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HALO: Legends
BLU-RAY disk
Mar 11, 2010 By: Alex Keen
HALO: Legends order
Director:
Frank O Connor, Mamoru Oshii

Actors:
Emily Neves
Deke Andreson
Master Chief

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Consider this movie more of a collection of vignettes rather than one cohesive two hour story. The movie begins with a two part introduction to the history of HALO and then the succeeding episodes take a variety of different angles and perspectives on the HALO universe. These vignettes feature Spartans, Covenant, Arbiters, ODST, and more, all from a perspective that detached from that of the video game series.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
While I was very hesitant going into this movie, I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent work accomplished to make HALO: LEGENDS a reality. My biggest challenge with the concept was that it took an episodic approach. Furthermore, because each episode employed a different animation style I was afraid that the episodes would not connect. Fortunately, the crew responsible for insuring artistic and thematic continuity did a fantastic job keep the episodes interconnected. It probably helps that the HALO games established such a dense history to pull from.

Each of the episodes brings something interesting to the table to make them entertaining. For the first two episodes, it's all about fleshing out the true history of HALO. I can't verify whether this story is new material or just a rehashing. No matter, the storytelling involved is splendid and acts as a great transition from the game world to cinema (oh yeah bitches, this is cinema). The next episode was a bit heavy for my tastes; nevertheless, it might be one of those bits that ages better with time. Fortunately, the rest of the episodes are much better and offer a nice variety to the HALO universe.

My favorite episode on the disc is "The Babysitter". This short tells the story of one squad of ODST charged with assassinating a prophet with the help of a Spartan Sniper. The character development is perfectly passed and once the drama picks up I felt closely tied to the personalities involved. Throw in a nice twist for good measure and this episode easily became my favorite. Overall, this movie should provide the perfect distraction for anyone who is impatiently awaiting HALO: REACH. The stories are interesting and the action is crisp enough that you'll want to turn off your PlayStation 3 BluRay Player and kill some Covenant. If you're not a HALO fan, this movie might be a challenge the follow and enjoy. So, no promises from me that this is a good experience for the neophytes.
THE EXTRAS
The disc includes three documentaries, HALO: GAMING EVOLVED, THE MAKING OF HALO LEGENDS, and HALO: THE STORY SO FAR. The latter two docs are available on the DVD edition and HALO: GAMING EVOLVED is a BluRay Exclusive. This documentary is designed to explain the cultural impact and importance of the HALO series, as if owners of this disc needed something to rally their spirits. The doc is more of a fluff piece than a critical examination of the series and its makers. I found HALO: THE STORY SO FAR more useful (albeit, a little dense) because it explained point-by-point what exactly goes on during the HALO games. I always had a difficult time following the story in these games because I was too busy shooting aliens dead instead of pausing to care about the multiple layers of this epic saga.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is a wonderful distraction for HALO fans anxiously awaiting HALO: REACH. Great storytelling and tons of action makes this must see for HALO fans. However, keep in mind that the extras on the BluRay are not enough to justify the upgrade. Only pick up this version if HD audio and video are of paramount importance.
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