Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga?Hoole 3D Bluray Review by Neil Gardner

Legend of the Guardians Triple Play Blu-ray 3D
Unlike many others, I quite enjoy 3D movies at home. OK, so they are not as spectacular as when you go to see a well-made 3D movie at a well-appointed cinema (Avengers Assemble is the top 3D movie to date for me), but on a 50 inch LG 3D HD TV (wow, there?s a lot of initials!) in the company of good friends and with snacks and a drinky, 3D movies really can work well in the home. However, so far, I?ve struggled to find one that I would consider using as the go-to movie to show off the system to doubting Thomases. Avatar 3D is superb, but not quite the experience I thought it would be. Tron legacy is somewhat flat. Thor and Captain America look nice but the 3D action can be blurry. Only the animated films, such as Up, Toy Story 3 or Despicable Me really bring home the 3D bacon, and even then it doesn?t always make me think ?Wow!?

So, ?Legend of the Guardians?, drops in through the letter box, all lenticular covered and cheesey-looking owls, and I have no clue that this CGI movie is going to make my jaw drop. First off, this is a Zack Snyder movie, yes the man who splits opinion (personally I love 300 and Sucker Punch but hated Watchmen?for many others it is the other way around!) and is chock full of top antipodean (and UK) acting chops. The movie is fully CGI, no mish-mash of styles. And what animation?! This has to be THE definitive 3D movie experience for the home. A movie accessible and entertaining for kids and adults, never too twee, never too adult-themed. The animation is stunning, glorious, beautiful, unsurpassed. Honestly, I know I am laying it on thick, but this was a revelation for me. I love animated movies and have a massive collection of them, but Legend of the Guardians tops everything. The owls look sumptuous, the environments are eye-achingly wondrous, and the 3D is so well handled that you almost forget you are wearing those annoying glasses.

OK, let me tell you about the movie. It is a tale of two young owl brothers, one a realist the other a dreamer. They are kidnapped by some evil owls (stay with me on this) and forced to join an army of fascist owls who want to take over the owl world (keep up). The realist owl joins up, while the dreamer escapes (with a tiny female owl in tow) and tries to reach the legendary Guardians, good owls who legend tells defeated the evil ones once before. On the way he meets new owl chums, a mad prophet echidna and learns all about what it means to be a Guardian. Then there is a big owl battle with extra evil bats thrown in for good measure, some brother-on-brother owl fight action and a whole heap of touch-feely moralistic mumbo jumbo. Yup, it wins no prizes for originality or subtlety, but so what?! It is a fun, entertaining plot with funny characters, interesting locations and relevant ethics.

I will have to say it one more time, the 3D on this movie is exquisite. No blurring or jerkiness, none of the usual ?out of the screen? nonsense. Snyder & co have used the 3D to great effect and done so without gimmicks. The depth is impressive and the feeling of ?real world? works extremely well. The 3D pulls you in rather than sticking out at you. I will definitely be using this movie to show off 3D at home to friends and family.

The 3D Blu-ray package is good value, including the 3D and 2D Blu-ray editions plus a digital copy. There are plenty of extras including an ?explore the world of Ga?hoole? feature, the original bedtime story, music video, artwork galleries and a great documentary about real owls. All in all a great buy that will entertain just about anyone. For me, this is another success for Zack Snyder and his team. Great use of CGI in a way that is mesmerising and memorable. 5 out of 5.

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