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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    Really its more of me being annoyed at that particular Hollywood trend and it doesnt seem like they stopped it in recent years.
    One not-particularly-recent counter-example I can remember is The Iron Giant, where the director said in commentary that blaming the military would have been a cheap shot, and the real villain of the piece is the jingoistic, paranoid intelligence agent. (Of course, taking cues from jingoistic, paranoid intelligence agents is an entirely predictable result of joining the military, but I digress.)

    I suppose there's always an argument to be made for nuance and balance, given that patent strawmen tend to irritate the other side to a degree that defeats the purpose. But on the other hand, the pentagon actually offers significant incentives for positive depictions of the military- most prominently in, say, Man of Steel and the Transformers franchise. So I'm not certain the overall Hollywood trend is anti-military as such.


    I actually very much enjoyed Avatar. I know it's not entirely original or even-handed, but the narrative was perfectly functional and the sheer level of craftsmanship was impressive. If Alita turns out to be of the same quality, I'll be quite happy with Mr. Rodriguez.
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    I actually very much enjoyed Avatar. I know it's not entirely original or even-handed, but the narrative was perfectly functional and the sheer level of craftsmanship was impressive. If Alita turns out to be of the same quality, I'll be quite happy with Mr. Rodriguez.
    Considering you could put Avatar on mute and still come up with basically the same story and dialogue in your head, based entirely on visuals, I hope BAA is significantly better. Avatar was visually impressive and decidedly mediocre at best in every other respect.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    I don't watch movies often, but this seems like something I might enjoy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    I actually very much enjoyed Avatar. I know it's not entirely original or even-handed, but the narrative was perfectly functional and the sheer level of craftsmanship was impressive. If Alita turns out to be of the same quality, I'll be quite happy with Mr. Rodriguez.
    Avatar was made very well, and although I didn't enjoy it as much as the typical audience member did, I can see why so many people were taken by it. If this movie ends up on par with that, I'll be happy with it.
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    The thing about Cameron's movies isn't that they're beloved by critics or even that they're embraced by their audience exactly. The only area where he's remarkable in most respects is his innovations in special visual effects for the last 30+ years, he doesn't seem to want to invest into a movie unless he's doing something with it in terms of his method and technologies that's noteworthy.

    What he does do is create the sense of his movies being an Event to participate in rather than just another movie. There's an ambitiousness to his films which is there even while still being highly accessible to foreign and domestic audiences. That deflates the intelligence of his movies certainly, but they're deflated in a precisely calculated sort of way rather than being genuinely dumb themselves.

    As to Alita, it's been so long since I've watched it that I've mentally jumbled it with Armitage III in my head. I'll have to go back to it soon-ish.

    I will say, I don't think this is a Ghost in the Shell situation. James Cameron can do a lot of things with his time at this point in his life, and he's not exactly a prolific movie-maker outside of his various documentaries. Investing himself in adapting a manga/anime from the 90's that only achieved modest popularity in the anime-watching niche audience of North America... I expect he cares about bringing out whatever he saw in Battle Angel Alita for all to see rather than just another adaptation made with the hopes of hitting that wall and sticking.

    That doesn't mean it'll be good per say, but it does have my attention.

    As to changing the title around, I strongly suspect its a consideration of search engine optimization.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    As to changing the title around, I strongly suspect its a consideration of search engine optimization.
    Also every other version has a different name so why not by this point...

