Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (2012– )
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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.
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.
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.
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.
There were not really any hints of why the cadets where there, what and why they were doing all the training, who the enemy's are, why the war was going on and how it started (just a 'It's to late for negotiations, the enemy hates us all').
Also they did not seem to have much Intel on the enemy. The training scenes for the cadets that were shown seemed ridiculous for the enemy in the end.
Like in 'Saving Private Ryan' the Characters where not really introduced, so I personally did not care much for them. Even the main Charakter Lasky was still a mystery at the end of the movie. You just knew he had a brother who died fighting this strange enemy and a mother in the Military. That was the main problem in the movie. The Characters were all shallow and boring.
The acting was OK. The actors tried their best with what was given to them. Since they did not have much to work with it seemed forced sometimes.
So I stick with my summary and what I said at the beginning of my review: You will probably like it if you are a fan of the game and know what's going on.
As a Halo and Movie fan I believe this would be a shame. The source material (the Halo universe) has the potential to bring something truly great to the big screen but this is far from it.
I won't go into plot, as it has been covered in many reviews, but I will say it is clichéd. The military boot-camp stereotypes have all been done before and with much more depth. These characters seemed one-dimensional and lackluster development left me indifferent to their fates. Some of the dialogue was corny to the point of cringe-worthy and the actors (including some of the adults) lacked the presence to pull off their roles and really set the scene.
Given the relatively small budget some of these things can be understood but the hackneyed plot is not one of them. The special effects were good, despite said constraints, but too many "bullet time" segments bogged the action down.
All in all I was disappointed by Halo 4: Forward Until Dawn and I (like many others I'm sure) am still praying for a Blomkamp/Jackson treatment of the source material.
I do not believe that 10/10 rankings of an obviously flawed series/movie will get us there.
Every scene is derivative and predictable. When finally something happens - don't get too excited - its just one skirmish: completely unsatisfying and makes you wonder why you sat through all this.
Under attack? Take the elevator! Face palm.
Elevator attacked? Run for Christ sake as there is 1000 kms of elevator falling on your head. I guess the CGI budget didn't cover that.
There's no story at all.
Don't bother. Really, don't bother.
That being said i was extremely disappointed with this. First of all it's a web series (I don't want to hate on web series but for the most part they are not vary well put together). Then, maybe it was just me but i thought this film would be either about master chief and his missions against the Covent or at vary least some other Spartan warriors with there missions like in Reach. But no, this is basically a sad version of harry potter with a halo weapons replacing the wands. They spend so much time on the drama of this kid (the main character who's going through futuristic boot camp) and also his cliché social circle. I mean we got them all: the slightly hot (not really) girl from Narnia ,the bully who's only job in the film is to be mean and petty, the nerd, the Valle girl who's daddy will beat you up if you mess with her, i mean they even the brother who we really know nothing about except that hes a ODST, really what age group was this made for? The name is forward until dawn, but i think they where trying to see how far they could go from the original story in order to keep the name (this is a films basically flash backs of the captions child hood who finds M.C. on the ship F.U.D. in the game).
Now that i have said everything that i HATE this movie for i might as well tell you some of the pros that are in the film (if you really can call this a film). the animation is pretty good, not transformers stuff but enough to stimulate the viewers. i admit that i think that connecting ODST to it was a good idea to keep the halo ecosystem working (even though the way they did it was vary generic). another thing i liked was the way they depicted the Covent. i feel that one of the problem's in modern games these days is that i never really get a good HD look at what they games apposing team is. Not so much their arch enemy but there fighters that you are constantly fighting with, and this film showed the details on these guys quite nicely.
Going in to this i admit that i had high expectations for them to show off the halo universe to us fans a a beautiful way, but it ended up that all we got was snips from the game and a lot of a school on one unnamed planet that looked a lot like earth. over all i think you can tell i dislike the film, not due to that it was bad (even though that was a big factor) but that it in my eyes had a crap load of potential. i mean they had a plot and a story line practically laid in-front of them that they din't use AT ALL!!!! i would later look up the name of the weighter of this film. there names where Todd Helbing and Aaron Helbing. i wanted to find out more about them but they dint have there own wiki page, you want to know why -because the biggest thing they could make was this peace of crap and then disappear into the abyss of bad story writers again!! Hell they should get freeken Oral Scot card or something in here to do the job. I think that Microsoft saw this as a easy way to make halo 4 even more popular so they din't care who made this just as long as it helped there stocks. I pray that the new TV show that they announced there making by Spieberg will be made because they think that they can better Hollywood and make a mark by saying that video games can make a good story line, and also if Microsoft could care more about plot than their name being advertised on a big movie banner.
