August 29, 2017
(Following the 2017 NC titles, cut to the NC putting a VCR underneath his flat-screen TV)
NC: (to Malcolm and Tamara) I cannot believe you guys have never played a VCR game before. (They are holding the pieces for a board game of "Eragon") They were really popular in the... Well, okay, they were never popular, but they tried to make them popular in the '80s!
Tamara: (perplexed) How does it work? It's a board game, but with a video?
NC: Well, you know those overly-complicated games that nobody could follow except for that one smug asshole?
Malcolm and Tamara: Uh-huh.
NC: Well, here, the smug asshole is a VHS tape!
Malcolm: You sure about that?
NC: Here. All set up. Go ahead and hand me that on VHS there.
(Tamara picks up a video cassette for the movie Eragon)
Tamara: Wait, this isn't a game. Eragon came out in 2006.
NC: What? Impossible. (takes VHS)
Malcolm: Yeah, it's based on that book written by that 18-year-old that impressed people 'cause it read like a book written by an 18-year-old.
NC: No, no, no. There's no way this was an actual movie. Movies have something unique, a style. Even bad ones have something that separate them from the others! Trust me, this is just a generic fantasy game with a million generic fantasy cliches like a million of them.
(NC puts the tape in the player)
Tamara: I don't know, Critic. I remember it being advertised and everything.
NC: (sits on the couch) Okay, look. I'll put it on to show you.
(He presses the button on the remote, and the movie starts playing on the TV. Tamara and Malcolm go to sit next to NC)
NC: Oh! Sorry, sorry. (points at many papers on the couch) I need this room for my papers. The best game should always feel like homework.
(Tamara and Malcolm sigh and sit on the floor. The TV shows a man resembling John Malkovich (Doug) speaking very slowly in a black background)
Man: Greetings, adventurers.
NC: See? I told you it's just nothing to be taken that seriously. John Malkovich is in it.
Man: I am the evil king Galbatorix.
(NC, Malcolm and Tamara snicker at this name)
Galbatorix: With my minion Durza, I will rule all of Alagaesia.
NC: See? How serious is this supposed to be? Listen to those names.
Galbatorix: Begin your adventure with Eragon.
(The title of the movie is shown, before going to its footage)
NC (vo): Yeah, even though it wasn't a big hit, Eragon still holds a certain place in people's memories. It's a story of swords and princesses and dragons and...absolutely nothing else. Yeah, nothing really separates it from a million other fantasies and myths that you've heard a million times, to a point where it's...kind of intriguing. But again, that's to be expected from a VCR game from the 80s.
Malcolm: I'm telling you, Critic. It's a 2006 movie.
NC: Next you'll be telling me he worked at Steppenwolf.
Galbatorix: Begin your quest at the beginning where you begin.
Tamara: We're telling you, Critic...
NC: Okay, fine. I'll go through the whole thing just to show you it's simply a generic fantasy video game.
Malcolm: I...never said I wanted to do that.
Tamara: I also recall no interest in this plan.
NC: (addressing the camera) Let's go through and see what's wrong with this mess-terpiece...
Tamara: What are your eyes even looking at? We're down here!
NC: Let's take a look at Eragon.
Malcolm: Who are you talking to right now?!
(The movie starts with a camera flying through the clouds and mountains)
Brom (Jeremy Irons): (narrating) Alagaesia was ruled by men astride mighty dragons.
NC (vo): Ooh! A dragon film with Jeremy Irons that opens with white clouds.
NC: Oh, God, no. Hide every working Wayans! (The poster for Dungeons and Dragons is shown as NC starts waving away from it frantically)
Brom: (narrating) And for thousands of years, the people prospered.
(We are shown the point of view of a man riding a dragon in metal armor, thus, we see the dragon's head coming from above the camera)
NC (vo): Fun fact: this is what Inspector Gadget sees every time he unzips his pants.
Tamara: (disgusted) Ew!
NC: I can't help how my perverted mind sees the world.
Malcolm: Yes, you can.
NC: Then I just don't want to.
NC (vo): There's apparently a handful of people known as the Dragon Riders.
NC: Who make pies. The name is decieving.
NC (vo): And speaking of decieving...
(Galbatorix (Malkovich) is shown in his castle)
Brom: (narrating) A young rider named Galbatorix betrayed them.
NC: Ah! This must be the... (takes a sheet of paper and reads from it)
(Images of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter films, Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda games, Jafar from Aladdin, Darth Vader from Star Wars, Jadis the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Sauron from The Lord of the Rings movies are shown)
NC (vo): ..."villain from powerful group that used to be friend, but turned evil traitor". He killed all the dragons and riders and rules with an iron fist covering his mouth, trying not to laugh at his own name.
Brom: (narrating) Since then, our land has been ruled by Galbatorix.
NC: (snickers) I swear, that sounds like a foreign soup.
Brom: (narrating) ...Galbatorix.
NC: (holding out a folder) Uh, yes, I'll have a bowl of the Galbatorix.
