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Sheborg Massacre (2016)
Amusing but stupid
I laughed out loud when I saw the title Sheborg, but then I remembered that one of my favorite movies is about a female cyborg. So, I thought I would try this out for the sake of comparison. Unlike Alita: Battle Angel, which portrays a female cyborg with depth and humanity, this movie portrays a female cyborg as an alien monster who must be defeated. This character is more like Godzilla than Alita. To underscore what kind of movie this is, some scenes show characters watching what appears to be a very low budget Japanese monster movie with fake-looking monsters rampaging among model buildings. The sheborg even has less depth and humanity than Daleks and Cybermen sometimes have on Doctor Who.
The special effects are virtually non-existent. The sheborg has robot parts on one side that give her a lop-sided gait. In the scene in which she moves the most, she crawls out of a car window like Samara from the Ring crawling out of a TV screen. Most of the actual action scenes do not involve her.
This movie rips off Bill & Ted and Scooby Doo. The two main characters, two girls named Dylan and Eddie, repeatedly copy a gesture made famous by Bill & Ted, in which they bump fists, wiggle their fingers, and make weird woo-woo noises. They are joined by a third character who looks like Velma from Scooby Doo, and in fact, she is named Velma. Being taller and having red hair, Dylan looks something like Daphne in comparison. There is also a male character who is something like Shaggy and cares about dogs.
The much, much better Captain Marvel movie
Although I have things to nitpick about this movie, it was such a good movie that I will give it a 10 anyway. I have been watching superhero movies since Christopher Reeve appeared in Superman, and even before that, I was watching Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Isis on TV. I have seen most of the DC and Marvel superhero movies and TV shows over the years, including the old Captain Marvel movie from 1941, and this movie is right up there with the best. Maybe it even is the best. It is the best DC Universe film, and it may just be better than any Marvel movie I've seen. Since the character in this movie is the original Captain Marvel, and since Marvel has its own movie out with its own Captain Marvel, I will mention that this movie is leagues better than the Marvel movie that bears the name this movie should have.
This movie was both funny and touching. It had me laughing more than Ant-Man, and it had me crying more than Alita: Battle Angel. I adored Mary Bromfield. Even though she appeared older than Billy and so couldn't be his twin, I had to agree with the choice of actress. It was the scenes with her that I found most touching. It was never as gut-wrenching as what happened in Alita, but her scenes still got to me. I liked Freddy Freeman a lot as well. I found him very relatable. I'm not as familiar with Darla, because she was not one of the original Marvels, but I really liked her in this movie too. She is a lot funnier than the young Monica Rambeau in Marvel's Captain Marvel. The CGI was great. I really liked how it brought the Seven Deadly Sins and Mr. Mind to life.
Although I loved this movie, I also came to it from the perspective of having grown up with Captain Marvel. I had a subscription to Shazam! back when C. C. Beck was still drawing it for DC, and I am more familiar with the old versions of the characters than I am with the newer ones. My first nitpick is that they couldn't use the Marvel name. So, the movie never identifies the characters as Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., and the three Lieutenant Marvels. At least not using the Marvel name provided the opportunity for suggesting funnier names. My second nitpick is that Sivana was made into a completely different character. He was originally a mad scientist. While I did think that a villain who draws power from the seven deadly sins was a good idea, I would have rather they just created a new character, because the mad scientist Sivana is too good of a villain to lose. My third nitpick is that they used a different actress when Mary Bromfield became Mary Marvel. In the comics, Mary doesn't actually grow bigger or change her appearance like her brother does. Besides that, I really liked the actress who was playing Mary, and since she was older than the others, I didn't see the need for her to grow older too. The actress playing Mary Marvel looked enough alike that I didn't realize that they had changed actresses, but Mary did start to appear less attractive, and I was wondering if maybe the costume just didn't look good on her. When I checked the credits later, I found out that a different actress was playing her with super powers.
Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Science fiction action movie with a heart
The first time I saw this movie, I liked it so much that I subsequently read all nine volumes of the Battle Angel Alita manga, then watched the anime and started on the sequel to the manga, Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. Even though Alita was a cyborg, her humanity came through very clearly, and it was easy to love her as a person. She came across as a caring, loving person who is willing to take a stand against evil. The special effects were great too. The CGI came across as believable, and it helped make the action sequences more exciting. In general, the action was as well-done as I've seen it in any science fiction action movie.
On seeing the movie for a second time, I noticed lots of foreshadowing and other details I had missed before. I had initially thought there were some plot holes in the movie, but on seeing it again, those plot holes got filled in. The movie mainly follows the plot of the anime, and where it differs, it usually does a better job or just adds stuff not in the anime, such as Motorball. One way the movie was better was in making the relationship between Alita and Hugo more reciprocal. This relationship was one of the emotional lynchpins of this movie, and making it more reciprocal made the movie more moving. I also like the change in where Alita's name comes from. It helps define the relationship between Ido and Alita better than the original story, in which he gives her the name of his dead male cat.
Overall, I consider this to be the best science fiction action movie I've seen since I saw Star Wars in 1977. It is the first movie of this kind since Star Wars to get me to take up an interest in its world and characters outside of watching the movie itself. I enjoy it more than the recent Star Wars sequels, and I would much rather see sequels to Alita than to Star Wars or any other movie for that matter. And it's not just for the action. One of the best things about this movie is Alita's beautiful heart. Without that, the cyborg fighting would be meaningless, and this would not be the great movie that it is.