REVIEW: THE GIFTED – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Stephen Moyer (True Blood)
Amy Acker (Angel)
Sean Teale (Reign)
Natalie Alyn Lind (Gotham)
Percy Hynes White (Rupture)
Coby Bell (Burn Notice)
Jamie Chung (Office Christmas Party)
Blair Redford (Satisfaction)
Emma Dumont (Aquarius)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Hayley Lovitt (Ant-Man)
Toks Olagundoye  (The Neighbors)
Joe Nemmers (American Crime)
Jeff Daniel Phillips (Westworld)
Elena Satine (Revenge)
Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave)
Sharon Gless  (Cagney & Lacey)
Jeffrey Nordling  (Nashville)
Zach Roerig (The Vampire Diaries)
Michelle Veintimilla  (Gotham)
Frances Turner (The Exes)
Danny Ramirez (Assassination Nation)
Skyler Samuels (Scream Queens)
Raymond J. Barry (Falling Down)
Ray Campbell (Breaking Bad)
David Norona  (The Mentalist)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

What ingredients are necessary for a successful show about powered individuals? Cool abilities? Flashy visuals? Likable characters? Interestingly, Fox’s The Gifted manages to have them all despite following some formulaic paths to tell its story. Any worries viewers might have about the young, good-looking, CW-like cast should be tossed aside. Everyone from the headstrong but calculating mutants to the strangely sympathetic government enforcers to the argumentative but caring siblings in the Strucker family have levels of complexity not often seen in comic book shows.It helps that there are powers on display right away that we haven’t seen on previous superhero-as-outcast shows. Of particular interest is Jamie Chung’s character, Claire a.k.a. Blink, whose ability involves creating writhing purple portals that allow her to travel instanteously from one point to another. Having her character join the Mutant Underground as someone still new to her abilities is something we’ve seen in shows like The Tomorrow People or Alphas, but that trope is usually reserved for the main character. Here, her burgeoning powers and escape from the law are merely used to set up one of the big motivations for the mutants to come out of hiding.The Gifted’s main story, arguably, revolves around the Struckers, who live in a world where anti-mutant laws are in effect and the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants have gone off the grid. Public fear of the dangers of super-powered individuals has led to strict government control and prejudice in the form of derogatory terms like “mutey.” Reed Strucker, played powerfully by Stephen Moyer of True Blood, helps prosecute those mutants who use their power to break the law, and the initial concern that he and his wife (Amy Acker of Person Of Interest) share centers around their son Andrew, who’s being bullied at school almost to the breaking point.Viewers can probably guess what happens next, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to watch unfold. The irony of Reed working against mutants and then finding out about his son’s powers being awakened by the strong emotions associated with abuse by his peers is richly nuanced and informs everything the family does afterwards. There are some surprises for the family along the way as well to sweeten the pot, but as Reed seeks help from the Mutant Underground, his discoveries concerning the Magneto-like Lorna a.k.a. Polaris (Emma Dumont of Aquarius) provide a pleasantly paradoxical reluctance and incentive for Lorna’s boyfriend, the light-manipulating Marcos a.k.a. Eclipse (Sean Teale of Reign), to help the Struckers.What they’re escaping from is the Sentinel Services, a group of elite enforcers who apparently go after those with particularly destructive or potentially game-changing abilities. Two things stand out about the introduction of these mutant hunters. First, the lead agent, Jace Turner (Coby Bell of Burn Notice), is oddly sympathetic while being coldly rigid in rounding up mutants; and second, the Sentinel Services have mysterious ways of tracking the seemingly untrackable and bring a lot of high-tech toys to take down those with powers. The combination makes for a very interesting, dynamic enemy opposite quite flawed protagonists — just how we like it.Characters in the background felt strong and full of promise as well. Although Acker’s Caitlin Strucker didn’t have quite enough to do in the pilot, her screen presence has always been unmatched and as the season goes on she becomes a more prominent character and crucial to the mutant underground, her daughter Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind of The Goldbergs), who could have easily disappeared into the background as just another pretty face, is wonderful both when she was fighting with her brother and when she was supporting him with secrets of her own. And a mutant to keep an eye on, just from the sheer awesomeness of his powers, is John (Blair Redford of Satisfaction), who has a number of abilities hinted at by his alias “Thunderbird” that will not be spoiled here.The Gifted has what it takes to be another “X-Men adjacent” hit for Fox Television alongside FX’s Legion. The latter is much more esoteric but does have several things in common with this new mutant offering, including the manner in which Andy Strucker’s (Percy Hynes White of Murdoch Mysteries) powers manifest. The series builds towards a great finale that changes the entire dynamic of the show and leads into what should be an awesome Season 2 later in the year.

