The one thing that works in Alita: Battle Angel is Alita herself. Forget the strange discomfort you’ll have at first to the overlarge, CGI augmented eyes set inside that tiny impish face. Rosa Salazar’s performance as an amnesiac robot discovering the world for the first time is truly winning. Robert Rodriguez’s vision of a future after the devastation of most of the planet detailed enough that we are content largely to watch it unfurl through her eyes.
Mortal Engines was like the YA book series with the best politics. Maybe it was tied with A Series of Unfortunate Events, but those books didn’t go too hard with praxis. These were books that were fervently anti-capitalist and anti-nationalist, written from a clearly defined Anarcho-Communist perspective. Sure, the conceit of autonomous, mobile city states is maybe a big hurdle to overcome — but to reflect a societal condition as fucked as late-capitalism takes some doing.
So I pretty much love the Mortal Engines books; have since I was a kid. They are a sorta class-conscious, post-apocalyptic version of steampunk that you don’t see too often. Steampunk as a genre often gets too trapped in the ‘Steam’ to really pay attention to the ‘Punk’.
Fences feels like an accomplished play. Everything that I’m sure shone throughout the various stagings of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning classic shines here. Under Denzel Washington’s direction though it never feels like it quite makes that leap to a film. That’s not to suggest inferiority by no means, I’ve never seen it staged (and… Continue reading Fences: August Wilson’s August Play