Eragon movie review

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Mububban, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    *** WARNING - SOME SPOILERS ***










    I got to see Eragon last night for free in exchange for our sword fighting at the front of the cinema before the movie started. Let me say that I've never read the books and only knew a little bit about the plot before the movie started.

    I read that the author had little or no input into how the book was translated into a movie. Which will definitely disappoint book fans, because even I could tell that they skipped huge chunks. And I mean HUGE chunks of time, and the movie really suffered for it.

    A lot of people bag the story for how derivative is is, and I'll freely admit to watching it and regularly thinking "Star Wars, LOTR, David Eddings, Star Wars, LOTR, Star Wars, David Eddings, LOTR etc etc." He was 15, give him a break. At least he went through with it and got it published. Good on him.


    PLOT, STORY AND CHARACTERS
    The movie was only 90 minutes I think, which gave no time to develop the characters. Introduction, straight into action, then it's over. That's how it felt. Eragon goes from being a farm boy to a dragon riding, sword fighting, magic using warrior with almost zero training o r practise, a process that took almost a year in the book apparently.


    The kid who played Eragon did a decent job. He ain't no Jake Lloyd from Phantom Menace, don't worry :)

    Arya was hot but that's all, hardly anything to do but be tortured, fight a tiny bit, then leave. Big setup for the sequel though.

    Jeremy Irons as Brom was good, played it down rather than over the top. Nice short fight with one of the black monster thingies too where you can see the awesome warrior he once was. And his final scene I thought was a really nice one.

    The Varden leader had almost no lines, John Malkovich as Galbatorix almost was on the verge of hammy but he kept it restrained. Robert Carlyle as the evil Shade was the best I thought, not over the top "evil henchman", his lines were good, not hammy.

    But yeah, it was entertaining if you didn't think while watching it, but it all felt a bit empty on reflection.


    DIALOGUE AND CHARACTER INTERACTION
    Not as clunky as I'd feared. No real corny clunky dialogue at all which was a pleasant surprise. No lame speeches but also they missed some golden opportunities to flesh out their characters better. They also missed some great opportunities for sincere, not cheap, laughs to lighten the mood and make the characters more interesting. We cared for the Hobbits because they mad eus laugh, and when they were in danger we wanted them to escape.


    SPECIAL FX
    The dragon animation was outstanding. Saffira looks good (no idea how she compares to the book's description), she blends seamlessly with the backgrounds and the real life characters. WETA Digital and Industrial Light and Magic did her, so we should expect the best.


    WEAPONS, ARMOUR AND FIGHT SCENES
    Nicely fantasy, but not laughable. I also didn't see any laughable sword fighting moves, they were a good compromise between looking good for a movie and really trying to kill someone.

    The last big fight scene was distinctly underwhelming. They really had their hands tied by needing to keep the movie kid friendly. So those of us used to the intensity of the LOTR movies will be disappointed.
    They also did the REALLY annoying thing if filming the fight scenes too close up, too zoomed in, and with lots of too-fast camera angle changes, so you can't ever really track what's going on in the fights. Zoom out you idiots! Let's see the whole fight!!!

    And for the archery fans, there are some really nice bows in there! Especially Eragon's first rough home made hunting bow - it's a real "character" wooden bow, full of wiggles and knots. That impressed me :) Some flat longbows, but nothing modern. Some even had horn nocks on the bows, nice work.



    I'm not sure if they shot a whole bunch of extra scenes but the production company told them "You will keep this movie to X minutes and no more" so they had to butcher it, or if they only wrote and filmed what we saw. It sure didn't feel like it. I reckon there's a director's cut itching to be released. If so it'll be a much better movie. If not, then the director should be beaten with reeds for butchering a very popular tale into an abridged kiddies version.

    Kids should love it, accompanying adults at least will only have to wait 90 minutes for it to end, and it's entertaining enough. I won't be buying the DVD unless there's an extended edition, and I'm glad I saw it for free.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  2. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Thanks Mub, sounds better than I expected actually :). It's a pity about making it so short though - if kids can sit through Harry Potter they should manage more than 90 minutes of Eragon. Thin as the storyline is (IMO) it needs more time than that. But if Jeremy Irons is good, I'm definitely going to see it :D.
     
