Alita: Battle Angel ★★★★

Alita's Disney Channel Original Movie love interest is a drip, but there's not much to dislike about this otherwise. Alita: Battle Angel holds up great alongside gonzo blockbusters of the 2000s (prequels, Wachowskis) as the sort of singular cinematic vision, realized on a large scale, that'll happen less and less as more film studios coalesce into the Walt Disney company. Both Alita and its forbears have an earnestness that helps to sell the radical notions being presented onscreen - in the case of Alita, a depiction of class warfare as germane to the 21st century as the 26th, and bodily transformation through tech as humanity's next form, for good and ill. Rose Salazar's intuitive work with motion capture, alongside sharp/nicely stylized CGI, provide a fitting canvas for the film's futurist politics, and thrill in their own right (the motorball scene is a scene of the year contender, now *that's* podracing).

Actively rooting for the success of the upcoming Avatar sequels if it means James Cameron getting to produce a sequel to this too.

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