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Author Topic: Eragon: Nothing New
Midgard_Dragon
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Saw Eragon yesterday. It was nothing new as far as dragon/fantasy movies go, but it wasn't utter crap either. Wouldn't bother with more than a rental, personally. I'd say it's Dragonheart + Dragonheart 2 mixed with an attempt to be as epic as LOTR. From what I hear people who have read the book are going to outright hate it, though, so those of you who have read it might want to stay away. As for the Dragonheart comparison, Sean Connery still makes a better voice for a dragon than anybody ever.

Oh, and for those who abhor pop music: try to leave/turn it off right as the end credits start rolling and get out as fast as possible. I didn't mind the song, but I can just imagine some of the people I know who think pop music is the the vilest of evils exploding from the poppy melody that they play.

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Doug4.7
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We also went to see it yesterday, and we were all Misty-ing it in real-time. That is a bad sign (my favorite: "What's in your wallet?!" when the urgals were attacking...).

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lynnejanet
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Doug - what's Misty-ing?

I thought the movie was utter crap. My kid is in love with the books, so I've read them and heard the audio book. Although they're very derivative, they're well written and enjoyable.

The movie was boring and actually made me cringe at some points. The acting is atrocious, they change the storyline completely, the dialogue is so stilted it's laughable, and a lot of the scenes looke very disjointed and pieced-together from longer footage.

If you like the books, avoid the film at all costs.

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Midgard_Dragon
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Eh, I think the key again is going in with low expectations. Which apparently isn't very easy if you've read the book. I hadn't read the book and went in expecting it to bore me pretty bad, seemed too chock with teen angst in the promo stills. It turned out to be a mediocre fantasy movie. I think standards/expectations have to be pretty high to consider this utter crap. But then I've heard lots of people calling things utter crap lately that would've been the biggest hits ever in the 90's.

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Donelin
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Actually, I thought they mainly removed storylines that were not too important. There were only a few glaring parts that I felt needed more screen time. (When Eragon recieved Zarroc, The relationship between his "brother" Roran and the Butcher's daughter {important if they make a movie of Eldest, the next book}, the missing Dwarf character) Magical Training being totally glossed over was a major fault to me.

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Errata
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I haven't seen Dragonheart, but they can't possibly have stolen as much from there as they did from Star Wars. The plot had so many obvious parallels to Star Wars. There were also too many unique names taken from LOTR (the Silmarillion in particular) for it to be coincidental (and I'm not even counting the Tolkien invented fantasy elements since stealing those is par for the genre).

I'll say it again for emphasis. Eragon is a direct ripoff of Star Wars. Luke, Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and at least 100 specific plot points.

I'm a fan of the Harry Potter series. I went to Eragon based on vague comparisons between them, but its really no comparison at all. The movie was dire. It had high school play level acting and dialogue.

Plus the central conceit was never made believable. If you have fully intelligent dragons, then the human riders aren't exactly contributing a whole lot except to give the dragon a vulnerability. Yes, there is some complicated enchantment bonding them, but the whole system would work better if you removed the rider from the equation.

A quote from imdb, which expresses the uncanny similarities better:

quote:

Read the following plot summary:

A boy of foggy origins lives with his uncle in a remote place of a vast empire headed by an evil Emperor and his right hand man, who was once prominent in an ancient order of guardians with mystical powers.

Through fate or luck, depending on your point of view, this boy comes into the possession of an object vital to a rebellion against the Empire; this object was inadvertently sent to him by a princess in the rebellion, who had attempted to send said object to an old man who once belonged to the same order of guardians as the Emperor’s right-hand man.

This boy seeks the old man to learn of the ways of this ancient order, but eventually has to return to his uncle’s farm, which, the boy finds, has been destroyed by fire, and his uncle killed. The boy then sets off with the old hermit, who also gives him a sword which belonged to his father. As they travel, they train. The boy meets up with a rogue who is full of surprises, but turns out to be fiercely loyal, for all his proclaimed selfishness. The boy also begins "seeing" a beautiful woman imprisoned and in need of help.

The boy decides that he needs to rescue her, even though he doesn't know her; further, he thinks of her only as beautiful (Luke's first words are, "Who is she? She's beautiful?" Eragon can't stop thinking about her beauty). Long story short, the old hermit dies to protect the boy, the boy and the rogue help the beautiful damsel escape.

