idealized/exaggerated features, both for aesthetics and to make them easy to tell apart from humans.

    I'm confused -- the descriptions say Alita (Gari/Gally in the original Japanese) is a "cyborg," but the trailer and backstory seem to portray her as a straight-up android, since Ido found her in a junkpile and rebuilt her. A cyborg is part-biological, so you couldn't bring one back from the dead.

    Since the film is set in the former US, I suppose it's reasonable to have a Latina actress in the lead rather than an Asian one, but I don't like the whitewashing of turning a character named Daisuke Ido into Dyson Ido. Hollywood has way too much resistance to letting Asian actors play starring roles in movies.
     
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  6. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Gally is a cyborg in that she has a human brain. Her body was keeping her brain in some sort of stasis or something and alive until Ido finds her. Her having a living human brain rather than an artificial brain is a huge plot point later on in the manga. I'm also not a fan of the Daisuke/Dyson switch, and I would have preferred her to be played by an Asian actress as well, given that her original name is Yoko before Gally, so one can assume she was actually of Japanese decent (but its a crazy distant future society that spans the entire solar system, so who knows.) But then again, Christopher Waltz feels like a great actor to play Ido, who is portrayed in the manga as not looking particularly Asian. I mean, it's a stretch, but in this particular future its not out of the question that a seemingly caucasian-y looking guy could be named Daisuke Ido. Honestly, I think I would have been a better choice to just let him be named Daisuke and still be a white guy. This isn't really a property where I feel the ethnicity of the characters is THAT important so I won't be waving my anti-whitewashing signs, but just feel its a bit of a missed opportunity to hire some Asian American actors...again. I feel better about this casting than I did with Ghost in the Shell.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not really about any individual property -- the problem is that Hollywood consistently excludes Asian actors from the lead roles in every property, which makes the arguments about each individual one sound like excuses, however logical they may seem in each individual case. We need some films to start having Asian-American leads, regardless of which films they are, just to level the playing field. Adaptations of Asian stories seem like a logical place to start, but Hollywood keeps finding excuses to avoid it over and over and over again.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, the eyes are freaky, but this could be interesting.
     
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  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I know nothing about the anime and manga, I was purely drawn in because I'm a fan of Cameron and Rodriguez, and even coming as a non-fan this looks really cool. It was a little weird seeing what is basically an anime style character done in a photo realistic style, but the fact that the character is a cyborg does help to make it work.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Honestly, she reminds me less of an anime character than of a 3D-animated Disney or Pixar character, someone like Helen Parr or Rapunzel.
     
  11. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Based on that one teaser, it looks like ScarJo in the Shell: Post-Collapse Edition to moi...
     
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  12. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Loved the anime version of Battle Angel and this looks pretty faithful to it.
     
  13. Beagleman

    Beagleman Commodore Commodore

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    Looks very interesting but I fear quite a few people will be turned of by the anime eyes and instantly dismiss it. Hopefully I'm wrong.
     
  14. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    WTF is wrong with her eyes!? That’s of course a rhetorical question but seriously why did they make the decision to give her manga/anime eyes? It doesn’t work at in live-action at all. It seriously freaks me out! The rest looks very good but her eyes is all I can think about every time I look at her! It looks more off-putting than Superman’s mouth in JL. :eek:
     
  15. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    As one who was a raging weeaboo in his youth, even I have to say the eyes are a pretty jarring stroll through the uncanny valley.
     
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  16. JasonJ

    JasonJ Commander Red Shirt

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    Perhaps that was intentional... so that we the viewers would be uncomfortable with it at first, but then as the film progresses, we learn to see the character differently, and the unusually large eyes become irrelevant.
     
  17. Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs

    Burning Hearts of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My initial reaction to the eyes wasn't great, but several viewings after I love them.
     
  18. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    It becomes uncanny valley mostly based on how they handle the skin. Adding individual pores and things just makes it look creepy.

    This trend towards making cartoony styles more and more photoreal is not going away, unfortunately.
     
  19. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The large eyes in manga and anime is a style, but not how people really are. This is akin to making a photo realistic movie of Ren and Stimpy and characters in that style. Heck, or even Simpsons. That would be just as off-putting. It's not supposed to be actual representations of real looking people, and when you see those things online where people will do a photo realistic art piece of Homer Simpson, it's creepy as all get out. Like this.
     
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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's exactly the point. Alita is a cyborg, a human brain in an android body. Giving her inhuman proportions is a clever way to illustrate her artificial nature. As I said, I wouldn't be surprised if people ended up building androids with exaggerated proportions in real life, both for aesthetics and to differentiate them from live humans.

    And large eyes are just as much a part of the Western cartooning style. The big-eyed anime/manga style started with Osamu Tezuka, and he was emulating the designs of Disney characters.
     
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