myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics Totally Biased Book and Movie Review: Eragon Book AND Movie Review

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Eragon Book AND Movie Review

Eragon (the Book)

By Christopher Paolini

Published by Knopf Books for young readers

544 pages

Eragon (the Movie)

Directed by: Stefen Fangmeier

Starring: Edward Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory

Rated PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences and some frightening images

104 minutes

I will just start out on a positive note, letting ya’all know with no uncertainty whatsoever that Eragon is a dang good book. If you are a Reader like me (note the capital, it means something… and if you don’t know what it means, then don’t worry, you’re not one.) then you will find yourself satisfied by this big hunk o’ book. The cover shows a dragon out of every fantasy-lover’s dreams, silvery-blue scales and huge eye gleaming, but not unkindly. ( I always liked that backwards-sounding phrase that is in use so freely…. I mean think about it, doesn’t it sound like it has too many words… “he smiled, but not unkindly.” Seems like it should just say, “He smiled kindly”. But hey that’s me, and just one example of the bizarreness my mind will travel to when it’s left on its own for too long. I better get back to it) The story, of a young farm boy who goes hunting in the creepy woods called The Spine, and finds an unusual stone that later hatches, will warm the cockles of any fantasy-lover’s heart.

And, not to go off-track again here, but what in the HELL are cockles, anyway? It makes me think of those little spiny prickly balls that stick to the cuffs of your pants while you’re walking through fields, and I don’t normally associate small, spiny annoyances with my heart, but in this case, I’m forced to. So if anyone knows what a real “cockle”, of the heart type, is, feel free to let us all know. We’re on tenterhooks. And if you know what a tenterhook is, you get bonus points.

Ok back to the story. Eragon, who is not the dragon, but the boy, finds this big blue rock. He seems to forget pretty quickly that he found the blue rock during an unusual lightning-crack explosion that scorched the woods around him. The few little discrepancies such as this that are found in the book are easily forgiven once the reader discovers that the author was fifteen when he penned the tale.

Yes the rock hatches, and here’s your big surprise of the day, it is a dragon that crawls out, not a chicken. A female dragon, to be precise, of the blue variety. Her name is Saphira, and fairly quickly we learn that she has chosen to hatch for Eragon, and with this hatching and choosing, a new legend has come to life…. The Dragon Riders are reborn! Prophesies are being fulfilled, and Eragon and Saphira set off on major adventures with Brom, his guide and mentor, who is the crusty old storyteller from the village.. or is he?

I’m not telling any more of the story because if you haven’t read it, you’ll want to find out all the good stuff on your own. And if you have read it, you already know. And if you don’t want to read it, screw you. Haaa! Just KIDDING. But the point is, no more spoilers.

The movie, you see, had enough spoilage for anyone. And by spoilage, I don’t mean the give-away-surprises kind. I mean the stinky, rotten, hold your nose kind. Again I went against all of training as a reviewer and did not prepare myself for this movie-going experience with other reviews beforehand. Make not my mistakes, children! Always read the reviews before you waste that eight dollars on a ticket to a movie that won’t even let you enjoy your popcorn sprinkled with white cheddar.

An example of a damn good fantasy book turned into a damn good fantasy movie is Lord of the Rings. An example of a damn good fantasy book turned into a just-another Disney movie with big flashy CG scenes and very little to do with the actual, you know, story… is Eragon. As far as Eragon Le Movie is concerned, well, “Le Pyew”, I would say, if I was a cartoon character, which I am not, contrary to popular belief.

It is fine movie if it’s not supposed to bear much resemblance to the book. It’s a fine movie to take your ten year old son to, he who has not read the book. It’s a fine movie if your idea of a good movie is dragons talking in a too-wise voice in Eragon’s head, him acting like a spoiled little baby until suddenly he becomes this warrior dude, like in a split second. It’s fine if you don’t mind the huge leaps and gaps in the storyline, filled in with action sequences such as Saphira flying speedily through a canyon, and the walls are racing past at a rate fast enough to make you dizzy. It’s fine if you don’t mind that the makers of the movie decide to totally create a googly- eyed, almost-love story between eragon and the Elf Princess, when in the book, she barely acknowledges his presence and is totally disgusted by his fumbling, little boy crush. She’s like, a hundred years old, and he is like a teenage human, with all the wisdom and maturity that goes along with that. Snort. That was the part I disliked the most. The wise and noble Elf Princess making eyes back at the stuttering, goofy, farmboy.


So, fellow Readers, enjoy the book and skip the movie. Movie-goers, enjoy the movie but don’t expect a life-changing experience. It aint no LOTR, peeps, but the book can hold its own.

