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|Index||64 reviews in total|
A few months ago when the first trailer came out for the web series, "Forward Unto Dawn", I was beside myself with excitement. I watched the trailer an easy 5-10 times, and then periodically checked back to view it again, in case I missed something the first time around. I've been a fan of the Halo series since day one of Halo C.E., and it's been really disappointing to not have a Halo movie I can feel proud of. Since high school, I've followed the hype surrounding the script writing and screenplay mock-ups of a potential Halo film, but they never panned out into anything real. Then, Microsoft and 343 Industries teamed up to create Forward Unto Dawn, and the hype surrounding a Halo movie returned. Only this time it wasn't going to be a movie, but a web series instead. And when it debuted on October 5th, I was one of the few to see it when it was only at 5k views(hipster moment). It was everything I expected and more. Superb acting, gorgeous visuals, a beautiful soundtrack, and the promise to deliver more and more in future episodes. Friday has always been my favorite day of the week, but now I have a reason to love it. Each episode debuts on a Friday, which means all my calls will be held, pizza will be delivered to my couch, and nothing is more important than those 20 minutes of Halo action. No feature length movie just yet? Well, this is the next best thing. If you call yourself a fan of the game, you...will...watch...this. Oh, and before I forget...Axios!!
Well, since I am another halo fan playing since CE on my pc many years
ago, like all the other halo fans, i have been salivating at the
prospect of a halo movie. Shows like Stargate Atlantis, Stargate
Universe and Battlestar Galactica (the remake) have shown us that high
caliber special effects and great acting can go hand in hand on the
small screen. The first two eps of Halo 4: Forward unto Dawn live up to
This web series is tight - even though each is the equivalent of a half hour of live TV (less the commercials) we already have excellent character development, and a sense of what is going on in the timeframe of the series. Acting is taught, tension is palpable, and the editing, sound and effects are crisp and clean. This is not a small budget web series, most of the actors have deep big screen and small screen resumes, and are highly recognizable. It's filmed in big screen movie quality film, and it shows.
The series gives an excellent indication of what direction a halo movie series can achieve, if ever undertaken. At the same time, one becomes aware that if the Halo books ever make it to the big screen, it would be best to avoid what they did with movies such as Master and Commander - where they tried to squeeze multiple books into one movie, with undesirable results. Halo will take several movies at a minimum, to depict its storyline, but as well done as this web series, the fans will rejoice and reward.
Obviously, most viewers will be halo fans, but if you need an intro to the halo universe, this web series is an excellent start.
So 10 out of 10 from me for exceeding my expectations on quality in all respects. Thank you for not doing a cheapy production, but going the full monty, and commencing some Halo precursors in high quality.
Okay, I consider myself a pretty good Halo fan. I have played through all of the games numerous times, and read every Halo book that has been released. I was walking through Walmart's electronics department about a month ago, and I see a Halo movie. What? A Halo movie? Let me take a closer look. Oh great, its a live action Halo movie that I have never heard of, this is going to be terrible.......but its only $14 on BluRay so what the heck. Then I get home (with the kids at daycare) and start watching it on my 42" TV. OH MY GOD. The movie is brimming with great character development, and morality themes regarding the human rebellions before the covenant attack. The main characters (which are cadets at a UNSC Military Acadamy) are all new faces, except the lead female who is the girl from Narnia. They all do a great job convincing me that they are the children of the highest echelon of the UNSC elite, who are trying to make their parents proud. Some people claim that them movie is a little slow at first, or that it parallels Starship Troopers. I do not agree with those claims. The movie thoroughly develops and introduces the characters, so when the covenant (and Master Chief) arrive, you are vested in them, and don't want them to die. By the way, the Covenant were done fantastically, and Master Chief is NOT CGI, but instead the most realistic and amazing armor outfit every constructed. Bottome line, if you like anything about Halo, or if you plan on playing Halo 4, see this movie. Thank you 343 studios for coming out of left field and blowing me away with this movie. I just wish I could have seen it in the theater!!!
The year is 2525 and the UNSC is at war with terrorists know as
Insurrectionists. Thomas Lasky, a freshman cadet, is unsure about this
war and his combat capabilities, but when the Covenant invades, he
learns what it takes to be a hero from spartan John-117 (aka Master
This was an awesome film/mini series. Pretty good cast of characters, the actors weren't people I've heard of, but they were still good, cool special effects, and of course the music was great.
I think anyone, whether they are Halo fans or not, will like or love this film/mini series. One more thing: as a lot of people know, most games that are turned into movies are bad, but after watching this, I have faith in an actual Halo movie being made and it being great. All they have to do is do what they did here.
As a fan of all things sci-fi, I was really eager to see what a live- action representation of the hallowed game would look like. After seeing this, I am motivated to buy my first ever Halo game and start playing. I would have given it a 10/10 but for the constant slo-mo which I believe was used due to the brief nature of the series. Very good acting, conveying so much emotion and some pretty good action scenes for a 15- minute webisode. I was very impressed with this and as a Halo novice, I am now so intrigued by the series that I want to play it more than I ever wanted to plan any other game! I put this up there with some of my other favourite shows, Battlestar Galactica (the remake) and Stargate Universe. This was very well done.