(A group of Dragon Riders escape on horses, led by an elf princess Arya (Sienna Guillory), enter the dark forest)
NC (vo): Cut to the forest of ancient-poor color corrections, where we see a fleeing rider named Arya.
NC: A girl has no dragon film. There, it's out of the way, let's continue.
(Galbatorix's sorcerer Durza (Robert Carlyle) appears on the road and corners Arya)
NC (vo): She's ambushed by the king's minion, Durza, played by Robert Carlyle. And for a guy who had to look like this in Once Upon a Time, (Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (Carlyle) from the mentioned series is shown) he still seems pretty silly here.
(Durza steps out of the fire and reaches to a strange blue stone carried by Arya)
Durza: Give it to me, and I'll let you live.
(Arya lifts up the stone and speaks a spell, after which the stone starts glowing and a light flash occurs)
NC (vo): Oh, my God.
NC: This would be amazing if it turned out this was all just a NyQuil ad before the story started!
(The scene is replayed)
NC (vo; as Arya): I will relieve your nighttime sniffling-sneezing-coughing-aching evil!
(After a flash, both Arya and Durza disappear, and the stone is sent away. A farm boy named Eragon (Ed Speleers), who's hunting for food, sees the appeared stone)
NC (vo): She teleports it away to...ooh, Jimmy Kent...who figures he might be able to sell it to quit being Downton Abbey's first footman.
(Eragon takes the stone, looks at it and apparently sees the image of Arya lying on the bed of some sort)
NC (vo): Okay, so if he swallows that, the story ends, and he wakes up in his bed believing whatever he wants to believe.
NC: It might kill him if he swallows it, but I say that's worth the risk.
NC (vo): Actually, this is our title character Eragon, played by Ed Speleers.
(Galbatorix (Doug) pops up again)
Galbatorix: Mmm, the poor, good-looking farm boy who dreams of adventure.
NC: There, you see? What (finger quotes) "movie" would be that bare minimum with its main character?
Malcolm: Well, maybe there's other defining traits about him...
Galbatorix: There are no other defining traits about him.
Malcolm: I'm...really learning not to like this guy.
NC: It's John Malkovich, he's used to it.
(Eragon cleans up the horse with his uncle Garrow)
Garrow (Alun Armstrong): What many men seek is often right under their nose. But for some, the unknown is too hard to resist.
NC: Ah, ah! (takes the paper again) That must be the...
(Images of Link's uncle from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Vernon Dursley from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), Ben Parker from Spider-Man (2002), Uncle Henry from The Wizard of Oz, Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales (1987) and Owen Lars from Star Wars: A New Hope are shown)
NC (vo): ..."gruff uncle, looking after the main character after something happened to his parents".
NC: (chuckling) I can't wait to see him to get all the way to the end!
NC (vo): He (Eragon) lives with his uncle and cousin in the shitty Shire, where they...uh, let's see...
(Eragon and his cousin Roran playfully fight in the farriery)
NC (vo): Yep, yep! Insert playful action sequences posing as character-bonding!
(During their fight, Eragon brings Roran to the table, where the latter sees a loaf of bread)
Roran (Chris Egan): Mind my breakfast.
Eragon: You're too slow, Roran.
Roran: Wake up, dreamer!
Eragon: That sounded like your head.
NC: Why, I'm discovering that...
NC (vo): ...he enjoys fighting and gets along with his cousin!
(NC turns to his right to hear the birds singing)
NC: (smiling) Oh, look! Two birds! (Indeed, two birds fly by the door) And me with the stone!
(NC throws a stone at the flying birds, but the stone abruptly stops in the air, mutters something and falls to the floor)
NC: Wow. That not only missed, but it was both boring and awkward.
NC (vo): But it looks like his cousin named Roran is off to join the king's army.
(Roran says goodbye to Eragon)
Roran: And work on that aim. (hugs Eragon) You may make a hunter yet.
NC (vo; as Eragon): Which one is going again? (as Roran) We look so much alike, I sometimes forget who we are.
(Eragon is shown looking at the sunset to the sad orchestral music by Patrick Doyle)
NC: Yeah, I'm really gonna miss...
NC (vo): ...the way he fought for a minute and said he was gonna join the army and then joined the army.
NC: All in the Family has nothing on these dynamic relationships!
(Eragon finds out that the blue stone is actually an egg, from which a small blue dragon hatches)
NC (vo): The Harry Potter jelly bean hatches, though, giving birth to a bouncing baby Spyro.
Eragon: (approaches a dragon) Not a stone. An egg.
NC: (grinning) Very good! Eragon, the Moron of Dragons! (A screenshot from Game of Thrones showing Eragon's face superimposed on Daenerys Targaryen stroking a dragon is shown)
(As Eragon proceeds to touch the dragon, another flash of light occurs, making a man named Brom (Irons), Galbatorix and Arya wake up. The latter is still lying, but she isn't chained to the bed)
NC (vo): A few select people feel their connection, though, making Arya's budget-saving invisible chains even tighter.