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REVIEW: STEPHEN KING’S IT (1990)

CAST

Tim Curry (Legend)
Harry Anderson (The Escape Artist)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Dennis Christopher (Fade To Black)
Richard Masur (The Burning Bed)
Annette O’ Toole (Smallville)
Emily Perkins (Ginger Snaps)
Tim Reid (That 70s Show)
John Ritter (Bad Santa)
Richard Thomas (The Waltons)
Jonathan Brandis ( Seaquest)
Michael Cole (Chuka)
Olivia Hussey (Black Christmas)
Garry Chalk (Arrow)

In Derry, Maine, 1960, a young boy named George “Georgie” Denbrough is lured to a storm drain by a strange, yet seemingly kind, man dressed in a clown costume named Pennywise. After a brief conversation, Pennywise reveals his malevolent nature and murders Georgie. Georgie’s older brother Bill is taunted by Pennywise as well. He and six other outcast children, who form a group called the Losers Club, discover they are all being tormented by the ambiguous clown. The rest of the group consists of the overweight but smart Ben Hanscom, asthmatic Eddie Kaspbrak who lives with his overprotective mother, Beverly Marsh who lives with her alcoholic father, comical Richie Tozier, Jewish boy scout Stan Uris, and African-American student Mike Hanlon. In turn, all of them are bullied by the psychotic Henry Bowers and his gang.

The Losers soon theorize that Pennywise is not a human being, he is instead an otherworldly creature that surfaces every thirty years in Derry to murder children and therefore they dub him “It”. To avenge Georgie and others killed by It, the Losers venture into the sewers where the clown lurks. They are followed by Henry and his friends Victor Criss and Belch Huggins, who threaten Stan, only for It to kill Victor and Belch, but spares the terrified Henry, whose hair turns white. It, as Pennywise, catches up to the Losers and grabs Stan, bragging that he is immortal and eats children. Guessing It’s powers are based around imagination, the Losers fight back using the same power, melting Pennywise’s face with imaginary battery acid and Beverly smashes a hole in his head using a silver projectile. Pennywise escapes wounded, and the seven make a promise to return and kill him should It resurface. Henry is arrested and institutionalized when he confesses to murdering his friends and the children It killed.

Thirty years later, in 1990, Pennywise returns and begins murdering children in Derry. Mike, a librarian still living in Derry, summons his six friends back to Derry to fulfil their vow. Bill has become a horror novelist married to actress Audra Phillips, Ben is an architect, Beverly is a fashion designer but in an unhappy relationship, Richie is a late night TV comedian, Eddie runs a limousine service but still lives with his mother, and Stan is a real estate broker. While five of them agree to come, Stan commits suicide in his bath tub and writes “It” on the wall in blood. The remaining six are individually scared by Pennywise, before reuniting for dinner, though Pennywise frightens them there too. They soon learn of Stan’s suicide shortly after.

Elsewhere, an older Henry is visited and befriended by Pennywise who sends him to Derry to kill the Losers. Audra also arrives in town following Bill but falls victim to It’s paralyzing “deadlights” and falls into a catatonic state. Henry wounds Mike, but is killed by his own knife during a scuffle with the other Losers. With Mike hospitalised, the five remaining Losers decide to destroy It for good. They confront It, who now appears as a monstrous spider. Eddie is killed by It, but Beverly mortally wounds It with her slingshot, and the Losers tear the spider apart. They remove the comatose Audra and Eddie’s body from the sewers, burying him in Derry’s cemetery.
The Losers go their separate ways, free from It’s torment forever. Richie is cast in a film, Beverly and Ben get married and are expecting their first child, and Mike recovers. Bill manages to coax Audra out of her catatonia by going on a ride on his childhood bicycle, which had once freed a young Stan from his fear. With It gone, the Losers can move on with their lives and leave Derry behind.Tim Curry is amazing as Pennywise, bringing a truly terrifying dimension to the evil clown. There are incredible performances from the child stars, all of whom are engaging and. The adult versions of the children are also excellent, particularly Tim Reid, Richard Thomas and, of course, the late, great John Ritter.  It’s worth mentioning that the DVD of “Stephen King’s It” contains an excellent commentary by the actors mentioned and the director, Tommy Lee Wallace (who also directed “Halloween 3:Season Of The Witch”). It is full of great trivia and anecdotes and John Ritter’s charisma and genuine love of the project shines through. So if you’re a fan of great horror and don’t mind developing a fear of clowns, then I highly recommend this under-rated gem of a movie!

