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16 December 2006 @ 03:03 pm
I just wrote a two-screen, scathing review of the movie Eragon, and my computer crashed and took my review with it before I could hit "post entry."  I don't feel the need to rewrite it, so I'll just be satisfied with this.

Please do not see this movie.  It is a horrible, vile, ugly, badly paced piece of film that is trying to pass itself off as representative of a wonderful, captivating, engaging piece of literature.  As bad as they are, no Harry Potter movie did to its namesake book what was done to Eragon - they're not even in the same league.  Avoid the movie at all costs, and go read the book (or listen to the audiobook).  You'll be FAR better off for it.
Nentikobe - a work in progressnentikobe on December 17th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
Funny. 90% of the reviews I read on Amazon.com and other book sites said the same thing about the book. Derivative, rambling, badly written, horrible and other such words. Basically all saying similar things that you just did about the movie. Made me upset at first, but it's all opinion, isn't it.

I'll be going to see it anyway, and am hoping that the people who do go to the movie and enjoy it, go buy the book - which happens alot. Its about the only way I get through books to movies anymore.

After I read a review calling it "A mockery of the book" I was simply waiting for your review.

Isn't gonna stop me from seeing it anyway though. Word is, the movie's crap, but the dragon's cool. So I'll just watch her.
Idtechnomonkey on December 17th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
Baby dragon = SO CUTE!!! I WANT ONE!!!!!

The problem with the dragon is her wings. They're supposed to be a thin membrane, but they show on screen as feathers. Also, some of her facial expressions are a little too....I dunno, human. Other than that, she's very well done - I enjoyed watching her.

Oh, and she was too grey. Her egg wasn't blue enough, and she wasn't nearly as blue as her egg.
Lightwayslightways on December 18th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
Once you see it, we will have a HUGE rant session about it. Perhaps if you go in knowing it's gonna suck HARD, one will enjoy it more. All I know is that when you are a watching a 90 or so minute movie, one shouldn't be looking at their watch once, let alone 2-3 times.
Idtechnomonkey on December 19th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Mockery of the book
That's a decent review, actually. They seemed to take the back story (all the stories Brom told at Caverhall) and a VERY VERY VERY basic outline of the book (ie, give me three-to-six-word descriptions of a few important events) and tried to string together a movie out of it.

If you can do it (watch the movie for nothing but the one element), more power to you. But you may want to bring a flashlight and book to read during the slower parts that she's not involved with. As Jen said, this 100-minute movie felt considerably longer than any of the extended versions of Lord of the Rings movies did.
Master Thomastommyomega on December 19th, 2006 08:55 pm (UTC)
And for those of us who didn't read the books (that's right, I said books. I know Eldest exists but that doesn't mean I read them *L*)

So what's the opinion on it as a movie? Craptastic on its own, mildly tolerable, what?
Idtechnomonkey on December 19th, 2006 09:24 pm (UTC)
It was pretty craptastic
The baby dragon was REALLY cute.

Other than that, it was awful. Bad pacing, strange decisions made (that you have a better chance of understanding if you've read the book, but then you REALLY hate the movie), mediocre action sequences with camera work that makes it difficult to understand what's going on, less-than-stellar writing...

Even for the uninitiated, it feels very much like they really wanted to have "this year's Narnia" without putting any work or money into it.

Take this as an example. Even before 2001, everyone knew what certain races look like. But Tolkien and New Line have very much solidified it - if someone says the word "Elf" or the word "Dwarf," you know EXACTLY what to expect out of those races. "Urgle" means less to you, but if I said "Urgle = Orc," you'd understand what they look like as well.

If, however, you're told that these races exist, and when they're shown on screen they just look like humans in different garb than the main characters, you're a little upset. Urgles (Orcs) are more than just slightly larger men in top knots, red contact lenses and barbarian clothes. Dwarfs are different than people in slightly shinier clothes (almost gypsy-esque), and elves....well, if you didn't know she was an elf from the book you wouldn't have a clue.

Making these races look right isn't terribly difficult - you make some casting decisions, you use some makeup and prosthetic work. Green-screening works, but isn't absolutely necessary. But a fantasy movie that claims to have these races represented and then doesn't is just being cheap. How can you not bother with even giving the single elf in the movie pointy ears?

As I say, I could go on and on. But this one example tells you how much the filmmakers cared about putting out a product that their audience might identify with -- and that's leaving out the fact that most of their audience will have read the books (and will therefore be insulted by the extent to which they ignored almost everything about them).


Now I admit that I've been out of the fantasy book realm for a number of years - Potter is pretty much what I've read recently - but I still think these were some of the better books I've read in a while. If you can find the time, I do highly recommend them. (But you may want to wait until book 3 comes out - Eldest does leave you really wanting more)
egheaumaen on December 21st, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
Of course, when it tanks, the quality of the film will be irrelevant. Hollywood will consider this to be concrete proof supporting their longstanding belief that audiences don't like the fantasy genre, and they'll write off "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings" and "Narnia" as flukes.