Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

SHANNARA CHRONICLES Season 1

The Shannara Chronicles
 

A television series adaptation of the Shannara books by Terry Brooks
Genre: post-apocalyptic fantasy
Format: dvd box set

 

About The Shannara Chronicles:
 

The Shannara Chronicles roughly follows the storylines set out in The Elfstones of Shannara, set in the fictional Four Lands. As the series opens, demons start to return after being banished from this world to a place known as the Forbidding — locked by an ancient tree called the Ellcrys. The series chronicles the journey of Wil, Amberle and Eretria who, with the guidance of the last druid Allanon, must go on a quest to protect the Ellcrys from dying and releasing all the banished demons back into the Four Lands.

Source: Info in the About The Shannara Chronicles was taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shannara_Chronicles on 29/05/2017.

 

Book Trailer:

 

ALLANON

Allanon

My Thoughts:

For some reason I kinda imagined Allanon to be Gandalf-like, not that I’m complaining about Manu Bennett, mind. 🙂

The main reason I stopped reading the The Sword Of Shannara, four chapters in, is that I got annoyed with the “too stupid to live” (TSTL) element in it. I was kinda hoping that this would get lost in the translation from the book into TV series. That, was wishful thinking… *sigh*… With our heroes/heroines being TSTL, it’s a good thing that our villains are such incompetent, eh?! Otherwise the fight of good versus evil is lost. As if that is not enough, Poppy Drayton can’t act… *another sigh*… But anyway, the world building is beautiful. The cinematic effects are great and almost flawless. The plot is not bad. And, I really, really like the premise! **says the fantasy geek in me** Hopefully season 2 will see less TSTL and more kick-ass fantasy! By the way, is season 2 really happening??

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 4.5
Acting = 3.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Plot = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 


 

FTC Disclosure:

This box set was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

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05/06/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, Cherry's reviews, dystopian, fantasy, review, Shannara, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TV Series Review: GAME OF THRONES (Season 1, Episode 1)

Game Of Thrones
Season 1, Episode 1
Starring Sean Bean, et al. An HBO show.
Genre: medieval fantasy
Format: dvd box set

 

About Game Of Thrones:

Game of Thrones is an American epic fantasy television series created for HBO by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones. Filmed in a Belfast studio and on location elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland, and Morocco, it premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011. The series has been renewed for a fourth season, to air in 2014.

The series, set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos at the end of a decade-long summer, interweaves several plot lines. The first follows the members of several noble houses in a civil war for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the rising threat of the impending winter and the mythical creatures of the North; the third chronicles the attempts of the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed dynasty to reclaim the throne. Through its morally ambiguous characters, the series explores issues of social hierarchy, religion, civil war, sexuality, crime and punishment. It is the most recent big-budget work to have contributed to the popularity of the fantasy genre in mainstream media.

Game of Thrones has obtained an exceptionally broad and active international fan base. It received widespread acclaim by critics, although its use of nudity has been criticized. The series won numerous awards and nominations — including two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in Long Form, and a Peabody Award. Among the ensemble cast, Peter Dinklage won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Tyrion Lannister.

Source: Info in the About Game Of Thrones was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_of_Thrones on 16/04/2013.

 

Review:

I bought this DVD box set because the hype looked good. But when I started watching this show I could barely get through the first episode and I have to have lots of breaks because the show does not keep my attention and my mind keeps wandering away while I was watching. I was thinking that this might be one of those shows that gets better as it went along but the first episode is not that riveting. An audience has to persevere to get through the first dvd… and am still waiting for the good part to appear.

Let’s talk about casting. I think they hit paydirt when they took on Sean Bean, he fits the role like a glove. Like he was born to be Ned Stark. Now Daenerys Targaryen is described as a very beautiful woman such that her beauty is supposed to be renowned in all the realms. Emilia Clarke is pretty enough but her beauty is “homey” and more like a “girl-next-door” kind. Not the kind which is renowned in all the realms. It didn’t fit. Now I haven’t read the book, so those of you who have read the book and watched the show, tell me what you think of Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen? Speaking of the books, George R.R. Martin is currently writing book 6 of the 7-book series. Book 5 took him 5 years to write. If we follow that pattern, does it mean that book 6 will get published in what? 2015? Book 7 in 2020? What happens to the show then? Stalled? Cancelled? Or the show diverges from the books and gets it’s own story? …and this series gets an alternate story? I think I will wait for the answer to that question before proceeding with this dvd box set because then I can decide better whether this show is worth wasting my time with or not. As it stands, I can barely stay with the show halfway through Episode 2 before abandoning it entirely.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Attention to details = 4
Acting = 3.5
Cinematography = 4
Casting = 3
Character development = 3
Story itself = 2.5
World building = 4

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

14/04/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, book to TV series, Cherry's reviews, epic fantasy, Game Of Thrones, HBO, review, Sean Bean, TV series, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: SANCTUARY (Season 1)

Sanctuary TV series
Season 1
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: DVD box set
Starring Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, Christopher Heyerdahl, among others.