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Considering you could put Avatar on mute and still come up with basically the same story and dialogue in your head, based entirely on visuals, I hope BAA is significantly better. Avatar was visually impressive and decidedly mediocre at best in every other respect.
    I'd largely agree with Kitten Champion on this- BAA's story was good enough that I think all they have to with the narrative is not screw it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    As to Alita, it's been so long since I've watched it that I've mentally jumbled it with Armitage III in my head. I'll have to go back to it soon-ish.
    There's never been a substantial anime adaptation- just the fairly forgettable OVA. Though ironically, that was my intro to the franchise.
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Well, there's an old series called Dark Angel, which Cameron may have made it as a prototype to Alita since he didn't have the copyright.
    I am not sure about the rating since Alita do have some gores, like a brain-eating cyborg and mutilations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    I'd largely agree with Kitten Champion on this- BAA's story was good enough that I think all they have to with the narrative is not screw it up.
    That's what I'm worried about. Look at what happened to GITS. Rodriguez can probably do this right (Sin City is pretty faithful), but the studio and the producers may screw it up willy-nilly.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by t209 View Post
    Well, there's an old series called Dark Angel, which Cameron may have made it as a prototype to Alita since he didn't have the copyright.
    I am not sure about the rating since Alita do have some gores, like a brain-eating cyborg and mutilations.

    Ehm...aside from having a Female Lead and happening "Past Apocalypse", the 2 have absolutely NOTHING in common.
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by t209 View Post
    Well, there's an old series called Dark Angel, which Cameron may have made it as a prototype to Alita since he didn't have the copyright.
    I am not sure about the rating since Alita do have some gores, like a brain-eating cyborg and mutilations.
    I'm p. sure Cameron actually did have the rights to do Alita as far back as 2000. He bought the rights up not very long after Titanic.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    There's never been a substantial anime adaptation- just the fairly forgettable OVA. Though ironically, that was my intro to the franchise.
    Ah, that explains my fairly thin memory of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    That's what I'm worried about. Look at what happened to GITS. Rodriguez can probably do this right (Sin City is pretty faithful), but the studio and the producers may screw it up willy-nilly.
    Eh, GitS didn't have much talent behind it. Its director did nothing of note - Snow White and the Huntsman was not an accomplishment - and at least one of its writers is most known for the Transformers series. From the production side, having Avi and Ari Arad in charge was probably most of the reason the film was pushed into being like an American Superhero film rather than a geopolitical techno-thriller/police procedural in a cyberpunk future.
    Last edited by Kitten Champion; 2017-12-19 at 06:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Eh, GitS didn't much talent behind it. Its director did nothing of note - Snow White and the Huntsman was not an accomplishment - and at least one of its writers is most known for the Transformers series. From the production side, having Avi and Ari Arad in charge was probably most of the reason the film was pushed into being like an American Superhero film rather than a geopolitical techno-thriller/police procedural in a cyberpunk future.
    Huh. I guess it actually turned out surprisingly well, all things considered.

    It does raise the question of how do these films get tens-to-hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at a team without talent. Is talent really that rare, or is the industry just really bad at selecting for it?
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Huh. I guess it actually turned out surprisingly well, all things considered.

    It does raise the question of how do these films get tens-to-hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at a team without talent. Is talent really that rare, or is the industry just really bad at selecting for it?
    Its the second one. Instead of picking someone who actually lieks the material in question, they often grab someone who is at best apathetic and let them do it. And thats how we get DOOM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Huh. I guess it actually turned out surprisingly well, all things considered.

    Ya'know, yeah. I mean, I genuinely disliked the Ghost in the Shell movie as a GitS adaptation, as science fiction, as cyberpunk, and as a generic action movie - and I would need a lengthy essay-format response to cover my critique of all its faults - but objectively speaking it managed to be merely a forgettable and mostly mediocre movie rather than a historically awful one. That might actually be worse though, given a bad movie can garner interest for its failures whereas GitS is only notable as a discussion point surrounding future anime/manga adaptations, in much the same way people will remember the Assassin's Creed movie re:game adaptations rather than for the Assassin's Creed movie.

    Incidently, the other lead writer did Street Kings and Spectral which are also formulaic and dumb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    It does raise the question of how do these films get tens-to-hundreds of millions of dollars thrown at a team without talent. Is talent really that rare, or is the industry just really bad at selecting for it?
    For writers, I can see a studio executive seeing someone who wrote scripts which made as much money as Transformers movies did having studio attention, even if the material in no way fits their wheelhouse. I also understand that some have to do these smaller movies - which I guess GitS is at the end of the day - contractually to fill obligations for the bigger money titles even if they're poorly suited for it

    Though there's been a stream of pretty obscure directors who've found themselves at the helm of gigantic Hollywood studio movies all of a sudden - several of the Marvel movies, Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Fantastic Four, etc. - which is probably symptomatic of studios trying to control as much as possible for themselves rather than falling into an auteur money sink.