Durza: Where is it?
Arya: Too late.
NC (vo; as Arya): My time has come. (Durza prepares to choke her, and then we go back to Eragon himself waking up shortly after) There are shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time! (normal) Thus, Eragon discovers all sorts of things about his new pet.
(Eragon sees that the baby dragon left a spiral mark resembling him on his palm)
Eragon: Look what you did.
NC: (as Eragon, looking at his palm) You pushed my hand really hard on a cinnamon bun.
(Eragon hands the bag of milk to the dragon)
Eragon: Go on.
(The dragon bites into the bag, and the milk is spilled)
NC (vo): Ho-ho-ho, I smell a DreamWorks spin-off, How to Lame Your Dragon.
NC: And in an ironic twist, (picture of...) Jay Baruchel will voice the dragon!
(A small clip from The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) is shown, with a goose sound coming out of Dave's (Baruchel) mouth. Back to the movie: the CGI baby dragon is shown in close-up)
(Galbatorix is shown again in his castle, sitting on the throne and speaking to Durza)
NC (vo): Thus, we're finally introduced to the evil Galbatorix, played by Transformers 3's master of subtlety, John Malkovich.
Galbatorix: I suffer without my stone. Do not prolong my suffering. (Durza bows)
Tamara: Wait, isn't John Malkovich that pretentious actor who isn't good, but everyone has to pretend is good for some reason?
Galbatorix (Doug): If you're at this scene, you were probably talking about my acting right now.
Galbatorix (movie): (various scenes where he is speaking slowly) ...that as long as I am king... / Gather my army and follow them.
Galbatorix (Doug): Many people would say I enunciate too much and speak in a patronizing tone that even patronizing toads would call patronizing tone.
NC: To this, I believe, the technical term is Malk-splaining.
Galbatorix (Doug): But I do this because for half of my life, I was a mute.
Malcolm: Wow. We never knew that.
Galbatorix (vo): Thus, if it looks like I am showing off how I just learned how to talk...
Galbatorix (Doug): ...it's because I am.
Galbatorix (movie): Do not prolong my suffering. / Do not let them reach the Varden.
Galbatorix (Doug): Don't I say everything like I just learned how to speak and flaunting it?
Galbatorix (movie): I am not interested in being challenged. / ...to remind those who resist my rule...
Galbatorix (Doug): I know you mock me, but I am just so excited to...
Galbatorix (vo): ...to hear words coming out of my mouth...
Galbatorix (Doug): ...that I have to relish it.
Galbatorix (movie): When the Varden learn that the legend is real... / ...disloyalty will be punishable...by death.
Galbatorix (Doug): So, please, be kind to my performance, but everything else about me you can mock.
Malcolm: That's fair.
Tamara: We'll take it.
(In the movie, Eragon is running in the field, learning the baby dragon how to fly)
NC (vo): So you know how this goes. Eragon has to raise the dragon over the course of months, even years, to establish a strong connection with her-
(While flying in the clouds, the dragon suddenly transforms into a grown-up one and lands)
NC: ...Or that!
NC (vo): They grow up so fast, I guess. We can still go off the basic connection they started to establish when the dragon was younger-
(Even more suddenly, a female voice is coming from the dragon, yet it doesn't move its lips)
Saphira: Brom was right, Eragon. The time of the Dragon Riders has come again.
NC: Done. Th-th... This isn't gonna work.
NC (vo): We now have Rachel Weisz playing the dragon, who calls herself Saphira, communicating telepathically with our hero.
NC: (after a beat) Why?
NC (vo): First off, while there's usually nothing wrong with Rachel Weisz in general, wouldn't that (pictures of...) Cate Blanchett, or Helen Mirren, or Angelica Houston, or somebody with a more commanding voice make more sense? I keep expecting this voice to ask (The picture from the movie The Mummy (1999) starring Weisz and Brendan Fraser is shown) George of the Jungle to save her.
Saphira: I have waited a thousand years to hear your thoughts.
NC: Second, their connection is surprisingly weakened once he (Eragon) can hear her.
NC (vo): We had them originally connecting through silence, and that was working out fine. Granted, there wasn't a lot of time to it, but you know, it was on the right track. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you go from a baby to a grown-up, so not only is that practically a different character, but now there's a different form of communication as well. So it disrupts the natural flow of their relationship.
NC: (holds up three fingers) Third, and most importantly, she says nothing of importance throughout the entire film.
NC (vo): Yeah, every once in a while, she'll explain something in a sentence, but it's something he or one of the other characters easily could have explained. Even if you wanted to go the route of a mental bond, it would be made stronger if it was left open what and how she was saying it. We don't need it spoon-fed to us.
NC: Think of a timeless connection like Lassie.
(A clip from one episode of a black-and-white 1954 TV show about the famous Collie is shown)
NC (vo): Almost the same setup, a boy and his pet. Would that be nearly as good if we could hear the dog's thoughts?
