Saturday, August 24, 2013

{Movie Review} The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Wowza! I just got back from seeing "City of Bones" and I'm still thinking about that last scene. I want more. Now. Seriously.

First of all, for all you guys who read my blog (laughs hysterically), the movie is 90% action and 10% love story... if that much. Now girls, don't worry, you still get the greenhouse scene, but guess what, you're boyfriends will love the movie too, so get them up away from the X-box or whatever other video game they're playing and make them take you to the movies. (Hey, girls are taking a lot of flack for being interested in YA literature and their movie adaptations, isn't it fair that we generalize guys in the same way? NO? You're right, so girls, get your guys from whatever they may be doing... reading, watching TV, playing football, studying, or relaxing with their friends and get them to take you to the movies.)

Now, this isn't going to just simply be a review, because there's a ton of controversy flaring around this movie and I'm going to address them from an adults perspective and tell you, that if you even remotely believe the poppycock about "City of Bones" being comparable to "Twilight" you've neither read the books or done any fact checking whatsoever, and you probably shouldn't be critiquing something without any facts to back up your opinion, because at that point, it becomes exactly that... AN OPINION.

I think it's important to note, first and foremost, "City of Bones" is about way more than a girl falling for a boy. In fact, I'd say that's the least important factor in the movie.

Those of you who have read the book know that the true importance lies with what Clary's mom has been hiding from her, from others around her, and especially from Valentine. Clary's not spending her time fawning over any guy, she's much too busy trying to save her mom and understand her newly found abilities. She's kicking ass, and taking names. Lily Collins does an excellent job of bringing Clary's super strong heroine to life.

Jocelyn, Clary's mother, has been taken by Valentine who needs something valuable from her, only she's not talking. Literally. She put herself in a coma to hide the Mortal Cup from her ex-husband. With both sides so desperate to conceal or find this Mortal Instrument, the thing must be pretty darned special. Only one other person might have a clue where the cup is, but her mother has made sure her childhood memories were blocked. Every supernatural thing Clary sees, slips past her as if she saw nothing. Her true identity, hidden. But the memory block is wearing off and Clary begins to draw designs she's never seen before and she sees invisible people fighting and killing others. And all sorts of foul demons are coming out to play. Fortunately, she runs across Jace who has some answers and is willing to share. But Clary's secrets bring danger, and even injury, to the other Shadowhunters, making her less than desirable to, oh... let's say Alec. But since Valentine won't be stopped, he's going to just have to deal.

Jace, AKA Jamie Campbell Bower, I suppose, could be the quintessential bad boy, though I give little credence to that theory since he's not out drinking, doing drugs, and womanizing. He does dress in all black, because as the saying goes, "'Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234," but I'm not sure that makes him bad, especially since he's hunting down demons and protecting humanity from the things that lurk the streets at night. He's a Shadowhunter after all, half-angel, half-human - it's his responsibility. And NO, by demons, I'm not talking about vampires and werewolves, can't we all just move on? Sure there are some of both in the movie, but we're not talking "Twilight" or "Vampire Diaries" here people. It's a whole new ballgame, and we're talking weapons and magic, not fangs.

***Side note - While I had my reservations about Jamie being cast in the role of Jace, I left the theater pleasantly surprised. The trailers had been bringing me around, but the movie made up my mind, Jamie is the perfect Jace for the movie.***

Simon, played by Robbie Sheehan, is Clary's best friend, and though many will say there's a love triangle here, I'm going to disagree, specifically for "City of Bones." For there to be a love triangle, the heroine has to be pulled toward both men, and Clary's never thought of Simon as anything other than a friend. So, yes, he has romantic feelings for her, but they are unrequited, so one side of the triangle is broken. So again, enough of the comparison nonsense. The movie overall is very intense, keeping your neck muscles strained and your fingers gripping into the armrests, so Simon's comedic lines give you a couple of seconds to collect yourself, relax, and then... think WTH just happened. Robbie Sheehan does and excellent job of playing both sarcastic and witty scenes, as well as the serious and strenuous ones.

Alec was everything Kevin Zegers described him to be in several interviews. I swear the temperature dropped 30 degrees every time he came within ten feet of Clary. He's protective of his family, almost overly so, but I won't be the one to tell him so. He's arrogant and rude, and so much fun to hate.

Magnus, while my favorite character in either The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices, plays a relatively small role in the movie. I liked what I saw of Godfrey Gao, but I look forward to seeing more of him. I will say that I wish there had been more to his party, a little more of what we got in the book, but I understand things have to be shortened and some of the fluff removed, but I thought his party sort of set the tone for his character.

Jemima West rocked as the take charge Isabelle. Her entrance into the club scene entranced me. Each step she took demanded attention and reeked of danger. She fought alongside the guys with fierce beauty and deadly accuracy, then nursed wounds when the battles were finished. I really want her whip!!! All ladies should have one. She's domineering and demanding, and I loved her all the more for it. No stepping around the truth, she said what she thought and made no excuses.

Okay, I saved the best for last, and of course this is my opinion. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Valentine. Un-freaking-believable. I swooned at his entrance, because come on - he is the ultimate bad guy. Honestly, there's nothing redeemable about his character, not in the books, not in the movie. His mind is set on creating a "perfect breed" and he'll lie and manipulate everyone to do it. His whole life has been building for THIS moment, and you could be his daughter, his son, or neither. He really doesn't care, YOU ARE SIMPLY HIS PAWN. And Jonathan was brilliant. I found myself shrinking back into my seat during a couple of his scenes, afraid he'd jump right out of the screen and make us all his evil minions.