Episode 4 actually gave me shivers down my spine.
The best sci-fi since Galactica and that's quite a complement. Such believable performances from a young group of actors and the SFX are top notch.
Hopefully there'll be a blu-ray with a "making of" if we're lucky. This type of show deserves a wider audience than the one it's probably currently got. I'm a self proclaimed geek but I've been burning off these episodes for my predominately none geek friends for weeks!
Buy the game forget the film.
In a nutshell. The same way, movies get underrated because they're based on a novel that is allegedly "way better", this movie gets overrated because it's based on a game.
A movie should always be looked at as such and nothing else. And looking at this film, the story, the characters (whose names I don't even remember), all I'm stuck with is "bad".
To avoid spoilers for the gamers who actually still want to watch this, I'm not getting into it. But don't expect anything interesting to happen in this movie. That's all I can say.
I hated the whole anxious boy must overcome his fears in training story line and there was not even a hint of humor in it. Not that there has to be, but in this case it would be very welcome. It really got to the point that i was irritated with the whole affair.
Conlclusion, boring waste of budget.
I love the games and the story lines in the game, so don't come at me pulling that card.
If you really love Halo you are better of watching the short movie by Neill Blomkamp (District 9 director), or even the anime shorts.
We follow cadets in a training Academy for the army against the Covenant. Only they think they're going to fight terrorists which we don't know about and has never been in any other Halo game. As the characters which are barely established go through training one played by Tom "NOT-Freddy-Got-Fingered" Green questions orders, has a war hero mother who we never see and is allergic to some cryo-genetic fluid that's in tanks which the army uses. One day The Covenant attacks and They're caught completely off-guard as to what they are and where they came from and The Master Chief appears in record time to make his 5 minute cameo and then the movie's over.
Okay, notice how many times I said things aren't established in any other Halo game or we are told as opposed to shown? There's a lot of that. I can't feel emotionally connected to characters who we know almost nothing about and what we do know comes in about halfway through at best, so half the movie is spent with me saying "What?, Who?, Why?, OKAY! TIME OUT! WHAT IS GOING ON!" I mean for what is simply "Human's Versus Aliens" this movie loses you very easily.
I might dwell into the under-use of one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time However I have another complaint. Why does the academy keep the fact that they're fighting aliens secret. I mean how's that supposed to work? On Graduation Day does the person running the place say "Oh, by the way, we're fighting aliens in a losing war" Shouldn't Tom Green's character know this because he has a mother AND a dead brother in the exact war? I mean if they wanted to keep it a secret from non-soldiers (where are they again? In a game franchise over 10 years old I don't think I've seen anyone who isn't a soldier in them) then I'd be fine but these are people who are going to fight the war.
At the end of the day this is like watching a YouTube fan film. You know, the ones which don't exactly follow the rules of film (I'll give credit even they're better at keeping to the rules then this does) but you know they're a fan of the games. Instead of watching one that's a few minutes this is one that's an hour and a half. There is some talent trying to pull through - I'll admit that but there is just a lot that I really don't like.
"Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn" is a sci-fi movie made to promote a video game. The characters are not well developed and the first half is a rip-off of "Starship Troopers". Maybe fans of the video game like this movie but for those like me that do not know the game, it is a deceptive sci-fi movie. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Halo 4: Em Direção ao Amanhecer" ("Halo 4: Torward the Dawn")
Then the story begins and you see the first acting. Superficially seen it could be an episode of "Starship Troopers". But the director is not Paul Verhoeven and everything looks "uninspired". The different scenes have the look and feel of a "daily soap". Many of the cut scenes are only fillers. The characters have no deep at all. Also the Story seems to be completely convertible and set pieces from various other movies.
If you are not a fan of the Halo Games you will probably get disappointed.