About Sanctuary TV series:

The first season of the Canadian science fiction–fantasy television series Sanctuary premiered on the Sci Fi Channel in the United States on October 3, 2008, and concluded on ITV4 in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2009, after 13 episodes. It follows the actions of a secret organization known as the Sanctuary, who track down a series of creatures known as abnormals, and then bring them to the Sanctuary for refuge. The main story arc of the season involves the Sanctuary working against the Cabal, an organization who seek to control all abnormals for their own gain. Amanda Tapping, Robin Dunne, Emilie Ullerup, and Christopher Heyerdahl are billed in the opening credits as the main cast.

Source: Info in the About Sanctuary TV series was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctuary_%28season_1%29 on 09/01/2013.

Show Trailer:

Show Links:
www.sanctuaryforall.com
imdb
Sanctuary TV series at Wikipedia

Review:

Now, I bought this dvd because I like the premise. I am an old urban fantasy fan, that is why I like the Supernatural and the Grimm TV shows. And I was hoping this TV series would be the same. But I’ve never seen a show with so bad an acting! Combine that with poor attention to detail and you get a show which wouldn’t win prizes. I’ve only managed to go through the first disc and packed the whole season 1 box set away because it was just that bad. I was not surprised that the show was cancelled. What surprised me was that it went as far as 4 seasons. The episodes I’ve seen thus far were all night settings. The show was all dark and never seen the light of day. That gets boring after some time. What kind of world is it that is always night? Unless that is the premise of course, but that is not that kind of world in this show so that one got old. Real fast. The cinematography was not that bad. The mixing of live actors with the supernatural elements was seamless. That was good. But it could not cover for the fact that Emilie Ullerup couldn’t act.

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 3
Overall Acting = 2
Story Itself = 4
World building = 4
Attention To Detail = 1

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

04/04/2014 Posted by | 2 cherries, Amanda Tapping, Cherry's reviews, Christopher Heyerdahl, DVD box set, Emilie Ullerup, review, Robin Dunne, Sanctuary, TV series, TV series review | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ANGEL (Seasons 2-5)

Angel
Seasons 2 to 5
Starring David Boreanaz.
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: dvd box set

About Angel:

At the start of the series, Angel has just moved to Los Angeles. He is soon visited by Doyle, a messenger sent to him on behalf of The Powers That Be. Doyle receives visions that can guide Angel on his mission as a champion of humankind. Angel also encounters Cordelia Chase, who is trying to launch an acting career. The three group together to form Angel Investigations, a detective agency that hopes to “help the helpless.” When Doyle dies in the episode “Hero”, he passes on his ‘visions’ to Cordelia with a kiss. Shortly thereafter, the ex-Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, joins the group. Meanwhile, the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart pay increasing attention to Angel. They tempt him toward darkness when they resurrect Darla, Angel’s ex-lover and sire — killed by Angel in the first season of Buffy in the episode “Angel”.

Source: Info in the About Angel was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_%28TV_series%29 on 25/02/2013.

Review:

I struggled with the first half of the first Season of the Angel show but because I haven’t got any better to watch, I eventually got through the first Season. And by the end of Season 1 I was an Angel show fan. Despite the annoyances along the way, I continued to be an Angel show fan. Until almost to the end of Season 5, that was. Okey so good and evil is very flexible in this world which I think made the fantastical world of Angel more realistic in the sense that it mirrors very closely what is good and evil in us humans. This made the show easy to identify with by the audience which in turns draws more followers in which I was one of them. Some shows carry this ambiguous presentation of good and evil with aplomb and sometimes not. In the Angel show, the creators almost got away with it. But I think they tried too hard or something and the cracks were showing. That I didn’t like. In fact it dialed down my Angel show fan-hood almost to nothing. In a way that was good and in a way it was not. It was good because there were no more Angel shows. It was bad because I would have rather keep my fantasy bubble. Anyway, The “cracks” first appeared when they tried too hard to make Cordellia one of the good guys and a bigger role. That didn’t sold. It didn’t tally that a selfish, superficial bitch could care that much for people she didn’t know and could not give her money or anything else but pain and suffering which is what was suppose to be her motivator. There is a huge inconsistency in the character development there. Sure a person could change, but not that much. Not a 180 degrees turn around. No matter that Charisma Carpenter portrayed the character really well. Then the creators sort of contradicted themselves by taking out Lindsey McDonald as a bad guy in the end. As I recon it, Lindsey McDonald is more consistent to become good than Cordelia Chase ever did. And I was royally annoyed with that inconsistency! It burst my “fantasy bubble” which I would have preferred to keep. By the end of Season 5, I was not much of a fan anymore. I would say that the Angel show could have been made better if given the chance to continue into further seasons as a TV series rather than cut off abruptly but they way it is now, I would rate it a 3.5 out of 5.