Timmy Martin (Jon Provost): Lassie, it's time for your vitamins.
(Lassie comes into Timmy's room and lays down under the chest of drawers, and NC overdubs her "thoughts")
NC (vo; as Lassie): I do not wish to take the vitamins. They taste like horse meat and death.
Timmy: Lassie Martin, I'll give you the three to come out.
NC (vo; as Lassie): My last name is Martin? What?
NC (vo; as Lassie): Who gives a dog the last name?
(Lassie comes out to Timmy)
NC (vo; as Lassie): I will shit in your mouth while you sleep tonight.
NC: See what I mean?!
(Back to the movie)
NC (vo; sighs): Okay, so she says he is meant to be her rider. He doesn't know what to think of all this, so he goes to Brom, an old merchant, played by Jeremy Irons.
Eragon: Is it true?
NC (vo; as Brom): Yes, I will do any movie.
Eragon: Tell me about the dragons.
Brom: Mind your corn. Till your fields.
(The pictures of Diego de la Vega from The Mask of Zorro, Cogliostro from Spawn, Morpheus from The Matrix, Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: A New Hope and Merlin from Excalibur (1981) are shown as NC speaks)
NC (vo): Ah, this must be the "quirky old mentor, the teacher who used to be the thing the hero wants to be".
NC: You and the uncle should look into real estate. You've got such long lives ahead of you!
(Eragon rushes back to the farriery to find Garrow killed by Durza's minions, the Ra'zac)
NC (vo): Speaking of which... Uncle Owen!
(Eragon cries over Garrow)
NC: (as Eragon) I will be a Jedi...I mean, a knight...I mean, Spider-Man...I mean, whatever the hell Link is.
(Brom shows up to Eragon, who runs angrily to attack him with a stave, but Brom stops him)
NC (vo; as Eragon): You did nothing to cause this, I'll kill you!
Eragon: I'm not going anywhere. Not until I bury him.
(Brom takes his stave, sets fire to it from a hearth, and throws it to leave the farriery burning)
Brom: There. A funeral fit for a king.
NC (vo; as Brom): I'll decorate him in 11 herbs and spices when we get back.
Brom: Now get on that horse. (Eragon does so)
Eragon: Who are you?
Brom: Ride. Now!
(Eragon and Brom ride away)
NC (vo; as Eragon): Thank you, Mr. Ride Now! My uncle's Kentucky Fried funeral will not be forgotten!
NC: So our main character begins his quest.
Tamara: What was it?
NC: (thinks for a moment) Actually, I don't know.
NC (vo): I mean, things are set up, there's a bad king, he has a dragon, I guess bad men are after him; but in terms of what the actual goal of his quest is, if it's mentioned, it's not made very clear. This, surprisingly, is not super uncommon. For example, the world isn't very well-defined.
(The pictures showing the world of Pandora from Avatar and the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz are shown briefly)
NC (vo): I mean, you see a shot from Avatar, you know you're on Pandora. You see a shot from Wizard of Oz, you know you're in Oz. This could be...anywhere.
(The posters for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The NeverEnding Story and Warcraft (2016) are shown)
NC (vo): Middle-earth, Fantasia, that Warcraft movie nobody saw... Nothing separates it as unique.
NC: But, again, I shouldn't be too harsh. After all, it is shot beautifully for a VHS game.
Tamara: Critic, at some point, you have to realize this isn't an especially high-end video for kids. It's an especially bland theatrical release for suckers.
Malcolm: Yeah, it's trying to be something we've never seen, but instead, it's...everything we've ever seen.
NC: Well, that's just gonna lose your Malkovich enunciation points. Isn't it, Malkovich?
Galbatorix (Doug): No, I'm a video. I can't hear you.
NC: Oh, sorry.
Galbatorix (Doug): It's all right.
NC (vo): So they start their quest to...find their quest.
(Brom and Eragon hide behind the stone and see the group of people fighting)
Brom: Urgals. They used to be the king's enemies. Now they're his guard.
NC (vo): Okay, cool. Finally, some action in this movie. I feel like this took forever.
Eragon: Why can't we take them?
Brom: You're not ready to take anything yet.
Eragon: I have skills.
(Cut to Brom training Eragon to fight with staves at the shore of the river)
Brom: Right, then. Let's see these skills of yours. (And they fight)
NC: Ah. So it's the...same action we had before.
NC (vo): Two good guys playfully fighting...
NC: ...while no real conflict is going on.
Eragon: You know, this won't be fair to you, old man.
Brom: Humor me.
(Brom hits Eragon on his back)
Brom: Oh, dear. Well, I see the effect of your training.
NC: (smiling) Yeah. Just keep joking!
NC (vo): Those people are probably dead, but still, you gotta laugh!
NC: This is fun!
(Brom stops the fighting)
Brom: It won't be your cousin Roran you're fighting. And it won't be wooden staves, either.