REVIEW: RUNAWAYS – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Rhenzy Feliz (Teen Wolf)
Lyrica Okano (Pimp)
Virginia Gardner (Project Almanac)
Ariela Barer (New Girl)
Gregg Sulkin (Affluenza)
Allegra Acosta (Just Add Magic)
Angel Parker (Trial and Error)
Ryan Sands (Shadowboxer)
Annie Wersching (The Vampire Diaries)
Kip Pardue (Driven)
Ever Carradine (Once and Again)
James Marsters (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Brigid Brannagh (Angel)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)
Brittany Ishibashi (TMNT: Out of The Shadows)
James Yaegashi (Man on A Ledge)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck)
Nicole Wolf (La la Land)
Devan Long (S.W.A.T.)
Danielle Campbell (The Originals)
DeVaughn Nixon (Terminator 2)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate ABout You)
Stan Lee (Avengers)
Amanda Suk (Pretty Dudes)

This show is one of the best instalments of Marvel yet. Agents of Shield is still the best Marvel has done, including the movies, and this is actually not far away from that high level of greatness.Having now seen the entire season it comes across as a very compelling and original storyline together with very good actors make this show a must see in today’s landscape. There is so much crap on TV and it is good to see something this fun and engaging. The parents are super creepy. Normal, but rich, well behaved parents engaging in ritual sacrifice and although a couple of them have reservations, they do murder folk and then hey go home and put on dinner… Almost a scary story kind of a vibe.The Season finale Hostile wrapped up Runaways’ first season (and yes, there will be a second) with a game-changing move that fully melded our heroes with the title of the series. Fortunately, this finale had the good sense to not have anyone say “You know what? Runaways actually is a good name for us after all.” Or something to that effect. Maybe it’s still coming. Who knows? I’m just saying that I appreciated it being left unsaid for now.Hostile was an exciting episode-on-the-move, as our teens went underground,hiding out from their evil parents with no real plan for retaliation or reconciliation. Unbeknownst to most them though (save for Alex, who overheard his parents’ intentions), Pride, after the showdown with their own kids at the construction site, are finally all on the same page. Except this time they’re forming a united front against Jonah. Even Leslie came around this week, after admitting not only her hand in Molly’s parents’ death but also her part in Amy’s “suicide” – her saving grace being that she didn’t actually pull the trigger and also tried to warn Amy about Jonah.With Pride now all realizing that they’ve been duped and that Jonah’s been behind the actual murder of one of their children, where does Runaways go? Jonah is a formidable force, who seems to have his own Gibborim army of stooges at his disposal (including Frank and a boxed-up Victor), but is he a big enough foe, is he enough narrative-wise, to take on both the teens and the parents? Sure, it’ll probably take both factions to take him down but it’s going be a while before the kids and grown-ups see eye to eye. Is that what Season 2 will focus on? Obviously, I’d like the teens to remain on the run for a while. Not just so they can live up to the show’s namesake but also so they can exist outside of their comfort zones for a stretch. The time away from their mansions and malaise seems to be doing wonders for them. Now actually facing the prospect of leaving their lives behind for wherever the first bus will take them, the grim cloud that’s loomed over all their heads, because of Pride and how that deal affected their parents for almost two decades, has lifted a bit. Nico and Karolina are free to explore whatever it is they’d like their relationship to become. Chase and Gert can clarify their coupling and not hide behind insecurities and social status stigma. With nothing to lose, and no immediate recourse, the show just might be able to become their show again. Because – let’s face it – Runaways has mostly been a showcase for Pride for a while now. There’s more of them and they hold all the secrets.Questions still linger though. Odds and ends to carry us into a second season. What’s living down in that pit? Some separate entity or is it Jonah’s true form? There must be a reason he withers and wilts out in the world so quickly (it’s happening again). Also, who was Jonah texting? The editing would have us believe it was Frank, but that’s not big reveal. I feels like there’s some slight of hand going on. Finally here, who framed the kids for Destiny’s murder? Was it Jonah? Was that the phone call Geoffrey made right at the end? He said he wanted to keep his kids safe, so was having them rounded up by the cops and brought home the best way to do that possibly?Runaways ended its first season with a busy, bustling episode that helped free the teens from the shackles of their parents. With a second season coming it will be interesting where the series will go and I’m sure it will just as awesome as the first season.

