PEOPLE: Directed by Zack Snyder, director of Watchmen, 300, and Dawn Of The Dead 2004. One of the 2 script co-writers wrote 2 episodes of Band Of Brothers. Metalbeak’s was voided by Annakin Skywalker’s stepbrother (Joel Edgerton). Kludd was voiced by someone from True Blood.
PLOT SUMMARY: A young owl is abducted by an evil Owl army. He must escape and seek out the legendary Guardians to stop the menace of the Pure Ones.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Parents don’t seem to notice when their son sells out his siblings, becomes evil, and dies.
QUIRKS: Based on the first 3 books of a 15 book series. FANTASY OWLS!! AT WAR!!
This is the owliest movie ever. This is the owliest ANYTHING ever! OWLS OWLS OWLS OWLS!
VISUALS: Excellent cutting-edge cgi. Too bad we didn’t see this in 3-D.
SOUNDTRACK: Shitty song used during training montage. You gotta have a montage. Even Rocky had a montage. Fortunately, this movie does not have a large soundtrack.
MORALS: Some things need to be believed in, even when you can’t see them. Justice, not Jesus!
POLITICS: Some Nazi/Holocaust parallels with the Pure Ones, of course. In fact, the book goes into greater details; specific characters represent specific politicians. Ezylryb was a personification of Winston Churchill, for example.
GOOD STUFF: Epic! Adventure, enslavement, rescue, retribution, justice, and death!
Also: The fact that some parents will take kids to this thinking it’s completely family friendly, when in fact it features owl war, owl death, owl enslavement, owl “zombies”. The thought of some kid getting the shit scared out of him because his idiot parents a) coddled him into being a coward; and b) were too stupid to pay attention to what is in a movie before taking their kid to it…….. Is the most hilarious thing since hearing the parents complain about Coraline.
BAD STUFF, COURTESY OF CAROLYN: I feel like they really just glossed over the supposed [highlight for spoilers]→ death of the brother. Yes, Soren mentioned they never found the brother’s body, and we, the audience, get to see that Kludd survived and is now taking the mantle of MetalBeak, but the parents didn’t seem the least bit bothered by the loss of their family member. I almost got the impression of, “Thank goodness that douchebag black sheep of a son is gone.”
That was the one fault I found in the movie… I saw a lot of talk in the imdb forum thread about how including the emotions of the family would “ruin the pace of the movie”, but in my mind, it really should have been addressed better to show that the family was at least bothered by their family member’s actions and behavior. There should have been some family moment where [highlight for spoilers]→ Soren and the sister break the news to the parents about how the brother is now missing or dead, and how he had sold out his siblings to the bad guys… Then the parents could be all disappointed that they failed as parents at guiding their young child to do what is right.
And I will note that I have not read the books, and in fact, I didn’t know there were books until going to IMDB after watching it. I’m sure the books had a different feel. Since I read in the forum that [highlight for spoilers]→ the sibling is bad from the start — actually pushing his brother out of the nest….. the books sound much darker. So it’s like, it seems to me they changed it up for the movie to make it “family-appropriate”, but then just end up falling flat on their face because they tried to lighten up the mood of [highlight for spoilers]→ the brother’s death to make it “family-appropriate”. It seemed like they had to really gloss it over, but in my mind, it’s an epic fail.
All in all, I thought the movie was really good, except for that one point about the family relations bothering me.
After writing this out, I just feel like this “wholesome naysayer”, but really, I just feel like the movie didn’t execute dark subject matter in an efficient way. I’d much rather read the books instead of watching some watered down “family” version.
CONCLUSION: Getting the director of violent movies like 300 and Watchmen to bring some legitimacy to a “CGI owl war movie” is a good idea. This movie was actually quite an epic and dark fantasy war, and the thought of a parent bringing their coddled child to this movie only to be confronted with violence and scary characters is frickin’ hilarious. This was actually very good. Think Lord Of The Rings, but with owls, without the Macguffin of “the ring”, and shortened to fit into one movie. That might not be the most accurate description in the world, but what it boils down to is: A fantasy owl battle in a world wear owls wield weapons, wear helmets, speak, and have mastered fire. It’s fresh and we all really liked it.
2015 Update: had a movie night & re-watched this movie in 3-D with Nathan, Paul, Evan, Callan & Wolf. Carolyn Casl & I ended up raising our ratings. The 3-D helped. Good times.
Evan (2015 3-D): Netflix: 4.5/5 stars,IMDb; 8.8/10.
TwoBeans (2011 2-D): Ended up surprised at how it became “epic Lord Of The Owl Rings war”; he thought it was “Disney Owl family wholesomeness” during the first 10 minutes. (But his opinions should be ignored, because he’s an irresponsible douchebag who makes awful music.)
RECOMMENDATION: Don’t let the kiddie angle of this throw you off. This is more like Lord Of The Rings than The Lion King.
SIMILAR MOVIES: The Secret Of Nimh. Though I couldn’t help think of Jonathan Livingston Seagull at points! (But bringing up JLS is this context is an insult to both The Secret Of Nimh and this movie :))
MOVIE QUOTE: Echidna: I foretold you so! [probably the funniest moment in the movie, when heard in context]Mood: haha my butt hurts
Music: Sepultura – Attitude (live)