Honestly, I probably won’t be talking about the book much. Only that it’s better. I know, weird considering its very cliche and has some horrible one liners and Clary is the worst version of Batman ever (even George Clooney and the bat credit card beat her). This review will mostly be talking about what might be Cassandra Clare’s swan song in the movie universe.
Because God this is a stinker. It’s worthy of being reviewed by the likes of the Nostalgia Critic in a few years it’s that bad.
And I really do feel for the actors. Because there are a few good actors here. Lily Collins isn’t horrible. She made Clary at least more likable than Bella here. It’s not that the Clary character was really great, but Collins limited the dumb assery of Clare’s Mary Sue. And I thought her parents weren’t that bad either. Though, Valentine’s role was performed with little gusto but given the actor’s past work I can’t blame him for not putting any heart in it here. The script sucked ass. And Isabelle was good. I actually liked her better here than in the book.
Usually when I watch movies, I watch them as an escape. I like bad movies. In fact, I love bad movies. But movies like this just give me a headache because if I hadn’t read the book I would’ve been wondering WTF was going on.
And for that matter, I was still wondering what the deal was with the climax and I read the book less than a week ago. It’s like they were trying to make the movie more complex than the book which a cardinal sin in adapting books to movies, at least in my opinion.
I’ll admit it, making a decent adaption is difficult you have to factor in lots of different factors but this one flopped big time and I think it’s in part because it tried to follow too closely to the book.
Despite what she may claim now, there is evidence that Clare played a large role in the making on the film. She helped with casting. With props. With even the occasional line or two. Which is fine. I get why her input was needed. But Cassandra Clare is not a film maker. And I feel like the filmmakers relied too much on her.
And seriously, seriously, why out of all the scenes to leave in the movie do they decide to leave in that stupid falcon scene. That was directly ripped off of Clare’s Draco Trilogy. Stupid much? I mean, with the amount of controversy that went on with that fan fic and the fact she borrowed it for her original fiction was bad enough. But to put that scene in the movie it’s essentially an f you to anyone who witnessed plagiarism gate. And is it really necessary to say I won five billion times? And to include Draco Jace in leather pants?
We get it Clare, you’re the EL James of the Harry Potter world.
It still doesn’t help the fact that this movie sucked.
The changes that they did make to the story just don’t make sense. For example, the climax. It goes on forever and ever and ever…At one point, right before we reach the epilogue I was like this would be a good ending spot. Actually I thought that several times throughout the entire climax. But they just kept continuing.
And that ending…Uh, eighty-five percent of the audience doesn’t know that Jace and Clary aren’t exactly brother and sister. Um, having that quasi romantic moment between them at the end is more than a little gross. Couldn’t you know, make it a little less obvious they’re in to each other?
The special effects were horrible again. I get that they didn’t want to rely a lot on CGI but this is worse than some of the things I’ve seen in the 80’s. The old Indiana Jones movies effects look state of the art compared to this crap. And this movie had a sixty million dollar budget.
Most of it, I’m sure, went to recreating Hogwarts but putting it in America (Side note, I thought about going to the theater dressed as Hermione Granger but then I realized no one would get the joke and just went in my college t and shorts instead).
You just don’t put Hogwarts in America. It doesn’t work. And how can you explain how the Institute which expands in size fits in a compact city such as NYC.
Oh, and as for NYC you feel no soul to the city at all. They couldn’t even use any stock footage, save for the Brooklyn Bridge. New York in itself is a character. It might’ve been cool, you know, having a random demon attack near Times Square or something for exposition. But nope.
As I said before the performances were a mix bag, while I liked Collins portrayal of Lilly, Bower never sold me on Jace. He isn’t Jace. He’s never going to be Jace. And it’s not because I don’t find him to be that appealing to look at-seriously, dude, the 90’s are over by some L’Oriel already and clean that greasy mop of yours-its just that I don’t think he embodied the character or is that great of a romantic lead. Yes, he’s saying the lines and sometimes they are somewhat successful, but for the most part…he’s just not doing it. And I really think he did try. I just think he was miscast.
As for Simon, the guy delivered okay. I just felt like the character was unnecessary man candy that was just there for his abs to get stared at. And I did stare at them. The character, himself, is dressed like a young shorter Jeff Goldblum and acts like a hot version of Duckie. Its a very weird combination. And they completely ignore the rat thing (he’s just kidnapped and his shirt is taken off and he’s chained up so you get this weird BDSM allusion which is sort of creepy if you think about it since this is supposed to be advertised towards a younger audience). And I think that’s ridiculous because him turning into a rat was one of the best parts of the first book-then again they might’ve cut that part out because it’s very Harry Potter-ish just like the flying motorbike (we do get a motorbike though, non-flying).
I think my biggest problem with the acting was with Magnus. While he looked in character his acting was just horrible. I’ve heard rumors that the voice was dubbed over and if that’s the case that might explain what the deal was. But seriously…this is not how the most badass character in this lame series should be acting. Though I’ll admit the short shorts and the smoking jacket were nice to look at. And I liked the eyeliner.
There were other problems I had besides the acting and the story. Most notably the cinematography. Stop with the shaky cam already and that shot that makes all the characters distorted like they’re at a fun house. It gave me such a migraine I’ve thrown up since I’ve gotten home.
And what the fuck with Bach?
Seriously. I guess this is more of a plot point but I’m using it to transition to my bitch fit about the music. Have you done any research on JS Bach? That’s like PC and Kristin Cast claiming that every celebrity was a vampyre. Oh dear lord…House of Night movie. Now these people who handled this film could so handle that one it would be even…
Okay, back to the music. I’m a bit of a score snot. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a house full of musicians and had to buy every John Williams soundtrack ever made back when I was in high school, but I love movie music. And I’m sort of snot about it. Music can affect the story, the film’s tone. Really everything about it. Here the music seemed disjointed. Ominous pieces were used when the actual scene was hardly ominous and I just felt like overall it just didn’t work.
However, as awful as this movie was a sequel has been planned and shitty merchandise is already on its way to be produced. Based on what I saw, they shouldn’t have been betting on a sequel. However, at this point they might not have any choice to continue but if Clare wants her cash cow to keep milking the next movie is going to have to be a heck of a lot better.
There weren’t many people in the theater that I went to, but there was some interesting commentary. An elderly gentleman told his wife as he was leaving the theater that City of Bones was the worst movie he’s ever seen. And that my friends that made me smile. Of course then a fan girl went off about how hot she found Jace and Clary even after they were siblings and…
I think you can figure out what I was doing at this point.
At least I got to see the Thor trailer and Loki was in it.