As with Ghost in the Shell, I was a bit skeptical of the live-action take on the anime/manga classic, Battle Angel Alita. And just like with Ghost in the Shell, I came away pleasantly surprised at how well done Alita: Battle Angel turned out. Add in the always amazing 4K HDR transfer, and a 3D Blu-ray release included in this package, and you’re sure to have a heavenly good time with this action angel.
Christian Stirling loved this film just as much as I did, and you can read his review for all of the plot details and his take on it as I go into mine here and the special features of this home release. As with Christian, I enjoyed every moment of this action-packed piece, as it’s clear that producer James Cameron was behind the scenes guiding director Robert Rodriguez with the action scenes and smooth pacing. Whether it’s well done CGI-laced battles, or tender moments of Alita seeing the world with innocent eyes, there’s always something awesome happening.
It’s films such as this that give me hope that future live-action anime adaptations can be just as great, given the time and love put into it like this one had. To make things better, the 4K HDR transfer makes everything look and sound perfect. It was awesome seeing all of the super fine details of Alita’s first pair of cybernetic arms, and all of the other small but amazing details of the parts and electronics that make up Alita and the other cybernetic beings she encounters. The Dolby HD audio also packs a nice punch or two as it rings through nicely during the action bits.
There’s also some nice special features to take a look at once the credits roll, some of them that stood out to me was “Alita’s World” that features a small collection of motion comics that provide background on Alita and the world she’s in. “From Manga To Screen” goes into how James Cameron wanted to tackle bringing Yukito Kishiro’s manga/anime to the big screen for a long time, and how he and Robert Rodriguez made it happen. It also features some interviews with the cast and crew who give their take on the film and its source material.
“Evolution of Alita” goes behind the scenes of what it took to bring a believable Alita to life, including the special effects, character design, and personality that went into making her. “London Screening Q&A” has the cast and crew discussing the movie, “2005 Art Compilation” shows off some of the scenes from the movie using some artwork done in 2005 as source material, and “Scene Deconstruction” lets you see how some scenes were made piece by piece, from the initial filming, to the addition of special effects layer by layer.
There’s also a pretty cool 3D Blu-ray version of the film included should you have the setup for it, but I enjoyed the awesome looking 4K HDR disc more. While it may not have rocked the box-office during its theatrical run, Alita: Battle Angel is yet another great entry in the live-action versions of classic anime that both fans and newcomers can equally enjoy. There’s always something interesting happening, and the visual and audio details serve to place you right in the middle of this angelic action film.