    In GitS case they just seemed to have a bodies on hand that have speculative fiction somewhere in their file, rather than living up to the material they just tried fitting it into the Superhero mold and hoped it worked.

    I do have this doubt in the back of my head that, even if the GitS movie had lived up to its potential and I - and critics - loved it, whether it would still have bombed but for other reasons... and maybe the studio people had the same sentiment.
    Last edited by Kitten Champion; 2017-12-19 at 07:29 PM.

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    So... also cautiously optimistic. I was actually stoked when I heard that Christoph Waltz would be playing Dr. Ido. Though Jennifer Connelly's appearance, (with the Tiphares mark on her head, no less!) has me wondering what her role will be-- if she's an acquaintance of Ido's, are we in for a retread of the old OVA series? For those not in the know, the OVA invented a character called Sherrin (no idea how it's spelled,) who's implied to be an old lover of Ido's that sort of filled Desty Nova's role from the manga. It was... OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Is...is that character not supposed to be white? Because that character looks straight up Germanic. How do you "whitewash" a white skinned blonde man? And why would anyone care about it?
    Yeah, he's blond-haired and blue-eyed in color illustrations that Yukito Kishiro did of the character and in the OVA. Heck, his repair shop's sign is in German. I think it's fairly safe to say that Ido is at least German-ish.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    For writers, I can see a studio executive seeing someone who wrote scripts which made as much money as Transformers movies did having studio attention, even if the material in no way fits their wheelhouse. I also understand that some have to do these smaller movies - which I guess GitS is at the end of the day - contractually to fill obligations for the bigger money titles even if they're poorly suited for it.
    Yeah, the Transformers movies in particular are... interesting in that regard. I have nothing useful to add to their critique that Lindsay Ellis hasn't covered in minute and scrupulous detail, but from an economic perspective I can understand why they exist, and I know that Michael Bay must be doing something... well, not exactly right, but 'functional and adaptive' in the darwinian sense, let's say. Nobody is lining folks up at gunpoint and forcing them to see these movies over and over. Some fraction of the audience must be enjoying them.

    I'm loathe to think that there's some kind of intrinsic tradeoff between 'enjoyed by the masses' and 'enjoyed by critics'- it seems the MCU and Pixar have been checking the right boxes for both fairly consistently, even if they tend to lapse into formula- but I suppose it's possible that mismatching directors and superficially-related material could lead to semi-regular disasters.

    I will say for GitS that the writers didn't seem to be coming from a place of active contempt for the material, which you sometimes get a whiff of from Bayformers. They bowdlerised the premise and seemed to be tacking on references and callouts wherever they'd fit, but it's evident that they'd actually watched both movies and two seasons of SAC and didn't consciously detest it. (Of course, SAC and the movies don't really have a great deal in common, which might not have helped.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    So... also cautiously optimistic. I was actually stoked when I heard that Christoph Waltz would be playing Dr. Ido. Though Jennifer Connelly's appearance, (with the Tiphares mark on her head, no less!) has me wondering what her role will be-- if she's an acquaintance of Ido's, are we in for a retread of the old OVA series? For those not in the know, the OVA invented a character called Sherrin (no idea how it's spelled,) who's implied to be an old lover of Ido's that sort of filled Desty Nova's role from the manga. It was... OK.
    Yeah, I'm curious about that as well. Nova might be a tricky character to adapt- he's got a sort of jokeresque Blue-and-Orange morality thing going on, with the flamboyant disregard for life you might expect from someone who knows exactly how far the human condition can be atomised and commoditised. I'm guessing that could be rather hit-and-miss with audiences. I'd hate to see him gone entirely, though.
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Yeah, the Transformers movies in particular are... interesting in that regard. I have nothing useful to add to their critique that Lindsay Ellis hasn't covered in minute and scrupulous detail, but from an economic perspective I can understand why they exist, and I know that Michael Bay must be doing something... well, not exactly right, but 'functional and adaptive' in the darwinian sense, let's say. Nobody is lining folks up at gunpoint and forcing them to see these movies over and over. Some fraction of the audience must be enjoying them.