 

REVIEW: VAN HELSING – SEASON 2

CAST

Kelly Overton (Beauty and The Beast)
Jonathan Scarfe (Into The West)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
David Cubitt (Arrow)
Vincent Gale (Battlestar Galactica)
Rukiya Bernard (Colossal)
Trezzo Mahoro (Izombie)
Paul Johansson (Highlander: The Raven)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Laura Mennell (Watchmen)
Aleks Paunovic (Kindergarten Cop 2)
Gia Crovatin (Billy & Billie)
Andrea Ware (Zoo)
Hannah Cheramy (The Hollow Child)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Duncan Ollerenshaw (Hell on Wheels)
Caroline Cave (Power Rangers)
Michael Kopsa (Dark Angel)
Phil Burke (This Is 40)
Shane Symons (The 100)
Bzhaun Rhoden (Dragged Across Concrete)
Donny Lucas (Wayward Pines)
John DeSantis (Thirteen Ghosts)
Panou (Caprica)
Missy Peregrym (Reaper)
John Reardon (Scary Movie 4)
Hilary Jadine (Somewhere Between)
Ona Grauer (V)
Macie Juiles (Finding Father Christmas)
Tom McBeath (Stargate SG.1)
Nels Lennarson (War)
Colleen Winston (Big Eyes)
Emily Haine (Deadpool)
Michael Adamthwaite (War For The Planet of The Apes)
Jessie Fraer (Zoo)
Andee Frizzell (Stargate Atlantis)

 

Never underestimate a mother in pursuit of her child. In one of the most poignant and frightening season-ending cliffhangers, last year’s finale of SyFy’s Van Helsing finds Vanessa standing face to face with the daughter she’s devoted every waking hour to finding amidst the chaos raining down on the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, for Vanessa, as one journey ends, another more arduous one begins.The season two premiere of Neil LaBute and Simon Barry’s reimagining of the traditional vampire tale, opens with a brief yet necessary scene that reminds us the fight waged by Vanessa (Kelly Overton), Flesh, and Mohamad represents the human race’s tenacity for survival even in the darkest of times. Of course, vampires can likely read so the wisdom of sending out balloons with maps to a human safe haven can be questioned, but more importantly, the visual of this retreat nestled atop a scenic mountain pass presents a tangible goal for our hero to attain. One of the most fascinating qualities of this series lies in the knowledge that while innumerable horrific acts routinely take place in the background, it’s the relentless emotional horror Vanessa faces that provides the true drama. Finally reunited, Dylan (Hannah Cheramy) reminds her mother that she abandoned her, paving the way for Rebecca to assume the role of surrogate parent. The season one fight scene featuring Vanessa and Rebecca remains one of my favorite encounters, and throughout its run, Van Helsing has deftly handled action sequences in a way that we don’t feel bombarded by the histrionics of the scene to the point that the deeper meaning is lost.There’s a lot going on this season which adds alot more to the mythos of the show. Vanessa’s physical transformation becomes apparent after her introduction to the benefits of blood consumption. There’s a certain unmistakable poetry that takes over when these two go toe to toe, and even though Vanessa begins the fight overmatched, she quickly adapts to her nascent power. Ironically, the bloodlust here is all Vanessa. But there’s a lot of subtext to be considered, and as often happens in real life, the child gets caught in the middle and reacts in a not totally unexpected way. Viewing the situation through Dylan’s eyes, yes, Vanessa has a lot to atone for, but we know there’s much more to the story.This season brings many reunions and man ysad fates of beloved characters, we get many new ones includeing Scarlet, Vanessas Sisster. With Kelly OVerton away for a few episodes due to preganancyit’s nice to see Missy Peregrym take the reigns in Vanessas absence. Scarlet is a great addition and here’s hopeing she gets bumped up to regular for season 3. Season 2 is bigger and better than season 1, the women kick ass, the stories are more in depth, it leaves you hooked episode after episode and leaves your in anticipation for Season 3 later in the year.

