Monday, December 18, 2006

Eragon, dragons and film making...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
The people who get into this business are fast-buck operators, carnival people, always have been,” Mr. Altman said in a 1993 interview. “They don’t try to make good movies now; they’re trying to make successful movies. The marketing people run it now. You don’t really see too many smart people running the studios, running the video companies. They’re all making big money, but they’re not looking for, they don’t have a vested interest in the shelf life of a movie. There’s no overview. No one says, ‘Forty years from now, who’s going to want to see this?’ No visionaries. -Robert Altman NYT Obit November 21st, 2006

Our family and some of the kids friends joined us and we went and saw "Eragon" at the theater the other night. My son Christian has read both books and is a fan, so he was pretty excited to see it. I am a major fantasy fan (I watched LOTR the two towers and almost all of the ROTK last night on tv, which makes ??? times). It was a good film as long as you dont compare which is hard to do in the wake of LOTR trilogy for me. CGI in the movie was real good, the dragon was by far light years ahead of say, the "Dragon heart" movies. Those blow compared to this dragon. I dont think there was one scene where I thought, that looks cheesy or obviously blue screen.

But in the end after looking back, it was the story that suffered, even though according to the book readers it was the story that was supposed to make this movie great. But I think the adaptation failed yet again. In this day you have to have a killer story to really compete for the attention of the viewer. There are just too many effects available to see today.

But I actually think that is good because it is going to force the best writers to the top. I really have a hard time trying to connect with a character in a 1.5 or 2 hour movie that is trying to CGI me into oblivion. I am not going to care if the dragon dies if I have no story to connect me emotionally to the character. That is what sunk The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe for me....I didn't give a whit for the characters, they were unbelievable and too cutsie.

After watching some of the LOTR last night, it nailed it again for me, you have to have a great story and people who are able to turn story into a great film are critical to making something work on film that was a book. My son thinks the readers will yet again be disappointed by yet another film that castrates a fantastic book. Thats what made LOTR such a success, you saw on film what you had visualized when you read the books, thats a gift.

Eragon is a good movie worth seeing on the big screen (dragons have to be big you know) but I would go at discount times.

1 comment:

Todd Bacon said...

Thanks for the heads up... I'm not familiar with the story, but know some HS student who rave about it. I've invited several of the men from my Tues night fellowship group to come to my house after our study in Ephesians to watch extended version of FOTR, TT and ROTK. I was kind of jazzed after seeing the previews for Eragon to see it, but I think I'll wait. Not trying to be a yes-man, but I could not agree more on the LWW big-screen version - they should have called it "The children, the witch and the wardrobe." They totally missed the point made so well in the book and the audio version (highly recommend the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre production) that the story, ultimately, is about Aslan.