Eragon: 2-Disc Special Edition

DVD Reviews | Apr 1st, 2007

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Starring Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Rachel Weisz, Robert Carlyle, Djimon Hounsou, Sienna Guillory, John Malkovich, Garrett Hedlund
Written By: Peter Buchman, Christopher Paolini
Directed By: Stefen Fangmeier
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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When I first heard about Eragon, I thought it would serve as a nice post-Lord of the Rings movie since I’ve been craving some more fantasy adventure flicks. But once I saw the trailer, it sort looked more like Dungeons and Dragons than Lord of the Rings. After seeing the movie on DVD, I have to sadly say that my snap judgment was true.

Eragon the movie is based off the best-selling children’s novel, written by young author Christopher Paolini. He was only 15 when he started to write the novel and was home-schooled most of his life. Judging from his interviews, it doesn’t surprise me that this kid was home-schooled and wrote fantasy novels. The film is about a young farm boy named Eragon (Ed Speleers) who discovers a mysterious object out in the wilderness as he’s hunting. The egg turns out to be a dragon’s egg, and is the last dragon’s egg in the world since most of the dragons are long extinct. The dragons & their riders used to protect the kingdom from enemies. The King Galbatorix used to be a dragon rider himself and then turned evil, and killed the remaining Jedi…I mean riders & dragons. Eragon’s destiny is to become a dragon rider and revived the ancient battle between good and evil. Eragon’s dragon grows up to be this blue-scaled female Dragon named Saphira (voiced telepathically by Rachel Weisz). Eragon and Saphira have a great bond together, and Eragon is coached by a old Dragon Rider named Brom (Jeremy Irons). The Ben Kenobi/Gandalf role if you will. They all bond together to take on the King and his gross looking sorcerer Durza and try to win back the kingdom.

I never read the book of Eragon but I was expecting this movie to be a little bit better. Even though it’s ripping off several stuff from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc etc., this film still could have been a lot better in many areas. The overall storyline was sort of weak, and I didn’t give a crap about any of the characters. I could see that Brom wasn’t going to last in this film just from seeing the trailers. It just seemed like one of those characters from the beginning of the movie. For some reason, I just didn’t like Rachel Weisz as the mental voice of the dragon. They should have done away with having a speaking dragon entirely and just had the thing growl and shoot fire. Plus her acting made me cringe. Actually, a lot of the acting wasn’t particularly good but I think the dialogue was mainly to blame. If there is any that’s good about this flick is the special effects. A lot of the dragon scenes were well done, and there’s only a few scenes were the SFX were too cartoony or cheesy. A lot of the character development in the movie was undeveloped and the relationship between Brom & Eragon could have been fleshed out. John Malkovich’s character could have been in the movie more but then again I can’t freakin’ stand that guy. Talk about being miscast again in a movie. Stick to weird indie flicks will ya! And what the hell was Djimon Hounsou doing in this? He had like 2 lines in the whole movie. Yet another actor who was miscast or underused. Jeremy Irons was the only good thing about this film besides the special effects.

If you liked the movie, and want to spring the extra few bucks then get the special 2-disc edition DVD. It has loads of bonus features that will keep fans busying for a few hours. There’s a good making of documentary in the first section on the second disc. That’s almost an hour long and goes into the author’s story, the pre-production, on the set footage and all that good stuff. The author Christopher Paolini appears several times talking about his epic story that he wrote. He completed the second novel in 2005 and goes into that storyline a little bit and then there’s the third story still that needs to be complete in the Inheritance Trilogy. There’s a lot of other things in the extras like storyboard art, guides on how to actually pronounce the names in the story, interviews, trailers, audio commentary and lots more!

I didn’t completely hate Eragon but it could have been loads better given if there was better direction, dialogue, actors, etc etc. I think this storyline is also a rip off on several fantasy storylines and think the author has read too many of those books to pass this off as something original. But if you’re willing to see the movie with no expectations, then you’ll probably like Eragon.

Audio Commentary with Director Stefen Fangmeier
Extended and Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary
Inside the Inheritance Trilogy: The Magic of Eragon Documentary
Eldest – The First Two Chapters of the Second Book in the Inheritance Trilogy
The Inhabitants of Alagaesia Character Featurettes
Arya’s Ambush Original Animatic Sequence with Optional Director’s Commentary
Vision of Eragon Conceptual Art Gallery
Pronunciation Guide
Original and Unused Storyboard Galleries
Christopher Paolini Interview
The Secrets of Alagaesia Visual Effects Featurettes
Saphia’s Animation Guide CGI Featurette with Director’s Commentary
Original Teaser Trailer & More!

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Surround
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color

English, Spanish

Favorite Scenes: Scenes with Jeremy Irons, I liked the ending a little bit.
Rating: PG
Running Time: 102 minutes
Extras Rating:
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