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Movie of the Day – Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

Posted on the 19 April 2013 by Plotdevice39 @PlotDevices

This isn’t so much a movie as it is a web series that makes us yearn for this to be made into a movie.  Sometimes, this is all we are going to get and we better like it.  The Halo series is, I better tread lightly here so as not to offend fanboys and arm-chair warriors of the internet, a great series.  I remember many a lan parties where I would get together with friends and play pistols on Hang Em High or whatever other maps there were.  I remember the story of Halo, right up till I stopped playing after Halo 3.  Sure some will decry that I am not a true fan to give this movie a fair shake or be well versed to accurately talk about the series itself as anything Halo means the legion of fanboys come out to defend it.  Well they can screw off as my movie of the day post is more about bringing attention to some stuff I like to watch and this certainly was one of them.  It makes me wish that an actual Halo movie be made, but that probably won’t happen.  So enjoy the series and see what there is after the jump.

Halo Dawn 1a

A coming-of-age story, Forward Unto Dawn follows a cadet, Thomas Lasky, at a twenty-sixth century military training academy as it is attacked by the Covenant, an alliance of religious aliens. Lasky is unsure of his future within the military but feels pressured to follow in the footsteps of his mother and brother. Lasky and his surviving squad mates are rescued by Master Chief and, after the death of his romantic interest, Chyler Silva, Lasky is inspired by the Chief to take initiative and aids him in saving the remaining cadets.  Source

So does everyone remember that time when there was talk about a Halo movie and then it was like Peter Jackson was going to direct, then produce, then write and then it went to Neil Blomkamp who wowed folks with this little 8 minutes video:

There is a lot of tries at making a Halo movie and it took the latest Halo 4 game by 343 Industries and Microsoft to try and expand their current gamer base by appealing more to a wider audience with a live action series of episodes that ties into the mythos of Halo and the game that is coming out.  Yeah it’s a big, flashy, expensive advertisement, but after being teased so long with fan made cuts and even a well known director now giving it a go many years back, Forward Unto Dawn was a collection of episodes that gave us what we wanted.  I guess that want was to see the Master Chief kicking ass and being a boss.

The series is surprisingly well produced.  I mean the effects, location, costume, the entire aesthetic of the series is really well done in this web series.  You get the richness of the universe condensed into this training academy, where the students are learning about the art of warfare while also revealing snippets about the Halo universe.  Sure it is about the introduction of the covenant and big baddies of the past games, but it unfolds at a brisk pace considering each of the episodes are 15 minutes in length.  The action sequences in the series is very nice, even if it plays up more of the chaos aspect and becomes a bit harder to enjoy when the camera is being pulled in every direction.  The action that you do get is rather gratifying seeing the Chief destroy the opposition and some compact gun battles.

Halo Dawn 1b

What does drag for me, and it was expected in a web series like this, is that the acting in the series is a bit spotty from time to time.  The young cadets come off like they have had their lines drilled into them by their superiors and stiff delivery kind of slows down some of the more important moments in the episodes.  I am not expecting TV show caliber acting, but it does kind of dawn on you that you are watching an expensive commercial.  It’s not bad though, since a lot of the fans of the series are probably just wanting to get to the action, but when it’s meant to be a means to get new people into the franchise, you have to take that into account.

I have to say, for a web series this is great to watch.  As a gamer and player of Halo, I liked the efforts put forth and found myself tuning in each week when 343 released the episode and found it worth while to get into.  Now that the episodes are all released, you can marathon it and act as if they finally made a Halo movie.  As for me, time to get some gaming on.

Check out the series on Youtube.

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