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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Vic's LiveJournal:

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Friday, March 22nd, 2019
5:43 am
It's like I kissed a battery.
Does it bother you that I'm not completely human?

Watching Alita Battle Angel for the sixth time last night, I was still surprised to find elements of the film I hadn't noticed before. These strokes of rich minutiae broaden the scope of Alita's universe and prove that her creators either really did their research or were already huge fans of her story.

This is the media that currently exists for Alita:
-GUNNM (Japanese title, translates to Gun Dream)/Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro, 9 volumes published from 1990 to 1995
-Battle Angel Alita: Holy Night & Other Stories by Yukito Kishiro, 4 side stories published from 1997 to 2006
-Battle Angel Alita: Last Order by Yukito Kishiro, a sequel to the original manga series, 19 volumes published from 2000 to 2014
-Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle by Yukito Kishiro, a prequel to the original manga series, 6+ volumes published from 2014 to present
-Battle Angel Alita directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi, 2 episodes released in 1993
Video Game
-GUNNM: Martian Memory, developed by Yukito Products and released in 1998
Live Action Film
-Alita Battle Angel directed by Robert Rodriguez, released in 2019

After my first viewing of the live-action adaptation, I wasn't impressed. I focused too intently on minor details that made me cringe. Names of many of the characters were altered to reflect a Western heritage; and when "Hugo" referred to Alita as Ally (rather than Gally, her original name in Japan) I became heated. Some other liberties were taken with the story that pushed my nostalgia goggles into overdrive. The ultimate flaw, however, was that Rosa Salazar's performance could never live up to MY adoration of Gally's character that I had been attached to for 25 years. I let myself whinge over these grievances for about a week, but I'm happy to say that I gave this film a second chance. I left my nostalgia goggles at the theater entrance, and I was rewarded with a visual masterpiece with expertly crafted storytelling.

Is this film faithful to the source material? Absolutely. The OVA took liberties with the story in the original manga series; and the live-action film exploits those differences and adds fresh ideas that add depth to the plot. Side notes from the sequel and prequel manga series' were also included to give clarity to audience members who don't intend to delve into Alita's background story. Even though original additions were made by the filmmakers, many of the most important scenes were shot for shot identical to panels from the manga as though it was used as a storyboard. Easter eggs abound; countless frames on screen depict nods to characters or distant story arcs from the manga that could be evidence of future sequel substance. Speaking of substance, the environment of Iron City is full and buzzing with energy and I believe in it. Mere sentences were uttered to describe the history of this world. They don't make it too technical and they don't dumb it down, but it's easy to settle into the surroundings and understand the milieu of Iron City.

Berating Rosa Salazar's performance was a mistake. No actress could ever hope to meet the exact specifications for a character set by a "hardcore" lifelong fan, and she should never be expected to. Salazar made Alita her own, but she still managed to portray the true heart of the character. It was a treasure to witness her vulnerability as an insignificant girl and her courageous spirit as a Hunter Warrior. In fact, the entire cast gives a loyal representation of the original characters. I couldn't wish for a more perfect portayal of the fatherly yet badass Dr. Ido than Christoph Waltz. Jennifer Connelly was as cold-hearted and ambitious as Shiren. Vector was basically Cottonmouth anyway; thank you Mahershala Ali. Keean Johnson's Hugo was easy to fall in love with and you really rooted for him to make it to Zalem despite his flaws.

The visual effects were outstanding. I find myself wanting to learn more about some of the artists who developed the background and character concepts. Zapan's body is so intricate that I could spend hours admiring the details etched on his "skin." I can't give an adequate description to champion the special effects of Alita Battle Angel as getting lost down a rabbit-hole of Google images leaves me speechless.

The screenplay seems simple on the surface, but close inspection reveals that it was expertly tailored by a team that understands the importance of a believable mythology. I don't want to spoil the plot, but every second of this film was a joy to watch. As I said, I've seen it six times now and I haven't been bored with any aspect of it yet. The storytelling was superb and left me wanting more. James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez need to give me a sequel.

Current Mood: contemplative

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
5:41 am


Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
3:37 pm

Why is George RR Martin the only person who still regularly updates Livejournal?

Monday, July 30th, 2012
6:39 am
Eyvind Earle

I'm mad that I never knew who this artist was until last night. He was great.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Monday, July 16th, 2012
11:53 am

Where are all the livejournal updates I was promised?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
5:23 pm
I miss Star Wars Celebration V. Why can't every day be like that?
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
10:00 am
Terry Pratchett received the knighthood.
Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
12:30 pm
What is everyone doing for Halloween?
Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
12:23 pm
July 31st marks 3 years lived in Japan. So I guess I will be back in Louisiana some time before August 10th. I'm feeling pretty good about it, but I need some job leads. I will be living with the parents until I get a car and some decent income.