NC (vo; as Brom): You suck. Let's go. (normal) Sad to say, there's actually a lot of what you just saw for a while. They sit down and talk, they ride on horses. They sit down and talk, they ride on horses. And even when they do sit down and talk, all I'm thinking is how much more interesting it would be if the dragon shut the hell up.
NC: Like, look at this scene.
Brom: A dragon will only hatch if it feels the presence of its rider.
(Eragon turns to Saphira)
Saphira: What he says is true.
Brom: A rider will live on if his dragon is killed. But if a rider dies...
(They again look at Saphira)
Saphira: ...so does his dragon.
NC (vo): Yeah, it's generic, it's nothing, it leaves no impact.
NC: Now, let's try this scene again, expect take out the dialogue and see if not only do you get across what she was saying, but do you actually read even more into it.
Brom: A dragon will only hatch if it feels the presence of its rider. (Eragon turns to Saphira, but her line is removed) A rider will live on if his dragon is killed. But if a rider dies... (They turn to Saphira again, who again doesn't "speak")
NC: Wasn't that more interesting? Wasn't it cooler when you had to feel what she was trying to get across, rather than be told?
(In a small village, Brom and Eragon are attacked by the Urgals. Attempting to mimic Brom, Eragon screams and wipes all of them with a magic attack via the bow and collapses. The next day, he wakes up near Brom)
NC (vo): But don't worry, even when they do get to exciting scenes, they don't do them right. When they finally fight some soldiers, it's so dark and shaky you can't even make out what's going on. Eragon gets so ticked off, he lights up the scene throughout his goddamn will alone. But Irons tells him... (sings) I believe it's magic!
Brom: Magic comes from dragons. It flows through the riders who command them.
NC: (waves off) Nah, I'm just kidding! It's midi-chlorians.
Brom: Before you cast a spell, you must learn the ancient language of the elves.
Eragon: What's the word for "tree"?
Brom: "Tree" is "traevam".
NC: Well, that's a happy coincidence. What's the word for "hand"? "Handvam"!
Eragon: And the branch?
NC: "Branchvam"! Haven't you been listening?
(After that, Eragon climbs on Saphira and learns how to fly and control her)
NC (vo): So they figure if he's gonna be a Dragon Rider, he should ride a dragon.
(As Eragon flies on Saphira, Brom observes this while riding on his horse)
Brom: Feel how she moves, Eragon. How she turns. And when she accelerates.
NC (vo; as Eragon): Yeah, I can totally hear you up here. "Rah, rah, rah", that's all I'm hearing out of you. "Rah, rah, rah".
(When Eragon goes down, he is suddenly attacked by one of the Ra'zac)
NC: Ah! (takes a paper once more) This must be the...
(Another set of images is shown: Darth Maul from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Maleficent's goons from Sleeping Beauty, Blix and Pox from Legend (1985), the Goblins from Labyrinth, Nazgul (the Ringwraith) from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the Death Eater from Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, and Rodent of Unusual Size from The Princess Bride)
NC (vo): ..."evil black monster people who make annoying sounds for no reason".
NC: Always an obnoxious addition!
(Eragon casts a spell, which makes a liana catch the Ra'zac and make it fly around)
NC (vo; as Eragon): Wow, that's the first man I've ever killed- (Eragon runs to Saphira) Oh, never mind, going over here now.
(Brom finishes the Ra'zac off with the sword that flashes red down up)
NC: Effects by Industrial Light and...Come On!
(Eragon tears a part of Brom's sleeve and finds out Brom has the same dragon mark on his palm as his)
Eragon: I thought we agreed not to lie to one another...Dragon Rider.
Saphira: Of course.
NC: Oh, my God! Will you shut up?!
NC (vo): I'd use the term "show, don't tell", but I'd rather replace them both with "Shut up"! SHUT UP!!
Eragon: Where's your dragon?
Brom: She was murdered with this sword. (takes out said sword, Za'roc)
Saphira: That sword is a dragon killer.
NC: Oh, is that why he said he killed a dragon? You had nothing.
Brom: And while she was trying to protect me...my dragon was killed.
Saphira: Better we...than our riders.
NC (vo): Again, watch the scene with the dialogue cut out, instead of listening to her just repeating what's already been said. Read her facial reactions.
Eragon: (finds out Brom's mark) ...Dragon Rider. (Saphira says nothing) Where's your dragon?
Brom: She was murdered with this sword. (He takes out Za'roc, and Saphira's comment on that is removed again) And while she was trying to protect me...my dragon was killed.
(Eragon looks at Saphira, who slowly lowers eyes)
NC: Again, night and day.
NC (vo): I don't care if the original book had this or not. Here, it turns an interesting relationship into a standard relationship. And that's not what you want from a fantasy that's trying to stand out.
NC: But, (sighs) it could be worse. It could be made even more standard by throwing in a princess-
Galbatorix (Doug): A princess needing rescuing up ahead.