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 3
Acting = 4
Character development = 3
Story itself = 3
World building = 4
Attention to detail = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

13/03/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, Angel, David Boreanaz, DVD box set, review, TV series, TV series review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: GRIMM (Season 2, Episodes 10-22) TV Series

GRIMM
TV series starring David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby and Silas Weir Mitchell. Brought to us by NBC.
Season 2, Episodes 10 to 22
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: iTunes download

 

About Grimm:

Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland Police Bureau learns he is descended from a line of “guardians” known as “Grimms”, charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures (called Wesen, pronounced as “vessin”) of the world. Throughout the episodes, he must battle against an assortment of dangerous creatures, with help from his friend Monroe (who is a reformed creature), and his partner Detective Hank Griffin.

The second season of the NBC American supernatural drama series Grimm premiered on August 13, 2012. It is set to consist of 22 episodes. The series, created by David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf and Stephen Carpenter, follows a descendant of the Grimm line, Nick Burkhardt, as he deals with being a cop, and trying not to expose his secret as a Grimm.

Source: Info in the About Grimm was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm_%28TV_series%29 on 20/11/2012 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm_%28season_2%29 on 20/01/2013.

 

Show Trailer:

 

Show Links:
Grimm at NBC
Grimm at Wikipedia
Grimm Wiki
Grimm at imdb

 

My Thoughts:

Is it just me or am I seeing doubles? Or maybe I’m watching too many urban fantasy shows. But looks to me like there is a cross-polination of actors across urban fantasy shows. First there was Mark Pellegrino from Supernatural showing up in Grimm. Then there was Jessica Tuck from True Blood. But I have to say that James Frain plays a very good supernatural villain in every show!

I couldn’t wait for the dvd box set to get available anymore and finally caved in and downloaded from iTunes as they become available in my neck of woods. What I didn’t expect was for the show to develop a cliffhanger fetish! Sure, I know that the season will most likely end in a cliffhanger as serieses tends to do and as the last season did. But for the episodes to end in cliffhangers as well from Episode 20 of Season 2 onward, was not something I appreciated! And it’s driving me up the wall! I try to keep telling myself that this is a learning curve, that this TV show has now clearly developed a cliffhanger fetish and not to download from iTunes anymore but buy the dvd boxset instead. I try! Still annoyed… As if that is not enough, Portland Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt seems to develop a too stupid to live (TSTL) tendencies as well. WTF!! Nick was a very sensible hero up until Episode 22. Character inconsitency much?! This was abviously the writers’ attempt to create a plot so that the heroes could show off and save the world. I blame the weak plot more than a character development flaw here. If the writers couldn’t write a plausible plot then they ought to be fired… I was really happy with this show’s Season 2 up until Edpisode 22 hit, thus the less than 5 rating.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 5
Script/Story Itself = 4
World building = 5
Attention To Detail = 4
Character development = 4
Plot = 3.5
Acting = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

09/03/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, David Guintoli, Grimm, NBC, Nick Burkhardt, review, Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, TV series, TV series review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ANGEL (Season 1, Episodes 9 to Finale)

Angel
Season 1, Episode 9 to Season Finale
Starring David Boreanaz.
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: dvd box set

 

About Angel:

At the start of the series, Angel has just moved to Los Angeles. He is soon visited by Doyle, a messenger sent to him on behalf of The Powers That Be. Doyle receives visions that can guide Angel on his mission as a champion of humankind. Angel also encounters Cordelia Chase, who is trying to launch an acting career. The three group together to form Angel Investigations, a detective agency that hopes to “help the helpless.” When Doyle dies in the episode “Hero”, he passes on his ‘visions’ to Cordelia with a kiss. Shortly thereafter, the ex-Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, joins the group. Meanwhile, the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart pay increasing attention to Angel. They tempt him toward darkness when they resurrect Darla, Angel’s ex-lover and sire — killed by Angel in the first season of Buffy in the episode “Angel”.

