movie: legends of the guardians

"legend of the guardians" directed by zack snyderLEGENDS OF THE GUARDIANS is a movie about owls. obviously. and i really wasn’t interested in watching it. i don’t know. ever since i quit my previous job, i’ve been really picky with the movies i watch. probably because i didn’t want to spend on a bad movie–even before i knew for sure it was bad.

and then i was asked to attend the advanced screening of LEGENDS OF THE GUARDIANS, and i didn’t decline. it was: (a) a welcome distraction from all the research i’ve been doing, (b) it’s been a while since i last wrote an article for, and (c) well, it’s a paying job. you don’t decline jobs.

well, i don’t usually.

it was a good thing i did accept the writing job. i was wrong about LEGENDS OF THE GUARDIANS. it was a good movie. but it’s still not a movie i’d be willing to pay for. because it’s in 3D.

of course there’s also a 2D version of the movie, but i’ve already written about my gripe with 3D movies before. i actually readied myself for this movie: taking an aspirin in advance. it did help my 3D experience a little bit.

now, where was i.

i wrote about the LEGENDS OF THE GUARDIANS movie for, so you can read my article there. but i’m also going to be writing about it some more over here. as i couldn’t go that much into detail for my writing assignment.

"legend of the guardians" featuring the voice of jim sturgessLEGENDS OF THE GUARDIANS is a story about sibling rivalry gone extreme; two brothers are kidnapped, taken into an evil lair and made to choose: join the supreme race, or be one of the enslaved many. obviously the two brothers make different decisions.

one brother, soren, goes on a quest to search for the legendary guardians: owls that would prevent the rise of the evil “pure ones”. and the other brother, kludd, goes into training to become of the best “pure one” soldier.

truth be told, i felt that the movie was too short. we get the exposition where we see the world of owls, we get the conflict of the kidnapping, the escape, and the quest. and then after that, it was just a matter of minutes before the movie was over. it didn’t just feel like the movie was too short; clocking in at 90 minutes. so at the end of it all, you get this sense that not everything was told, and that a lot of things were rushed so we could get an ending.

but i commend the writer of the movie for the premise. it’s a great film to put up for discussion. as i mentioned in the article i wrote, parents should be ready to discuss the themes of the movie with their kids. because it’s that kind of a movie. you get a lot of questions, and you get some of the answers. the rest, you have to discuss with your family, or your friends. because for some of the movie’s questions, there’s no right or wrong answer.

now, why do i commend the writer of the movie and not the writer of the book series? (yes, the movie is based on a book series for those who don’t know.) mainly because i don’t think it’s the same story. i’ve read the synopses of the books, and while they have the same structure, the same journey (for the most part), and maybe a bit of the same premise, they’re really not the same.

the books had the brothers on opposite sides of the battle from the get go. the movie gave kludd a chance to go back to the good side–by splitting his book counterpart into two characters, if i understood the synopses correctly. and i think this is a very important deviation since it offers up a chance for the characters to have complete happy ending.

not that they get it. and take from that what you will.

i have no major complaint about the movie, it is solid if a little rushed. but there is one tiny detail that i can’t let go: the lack of consequence. in the end of the film, and this is a little bit spoiler-y, the parents of soren and kludd show up again. and they never talk to their children about what happened to kludd.

as parents, i believe it is their responsibility to confront that issue: why did kludd go bad? so i’ll leave that to the movie-watchers to explain it to their kids, or younger siblings. confront the issues of the movies. don’t waste the lessons from the owls.


6 thoughts on “movie: legends of the guardians

  1. The trailer of this movie looked odd but good. It’s a very weird starting point for a movie, but I think with a book series to back it up this one can run for a bit.

    I’m with you on 3D though. It sucks. End of.

  2. We probably saw different trailers then; the trailer I saw never appealed to me. It came off as just another animated movie that stars an animal and is an epic adventure waiting to happen.

    The one thing I thought of, after seeing the trailer, was: “not another one of those.”

    Though, now that I’ve seen it, the movie is a solid start for a slew of movies that they have to base on the books. I’m good with the way they’re making it different from the book series, and I’d like to see where they take the movie. I just hope they manage to maintain, or make better, what they’ve done so far.

    As for 3D, I’ve only seen one movie that I think would’ve been worth to see on an actual 3D theater: Step Up 3. Because the dance moves? Were awesome. And would’ve probably looked amazing in 3D.

    The rest of the 3D movies I’ve seen were way better in 2D. Except Resident Evil: Afterlife, which sucked. But that wasn’t a 2D/3D problem. It was just really poorly written.

  3. I read your article. I love this observation about 3D: “A lot of 3D movies rely on the 3D effects to wow the audience. Legends of the Guardians uses the 3D aspect differently by bringing the details of this fantastical world more vividly to life.” At some point 3D movies rely on 3D aesthetics to invigorate or to give life to the old 2D realism in cinema that we’ve been experience since CITIZEN KANE (Orson Welles, 1941) and LA REGLE DE JEU (The Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir, 1939). This is the new realism in cinema but it is still highly debated in Europe and the United States by film academicians. I seemed to recall my stimulating conversation with Avie Felix, a member of the UPFI faculty, about the 3D aesthetics after reading your observation. 😀 ciao! more power. nakita ko link mo kay WILL. Goodluck sa contest nya! sana manalo tayo! LOL!

    • Thank you for reading my article. 🙂

      I’m not really familiar wit the debate about new realism in cinema, but I am happy that there is a debate about the 3D aesthetics that are now available in film-making. As I’ve already said (in my post), I’m not a fan of 3D; but if movies start utilizing 3D more for its story-telling potential, then maybe I won’t be so antagonistic about it.

      And again, thank you! There’s nothing better than a comment that may lead to a discussion.

      [Also, good luck to the both of us!]

      • The debates were actually about the negative effects of using 3D mind you! LOL! Roger Ebert was against the idea (maybe because he is too traditional, no offense) but some cognitivists argued the possible eye damage of wearing 3D eye glasses in dark cinemas. They are doing a study right now as to what extent can a human eye tolerate the 3D aspect of the film on AVATAR. I think Time Magazine published the results about this. But, yeah, aside from the look of the film, there are a lot of issues about the physical effects of it to the viewer’s eye. i honestly hate wearing 3D glasses, its so distracting sometimes.



      • I think it’s important to lay down the facts about 3D–regardless if its positive, or negative. Or in the case of your discussion, negative effects.

        So far, from the 3D movies I’ve seen, I’m still not sold on the idea of having 3D in films. I remember Half-Blood Prince, which had 15 minute 3D sequence–that wasn’t fun. It wasn’t even important in the story. It was just WB riding the wave of 3D! [On a more positive note, I didn’t have to wear the glasses for the duration of the film.]

        We’re of the same mind about 3D glasses–it is distracting. But most of my distraction comes from the overthinking the sterilization procedures that the movie theaters are employing. I mean it’s just physical contact–but how do we know these glasses are really clean, right?

        Going back to the 3Dness of things; my stance is: if it doesn’t need to be 3D, why do it? And I’m looking at you, “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Men in Black 3”.

        Also, it would be very interesting to read the results of the human eyes’ tolerance of 3D films. I wonder if this is available online?

        Aloha! =)

        – Jason

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