As the James Cameron / Robert Rodriguez penned Alita: Battle Angel heads to DVD, we take a look, with some anticipation it has to be said, at the possible jam-packed extras.
I say with some anticipation as, after initially watching Alita: Battle Angel, the full review of the movie you can read here, I was eager to see how they’d gone about building this world. How they made Rosa Salazar to be Alita.
Those of you hoping to see some of the same I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news and bring some crushing disappointment; it just isn’t here.
What you get are a few, animated (and by animated I mean still pictures with zoom effects and flipping between them), short stories in Alita’s World. These are: The Fall, Iron City, What It Means To Be A Cyborg and Rules Of The Game.
They are all feature voice over work by the character’s themselves: The Fall tells the back story of Alita and is voiced by Salazar, Iron City tells you about the city and various districts and is voiced by Keean Johnson, What It Means To Be A Cyborg is about, well, what it’s like to be a cyborg and is voiced by Ed Skrein with Rules Of The Game all about Rollerball.
The animation is decent, looks to be hand-drawn but I’m not sure if it is or isn’t. I can’t say I felt enlightened in particular, not any more than having watched the film, there was the odd gap that got filled maybe. Readers of the Manga won’t learn anything new.
Speaking of the source material, the only other extra you get From Manga To Screen. This documentary is more interesting and features both Cameron and Rodriguez heavily as well as Cameron’s long-time producer, Jon Landau.
All three talk about how it was so close between Cameron making Avatar or Alita, in the end he elected for Avatar because there was more opportunity for him to hone his new way of filming motion capture and being able to see the action whilst filming the actors.
It’s also because of this that we get next to nothing about how the VFX was done on Alita: Battle Angel. Because they basically say, “oh it was the same tech as Avatar” and move on.
Personally, I found this irksome and would have loved to have seen them putting it all together. Instead we see a few shots but it’s mostly about how Rodriguez ending up editing the script and directing and how Cameron came to have the rights for the movie from Yukito Kishiro, the man behind the manga.
Whilst the transfer is fine, the extras are lacking. We’ll update this review when we receive the 4k and Blu-Ray versions of the movie next week, hopefully they’ll have some more extras!