    I'm loathe to think that there's some kind of intrinsic tradeoff between 'enjoyed by the masses' and 'enjoyed by critics'- it seems the MCU and Pixar have been checking the right boxes for both fairly consistently, even if they tend to lapse into formula- but I suppose it's possible that mismatching directors and superficially-related material could lead to semi-regular disasters.

    I will say for GitS that the writers didn't seem to be coming from a place of active contempt for the material, which you sometimes get a whiff of from Bayformers. They bowdlerised the premise and seemed to be tacking on references and callouts wherever they'd fit, but it's evident that they'd actually watched both movies and two seasons of SAC and didn't consciously detest it. (Of course, SAC and the movies don't really have a great deal in common, which might not have helped.)
    If I were to describe Ghost in the Shell (2017} it would be "a thin cliched Scifi script designed to thread together evocative scenes and images from the Ghost in the Shell movie and anime but without any of the sophistication that brought international interest to the franchise in the first place". I believe that's pretty much what they intended going in, GitS simplified for the general audiences with fan-service "I remember that" shots for the benefit of existing fans. It's just, without the depth underlying it Ghost in the Shell (2017) is just imagery. What's more, imagery you've mostly scene before in Live Action because of how influential GitS was in its particular niche, like with The Matrix. Hell, it's like 90% a Robocop ripoff, but without being about anything or the darkly humourous satire.

    Though for GitS to be as bad as Transformers they'd turn Section 9 into background characters for their own OCs who'd occupy most of the screen time as they'd have the ludicrously plot-important *insert noun* McGuffin, there'd be plenty of mildly nauseous comic relief, and become surprisingly convoluted yet stupid at the same time. GitS at least has the right tone, focuses on material - adjacent, at least - to what its adapting, and is pretty straightforward in its script. It also doesn't drag on for an additional hour for no particular reason.

    God, Transformer movies are awful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Yeah, I'm curious about that as well. Nova might be a tricky character to adapt- he's got a sort of jokeresque Blue-and-Orange morality thing going on, with the flamboyant disregard for life you might expect from someone who knows exactly how far the human condition can be atomised and commoditised. I'm guessing that could be rather hit-and-miss with audiences. I'd hate to see him gone entirely, though.
    Desty Nova really isn't all that vital to the first two arcs anyway. He's in what, one frame of a flashback in book 1 and isn't even named just shown. And combining the first two arcs will almost certainly mean, as it did in the OVA, downplaying Makaku anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    God, Transformer movies are awful.
    The only acceptable way to experience a Transformers movie is via Mark Kermode reviewing it.

    Last edited by GloatingSwine; 2017-12-23 at 06:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    GitS simplified for the general audiences with fan-service "I remember that" shots for the benefit of existing fans. It's just, without the depth underlying it Ghost in the Shell (2017) is just imagery. What's more, imagery you've mostly seen before in Live Action because of how influential GitS was in its particular niche, like with The Matrix. Hell, it's like 90% a Robocop ripoff, but without being about anything or the darkly humorous satire.
    That's... a pretty good summary, yeah. (I actually didn't spot the robocop connection before, but you're right- it's nearly beat-for-beat identical.)

    I've been trying to analyse why it felt empty, though, and I can't quite seem put my finger on it. I mean, in principle there's nothing wrong with the premise- "subject of government experiment faces increasing resistance uncovering corruption and conspiracy" seems like it should work fine, at least if you got the unreflective waffle about darwinian transhumanism out of the way. It's not like I get bored rewatching robocop. Maybe the combat scenes oscillate too much between 'extreme peril' and 'no she's fine'? It does seem bizarre that her response to an APB on her ass is to go scuba diving, for example.

