Alita Battle Angel - 3/5
Came out for streaming and I got around to it finally. For better and worse I am baggaged with the knowledge of the source material that I had watched and read as a teen ages ago. The live adaption actually does an admirable job of following the general plot of the OVA and elements from the first few books of the manga. Some of the shots look like they were taken directly from the pages of the comic. What brought this movie down for me was the writing and acting - the former very much influencing the latter. Waltz plays his typical self but without the clever dialog from Tarantinos flicks he seems lifeless. Similarly the remaining cast, of which some are greatly talented Oscar winners, flounder in a story of all too familiar archetypes.
What doesn’t help is the absolutely baffling choice to CGI the face of Alita which is a constant distraction in any scene she’s in (so basically 99% of the movie). I understand the intent to honor manga and anime with the stylized large eyes, but someone should have pulled Cameron to the side and let him know that just because we CAN doesn’t mean we SHOULD.
The action scenes were great and rollerball was especially a treat. They even had some high profile aggressive inline skaters to do some of the street skating parts. I wasn’t even bother by how unrealistically the plot advances forward because so much of it was true to the original, but the lackluster writing and Salazar’s weird computer face kept pulling me out of the experience. That said, I would be interested to see a sequel where they can maybe not do the eyes thing.