  3. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    *beats head against a brick wall*

    Nice review Mub. I still can't believe they made it so freaking short. Like you said, there had better be an extended version. I hate it when movie studios make a movie that tries to really cater to a specific audience, especially kids in movies that older people would enjoy as well....
     
  4. CB Swords

    CB Swords Forum Administrator

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    That is exactly the mistake they made with the D&D movie. They had no idea what their demographic was. They thought it was kids, and it was adults. You need smarmy characters like Mad Martagan in a fantasy movie. The middle ages weren't G rated.

    I love the way that new 300 movie looks. That is how a D&D movie should have looked, violent and dark, because that is what the subject matter is.

    People think adults don't like fantasy, the truth is there just isn't fantasy made for adults, not much anyways. It is getting better thank god.
     
  5. Yoshi Master

    Yoshi Master Mariologist

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    Why do people not realise that kids arn't making the video games/movies adults are!!!

    Well, I've read the book and it's incredible, I really thought the movie would be a hit.
     
  6. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    The movie might be a hit with kids, but movies like Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, LOTR etc were big smash hits because they appealed to both kids AND adults, not just one or the other. The Eragon movie only really appeals to kids.
     
  7. Mord

    Mord The Fighters Guide House Member

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    eragon lotr ripp off
     
  8. McTroubles

    McTroubles New Member

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    I saw it and thought is was ok. The first half was decent but the ending felt rushed. One minute he was trying to find the rebels and literally the next he was leading them! I havn't read the books either by the way but it seems like a decent story, even if a lot of ideas were copied/stolen. Was is an original idea nowadays?

    Second film should be better though, maybe
     
  9. Yehir

    Yehir Wise Fool

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    I'd say it was errr... kinda quick for me. I had read the book before. But it wasn't bad in spite of all the apprehensive notions before it got out.
     
  10. Vyla

    Vyla New Member

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    Gotta agree, they left absolutely no time for character development whatsoever. Saffira was so utterly believable though. But if she was really flying that fast, would we not see Eragon's cheeks flap a little??
     
  11. Soulsmith

    Soulsmith Forging souls anew...

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    sorry but dragons are reptiles. FEATHERS???!?!?!?!
     
  12. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    That of course is assuming that dragons are real creatures and actually ARE lizards, or related to lizards. If I'm going to watch a movie about dragons, I can suspend reality a tiny bit further and accept the feather. :)
     
  13. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    Well, fire-breathing lizard I can accept but anything with feathers isn't going to last very long around a flame...

    It'd be like a cross-eyed Basilisk turning its own nose to stone...
     
  14. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

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    I greatly disliked the weapons and armor in the movie. It looked like the prop crew raided the closet of some goth, with all the jagged, impractical blades that were being used.
     
  15. The Metal Master

    The Metal Master New Member

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    I still haven't seen it yet. I heard it was too short and kiddish, so I really wasn't interested. Is it any good?
     
  16. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    If you don't mind sacrificing 90 minutes of your life, grab it on cheap DVD rental or borrow it off a foolish friend. You can tell from the way it's edited and chopped that it could have been a good movie, wanted to be a good movie, but some idiot decided to murder it in the editing room.
     
  17. The Metal Master

    The Metal Master New Member

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    I suppose I'll watch it eventually. Probably not anytime soon though.
     
  18. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Finally watched Eragon last night ~ I've not read the books so had no expectations...

    Film & presumably book is very clichéd, clearly aimed at kids, superficial etc etc but despite all that I thought it was an enjoyable enough way to waste 90mins. At the end of the day how many pure fantasy movies are made? ~ Eragon isn't great, characters & acting were okay, visuals were fine & ending whilst a bit cheesy did leave door open for more adventures. It certainly doesn't rank as one of my 'must view this again soon' films but as a fantasy fanatic I sort of liked it and it will tide me over until ASoIaF hits our screens, or the hobbit, or stardust .... :D
     
  19. Mogett

    Mogett The Red Hand

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    I refuse to give any sum of money to Christopher Paolini or his cohorts, even as little as $8.50. I'll just assume it's as terrible and over-rated as the book and leave it at that.
     
  20. Saphira

    Saphira New Member

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    I am a kid and I like the movie and love the book. :dragon: