Eragon is an ordinary farm boy living a quiet life, until,
on a hunting trip a glowing blue stone appears at his feet.
Later it hatches, revealing a strange creature. Unbeknownst
to Eragon, he has witnessed the hatching of the last dragon,
and has been chosen to become the last free dragon rider -
a warrior with the power to change the fate of his world.
only other living man with this unique ability is Galbatorix
the tyrant King who destroyed all other riders in order to
seize power over Alagaesia. Eragon seeks help from Brom, a
mysterious man with a dark past, and an in-depth knowledge
of dragons. Help comes too late, however as, in his quest
to destroy the dragon, Galbatorix's magician Durza unleashes
a horde of vicious beasts who raid the village. As the last
free dragon rider, Eragon must accept his destiny as warrior
and wage a mighty war alongside Brom, the beautiful princess
Arya, and the last vestige of rebellion - The Vaden...
received very poor reviews when it was released theatrically.
I have to say, on balance, this is one of the best family
action adventure movies I've seen for quite some time. It's
a kid's movie and very impressive one at that. Possibly the
biggest criticism I have is that the movie is almost a direct
copy of Star Wars, just set in a Lord of the Rings
environment. Don't believe me?
Highlight the following text if you don't mind spoilers...
we start off with Eragon, a young farm boy whose mother left
him with his uncle when he was very small (like Luke Skywalker).
He discovers an egg, (which will go a long way in his quest
to bring balance to his world) which has been sent to him
by a woman (Arya) who is being chased by the villain of the
movie (a lot like Princess Leia sending R2D2 with those battle
plans inside him). Brom discovers Eragon and mentors him like
Obi-Wan did with Luke Skywalker. Eragon's uncle is killed
when the Vader like Durza sends his army (like the stormtroopers)
to Eragon's homeworld to find the dragon. Eragon insists on
rescuing Arya from Durza's prison - like Luke rescuing Leia
from the Death Star. Brom, like Obi-Wan can perform magic
which he tries to teach Eragon. Brom sacrifices himself, like
Obi-Wan, so that Eragon can become the young hero. Durza answers
to the King, like Vader answers to the Emperor. And the Vaden
are just like the rebels.
in the interview with the book's author, Christopher Paolini,
on the second DVD in this collection, he reveals things about
the second book which sound familiar to The Empire Strikes
Back. Firstly he reveals that everything gets much worse
for all of the characters and the King discovers that Eragon
has a cousin who he decides to kidnap (not unlike Vader realising
that Leia is Luke's sister). And Paolini mentions that with
each book Eragon becomes more powerful as his magical and
physical powers grow (again like Luke Skywalker). And in the
third book opens with Eragon rescuing the Butcher's daughter
from a castle - like Luke rescuing Leia from Jabba's Palace?!!?
to be honest, George Lucas "borrowed" the idea first
from Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey. Because
of this I find it odd why so many critics originally didn't
warm to it. You can't knock the story, it's already tried
and tested. And you can't knock the acting. The
movie has some of the greatest actors working in the industry.
Irons, Robert Carlyle and John Malkovich are not exactly lightweights
in their profession. And the introduction of Ed Speleers represents
an impressive debut performance.
issue I did have was with 20th Century Fox charging £22.99
for the single disc release and £24.99 for the double
disc collection. Thankfully most online stores are still charging
well under the £15 mark for both versions, but while
£25 may be the going price for a good two-disc collection,
I doubt anyone will want to pay £23 for a single disc
set - especially when you consider that a lot of movies are
now being released for well under £20.
one (or the only disc if you buy the single disc release)
comes with the movie, an audio commentary by the director
Stefen Fangmeier; Extended and Deleted Scenes (12:30
mins which has several segments featuring the Butcher's daughter);
and Coming Soon (which is basically some trailers.
However, it's worth watching as their is a teaser for the
extras on disc two include: Inside the Inheritance Trilogy:
The Magic of Eragon (51:30 mins featurette that looks
at every aspect of the making of the movie - including interviews
with the book's 23-year-old author Christopher Paolini, as
well as cast and crew. This is about as comprehensive as you
can get in a Making of feature); The Inhabitants
of Alagaesia (20 minute look at character designs for
some of the main characters. Here Fangmeier is brutally honest
about why some of the books villains - especially the Ka'zac
- were altered almost beyond recognition. In fact he explains
that with hindsight he wishes he had used CGI for the Ka'zac);
Visions of Eragon (4:30 mins featurette, with optional
commentary with the director, on one storyboarded sequence,
as well as a 3 min look at the pitch he did for the executives
at Fox); a selection of click through storyboards; Interview
With Christopher Paolini (4 mins interview with the book's
author; The Secrets of Alagaesia (44 minute featurette
that looks at the composite shots of numerous special effects
sequences to show how they were built up); Saphira's Animation
Guide (2 min look at the rules the animators had to follow
to ensure that Saphira's movements looked the same no matter
who was animating her; and the teaser and theatrical trailer.
However, I couldn't find the Ed Speleers auditions that the
press release listed. It may have been included as an Easter
Egg, but I couldn't find it listed under the normal listings.
features are pretty impressive. In fact the only thing that
was missing was a nod to Patrick Doyle's incredible score
- which has to have one of the most beautiful movie themes
for a Hollywood big budget movie I've heard for some years.
I've been a fan of Doyle's since I saw Carlito's Way,
and it's great to see him doing something that allows him
to be a little more grand and mystical.
a lot of adults will find the plot to Eragon unoriginal,
this is a kid's/family movie and with that in mind I really
can't see how this could have been any better. Kid's will
love it. It's a good old back to basics, by the numbers adventure
that doesn't disappoint.