(As he speaks, pictures of various princesses are shown around him briefly: Buttercup from The Princess Bride, Zelda from Hyrule Warriors, Jasmine trapped in a giant hourglass from Aladdin, Leia from Star Wars: A New Hope, and Peach from Super Mario Bros. games)
NC: Of course.
Galbatorix (Doug): You will notice her suffering and torment...
(The scene described by Galbatorix is shown: in his sleep, Eragon sees Arya dancing around the trees in the fog, and it's green-filtered and slow-motioned)
Galbatorix (vo): ...psychically sending images to Eragon of her twirling in the forest and skipping to pleasant imagery.
Malcolm (vo): That doesn't sound...
Malcolm: ...like torment.
Tamara: That actually sounds really nice.
Galbatorix (Doug): It is totally not nice. It is to show how...
Galbatorix (vo): ...brave she is, by portraying peaceful imagery, even though she is...
Galbatorix (Doug): ...suffering.
Malcolm: You sure you didn't just want to work in some whimsical forest porn that's trademark of fantasies now?
Tamara: Yeah, I've even seen it in commercials. You could slap...
Tamara (vo): ...a shampoo logo over it. (As the scene goes on, the Pantene Pro-V logo fades in)
Galbatorix (vo): I assure you...
Galbatorix (Doug): ...it is deep and stuff. As Jeremy Irons says in this scene...
(Cut to a scene of Eragon and Brom discussing Arya's fate)
Eragon: If I don't, she'll be killed.
Brom: Yes. And it's a sacrifice she's happy to make.
Malcolm (vo): Yeah, how can someone be happy to make a sacrifice?
Malcolm: Doesn't that technically make it not a sacrifice?
Galbatorix (Doug): Hmmm, I don't know. (looks around for a moment) ...Is what I would say if this was a video where you could hear me, which it is not.
Malcolm: (to NC) Can we turn this off?
(Galbatorix shakes his head no, grinning briefly. We go to a commercial. After coming back, we are shown Eragon and Brom finally getting to Durza's castle, which design is a simple stone building)
NC (vo): So Eragon journeys to rescue the princess, and... Oh, Christ. Even their castles are boring! Who designed that place, the guy who made DieHard batteries?!
(Brom and Eragon disguise themselves as the Ra'zac wearing black robes covering their faces)
Ra'zac: Keep up!
NC (vo): He sneaks in by wearing a robe so he can blend in with...whatever the hell those were...
NC: (smiling, rasies up both fists) Worldbuilding!
(Eragon finds the unconscious Arya, and shortly after that, Durza appears)
NC (vo): ...as he makes it to her cell, but is stopped by Durza.
Durza: I expected someone a little more...well, more.
NC: (as Durza) I mean, Heath Ledger from A Knight's Tale could kick your ass.
(Durza makes several stones from the floor fly in Eragon's direction, but he blocks them with his magic)
Durza: A young magician. How quaint.
NC: (chuckles) Wow! Somebody actually gave a writer a paycheck to have their evil villain say, "How quaint."
NC (vo): They even gave him a close-up on that line, they were so impressed by it.
Durza: How quaint.
NC: Come on! We had plenty of (picks up the captions saying...) "You should have killed me while you had the chance", or "You and I are not so different", or "Mwehehehe"...
(Durza laughs evilly)
NC: Oh, hey, you got that one! Go the extra mile!
(Brom shows up and dives to shield Eragon, getting the fatal blow by Durza's spear. Eragon, Brom and the rescued Arya fly away on Saphira)
NC (vo): But Brom sacrifices himself for Eragon...don't worry, he was more than happy to do so...and Saphira comes in to save them. They decide to go the group that could use Eragon and his dragon for good, but not before Brom says his last words.
Eragon: I need you.
Brom: It's I who've always needed you. You gave me my life back again.
NC: (as Brom) You know, before you...technically took it away from me. It's a complicated game.
Brom: One part brave...three parts fool.
NC (vo; as Brom): Ha-ha, my last words are calling you an idiot.
(Brom dies, and the next day, Eragon and Arya bury him on top of the mountain by collecting a pile of stones as a memorial)
NC (vo): So they bury Brom on top of the mountain.
(Saphira stands on two paws and spreads her wings to triumphant music)
NC: Oh, why? No monologue explaining...
NC (vo): ...why you're standing on two legs? No long-winded bullshit explaining what we already know?
NC: Come on! We can still have her blurting out the obvious!
NC (vo; as Saphira): A hero has died. I am sad. Water is wet. Dirt is brown. My paycheck is plentiful.
(On the way to the Varden, Eragon notices a hooded figure)
NC (vo): But it turns out someone's been following them: a young rebel named Murtagh.
Murtagh (Garrett Hedlund): I'm Murtagh. And you need me, Dragon Rider.
Eragon: Thanks, but I'll be fine without you.
NC: (confused) Why would you turn him away?
NC (vo): It looks like he helped you back at the castle. Hell, he's been following you without a dragon and somehow kept up! You have an injured princess with you and just lost a rider. There is literally no reason not to use him!
