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Amazon Prequel Show – The Hollywood Reporter

Don’t get me wrong: I’m very interested in experiencing the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents again as the next guy with short-term memory loss, but I’m more invested in the “errata” approach and appendices” is growing for more intellectual property than any average adaptation.

I like it when the programmers try to answer questions that I didn’t know were questions in the first place, like: What was Saul Goodman’s name before it was Saul Goodman? Or how long have Norma and Norman Bates run the Bates Motel and how often do they change the sheets? Or how evil are the zoning board meetings in Castle Rock, Maine?

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Key point

A promising start.

Release date: Friday, September 2 (Amazon Prime Video)
Cast: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloy Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, Sara Zwangobani
Creator: JD Payne and Patrick McKay

Apparently another approach is “History moves in cycles, so let’s tell a story from a completely different time period, where the reverberations with the story we already know are the way forward.” really, really obvious.” Watch current HBO Dragon’s Housebuilt around the thesis, “If you think the competition for the throne is vicious in Game of Throneswait you will see how bad it is when the only competitor is the Targaryens! “

Has Amazon’s pseudo-title The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power try to divide the difference. Based on bits and pieces of Lord of the Rings legends from various texts by J.R.R. Tolkien, half being “If you like to see the dilemma that ensues when different factions form a former fellowship, here is something similar.” similar but different from thousands of years ago,” and half “Remember that ring had the fellowship of /because? Betcha has no idea how it was made! “

Through two volumes made available to critics, Rings of Power works much better than the three years of publicity building that scares me. The first episode was primarily dedicated to world-building, introducing and demonstrating that storytelling on this scale can be made for television and generally successful, even if some of those shows are abandoned. late. Then in the second episode, the story starts to really unfold and there are characters and scenes that I find completely captivating in the way that a show like this requires to last long, even if some effects and epic scale down a bit. It’s technically impressive, reasonably ambitious, filled with easter eggs that I’m sure I’m not fluent enough to get and, given my interest in various storylines changed drastically, it could fall off a precarious cliff at any moment.

It’s hard to accurately summarize the plot laid out by series creators JD Payne and Patrick McKay. Many generations have passed since the rise of the Dark Lord Morgoth, but armies led by Galadriel of Morfydd Clark have fought against Morgoth and his legions, including bloodthirsty orcs and sorcerers. Sauron’s powerful spell. The price to pay for life was high, but for many years no one had seen an Orc or heard of Sauron. So… let the good times pass, shall we? But Galadriel doesn’t believe that evil has been conquered, a point she makes unsuccessfully on her half-hearted friend Elrond (Robert Aramayo).

In men’s domain, the elven soldier Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) is getting ready to leave his military post, when he and human healer Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) hear ominous rumors about the poisoning in a nearby village. So they walked leisurely over the rolling green hills to find out what.

Meanwhile, the curious, adventurous Harfoot – feel free to think of them as Hobbits if you’re not obsessed with details – Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and her loyal, less adventurous friend Poppy (Megan Richards) witnesses a falling star and discovers something very special left in its wake.

Pay close attention and you’ll meet the likes of dwarf prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), the enigmatic Halbrand, and an even more mysterious stranger (Daniel Weyman), whose identity will have the whole world. Internet set play guessing game. In a way approved by Tolkien, the initial storylines are pervasive, spanning the vast map of Middle-earth, and will at some point begin to connect, but in the immediate future rely on many strange couples. different oddities. Arondir and Bronwyn are giving each other longing glances while the other characters repeat over and over about the bad things that happen when humans and elves flirt. Galadriel and Halbrand are bickering in a way that shows the longing glances that might be close behind if they weren’t eaten by sea snakes. Elrond and Durin were originally estranged brothers but they may have come together as part of an ambitious metallurgical project, a research into making a ring.

Almost all relationships and groups work better in the second volume, written by It’s better to call Saul Veteran Gennifer Hutchison, either because they didn’t have a referral responsibility or because the couples couldn’t match better – I never needed to see Elrond and Galadriel announce each other again – was split. The scenes with Elrond, Durin, and Durin’s wife, Disa (Sophia Nomvete, give instant energy) are compelling. The Harfoots (Harfeet? Harsfeet?) offers warmth and much-needed humor. Alone or protective of her son Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin), Bronwyn is fierce and proactive in ways she is completely absent when she has her eye on Arondir.

It’s not always clear how the gripping plot takes us from episode to episode, but you can tell it’s epic and if you can’t speak, just wait a few minutes and someone will make a big announcement. about good and evil. So far, it’s all in the “broadcast” stage, and many of my favorite seasons of these two episodes come when I think things like: “This reminds me of Netflix Sweet teeth! ” and Amazon did not pay zillions for that comparison.

On a production level, it’s easy to get caught up in those commonalities, and here every critic might need to mention how they watched the first two episodes of the series. Rings of Power. Amazon has shown episodes to a handful of reporters available in theaters, and there’s no doubt that on the big screen the series’ immersive power is sublime. You can only be swept away by the grandeur of heavy board trees like Forodwaith, a northern wasteland of towering waterfalls and icy ranges, or the architectural marvels of the human city. dwarf Khazad-dûm, built inside a mountain. If you watch in a movie theater without any other distractions on the screen, there is hardly any choice but to focus on a blend of computer fireworks, realistic effects, and a Bear McCreary’s great, layered score, that’s the only aspect of the series that I’m fully confident will hold up. The music is epic and thrilling, and sells the volume the show wants, no matter how big your screen.

Because re-watching episodes on a smaller screen, my mind completely starts to wander almost whenever someone chats for more than a minute at a time. While many aspects of the series’ effects work well regardless of location – the attack of a sea snake in the second episode was a highlight for me – other seasons feel too bright and flat. In some cases – the split of glowing clouds in the pilot’s climax or a raft of survivors floating in what looks like a bathtub in the second – it’s borderline humor. gender.

Credit JA Bayona, director of the first two hours, with providing lighthearted, suspenseful shots like a farm siege with an unseen creature resembles the job of the commander in Orphanage or more effective beats from his generally forgettable rants Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom. Smart Bayona realizes there’s no better effect than just training the camera to look into Kavenagh’s wide, expressive eyes and using her Spielbergian wonder as a gateway to the audience. For all the budget freedom and unrestricted run time, the actors sold Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film; the series is similar, whether it’s Clark’s blend of serenity and sinister determination or the immediately obvious giddy that Aramayo makes sure to pronounce every syllable of Galadriel’s name or sentences another word of Tolkien lingo.

Two episodes weren’t enough time to make the right decisions, but I quickly grew tired of Córdova’s brooding and the ethereal blandness of some of the supporting elves. Many of my complaints are species-specific, opposing the balance of storytelling and variation of character groups, like Dragon’s House induces instant Targaryen fatigue.

Will Rings of Power continue to stick together as more characters are added, as directors after Bayona take turns behind the camera, as the focus on a single plot intensifies, as the race to the end forces a schedule speed up on visual effects? It’s unclear, but after two episodes, it’s a promising start.

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