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Has Alita Broken the Live Action Curse? [SPOILERS]

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It’s no secret that the live-action adaptations of anime franchises have been… questionable at best. With such colossal flops as Ghost in the Shell and the Netflix adaptation of Death Note (how dare they stand where Light Yagami stood), it’s difficult to imagine that live action could ever be successful in portraying well loved anime series.

But you know what? Alita: Battle Angel was pretty dang good.

I know I warned you once already, but spoilers ahead. Like, the real big spoilery kind.

I went into it with pretty low expectations – I mean look at her freaky big eyes – but the sheer fact that they never addressed her oversized peepers made it somehow more acceptable to me. And that was just the first of many times I was pleasantly surprised.

Christoph Waltz was, as always, a genius and a treasure, and honestly, the plot was solid. There were a lot of pieces to wade through (motor ball, Alita’s past, Dr. Ido’s backstory, and introducing Nova to name a few) but I think it was paced well and presented the information in a cohesive, complete way.

I appreciate how the relationship between Ido and Alita was never twisted, the strong but subtle symbolism of Alita’s delicate, innocent, porcelain body being broken and exchanged for the true strength of her past, and I even appreciate that Motor ball was never explicitly explained but was fully understandable.

I think of all the things I could complain about, the most egregious offense is the token boyfriend. Of course, I understand that he serves a purpose, and I understand that he is necessary to take Alita from one motivation to the next. I just plain didn’t like him. Even in his death, his purpose was clear – only dying after he chose to be with her and I think that was a smart choice.

I’m certainly not trying to say it was a perfect movie, but I am saying that it was solid and enjoyable, which is more than most live-action anime adaptations can boast.

So what does this mean for future live-action adaptations of anime/manga? Only time will tell. But with a live-action Akira and Mobile Suit Gundam coming, let’s hope we’ve learned some things. And yeah, Death Note 2 is coming, but I would rather pretend that’s just not happening.

Here’s to 2019, and a possible future for actually decent live-action anime adaptations.

 

Kayla Milam is a Comedy and Nerd Freelance writer. Her specialties include playing video games, eating all her kid's Halloween candy, and killing house plants. She lives in California with her husband, 3-year-old son, dog, and pet praying mantis. Check out her blog at Goodlordthatsfunny.com.

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Marvel / Disney + Release – WandaVision | Official Trailer 2

TV-Series Spinoff from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Containing the characters Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Plot is unknown at the time.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Drama

Release Date:

2020

Director:

Marvel | Disney

Cast:

Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Kat Dennings, Kathryn Hahn, Randall Park, Teyonah Parris, Shane Berengue

Plot Summary:

TV-Series Spinoff from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Containing the characters Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Plot is unknown at the time.

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Final Fantasy XVI | Official Reveal Trailer – HD | PS5

Check out the debut trailer for FF16 (Final Fantasy XVI), revealed during the PS5 showcase in September 2020.

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Genre:

RPG

Producer:

Naoki Yoshida

Console:

PS5, PC

Release Date:

2021

Plot Summary:

“The legacy of the crystals has shaped our history for long enough,”

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The Silencing | Great Cinematography From A Low Budget Film

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I need to see that girl.
She could be my daughter.

 

It’s always nice to see how actors from a successful television series cope in a feature film. And especially if the genre is quite different from what they played in that series. Here Nikolaj Coster-Waldau makes a decent attempt to show that he has more to offer than playing a king’s son who prefers to perform gymnastic exercises with his sister between the sheets. His performance here is on a similar level to that of Jaime Lannister in “Game of Thrones”. Convincing enough, but not exactly of exceptional quality. A role that doesn’t annoy you. But every time you see his face somewhere, you have to think for a moment where you know that face from. This is also the case here in “The Silencing”. I was like, “Damn, where do I know this guy from?”. Only after fifteen minutes or so, I could figure it out.

 

 

Where there’s grief, there’s booze.

The Silencing” itself is of the same level. Certainly not a bad movie. But also not a movie that’ll blow you away. The story felt a bit incomplete to me. There were some improbabilities (not to say completely nonsensical decisions). And the denouement with the disclosure of the perpetrator and his motivation, I personally found a bit far-fetched. The film had something “Silence of the Lambs“-ish but then set in an extensive, forest-like nature reserve. An area managed by Rayborn Swanson (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that has been given the name “Gwen Swanson sanctuary”. A reference to his daughter who has been missing for 5 years. It’s a place where animals can live undisturbed and protected, far from hunters and poachers. Rayborn lives an isolated life far from the civilized world. A way to silently grief about the loss of his daughter. Usually by consuming liters of alcohol. A bit strange because that’s exactly what caused that disappearance.

 

 

There’s a serial killer on the loose.

The story gets a little bit more exciting the moment a serial killer comes into the picture. Someone who probably watched “The Hunt” too much. What follows, is a cat-and-mouse game with the participation of the local female sheriff Alice Gustafson (Annabelle Wallis, series-loving fans will recognize her from “Peaky Blinders”) who herself has her hands full with the stupidities her little brother Brooks (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), a drug addict with a traumatic past.

 

 

Ridiculous things.

Without a doubt, this could have been a much better, coherent movie, provided the script was changed a bit. It’s linked together with hooks and eyes. Full of coincidences and ridiculous twists. Decisions are made that are too ridiculous for words. Alice’s surprising action at one point is understandable on the one hand. But on the other hand completely unreal. And the indifference that those involved show afterward as if nothing had ever happened, made me frown for a moment. Rayborn’s paint pot trick seemed so absurd and stupid that I spontaneously burst out laughing. Not exactly applicable to a serious thriller about a serial killer.

 

Mediocrity rules.

The Silencing” isn’t so great. A mediocre piece of movie. Actually, you could say that you’ve seen it all before in other movies. And much better movies too. Cinematographically it looks professional (despite the low budget) and the general mood is also good. But, when you love watching exciting flicks with nerve-racking suspense, you’ll be disappointed. The only thing I can’t say anything wrong about is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s acting. Solid and constant. Just like in “Game of Thrones“. Again a pitiful persona. But I’m sure I won’t recognize him in his next feature. Once again.

 

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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