NC: Oh, ah, ah! (takes out paper) This must be the...
(More pictures of characters are shown: Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the Fox from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, Han Solo from Star Wars, and Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean movies)
NC (vo): ..."young, possibly untrustworthy rogue trying to gain trust".
NC: Except...there's nothing untrustworthy about him!
(Murtagh guides them to the Varden, and their leader Ajihad (Djimon Hounsou) introduces himself, but upon seeing Murtagh, he orders to seize him)
NC (vo): Oh, wait. It's revealed he's the son of a traitor.
NC: Sorry! The script got these two pages backwards!
NC (vo): Oh, this is the order it was meant to be in?
NC: Well, in that case, you're dumb.
Ajihad: He is the son of Morzan, the traitor.
Murtagh: A son doesn't choose his father.
NC: Nor explain who he is. Who are we talking about?
NC (vo): He's a traitor. Okay, like...he killed an entire army or took your turn at Call of Duty?
NC: What amount of judgment do we give to this?
NC (vo): But things like emotional connections aren't important. We have to get to... (A sound of pages rustling is heard) Um, let's see...
(Cut to Durza addressing his Ra'zac army on top of the hill)
NC (vo): Ah, here we go! The bad guy giving his threatening speech to... (Durza's face is shown to have been injured in the last battle with Eragon, and it is really white, while Durza's lips are seen covered with blood. NC snickers at this) Oh, my God, what happened here?!
Durza: Tonight, we destroy the resistance!
NC: Aww, little Durza...
NC (vo): ...put on Mommy's makeup all by himself!
(The Ra'zac cheer)
Durza: (softly) But the boy is mine.
(NC voices some of Durza's men)
Ra'zac 1: What was that?
Ra'zac 2: Didn't hear.
Ra'zac 1: You shouldn't whisper when you want a canyon full of men to hear you!
Ra'zac 2: Eh, I was hyped, now I'm just trying to figure out what he said.
Ra'zac 1: "Butt toys are fine"?
NC (vo): The evil armies do attack, and Eragon gets ready to fight.
(Eragon is wearing an armor, as well as Saphira)
NC: Okay, not gonna lie. Dragon armor looks goddamn ridiculous.
Eragon: Why me?
Saphira: You choose a leader for his heart. Without fear, there cannot be courage. But when we are together...
NC (vo): As you're talking, there's literally people being slaughtered.
NC: You really picked the wrong times not to fight!
NC (vo): But they make their way down to Helm's Deep Shit and try to fight off the armies.
(Murtagh is shown having been thrown in the cage by the Varden)
Murtagh: Let me out! Let me out of there! Let...
(One of the Ra'zac, whose back is on fire thanks to Saphira, breaks the cage's door and attacks Murtagh)
NC: (laughs) Boy, give that guy some credit.
NC (vo): He's on fire, and he's still doing his job.
(Murtagh kicks the Ra'zac with his foot, who falls along with the bars, and Murtagh is able to get out and fight)
NC (vo; as Murtagh): I will atone for whatever my father did! (as Arya) And I will rule my kingdom, or whatever it is I want to do! (as Eragon) And I will something-something-something dragon!
NC: (as Eragon) Our motivations are clear!
(Durza comes to the battlefield, gets up to Saphira and injures her, but Brom is launched via Saphira's tail to Eragon's beast)
NC (vo): But ugly Loki arrives, and Eragon tries to finish him off.
(Eragon stabs Durza right in the heart with Za'roc, killing him)
Eragon: I expected more!
NC (vo; as Durza): Oh! Much like your sword, that joke was full of iron. Good night, folks!
(Durza disintegrates into small pieces. Eragon uses his magic to heal Saphira, and once again passes out. He wakes up the next morning to find Murtagh beside him)
NC (vo): Saphira is having trouble, though, so Eragon tries to use his magic to save her. Sadly, though, it looks like there's bad news.
Murtagh: Some friends can't be replaced.
(Saphira arrives, fully healed)
Murtagh: Well, luckily, some don't have to be.
NC: (grinning and shaking his head) What a dick.
NC (vo; as Murtagh): Yeah, that's what you get for not stopping them from imprisoning me, asshole!
Saphira: (to Eragon) Brom would be proud of you.
(Eragon catches up with Arya, who is on her way to lead her elves in the coming war)
NC (vo): So... (smacks lips) What did we accomplish? An army fought, a princess saved, a dragon born, and yet, I really don't know what this all was supposed to amount to. What arcs were supposed to have taken place here that I haven't seen done better in a million other unique fantasies?
NC: Will...Arya at least bake him a cake? (A screenshot from Super Mario 64 is shown, showing a letter saying "Dear Mario: Please come to the castle. I've baked a cake for you. Yours truly, Princess Toadstool, Peach")
Arya: Did you know the people of the Varden already tell stories about you?
NC: (as Arya) Cliched stories with...literally no surprises.
Arya: Time moves quickly. Only yesterday you were a farm boy.
