Monday, January 01, 2007

Back to work

Last day of vacation...

I took my son to the movies today. We went to see Eragon. Both of us really liked the book, and as far as the movie goes, it's not much like the book.

We were discussing this after the movie, and here were the main points that we had problems with (caution: spoilers ahead. Deal with it, or skip this post).

1. The plot is almost unrecognizable from the book.

2. The casting person was almost certainly a very poor one, or picked actors while high. Don't get me wrong, there were some very good choices, namely Eragon, Brom, Arya, and Galbatorix, and the Shade. Some fine actors whose talents are underused. The rest might as well have been picked up off of the street and stuck into their costumes, but that's okay, because we never see any of these characters more than once, even if they are very important characters in the book.

3. No wait, it's not okay. I've see much better acting at a Renaissance Faire. In fact, pick some of us out, and we'd do a better job, and get the accent right. Two characters who are surely the relatives of the producers: Angela and Murtaugh. God, they suck.

4. This movie should have been about an hour longer. Seriously. This is one of the few movies I can say this about. This is important, and will be explained in the next few points.

5. Main characters whose names are only spoken once, if at all. The King of the Varda, we hear his name once. His daughter introduces herself, and that's it. The dwarf king is never introduced, nor does anyone mention that there are dwarves there at all. No conversation whatsoever to let you know who these people are, and why we should give a crap if they die. Murtaugh, name mentioned once. No one sticks around long enough for you to care about them. Angela is important in the book (not to mention about 20 years older, and a bit sweet on Brom, and not creepy at all), and we never see her again outside of the fishing village with about three huts in the movie. Which leads me to the next point.

6. Obviously, they didn't have a lot of money to spend on computer graphics or models. No Teirm. And the Varden lived in an underground city built by Dwarves, and was splendid and huge. Yes, special effects are quite good, and they really focused on key aspects and did them well. Saphira is very well done. This is more a situation where you can tell by the things that are missing, than any technical and artistic lack.

7. The costumes are quite nice, but why does Arya have native american symbols on her banners? From the rest of her garments and armor, she should have been more Celtic or Irish. This was at a scene at the end, and it just stuck out as being weird. (Note to self: check to see if Narnia had any of the same people working on it... just a suspicion...)

8. One weird note: we see exactly one woman in Eragon's village. And the village is actually relatively untouched by Galbatorix in the book. It is peaceful enough that they still have fairs and trading, and a romance between Eragon's cousin and the butcher's daughter. I kept thinking to myself, where are the women and children? I mean, there are no children in this movie at all...

Okay, enough griping. There are other problems I had with this movie, but these are the main ones. To sum things up: The screenplay just ripped the book to shreds, and is more Cliff's Notes than screenplay. You just never get to see enough of any character to really care about them.

And from listening to people as they left, I wasn't the only one disappointed.

Okay, I need to quit thinking about this, or it's going to tick me off even further. TG we went to the early matinee, so at least I didn't waste too much money on it...

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