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Spielberg announces Halo TV series


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I knew this wouldn't be anything good when they tried to entice people with "Wait! Wait! Come back! We'll show you Master Chief's face if you do!"

 

These reviews and recent footage seem to back up this suspicion. 

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9 hours ago, SilverTrumpet said:

I knew this wouldn't be anything good when they tried to entice people with "Wait! Wait! Come back! We'll show you Master Chief's face if you do!"

 

These reviews and recent footage seem to back up this suspicion. 

 

Which ironically is the exact opposite of what the fans want. People especially on Reddit have been complaining like crazy since one of the execs said his face would be shown.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And the first episode is out now

 

Reviews from around the internet seem pretty mixed

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I don't fancy it much but I normally attribute mixed reactions with "potentially something of interest", which, speaking for myself, find much more motivating or reliable than "overwhelmingly positive/absolutely terrible" declarations often found on places like Rotten Tomatoes (sorry Alex). The Witcher had similarly confused responses, and I enjoyed that enough, it did enough to make me watch S2 (which I'm still yet to do). 

 

It's never easy establishing a brand new sci-fi/fantasy series on TV, and I'd definitely have expected a Halo one to struggle in that objective, but apparently there's viewers out there who have welcomed its initial attempt, even if I think it looks every bit B-Grade schlock. But I'll definitely give it at least a go. 

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I figured after whining about it existing in the first place I'd check out the first episode so I could speak more informed on the show. 

 

It's pretty bad so far. Horror level violence and takes itself WAY too seriously, while also doing TONS of first person perspective stuff, which just reminds me of that cheeseball Doom movie.

 

Chief's voice is awful. He sounds like he's doing a bad Din Djarin impression. They should have gotten Steve Downes, there's no reason not to since he has his helmet on most of the time, even if they plan on taking it off. 

 

Considering they're ignoring the games, they certainly love using all the sound effects, designs, and the first person stuff. 

 

The animation(?) is also really weird. It looks like all the Spartan characters are CG for some reason but I'm not sure if they are? It's a little uncanny. 

 

I doubt I'm going to continue watching.

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Watched the opening 20 mins (the big pre credits introduction) and holy shit it's horrrrrible

 

I hyperbole much? 

 

I dare you to see for yourself. 

 

I had to turn it off - not because it was unwatchable, but because I was sleepy AF (it's late). With around 20 mins remaining to see of the first episode, I have to really wonder who this is supposed to be made for. Because based on what I have seen so far, I have no clue. 

 

And wait until you see the gore! Imagine The Clone Wars from AOTC but with Saving Private Ryan level viscera in the presentation of the battle melee... the tone here is absolutely all over the place. Yikes! 

 

Sorta looking forward to rubbernecking my way through the second half. 

 

Oh, it's every bit the 343i/Amblin production; at least as far as set/ costume/lighting/soundtrack design go. Really baffling stuff. 

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As a long time Halo fan, I don't know if I can bring myself to watch it at some point (and I ain't paying for P+). Everything looks off, and from everything I've heard, it is off.

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Well if I hadn't already heard really bad things about it I think I would've been really disappointed.

 

Visually a lot of the CGI looks really bad, especially on the desert planet they start out on. It starts to improve a bit once they leave but it's still not that great looking.

I thought a lot of the hardcore violence early on was out of place tonally, it felt almost cartoonishly extreme in some parts. It doesn't help that it doesn't work visually either. A lot of the gore looks really obviously fake, I think it would've probably been better without it at all. I also thought it was strange that the weapons in the show don't really work the way you expect. For example, Master Chief was the only one who's weapons penetrated Elite armor even though everyone was firing bullets. At least give him a plasma pistol or something and it would've made sense.

 

Also I was very confused on some of the bigger lore that they made. Why can Pelicans travel in slipspace? That'd be like seeing a Republic Gunship in Star Wars capable of hyperspace travel by itself. Even if it is theoretically possible it makes no sense to use a dropship as a long range transport. That's what they have larger carrier ships for. Also, why was there a human girl with the Covenant leaders? I get wanting to study your enemies but it doesn't seem to fit with their religious motivations in the games, assuming those are even still relevant in this show now. Also, why were there only Elites in the opening battle? Where were the Grunts, or the Jackals? It's not so much a lore issue but it was a little disappointing that they have so much diversity in the number of Covenant aliens in the games, and they chose to show so few of them. It can't have been a budget problem right? I thought this show cost like $200m or something.

