Here was my conversation tonight with the partially brain damaged guy at work:
Me: "So how was that date you had last night?"
Zack Morris with a lobotomy: "Well, I put my hand on her arm and that was okay so I put my other arm around her shoulder and that was okay so I put my hand on her collarbone and then she tensed up. She said, 'Don't move your hand ANY LOWER, Zack Morris with a lobotomy.' And then she just acted like all she cared about was watching the movie."
Me: "Do you always try to put your hand down a girl's shirt on the first date?"
ZMWAL: "It was our second date. I kissed her like six times on our first date."
Me: "You like this girl so much you thought you should do that?" (ZMWAL is a very churchy mormon who only wants to marry a teenaged virgin mormon cheerleader. And he only wants it REALLY BAD. The girl he was on a date with is a 36 year old widow.)
ZMWAL: "It was dark in the movie theater... so it was romantic. I couldn't help it."
Me: "What movie were you watching?"
ZMWAL: "It was that "aliens" movie."
Me: "Aliens with Sigourney Weaver?"
ZMWAL: "Yeah, I think so."
Me: "I thought you were at a movie theater. I can't think of ANY movies that are out right now with aliens in them. Was it a NEW movie?"
ZMWAL: "Yes. It's a new movie. It has like... pterodactyls in it..."
Me: "I can't think of what movie that could be."
LATER IN THE EVENING
Me: "So I took my kids to see that Eragon movie today..."
ZMWAL: "ERAGON! THAT'S THE MOVIE WE SAW ON OUR DATE LASTNIGHT. I thought it was good."
Aliens? Pterodactyls? Oh, Zack.
Yes, the family went to see Eragon today. It was good for a kids' movie. I think people give the movie A LOT of credit to make comparisons to other notable films like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.
If the movie was a rip off of anything then it was a rip off of "Xena: Warrior Princess." It feels like you are watching the best episode of Xena ever made. Again, I liked the movie just fine. It was just sort of cheesy with stylish peasants with dirt smudges in all the right places. Everybody is wearing an even coat of make up and has straight white teeth. If you are looking for big breasts, you will not find them in the movie, but you can probably see some on the men sitting around you in the audience. My wife and I noticed that we had the only kids in the entire theater when we saw it.
The kids liked the movie a lot. One good thing about this movie: IT WASN'T 3 HOURS LONG, which I think is important to kids. It had characters that were just-scary-enough instead of the usual ogres that look like they will tear your head off with all your vital internal throat tubes dangling and dripping blood.
This movie shows some progress to the LOTR trilogy: Lord of the Rings depicts a diverse world of white hobbits, white elves, white dwarves, etc. and Eragon takes it a step further by having a character played by a black guy. He doesn't even die. Truly ground breaking stuff in the world of fantasy.
There were similarities to the keystone fantasy stories but they didn't bother me. I know a lot my friends really like those "Wheel of Time" fantasy books and those reach an offensive level of plagiarism.
I've discovered that wikipedia has some very good "Cliffnote" versions of the Wheel of Time books that even throw in bits and pieces of information like "Yes, the author admits the entire beginning of the story is a take off of Lord of the Rings" and "Yes, most of you will probably know this part of the story better as 'excalibur' or 'The Sword in the Stone'." With the condensed versions, I can speed past all of the parts that bug me and get acknowledgement of copy cat writing.
If you like the books then read them till your heart is content. Remember that your driver's license will probably be expired when you finish the series. Or do like me and save yourself about 10,000 pages of reading with the condensed versions.