The Shannara Chronicles Review

Discussion in 'Entertainment News & Gossip' started by Rac80, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    The Shannara Chronicles aired on MTv on Tuesday night as a 2 hour movie. They made the next two episodes available today to watch as well. Overall it is a visually stunning show. The production values are very high.

    Here is my take on the aspects of the show:

    The casting is very good. I wasn’t sure about John Rhys-Davis as King Eventine, (too old and short) but he has the voice and magnetism to carry it off. I was very impressed with the casting of Manu Bennett as Allanon – he isn’t as large or as old but he has PRESENCE on the screen and made a very convincing Allanon. Austin Butler is very good as Wil Ohmsford- much less whiney than the book’s version of Wil is. Poppy Drayton is well cast as Amberle. She is feisty and yet vulnerable. Ivana Baquero isn’t nearly as gorgeous or seductive as Ereteria is described in the book. But she is an adequate actress. The rest of the casting is pretty well done.

    The sets are gorgeous, but they have conflated the time line terribly. The setting is post-apocalyptic; the “Great Wars” were only 30 years OR 300 years in the past. They were not consistent with that at all. The post apocalyptic look would be more appropriate for the books of the Genesis of Shannara series– set 2 to 3 thousand years earlier. (Also after watching Life without People – I understand that most of our structures and “stuff” will last less than 200 years.) I liked the look of Arborlon (Elven capital city) and the Ellcrys is majestic. The countryside is okay….but as I said too post-apocalyptic for the story timeline.

    The special effects are amazing. Yep a couple of the scenes were a bit too gooey for me- but then I don’t like ewwie-gooey stuff! I loved the special effects of the Elfstones and the leaves falling from the Ellcrys. The demons are convincing and the changeling was excellent. They make Arborlon look like an “alien” city – it is not “human”. The costuming is good, the elves clothing doesn’t look like basic materials - has an exotic look.

    They have taken a lot of liberties with the storyline. They had the author involved with the rewrites so I am not as “outraged” as I would be had they willy-nilly taken over his work. They combined the character of the Dagda Mor (a demon) with the former Druid, Brona (also known as the Warlock Lord in the Sword of Shannara)- thus also shortening the timeline. It got a bit confusing if you listened to Allanon explain that the Dagda Mor had been trapped by the Ellcrys for thousands of year, but they fought Brona 30 years ago. Yep a nitpicker I know. They have added new characters- from Eventine’s sister- Pyria- Allanon’s old flame (uh no!) to Bandon – a seer. They are not too irritating and help the storyline along. Also as part of the shortened time-line Wil is not Shea’s grandson but his son. Flick and Shea had a falling out and the magic drove Shea crazy- very different from the books – because Shea was a larger percentage of elf the use of the elfstones did not affect him at all- but does affect Wil. They did steal the “Magic always comes with a Price” from Once Upon a Time- that is no where in any of the books. They have changed some of the mythology – the Ellcrys leaves are not trapped demons, the trolls do not wear old gas masks, and the Ellcrys chooses the chosen – it’s not a race.

    Overall, it is an interesting and fun fantasy series I feel. There is enough “familiar” to me that I found myself really enjoying it! Because it has been changed from the books, I find myself interested in what other changes they have made. MTv has done a wonderful job translating it to the small screen. I don’t feel they have added “angst” to the storyline at all. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.


    Rac80
     
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  2. Gatefan1976

    Gatefan1976 Well Known GateFan

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    I'll give this a go on the 20th when it comes out here :)
     
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  3. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    I agree with most of this except for a few things. I don't think Amberle is well cast nor portrayed accurately. She wasn't a character from "The Hunger Games" but that's how the show portrays her. And I did find parts of the show to be "angsty".

    I agree that Erertia isn't anywhere near as appealing as she is in the book. I think the casting and styling of the character could have been done much better.
     
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  4. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    did you watch all 4 eps ape?
     
  5. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    No, I've only seen the first episode so please no spoilers.
     