 

Anyways, the music was extremely disappointing too. I didn't have high hopes to begin with when they announced it was some no name generic tv composer, but I didn't expect a generic sci-fi action score with no memorable tracks at all. For me one of the best parts of Halo as a game series is its excellent music, and I don't think the show captured it remotely. Even if it didn't use any of the pre-established themes, I would've been fine with it if it at least got the sounds right. Most Halo game cues are made of a light melody with a choir or synth, layered on top of a memorable drum line. I would argue that almost every track from the game series (at least from CE to Reach) has some kind of memorable percussion. I don't remember a single cue from the first episode of the show, except for the butchered remix of the main title theme that they played at the end.

 

However, with all that criticism in mind, I didn't actually mind the story. I was kind of surprised that I sort of enjoyed it. It was definitely different from what I would expect from Halo, but it did have me interested the whole time. Obviously, I can't really judge it on this aspect until the whole season is out, but I'll remain cautiously optimistic about the direction they're taking it story-wise.

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5 hours ago, enderdrag64 said:

Visually a lot of the CGI looks really bad

 

Bit rich for a Doctor Who fan to complain about this ;) 

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The first episode of Halo was like watching a cutscene in a game only to find it never ends and you don't get to play anything - and in a bad way. Cutscenes set up the story elements for the next section of gameplay, yet in a show or a film, the cutscene *is* the story.


We move from scene to scene and instead of being shown how this UNSC is committing all kinds of genocides and is corrupt, we have to be told it. Remember the opening shot of Star Wars? We get the power dynamic of the fledgling Rebellion and the powerful Empire in just that shot and it sets up the rest of the film so we understand something about the world. In Halo, everything is dished out on a playback speed of x2 speed to get to the next story beat. There's some decent acting and dare I say it, decent writing in places, but this episode doesn't inspire me to want to watch anymore of this show if this is what it's going to be like.

 

I haven't really played the games so I can't speak to the fidelity of the adaptation in regards to accuracy, but I've seen a range of reactions from across the board and it seems like, once again, the studios have taken a franchise with an already established lore and effective story, and thrown it aside to go their own way. I don't understand what they're thinking by not readily exploiting the huge fanbase that's there and wants this and instead trying to make this show for the average audience?  How can you meet the audience halfway without alienating either fans, who care about the world of Halo, or casual viewers who can't invest in it fully because of the way it's being presented to them...

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19 hours ago, Arpy said:

The first episode of Halo was like watching a cutscene in a game only to find it never ends and you don't get to play anything - and in a bad way.

 

Funny, I just watched Advent Children for the first time and I'd describe that the exact same way

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Paramount has released the first episode for free on youtube

 

 

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Figures

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Any JWFanners seen episode 2 yet?

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12 hours ago, Jay said:

Any JWFanners seen episode 2 yet?

Yep, as someone who was left at the end of episode 1 feeling like they had no idea what they were doing, it gave me more hope that they understood the show they were making.

Was genuinely caught off-guard by Chief leaving Kwan on the station and going back to the UNSC to fight for the greater good of not letting the Covenant get their hands on a weapon as devastating as Halo, as I was expecting him to be rogue the entire series. It's actually quite clever structurally to have this little detour at the start of your story to set up some of the main players before going back to the status quo. It also felt like a very authentically Chief decision and helped me reconcile it more as being the same character. If it also means that Chief gets to fight for the UNSC with his team of Spartans then that's going to go a long way into making it feel like more traditional Halo too.

I have to say that the acting (except for the incredibly hammy crazy person), dialogue and cinematography is actually rather decent. Comparing it to something like The Mandalorian is just night and day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I guess 4 episodes of this have aired now?  Is anybody from JWFan watching?

 

In other news, here's an interview with the composer

 

https://www.comingsoon.net/tv/features/1218139-halo-interview-composer-sean-callery-discusses-his-score

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I've been watching it. I honestly don't think it's as terrible as many people are saying it is although it's definitely a lot worse than it could be. I'm still not a big fan of the music and I think it's visually one of the worst looking big budget live action shows I've seen in a while, but the story could have some potential and I'm not entirely opposed to the direction they're taking certain things. The acting and character stuff in it so far has probably been its strongest point. Even the cinematography isn't entirely awful even if the CGI it's used on is.

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The more I watch of this show, the more I'm convinced Spielberg didn't have nearly as much a hand in crafting it as I've heard he had. 