They then set off to the rebellion to give important information and return the object which the princess had sent the boy. They were followed by the Empire, and prepare for a giant battle that will either save the rebellion or annihilate them.

The boy proves his worth with heroics during the battle, but his crowning achievement is his destruction of a noun of much power that has the ability to destroy lots of things. The boy is aided in this by one of his friends, who arrives at precisely the right moment.
The boy is lauded a hero.

The boy has a hallucination of a powerful master who can teach him more of the ancient order. The boy travels to the powerful master to learn the ways of the ancient order's mystical power. While there, he grows very powerful. While he is away, the Rebellion regroups in a new area.

Just when the boy is on a roll with his training, and has grown very powerful, he has a vision of his friends in great danger. He decides he must go to help them. His master warns him not to go. The boy promises that he will return. He leaves.

He finds his friends just in time and is able to distract the enemy so that his friends will remain safe. He finds out that his father was the right-hand man of the Emperor--his father was the one who betrayed the ancient order and helped kill them.

The boy is shocked and ultimately defeated, but not killed. He finds out that someone dear to him has been taken by evil people, and promises to find this person.

Now, is that the plot of Inheritance, or StarWars?


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Seltaeb
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quote:
Originally posted by lynnejanet:
Doug - what's Misty-ing?

Doug is referring to Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST 3K, or "Misty". In this sense, "Misty-ing" is talking during the movie, making comments and jokes, especially about the bad parts.
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Doug4.7
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quote:
Originally posted by Seltaeb:
quote:
Originally posted by lynnejanet:
Doug - what's Misty-ing?

Doug is referring to Mystery Science Theater 3000, or MST 3K, or "Misty". In this sense, "Misty-ing" is talking during the movie, making comments and jokes, especially about the bad parts.
Exactly. For example, (if you've seen the movie) when the urkles are attacking, they looked just like the "barbarians" from the CapitalOne commercials. So I said, "What's in your wallet?!". [lol] Okay, I thought it was funny...

My kids also did a, "Luke, I am your father" moment at one point. Oh yea, and I made a rude comment to my wife about "mounting" the dragon (the voice actor is one of my favorites....), but I didn't share that one with the kids...

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Midgard_Dragon
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Meh, I better stop reading this thread. The acting, other than a couple of bad deliveries, was nowhere near as bad as it has been made out to be. Again, mediocre movie, but utter crap is way overstating it, IMO.

As for a ripoff of Star Wars, well everyone says that about just about everything it seems. I've heard it said that Final Fantasy XII was a direct ripoff of Star Wars as well. *shrugs* It just seems like people don't realize that there are several different plays on the same theme, and movies/books/games are bound to repeat themselves in some form or another.

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Donelin
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Oh Errata-Have you even read the book? Yeah there are some similarities -but even the Great Lucas himself (Om mighty George) said he took the basic plot for Star Wars off that big bookshelf where all the basic plots are stored.

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Amigone201
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The bad guys are called Urkles???

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Errata
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The similarities are NOT superficial. Its not a matter of a few or several elements. Its a down the line copy. Individual elements are always recycled. Entire stories are not. And its not just a few people pointing out the similarites. The excessive similarity is commented upon in fully half of the reviews.

When there are millions of stories out there, there are bound to be one in a million similarities, but thats not what I'm talking about. This is a one in a trillion similarity, and that only happens due to conscious volition. Lucas did steal elements of his story from Campbell, but I doubt this high school kid had even read Campbell, but he certainly saw Star Wars. The plagiarism goes to a whole different level here, to the extent that some elements of Eragon don't even make any sense except in the context of the story they are aping.

You haven't addressed my point about how stupid the entire focus of the book is, the superfluous dragon riders. Why do the dragon riders even need special lightsabers when their primary form of combat is on top of huge firebreathing flying dragons? Why not, say, a lance, or another longer range weapon suitable for use on a mount? Having the rider in the first place only makes sense if the dragon is less intelligent than the rider, which isn't the case here.

