Alita: Battle Angel appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, this became a fine presentation.
At all times, sharpness appeared positive. As such, I thought the image seemed accurate and well-defined. I noticed no signs of shimmering or jaggies, and the movie lacked any print flaws.
Teal? Check. Orange? Check. Color-related creativity? Nope. The hues followed predictable stylistic paths, but the Blu-ray executed them in a positive manner.
Blacks were always deep and tight, and I saw good contrast as well. Shadows seemed clear and appropriately opaque. The Blu-ray became a strong reproduction of the film.
In addition, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 track of Angel lived up to expectations, as the mix used all the channels in a lively, involving manner. Vehicles, weapons, and other action elements popped up from all around the room and delivered a smooth, engrossing soundscape.
This meant nearly constant material from the surrounds. The back speakers delivered a high level of information and created a great sense of place in that domain. All of this melded together in a vivid, satisfying manner.
Audio quality was also strong. Music seemed full and bold, while speech was consistently natural and crisp.
Effects became the most prominent component, of course, and packed a solid punch, with positive clarity and range. As a soundscape, Angel delivered the goods.
Under the banner Alita’s World, we locate four motion comics: “The Fall” (five minutes, five seconds), “Iron City” (3:19), “What It Means to Be a Cyborg” (2:28), and “Rules of the Game” (2:52).
As expected, these shorts offer backstory about the characters and circumstances found in Angel. They’re more expository than entertaining, but they’re useful in the way they flesh out the material.
Some featurettes follow, and From Manga to Screen runs 20 minutes, 47 seconds. It includes notes from director Robert Rodriguez, writer/producer James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, creator Yukito Kishiro, concept designer supervisors Ben Procter and Dylan Cole, co-production designer Caylah Eddleblute, production designer Steve Joyner, and actor Rosa Salazar
“Screen” examines the source and its adaptation, story/characters, scripts and development and design choices. It focuses mainly on the representation of the original “Manga”, and it follows that subject well.
With Evolution of Alita, we locate a 19-minute, 43-second piece that features Rodriguez, Salazar, Cameron, Landau, Joyner, Eddleblute, Procter, Cole, stunt coordinator Garrett Warren, assistant stunt coordinator/fight choreographer Steve Brown, Weta visual effects supervisor Nick Epstein, senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri, Weta animation supervisor Michael Cozens, visual effects supervisors Richard Saindon and Richard Hollander, visual effects creative supervisor Richard Baneham, Weta limited CG, compositing, motion and FX supervisor Emile Ghorayeb, visual effects plate and motion capture unit supervisor Dejan Momcilovic, Weta limited lead artist Mark Haenga, and actor Jorge Lendeborg.
The show examines the lead character, Salazar’s performance, effects and related subjects. We find a nice overview of the work that brought Alita to the screen.
Motorball lasts six minutes, two seconds and brings comments from Salazar, Cameron, Landau, Rodriguez, Procter, Warren, Eddleblute, Letteri, Cozens, Lendeborg, and supervising art director A. Todd Holland.
As expected, this show examines aspects of the movie’s sporting contests. It tends to feel fluffier than the other programs, but it still delivers some useful details.
Next we find a 26-minute, 38-second London Screening Q&A. Hosted by Landau, it includes Rodriguez, Cameron Rosa Salazar and acyprs Jennifer Connelly and Christoph Waltz.
They reply to Internet-generated fan questions and discuss bringing the manga to film, story/character areas, cast and performances, effects and connected areas. Inevitably, some of this leans toward promotion, but the Q&A brings a pretty good level of information.
A quirky feature typical of Rodriguez releases, 10 Minute Cooking School spans five minutes, 28 seconds and presents Rodriguez as he tells us how to make our own chocolate. Ignore the discrepancy between the 10 minutes of the title and the actual running time and this becomes a fun lesson.
Under 2005 Art Compilation, we see a 14-minute, 20-second that displays concept material accompanied by narration about the movie’s universe. It becomes an appealing collection.
Finally, we get a Scene Deconstruction. This allows us to flip from original photography to the animation stage to the final film for four scenes, with a total running time of 10 minutes, 48 seconds. “Deconstruction” brings a fun way to see the different aspects of the production.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Angel. It includes the four motion comics and “Manga” but lacks the other extras.
Literally years in the making, Alita: Battle Angel doesn’t seem worth the long wait. While the film occasionally springs to life, it lacks consistency and bores more than it delights. The Blu-ray brings excellent picture and audio along with a fairly informative set of supplements. Given all the talent involved, Angel disappoints.