Raingeek Rant: No Battle Angel Movie From James Cameron: Why this is a Good Thing

Battle Angel Alita (Gunnm) has to be my favourite comic book series ever. It has everything I could ever want in a manga, great art, layered characters, oddball cultural references, and grand philosophical ideas. It is a sweeping modern myth about power, technology and self actualization. For years now, James Cameron has held the movie license to the Battle Angel, and many were outraged at his announcement that he was now in the “Avatar” business now, delaying a film version for years.

You see this Cameron? This is not for you!

I for one, couldn’t happier. James Cameron is great at making billions of dollars, but there is no way he could muster the nuance and subtlety to make Battle Angel Alita the way it should be. Take this scene over here with Alita and Shumira. It’s a giant spoiler, so I’m not going to give any context, but look at that mix of hurt, regret, guilt, and love in Alita’s eyes. This scene right here was a triumph of Yukito Kishiro’s artistic ability. We won’t see something like this in James Cameron’s Battle Angel Alita.

The problem with strong female characters in Cameron’s movies is that they all seem to be on some kind of pedestal for bad-asses. Remember the TV series Dark Angel, James Cameron’s first attempt at something Battle Angel Alita-like? It was like a TV version Kate Beaton’s “Strong Female Characters” team. The main character couldn’t go five minutes without making some overture about what a bad-ass she was. The moral dilemmas she had to deal with were nothing but straw men she could high-kick down like it was “no big dealio”. It was patronizing, annoying, and boring. Real heroes, the kind that stay in our collective unconscious, don’t just run around punching people. They have to make painful decisions, face their fears,  and look weak like the rest of us, despite any fantastic powers they have or three point landings they accomplish.

Source: GeekTyrant.

Raingeek Rant: Hunger Games Success Releases The Nimrods

The Hunger Games is just yet another example of why I should go into a media blackout as soon as I start enjoying something popular. I saw the movie last weekend. It was a tight action film that let its actors and director of photography tell the story rather than CGI and other action set-pieces. Anything about the story that seemed outlandish or improbable was quickly over-shadowed by the depth and dimension of the characters. I liked this film, and with it’s $155m box office gross, I thought I could go to the internet and have my experience validated. Like an idiot.

I know no film can possibly win over every critic, but the hype behind this film just brought every crazy out of the woodwork. First there were the reviewers who think Jennifer Lawrence is too fat to play a starving person. Are you kidding me?! This is further proof that heterosexual men have no control over how women are portrayed in the media. I hope to god she doesn’t listen to them, because if Lawrence is presenting at the Oscars, and I  see sternum poking out from that versace dress, I’m going have to choke out some film critics.

Next there was this whole rash of tweets flaring disappointment that Rue, an African American character from the book, was black! With the hashtag #sticktothebooksDUDE no less! I was prepared for people snarking that District 11 was the black district or that District 4 was the ginger district, but not this! Thankfully all of the offending twitter accounts were rendered private or removed, proving that there’s some justice against ignorance on the internet.

While these are just the more bizarre examples, I think they all come from the same place. People just want to find fault in everyone’s favourite book/movie/video game just so they can sound like they have more taste than everyone else. It happens with Doctor Who, The Lord of the Rings Movies, Star Wars, every nerd property you can think of. Speaking as a survivor from the era of the Roger Corman Fantastic Four, we are so Goddamned entitled. There is such a glut of entertainment out there, everyone can find what they like. What benefit do you get from pissing in other people’s cornflakes? Or better yet, if you can’t find something you like, create something you like so you can be more like a boon instead of a pox on society!