Sunday, October 3, 2010

Legends of the Guardians: Owls of Ga...gagool? Gawhool? Gaucamole?

So it's decided, I'm going to do Ramona Flowers for Halloween, with various friends and/or accomplices going as Scott Pilgrim, Wallace Wells and Roxy Richter. We're looking for more so we can get the complete set.

Collect them all!

So I've been enjoying having neon hair so far. Especially when driving, when other drivers glance at you and then have a WTF moment. Also I enjoy doing things like this:

What? Is there hair in my face?

So today I went and saw Legends of the Guardians: Etc Etc Etc, aka That One Owl Movie That Should Be Stupid But Has That Weirdly Epic Trailer. Or just "The Owl Movie" which is how Javi ordered the tickets for it. And it was pretty good.

From the studio that brought you Happy Feet comes a movie about a group of fluffy owls, that fight, maul and murder the living hell out of each other

Legends of the Guardians centers around a cuddly owlet named Soren who daydreams about joining these legendary owl warriors called The Guardians. Soren's adorably fluffy baby sister feels similarly but his brother Kludd (mohawk owl) thinks the Guardians aren't real and that Soren is an idiot. One day the two brothers are practicing flying when they fall from the nest and are kidnapped by other owls (who have an incredibly funny exchange about effective intimidation faces) and are taken to the lair of "The Pure Ones" where little owlets are brainwashed into being slaves or soldiers for the army of an owl called Metalbeak and his equally evil consort, Owl-Helen Mirren.

Good God, she's just as terrifyingly intimidating in owl form!

So Soren escapes the Pure One's lair with a little elf owl named Gylfie to find the Guardians of...that thing that starts with a g. Meanwhile Kludd becomes the perfect soldier for Helen-Mirren owl and even kidnaps his baby sister for her. This proves that he is evil. I mean, just look at her!

Things that cute should not be allowed to exist, let alone be kidnapped by their own brothers.

Moving on. So Soren, Gylfie and several other wacky owl characters journey to find the Guardians and eventually face off against Metalbeak and his minions. So first off, this movie is gorgeous, the CGI is just stunning, the backgrounds, the vistas, the owls themselves, which look like real owls but are still incredibly expressive. I saw it in 2D but I really kind of want to see it in 3D now because it was just so damn pretty. Also, it is fucking dark. This is a kid's movie brought to you by the dude who brought you 300 and Watchmen.

The next logical step is an animated owl film for kids!

The movie is seriously dark for a kid's film. It explores the disillusionment that comes with Soren losing his dreams of fighting with the Guardians for honor and glory to the harsh realities of war and death. He also has to fight his brother who tries to kill him. The owl fight scenes are EPIC, they fight with metal armor on their talons and it is SO badass. Also there's a great scene with this owl called Twilight who considers himself a "warrior-poet." When asked to sing an inspiring battle song, he goes into into one about how they're most likely going to die a horrible painful death on par with Sir Robin's song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

The bad: Zack Snyder's trademark is insane amounts of slow-mo for DRAMATIC ACTION PURPOSES. I feel like it worked ok in 300 but in Legends of the Guardians it A. sticks out like a sore thumb B. very quickly wears out it's welcome C. Is used way more than there is any reason for it to be D. Takes you right out of a scene and E. All of the above

Also, the movie takes itself very seriously, playing this whole "owl wars" thing totally straight, which works until a bit more than midway through there's a montage to an upbeat pop song courtesy of Owl City. It's retarded. What were they thinking?

"Hey so for our actually serious and fairly epic owl movie, I was thinking we should have a montage with some happy-ass song that's probably about Jesus from Owl City! His name has 'owl' in the title, so it'll be great!"

Something like that. But really apart from those two things (and the slow-mo was REALLY annoying) this was actually a surprisingly good movie. It was dark, epic but also cuddly and adorable with top-notch voice-acting from Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham and a few others doing the BEST kind of voice-acting, when you don't realize it's them. This was a problem I had with Happy Feet, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood and Robin Williams were all too...themselves, you know? They didn't inhabit the parts, they talked like themselves. Maybe I'm just being weird but I felt like this was rectified in Legends of the Guardians. Overall, it scores three and a half catapults out five for a really pretty, surprisingly bad-ass animated owl movie.

This is Sugary Cynic, about to get her fingers bitten off from trying to pet baby owls. 'Night!

Kludd: "You have a soft head, Soren. Filled with stories, and dreams"

Soren: "There's nothing wrong with dreams"

Kludd: "Well I only have them when I'm asleep"


  1. I am quite intrigued to see this film.

    Do you think Snyder sees the world in slow-motion? Like his thought process operates on a higher frame-rate than the rest of us?

  2. who else is going to do Scott Pilgrim?

  3. I get what you are saying about the whole slo mo thing. Among the other nasty thing Dungeons and Dragons movie that make me ashamed to be a D&D player. They had a zoom in and swirl around the tower thing about a million times that made me want to hurl. But other than Jeremy Irons and a cameo by Tom Baker there is nothing remotely redeeming about that movie.

    So, on that note, I was just sitting around pissed off that you weren't posting blogs to keep my freely entertained, but you are in my good graces once again.
    <3 I might actually go see it now, I was on the fence about it.

  4. Hi - First, I'm lost with the Scott Pilgrim thingy...sorry.

    Second, Love the hair!. I mean this in the nicest way, but that is the second best " Cousin It" impression I have ever seen.

    Third, I was raised by owls...except I needed a night light.

    Monty Python - best stuff ever! They could do now wrong!

    thanks for the post!


  5. Unwashed: It was definitely better than I thought it would, but my expectations were pretty low. And if Snyder did operate on a higher frame-rate it would explain SO MUCH.

    Val: Right now, Javi wants to be Scott, Zeke wants to be Wallace, Ashley's going to be Roxy, Chris might be Todd and Jared MIGHT be Lucas Lee

    Widow: Slow-mo was the least of that movie's worries. But yeah I remember the ridiculous 360's

    Simon: No, you say it like this: Battle Owls, YEAH!!

    Ron: S'ok, it just means you're not hip :p and what do you mean "second-best" Cousin It impression?! I demand to know who's first!

  6. Why...Cousin It himself of course :), but now that I think about're're #1!


  7. I think it is Cousin it's openly gay brother,Ron. Pink is the new black!

  8. I'm pretty sure pink is the old pink.

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