Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Eragon

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences and some frightening images.
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Fanstasy-style peril and violence, bows and arrows, spears, swords, fire, torture, characters injured and killed
Diversity Issues:Strong minority and female characters
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences and some frightening images.
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: None
Violence/Scariness: Fanstasy-style peril and violence, bows and arrows, spears, swords, fire, torture, characters injured and killed
Diversity Issues: Strong minority and female characters
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The fact that the CGI dragon gives the best performance in this film is not going to impede the enjoyment of its intended audience, which is 9-12 year olds. It may, however, make it a bit of a long haul for accompanying family members.


This story has all the strengths and weaknesses of its origin as a best-selling book written by then-15-year old Christopher Paolini. The strength comes from the author’s conviction and enthusiasm for the story but the weakeness comes from its key elements being renamed rather then re-imagined.

Like all classic adventure sagas, it relies strongly on those Joseph Campbell archetypes — the reluctant “chosen one” hero (newcomer
Edward Speleers in the title role), who has no parents but does have (1) a wise mentor/teacher giving Shakespearean line readings to dialogue de(in this case, Jeremy Irons as Brom, a sort of cross between Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda) and (2) a special force-like innate talent that competes with an impetuous nature, or, as they say in this film, “one part brave and three parts fool.” We have the meanies, lead by John Malcovich as evil King Galbatorix and Robert Carlyle, unrecognizeable under scrofulous make-up, as his even more evil henchman Durza. And we have the rebel forces, led by Djimon Honsou, and the brave but beautiful girl (Sienna Guillory). And we have a whole new vocabulary of not just words but of properties, principles, powers (including a grok-like draco-vision) and limits, which always has a lot of appeal for those young enough to have the brain space to absorb and store it without worrying about whether it will displace the few things they are already struggling to remember. And, of course, we have dragons, or at least one dragon, a devoted mind-melding, blue-eyed sweetheart of a flying dragon with the lovely voice of Rachel Weisz.


Even at 100 minutes, it drags, taking a long time to get going and relying on too much jaw-breaking exposition that even Iron’s velvet tones and Honsou’s quiet dignity cannot bring to life. The perfume-ad settings are lovely but static and the same could be said about the teen-dream cast. Speleers’ idea of acting is a slightly knit brow, an attempted hard stare, neither of which work very well. It was a big mistake to cast pop star Joss Stone as the blind fortune-teller. It isn’t just that she doesn’t make a believeable blind fortune-teller or even a believable middle ages character. She doesn’t make a believeable human being. Garrett Hedlund as Murtagh seems to be able to hold the screen, but it is hard to tell under the meticulously arranged bangs that hang over his eyes, unforunately making him look like a Pokemon bad guy.

Parents should know that this movie has a great deal of fantasy violence and peril with some sad deaths. Characters fight with arrows, swords, fire, and magic.


Families who see this movie should talk about what it means to be one part brave and three parts foolish. What decisions did Eragon later regret? What decisions did Brom later regret, and why? When characters say they expect someone who was more…what were they expecting? Would you believe Murtagh? Why?

Families who enjoy this film will also enjoy reading the books. They will also enjoy Ladyhawke, Dragonslayer, and The Lord of the Rings – The Motion Picture Trilogy.

Previous Posts

Tribute: Oliver Sacks
We mourn the passing of neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, who illuminated the workings of the brain and set an example of grace and compassion that extended to the way he shared his thoughts about his terminal diagnosis. I first learned ...

posted 9:17:46am Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Three Hundred Year-Old Actors Are Still Working
Scott Feinberg talked to three actors with a combined age of 302 for The Hollywood Reporter. Patricia Morison (age 100), Norman Lloyd (age 100) and Connie Sawyer (age 102) shared memories and offered tips. All are in good health. “I ...

posted 3:32:48pm Aug. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Youth with Michael Caine
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c[/youtube] Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel play friends on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is ...

posted 3:25:22pm Aug. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Worst Accents in Movies
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in this great rundown of the all-time worst movie accents. Critics vented frustration and fury, many picking Quentin Tarantino and Dick van Dyke, but I went with two actors who played Robin ...

posted 2:13:18pm Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Grandma
Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order ...

posted 5:50:55pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.