Thursday, August 22, 2013

Movie Review: City of Bones

Thursday, August 22, 2013
While I love, love, LOVE Clare's The Infernal Devices trilogy, I only like The Mortal Instruments (though that may be because of all the spoilers I saw before I read the books). So going into the movie, I wasn't placing all of my hopes and dreams that it would be a perfect adaptation, but I expected it to be a fairly good one from the trailers and sneak peeks that have been released.

But, in actuality, the City of Bones movie was a combination of The Good, The Bad, and The What?!.

Oh, just a warning, if you haven't read City of Bones, you probably don't want to read this review. *River Song voice*: Spoilers!

The Good.

First off, a round of applause for the casting. I mean, really, the acting in the movie is superb and the cast looks just like the characters (except for one scene where you could really tell how dyed Lily Collin's hair is, but that's forgivable, right?). 

And Robert Sheehan should seriously get a whole category of his own. This guy, he is Simon, and considering Simon is the best character in the books (sorry Jace), that's saying something. 

Also, Jemima West as Isabelle? Pardon my French, but badass. And Magnus! Magnus, Magnus, Magnus. <3 (In case you couldn't tell, I really like Magnus and the actor who plays him.)

The Bad.

Okay, what is up with the soundtrack? Club music while fighting vampires? That awkward Demi Lovato song during Clary's birthday scene (love Demi Lovato, just didn't like the song placement)? It's distracting and off putting, to say the least. 

The sequence of the story is a little weird, too. I understand that things need to be changed in order for the story to be conveyed well onscreen, and I liked the little differences in the beginning, but the rest of the changes throw the pacing off. There's a ton of action, but no character development. If I hadn't read the book before seeing the movie, I would have felt nothing for Jace or Hodge or Luke, and, as it was, I thought that the movie version of Jace and Clary's relationship is about a step away from instalove.

Also, there are so. many. angsty. looks. Like, if you were to count the number of times Clary is shell-shocked/awed, or Jace is smouldering/upset-but-hiding-it-because-he's-a-bad-boy, you would get a very, very high number. I don't blame this on the actors because it seems like these moments were written into the script (which also has some lines that made me groan). 

The What?!

I'll start with the mild stuff: Valentine. The only actor I didn't like in the movie. I've always imagined Valentine to act more like an evil businessman who only let's his insanity occasionally slip through the cracks. Movie Valentine, though, is full-on, wild eyes, maniacal laughter crazy. (Also, what is with the braids? It's just weird.)

And then there is the ending.




The ending takes place inside the Institute. It's a huge fight scene that goes on about 15 minutes too long (seriously, if they had spent as much time on the characterization as they did on all the fighting, there might actually have been characterization) wherein Hodge and Valentine discuss how they are going to lie and say Clary and Jace are siblings. Yep, that's right, the giant twist that's supposed to shock everyone and confuse them throughout the next two books, is REVEALED TO BE A LIE IN THE VERY FIRST MOVIE.

What?!

Oh, and then Clary uses a rune to clean up her apartment, which is honestly just weird.

Overall

While the casting is phenomenal, City of Bones is a "meh" book adaptation and a pretty bad movie. The overarching storyline stays (mostly) true, but it loses its heart.

Have you seen the City of Bones movie yet? Are you going to?

25 comments:

  1. I'm still shocked by the ending and how much they twisted it. So many differences that are so important to the other books! I still really enjoyed the movie, but I do wonder what I would think if I had never read the books. You're right, we never get to really know the characters (although I think that happens a lot in movies just because of the time issue and the fact we can't get into their heads). And yes, loved Simon in this movie. And the fact that we know they're not really brother and sister--what?? I wonder why they felt they had to do that. ~Pam

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    1. Maybe marketability reasons? Still, the books were a HUGE success with everyone thinking they really were brother and sister, so why not the movies?

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  2. Ooooo, interesting. I actually stopped reading after the first book because I thought that the brother/sister angle was just ridiculously skeevy, so I'm a bit relieved to find out that was all a lie, lol. I never even picked up the second book to find out cause it just made me feel so uncomfortable to even contemplate, haha.

    Good rundown of the movie though! I'm glad it's not just a "it was awesome, everything was perfect!" review, so now I know what to expect... I'm hoping my hubby will take me to see it for my birthday :)

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    1. I had the whole brother/sister thing spoiled for me before I read the books, but I can see why you were creeped out! haha

      I'm interested to hear what you think of the movie! Also, happy birthday!