    Did Kuze actually murder people in the anime series?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Desty Nova really isn't all that vital to the first two arcs anyway. He's in what, one frame of a flashback in book 1 and isn't even named just shown. And combining the first two arcs will almost certainly mean, as it did in the OVA, downplaying Makaku anyway.
    Fair point about Nova, but I'll be very, very disappointed if they boil Makaku down to a generic hulking bruiser. Take away sympathy for the devil and the point is lost.
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    Oh, it just occurred to me: Dr. Nova is basically a slight permutation of Rick Sanchez. I knew he felt familiar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Oh, it just occurred to me: Dr. Nova is basically a slight permutation of Rick Sanchez. I knew he felt familiar.
    Sort of. They both got a little too close to a universal reality that the multi-verse is so vast that nothing inside it matters. Nova decided to push back and empower dangerous psychotics to change reality. Rick Sanchez decided to start carrying a hip flask.

    I see the similarity though, it's a close enough comparison that it might actually be a good thing if Nova doesn't appear in any Alita movies. Lest the internet explode with whining about James Cameron putting a Rick Sanchez ripoff (Rickoff?) in his movie.

    For my own part, Desty Nova always reminded me of The Joker to the point that I imagine him sounding like Mark Hamill's version. I keep thinking his "Kya-ha-ha-ha" laugh must sound something like this.
    Last edited by The Fury; 2017-12-24 at 02:07 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    That's... a pretty good summary, yeah. (I actually didn't spot the robocop connection before, but you're right- it's nearly beat-for-beat identical.)

    I've been trying to analyse why it felt empty, though, and I can't quite seem put my finger on it. I mean, in principle there's nothing wrong with the premise- "subject of government experiment faces increasing resistance uncovering corruption and conspiracy" seems like it should work fine, at least if you got the unreflective waffle about darwinian transhumanism out of the way. It's not like I get bored rewatching robocop. Maybe the combat scenes oscillate too much between 'extreme peril' and 'no she's fine'? It does seem bizarre that her response to an APB on her ass is to go scuba diving, for example.
    Most of its issues stem from the whitewashing. I know, people out there are rolling their eyes at the SJW, but it's what the whitewashing entailed for the script. The protagonist doesn't have an identity - the lifetime of subjective experience of being a cybernetic life-form, a woman, a Japanese citizen, a friend/comrade/subordinate with years of history predating her interactions in the story, a soldier, a veteran of foreign wars, police officer (or agent for the government in a similar capacity if you want), and everything else that encapsulated Motoko Kusanagi - to become a Tabula Rasa pseudo-superhero character with little discernible personality.

    With Robocop, you get to experience Alex Murphy's life for long enough to earn pathos for his change, the implementation of his cybernetics and brainwashing are horrifying and his dehumanization into becoming a literal product for a giant corporation has emotional weight. With Mira Killian, she begins as transformed Robocop - one that looks like one of the most aesthetically perfect actors around rather than a walking humanoid tank - and we're told later about her transition from being this unknown Japanese woman called Motoko Kusanagi. In order to maintain the... revelation - if you want to call it that - of Killian's true identity, we're only allowed a tiny glimpse of Motoko herself whose an entirely different character in this universe for moments near the end and Johansson has to act blandly mystified with most of her character-time between action scenes until she was allowed to emote near the end.