To say I simply loved the movie would be an understatement. Changes and all, because we all knew there would be changes, I thought the movie rocked. So much so that I'll see it a couple or three more times before it's out of the theater.

Now... as I wrote this, I thought about all the ways I could compare "City of Bones" to "Twilight" as many others have found numerous ways to do so, but other than saying it's a movie adaptation of a Young Adult, paranormal novel, I just can't find a way. The main characters aren't vampires, werewolves, or mere human girls hunting for romance. They're Nephilim on a mission to protect the human world, and their own world. None of their characteristics match up to those of the "Twilight" characters. OH... I forgot, Jamie Campbell Bower played in both series. Yep, that totally makes them exactly the same. NOT!

I have no problem with pure romance stories, but "City of Bones" is about more than romance. Everyone will take from it what they will, but hey, these guys are protecting those who can't protect themselves. They're fighting evil. We're all tired of the young adult female population being belittled and more or less told they're stupid for being drawn to YA literature.

And ladies, if you're feeling bullied, stop. Make a stand. Go see "City of Bones" as many times as possible, drag your parents, your friends, anybody who will go. Many of these men writing nasty, hateful things about your beloved characters and books haven't picked the darn thing up to read it. And most likely if they do, they'll be too dense to understand the many coming of age themes buried in the pages. Keep reading, keep going to see the movies, and most of all... spread the word. Because in order to change the world, whether it be Hollywood or Washington DC, your voices MUST be heard. Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook... tools of a new generation. There's NO reason not to be heard, the technology is at your fingertips, as the saying goes. Use it.

Also, this comes from another post I saw on Twitter, though I don't know the original source, the username is PRINCEVERMIN, and it's not a Twitter account, but I think it speaks a good amount of truth and I wanted to include it... if you know who wrote this, please let me know so I can link to their article. I have searched and searched... and I want to give the proper person credit.

"Our books did not teach us to wait in a tower for our prince to come or to commit suicide when things didn't work out between us and our boyfriend. Our books taught us to stand up and fight no matter how scary something is. No matter that someone told us it's too dangerous - like Clary, we've learned to pick up whatever weapons are available to us and fight the hordes of monsters in front of us until the bitter end.

We were not taught to lay down and die when a boy did not like us back. Like Simon, we were taught to look for the best in every situation - even when things were at their worst." PRINCEVERMIN via BreathesWords on Twitter.

***While I didn't make direct references between "Twilight" and "City of Bones" to PROVE my point, I can. So feel free to start a CIVILIZED discussion in the comments section below. All hateful, tasteless comments WILL be deleted.***


  1. I didn't know until today the Jonathan Rhys Myers was even in this until today. I guess because I haven't be exactly excited to watch is why. Of course your review makes the film sound awesome so maybe I'll have to rethink my stance.

  2. Well, that's encouraging. Both my husband and I have been intrigued but held off on reading the series until seeing the movie. With Beautiful Creatures, I read the first book and my husband waited to read it until after the we saw the movie. I was dumbfounded, and left with nothing good to say about the movie other than it was visually beautiful, while he enjoyed it a lot. He understood my frustration upon reading it after the fact, but I found that I'm in the same camp--able to better separate movies and books when I see the movies first.

    So, now I know this is on the "need to see" list, followed closely by "need to read."

  3. totally make me want to go watch that movie again! I so loved it! I would like to make one other contrast between COB & Twilight. COB was ACTION-PACKED! From beginning to end! so much! Love you guys!

  4. I absolutely HATE it when people compare TMI to Twilight! Now before I go on, I have to admit that when Twilight came out, I jumped on the bandwagon very happily. I loved Twilight. It is part of the reason why I started reading and now reading is my favorite thing to do. I have read many books since I have read Twilight. Now my opinion of it has changed entirely. There is not much more to it other than Bella and Edward. The whole story revolves around them and there isn't much else good about it, thought it's still enjoyable. I have just recently joined the TMI fandom and I can honestly say that I have never read a better series!! When the preview first came out, I thought, "Eh, I've heard about that book before. Maybe I'll try it out." Well I went and bought the book and I don't regret it. It is my new favorite novel series. YA has always been my favorite category and I am a very typical fan-girl. I have enjoyed and loved all the typical's. Twilight, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, so on. But there is nothing like TMI and when I say TMI, I mean every single book. They get better and better. I have to admit that the romance between Clary and Jace is my favorite part about it. It keeps you on your toes and it gives you butterflies through the ENTIRE series. It makes you wish that you could jump into the book and live their lives. Though I have to admit, one of the greatest things about this series is the fact that the relationship between the main characters is NOT the main conflict like in Twilight. There is so much to it. One think that I like about Cassie Clare's writing is the fact that EVERY character has a story. You get to be every single character and you get to really feel how they feel. There is a major conflict with every one of the characters and it leaves you reading from the beginning to the very end without stopping. I read all 5 books that are out before the movie even premiered. There is so many twists that I couldn't put it down. My life will never change. Now I can't stop thinking about it and the final book doesn't even come out until next year. What will I do until then? If anyone has any YA books they would like to recommend that is like this, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!



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