Lack of interwebs at home, lack of posting, and Halo Legends movie review

We’re settled in to the apartment, but I don’t think we are going to bother getting internet there.  The house should be finished in 4 or 5 months, and I’ve got a deadline for Monster Hunter Alpha, which means less talk, more write.  I do have access at work.  The downside of that is that I don’t get to screw around online as much, don’t post as much of Facebook, and most of all, only post here when I’m at lunch.  (plus no Xbox Live & Call of Duty: MW2, but like I said, I’ve got a deadline).

Sadly, last night would have been better spent writing.  I took a much needed break, went down to Blockbuster and picked up Halo: Legends.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1480660/

All I can say is; leave it to the Japanese to make something that looks cool with absolutely terrible writing. 

Seriously? What is it with Japan? Believe it or not, the Halo universe actually has a pretty interesting story to tell (that isn’t told very well in the games). It makes for good epic space opera.  I for one was excited at the prospect of a Neil Blokampf (sp?) and Peter Jackson Halo movie.  But NOOOOOOO… instead we get Halo Legends.  A bunch of little stories that varied in quality from old episodes of Dragon Ball Z to Robotech (not the fighting ones, the ones with all the singing), but imbued with the quality story telling we’ve come to expect from Japan. (look, I’m a school girl, giggling, with GIANT sparkle eyes).  The segments ranged in quality from groan inducing to fast forward, with brief smatterings of cool interspaced with tween-emo nonsense spouted off by people with really big purple hair.

I’m a Halo fan and I though this sucked. So I don’t really know who I would recommend it to.  My five year old asked if we could fast forward through the slow parts.  He’s a five year old boy. He thinks the old Hanna Barbara super hero shows are Masterpiece Theater. He doesn’t usually care what is on, as long as it is a cartoon and stuff explodes, and HE WAS BORED.  

And before the Anime fans start to bash me, I happen to really like Samurai Champloo, Big O, and Cowboy Bebop, so back off.   The nonsense that passed for a plot in Big O reads like friggin’ Shakespeare in comparison.   Seriously, there were segments where watching a Chia Pet grow would have been more entertaining.  Then there were sections where a few bits of the Halo Universe apparently ended up in Dragonball Z (complete with dinosaur kung-fu!).  The most obnoxious section was one about a Spartan girl and her teddy bear (or some crap, I don’t know). 

The art styles vary from interesting painty-looking, to bouncy CGI, to that horrid Pokemon style (she’s taking her helmet off, CRAP! Your eyes are HUGE! Where the hell is your nose?!?).  Apparently Miyamoto Musashi was a space alien, and though you never see a female Elite in the games, it turns out that they are exactly the same as giggling Japanese school girls. (and as a biological oddity they have boobs too, which I’m sure James Cameron would approve of).

So, in two hours there was probably twenty minutes that were interesting. 

You know what would be amazing? Get some Japanese artists. Get some American writers. (Hey, I know some of those!)  Put them together. Give them lots of money.  (base it on Dead Six and have Steve Blum http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0089710/ as the voice of Lorenzo. I promise we’ll sell a lot of DVDs)

12 Responses

  1. Amen. There’s a number of book series’ I’ve thought would do better as an anime serial rather than having the plot crammed into a 2 hour movie (or a dozen of them -nobody’s going to make that many Wheel of Time movies anyway), but it would have to steer clear of any of the typical traps anime writing falls into and hew as close to the original as possible.

  2. The Halo stories by Eric Nylund are pretty good but the plot of the games is laughable. Also I should point out that in about 550 years weapons tech has made no progress at all. The MA5B assault rifle is no more sophisticated than an M16.

  3. Funny, I absolutely love anime.
    And you’re right- pretty much every one has to have:
    1) Agnsty teenage soldiers…
    2) Engaging in drawn out conversations about the Meaning Of it All, which means…
    3) Even more Agnst!
    (Yet Evangelion is still my favorite- go figure)

    In fact, the only one of many I’ve seen where the protagonist fights without endless soul searching is the “Hellsing Ultimate” series. Having the Master Vampire’s Master Vampire as a Vampire hunter gleefully fighting Nazi vampires= Awesome.

  4. Rule #1: Dead Six the anime series will be originally recorded in English and can be dubbed into Japanese. This will avoid the anime quirk where sentences are…well, technically correct, but people just don’t talk like that.

    Rule #2: Neither Valentine nor Lorenzo will be Japanese. No one will have huge spikey hair.

    As for the rest…Valentine has enough angst to please the Japanese audience I think. He has PTSD pretty bad. He doesn’t tend to wax about the meaning of it all, though. Quite the opposite.

    Larry, I still think we’re going about this all wrong. The money is in teen fiction right now. There’s an entire freaking SHELF of angsty teen vampires in the local bookstore. We need to rewrite the whole thing so it’s set in high school. Valentine is 16 and was kicked out of JROTC. Lorenzo is an 18 year old senior that shoplifts and has a dirt bike. There’ll be some drama about the prom or some shit. Then there’ll be a gunfight.

    Money in the bank, my friend.

    • And shiny vampires! And blue aliens!

      • Negative. There is absolutely nothing supernatural or metaphysical whatsoever in the entire Dead Six series. Period. End of story.

        Honest.

        *wink*

        LULZ

  5. I’m a HUGE (obsessive, really) Halo fan, and I only watched the first three episodes of Legends. After that, I realized that it was all gonna be crap and I gave up on it. I couldn’t have been more disappointed with the whole series.

  6. “I’ve got a deadline for Monster Hunter Alpha”

    Good. Your fans are waiting to fork over their $$.

  7. I watched one of the freebie episodes available on XBL, and…it sucked. Hard. Painfully bad dialogue, the plot ‘twist’ is obvious from orbit, etc. It felt like the writer was approached with ‘hey, we’d like you to write some HALO anime, ’cause anime is cool!’ and responded with ‘fine, here’s all of the basic cliches crammed together with all of the standard visual tropes, now go away gaijin’. While I’m a big Halo fan, that one was bad enough to put me off the rest. The best Halo movie so far? The three-part live-action short intro to Halo 3 (which, while beautiful, also sucked).

    Me, I’m playing Metro 2033.

  8. You’re missing the point. The Japanese write for their Japanese audience and our participation in the exercise is merely accidental and unintended. So to speak. Halo Legends is fine as a Japanese product intended for Japanese consumption. It’s not them, it’s you. No. Really.

    We have this cultural divide, and it’s about thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis wide. People keep putting bridges and stuff up, but they never reall reach the other side. Oh, sure, they get close, but this isn’t a game of horseshoes OR hand grenades. Well, maybe it is a game of hand grenades ’cause things keep blowing up when people assume they know what’s going on.

    A friend and I were discussing how to do an anime version of Butcher’s Alera series. It was easily concluded that while the Japanese anime studios were more than sufficient when it came to visuals (under a strict no-spikey hair moe BS visual code), they wouldn’t be allowed to touch the writing. At all. EVAR.

    Last thing we need around here is Neon Genesis: Alera. Now, Rah Xephon:Codex Alera I could handle…

  9. I’ve often wondered how much it would cost me to have my novels translated into Japanese, for the express purpose of sending copies to an Anime production company (preferably those that did Bebop and GitS: SAC).

    Probably some very high number.

  10. It’s Halo, of course the writing sucks. Halo 3′s “plot” made me pine for Gears of War and Bioshock…shooters that have actual plots that don’t suck. And don’t get me started on game series like Shin Megami Tensei that completely blow everyone else out of the water in the story department.

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