    There's also the confusing issue of Robocop doesn't work in the Ghost in the Shell universe. Why? Because cybernetics are ubiquitous in Ghost in the Shell, few people in-setting don't have some technological integration into their physiology in a major way. Motoko is special largely because she's a top-flight operator of her own cybernetic body from both her extensive time embodied in one and natural skill, her skill as an expert hacker/cracker overall, and her decades of military/police experience, not because she's an android in particularly -- as opposed to Robocop where Murphy's a unique presence in-universe and his enemies are mostly fleshy humans who he can tank through. GitS world also has a hegemonic transhumanist culture as a consequence, with people who exists outside that norm being problematic to their social order in various ways. The ethics and law of their world recognizes your humanity through the existence of your Ghost, it's a major point repeatedly mentioned by characters in various conversations and debates throughout the manga/anime because it sets up the ontological line of what they define themselves for when that gets put in doubt through circumstances like the Puppet Master. It's also mentioned in the 2017 movie, as to explain the title if nothing else... but it doesn't actually qualify why its significant in any way. Unlike Robocop, With GitS manga/anime-logic, treating Mira Killian like Frankenstein's Creature doesn't make any sense. Except that for the '17 movie it kind of fits the superhero mold of a dramatic backstory that's simple to encapsulate into a scene or two and as a justification for why the Evil Corporation is indifferent to being Evil. It also makes no sense whatsoever to put your successful prototype of illegal and highly unethical cybernetic experiments into the heart of the highly efficient anti-cyber-crime police organization designed specifically to investigate and arrest people doing exactly that kind of thing, except Robocop did it with the DPD. They didn't even give her Robocop's protocols to control her, they just sort of hoped it wouldn't be noticed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Did Kuze actually murder people in the anime series?
    Don't believe so, haven't watched 2nd GiG in a while. Though movie Kuze is a mashup of various antagonists who have. so it doesn't matter.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    I see the similarity though, it's a close enough comparison that it might actually be a good thing if Nova doesn't appear in any Alita movies. Lest the internet explode with whining about James Cameron putting a Rick Sanchez ripoff (Rickoff?) in his movie.

    For my own part, Desty Nova always reminded me of The Joker to the point that I imagine him sounding like Mark Hamill's version. I keep thinking his "Kya-ha-ha-ha" laugh must sound something like this.
    I think it's scientifically established that Rick and Morty fans are empirically the worst people.

    I'd have to read through the series again, but I don't know if one could easily excise Nova without leaving vast gaps in the both the causal logic and existential themes of the larger story. R&M may have done techno-nihilism to death, but it's not an invalid point to raise if you're dealing with crazy future science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    There's also the confusing issue of Robocop doesn't work in the Ghost in the Shell universe. Why? Because cybernetics are ubiquitous in Ghost in the Shell, few people in-setting don't have some technological integration into their physiology in a major way. Motoko is special largely because she's a top-flight operator of her own cybernetic body from both her extensive time embodied in one and natural skill, her skill as an expert hacker/cracker overall, and her decades of military/police experience, not because she's an android in particular- as opposed to Robocop where Murphy's a unique presence in-universe and his enemies are mostly fleshy humans who he can tank through.
    Yeah. I grokked pretty much immediately that making Mira into a unique snowflake ran completely counter to the original, where all her anxieties stem from how her body is mass-produced and her memories are fungible, but I didn't notice the extent to which cyberisation is actually depicted as normalised and ubiquitous even within the same movie, so it's a broken premise from the start.

    I think the whitewashing is absolutely symptomatic of the industry problems you were talking about earlier, but in principle one could translate Motoko to US-equivalent career backgrounds if the writers had wanted to give her some depth. But you're absolutely right about the differences in pacing and shortage of pathos, now that you mention it.

