Halo Legends (2010) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Animation
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 119 minutes - $34.99 || February 16, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-02-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director:
Writer(s): Joseph Staten (video game)
Cast: Andy McAvin, Deke Anderson, Chris Ayres, John Swasey


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese

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.::THE FILM::.

I donít think thereís anyone who could have called nearly a decade ago that the video game known as Halo would have gone on to be one of the biggest games of all time. The first and second were released for the original Xbox, while the third and multiple spin-offs are still being released for the Xbox 360. With that knowledge in hand, and the fact Iíve played all of the games, I was really amped for the release of Halo Legends, available on DVD and for some odd reason Blu-Ray. This is really just a flick that deals with the Master Chief and others from the game throughout the span of all the games in the series. I still found this to be an enjoying Sci-Fi adventure that made me go pick up my 360 controller and start playing all over again.

So the story of this flick is basically what people have done in the game. Hopefully youíve played the game before reading this review, or else there will probably be some minor or major spoilers to come. The story takes place throughout all of the games, starting with the Master Chief (David Wald) and the voice work done by his AI unit known as Cortana (Shelley Calene-Black). The history of the master chief is dived into, the origin of where he came from, and also more about why the council is at war with the world.

There is also a great story that deals with the ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) people, similar to the latest Halo game to hit retail stores on the 360, that I had a blast watching. The storyline with the Arbiter (for those unaware, thatís the guy with the two swords thatís an alien that you befriend and can play as in some of the Halo games) was great to watch instead of play as since thatís what you do in the video game. Cortanaís voice though sadly does get a little bit annoying at times, and the fact she does a majority of the talking during the movie did bother me slightly, as though I was hoping for more of the non-talking Master Chief to take stage or other characters.

Thereís not really that much I can say about the film itself, as all this really is about is pretty much the story of Halo that everyone whoís played the game knows about already. Iíd be hard pressed though for someone to want to watch this if they arenít into the series at all, as though they would be fairly bored unless they watched the extras below first. The story itself is fairly easy to follow and somewhat enjoyable if you like video games or the series in general. I will say though that the last two stories out of seven I found quite boring and tedious, mainly since they didnít tell anything new that I wasnít already aware of. Yes, in case you are wondering, Iíve read all the Halo novels and played all the games to the teeth.

Like I said previously, while I had problems with the final two stories the voice of Cortana and the lame lines she gets throughout the story are more of an issue. Her voice is insanely irritating, more so than the game, and just turned me off completely. Thatís really the only thing I didnít enjoy about the film itself, but it was a major part in my opinion. There are a ton of great action sequences involving the characters from the games, so if youíre looking for an animated flick thatís based on an amazing revolutionary game than by all means youíll be enjoying this trip.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Frank Oí Connor and Joseph Chou: Connor and Chou talk about everything to do with the storyline that was involved with this flick and how it relates to the game. Plus, they also discuss how the events run in order compared to the game and how they correspond as well. The two mesh fairly well together the entire flick, as though it does span the entire movie, so fans of the game or movie will enjoy this one as much as I did.

Halo Ė Gaming Evolved (22 minutes): This in-depth look is, well, an in-depth look at the video game Halo and how it came to be for the XBOX. I enjoyed this extra immensely, as though Iím a fan of the series and canít wait for the new one to hit shelves soon enough. There are a ton of interviews with people who worked on the game and describe their experiences with the project.

Halo Ė The Story So Far (24 minutes): In case you missed any of the games or are new to the series, this is a great recap of whatís gone on so far in the world of Halo. I could obviously tell that the people narrating this extra are major fans, or nerds as the more common people call them, and it was enjoying to watch.

The Making of Halo Legends (55 minutes): Yet again this is another amazing extra available on this Blu-Ray for a special feature. There are multiple parts divided into different categories mainly dealing with each episode and how much work went into them. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the extras but to be honest this was the best one in my opinion for fans of the movie or game to burn through. The crew talks about everything and anything involved with the game and the film in entertaining manners.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Normally for animated flicks I expect the best transfer possible, but then I remember this is a direct-to-video project and set my sights accordingly. I wasnít overly impressed with the transfer on most ends, as though colors were a little too bland for my tastes. Colors just appear too mellowed out compared to recent animated flicks, and I noticed that blacks take precedence over others and it created a somewhat darker tone. Contrast-wise though I didnít notice too many issues although I did see some scenes with a little bit of noise in them. This is still an above-average Blu-Ray transfer, but one that should have been given a little bit more of a look at for fans.

I could have sworn I read something last year that Warner was foregoing the non-HD tracks available on Blu-rays, but I guess I was wrong. The flick for some reason gets a terrible Dolby Digital 5.1 track that makes little use of surround sound despite being a fairly big action film. Dialogue itself is decent though, which is a plus to note. The problem I have is that the surround usage was so poor I thought this was a 2.0 track at best! There are so many great action sequences that could have been demo material if the track was an HD one and properly synched, but instead I was let down on all ends because of it.



.::OVERALL::.

Halo Legends is a fantastic flick for fans of the video game or newcomers to the series. I do however find it odd that the film is available on Blu-Ray and DVD, but this Blu-Ray is an easy purchase for fans and newcomers. The technical package is decent and the special features are what make this one worth your hard earned bucks. This is one legend to take part in your collection.