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Eragon (SE)
DVD disk
Apr 3, 2007 By: Sturdy
Eragon (SE) order
Director:
Stefen Fangmeier

Actors:
Ed Speleers
Jeremy Irons
Sienna Guillory

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young farm boy stumbles upon a mysterious rock, which he later learns is one of the last dragon eggs in the world. To his surprise, the dragon hatches and chooses him as her rider. Together, they embark on a magical journey to save the princess.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
You have to appreciate Hollywoodís determination to make a successful dragon movie. There has yet to be a good film about dragons, but that doesnít stop them from trying. ERAGON is the most recent film to step up to the challenge and unfortunately it falls with the same disappointing thud as its fire-breathing predecessors.

The absolute worst part about ERAGON was the atrocious acting. It would be easy to attack the lead actor, but no one involved is without fault. Everyone, including John Malkovich, was unbelievably bad. Itís a sad day when a CGI dragon gives more emotion than any human actor. The fault doesnít lie solely on the actors, Stefen Fangmeier gives the movie a very amateurish feel with bland directing and underdeveloped action sequences.

Another frustrating aspect of the film is that with a few minor tweaks, it could have been a decent flick. I hate to bash a guy in his first film, but Ed Speleers really brought the film down. A better leading actor would have done wonders for this movie. Also, the world of ERAGON was never fully developed and that was a big detriment to those of us not familiar with the books. Since weíre being drawn into a fantasy world, we kind of need a heads up of how the world is set up. Instead, we get way too much time with Eragon and his family, and those scenes didnít do much for the film. Basically, the plot was confusing and the people, creatures and places were tough to get straight.

I think anyone could go on and on about how cheesy and bad this movie is. However, I have to step back from the reviewer side of me and acknowledge the geek side of me by saying I kind of enjoyed ERAGON. Sure, it had bad acting and bad directing, but itís kind of fun to allow yourself to be taken to a world of flying dragons, magic and princesses.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Stefen Fangmeier: Clearly, the guy is proud of his directorial debut. The track lacks the personal stories that I expect to hear from someone so involved in the project and instead focuses on reiterating the plot. He also feels that thereís a big cult following.

Inside the Inheritance Trilogy (51:31): Broken up into five chapters, this is a long featurette that follows ERAGON from the books to the big screen. In case you didnít know, the author was 15 when he wrote the books. Other than that, itís a pretty dry rundown of how the film came to be.

Inhabitants of Alagaesia (19:27): This is simply a breakdown of all the characters in the film and their story. Itís nice, but unnecessary if you just watched the film.

Vision of Eragon (4:36): This is a collection of art that the director showed the studio to describe how the story was going to play out. This is kind of a neat way to show conceptual art.

Extended and Deleted Scenes (12:28): Extended scenes are boring because you have to watch a scene youíve already watched just to see three seconds of footage that wasnít in the final cut. The odd thing is that they cut out the scenes with the butcherís daughter, who apparently plays a big part in the second book.

Saphiraís Animation Guide (2:21): This should have been spliced into the longer featurette because it doesnít provide enough information to stand on its own. Itís merely a quick look at how they animated the dragon.

Christopher Paolini Interview (4:17): Again, this should be with the longer featurette. This is kind of a teaser interview with the author about the second book in the series. Its setting up a sequel, but Iíd be surprised if we got one.

Secrets of Alagaesia (44:27): Finally, you tech junkies get 45 minutes of detailed analysis on how they did all the special effects in the movie. It feels more like a commentary since itís done over scenes from the movie. Itís decent, but definitely geared towards those that understand the technical aspects of special effects.

There are also some Previews and a Video Game Featurette.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
ERAGON was a bad movie. It felt familiar and the acting and directing was pretty horrible. However, with that said, I think fans of the genre will find it mildly amusing.
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