Well, I bought and watched Eragon today but I found that the whole way through I was basically picking it apart and finding all the things that didn't fit in with the book or my own expectations.
I suppose the main thing to me was that it wasn't substantial or in depth in my opinion and this lost some of my feeling of the reality of the world of Eragon.
What I thought about the characters:
- Murtagh - wasn't right, there's nothing wrong with the actor but the character was written differently - in the film he knew where the Varden were and was happy to go to them, he seemed a lot less experienced than the Murtagh written in the books, and the way he joined them was different and not that great - he followed them rather than joining when rescuing Arya.
- Arya - firstly I very much like the actress and though I'd never heard of her before I think she's great in the part - though one thing I must say is, how hard is it to make her hair dark? Seriously, such a little difference still annoyed me. I suppose it could have been to detract from the Arwen look going on there. The meeting of her and Eragon was completely changed: he didn't have dreams of her in the darkened room due to her calling out to anyone to find and help her - he had visions inflicted by Durza to make him come to her so that Durza could kill him. Secondly, she was conscious basically the whole time - she even helped to look after Brom when he was injured - she's supposed to be unconscious! That's rather a bit part to screw round with. Thirdly it is revealed immediately that she is the princess of Ellésmera though in the trilogy it isn't revealed until the second book (or at least the end of the first - I don't really remember) - plus I don't think the film really says anything about the fact that she's an elf, unless the viewers already know what Ellésmera is then it's not really proclaimed clearly. And also at the beginning she was vaguely taunting Durza about failing whereas I think Arya isn't really the sort - she seemed more the sort to let him figure it out and taunt himself I suppose (this isn't really a major point just a sort of side bit). And lastly - her relationship with Eragon seems too openly romantic on her part when really Arya doesn't care for Eragon in that way especially considering the fact that she's actually a lot older than him. Though at least she looks a little uncomfortable when he says 'then I'll be waiting for tomorrow' (- when they may be together again). She also doesn't seem wise enough.
- Eragon - pretty good, fairly young and naïve as the character is supposed to be. I didn't really have a fixed image of him looking a specific way despite the fact that he is described as brown hair and brown eyed in the book (while the actor Edward Speleers is blonde and blue eyed), for me Edward Speleers fitted well enough as I'm sure several others could. An actor matching the description would probably have been better but I didn't really mind much. Refer to Arya section for views on their relationship - though on his side it is intended as more romantic. Quite a few people said 'Ehr-uh-gone' rather than 'Ehr-uh-gahn' as it's supposed to be pronounced - but that may also have something to do with accent and perception.
- Brom - way too rough I think, the actor and general look were fine, even fairly well suited, but the character talks without the care of nearby guards hearing when really Brom in the beginning is supposed to seem more... harmless I suppose. Also I liked the fact that he talked to Saphira directly in the book so I was a bit disappointed they didn't have that in - he's not quite kind enough. He should be unexpectedly tough rather than obviously tough. The fact that he was a dragon rider came out too quickly and not as interestingly as in the book.
- Saphira - beautifully done, love the motion and overall look of the character. Rachel Weisz's voice as Saphira was really good. Her voice possibly could have been a little more gruff I think but there isn't really a specification on that so I didn't really mind - thought it was really good. I didn't like how the majority of the characters didn't try to act towards Saphira as if she was her own individual - this included Brom. Some characters wouldn't anyway and that's fine but some who didn't should have really. Didn't like how her egg was found though, I think there should have been more of the fact that Eragon found it and thought it was dropped or something rather than the very obvious appearance of it by magic. Really didn't like the fact that she grew up superspeed in a few minutes - yes she grows quickly, but naturally and quickly, not like that. Loved the look when she was little - gorgeous.
- Angela - just not right I thought. I don't think she should have been so decorated (jewellery etc.), she looked a bit like some sort of weird Egyptian cult person. I think she should have been older/more wisened or weathered. They ignored the werecat, Solembum. Her eyes misted over (did what Storm's eyes do when she changes the weather in X-men) when she predicted Eragon's future, in the book she seemed sort of more mysterious in the fact that you didn't know if she was really telling the truth or really predicting anything at all etc. and so I don't think her eyes should have done that. I have nothing against Joss Stone, I think possibly she could have pulled it off if given a different costume and persona for Angela but it might have been better just to have someone else instead.
- Galbatorix - John Malkovich fits well enough, the accent should be a bit different I think but other than that the character seems ok. They missed out the whole thing about his dragon dying and him using dark magic to have another one.
- Durza - I like. Well done character - Robert Carlyle fits fairly well I think. Haven't really got any problems with this character.
- Uncle Garrow - good, not in too much of the story anyhow.
- Roran - good, though leaves town for a different reason than in the book. The whole Katrina thing doesn't happen (except for a bit in the deleted/extended scenes - I'm glad they kept it out though as I don't think it seems right anyway).
- Hrothgar - pretty good though I didn't actually know who/which one he was until looking on the internet.
- Ajihad - pretty good, I didn't first picture him as being black (even though it does say he has dark skin in the book - I didn't remember at the time, a bit like the brown hair/eyes for Eragon) but I thought it was still a very good choice of actor.
- Costumes were excellent - except Angela's (in my opinion). Very well thought out, fit very well, overall just brilliant.
- Settings were also excellent - well chosen, looked good, fit the book's descriptions well.
- Zar'roc looked wrong - firstly it should have had a red - not blue - stone, secondly it should not have had a red blade, it didn't look as good as it could have (though as they did decide to make it have a red blade it was pulled off fairly well). It came out too early that it was previously Morzan's.
- Urgals weren't really like described, thought I didn't think they were too terrible.
- They didn't have Orik in the film and Eragon and Murtagh weren't saved they got through the water to the Varden without help.
Watching a couple of the extras I found that Christopher Paolini had always intended it to be a film, so I wonder a little whether he was really happy with this adaption of it. His books are far more in-depth than this film (though I do take into account the fact that films can't be quite as in-depth as books, they'd last too long and get boring).
After watching a few more I got a bit annoyed that the director's comments seemed to ignore the descriptions of the books - e.g. he says how the hair colour for Arya was really perfect and also how he was looking for a blonde, blue eyed Eragon. Seriously - if you're going to do an adaption and you don't want to piss off the fans then at least acknowledge your deviations!
Many people say the film is crap but I'm not sure. I think it would be pretty hard to follow if you hadn't read the books but obviously I wouldn't know as I have read them.
Overall, pretty good as it's own film but not so good in comparison to the book.
What do you think?