Alita (spoilers)

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K. A. Pital
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Alita (spoilers)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-16 06:19am

I thought it was very well done, quite true to the manga in many key moments, and generally much better handled than Ghost in the Shell (ugh).

Too bad it bombed commercially and it is unlikely the film story would ever get to Barjack Chronicle, which is one of the most interesting class struggle depictions in cyberpunk manga. :P
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Bernkastel » 2019-02-16 07:25am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-02-16 06:19am
I thought it was very well done, quite true to the manga in many key moments, and generally much better handled than Ghost in the Shell (ugh).

Too bad it bombed commercially and it is unlikely the film story would ever get to Barjack Chronicle, which is one of the most interesting class struggle depictions in cyberpunk manga. :P
That's a pity. From what I've heard, even from those with more neutral opinions, it was at least something made with passion and sincere affection. I hoped it would do well enough to get a sequel. It seems deserving of that.

Admittedly, this opinion comes from what I've heard about it, rather than from having seen it myself. I have an aversion to cinemas these days, along with anything that has me stuck in a crowd of people. I'll only see this when it comes out on blu-ray. I do tend to not care about spoilers and I'm after more and more info/opinions in regards to this movie while awaiting that release. From what I've heard, characterization is handled well and the particular element of Alita's unusual eyes does make sense in the film.

Anyway, I might as well look up this Barjack Chronicle. I'm just going to be stuck wondering what we're going to miss out on having adapted otherwise.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-16 07:31am

Well, it just opened and will also start in China in a week or so, so it may very well recoup production costs.

It is done with great care and respect towards the source material, but the three first volumes in the manga had fairly distinct stories (first one about fighting Makaku, second one about Hugo and the third one about Motorball), so an attempt to unite them in one plotline - and try to hint at even more - was bound to be a bit problematic.

I found the parts of Ido and Alita particularly well-played. And it is worth a cinema ticket, IMO.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-02-16 08:04am

I saw this last weekend and will probably go and see it again later today (nothing else new that I want to see). I thoroughly enjoyed it and would certainly like to see a sequel eventually, though I should say I never saw or read the source material so I am looking at it as a new film with an engaging story, some very interesting worldbuilding stuff, good characters that are well-performed and a storyline that works both as a stand-alone film and as part one of several.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-16 08:22am

They had to PG13 the source material (no brain-eating junkies and guts flying around everywhere), but still stuck fairly close.

I only found that such a full introduction of Nova was a bit too early. And although I have read all of Alita, Last Order and Mars Chronicle, I cannot remember that Nova was involved in the terraforming wars... (which in the film seems to be the case).
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Q99 » 2019-02-17 10:11pm

Good news is it's outperforming the low estimates people had for it's opening- though it remains to be seen whether it can reach the heights it needs, the blow is, at the least, softened.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-02-16 08:22am
They had to PG13 the source material (no brain-eating junkies and guts flying around everywhere), but still stuck fairly close.

I only found that such a full introduction of Nova was a bit too early. And although I have read all of Alita, Last Order and Mars Chronicle, I cannot remember that Nova was involved in the terraforming wars... (which in the film seems to be the case).
He wasn't, I'm fairly sure he was born after, but it's not the weirdest of changes.

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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-02-18 07:00am

My best friend and myself went to see it last week, since we both saw the anime back in the day. I certainly enjoyed it, although it was different from the anime (since they took things from the manga and showed it to us, whereas I got the impression the anime was planning to show it later). So in this case I got a better feel for Alita's origin than watching the anime.

It also changed the theme compared to the anime. With the introduction of Nova as chief bad guy, well the villain in this story was a bad guy, whereas in the anime, I got the "villain" to be the system which has a bunch of rich elites up high and poor people on the ground.

I think it was nice they kept some of the same horror, ie the decapitation of Alita's boyfriend and then killing him after he survives that (hey, does this count as "fridging" Hugo, since it motivates Alita to go after Nova), and the sheer horror of Chiren being dissected and exported to Zolam.

My final verdict was that I enjoyed it, my friend not so much. He felt the fighting wasn't violent enough. :D Still debating whether I should get the blu ray.
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In regards to the ratings

https://variety.com/2019/film/news/box- ... 203141972/

It looks like Alita needs a bit of an uphill battle to break even. They have to rely on Japan and China to pull it through. Japan is the home of anime, although they have a strong bias towards their own films vs Hollywood ones from what I read. China has shown the potential to save films, Warcraft anyone? Generally superhero (at least Marvel) films net around $100 million USD in China. Although it gave $218.4 million for ready player one, which most probably saved the film (since it made $137.6 million in the domestic market, but cost $175 million to make), and $298 million for Aquaman, so maybe China could save Alita.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-18 07:40am

Well Nova is arguably not the villain, if you read the manga long enough, but he served as one for 6-7 plot arcs.

Here he is introduced too early for my tastes, could have spent the time on developing the story with Vector & Hugo a bit better.

The really great characters like Kaos & Koyomi come much later in the Manga, which makes the early chapters actually serve as a start for much deeper later chapters.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Vendetta » 2019-02-18 06:24pm

I mostly like it as an adaptation.