REVIEW: HALO: THE FALL OF THE REACH


CAST

Jen Taylor (RWBY)
Steve Downes (Halo VIdeo Games)
Michelle Lukes (Doctors)
Britt Baron (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders)
Travis Willingham (Sofia The First)
Richard Casino (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Hynden Walch (The Batman)
Antony Del Rio (The Super Hero Squad Show)

b822d29a9f039debabd91b89d3cb8c90Some would say that the Halo franchise is overdue for a film adaptation. The pieces are there: epic science fiction scope, established fanbase, recognizable and iconic protagonist. A few live-action adaptations have already been done: Halo: Forward Unto Dawn 2012 & Halo: Nightfall 2014. Now, we have a fully animated entry; the latest Halo film is based on the 2001 Halo: The Fall of Reach. One of the first video game novelizations, The Fall of Reach details the origins of the main protagonist, The Master Chief, and how he came to be the last Spartan at the start of Halo: Combat Evolved.1026747-1122-1200

The film starts off, oddly enough with Blue Team from the recently released Halo 5: Guardians. The framing device is that Master Chief and his other Spartan friends (retconned into the rest of the Halo Extended Universe), are on the planet Reach after the alien enemy – The Covenant – has glassed it. Glassing is a process in which the technologically advanced aliens shoot super-powered lasers and burn a planet to a cinder. One of the first things immediately apparent is the animation style. Sequence, the studio responsible for collaborating with 343 Industries on the previous Halo games, has created the art style and produced the animation for Halo: The Fall of Reach. Sequence’s role in the previous Halo games was delivering a string of stories in what were called Terminals – items that the player would find throughout the game that would tell a story outside of killing aliens and monsters. And while the art style is beautiful with luscious water color aesthetics, the animation is stilted. When any of the characters are running or even walking, you can visualize a rod in their back keeping them upright. It makes moments – like children being replaced with deteriorating clones – slightly comical.HaloFallofReachstillMuch of the Halo: The Fall of Reach hour long runtime is about children being taken from their families and trained to be super-soldiers called Spartans. They are taught what it means to be a Spartan as well as what it means to function as a unit. One scene, carried over from the novel, tasks the young Master Chief with reaching the end of the course for a reward of a hot meal – the holiest of rewards in boot camp. When he completes the course, he is told that he has failed and that every other recruit will eat except him. This carries over into the Master Chief we know from the video games where he has his list of allies and will not turn away when they need him.1026747-halofallreachsequencetrailer-cropped-1200

The second half of the film is about the teenage/adult soldiers becoming acclimated to their MJOLNIR Spartan armor. The Spartan armor is a new and advanced piece of technology that requires a life-threatening surgery to don. It is terrifying to watch as scores of children die while undergoing the surgeries. Some are left brain dead while others become quadriplegics. After surgery, the Master Chief is shown as more emotionally unstable than he was in the novel. During his fight with the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs), he savagely beats the normal troopers with his genetically enhanced fists and muscles. In the novel, he only attacks them when he himself is attacked. One character’s narration reinforces the idea that Master Chief is a loose cannon because of his newfound abilities, while in the novel, he’s portrayed as the opposite. For the most part, Halo: The Fall of Reach is true to the prequel novelization. Some changes range from the innocuous to the curiously perplexing. Jorge from 2010’s Halo: Reach makes a cameo appearance, seen disagreeing with a drill sergeant on the pronunciation of his name. There is a numerical inconstancy with the number of dead vs. survivors during boot camp as well as the number of surgical survivors. There are also the retcons of adding the members of Blue Team from Halo 5: Guardians into segments of Halo: The Fall of Reach that they were not previously in. These are minor nitpicks in a true to form adaptation.

