Lock and load … and explore the far reaches of the Halo universe with Halo: The Complete Video Collection. Inspired by the world famous video game series, this compendium of action-packed stories will blow fans of the game and science fiction away. 

halocompletebluStudio: Shout Factory
Year: 2017
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Run time: 381 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 5 BD50
Region: A

Halo Legends:

A collection of 8 animated tales set within the Halo universe, Halo Legends offers plenty of interesting material and enjoyable action, which should be plenty enough for die hard Halo fans to dig. For others though, not so much. Crafted by some of the top anime creators in the business, Halo Legends’ biggest flaw is that the whole affair just feels disjointed, and to put it bluntly, is just underwhelming. However, boasting some nice production values, Halo Legends delivers in terms of its action content (which isn’t nearly as violent as the video games that it has been adapted from) and voice acting, but in the end, doesn’t flesh out any more of the Halo universe that one doesn’t already know. All in all, if you’re a Halo fan, by all means check out Halo Legends, but if you aren’t, then don’t even bother.

Unfortunately Halo Legends doesn’t quite live up to the story it was supposed to portray. Sure, there are moments of fun and cleverness, but through the whole thing I was just waiting to be blow away by at least ONE of the stories, and I kept on waiting until the very last episode was finished. I kept looking for a third disk or something. Nothing. That was it. There are good episodes in this little collection, a few decent ones, and a couple really, really bad ones. But nothing great, nothing that stands out and forces you to take notice.

The first two episodes, Origins, is nothing more than a retelling of the storyline behind the Halo universe, which is great for someone like me not totally immersed in the story from the games, but it surprised me how much I actually did know after all. There’s nothing here that I didn’t know from one place or another, nothing about the Forrunners, the Flood, the Covenant War, was new to me. If this is the case for me I can only imagine how boring and tiresome it would be for someone who’s been following Halo since the very first game, though multiple books, games, etc. Unless you’re a total Halo virgin Origins won’t tell you anything knew. Plus the animation in these episodes is… what’s the word? Cheap. That’s the best way I can describe it. It was cheap. Not a lot of movement, not a lot of frames, just a lot of still pictures without the usual amazing background art that makes anime so great.

Halo 4: Forward Until Dawn

This web series is fantastic – even though each is the equivalent of a half hour of live TV (less the commercials) we already have excellent character development, and a sense of what is going on in the timeframe of the series. Acting is taught, tension is palpable, and the editing, sound and effects are crisp and clean. This is not a small budget web series, most of the actors have deep big screen and small screen resumes, and are highly recognizable. It’s filmed in big screen movie quality film, and it shows.

The series gives an excellent indication of what direction a halo movie series can achieve, if ever undertaken. At the same time, one becomes aware that if the Halo books ever make it to the big screen, it would be best to avoid what they did with movies such as Master and Commander – where they tried to squeeze multiple books into one movie, with undesirable results. Halo will take several movies at a minimum, to depict its storyline, but as well done as this web series, the fans will rejoice and reward.

Halo Nightfall

Halo: Nightfall introduces a mostly new cast of characters never-before-seen in the Halo universe; yes, this means that Master Chief is not in this film. Some have claimed this is Nightfall’s greatest failure; in actuality, this is Nightfall’s greatest strength. By giving us entirely new characters, Nightfall calls upon the Halo universe’s unique quality to show that every human can make a difference, even if you don’t have the strength or fortitude of a Spartan supersoldier. This is what makes Jameson Locke such a compelling character; he is an ordinary soldier with an extraordinary ability to lead. Mike Colter does a fantastic job of conveying this sense of purpose. He plays Locke with intelligence and charisma. Steve Waddington is a tough yet endearing co-star as Colonel Aiken, and though she isn’t given much to work with, Christina Chong shines in the brief moments she is allowed to, as does Luke Neal. While the other characters aren’t given much development, this is forgivable considering, in Colter’s own words, this was always written to be a film, not a series.

Halo The Fall of Reach

Halo: The Fall of Reach is the title of a bestselling novel by Eric Nylund, which tells the story of the origination of the Spartans, the discovery of the Covenant, and the discovery of Halo. This CGI shares the title of the great novel, but only tells part of the story. It tells the story of “recruitment” and creation of the Spartans, their training, and their first operation against the Covenant. Overall, I did not mind that this is something of a “stripped-down” Fall of Reach, as I am hoping it’s only Part 1 of a series that will bring the entire novel to life. I thought that the creators did a good job with the story, though there were some changes to it – apparently movie-makers ALWAYS have to change something! It’s just not a bad story.

Movie Content: 7/10

Special Features

  • Halo Nightfall: Launch Party Live Show
  • Halo Nightfall: Photo Gallery [HD]
  • Remaking the Legend: Halo 2 Anniversary [HD]
  • Halo 4: A Hero Awakens [HD]
  • Halo 5: A Hero Reborn Vidoc [HD]
  • Halo 4: Forerunner Vidoc [HD]
  • Halo Forward Unto Dawn: Bloopers Reel [HD]
  • Halo Waypoint: Heroes Never Die
  • Halo Legends Commentary: With Frank O’Connor, Kevin Grace, and Bonnie Ross.
  • Halo Nightfall Commentary: With Kiki Wolfkill, Corrinne Robinson, and Jeremy Patenaude.
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach Commentary: With Kiki Wolfkill, Frank O’Connor, and Corrine Robinson.
  • Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Commentary: With Frank O’Connor, Corrinne Robinson, and Kevin Grace.

Special Features: 9/10

Final Thoughts

I’d recommend this Blu-ray if you are a Halo fan, but even then as a fan you might be disappointed. Don’t expect to be moved to tears or experience some sort of epiphany, but try and enjoy these episodes for what they are. The nice thing is that this set collects all of the Halo films into one collection.
Overall Rating: 7/10