Sunday, December 17, 2006


I watched a midnight movie yesterday, which was so un-terrific and average, that the only saving grace was the venue of the cinema.

I was at the Cathay, where it used to be an old cinema, like what we used to have in KL - standalone one-hall cinemas with popcorns strewn on the floor after every movie.

The Cathay at Handy Road has been transformed into a new cineplex which was only opened this year. Must be quite impressive if it is even listed in Wikipedia, no?

I actually wanted to go to the one at Cineleisure, but the movie was shown in a small cinema. Of course, me being a fan of the bigger the better (ahem!) I chose the Cathay where the midnight session was shown on a much bigger one.

Oh boy, was the cinema grand! A lot of people in Singapore have not been there either, because it is a bit out of the way from Orchard, even though it is only like 500 metres away from the main shopping area.

Since when has a cinema screen has curtains, like what you see on performance stages? Or a voice which says "Welcome to the Cathay. We wish you an enjoyable movie experience" and the red curtains slide away to the sides?

I know those olden-days cinema had them minus the voice, but new ones?

It all looked very grand. The whole hall was bathed in red lights, red carpeting and walls with golden Roman pillars and trimmings. There was a lot of leg room too.

I would most probably go there again, if the movie I am watching is going to be screened in that hall.

Now to the movie.

It started quite interestingly, with an elf being chased and got caught by bad guys, with a voice-over in the background.

Very-LOTR like.

And also, that is like the only thing they took from the book it was based on, written by Christopher Paolini.

There are many similarities with LOTR, probably because the director wanted to emulate the grandiose and epicness of the former.

The next scene after that showed Eragon and his uncle and cousin working in the farm in summer. Much like the early scene of the Shire where everything is green and alive.

But the book started in winter. As I said, the opening scene was the only thing they took from the book, besides the title.

Moreover, the whole movie felt rushed. The scenes kept alternating between Eragon and the king, which didn't come across as smooth and coherent.

Another rubbish scene was how the dragon, about 5 feet long, flew in the sky, got strike by lightning three times and become 30-feet long. A baby dragon to an adult in three blinks of the eye.

Like, hello? I know it's fantasy, but at least some credibility.

A lot of things are left unexplained, or rather have been omitted. Eragon, the young farm boy could suddenly do magic spells and fight within the first half hour of the movie, without training whatsoever save one scene where he trained swords with Brom, the ex-Dragon Rider.

I was sienz half way through the movie. Predictable and not much excitement. The bad guys only know how to say threats and growl and not even once seem menacing enough.

The only saving grace is the visual effects. The dragon looked really life-like (but it has feathers on its wings, which is like, so salah!) and the final battle scene was really good.

Character development was poor because the director seemed to be rushing everything. They seemed so stereotypical. A mentor for the hero, a power-hungry king, Durza the dark wizard and his followers who can't capture the hero, etc.

Apparently it was never the intention to make the story a trilogy. There would only be a sequel if the movie was a success, which by the looks of it, I doubt so.

Hopefully, there would be no sequel so that we'll be spared a third-grade LOTR.

I rate the movie a 5.5 out of ten. IMDB has an average rating of 5.2 from 1200 viewers.

Save yourself the ticket money. The book is so much better.


thompsonboy said...

well, for a person who didnt even bother watching LOTR, I guess there's no need to convince me to watch this SoGone movie...I never see the attraction in watching all these action/fantasy/adventure sort of movies save for HP..thats because I read the books...oh well...Happy Christmas then.

Prince of Darkness said...

Well, this movie okie okie lor, all I like is the CG lar, but the thing that is kinda too obvious is the background, it's fake :( But overall I enjoy e movie lar...

Rad said...

Hahaha, my thoughts exactly. But since I thought that's how the dragon grew in the book, I didn't say anything. But I didn't feel that the movie was rushed. If anything, it was painfully slow to me.

savante said...

YEah, I don't know how they could have destroyed the book like that. Sigh.

William said...

Go watch "Cicakman" instead. Haha. Sounds as bad as "Narnia".

"Like, hello? I know it's fantasy, but at least some credibility."

Apa you mahu wor.... 70% fantasy with 30% reality on the top. :D

Derek said...

thompsonboy: Gasp! You didn't watch LOTR? How could you?

Honestly, I am not much of a fantasy fan either. But the movie is extremely good, regardless of whether you like the genre or not. Win Oscar one leh ;P

p.o.d: Really, I don't think it's fake la.

rad: Painfully slow? Everything seemed to happen in less than a week. The directing and editing were just terrible.

savante: Trust me, it's pretty easy. It was a first time director.

william: I actually meant it in the sense of believable. Oh well.

Rad said...

Well yes, there's that. But the long scene about being on the road, I was waiting for either something to happen, or they are reaching the mountain soon. But yea, the directing and editing were just terrible.

Yen said...

Thanks for your review! Luckily cuz I was actually thinking of watching it...

Musang said...

but the boy is cute!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the present, but to what my teacher used to taught me, that ideas are derived from other ideas with abit of changes.

I think for this show the "Eragon", the similarities are there lah. As sais by derek...

But I was told that Episode 2 is very much a copy of Star War eh. As Eragon's dad is the bad guy and in the end got killed by Eragon's own hand...

coolgardy said...

I used to enjoy going to Cathay to watch movies while I was staying in Singapore last time. How time flies....not sure if they still have that gym in the Cathay building? (used to be a member there)

Derek said...

rad: So let's hope they don't make a second movie, yeah? ;P

yen: Wow, you're welcome.

But maybe you should check other people's review too. Other people might like it.

musang: Cute meh? The dark-haired boy is cuter ... LOL

anonymous: Is it? Sorry la, haven't read book 2 yet ;P

coolgardy: Nope, don't think there's a gym there anymore.