Who's in It:
Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle, Djimon Hounsou, Garrett Hedlund, Joss Stone, Rachel Weisz, John Malkovich
The Basics: A Luke Skywalker (some blond kid named Eragon) and the Millennium Falcon (a smart-alecky lady dragon voiced by Weisz) fights victory over a Darth Vader (an evil king played by Malkovich). An Obi-Wan Kenobi (a formerly dragon-riding Irons) helps him rescue a Princess Leia (Guillory) with the help of the mystical Force (standing in here as Magic because no one bothered to think up a better kooky name for it). The biggest surprise is that he doesn't have to carry a powerful gold ring with him, too.
What's the Deal? Now, I know that Star Wars was a pastiche of borrowed items as well. Just because I was a kid when it came out in 1977 doesn't mean I think it had no precedent. But dang, if this is what a 15-year-old author dreams up on his way to bestseller status (the original novel did that, as did the first sequel, also planned for the big screen), then someone should have checked out the kid's DVD library to see the sources of his inspiration.
Yes, 15: That's how old author Christopher Paolini was when he self-published his debut novel.
Who This Movie Is For: Kids. Young kids it's a simple PG. Young kids with parents smart enough to find someone else to chaperone them. Exception: parents who work in digital effects in Hollywood already. Those parents should go see it and check out the best thing in the movie the expressive and elaborately articulated she-dragon. Not that any of that artistry saves the movie from being totally dull, but it's a good character all the same.