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A new movie hits theaters on February 14th which somehow may escape the notice of the casual moviegoer but should definitely be on everyone’s radar. ‘Alita: Battle Angel‘ is based on the manga of Yukito Kishiro and brought to life on the screen by producers James Cameron & Jon Landau and director Robert Rodriguez. That pedigree alone should make people stand up and take notice, but actually seeing the film is something else altogether. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where cybernetic genius Dr. Ido finds the discarded core of a cyborg in the trash heaps of Iron City. He places the core in the cyborg body he had built for his daughter before she was tragically killed. Upon awakening, Alita (named by Dr. Ido) has no memory of her past but soon begins to discover her extraordinary skills as she learns more about herself and the world around her. The film is grounded, yet visually stunning thanks to seamlessly combined elements of motion capture, CGI and real sets. The incredible cast which consists of such heavy-hitters as Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly & Christoph Waltz as well as solid players like Ed Skrein, Michelle Rodriguez and also Rosa Salazar in the title role, give top notch performances thus helping to keep the viewer immersed in and committed to the story.

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There was one little, tiny complaint I had with the film which, for the sake of not spoiling anything, I cannot mention. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It combined small elements from some of my other favorite films which added to my enchantment. I saw aspects of ‘Blade Runner‘, ‘Hunger Games‘, ‘Dark City‘, etc in both the fantastical story as well as in the characterization by some of the actors (maybe I like post-apocalyptic films too much, now that I think about it…). The screening I attended was in IMAX and, given the vibrant richness of the effects and the breathtaking visuals, is definitely the way to see this movie! For me, this is a film that fired on all cylinders 98% of the time and I can’t see any other way to describe ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ other than “a collaborative masterpiece by Cameron & Rodriguez.” Both of these craftsmen left their indelible mark on the movie and it will, no doubt, come to be included among the top films of their career. It also rates very high on the rewatchability scale which is always something I take into consideration when rating a film. Personally, I’d rate this movie a solid 9.5 out of 10. Get your tickets now as this is a movie that deserves to be seen in theaters and especially in IMAX or 3-D if you can!!

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