Standing alone, Forward Unto Dawn is visually stunning, aesthetically sound, and superb talent on both sides of the camera. I have read some of these other reviews, and the ones that gave mediocre to terrible reviews basically had viewed the storyline as poorly written or unfinished. In my opinion, Forward Unto Dawn's storyline was not intended to be a stand alone story, but instead as a lead up story to be used in unison with the Halo 4 video game. The character building within the series was centered around Cadet Lasky. It was also about Lasky's first meeting with John-117, as a flashback/memory. Forward Unto Dawn was also intended to bring more fans of the series to the Halo books. Thank you for reading this review and help me look forward to more live-action Halo films.
As a lifelong Halo fan, be it books or games, I am not disappointed. The 10/10 is not for it being Halo, but for it being an amazing standalone series in its own right. As far as Sci-Fi goes this is top notch material and I would love it without the history the Halo universe and myself already have. The acting is great, the story is great, the special effects? I'm sure you can guess. The overall production value of this is extraordinary and I am very confused as to why it has not reached a wider audience. I am thrilled that Microsoft and 343 put the time and effort in to create something truly magnificent, and I am excited for what the undoubted success of this series will bring the rest of the Halo universe.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know why the Halo fans are giving this movie such great reviews - as a standalone movie it is (as another reviewer put it) a poor man's Starship Troopers - not that ST was a great movie itself. Mostly this movie is just plain boring. Nothing happens for the first 55 minutes - we are introduced to a group of cadets at a military academy. All the standard character clichés are here with typical tragic back-stories - the protagonist Lasky, who has a problem with authority (what's he doing at a military academy? - oh, his brother was the best cadet ever at same academy and was then killed in combat), the squad rival, the love interest, the computer hacker, the tough chick - you've seen it all before. They go through training, the protagonist nearly quits, the instructors see great potential in him if only he would realize it, etc, etc. Boring. At about the 55 min mark, the aliens attack, kill nearly everyone in a matter of minutes (apparently on the entire planet) except for said group of cadets, who mostly survive despite the fact they often stop and pause in the middle of firefights and explosions to look around dumbfounded at their fallen friends and instructors. Finally a super-soldier "MasterChief 117" - rescues the few remaining survivors. All this is presented as a flashback of the older Lasky, now a captain, after receiving a distress call from a ship named Forward Unto Dawn. There is an opening sequence featuring this vessel drifting thru space which is totally incomprehensible - I guess you'd have to know some of the Halo back-story to make sense of this bit. On the positive : effects are pretty good, performances not bad despite a lot of banal dialogue. Overall, I guess the not-too-fussy fans of the game enjoy this movie, but everyone else - don't waste your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To promote the upcoming release of the video game Halo 4, somebody made
a series of five 15-minute web videos, using live action, set in the
Halo universe. They were set up like a little miniseries with a vague
story to accompany the novelty of seeing what it would look like if
Halo came to life. It was a much, much higher quality than you would
expect for a bunch of web videos. In fact, I'd say the production
values and special effects were of higher quality than several movies
I've seen recently. If the goal was to create a compelling marketing
product that people would want to watch in order to get them excited
about the game, they really did a phenomenal job.
Unfortunately somebody decided that because they had something that visually looked like a movie and had a story that vaguely resembled something you might see in a movie, that meant they had made an actual movie that they could release as a commercial product. Because Hanlon's Razor states, "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity," I'm forced to assume that this decision was an attempt to cash in on the Halo buzz and not an act of spite against all the people they knew would be furious when they realized they paid actual money for something that is not actually a movie. There are no real stories, there are no real characters, there's really not any explanation of why anything is happening or what any of it means. It's just long stretches of children being upset interspersed with shots that will make the viewer feel like they're playing the video game. It's about as much a movie as a pile of bricks and lumber is a house.
Warning to parents - towards the end of this movie my son (who's a little young to be playing Halo yet himself) looked at me with a very concerned face and asked, "why are so many kids getting killed?" If you think you might want to put this on for your child because they don't care if something doesn't have a story as long as it's something they like, you really don't. Nothing at all interesting happens for the first half of the movie, and then the rest of the movie is children getting crushed, shot, blown up, and slowly bleeding to death from gory leg wounds as their friends helplessly look on in tears. You'd have to be a real piece of excrement to deliberately charge people money for this.
I'm aware enough of the Halo Universe to pick up on most of the
references in the series, but beyond the fact that it provides an
excellent live action piece of an excellent game series, it's simply a
great piece of storytelling all it's own.
The people reviewing this saying it's 'boring for the first 55 minutes' or 'cheap and generic' must be expecting heavy action and constant explosions. And those people will never be satisfied with character pieces, which this most certainly relies heavily upon.
The arc of the characters is phenomenal, and their trepidations about becoming soldiers are real and extremely pertinent to the teens of today.
This series manages to fulfill Halo fans expectations of a glimpse into the universe they love, as well as provide new fans with relatable, intensely realistic characters that allow new viewers to experience this universe for themselves, along with the characters.
Definitely worth a watch. That is unless you're looking for non-stop action, explosions and witty one liners said by Master Chief. At which point, don't bother, because this is so much more than that.
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