5 Reasons to Watch the New Shannara Chronicles Series

The Shannara Chronicles is the new series from MTV, based on the books written by Terry Brooks. Belonging to the fantasy genre, The Shannara Chronicles aired on January 5th. The series is focused on the second book of Brook’s first trilogy, The Elfstones of Shannara, but it seems it will also feature elements from other novels. The story is about three teenagers who are on a quest to defeat the Warlock Lord. However, there are several reasons to watch the new Shannara Chronicles series, even if you are not a fan of the books.

1. The Tale

The Shannara Chronicles will certainly become the next hype after Game of Thrones.

The first season includes ten episodes concentrating on only one novel from the total of more than twenty books in the series. This means that if the show is successful, the Universe and story can greatly expand in future seasons. What is quite unique about it is that it wonderfully merges the fantasy and horror genres, just one of the reasons to watch the new Shannara Chronicles series. It should turn out well, since Terry Brooks himself checked the results. The story follows a bandit, a half-elf and an elven princess who have the dangerous mission of stopping the end of the world at the hands of demons.

2. The Vast World

One of the reasons to watch the new Shannara Chronicles series is the thrilling storyline.

Similar to Middle-Earth, the world from Shannara Chronicles is extremely vast, and thus worthy of exploring. The action takes place sometime in the future, in a post-apocalyptic scenery ruled by elves, where humans are considered a subspecies. Seeing that the first book was written back in 1977, Brooks had quite some time until now to write another twenty-five. Therefore, there are countless plots and subplots to the story. The screenwriters had quite a challenge, similar to the ones who work on the Game of Thrones series, since the tale has many side stories and layers.

3. The Visuals

The reasons to watch the new Shannara Chronicles series include its stunning visuals.

The TV series was filmed in New Zealand, so we can expect some breathtaking scenery similar to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The various landscapes are perfect for representing the special countryside features in movies of the fantasy genre: tropical forests, green hills, high mountains, sandy beaches and many more. Another one among the reasons to watch the new Shannara Chronicles series is that the producer is Jon Faverau, who has previously worked on Avengers: Age of Ultron and Cowboys and Aliens, so we can be sure the budget won’t be cut for special effects. These were helmed by professional Jason Durey, who has also worked on Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Evil Dead.

4. The Cast

John Rhys Davies is perhaps the most well known actor from the series.

First of all, the series is directed by talented directors: Brad Turner, Jonathan Liebesman, James Marshall and Jesse Warn, who have previously worked on Daredevil, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Falling Skies and True Blood. The cast includes John Rhys Davies, whose most memorable role was back in the early 2000s, when he played Gimli the dwarf in The Lord of the Rings. It will be a delight to watch him in another fantasy work. Furthermore, other acting talents involved are Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth, Another Me), Austin Butler (Arrow), Poppy Drayton (Downton Abbey) and Manu Bennett (Spartacus, The Hobbit, Arrow).

5. Female Representation

This series will surely continue the efforts of empowering women.

In terms of female representation and empowerment, last year had plenty of it in both TV series and movies. It seems Shannara Chronicles will be no different, since the producers decided to start with the second novel that is more gender balanced, instead of the first one. Furthermore, the series has three main heroes, two of which are female: Amberle and Eretria. Amberle is an elven princess who is as much a warrior as any soldier, while Eretria is a bandit who’s got all the best lines in the series. You will undoubtedly fall in love with both of them.

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Top 6 Unexpected Celebrity Cameos in Movies

If you have ever wondered why a certain extra gets unusual attention or has some witty or funny lines that seem out of place, it is because they are usually played by famous celebrities. Whether the cameo role was offered by the director, or the actor simply wished to be part of the movie in a subtler way, there are quite many unexpected celebrity cameos in movies. The following list brings together the most recent and surprising cameos, some of which are actually impossible to spot.

1. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp surprised us all with his appearance in 21 Jump Street.

Movie: 21 Jump Street

Year: 2012

The first on our list of unexpected celebrity cameos in movies is Johnny Depp. No one expected to see original cast members in the 21 Jump Street movie, released after more than twenty years after the original series. However, he managed to surprise us all during an action-packed scene, when the villains removed his fake wig and beard, revealing the well known celebrity.

2. Daniel Craig

One of the most recent unexpected celebrity cameos in movies was that of Daniel Craig as a Stormtrooper.

Movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Year: 2015

The next cameo is impossible to identify, because the actor never really reveals himself. Even though the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie created a huge hype among fans and geeks, we never suspected it would be so popular among well established actors as well. Daniel Craig managed to get a small part as a Stormtrooper. However, there is one way to identify him: pay close attention to the few Stormtroopers who speak. The longer the camera lingers on him the higher the chances are he is Daniel Craig in disguise.

3. Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett never showed her face in Hot Fuzz.

Movie: Hot Fuzz

Year: 2007

Hot Fuzz is the follow up of the successful Shaun of the Dead, sprinkled with many celebrity cameos, from Peter Jackson as a violent Santa Claus to Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman. However, there was another cameo that you might not be aware of. There is one scene where Simon Pegg’s girlfriend appears, but she is wearing a medical mask. Thanks to her recognizable voice we could identify her as Cate Blanchett and Pegg could prove that he spoke the truth when he had declared that his film is starring an Academy-Award winning actress.

4. Bill Murray

This is one of the unexpected celebrity cameos in movies that is impossible to guess.

Movie: Dumb and Dumber To

Year: 2014

Bill Murray’s presence in Dumb and Dumber To is among the unexpected celebrity cameos in movies. The actor appears when Lloyd goes back to the apartment after twenty years and Harry introduces him to his new roommate named Icepick. Icepick, a meth dealer, has a meth lab set up in the kitchen. Thus, when we see him he is in full costume and mask, making it impossible to recognize him.

5. Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton managed to return to the Star Trek franchise.

Movie: Star Trek

Year: 2009

Wil Wheaton has previously appeared in the Star Trek franchise as Wesley Crusher, a genius living on the Enterprise. More recently he is known for playing his own role in The Big Bang Theory TV series. However, he managed to get a small part in the Star Trek reboot from 2009. He is present on Nero’s ship as a Romulan officer. However, the actor wears a lot of make-up and has a digitally altered voice, so it does look like the part was created for his sake.

6. Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion was expected to play an entirely different character.

Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy

Year: 2014

The last appearance on our list cannot really be considered one of the unexpected celebrity cameos in movies, since it was known that Nathan Fillion would be part of the 2014 movie. However, everyone imagined that he would get the part of Richard Rider, also known as Nova. It was not meant to be, but the actor was present as a prisoner who seeks to start a fight with Star-Lord. However, he ended up defeated by Groot.

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Top 5 Propagandistic Movies and TV Shows

Governments have used various methods to propagate their ideas and beliefs to the people. Every now and then, a movie or a cartoon would be broadcasted on national television in an attempt to plant various ideas in the heads of viewers. However, you would expect these creations to look quite serious and clear, not like weird caricatures. The following five propagandistic movies and TV shows do not make much sense, and they most probably did not achieve their goals.

1. Picture Book 1936

Mickey Mouse was portrayed as the enemy.

Year: 1934

Country: Japan

Not even Mickey Mouse was spared from propaganda. The action takes place in 1936, as Mickey enters the scene of the cartoon on the wings of a huge bat. He brings with himself a list of demands from the Americans to Japan. A cat becomes terribly enraged and ends up setting the documents on fire and declaring war. Mickey is accompanied by bats, snakes and alligators (a suggestion at the American submarines). Japan is ultimately saved by a traditional character named Momotaro, who manages to restore peace. The cartoon was released at the time when The League of Nations and America were trying to stop the expansionist attempts of Japan. As a result, the producers wanted to represent what would happen if the Japanese would be stopped, and how they would deal with it.

2. Nimbus Libéré

The top 7 propagandistic movies and TV shows includes Nimbus Libéré.

Year: 1943

Country: France

At the time of this cartoon, a lot of propaganda against the West was still going on in France. The government was trying to make a negative image for the Allies, stating that they will bomb innocent people when trying to liberate the country. The cartoon shows Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Goofy and Felix the Cat flying bombers. They manage to accidentally kill a person who was listening to Allied propaganda on the radio. The radio speaker is a Jew represented in a racist way. It is a weird mix that does not manage to send a clear message: were they trying to remove the German rule or to support it by portraying the Allies as careless villains?

3. Squirrel and Hedgehog

Squirrel and Hedgehog showed North Koreans their enemies.

Year: 1977

Country: North Korea

This list would not be complete without this series from North Korea. During its 32 episodes, Squirrel and Hedgehog show the cute animals living in a wonderful place named Flower Hill, a representation of the state itself. However, they have to constantly defend themselves from the vicious attacks of wolves, weasels and rats, a.k.a. America, South Korea and Japan. The series manages to create the opposite effect to the one it pursued: it compliments the enemy and insults the country. The North Koreans look feeble and weak and often have crying fits, while their enemies have a tough presence, as well as proving their loyalty and bravery.

4. Saturday’s Hunter

Saturday's Hunter is among the top 7 propagandistic movies and TV shows.

Year: 2009

Country: Iran

This movie presents the story of a rabbi named Hanan, who raises Benjamin, his grandson, to become a Zionist figure. His reasons for doing so involve his belief that their Jewish community will be granted immense power, compared to the one of God. The clear idea was to antagonize the viewers against the Jews, as the two main characters are often seen practicing shooting on Arab people or committing all sorts of mass murder. Surprisingly, Saturday’s Hunter was not produced by the Iranian government, but it did air on national television for all to watch.

5. Chavez In Heaven

Chavez in Heaven presented anti-American propaganda.

Year: 2013

Country: Venezuela

This series of cartoons was broadcasted by national TV channel Vive, and showed president Hugo Chavez’s time in Heaven. The place looked different from time to time, either as a lush paradise or a sea of clouds. The president has talks with historical figures like Simon Bolivar and Che Guevara, but also has a short moment with Uncle Sam. The later tries to climb next to Chavez on the clouds but ends up hit by a satellite and falls back to Earth, thus being deprived of sitting with the Central and South American luminaries.

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Movie Flops: The Worst 5 Disney Movies List

These days most movies are made with the purpose of feeding the viewers whatever is in trend. Some years ago, wizards were very popular thanks to Harry Potter. They were followed by knights and hobbits, vampires and werewolves, and now the most viewed motion pictures feature superheroes. As a result, unique and creative ideas do not have much space to develop and become successful. The biggest movie companies will always follow the interests of their audience. However, every now and then, they do release features with different themes, in order to test the market. More than often, these movies flop at the box office, be it kids movies, animated movies or live action motion pictures. Here is the worst Disney movies list, featuring items that barely covered their costs.

1. Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia is on the worst Disney movies list.

Year: 2010

Cost: $200m

Domestic gross: $90m

International gross: $244m

This movie was not a complete fail, if we take into consideration the amount of money it made by selling on DVD and Blu Ray. However, it didn’t become one of the highest grossing Disney movies as it was planned. In this case, the fans of the old video game seemed to prefer watching The Prince of Persia at home, in the same places they played the game so many years ago. Disney’s dreams of beginning a new franchise with Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role turned to dust.

2. Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Sorcerer's Apprentice flopped at the box office despite featuring Nicolas Cage.

Year: 2010

Cost: $160m

Domestic gross: $63m

International gross: $152m

Among Nicolas Cage’s bad decisions for choosing roles was the Sorcerer’s Apprentice movie. Unfortunately, the Disney motion picture simply didn’t have substance and thus viewers and critics couldn’t connect with the characters or the action. It is a pity when you think that it is based on a beloved piece from the Fantasia Disney movie, a unique feature in the history of animation starring none other than Mickey Mouse. Perhaps if he would have been included, Mickey could have saved this movie.

3. John Carter

The worst Disney movies list includes John Carter.

Year: 2012

Cost: $250m

Domestic gross: $73m

International gross: $209m

Another item on the worst Disney movies list, John Carter stands as an example that a blockbuster’s recipe for success doesn’t stand in choosing less popular actors. Featuring Tailor Kitsch, this movie was based on a book written a long time ago, which younger audiences didn’t have a strong interest in. Of course, there are books released many years ago that were adored my teenagers nowadays, like The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, before planning to spend a lot of money on a blockbuster, the producers should always carry on some research on the interests of people, no matter their age.

4. The Lone Ranger

Not even Johnny Depp could save The Lone Ranger.

Year: 2013

Cost: $215m

Domestic gross: $88m

International gross: $142m

Sometimes even a successful team cannot draw in as many viewers as they want to. With their previous blockbusters from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp were set to reach the top of the box office. Unfortunately, the western movie released in 2013 didn’t catch on with audiences. The most plausible reason is that the time of western movies has passed a long time ago, and it may take another couple of years before viewers will be interested in them again.

5. Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is on the worst Disney movies list.

Year: 2015

Cost: $190m

Domestic gross: $94m

International gross: $115m

Last but not least on the worst Disney movies list is Tomorrowland. Directed by Brad Bird, who worked on the brilliant Ratatouille and The Incredibles, the movie lacked a strong storyline. Not even the spectacular visual effects could convince viewers that Tomorrowland was worth a shot. Similar to The Lone Ranger case, having a famous actor like George Clooney is not a guarantee that the earnings will cover the expenses. It is reported that an additional $150 million were invested by Disney for the marketing of the motion picture. But in the end the movie did not even come close to covering its costs, even if it was part of the family movies category and could be viewed by children as well.

You shouldn’t worry too much though. The Disney company faced some difficult years when it first begun, but now it has more than enough money to continue producing wonderful movies. Not to mention that it will probably get back all that it lost with the new Star Wars movie: The Force Awakens.

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7 Movies that Should Have Never Been Released

Movie producers and directors often try to gather their viewers by filming shocking scenes. Others come up with all sorts of weird ideas in order to better promote their movies. However, when movies get out of control and depict gratuitous scenes just to incite curiosity, we realize that some motion pictures should have never seen the light of day. Many countries have strict regulations and ban certain films, but somehow they still make their way to some big or small screens. Here are 7 movies that should have never been released, for the good of their audiences.

1. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Salò is one of the movies that should have never been released.

Released: 1975

Directed By: Pier Paolo Pasolini

The first controversial movie on our list has been banned in numerous countries due to its violent content. The events happen during the Second World War in Italy, where a group of children has fallen prey to unspeakable acts of cruelty. Filled with gruesome scenes, this movie has not been forbidden for naught and should be forgotten for good.

2. Pretty Baby

Pretty Baby stands proof for the changing of regulations in movies.

Released: 1978

Directed By: Louis Malle

Regulations for movies and their cast were quite different forty years ago. It so happens that Brooke Shields managed to play the role of a prostitute at the fragile age of only twelve. Furthermore, she was allowed to film a nude scene, which is forbidden today. Child actors nowadays have extremely strict programs which don’t expose them in any way and don’t allow them to tire themselves by working long hours.

3. Cruising

The movies that should have never been released include Cruising.

Released: 1980

Directed By: William Friedkin

Starring Al Pacino, Cruising had the potential of becoming a positive motion picture about the gay community. William Friedkin received positive reviews for his previous movie, The Boys in the Band, which was released in 1970. However, the director didn’t manage to depict the gay society in a truly significant way and ended up being accused of homophobia.

4. The Passion of The Christ

The Passion of the Christ is one of the most controversial movies ever released.

Released: 2004

Directed By: Mel Gibson

This movie by Mel Gibson became controversial for two reasons: the depiction of religion and the depiction of violence. Religious groups from all over the world were outraged at the representation of the last days in the life of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, many viewers found themselves looking away from the screen because of the high level of gratuitous violence, which was completely unnecessary for the advancement of the story.

5. The Brown Bunny

The top movies that should have never been released also features The Brown Bunny.

Released: 2004

Directed By: Vincent Gallo

Roger Ebert named The Brown Bunny the worst movie that was ever featured at the Film Festival in Cannes. He even went further by stating that one day he will be thin, but Vincent Gallo will remain forever the director of the awful movie. So why is it considered that bad? Simply because it has no substance and no quality whatsoever and the action is dull. There was only one significant scene in the movie between Vincent Gallo and Chloë Sevigny.

6. Antichrist

Antichrist is among the movies that should have never been released.

Released: 2009

Directed By: Lars von Trier

Lars von Trier is well known for his weird movies which have been banned in many countries. Antichrist is one of them. The movie is considered to contain the most gruesome scenes of self-harm in history. While the director defends the movie as being his form of artistic expression, it is hard to take him seriously if we take into consideration his statement about understanding the motives of Hitler.

7. The Interview

The Interview movie was surrounded by a total fiasco at the time of its release.

Released: 2014

Directed By: Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

The most recent controversial movie was released in 2014 during something many called a total fiasco. After its release, hackers cracked the emails of high figures from Hollywood, revealing to the whole wide world their racist discussions. Apparently the hackers wanted to stop Sony Pictures from releasing the movie, and the company did pull out the movie from cinemas after the great reveal. The Interview features James Franco and Seth Rogan as CIA agents who are trying to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, during an interview. After being highly criticised for their move (even by President Barack Obama), Sony Pictures re-released the movie on Netflix and in  selected cinemas.

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