  6. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    if you saw the preview you saw one and two (double ep)-- the next two eps are available on demand or on MTv's website. No spoilers kiddo
     
  7. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    I'm not too fond of the changes I admit.
     
  8. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    why can't anyone just follow the books? for any story--

    money and production time I guess

    though I thought LOTR's (and other movies) did show that it was possible to be more true to source material with SFX--and New Zealand

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    just what is the timeline for the books anyhow?

    didn't someone here say that the elves were 'hidden' for thousands of yrs?

    is that during our present time or after or a combo?

    were the great wars-that you say are 30 yrs old- involve all the races? did humans still have our modern weaponry during those wars?

    and why don't the elves use something more advanced then swords, arrows and spears (or will they)?

    I demand clarity in my fantasy damb it!!! :icon_lol:
     
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  9. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    Okay, episode #2 was okay, albeit a bit too speeded-up for my taste in parts. The next episode looks kind of lame to be honest. I suspect it's more mid-season filler.
     
  10. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    so i wiki wowed Shannara novels

    it seems as if now is the right time for someone like me-with no exposure-to begin reading them in the chronological setting rather then in the order published

    with a pre-quel trilogy and several sequels-it seems much more coherent to read it this way

    have to find some cheap copies on amazon!

    <BTW-just reading the novel wiki-I can tell that the show is going way off the timeline and character/plot issues of the books--just saying>
     
  11. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    I don't like the way they have old vehicles in the background of scenes. That's just dumb. It wasn't like that in the books from what I remember.
     
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  12. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    and the thing about it--you know me with my nit picking-they showed old helo's sitting around at least in two shots. they showed them all rusted. helo's are made from aluminum and,though I am not entirely sure (cause if I said "do not" or "never would" then I am sure some science person would sharpshoot me) they would not rust no matter how much time
    past

    and the other vehicles-with all the time past,wouldn't they just be gone and crumbled by this time? definitively not something a person could use as a part of a home

    are the TPTBs somehow trying to tie in the "death of mankind/save the planet" theme of current day into the show by displaying all of this stuff from the "Dead" human world? They ARE appealing to the demo that has been raised on all the "Save the planet" stuff-put it into entertainment to 'cement' the belief?

    IDK for sure-haven't read the books
     
  13. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    They are trying to recon the story somewhat. I don't like it.
     
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  14. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    the targeted audience:
    tweens, teens and twenty somethings all raised on the fodder of the "new education" where there are no winners, no absolutes and "what you feel" is more imp then what one knows added to the "we have to save the planet" bias in education today + what seems to be a great source material story = disaster(?)

    but it will sell a lot of commercial slots and products

    I am thinking I will just dvr it and maybe watch a bunch of eps at once, maybe it will seem better that way?
     
  15. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    I recommend reading the books if you're into this type of stuff. As for the show, I don't know that it will be any better if you watch it all in one go or not.

    I guess I shouldn't be too critical as it's a TV show and the budget probably precludes doing things better than they already are. I just wish it hued a bit closer to the style of the books instead of being like a knock-off of Teen Wolf.
     
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  16. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    The show is going okay so far, not great, but okay. Still not liking the teen angst style of the relationships, but what can ya do.
     
  17. Errant of Patha

    Errant of Patha GateFans Member

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    Is the show an angst-y Legend of the Seeker?
     
  18. Tripler

    Tripler Well Known GateFan

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    I have not read the books either but I like the show . It's has beautifully locations . Has a bit of the lord of the rings look and feel to it on a much lower scale of course . I've always enjoyed anything that John Ryhs Davies is in .

    ;) ;) ;)
     
  19. shavedape

    shavedape Well Known GateFan Staff Member

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    The books are cool. They aren't anywhere near as teen angst as the show is. But the show does an okay job of telling the story...so far. I wish it was better but I understand their budget is limited. It will be interesting to see how far they take the season compared to the book.
     
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  20. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    NZealand

    I am waiting for a Maori war dance to be cleverly fitted in somewhere

    they did it in LOTR's--easier to pick up in the extended version, but it is in the regular one I believe also.
     
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