I give the book an orange on the Reading Rainbow

I give the movie 2 &s….

& it had good graphics, or animation, or whatever you wanna call it

& it had a couple of pretty good fight scenes and we all know I’m all about that.

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Blogger Bitty said...

Sounds like the moviemakers, who presumably were not 15 when they made the film, have no excuse.

I think "he smiled, but not unkindly" has a totally different meaning than "he smiled kindly"!

In the first sentence, we feel the tension in the scene; this sentence suggests that the dragon's attitude could have gone either way: a (not unkind) smile, or hey, you're dinner (or sport, if the dragon is a vegan).

The first sentence, the one you actually wrote, is richer, more evocative, and more precise than "he smiled kindly."

Or so I think.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Spamer said...

I love dragons, and cars too

Cool cars !!


5:35 AM  
Blogger Meowkaat said...

I agree bitty, It's just a meatier sentence. And look at the Teacher in you come whizzing out. LOL I was just imagining how you must gag over some of the grammar and run-ons and other stuff that makes a of mine paragraph untidy, and unkindly, to English teachers.
But what is a COCKLE?

and uh... Spamer (now there's a name to make an English teacher cringe) I don't know how you ended up here, but I guess I'll leave you since you're already settled. And since your post makes such nonsense. I like cheese. And bicycles, too.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Bitty said...

1. What I would tell my students about "cockle" is that they know how to use the internet just as well as I do and probably better. I would also admit that I don't know, because I'm not into proving I'm a know-it-all. I know enough that I also know I have nothing to prove. Ha! Nevertheless, I went a-searchin' anyway. Here:

2. You opened the door to this comment, so you'll have to suffer the consequences. I've been meaning to say this anyway. I may have my favorite bloggers mixed up, but it seems to me that on one of your late, lamented blogs you said that you'd always wished you had gone to college. Even if it wasn't you who said that, I frequently respond to your posts with the thought that someday you should make it your hobby to go to college (assuming you didn't already go) because your inquisitive, agile mind and flair for writing would set the place on fire in the best possible way.

Making school my hobby was essentially what I did. I started going part time to the local community college when I was 29, and 16 short years later I had my master's degree. Hey, I planned to get 16 years older anyway. I should blog about that some day.

Oh, and I pretty much don't notice surface stuff like commas, etc. because I spend so much time at work mentally translating from Freshman to English as I read along (trying to figure out what the student is REALLY saying). Don't spend another nanosecond thinking about it.

10:03 PM  
Blogger alethegoodsoul said...

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve visited. I know, I know. Don’t hate me or anything of the sort. I’ve been busy! I’ve been so busy in fact that I even changed my blog, my blog address, my writing and allll that other stuff that I used to do during my blogging days. I’m back! Here’s my new address. I hope you swing by and let me know what you think of the changes! (previously

Your kickass friend,

Don’t forget to change your bookmark! I swear I’ll be updating more regularly now! *grin*

1:18 PM  
Blogger The Pagan Temple said...

Meowkaat, I was just curious, have you heard anything from Merriel (Sock Puppet) lately?

8:53 AM  
Blogger Orhan Kahn said...

Haven't heard too much good news about the movie. Though the book is highly recommended.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Wondering when your coming back... I wanna hear about a movie... or a book... or you...

6:48 PM  
Blogger tongfengdemao said... tells you what cockles are

Thanks for the review. I wondered when I saw the movie ads if it was as good as the book is supposed to be. It didn't look it. I have it in my "to read" pile. I'll try to move the book up and forget the movie until it's on tv (if then).

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Inkblood said...

What? You thought Eragon was a good book? For heavens' sake...
1. Its plot comes straight from Star Wars
2. Its world comes straight from Lord of the Rings and Dragonriders of Pern
3. The writing is... well, atrocious.

Who cares if Paolini was 15 when he started it? If his parents hadn't published it, it never would've seen the light of day.
And by all accounts, the movie's worse.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, is it just me, or is this story a copycat of a typical fairytale? The handsome hero (Eragon) goes to fight the evil king (Galbatorix) and rescues princesses (Arya) and basically saves the day oh wonderful, happy ending kind of stuff. To me, this book is completely unoriginal and has no new ideas whatsoever. Nobody can even relate to it, for heaven's sake. Eragon has no temper, no real feelings, but a bunch of enhanced over-dramatic emotions. There are almost no details, only once in the entire book does it say Eragon's hair color, and there are no real twists at all. It's like a not-very well written action flick compared to an oscar winner film. And don't get me started on the "crush" scenes, either. It's unbelievably fake.

8:06 PM  

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