alita battle angel clips

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.

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.

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Alita Battle Angel clip

Last year, President’s Day weekend was quite the box office bonanza thanks to Black Panther raking in $202 million in its opening days. This year, the holiday weekend wasn’t fortunate enough to have such an impressive performer, and it resulted in the worst three-day President’s Day weekend since 2004.

Alita: Battle Angel landed at the top of the box office with $27.8 million. Even though that doesn’t seem like an impressive number for a movie that cost $170 million to make, the film still performed beyond analyst expectations. But not all of the new releases were so lucky. Read More »

Alita Battle Angel performance capture

Rosa Salazar is the heart and soul of Alita: Battle Angel. The actress, known for her work in the Maze Runner series, breathes life into what’s easily Robert Rodriguez‘s biggest and most sincere movie. The scale of the James Cameron-produced manga adaptation is a treat for the eyes, but Alita is the main attraction of this spectacle, and the reason it’s easy to get lost in the world.

Alita is another major accomplishment for Weta, as well as for Rodriguez and Salazar. The character, who was created via motion capture, is as dense and nuanced as her futuristic world, if not more so. Whether she’s eating a chocolate bar for the first time or playing a game of Motorball, she’s always growing, always learning, and always entertaining. Recently, Salazar told us about the work that went into playing Alita, studying the source material, and one pivotal scene that left her conflicted.

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ghostbusters 3 teaser

In this edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Kung Fu Hustle 2 is currently being developed.
  • Some updates on the mysterious Ghostbusters 3.
  • There’s still a chance we’ll see a “U.S.S. Callister” follow-up, but it won’t be in Black Mirror season 5.
  • Brad Bird and Patton Oswalt make a disgusting joke about the fictional Ratatouille 2.
  • Jason Blum wants 10 more Halloween sequels.
  • Avatar franchise producer Jon Landau isn’t worried about that long gap between Avatar and Avatar 2.
  • James Cameron has plans for Alita sequels, but don’t get your hopes up.
  • Just what is going on with that Pirates of the Caribbean reboot?

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Alita: Battle Angel isn’t a movie set in the future that’s all about doom and gloom. Director Robert Rodriguez‘s grand spectacle tells a story with genuine warmth and kindness, thanks in no small part to the presence of actor Christoph Waltz. Playing Dr. Dyson Ido, who discovers Alita in a heap of trash and jolts her back to life, Waltz helps make Rodriguez’s adaptation of Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series more heartfelt than a typical studio movie (which Alita: Battle Angel most certainly is not).

Waltz plays a paternal role and watches Alita’s self-discovery unfold like the audience does. Another part of Waltz’s role and job: assisting in explaining the world, Alita, and the tech. The actor does plenty of heavy lifting for the story, but like Cameron’s handle for world building, Waltz does it all with a natural ease. Plus, if there’s one actor you’re going to immediately buy as a brilliant scientist and doctor, it’s the Inglorious Basterds star, who recently told us about his experience with Rodriguez, cinematographer Bill Pope (The Matrix), and producer James Cameron during a brief phone interview.

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Jon landau interview

Alita: Battle Angel has been a long time coming. Based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series Battle Angel Alita, the big and intimate Robert Rodriguez film was once going to be directed by producer James Cameron, who ended up choosing Avatar over the property. Cameron ultimately handed directorial duties over to Rodriguez, who helped whip Cameron’s epic script into a manageable length.

Even with a different director at the helm, producer Jon Landau wanted to make a James Cameron-style event film, describing the movie as “a movie with themes bigger than its genre” and “has a central relatable character, who on many levels, is an ordinary character who ends up doing extraordinary things against this epic backdrop.” Alita: Battle Angel, which the site’s own Hoai-Tran Bui rightfully praised as Hollywood’s first good manga adaptation, certainly checks those boxes.

We spoke to Landau recently and he told us a bit more about the project’s history, working with Cameron, deleted scenes, and Avatar 2.

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alita battle angel cameo

Alita: Battle Angel has some high-profile actors in its ensemble, with Oscar winners Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali all delivering their A-game in a surprisingly entertaining sci-fi epic. But one big cameo at the end of the film was one of the most exciting surprises. In a new interview, Robert Rodriguez explains how he landed the actor for that cameo, and what it potentially means for future films.

Warning, major spoilers ahead for Alita: Battle Angel.

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alita box office

The early reaction to Alita: Battle Angel has been somewhat positive, but that might not be enough to save it at the box office. Early Alita box office tracking indicates that the sci-fi extravaganza from Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron might end up being the first major bomb of 2019. Yikes. Maybe things will change with word of mouth. Or maybe not…

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Alita Battle Angel Super Bowl Trailer

We were skeptical about Alita: Battle Angel for some time, but we’ve really turned around on this Robert Rodriguez-directed, James Cameron-produced science fiction film. Based on the popular Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita, this looks like a faithful (and therefore, odd and crazy) adaptation that really understands the appeal of the source material. And the new Super Bowl trailer promises even more cyborg action.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Alita Battle Angel performance capture

James Cameron‘s experience using performance capture for 2009’s Avatar convinced him that Alita: Battle Angel would be possible, and in the ten years since, the technology has dramatically improved. 20th Century Fox has released a cool behind the scenes video about the techniques that were used on the set to capture star Rosa Salazar‘s performance in Alita, and the video is much more detailed than the typical fluff featurettes that tend to accompany studio releases like this. Read More »