There are lots of movies I need to watch. It'll be good to live in a country where movie tickets aren't $18 each. And even though gas is hella expensive...it's not as expensive as it is in Japan. And I look forward to eating some fresh fruit. No more $5 apples that don't even taste that special.

...and I have missed tall American boys.
Sunday, July 6th, 2008
9:34 am
Saturday, June 14th, 2008
5:00 pm
Today I went to Uni Qlo and discovered that the Japanese retailers have designed 6 Metal Gear Solid shirts and they're $15 each.


Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
11:00 am
It's rainy season in Japan. I kind of like it. That means it isn't unbearably hot. I have to teach my night class later, so I will probably be irritated by 9PM. I can't wait to stand in front of that class for 2 hours with 27 adults staring at me and not wanting to cooperate.

Chanel Chance smells really good. I rarely use perfume. I like Chanel no. 5 and Vivienne Westwood's Boudoir, but Chanel Chance smells like the lacy unwashed corset of a French whore...it's the good kind. I just googled it and here is the description: "The finest raw materials are brought together in CHANCE: notes of White Musk, Hyacinth and Citron, Pink Pepper, Jasmine, Fresh Vetiver, Orris Absolute and Amber Patchouli. Although familiar, these raw materials are perceived in a completely original way, due to the Unexpected Accord, which gives the fragrance its unique character." It's kind of expensive, though. But that's the way to go if you don't want to smell like one of those obnoxious Vanilla Fields girls. You have no idea how badly I wanted to vomit back in highschool being surrounded by a bunch of girls showered in Vanilla Fields. You shouldn't have to smell someone unless your body is in their primordial bubble, otherwise it feels intrusive. I mean, if you like the scent of vanilla, that's cool, but it doesn't mean everybody else does. Spray it on your pulse-points, not your jacket. I do, however, like how my Pops leaves a trailing scent of Old Spice after he exits the shower...that's just some cool rugged old man shit right there.


Jogging is going well; I hope it will eventually give me the powerful Chun Li thighs I have been dreaming of. One day I will have nice enough legs to be Chun Li for Halloween. Hey, we all have our goals in life!!!!! Laters.
Saturday, June 7th, 2008
9:57 pm
Dr Ken from the Kims of Comedy says some funny shit, but I dunno if many non-Asians get a lot of his references...especially the ones about Vietnamese people. Oh well--funny to me.
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
7:04 am
Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
10:33 am
I'm going to throw a Batman-themed Halloween party this year. Get your shit organized.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
10:50 am
I have enlightened one of my white friends to the glory that is jasmine rice. I just don't understand people who eat Uncle Ben's and Great Value rice brands. He's still cooking rice on the stovetop, though. I told him to invest in a Zojirushi electric rice cooker. It's the one with flowers and an elephant on it. You all need to get one. Stop cooking your rice on top of the damn stove!!!
Monday, February 25th, 2008
3:27 pm
Damn, I want this. I'd buy it if I didn't already have an overpriced limited edition ds lite.

Sunday, February 24th, 2008
9:51 am
Answers to the Quotes Nobody Guessed
2. True Romance
3. Empire of the Sun
4. The Killer
6. Return of the Dragon
9. Big Trouble in Little China
10. Battle Royale
Thursday, February 21st, 2008
10:14 pm
1. Pick 15 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Fill in the film title once it's guessed.
5. NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions.

1. The Sandlot I've been coming here every summer of my adult life, and every summer there she is oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling. I can't take it anymore!

2. I'm the Anti-Christ. You got me in a vendetta kind of mood. You tell the angels in heaven you never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you.

3. Don't let me down, kid. You're an American now.

4. Life's cheap. It only takes one bullet... He's no ordinary assassin; I hope we're just looking for one man. If I'm not mistaken, this man is not a cold-blooded murderer.

5. Army of Darkness Well hello Mister Fancypants. Well, I've got news for you pal, you ain't leadin' but two things: Jack and shit... and Jack just left town.

6. May you help me? Suuure. I'd like some Chinese spareribs.

7. Mallrats Wow! That's a good question. Tough one though. I mean, what does one gauge his response on: physical powers? Keen detection skills? The ability to banter well with super villians?

8. American Psycho You're a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood.

9. Would you just stop rubbing your body up against mine, because I can't concentrate when you do that.

10. Come at me. Every inch of me will resist you.

11. Unbreakable You'd better not be back there jacking off to the Japanese comics, I swear to God...

12. Heathers My son's a homosexual, and I love him. I love my dead gay son.

13. The Departed I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy.

14. Flight of Dragons What? Never had gemstones in your craw?

15. No Retreat, No Surrender But this time it will be different, Russian!
Saturday, January 19th, 2008
9:57 pm
Wait...how was I famous in 2003?
Victoria's Past Lives

1199 BC: An Emperor's Bitch
284 AD: Some forgotten prophet
2003 AD: A famous person
'What were you in your past lives?' at QuizGalaxy.com
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