(Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
Picture: B/B- Sound: B+/B Extras: C-/C Film: C
Paolini’s book Eragon (the first part
of yet another trilogy) is supposed to be terrific and a favorite of Fantasy
fans all over, but you might not know that after watching Stefen Fangmeier’s
very flat feature film version (downscripted by Peter Buchmnan) from 2006. It did not do very well and especially after
so many other films in the genre that did work, why this was not more ambitious
has perplexed more than a few fans, readers and critics.
dragon’s egg could be the key the turning a civil war as a crazy dictator (John
Malkovich in mixed form) is out on a killing spree that will ruin the
world. The egg is discovered by Eragon
(Edward Speleers) who become the target of Galbatorix (Malkovich), his
sorcerer/assassin Durza (Robert Carlyle, the good actor once again wasted as he
was in The World Is Not Enough) and
has little help or support in the meantime.
Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou and Rachel Weisz also star and nobody can
save this pseudo-quest mess.
leaves the question of why Fox and the producers were not more ambitious or
serious about making this film work, especially with sequel possibilities. It becomes frustrating to fans when producers
think they can make just anything and throw it out there. That is what happened here and if they think
bad publicity and curiosity interest will sell this, that is bad. Fans and customers deserve more for their
X 1 image was shot in Super 35mm by Hugh Johnson, but has so much digital work
and especially bad digital effects that anything that works is brought down by
a certain level of degradation. The
anamorphically enhanced DVD-Video is typical of the somewhat colorless look of
these films and how they translate in lower definition, but the 1080p digital
MPEG-2 @ 20 MBPS High Definition Blu-ray reveals just how bad the digital is
and how good some of the other shots must have been before the process in
comparison to the DVD. Phony and
forgettable is the impression both formats give.
Digital 5.1 on the DVD is fair with good surrounds, the DTS 5.1 is better, but
nothing special in or from that mix, while the DTS HD Master Audio version has
much more fullness and punch in the more active scenes. Like Dragonheart,
surrounds are more active when there are battles and showing this film learned
nothing from any of the Lord Of The
Rings, scenes without them are dull.
Patrick Doyle’s score is a disappointment.
the Blu-ray only include the original theatrical trailer since this is a 35GB
disc, but the two-DVD set offers that, Director's Commentary with Stefen
Fangmeier on DVD 1, DVD 2 has extended/deleted scenes (with optional commentary
again by Fangmeier), stills, storyboards and several featurettes with
subchapters. A single Widescreen DVD is
also out there with less extras.
did not do a 50GB Blu-ray here is likely because they want the film to catch
on. It might with some genre fans, but
the rest will likely consider it another part of a long glut of Fantasy
- Nicholas Sheffo