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Castlelake

Eragon review and other musings

Posted on 2007.01.02 at 00:08
Current Mood: crappycrappy
Tags:
Hello all,
Well, we had a great party last night which went into the wee hours.  I slept late, got up to face a kitchen that looked utterly debauched, had a fight with my teenage daughter (that was fun), thought of taking the Christmas tree down - didn't -  and then went with friends to see Eragon.  So far the year is starting ho-hum.   I'm feeling the after holiday depression, I think.  Don't have much ambition to do anything, looked at the epilogue I was working on and didn't feel the spark to do anything with it.  I've read a number of fics that are much better than anything I can do and feeling depressed about writing again.  I've got the perennial think-I'll-give-up-writing blues.  Got to go back to work tomorrow. So, it's back to real life.  Sigh.

Anyway, for my last foray into fantasy for a while, I went to see Eragon.   The movie had moments but was mostly a disappointment.

So, I have to say that I have not read the book.  I understand it was written by a 15 year old named Christopher Paolini, self-published by the family several years later and then picked up and published by a major company where it became a best seller.  I think the fantasy come true story is all right there.   I hear that the book is much more involved and detailed than the movie (to be expected).  However, I will say that after seeing the movie, I wouldn't bother to read the book as it is highly derivative from Tolkien, Star Wars, and the Pern Dragon Rider series with nothing original that I could see.  The classic fantasy storyline of  evil king taking over the kingdom with his wicked sorcerer and orc-like henchmen, and the simple young boy suddenly thrown into events, befriended by an older, crotchety wizard character, and learning that he has previously unknown powers is so well-trodden and was so predictable that I had a very hard time watching the movie.

The lead actor cast as Eragon is a newcomer named  Ed Speleers and he did a reasonably good job with his part as well as being suitably attractive eye-candy.  And I did get some good moments out of thinking slashy thoughts about Eragon and his intriguing buddy Murtagh, who shows up too late in the film and doesn't have near a big enough part.  I even entertained slashing them, but don't have enough interest in the subject material to do that.  Better to write my own characters, methinks.

The film had some big names, such as Jeremy Irons as Eragon's mentor,  John Malcovich as the evil king (I kept watching his mouth and thinking of his role in Dangerous Liaisons), and Djimon Hounsou as the leader of the rebel alliance.  But even though these actors lent a certain weight to their roles, it didn't help particularly.   I did like the fact that the rebel leader was black and so were a number of the rebels as it made for one of the few refreshing aspects of this particular fantasy world. 

The best part of the movie was the special effects wizardry that created the dragon Saphira.  The thrill of seeing her swooping flight made the whole film for me. 

Oh and there was that great wrestling romp between Eragon and his cousin, who looked enough like him that at first I thought he was a twin.  Yum.  Talk about slashy thoughts.  Oh yeah, I'm too depraved for my own good.

But otherwise . . . eh . . . seen and read it all many times before.

Curious as to what you think?

Comments:


Talullah
talullahred at 2007-01-02 09:53 (UTC) (Link)
I've read a number of fics that are much better than anything I can do and feeling depressed about writing again.
an accurate description of how I feel when I read your stuff. ;)
Larien Elengasse
larienelengasse at 2007-01-02 17:34 (UTC) (Link)
Amen, sista - on both your account and elfscribe's for me...
elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 03:47 (UTC) (Link)
Oh gack - I don't want other people to feel that way. It's miserable. I read something and say to myself, my god, I could never have done that and then I get all depressed and shit, which is silly, I readily admit it. All one can do is one's best and my style isn't the same as others and blah, blah. Still, we all want to be able to write stunning, superlative prose, eh? Btw,I love your fics and you shouldn't feel that way at all. But heck, thank you for the compliment.
ennorwen
ennorwen at 2007-01-02 11:26 (UTC) (Link)

I think,,,

my (soon to be 12 year old) daughter quite agreed with your assessment of Eragon. And she just loves dragons. She had even read the book, but after seeing LOTR and Harry Potter and Narnia, she just wasn't overly enthusiastic about Eragon, though she did also, like Saphira.

I'm raising such a "geek" here and I love it - she asked for and received a game called Heroscape for Christmas and plays an online game called "Moonscape."

As to your writing - I'm sure I won't be the last to tell you there are few that can "match" you - you just wrote an "epic" for slashysanta (which I still have in my stack of stuff to read, alas) - so - take a little break - I think I've seen that you give that advice to others also - you know how something will happen and then you'll feel compelled again...

Happpy New Year, dear elfscribe. Recover, relax and then...ONWARD!
elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 03:51 (UTC) (Link)

Re: I think,,,

Oh treasure your little geek. I would give a lot to have one of my own. Unfortunately neither of my daughters care much for fantasy. My oldest does like Star Trek, but that's as far as it goes. They both adore the most godawful horror flics - which I loathe. So, there we are.

And thanks for the support re: the writing. I shouldn't have done an emo (as my kids would say). Normally, I restrain myself. It was a strange evening. And yeah, you have seen me give that advice. Isn't that the way? We're able to give it better than take it.
Here's a big hug!!!
Anary
anary at 2007-01-02 12:29 (UTC) (Link)
*warm hugs*

Hope you have a relax day today and then have a nice sleep tonight, so that you'll feel better tomorrow morning when you have to go to work.

