Ecovacs Slim Neo App-Controlled Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
- This thing keeps such a low profile, you’ll start to wonder if cleaning is a crime!
- That joke is terrible and barely makes any sense. Please forgive us.
- Its smart navigation system means you can be sure it gets the job done.
- And its smartphone control means you can be sure it gets the job done.
- And its direct suction, which is particularly adept at picking up pet hair, also means you can be sure it gets the job done.
- But why can’t you just take it at its word?
- Model: Slim Neo, which is also the name of an unreleased Eminem song, written for the soundtrack to The Matrix.
A Battle For Focus
Friends, I’m trying to focus. Really, I am. I want to write a crisp, coherent write-up about today’s product, but my mind is fried. I feel as though I have emerged from a prolonged bender, but I have taken no narcotics, that is, aside from the cinematic narcotic known as…
Alita: Battle Angel.
What is Alita: Battle Angel about, you ask? Is it a sci-fi epic? A romance? A futuristic Bourne movie but with large-eyed cyborgs? An underdog sports story? A cyberpunk Jack The Ripper tale?
(Or, to put it another way, I should have no problem avoiding spoilers, because less than a day after watching it, I’m still only certain I understand 25% of what I saw.)
The film is advertised as “from the producers of Avatar,” as if this is a thing that should be celebrated. What seems less discussed is that it’s directed by Robert Rodriguez, maker of, among other things, Desperado (one of the greatest action movies of all time), Planet Terror (a wild tongue-in-cheek zombie romp), and Machete (pure insanity). In other words, an extremely fun, self-aware action movie director.
So it’s a surprise that Alita: Battle Angel seems aware of nothing, not its own cheesiness, nor its audience’s threshold for new information. Characters open their mouths for two reasons: to release primal cries of anguish during battle; and to explain, without any flair, tangential world-building details. Although, perhaps it’s not fair to call these details tangential, because in order for there to be tangential information, there would have to be some clear idea of what the movie is really about.
She’s a cyborg, and she can fight. You can glean that from the trailer, certainly. After watching all sixteen (okay, fine, two) hours of the movie, though, I can conclusively say: she’s a cyborg, and she can fight. Maybe she can fight because she’s an enemy soldier from a long ago war? But maybe the enemy was good? And do they even exist anymore? And why was she so easy to find in the scrap yard? Seriously, what the hell is going on here?!
And yet, can I admit something? Even though it was a scatterbrained mess that cost a $120 million dollars to make, even though there were maybe ten whole minutes that weren’t a knot of CGI, even though it was absolute waste of Mahershala Ali’s talents, I… liked it?
And that hurts to admit. I like strong writing and nuanced character development. I like movies that do a little with a lot. I prefer action scenes that rely on tension and intricate choreography rather than flashy special effects. In every one of these respects, Alita: Battle Angel cuts the other way. Still, at the end, when the door was left open to a possible sequel, my thought was, “Okay, fine: I will gladly subject myself to this garbage again.” But why? I have no idea. Maybe I just liked the robot dogs.
Anyway, did you see it? What did you think?
Oh, and I should probably remind you to buy something, too.