Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

Alita: Battle Angel Vs. Captain Marvel—The Fabricated Fight That Should Not Be

I thought about doing a review of each film separately, but after watching both I came to realize how integral both films currently are to our culture, why the cultural “catfight” being brewed (seemingly by design) between the two fandoms is both silly and a distraction to what makes these films so important, and how it’s entirely possible to love both, or even dislike one, without having to automatically be a racist misogynistic bigot troll (blah blah blah)…or a Russian bot, or even an SJW.

But first, let’s start with a brief one-sentence synopsis of each film:

Alita: Battle Angel—Female heroine with amnesia goes on a quest of self-discovery to learn who she is. Stumbles from time to time due to her pride getting in the way, but overall has a good heart. Along the way she discovers that she’s the most powerful weapon ever.

Captain Marvel—Female heroine with amnesia goes on a quest of self-discovery to learn who she is. Stumbles from time to time due to her pride getting in the way, but overall has a good heart. Along the way she discovers that she’s the most powerful weapon ever.

Granted, each story treats that theme in different ways, taking different paths, with different revelations, and providing different plot twists. They’re even in completely different genres (Post-Apocalyptic Cyberpunk for Alita: Battle Angel, Superhero Sci-Fi/Fantasy for Captain Marvel). But essentially, both stories are about the same thing: a story of empowerment by coming to terms with one’s true identity. And that is why the entire “us vs. them” dichotomy seen in the reviews of certain critics ring hollow and disingenuous while relying solely on vague, shallow phrases vapid and meaningless while resorting to idiotically trivial nitpicks like the size of Alita’s breasts or whether or not a butt double was used for Carol Danvers. None of which matters in the slightest when it comes to how relevant that is to the story or the execution thereof. And the fact that such established publications like Vanity and Salon, or even the New York Times, would allow such trivial garbage “reviews” to grace their pages (online or off) solely for the sake of clickbait, or to pander to a corporation (*cough* Disney *cough*), or hell, for any reason whatsoever, merely shows how far the mainstream media in the U.S.A. has fallen.

And don’t even let me get started on how some even misrepresented certain scenes or even flatout made things up just to maintain a predetermined, obviously biased, and (dare I say it) sexist and puritanical narrative. All of which they have every right to do. They can put anything they want in their publications, it’s their choice. Just don’t expect rational, sane people to take such publications seriously when they print such low quality, trivial, trash. It’s almost like fact-checking and vetting has become nonexistent.

Also, to the mainstream media: for the record, it is impossible to “whitewash” a Martian Cyborg. Did these people even bother to research the source material? Or, hell, even watch the movie?

So yeah, let’s nitpick over trivial crap instead of talking about the relevant and timely themes in these films. Such as the dystopian nature of Alita’s world or Alita’s willingness to risk death just to get her memories back, demonstrating how important identity is to the human condition. Or how humanlike her berserker body molds itself into, in response to how Alita subconsciously sees herself as, in contrast to the cyborg monstrosities she battles who look as inhuman as they themselves are on the inside. But I guess such discussions are too “deep” for modern day “critics” to handle.

And let’s completely forget how Captain Marvel, after finally breaking out of Kree brainwashing, realizes she had just spent six years as a soldier serving in an unjust war. Or how Nazi-like Kree society resembles in their views of Kree superiority, collectivistic attitude and disdain for individualism, or their desire to genocide the Skrulls. Because how could that possibly be relevant to modern day, right? Nah, the size of her ass or the actress’s out-of-context remarks in regards to a completely different movie are what everyone should talk about instead. Proving that sometimes, the Internet media can be just as lame as the mainstream. Granted, a lot of that was in response to how Captain Marvel was marketed. But criticizing a film before it was even out based solely on how it was marketed is, to quote Iron Man, “not a great plan.” Also, it’s not good film criticism.

It’s almost like our clickbait media with their clickbait ways are in the process of turning our society into a shallow, vapid, clickbait society. And if that’s so, we’re doomed. Because if our views on entertainment can be so easily manipulated, then one can only imagine how much more easy it would be for more important views (like on politics or science, for example) can be just as manipulated. But then, hasn’t that always been so, at least to some extent?

I went and saw both movies, and here is my honest opinion on both. Both movies had their good points and a couple flaws here and there like every movie does. Both movies made me laugh. Both movies made me cry. And both movies had me cheering on the protagonist. And both movies had me thinking about things I hadn’t thought about for a long time. And that is all anyone can ask from art.

Both movies were entertaining, and both movies had important messages about the nature of identity, the individual vs. the collective, and how under the right conditions good people can be manipulated into doing the wrong things (Hugo, in Alita: Battle Angel, and Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel). They are both movies worth seeing, both for their entertainment value and for what they can teach us about the human condition. And they are worth seeing multiple times because each time you watch them you discover something new; that is, as long as you’re looking for answers to much deeper questions than whether or not a female cyborg from Mars should have breasts and/or look Japanese, or whether or not an actress should smile more.

My advice: go watch both movies and see for yourself how good or not these two movies are. And if you like them, watch them again. Especially if you like Alita: Battle Angel because of the two that film is certainly the underdog of the two and needs all the support it can get (Marvel will make sure their movie makes what they want it to make). Fuck what all the critics with political agendas say, on both sides of the extreme. If there is a “culture war” being waged (fabricated or not) then it is imperative for all of us as individuals to take the power back and make up our own minds on what should be considered part of our overall culture, and not let collective extremism on any side dictate what we should or should not enjoy as our entertainment.

Feel free to like both movies, or to dislike either one, or to dislike both. But make sure your opinion is based on what is actually there and not some fabrication created for you by so-called “critics” with obvious agendas. And I’m not talking about all critics. I’m sure that for every faux “critic” with an agenda, there are hundreds of true critics who have reviewed these films honestly and based their opinions on what was actually in these films. I even personally know a few of them. But alas, the outrage mobs have been drowning these voices out for quite some time now. And it’s getting tiresome, for everyone.

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer

Captain Marvel Trailer

 

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March 15, 2019 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paul Levinson’s New New Media

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

MARcon is a Go

Yeppers. I’ll be at MARcon here in Columbus, May 22-24. So far, I’ll be on 4 panels:

Friday (22)
7 PM: As a Gamemaster, What is Your Goal?

Saturday (23)
1 PM: I Have No Idea Why I’m On This Panel (this one promises to be a fun one)

2:30 PM: How do you write THE OTHER

Sunday (24)
1 PM: I’ll Pull Out Your Eyestalks And Stomp On Them

April 5, 2009 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment