Since I was a wee lad, I have enjoyed the Wizard of Earthsea stories. At last those stories are being told in a visual medium. Big screen? Nope. We'll save such high profile and prestigious honors for recent works like Harry Potter and ultra-classics like Tolkein's works. Earthsea, those are just forgotten children's novels, right? Okay, so we'll make a TV movie starring Lana Lang from Smallville. I know I shouldn't be bitter, especially since Isabella Rosalini is also in the film, but it seems as if a lot of people are struggling against the popularity of Fantasy as a legitimate genre. I almost feel shamed when I go to the book counter at Borders with a Fantasy novel, similar to when I walk to the counter with an Ann Coulter book. But I should only feel embarrassed in one of those situations and it isn't when I buy a Fantasy novel.
Anyway, the Earthsea stuff is very enjoyable. It's short, which is one of the reasons I think people assume it is for kids. And I need to be fair to Harry Potter too, Rowling's stories are wonderful, but I fear that her writings will be looked down upon soon too. After all, the copy of Wizard of Earthsea that I own is a 23rd printing and it is pretty old. So popularity and quality are no guarantees of respect.
After seeing Chronicles of Riddick, it really makes you appreciate the simplicity of places called Gont and boys named Ged. After all, I don't think I would be griping quite as curmudgeonly if Earthsea had a city called Crematoria and villains called Necromongers. No "The Shadow" and dragons are enough for me. If you are going to use archetypes no need to try and make them sound any cooler than they are.
Underverse? Give me a break.