    I'm in the rare position where I can't find anything to really disagree with in what you're saying, and you said quite a bit, so, uh... excellent dissection. I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter?
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Most of its issues stem from the whitewashing. I know, people out there are rolling their eyes at the SJW, but it's what the whitewashing entailed for the script. The protagonist doesn't have an identity - the lifetime of subjective experience of being a cybernetic life-form, a woman, a Japanese citizen, a friend/comrade/subordinate with years of history predating her interactions in the story, a soldier, a veteran of foreign wars, police officer (or agent for the government in a similar capacity if you want), and everything else that encapsulated Motoko Kusanagi - to become a Tabula Rasa pseudo-superhero character with little discernible personality.
    There's a reference hidden in the original Japanese manga regarding Motoko Kusangai's potentially mass produced origins. As written, Motoko (素子) means 'plain, unadorned child', while Kusanagi is the name of a legendary Japanese weapon, much like Excalibur in the west, thus 'plain weapon' is one interpretation of her name.
    However, depending on how you read the kanji, I believe you can get 'circuit board', implying that she is an artificial weapon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Motoko is special largely because she's a top-flight operator of her own cybernetic body from both her extensive time embodied in one and natural skill, her skill as an expert hacker/cracker overall, and her decades of military/police experience, not because she's an android in particular...
    Again from the manga, some of her special-ness is due to her body. As her Section 9 body is military grade technology, her skin sensor density (ie sensors per cm2) is far beyong the capabilities of commercial gear.
    Motoko takes advantage of this in a memorable scene demonstrating her illegal sideline in making electronically simulated porn (and confusing the hell out of Batou as he makes a mind link to Motoko while she's recording it, resulting in him receiving sensory signals for organs he doesn't have).

    Aside from this, I'm fairly sure her body's physical capabilities are beyond commercial grade bodies (in the SAC series, she demonstrates by escaping her tail by leaping between two skyscrapers), not to mention her wireless bandwidth capacity.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    There's a reference hidden in the original Japanese manga regarding Motoko Kusangai's potentially mass produced origins. As written, Motoko (素子) means 'plain, unadorned child', while Kusanagi is the name of a legendary Japanese weapon, much like Excalibur in the west, thus 'plain weapon' is one interpretation of her name.
    However, depending on how you read the kanji, I believe you can get 'circuit board', implying that she is an artificial weapon.
    Isn't that a name she chose for herself? I don't believe Motoko Kusanagi is her given name anymore than Batou is his.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Again from the manga, some of her special-ness is due to her body. As her Section 9 body is military grade technology, her skin sensor density (ie sensors per cm2) is far beyong the capabilities of commercial gear.
    Motoko takes advantage of this in a memorable scene demonstrating her illegal sideline in making electronically simulated porn (and confusing the hell out of Batou as he makes a mind link to Motoko while she's recording it, resulting in him receiving sensory signals for organs he doesn't have).

    Aside from this, I'm fairly sure her body's physical capabilities are beyond commercial grade bodies (in the SAC series, she demonstrates by escaping her tail by leaping between two skyscrapers), not to mention her wireless bandwidth capacity.
    Oh, no question her body is well-above commercial standards, but she exists in a netherworld where above commercial standard is generally expected and must be actively anticipated just to survive. She routinely combats criminals/terrorists with cybernetics that wipe the floor with what the respectable citizens use, though admittedly Section 9 is pretty cutting edge compared to most. Motoko's hi-spec android body is a consequence of having led the life she's lived and the abilities she's portrayed possessing and not the other way around.

    It's like, if you rolled through your neighborhood with a Abrams tank you could easily crush everything in your path with little skill. However, take that same tank out to a war-zone with other armored vehicles - each with trained soldiers at the controls - and your advantage is gone.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    ... I have nothing useful to add to their critique that Lindsay Ellis hasn't covered in minute and scrupulous detail...
    That was a very interesting hour and a half - thank you for linking that.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    I think it's scientifically established that Rick and Morty fans are empirically the worst people.

    I'd have to read through the series again, but I don't know if one could easily excise Nova without leaving vast gaps in the both the causal logic and existential themes of the larger story. R&M may have done techno-nihilism to death, but it's not an invalid point to raise if you're dealing with crazy future science.
    The movie looks like it's covering the first two volumes, and like it was mentioned Desty Nova was only in one scene. He appears in flashback during the Motorball arc and finally becomes a serious threat during the... fifth volume, I think? I mean, the call on whether or not Nova will be in these movies can be a while out, and that's assuming that future movies will be greenlit.

