• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole

TITLE: Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole

YEAR: 2010

GENRE: Animation, Family and War

Every year there seems to be a few select movies that “fall between the cracks” and do not do as well at the theaters as the quality of the final product dictates. This can be blamed on uneven marketing budgets between films, movies that cater to the lowest common denominator and take ticket sales away from better films, and the public being willing to accept sub-par products over quality films because the above mentioned marketing companies who are more than happy to lead the mindless masses over the proverbial cliff. Sometimes these films are later discovered when they hit DVD and are credited for being the good movies that they are. This is especially true in animated films, and Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole is one of those quality overlooked films. Legend Of The Guardians is a great film that is more than just a quality kid’s film; in addition, it is one of the better anti-war films of the last ten years.

Young owl Soren is enamored as a young owl by the stories of “The Guardians”, a legendary flock of warrior owls from the trees of Ga’Hoole that protect the more innocent and weak owls from an evil group of owls called The Pure Ones. Soren, like any other child, acts out the stories in his play and imagination. Soren and his brother Kludd are later kidnapped by the above mentioned bad guys and are forced into a training/concentration camp to train the unwilling birds to be part of The Pure Ones. Soren escapes and searches out the renowned warrior owls, and upon finding “The Guardians” leads them to the camp where The Pure Ones are doing their evil deeds. This leads to a great battle that will surely become the stuff of legends to be passed on to Soren’s chicks and his chicks’ children.

My favorite aspect of this film was the anti-war message and the sharing that the virtues of battle are not as great as its horrors. This is displayed in the film when Soren meets one of the Guardians who is the stuff of legend to the flock. Soren is expecting a more noble bird, but what he gets is a scarred up, brooding beast; one eye is gouged shut, he is covered in scars, and his plumage has obviously been plucked through years of battle, age, and bitterness. One of the most powerful scenes in any animated film is when the Guardian owl looks deep into Soren’s eyes with his scarred, deformed face and says “This is what war looks like!” The flight scenes are especially beautiful and striking, and the fight scenes are inspired and have tremendous creative flow. Many of the battle scenes could have come straight out of 300 if it was enacted by owls, which makes sense considering Zach Snyder is the director of both films. The movie also has a natural flow to the script and the storyline is natural and fluid in its progression.

This is not the best film for kids as it can be too intense for the little ones, but Legend Of The Guardians is a quality film that deserves a look. More mature audiences (ten and up) will find this film to be a beautifully made production that has a lot to say about war and its so-called glories. This would be an interesting film to discuss with kids about current world happenings, but it also should be viewed by film buffs for its artistic beauty and quality screenwriting. Fans of more mature kid-oriented films such as Watership Down, The Secret Of NIMH and The Dark Crystal are going to find a new friend in Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole. Not a must purchase, but definitely one that should go to the top of your rental list. You might find that it eventually ends up in your collection.

* * * *

–Mark

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