Halo-The-Fall-of-Reach-7-750x400

One of the best additions to Halo: The Fall of Reach is the score. The Tom Salta soundtrack carries the film from scene-to-scene. The classic Halo theme makes appearances here and there but the soundtrack knows when and where to emphasize the emotional gravitas. One of the more unfavorable aspects of Halo: The Fall of Reach is its abrupt end. Just as the Master Chief and other troopers begin their journey as fully-fledged Spartans, the film ends without warning. It cuts back to the framing story that is largely unnecessary and is just used to advertise Halo 5: Guardians. The animated film adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns, was split into two parts for a full three-hour film, but had the good sense to indicate to the viewer that the story would be continued in a later episode. Here, the end comes so suddenly, that you’re left frustrated that the visualization of a critically lauded novel would end before the novel’s story concludes. Halo: The Fall of Reach, like the novelization it is based on, stands to achieve the same audience impact. Once the second part of the animated adaptation is released, we may see more game novelizations adapted into films. With just a few missteps, Halo: The Fall of Reach makes important strides towards a more accessible Halo universe and lore, bringing the franchise to a wider audience than the games and books have ever reached.

REVIEW: HALO: NIGHTFALL

CAST

Mike Colter (Luke Cage)
Steve Waddington (The Imitation Game)
Christian Contreras (Zero Dark Thirty)
Alex Bhat (War & Peace)
Luke Neal (Jupiter Ascending)
Christina Chong (Johnny English Reborn)
Jennie Gruner (The Habit of Beauty)
Eric Kofi-Abrefa (Snowden)
Alexis Rodney (Guardians of The Galaxy)

maxresdefaultIn the 26th Century, the prolonged war between humanity and the fanatical alien alliance the Covenant has ended with a tenuous treaty. Despite the ceasefire, Earth’s outer colonies remain vulnerable to the Covenant’s covert intrusions. The ONI – Office of Naval Intelligence has been tasked with counterintelligence to beat the Covenant. In Planet Sedra, Commander Jameson Locke and his team witness a Covenant’s spacecraft and a Zealot Elite warrior disembarks with a bomb. They unsuccessfully try to stop the alien that explodes the bomb in a mall. They realize that it is a biological attack with an element fatal to humans. Sedran Commander Aiken captures the middleman Axl that tells that the element is obtained from Alpha Halo, where the day longs 16 h and the temperature in the sunlight reaches 482o C. Aiken, Locke and his team head to Halo in the spacecraft Condor with pilot Macer carrying a Havoc weapon to destroy the place. On the arrival, they find two terrorists but are trapped in Halo by weird worms that are attracted by technology. And in five hours the sun will rise. nightfall_ep4_thumbnail-acaede7a32894c11b02b02d1aed17f0f_702-19dfc3fa065d4f60a5c6c1e035419b59Halo: Nightfall is a good and underrated sci-fi adventure. The story was released edited on Blu-ray as a feature and it works. I have glanced at the negative reviews and apparently they belong to fans of a video game that are not satisfied with the movie. However, for those like me that do not play the game, this movie is highly entertaining.

REVIEW: HALO 4: FORWARD UNTO DAWN

 

CAST

Thom Green (Camp)
Anna Popplewell (Reign)
Enisha Brewster (Footloose)
Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel)
Masam Holden (Elizabethtown)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Iain Belcher (Ungodly Acts)
Osric Chau (2012)
Katerina Katelieva (Evangeline)
Daniel Cudmore (X-Men 2)
Alex Puccinelli (Finding Dory)
Jen Taylor (Darkest Day)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)

In 2525, as mankind has begun to colonise space, a group of cadets are training to fight against human insurrectionists. One of these cadets, Thomas Lasky, has doubts about his abilities as a soldier and his convictions for this war. Whilst he struggles with himself, the planet is invaded by an unknown alien race. Reeling under the assault, Lasky and his squad mates are rescued by John-117, one of the UNSC’s legendary SPARTAN-II super-soldiers. John must inspire Lasky to fulfill his potential as a soldier and a leader to fight against an enemy deadlier than any that humanity has faced before.Standing alone, Forward Unto Dawn is visually stunning, aesthetically sound, and superb talent on both sides of the camera. In my opinion, Forward Unto Dawn’s storyline was not intended to be a stand alone story, but instead as a lead up story to be used in unison with the Halo 4 video game. The character building within the series was centered around Cadet Lasky. It was also about Lasky’s first meeting with John-117, as a flashback/memory. Forward Unto Dawn was also intended to bring more fans of the series to the Halo books.