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  3. Oh wow, that is a great way to spoil THE twist in this series. I wished they did it with the books also, because it was very long and stretched out. I'm happy that the casting works..

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. Yeah, I thought that the truth would come out sooner in the books, but I didn't mind it so much. The way they did it in the movie, though? ICK.

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  4. Omg!!! I forgot to mention the braids in my review *cackles* wth. Also I hated the lying part. That's such a cop out, but I guess that's the only way they could tackle the potential incest.

    Also, another major issue I had was with the sloppy job they did with covering up they did with concealing that they shot the movie in Canada. Like if you're going through such an effort with pretending you're in new york, you should not zoom in at the tire center with the sign spelled "centre". It's a small issue but I found it majorly annoying and distracting.

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    1. I admittedly didn't notice the sign, but it was so obvious it was Canada and not New York.

      Oh, the braids, lol.

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  5. *spoiling myself for the movie because I plan to watch it*

    I didn't like the casting at all. All of them have British accents, and they're supposed to be in America.

    But that ending's stupid! Where's the rest of the suspense for the series?

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    1. The British accents thing was kind of cool because it was like the "Idris accent," but I can see how some fans wouldn't like it.

      I have no idea about that ending. Just, why?!?!

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  6. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who was spoiled about the ending of the first book before reading it. I thought the film was good for someone who has read the book and just "okay" for someone who hadn't.

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    1. Yeah, overall it was pretty meh. Hopefully City of Ashes will be better!

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  7. HAHA I saw it just a while ago, and yeah it was pretty meh. I mean, I did NOT mind Robert Sheehan and his adorable/funny/topless episodes, but the rest of the characters just didn't do it as well for me. Lily Collins is great, but I never really felt for her. And the thing between her and Jace was insta-love to me. I mean, I haven't read the books, but I do hope the romance isn't as immediate. The action scenes seemed pretty bad-ass, and the graphics, I applaud completely. But the soundtrack--- blergh. made the kissing scene SO cheesy. Still hoping for a City of Ashes movie though :D

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    1. Lol, yes! Robert Sheehan's scenes are basically the highlights of the entire movie. The love has MUCH better pacing in the books. That kissing scene was so awkward! I felt like the movie had suddenly jumped back to the early 2000s (songs like that may work in Princess Diaries, but not City of Bones).

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  8. :o I am so surprised that they did that to the ending! I've seen interviews with the cast who talked about the whole 'incest' thing and it never sounded like they were going to ruin the ending.
    I haven't seen it yet, so I can't say, but maybe they did right changing the ending. WHikle it's awful for those of us that have read the books it might make other viewers feel more comfortable about going to watch it. I know that if I hadn't been certain that Jace and Clary couldn't have been brother and sister -- it always seemed like it was just a way for the writer to torture us because I didn't believe any mainstream YA would run with incest -- I might have felt a lot more uncomfortable reading the rest of the books.

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    1. Yeah, it might be for marketability reasons. Just how they did the big reveal doesn't make much sense, you know?

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  9. I loved this film, was very pleasantly surprised! Seeing it for the third time on Tuesday :)

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    1. Oh wow, I can't think of any movie I've loved enough to see 3 times in theaters! haha

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  10. I must read the book before the movie comes out in october ! Mais j'ai peur de ne pas aimer! xD

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    1. Le roman est bon, mais pas fantastique. C'est un livre amusant.

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  11. I just saw the movie, and I have to say that I loved movie Simon more than movie Jace! It's weird to say that the movie is more instalove than the book (because the book sort of was too), but the movie is REALLY instalove. And Simon is so adorable and HOT!!

    Also Magnus Bane. Ohhhh man. He's actually the reason I went to see this instead of World's End (which I will still go see). And man is he smokin. That being said, the acting wasn't as great as the looks which was a bit of a disappointment.

    And Valentine! Definitely! He was full on crazy - he didn't seem charismatic at all, just crazy. And WHAT WAS WITH THE BRAIDS??? Weird. Just weird.

    I actually didn't mind the adaption so much overall, but that could be because I'm not actually a big fan of the series (I know, I know, why'd I go see the movie then? Magnus Bane, duh. But also a lot of actors I am a huge fan of)

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    1. Basically, I'm applauding everything you said about Magnus.

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  12. I liked the movie! Though that ending! haha I jelled SPOILER throughout the entire theatre, you should have seen people looking at me, it was hilarious!
    I loved the cast, actually I think that was what I loved most!(though those braids were kinda disturbing.
    -Iris

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    1. The cast is great! (You know, despite the braids. *shudders*)

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Your comments brighten my day. :)