The Shannara Chronicles

I caught the pilot of The Shannara Chronicles this week and I was blown away.

It is based on Terry Brooks’ Elfstones of Shannara, which in my humble opinion, was the best novel in his original Shannara trilogy.

When I was young, I started reading fantasy and sci-fi like most boys and one of the first I read was the Hobbit, which was fantastic. Thinking Lord of the Rings would be similarly amazing, I started reading that trilogy. I struggled to get through Fellowship, and started Two Towers but wasn’t able to finish as I felt they were simply too boring! Keep in mind, I was a young kid and had the attention span of a gnat. ;)

Then someone gave me a copy of Elfstones of Shannara for Christmas. I blew through the novel in two days, spending nearly ever waking moment pouring over the book. I honestly can’t remember what other stuff I got for Christmas that year, but Elfstones stuck with me and lead me to read his entire Shannara trilogy (back then, there was only one). Sword of Shannara was okay, but really reminded me of LOTR, while Wishsong of Shannara had similar elements to Elfstones and was a compelling read as well.

As for LOTR, I was able to read (and finish) the entire series years later, but it still didn’t seem as memorable as Brooks’ works had been.

Anyways, back to The Shannara Chronicles.

If I had to summarize it, I’d say it was great!

Sure, some things didn’t look similar to the artwork in the novel – Allanon for instance in the novel has long flowing jet black hair and wears a full length robe, while the demons were closer to dark, shadow-like beings. Wil Ohmsford was also already a Healer Wing Hove isn’t mentioned until near the end of the novel.

Overall though, it was pretty faithful to the source material without ruining it.

One of the biggest criticisms of the show is that everyone is a pretty looking 20-something, like many shows geared towards a younger audience.

However, in the novel, almost everyone – including all of the main characters – are teenagers or 20-somethings and described as stunningly beautiful/handsome, so the youth and good looks should be expected.

If you’re looking for some fun fantasy viewing, The Shannara Chronicles delivers.

Five out of five stars.

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My Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!

Like any good consumer drone and North American, I made my way to the theatres over the holidays so I could watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It took some real effort too, because the showing I could attend kept selling out and making me postpone seeing it.

All in all, the movie didn’t disappoint. The mix of modelling and CGI was nice to see, not the load of craptastic CGI Lucas used in the last three movies. Some of the shots of destroyed Imperial equipment on Jakku was especially cool to see. The fight scenes were entertaining and brought me back to the first trilogy Lucas made so long ago. The acting was fine.

I also thought Kylo Ren was a great bad guy UNTIL he took off his helmet. After seeing that giant mop of hair, all I could think of was the Muppets.

While I’m sure most people have seen this by now, I don’t want to dispense too many spoilers, but here goes anyways!

The movie overall was good, but felt like a re-hash of Beyond Hope (starts off on a desert planet, rebels fighting a huge Nazi-like, evil organization with limitless resources, a huge planet-killing base that wipes out a bunch of good guys), with a pinch of Empire tacked on (find a Jedi Master, Han takes one for the team, etc.).

I was kind of disappointed that Han didn’t get much of a send-off other than an “oh well, shit happens.” There was also some serious ret-con with regards to Chewie’s crossbow – I don’t remember it being like an artillery weapon in any of the other movies, and I also think that if it was, Han would have noticed sometime during their decades of smuggling and fighting together.

And no, Kylo Ren is NOT Luke Skywalker, although the two are closely connected.

Four stars our of five.

I have to admit, I wanted to pull a Homer when I walked out of the theatre and saw people lined up to see the next showing

But then my Light side intervened and I chose not to. :lol:

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Why I won’t be seeing Spectre

I know I’m in the minority, but the New James Bond sucks – and apparently, I’m not the only one…

Don’t get me wrong, I like Daniel Craig and think he is a fine actor, but the 21st century Bond, which everyone calls gritty and dark, in my opinion is just awful.

Bond used to be the best job in the free world; wicked cars, hot chicks, martinis, unbeatable in the casino, awesome gadgets.

What kind of world is it when Bond doesn’t nail the hot chick (like in Casino Royale)? That’s like Kirk not sleeping with the green woman. 8)

The new Bond movies are okay movies (well, Quantum of Solace totally sucked ass), but they are not Bond movies IMHO, just rip-offs of the Jason Bourne series, which I’ll freely admit are pretty damned awesome.

Now, people have told me that these movies are closer to the Ian Fleming novels than the older films and okay, whatever.

But I grew up on a different James Bond and I have no real desire to watch this ‘re-boot’ any more than I do to watch re-boots of Spiderman or Fantastic Four.

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Getting ready for Halloween?

Are you planning a Halloween party this year?

If you are, here are some goodies you might want to add:

Frankenstein Cupcakes

Eyeball Punch

Monster Smores

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The future in Back to the Future 2 is today!

In case you weren’t aware, today is the day that Marty and Doc jumped to in Back to the Future 2.

So what would you do with Biff Tannen’s Sports Almanac?

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No Coffin Hop this year

I’m sad to say that there will be no Coffin Hop Blog Hop this year as there has been in years past. :(

However, I have joined Armand Rosamilia’s Winter of Zombie tour, which features dozens of zombie authors, so it is a chance for you to find new zombie novels to read.

Armand has also set up a Facebook page as well.

Be sure to drop by either place and check out some exciting zombie authors!

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Blood Moons and the End of the world

Is your armoury full of guns & ammo and your bunker stocked up on canned goods?

Because we’ve got another ‘Blood Moons’ on its way later this month.

According to some nutjobs, four blood moons are a biblical sign that an imminent world-changing event is on the way.

Pastor John Hagee told the Daily Mirror: ‘It just says “when you see these signs – and four blood moons is a very significant one – the end of this age is coming”.’

The King James Bible states: ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord comes.’

This phenomenon is known as a Tetrad and is four successive lunar eclipses where the Moon has a reddish hue each followed by six full moons.

The Tetrad has only occurred three times in the last 500 years.

For more info, click here

Still given that Y2K, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, Ebola, 2012 and every other apocalyptic theory of the past generation hasn’t affected us at, I wouldn’t hold your breath on September 28.

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How to stay cool in the summer part 2

A few weeks ago, I talked about staying cool this summer by watching SnowPiercer.

It worked so well that I decided to read Winter World 1 (La Nina) & 2 (Stranded), graphic novels set in a post ice age world, much like SnowPiercer was.

These are based on the Chuck Dixon/Jorge Zaffino classic series from about 20 years ago, which I freely admit I missed when they came out.

In the first book, it introduces to the world, but doesn’t really explain what happened. The two main characters are Scully and Wynn, an amoral man and a naive teenage girl who struggle to survive in a frozen world on foot, dealing with the elements, raiders and predators. In Book 2, they find are lucky enough to find motorized transport and life seems good until their ride is stolen. Then they fight to get it back, dealing with monsters, both human and animal.

Four stars out of Five.

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Docudrama on Impact Event

This docudrama will give you an idea of what might happen if a comet were to hit the earth.

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How to stay cool in the summer

How does a Canuck like me stay cool in a hot, hot summer which has had more 30+ degree days than the last FIVE years combined?

I watch Snowpiercer and revel in the ice cold world pictured in it!

If you don’t believe in global warming, then you’ll probably hate the movie right off the bat, as the opening credits talk about how the world is warming and world leaders develop a geo-engineering plan to cool the world back to normal using chemicals sprayed high up in the atmosphere.

Of course, the plan backfires and freezes the entire planet, killing literally billions of people overnight. One rich industrialist who doesn’t trust the plan develops a train with a perpetual motion engine to keep humanity alive. And just like in this world, the people on the train are split into have and have not. The poor inhabit the back of the train in squalor and subsist on protein bars made from cockroaches while the haves enjoy manicures, night clubs, booze and all the finer things in life. After 17 years on the train, a group of have nots plan a rebellion to take over the train. Led by Chris Evans, they move up the train car by car, dealing with thugs and a variety of oddities.

The fight scenes are excellent and numerous, with lots of unexpected twists and turns. But the film is dark and disturbing (as if you couldn’t guess that by the cockroach bars…) and characters you like do die. I won’t spoil the ending, but it isn’t a happy go lucky one, that’s for sure.

Four stars out of five.

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