    Rick and Morty and Alita do have some philosophical similarities, though I think they're mainly surface ones, and yeah. Not that I expect that'll prevent thousands of twits from whining on Reddit or at least one Rick cosplayer hassling whoever's at the ticket window.
    Iop brain.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Oh, no question her body is well-above commercial standards, but she exists in a netherworld where above commercial standard is generally expected and must be actively anticipated just to survive. She routinely combats criminals/terrorists with cybernetics that wipe the floor with what the respectable citizens use, though admittedly Section 9 is pretty cutting edge compared to most. Motoko's hi-spec android body is a consequence of having led the life she's lived and the abilities she's portrayed possessing and not the other way around.
    Yeah. You could even say she's more similar to a fighter jet pilot than a tank driver, in terms of how picky they are about letting someone use that hardware. She grew into the skills before she grew into the outfit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    That was a very interesting hour and a half - thank you for linking that.
    Cool. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    The movie looks like it's covering the first two volumes, and like it was mentioned Desty Nova was only in one scene. He appears in flashback during the Motorball arc and finally becomes a serious threat during the... fifth volume, I think? I mean, the call on whether or not Nova will be in these movies can be a while out, and that's assuming that future movies will be greenlit.
    Yeah, that's fair. I just wonder what Jennifer Connolly is supposed to be doing then.

    R&M is definitely about very different things from BAA- the former seems to be drifting into a kind of Epicurean philosophy, in the sense of 'everything is material, but don't panic, we can still have sustainable pro-social pleasure.' Alita's more focused on self-discovery and the struggle to excel, almost dragonball-style. My point is just that Nova is about similar things, and has a similar quasi-cautionary function.

    To be honest, I probably count as a Rick and Morty fan.
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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Isn't that a name she chose for herself? I don't believe Motoko Kusanagi is her given name anymore than Batou is his.
    Depends on the continuity - in the SAC, it's fairly certain that's her real name (and given the fact that she was one of the very first child full body cyborgs, her name's probably a matter of public record).
    The manga barely scratches her background and her origins remain as much a mystery at the end of the series as the beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
    Motoko's hi-spec android body is a consequence of having led the life she's lived and the abilities she's portrayed possessing and not the other way around.
    One interesting point is that she is effectively trapped in Section 9 as long as she wants to keep that high spec body. That level of cutting tech requires constant maintenance and diagnostics, not to mention the security clearance.

    Using your Abrams example, tank drivers don't get to take their tanks home with them when they EAS out (well unless you're Arnold Schwarzenegger)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Yeah, that's fair. I just wonder what Jennifer Connolly is supposed to be doing then.
    The film could be mixing up elements of the manga and OAV together, but I hope Jennifer Connolly's character doesn't end up like Chiren from the OAVs.

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    Default Re: Alita: Battle Angel - yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    R&M is definitely about very different things from BAA- the former seems to be drifting into a kind of Epicurean philosophy, in the sense of 'everything is material, but don't panic, we can still have sustainable pro-social pleasure.' Alita's more focused on self-discovery and the struggle to excel, almost dragonball-style. My point is just that Nova is about similar things, and has a similar quasi-cautionary function.
    Oh sure. That's what I mean by there being similarities between the two, but they're superficial ones. Once you scratch the surface, you really start to notice the differences between the two series. Indeed, there's quite a few differences that Nova and Rick have as well. The biggest among them is that Rick is a severely dysfunctional person, while Nova is a monster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    To be honest, I probably count as a Rick and Morty fan.
    ...Yeah, me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    The film could be mixing up elements of the manga and OAV together, but I hope Jennifer Connolly's character doesn't end up like Chiren from the OAVs.
    You mean characterization-wise? Or do you mean...
    Spoiler: Battle Angel OVA
    Show
    Having her be cut up for organ replacements and having her body parts preserved in jars of fluid?


    If the former, I'd agree that her characterization was... eh... Not exactly bad but not really anything special either. If the latter... yeah, that's an awful way for anyone to go. Damn, Battle Angel is a brutal series.
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