In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
Jackie Earle Haley,
This made-for-video production mixes highlights of Michael Jordan from the '80s with a fantasy storyline of a high school teen named Walt, who has been cut from his basketball team. ... See full summary »
Soren, a young barn owl, is kidnapped by owls of St. Aggie's, ostensibly an orphanage, where owlets are brainwashed into becoming soldiers. He and his new friends escape to the island of Ga'Hoole, to assist its noble, wise owls who fight the army being created by the wicked rulers of St. Aggie's. Written by
Learning To Fly In 3D - And Doing A Great Job With It
Zack Snyder's take on Kathryn Lasky's Legend Of The Guardians is a skillful one, never losing sight of the film's goals as 3D and kids' entertainment - both requiring special consideration. For instance, 3D is suitable for movement and economic screen time, and kids, the main audience, enjoy a relatively light touch to the topics. If you're looking for an overload of psychedelia or "gritty" social commentary, you might as well look elsewhere. Still all the shades of the epic are there, just in moderation and clever subtlety. I guess the film is a bit too violent and dark for the youngest kids - this is a necessity due to the premise.
I as an adult, being somewhat disappointed with the recent live-action Hollywood has to offer - the shaky cam to be specific - decided to broaden my horizons and get into new animation. I deliberately psyched myself for this Owl franchise by reading the first book in the series, The Capture. I enjoyed it, and was ready for the 3D glasses.
I got what I expected, though from the beginning it's clear a lot of liberties have been taken with the plot and characters. Some of them good, such as giving Soren's brother more personality, and some unnecessary, yet as good in their own way. The enemy, in the book a bit like Al-Qaeda, are more like your run of the mill Nazis in the film, and the moon blinking doesn't stop them from cracking jokes.
It's interesting how some of the scenes that are only a few pages in the novel are stretched to longer sequences and vice versa. Interesting, not bad. There's a lot of possibilities where the sequels could go, and for once the first film in the series didn't feel it had to show the essence of everything. Let's face it, the owls have their iron claws, but are limited in ways for example hobbits aren't, so a more ambitious adaptation might have run out of ideas.
And finally, I especially applaud Snyder for using his trademark slow motion technique in good measure. The slow-mo scenes are in fact the best and most enjoyable scenes in the film, and take place at appropriate times. I go as far to say the film would have failed without them. I could criticize the other action scenes a bit - who says we need to get that close to the action - but the balance is there nonetheless. And one more thing, my favourite owl: Gylfie.
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