@enderdrag64

Quote

the music was extremely disappointing too. I didn't have high hopes to begin with when they announced it was some no name generic tv composer

Sean Callery isn't some no-name composer and he's done some great things, but I do agree with you here that the music sounds like it was temped with every generic synth score ever. As a fan of Callery's work on Jessica Jones, I was hoping for some more introspective and meaty music that felt unique to Halo.

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1 hour ago, Arpy said:

@enderdrag64

Sean Callery isn't some no-name composer and he's done some great things, but I do agree with you here that the music sounds like it was temped with every generic synth score ever. As a fan of Callery's work on Jessica Jones, I was hoping for some more introspective and meaty music that felt unique to Halo.

Yeah you're right I was probably a little too harsh. In all honesty I haven't actually listened to most of his work, I only said that because while I have heard of many of the shows he's worked on, I have not heard of much praise being given to their music, so that had implied to me that it was mostly unmemorable like what is in the Halo show.

 

Maybe I should have checked out more of his music before being critical

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  • 1 month later...

Did anybody on JWFan watch the entire first season?

If so, what do you think?

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11 hours ago, Jay said:

Did anybody on JWFan watch the entire first season?

If so, what do you think?


I did, it was pretty terrible overall. Completely missed everything that made Halo special, and I say that as someone who was open to very different events playing out. It just felt like any other sci-fi show, dangerously bereft of camp or a tone of heroism. Instead it was cynical and shallow

The score was also a huge let-down, low brraaaaams when we see the Covenant Holy City instead of the religious exultation of choir that's used in the games also contributed to the tone feeling very flat

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13 hours ago, Jay said:

Did anybody on JWFan watch the entire first season?

If so, what do you think?

I didn't hate it as much as everyone else seemed to when the first couple episodes came out, but now that the entire season is out I think it was pretty awful. The best I can say about it is some of the actors were pretty good (I really liked Halsey) and there was one plot twist near the end that actually did surprise me. Everything else was terrible though. There's a major plot thread that occupied probably 30-40% of the show that was entirely inconsequential to the main plot and characters. You could have eliminated nearly the entire thing beyond the relevant parts to the first episode or two and it wouldn't have made the show any different. There's also one character in particular who actually makes zero sense whatsoever which I can't talk about without spoilers. I also agree I really disliked the score. I know there was some kind of legal shenanigans with not being able to use the Halo themes due to the lawsuit with Marty O'Donnell but they still could have easily made some new music in a similar style. Instead they went for some generic unmemorable trash.

 

Spoiler

To elaborate on what I said above:

 

The plot twist with Halsey's escape using a flash clone was actually sort of surprising to me. It was like the only part I enjoyed of the last episode

 

The Kwan Ha stuff was entirely irrelevant to the show. After she leaves Master Chief she doesn't do anything important, her character arc goes nowhere, and it doesn't impact the main plot. She also doesn't really make any sense. After seeing her entire family and everything important to her get wiped out by some mysterious aliens she's never seen before, instead of getting pissed at them and wanting to join the fight to save humanity, she decides she wants to take up her father's mission of fighting the UNSC, the only group capable of stopping said aliens. What in the actual fuck is she thinking?

 

The stuff with Makee makes even less sense to me. The Covenant of the games was a genocidal religious cult. They would never have tolerated the existence of a human around them. I know the last episode sort of explains that they needed her to interface with the artifact, but how did they know that without first keeping her alive? It doesn't make any sense to me that they wouldn't have just killed her. It also doesn't make any sense to me that she would want to help them. I understand having a bad childhood but she should understand that helping them will eventually lead to her death too right? But no, she has absolutely no problem just butchering the shit out of humans until she doesn't anymore? I was so lost when she first switched sides, because the first time when she killed all those humans she had pretended to switch sides in order to get them vulnerable. So I had just assumed that she was just doing that again to kill more people. But no, apparently she was serious this time? I don't think they ever explained her motivations for this. And then after deciding she likes humans for two minutes, just long enough to fuck master chief, then she's reminded of her shit childhood again and then instantly hates humans again? What even is her character??? Oh no she's dead now so who cares

 

Also I could not stop laughing in the last episode when the three Prophets, literally the leaders of the fucking Covenant, are just fucking sitting there floating defenseless right above where all the Spartans are, and not a single one of them thinks to shoot at them and literally end the war.

 

 

 

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