Deaddonelin, I don't seek out terrible books to read. I am a voracious reader, but only of things I expect to enjoy. I didn't read it in the first place because I was highly suspicious of derivative tripe written by a high school student. But a movie is a much smaller investment of time, so I was willing to see that. Its basically fan fiction level writing from a kid who happened to have publishing connections writing at a time when children's fantasy was having a boom and everyone wanted to cash in.

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snapdragonfly
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My son and daughter were very excited to see the movie - she'd read the book - and they were very dissappointed in it. It was "lame", and there was "no action." They went to see it with a bunch of my son's friends and they all thought it was lame.

So there you have it - the concensus from the target audience.

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Mr. Billion
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I read part of the book but dropped it without finishing because it was, well, bad.

The author's chief skill seems to be not writing, but marketing. There's a video game out, too.

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Astra
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Billion:
I read part of the book but dropped it without finishing because it was, well, bad.

The author's chief skill seems to be not writing, but marketing. There's a video game out, too.

The only reason I think the book got the press that it did was because of the author's young age.

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Sylvanz
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My daughter read the book and was pretty disappointed in the movie. When he heard my daughter lamenting how far from the book the movie had strayed some guy outside the theatre yelled: "Five pages...only five pages from the whole book are in that movie!"
He seemed a little unhappy. [Wink]

So I think perhaps if you haven't read the book, comparing the book to Star Wars may be a bit premature. Perhaps it was the screen writers who saw and attempted to plagiarize Star Wars? Also, many elements in the story (book and movie) are quite like Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern books. I think that, and Tolkien, are where the book is derivative.

P&LL, Syl

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Doug4.7
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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
The bad guys are called Urkles???

Actually, that would make a good Misty moment....

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Grumpy
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quote:
Originally posted by Errata:
I'll say it again for emphasis. Eragon is a direct ripoff of Star Wars. Luke, Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and at least 100 specific plot points.

My friend and I chuckled at each one of those 100 coincidences. We didn't say anything until after the movie, but we both knew exactly what we were each thinking, it was so obvious.

Even the kid's haircut looked like Mark Hamill's.

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Errata
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Sylvanz, screenwriters cut and cut and cut to make a book fit, but they rarely add. The complaints from readers are mostly about missing characters. What is there is still largely from the book. In fact there are supposedly some extra Star Wars plot points in the book that didn't even make it to the screen version. I think the phenomenon thats happening is that the shorthand movie version makes the borrowing so much more obvious than it is in the slower paced book, even though it exists in both.
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Amigone201
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
The bad guys are called Urkles???

Actually, that would make a good Misty moment....
You know what the eerie coincidence is with that picture? I put "Urkel" into a google image search, and found that one, which was an absolutely perfect picture of him.

Then, out of mild curiosity, I glanced at the web address to see where I was stealing the picture from. It was the server run by my old housing module in what used to be my college dorm!

Then I dug a little deeper to see who on my old floor had a picture of Urkel, and I realized that it was MY page! The one I posted back in my junior year, when I lived in that dorm!

Yikes!

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Grumpy
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quote:
Originally posted by Errata:
The plagiarism goes to a whole different level here, to the extent that some elements of Eragon don't even make any sense except in the context of the story they are aping.

I agreed with Errata earlier, but I don't agree that this could be called "plagiarism." If anything, it's a commentary on Star Wars. For example, Jeremy Irons' mentor character is more robust than Alec Guiness, which suggests that Star Wars could have been done differently.

Although, from what I gather, the character in the book was an older, more decrepit figure -- making the movie less like Star Wars than the book is.

One thing Eragon explores that Star Wars does not is the hero's desire for revenge, after his uncle is killed. Apparently, the book makes more of this; in the movie, the quest for revenge is mentioned but doesn't distract from the goal of finding the rebel stronghold.

I only wish that my parents were publishers. That probably would've inspired me to finish a novel by the time I was 19, too.

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Felessan
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While I didn't mind Eragon just as entertainment I couldn't help but get a lot of "I've seen this somewhere else" moments.

For example, lines I kept waiting for:
Arya to Eragon: "Aren't you a little short for a Dragon Rider?"

Anyone to Eragon: "Brom's just a crazy old hermit."

The bit about Dragons dying when their rider dies is too much out of McCaffrey's Pern novels.

And Dragons with feathered wings... didn't seem right.

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