‘Ello everyone! Eragon? More like Era-Don’t! (I could think of something that actually rhymed, this was honestly the best I could do). Oh, I get to tell you guys the story of Eragon, what an absolute pleasure (I guess sarcasm is the main place that an email like this fails where a podcast would succeed, but such is life):
- The Good – The landscapes were beautiful. The CGI was amazing (especially for the time). I’ve seen worse swords-and-sorcery movies. Jeremy Irons was solid. The story itself has something there, I can feel it. It’s just that …
- The Bad – The story is so tired and the way it is told is so cookie-cutter and the overall result is just banal from top to bottom. As is usual when you get a bunch of professional actors together dress them up in ridiculous costumes and tell them to do what you want the performances were … spotty. The absolute reliance on this being a trilogy (eventual tetralogy) is kind of nuts.
- The BMT – The more I think about it the more the movie kind of comes apart at the seams. It is kind of lower-mid table as far as its genre, so maybe 30/100 on our bad movie scale. Above average, but nothing special. The fact that it has a 60+ right now is a testament to just how angry fans of the book series got about it.
Audio Sklog-entary! Listened to the director commentary. The guy seems like a really solid visual effects supervisor. He was obsessed with sets and CGI and knew his stuff. But holy shit, he was just putting a movie together like it was a puzzle. Paint-by-numbers movie, what time is it? Can I talk to my CGI artists in Germany yet? Explains a bit I think. Seems like he probably just had no interest in directing a movie after the reception Eragon got.
Sequel/Prequel/Remake I’m going to go with Prequel. Tell me more about Bron the dragonrider and his adventures with the mad king Galbatorix! All real words. I’ll keep it short, because Jamie’s review is loooooong.
Eragon fits nicely into the relatively rare subgenre of Sword and Sorcery and as BMT progresses we get a nice broader picture of these small subgenres. We can start to rank and put films into a bit of a hierarchy. I would say that we’ve watched five films that would fit the genre: Conan the Destroyer, Seventh Son, Eragon, Dungeons & Dragons, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (I love writing out its full title). I’m sure you’re all gnashing your teeth and rending your clothes at the fact that I’ve left off Highlander II: The Quickening and The Legend of Hercules, but playa please. We’re talking true, blue Sword and Sorcery, not a film that takes place on Earth. I want imaginary worlds and made up bullshit, thank you very much. So where do these five films fit in our BMT Sword and Sorcery landscape? Like a beautiful Bob Ross painting, Seventh Son is the happy little mountains in our fantasy realm. Eragon is a happy little tree off to the side and Conan the Destroyer is a happy little lake from which happy deer drink happily to sate their thirst. Dungeons & Dragons is unfortunately a happy little castle that Bob accidentally painted pink and couldn’t change it cause it was too late and besides he only has thirty minutes to paint this and the viewers probably won’t notice anyway… right? As for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Well that is the happy little toxic waste spill that poisons our happy little lake and ends up wiping out the entire happy little deer population in the valley. It’s poison leaks into the ground water destroying the ecosystem in the area for generations to come and causing widespread illness among the populous in our happy little valley. Oh woe are those in our Sword and Sorcery Valley. Woe indeed. Oh! And if you didn’t follow the metaphor: Seventh Son > Conan the Destroyer = Eragon > Dungeons & Dragons >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.
Obviously for my game I’ll be doing my BMTsolution. Eragon was definitely adapted from a book and I, of course, read it. It’s a *gulp* 500 page young adult novel following the adventures of our titular hero as he discovers he’s super lame (oh, and a dragon rider too). Probably the funniest thing about the book is just how similar it is to Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, except replace Edward/Christian Grey with a dragon and Bella/Anastasia with Eragon (no, I didn’t make a mistake in how I classified the characters). Eragon is super headstrong. He’s always getting into trouble and subsequently getting saved by his dragon. The dragon is always like, “I can’t handle you being in danger, you have to stay with me all the time so you can be safe,” and Eragon has to fight for his independence while also being like, “I love you so much dragon. It flips my world upside down. I was an ordinary boy a second ago and now you make me feel so special with your love.” Then if you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, Eragon rides his dragon for the first time and it hurts him badly. He is then resistant to riding the dragon again, for he is afraid of how much it hurt him the first time they did it. But the dragon is reassuring and wants him to ride her because that is how they are meant to be. Then when he finally plucks up the courage he realizes that flying doesn’t have to hurt and in fact is wonderful and they can look through each other’s eyes and souls while they fly together. Oh it’s beautiful! How it feels to fly with a dragon you feel so connected to!… … … Incredibly uncomfortable stuff. The whole time I was like, “He’s basically having sex with this dragon… and it’s weird as fuck.” Besides that, the book is a blatant rip-off of Wheel of Time (not Star Wars like the reviewers claimed for some reason), and so I probably would have loved if it came out when I was in 6th grade. Who am I kidding, I didn’t mind reading it now and I’m an adult(ish).