I have think about to see the movie Eragon but didn't do it; probably would see it later on in DVD. Well, although I haven't read the book (and I won't), I know your stories are far better than this one. It's a shame that they could not be published.

Wish you a year full of inspiration and loves from those whom you loved.
elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 03:54 (UTC) (Link)
Oh my dear Anary - thanks for saying you would like to see my fics published. I'm afraid, however, they are for a rather limited audience. Maybe someday I publish something but I'll tell you the competition out there is dreadfully fierce.
Hope you had a good New Year's.
Hugs back.
Dreams Spun from Shadows
maiafay at 2007-01-02 16:32 (UTC) (Link)
It annoys me he had it published that young...simply because I wish I could publish my own work. But, after I beat the green-eyed monster down--I am happy he has recieved so much success. I did plan on seeing Eragon in theaters, but after reviews from people like you, (don't put much stock in Critics.) I've decided to wait for DVD.

I hear you on the writing thing...I feel that way myself much of the time. Just realize that you have your style, and they have theirs, and don't try and warp it to fit what they have. If you're not feeling the emotions or 'spark' as you call it--leave it for when you do. I found forcing words from yourself does nothing, and I end up revising and editing the crap out of the prose I squeeze out of me...something best avoided...trust me.

Good luck hon...
elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 03:57 (UTC) (Link)
Hiya Carrie,
Thanks for the good advice, sweetie. Of course you're right and one shouldn't compare and so forth. It's just hard when you want soaring prose and it seems so plodding.
Hope all is going well for you and that you've eluded all those obnoxious types.
Kei
keiliss at 2007-01-02 17:15 (UTC) (Link)

It's definitely the new year blues you've got, lol. I'm feeling similarly uninspired and flat. Plus, after the rush to get Osse's Gift finished your creativity probably needs to catch its breath - I hope not for too long, I'm looking forward to the epilogue.

For what it's worth, very few fanfiction writers can tell a story anywhere near as well as you do.

I looked at the pre-publicity on Eragon, thought 'seen that, read that' and decided I'd wait till it came out on DVD. I've heard nothing to make me revise that choice.

'hugs'

elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 05:10 (UTC) (Link)
Oh no, not you too? Well, I was on such a roll there that it seemed like it would continue. Thanks, my dear for the boost.
Yeah, seen that, like ohso many times. I mean I know the Hero of A Thousand Tales cycle is the classic that repeats itself but really, there was nothing inspired here, except minor details. (Yeah, that Murtagh though, love a cute dude with a chip on his shoulder.)
Hugs,
Larien Elengasse
larienelengasse at 2007-01-02 17:39 (UTC) (Link)
I'm having the end of year doldrums as well, my friend. I haven't been able to write more than 5 pages in as many weeks - and for me, that's a serious dry spell. I think questioning your own ability is normal, god knows I do it enough. In my experience, how I'm feeling generally has a big impact on how I work creatively, which explains why I can't seem to write anything lately.

I don't know if it helps, but you are one of the writers I most admire. Your writing is so elegant and poignant, and far more maturely developed than my own. You have extraordinary skill, not only with storytelling, but with language. I think when you are through this slump, you will feel good about writing again - at least I hope so. I would hate to see you stop; your stories have been so wonderful and such an inspiration.
elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 05:18 (UTC) (Link)
I guess there's several of us in the same boat. For you, that is a serious dry spell. I've always admired your ability to write so consistently, especially while going to grad school. Yikes.
Thank you for supportive comments. It certainly does help, especially coming from you. I do mean to get to your latest epic at some point soon, but I keep getting more behind. I should let you know that I occasionally go to your site when I need some inspiration. *g*
Hope things go well with you.
mirien
mirien at 2007-01-02 18:44 (UTC) (Link)
I've read a number of fics that are much better than anything I can do and feeling depressed about writing again. I've got the perennial think-I'll-give-up-writing blues.


You too, huh? *eyeroll*

Good Eragon review, thanks. I'm erring towards not seeing, I think. Or reading, actually.
elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 05:21 (UTC) (Link)
Not you too? Heck, I think we must have overdone it on New Year's. For some reason this holiday got here way before I was ready for it, then I had the longest, loveliest week, then suddenly it was gone and I got the reality boot again. Sigh.
Well Eragon might be worth renting on DVD. My friends enjoyed it. One of my friends actually cried at one point, but she does that at movies. LOL! At that same point, I was rolling my eyes and thinking, oh god, major cliche. Heh!
dark_malignity
dark_malignity at 2007-01-03 05:06 (UTC) (Link)
hey, great to see u again! as in, online. *g* havent heard much from elfscribe lately. (but then again i'm not on lj as often as i was...)

and ur writing is amazing, dont let it get to you. it really is.
elfscribe5
elfscribe5 at 2007-01-03 05:22 (UTC) (Link)
Hi dark,
Good to "see" you too. I think I read on your site that you graduated? If I got that right, congrats!! Thanks for the support. All my LJ buds are the best!
dark_malignity
dark_malignity at 2007-01-03 12:23 (UTC) (Link)
BOOYA!

hell yeah!!! and WOHOO!

tho i'm sending in my application for masters the day after tomorrow. i hope to start masters in july this year. ^^

and see my pretty cosplay icon!! i love cosplay!!

any, hope ur new year will be awesome! *hugs*
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