Despite Its Faults, ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ is the Kind of Cinematic Spectacle We Rarely See These Days

/Film | 2/18/2019 | Bryan Young
nallynally (Posted by) Level 4
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Alita: Battle Angel is the latest action extravaganza from two of our most auteur-like blockbuster directors working: Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron. Cameron served as a producer, but has spent over a decade trying to get the film off the ground on his own. It was originally announced in 2003 but production of Avatar kept Cameron from committing to the project, in addition to other development issues. In 2016, Robert Rodriguez was brought on as a director and the film finally got made.

Based on a ‘90s manga series by Yukito Kishiro called Gunnm in Japan and Battle Angel Alita here in the US, the theatrical Alita: Battle Angel is a marvel of technology, offering rich visuals and kinetic action that is beyond fun to watch.

Merit - Film - Story - Script - Order

I think the merit in this film isn’t necessarily with the story and script, which is serviceable, if not bloated. And it only feels bloated in order to tee up a sequel I wonder if we’ll ever get. No, the merit in this film is spectacle.

Spectacle has drawn people to the movies since the very first days of cinema. Even Fred Ott’s Sneeze was the height of spectacle when people first saw it, but silent film evolved and it came to be known for the work of George Melies and Fritz Lang and Cecil B. Demille. Audiences have always been drawn to technological advances. The Jazz Singer was a (racist) hit for the novelty of audio. The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind still hold box office records in no small part because they broke the mold of black and white film first. This continued apace. Animated films. 3D. Technicolor. Vista-vision. When the technology of presentation was settled, special effects were the next frontier and films like Star Wars (1977) showed audiences something they’d...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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