NC: (as Arya) Today, you are a farm man.
NC (vo): And just when it looks like it's all happily ever after...
(In his castle, the enraged Galbatorix slashes at his hanging map of Alagaesia, revealing his giant pitch black dragon, Shruikan)
NC: (gasps dramatically) Oh, no! The biggest surprise of the movie!
Galbatorix (Doug): Yes. That I have a dragon, too!
NC: No, no. That we already knew.
Malcolm: Yeah, it was one of the first lines in the movie.
Galbatorix (Doug): Oh. Well, what were you surprised by, then?
NC (vo): That you kept the dragon behind a map.
Tamara: Yeah, who does that?
Malcolm: Does he have a bathroom back there?
Tamara: A treadmill for walks?
NC: Aren't you afraid if he sneezes, he'll set the map on fire?
Galbatorix (Doug): You know what? I don't need this. I've been hacking your screen to talk to you, and it is not easy.
NC: Wait. Is that why you can hear us?
Galbatorix (Doug): (shifts eyes) No.
(Then, Jim Jarosz walks in from a prop room, which is super dark)
Jim: Hey, guys. Uh, does anybody know who this is?
(He points at...Galbatorix in the prop room, talking to the camera)
Galbatorix (Doug): Pay no attention to the man behind the Jim! (Tamara and Malcolm sigh, rolling their eyes) I, the Great Gobbledegook, or whatever my name is, have spoken!
(Tamara and Malcolm get up off the floor)
Jim: Well, I said my line.
(He exits the scene. Galbatorix comes to NC, Malcolm and Tamara)
NC: Malkovich, what are you doing?
Galbatorix: Well, I was so embarrassed to be in this film, I thought it'd be better if I made you think it was a VCR game from the '80s.
NC: So, wait. This wasn't just a VHS game? It actually was a cinematic movie?
Tamara: We told you, bitch.
NC: I'm...so confused.
(The clips from the movie are shown as NC goes to closing thoughts)
NC (vo): It's not like it's the worst movie. There's some pretty sights, and most of the actors do well. Most of them. It's clear there was effort put into this. But...there's absolutely nothing new. How did a story and dialogue this by-the-numbers and so behind the times get made? It doesn't feel like a fantasy movie, it feels like a fantasy game, where the story is more a side note to get to something else. Only in this, we never get to that something else. It's almost kind of tragic. It's clearly trying really hard, but it has no message or ideas that's worth trying hard to say. It's not awful, it's just...not good.
Galbatorix: Well, that is Hollywood for you. (He begins to leave)
NC: Wa... Wait! Aren't you gonna finish the game?
Tamara: Did you hear? It's fake!
NC: Yeah, but a mediocre movie makes fun okay VCR game, and I want to finish this!
Galbatorix: No, I'm...I'm sure I'm getting an award somewhere for...something. (leaves)
NC: (desperately) No! I need another Malkovich to close us out with fantasy cliches!
Malcolm: Anybody knows someone that does impressions?
(NC thinks for a moment. Cut to...Jon Bailey on the TV speaking as Malkovich playing Galbatorix. NC, Malcolm and Tamara are visibly bored)
Jon: (as Galbatorix) And thus, my evil rule was thwarted. But even more was on the horizon. Like the prophecy of destiny. The romance between the rich girl and the poor boy who can't have her. Finding the treasure of someone dead.
NC: You know, Jon Bailey, I don't think this is working. Maybe this is just lame.
Jon: (speaking normally) No, no. It's cool. I can do a face wipe to look more like him.
(After a ding and a flash, Jon's face is really smeared, creeping the three out. They get up and leave the room)
Jon: (as Galbatorix) Behold my Malkovichness. Now, where was I? Ah, yes. Totally original fantasy stuff. Like coming across a group of ragtag fighters who don't get along.
(The credits roll, but Jon continues to do his Galbatorix impression during them)
Jon (vo; as Galbatorix): The army who looks like they have no chance, but are then saved at the last minute. A kid from suburbia suddenly getting teleported to a magical realm. The villain who is somehow related to the hero. A magical little person, who is either funny or annoying. The hero becoming ruler of the land, even though he has no understanding of government. Simple societies being right, and complicated societies being wrong. A woman who disguises herself as a man. A chosen one with a birthmark. A twist that everybody could see coming. A device or monster that's going to take over the world. The pretty place with pretty people who are good, and the ugly place with ugly people who are bad. Minions who are idiots. Sidekicks who are idiots. Something tiny that is actually very powerful. Um, don't read too deep into that, unless you feel it makes it more epic.
(We cut back to normal-looking Jon one last time)
Jon: Hey, guys? Guys, you...you still there? (After a beat, he speaks in his "epic voice" woefully) Jon Bailey slowly hung his head in shame and returned to his own YouTube channel.
(After an explosion, a link to Jon's YouTube channel, Youtube.com/Jon3pnt0, is shown)
Channel Awesome tagline - Galbatorix: Do not prolong my suffering.