Blu-ray Review “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”

Actors: Tom Green, Daniel Cudmore, Irone Singleton, Anna Popplewell
Directors: Stewart Hendler
Studio: Microsoft Films / Anderson Merchandise
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t want a live-action movie for “Halo”? I think it is every fans dream. Though if you are looking for the action-packed FPS web series for “Halo”, you might be a little disappointed with “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”. But it does tell a great story and sets the stage well for “Halo 4”. Remember it is a web series, not a $100 million feature. It is on a small scale but really makes the most of that scale and still aims to deliver the world of “Halo” quite well. Of course Halo’s Master Chief shows up and is played by Daniel Cudmore (Colossus, X2: X-Men United) and voiced by Steve Downes, of course. Anna Popplewell also has a nice role from “The Chronicles of Narnia” series. The series premiered on Halo Waypoint and Machinima.com this past October and was split into five-parts. If you enjoyed the series, then the Blu-ray is definitely worth the purchase just for HD presentation and, most importantly, the extras.

Official Premise: Set against the backdrop of a United Nations Space Command (UNSC) military academy, a group of cadets are training to be the next generation of leaders in the UNSC’s ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets. Among these cadets, Thomas Lasky struggles with his doubts about this war and with the burden of expectations he may not be able to carry. As Lasky comes to terms with his potential as a military leader, the terrifying alien alliance known as the Covenant arrives and threatens to destroy everything he knows. When Lasky is rescued by the Master Chief, he must decide what it means to be a hero. “Halo” fans who experience Lasky’s thrilling origin story in “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” will be rewarded with special insights into the story of “Halo 4” and the “Halo Infinity Multiplayer” experience.

The Blu-ray presentation is really great. Fans will be able to enjoy the entire film uninterrupted in all its 1080p glory. There is also a sharp DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for the action. Watch out for those whizzing gun shots! The Blu-ray also comes with over an hour of special features, including exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes. I really enjoyed both audio commentary tracks as well. The first is from the director Stewart Hendler and the second was by 343 Industries. Both are highly recommend, though the second I hold a bit higher. These are a must for any “Halo” fan. Also there are deleted scenes, storyboards and concept art included. All this will satisfy any fan of the series for sure! Lastly, keep an eye out for many Easter Eggs included throughout!

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