Source: Info in the About Angel was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_%28TV_series%29 on 25/02/2013.

 

Review:

I bought the 5 Seasons Angel dvd box set originally because I wanted more David Boreanaz goodness having been addicted to his Special Agent Seeley Booth character in the Bones TV show. At first I wasn’t too keen on his Angel persona. But after Season 1, I was a convert. The Season still ended in a cliffhanger, of course, but I got 4 more Seasons to go! Yay for me!! So the disappointment is deterred for another day. It is still very obvious though that this show was filmed during the times before sophisticated 3D computer animation was widely used in television. Because I could distinctly see the difference. In what I could only term as “smoothness” in the blending of elements in the show, or transition from scene to scene or whatever, in television now-a-days. The absence of this “smoothness” is sometimes quite distinct in the Angel show at times. I think this “smoothness” is quite important specially in a fantasy show because it plays an important role in being extra convincing that the supernatural elements in the show is authentic and not plastic props. Helps the audience forget the props and therefore adds to the enjoyment in the watching experience. But then again we have to remember that this show was filmed more than ten years ago. We have to be fair and give them credit for a good job without the advanced technology that film-making enjoys now-a-days… I still have questions about the world building though but I am now willing to put those issues in the back burner for the pleasurable few hours that an Angel show offers!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 4
Acting = 4
Character development = 3
Story itself = 4
World building = 4
Attention to details = 3.5

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

16/02/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, Angel, Cherry's reviews, David Boreanaz, DVD box set, review, TV series, TV series review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ANGEL (Season 1, Episodes 1-8)

Angel
Season 1, Episodes 1 to 8, Discs 1 & 2
Starring David Boreanaz.
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: dvd box set

About Angel:

At the start of the series, Angel has just moved to Los Angeles. He is soon visited by Doyle, a messenger sent to him on behalf of The Powers That Be. Doyle receives visions that can guide Angel on his mission as a champion of humankind. Angel also encounters Cordelia Chase, who is trying to launch an acting career. The three group together to form Angel Investigations, a detective agency that hopes to “help the helpless.” When Doyle dies in the episode “Hero”, he passes on his ‘visions’ to Cordelia with a kiss. Shortly thereafter, the ex-Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, joins the group. Meanwhile, the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart pay increasing attention to Angel. They tempt him toward darkness when they resurrect Darla, Angel’s ex-lover and sire — killed by Angel in the first season of Buffy in the episode “Angel”.

Source: Info in the About Angel was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_%28TV_series%29 on 25/02/2013.

Angel Season 1 Trailer:

Review:

I admit that I only bought the Angel dvd box set Seasons 1 to 5 because I wanted more David Boreanaz goodness, having been addicted to his Special Agent Seeley Booth character! But Angel is not Agent Booth. Rather silly of me to want it to be so! Anyway, I originally planned to have a “5 seasons of Angel” marathon. It didn’t quite go as planned. What happened instead was that it took me several months just to get through 2 discs of the first season. WTF! What was that all about?? Hey, I am suppose to be an urban fantasy geek! So why do I like David Boreanaz more as Agent Booth rather than Angel?? What happened??

By the very nature of the world building in this show it has to incorporate fantastical elements with the more mundane world. And I think the special effects people and cinematographic team needs to be given credit for the great job they did. It looks seamless and believable in the screen. The world building though has a hole in it. Just like any other urban fantasy with hidden supernatural world living alongside the normal one. Simply because there would always be selfish, greedy and/or out-and-out stupid people (supernatural or otherwise) who thinks they can benefit by outing the secret. Some authors/scriptwriters are able to pull it off. I haven’t watched Buffy, but I don’t think that this issue has been clearly explained in the world of Angel. I am still hoping that they would address this sometime along the series.

I think David Boreanaz fits the character of Angel very well. However I don’t really like the character of Cordelia Chase. Oh I think Charisma Carpenter portrayed her well. It’s just that Cordelia‘s character of a down-on-her-luck superbitch do not fit the “superhero team” membership at all. Oh, the show tried, but I don’t think it really gelled. It just doesn’t ring true. Although I can see that Cordelia doesn’t seem to be part of the rest of the Angel show anymore from ?Season 3? onward? Maybe the show makers did do something about it. I’ll just have to watch the rest of the dvd box set…

Empirical Evaluation:
Cinematography = 4
Acting = 4
Character development = 3
Story itself = 4
World building = 3
Attention to details = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

12/01/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, Angel, Cherry's reviews, David Boreanaz, review, TV series, TV series review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment