Based on Ursula K. Le Guin's multiple award-winning classic tale comes this richly imagined epic mini-series. In the magical world of EarthSea, the Amulet of Peace has ensured harmony between humans and dragons for c... more »enturies. But when the Amulet is broken and a piece of it disappears, it's up to a neophyte wizard to restore balance and stop a nefarious king from conquering EarthSea's islands.« less
Christi B. from DENISON, TX Reviewed on 4/13/2012...
from a person thats not read the book it was a really good movie all the bad reviews r just from people that read the book and dont like the fact thats the movie is dif from the book
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Peter Q. (Petequig) Reviewed on 7/24/2010...
Great story and characters. Special effects as good as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of the Worst Adaptations--EVER
Andres R. Guevara | Aurora, CO United States | 03/31/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I am not a slave to the book when judging adaptations. I understand and appreciate that what often works in books doesn't always translate onto the big or little screen. BUT, having said that this is NOT an adaptation. Instead it feels more like the Ciff notes as written by someone who has never read the books. I know that movies have to leave out a lot of details, but "Earthsea" leaves out nearly every detail. Instead, it feels like a total strip down of the story; like Ms. Le Guin's discarded first draft. As a fantasy by-the-books movie, I can recommend this only to people who are just looking to pass a few hours. But, as has been expressed below by Ms Pamela Thomas, I am worried that people will see this and completely ignore the books. If I hadn't read the books and saw the movie my first reaction would be: "Oh boy, those Le Guin books sure are overrated." And that can't be further from the truth! Skip the movie, read the book!"
Great Fantasy Potential Falls Flat...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 03/22/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Throughout the last two decades of the 20th century the fantasy genre gained a large number of followers, which initially might have been influenced by encounters with J.R.R. Tolkien's adventures or roll playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. This group of people has steadily grown through the help of computer games, books, and other media that brings the audience away from the reality of the human existence. Thus, the Sci-Fi Channel delivers the Legend of Earthsea to this growing fan base.
The televised miniseries Legend of Earthsea is an adventure that brings the audience away from reality to the world of Earthsea where the world consists of a vast number of islands. The author Ursula K. Le Guin created this world and she has a large number of dedicated readers. More can be found on her website, www.ursulakleguin.com, in regards to her books and comments in regards to the TV series.
Legend of Earthsea opens in a small island village where the blacksmith's son, Ged (Shawn Ashmore) discovers that he has magical powers. Ged, a restless young man, saves the town from an attack through the use of magic, which brings forth the wizard Ogion (Danny Glover). Ogion requests that Ged becomes his student, but Ged's father initially rejects the request. Nonetheless, Ged becomes the pupil of Ogion, as he begins his journey on becoming a wizard.
On this journey the audience gets to follow how Ged is coming of age through foolish magical stunts and deadly encounters with dragons and other dangerous creatures. Ged builds lasting friendships and eventually discovers the wonder of love. Through many adventures with Ged the audience will experience both suspense and drama with some wisdom.
The mini-series seems to be based on a number of clichés from other fantasy films such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Willow (1988) among other films. This hurts the story, as does the visual experience through some CGI effects that come across with visual awkwardness. If one truly wants to experience the world of Earthsea the audience should reads Ursula K. Le Guin's books, which are far superior to this TV story.
Earthsea had great potential, as the books offer a solid foundation upon which a film can be made. However, it seems that this film shows the affects of too many chefs, which leaves the audience with a somewhat flat fantasy experience. There are interesting subplots and themes, but it never takes off and flies by itself. It merely remains standing on the ground displaying a monument without value, which in the end will leave most viewers disappointed. It might only be a rental recommendation to those hardcore fantasy enthusiasts that watch everything about an alternative reality. "
Should be named something else altogether
trailsinger | Port Townsend, WA USA | 03/20/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I can't review this miniseries as an independent example of fantasy film-making. I am a huge fan of the books and can only judge it by how well it does as a cinematic adaptation.
It fails miserably.
It's not just that the writers fail to get anything right beyond the names, and sometimes not even that: - "Ged" is the wizard's secret name, "Sparrowhawk" is his commonly used one - Ged and the other Archipelagans are aboriginal peoples (LeGuin says they are like the Inuit), not white - There are no girls at the school at Roke - Tenar is recognized as the incarnation of Arha when she is 5 years old; she does not take a "test" to become the priestess - Kossil is old and fat, not young & beautiful, and no men come near the temple - Nemmerle dies after using up all his magic after Ged summons the gebbeth, not in battle - the Kargads never attack Roke or go to war or come to Atuan during the story; the Kargad king is not in the story
That's only a part of how wrong the scriptwriters went. But more importantly, they didn't understand what the gebbeth represented. It was Ged's own shadow side; it represented the dark side of ourselves that we all need to learn how to deal with if we are to become whole. Because they didn't understand that, they fell back on a standard-issue good vs. evil plot. Nothing we haven't seen before. The uniqueness of LeGuin's story is lost.
It's a great shame that the Sci-fi folks fired the first screenwriter, Phillipa Boyens, who helped adapt "The Lord of the Rings" to the screen and is a LeGuin fan. We'll never know how good her script was.
Kirk E. Lauckner | MI, USA | 02/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Earthsea Review by: Mike Lauckner
I myself found the books through the SciFi Channel mini-series, which aired on December 14th and 15th. The film was based on the first two books, but I have now found that the books differ greatly from the film. Based on "A Wizard of Earthsea" and "The Tombs of Atuan" it feels that the screenwriter did not have much respect for the books. The stories are completely different from the film. What happened is they took scenes from the books, used the names of the characters, and then called it a movie. They filled in the loose parts with a sex scene, there is none of that in the books, and then added a bunch of extra things that did not occur in the book as well. The actor in the film who portrays Ged,is white and in the story Ged has reddish colored skin. All of the characters in Earthsea, besides the Kargides (Tenar), are red, black or brown colored. The color of the characters was very important to Ursula K. Le Guin, who worked hard to make a fantasy that was not dominated by white colored people. I really respected this aspect of the books. Okay, okay... I am only saying the bad parts, but the truth is I did like the mini-series despite its lack of faithfulness.
The movie was filled with wonderful special effects, for a TV film at least, that well portrayed the magic of the series. The only fault was the dragon that looked ridiculously unreal. Shawn Ashmore (X-Men) wonderfully portrayed the movie version of Ged. Kristen Kreuk (Smallville) was also wonderful at the part of Tenar. The chemistry between Kreuk and Ashmore was very good and made the mini-series smoother. Danny Glover portrayed the wise wizard Ogion, who guides Ged at the beginning of the film. Glover's character was the most faithful to the book and his interpretation of the character was very well done. Isabella Rossellini played high priestess Thar and wonderfully acted this character. Rossellini was perfect for this role and beautifully accented the film through her experience and grace.
I am a huge soundtrack movie buff, and I was wonderfully surprised to find that the mini-series soundtrack was amazing. I bought the soundtrack after listening to one track online. The music, in my opinion, was better than Howard Shores Lord of the Rings music which won two Oscars at the Academy Awards. The music is beautifully done by composer Jeff Rona. It is so hard to put the greatness of this music into words. That is all I can say.
All together, the movie was not that bad. The movie is showing on the SciFi Channel again on Tuesday, March 1st starting at 7pm. I recommend that you watch the mini-series then go out and buy the books because they are magnificent. Then if you like the DVD, buy it! I really appreciate the author Ursula K. Le Guin for working so hard on these stories. She has expressed her opinions on the film openly and was not happy with the project. Miss Le Guin has written many other books. She is very kind and generous [...]
It could have been worse, but not a great deal...
Photo Lover | San Francisco, CA | 07/02/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The writers of the screenplay should incarcerated to insure they never again commit such an reprehensible, odious, unforgivable insult to art.
To those who have read and loved the Earthsea series be informed that the resemblance of the movie to the book stops at the title. In an attempt to make this classic more palatable to a mainstream audience they have 1) dumbed it down excessively ; 2) added a wholly unnecessary love interest; 3) added a cardboard cutout "evil" king.
Aside from the failings of the plot, the use of modern vernacular in a fantasy setting and (aside from Danny Glover who did a reasonable job) they have added insult to injury by choosing actors whose performances, to be very kind, left much to be desired. Then again maybe it was the once again the fault of the screenwriters - "Take her away!" "Throw him in the dungeon." "That is how I reward failure!" Oh please. Its not that I mind kitsch or even cliché, as long as its well done.
While there are many questions I would put to the screenwriters and whoever okayed the script there is one that sticks in my mind... How did a homing pigeon find a ship at sea???
The are two good points to this film that make parts of it worth watching (mind you I said parts)- 1) the dragon is well done and the scene with the dragon is the best in the film, 2) Kristin Kreuk is lovely and a delight to lay eyes upon.
If you want a good sword and sorcery film there are a number of alternates - Lord of the Rings (of course), The Thief of Bagdad, Excalibur, Willow, Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts or (for a humorous take) The Princess Bride.
Or better yet, skip the movie and reread the books."