I like that Alita finds the berserker body rather than Ido just having it lying around in his basement because whatever. I like that they introduce Motorball which I have been waiting to see on a cinema for twenty years. It tightened up Hugo’s arc too.

I wasn’t keen on Nova being used the way he was or killing off Vector. Making Nova a big bad on Zalem threatens to move the action there too fast and the change in the history behind it changes the nature of Yoko’s actions and the way Alita is different.

As just the core of the first story though it was great. (Commercial success not guaranteed for a movie which was basically laser focused on an audience of James Cameron, me, and three other people.)

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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Zor » 2019-02-20 07:02am

Frankly I think this film shows that Hollywood can make decent adaptations of Anime.

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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Vendetta » 2019-02-20 12:43pm

Zor wrote:
2019-02-20 07:02am
Frankly I think this film shows that Hollywood can make decent adaptations of Anime.

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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Lost Soal » 2019-02-20 01:22pm

While the film was enjoyable I feel the OVA did a slightly better job with a more condensed story. Feels off when the live action is two and a half times the length yet finishes in the same place.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Sidewinder » 2019-02-23 12:46pm

I personally liked it. There is room for improvement, though. After the sob story Ido gave regarding a motorball player HE PERSONALLY TUNED killing his daughter in a drug-filled rage, the doctor should've expressed far more reluctance to let Alita participate in the sport. Hugo's motivation for going to Zalem, isn't properly defined, compared to Yugo (his manga counterpart). Some character designs (including Zapan's) looks weak, compared to the way they are in the manga.

There are improvements compared to the manga, though. Vector is better developed as a villain; and the whole spoiler regarding what Zalem does with human brains, is something that can easily be left out, considering the original manga artist failed to develop it into anything special. I prefer film Ido's motivation for working as a hunter-warrior (earning enough money to keep his clinic running) more than that of manga Ido (thrill-seeking).
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-25 12:40pm

Ido didn't want Alita to go for Motorball (or get the Berserker body), and I think while it was more subdued in the film, he still was reluctant. And helped only when it was clear she couldn't be swayed.

I agree that the lack of the - pretty good! - backstory for Hugo was a huge mistake: it would have been better to cut down Nova's time, as it was too early for him to be present in person, and tell this story instead.

Ido striving to keep the clinic open is a good change, which feels organic to the first Alita's class struggle setting. I think that with the restart/continuation in "First Order" Kishiro slowly developed the story into a direction that 'sells' but which is no longer raising meaningful questions.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-02-26 06:38am

The pertinent question is, should I rewatch this in 3D? :D
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-03-05 05:56am

Alita has now reach $375 million with $72 million in the US. According to Chinese news, Alita made around $113.3 million U.S. dollars in China. Keep in mind it cost $170 million to make and Japan still to go. Hopefully it goes over $400 million USD. Still a problem though, since I've heard that US studios make around 50% of the ticket sales in the US, while only 25% in China.

Hopefully it makes a small profit on cinema sales alone, and then blu ray/ dvd and other merchandise tips it into a hefty profit so we get a sequel.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2019-03-05 08:03am

A profit worth following up seems unlikely at this point, the Japanese film market isn't that big at all. But it was not a well promoted movie so it might not have had the 300 million dollar marketing budget that kills most films profits either. James Cameron first said he was making the movie almost 20 years ago and seems to have kinda just crammed it out between Avatar filmings while nobody noticed with someone else directing, I only knew it existed two months ago and I actually knew about him mooting making it long ago. I dunno that a sequel is on the table no matter what happens, given that Cameron has four other planned films coming and something like that would only happen with him pushing it forward.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-03-06 09:53pm

I'd seen the OVA years ago, so I was looking forward to Cameron's version.
I was NOT disappointed. To me, there was not a 'wasted shot' in the whole movie. Everything built on each other, setting up multiple guns that were all polished and shot by the end of the movie. Even though I knew what was going to happen, getting there was a delight.

It was especially fun watching because I was with my brother and another friend, in a otherwise empty theater, and we were able to talk during the movie as if we were watching at home. :)
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by wautd » 2019-03-11 03:45am

Never saw the original manga but I was pleasently surprised with the movie. Enjoyed it a lot more than expected

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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-03-11 11:13am

I have just found out China is extending Alita's time being broadcast in Chinese cinemas for another 1 month to April 21st. This is great news for those who want a sequel. I am going to go see it again on my birthday to treat myself.
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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Vendetta » 2019-03-11 12:17pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-03-11 11:13am
I have just found out China is extending Alita's time being broadcast in Chinese cinemas for another 1 month to April 21st. This is great news for those who want a sequel. I am going to go see it again on my birthday to treat myself.
I wonder how much it's benefiting from people looking around for a bit more Sci-Fi just after Wandering Earth started tailing off.

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Re: Alita (spoilers)

Post by Q99 » 2019-03-15 08:42pm

That should probably get it over 400 mil.

Likely still dependent on 'just how happy are the studios with Cameron,' but within reach of sequel realm.

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