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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The Worst Fantasy Movie I Have Ever Seen

1/10
Author: Jan Constantin
9 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I would be hard pressed to enumerate all the flaws this movie has from my one viewing. But since I almost walked out of the theater I couldn't possibly bring myself to watch it again for the sake of this review.

Let's start with the simple fact that it's extremely derivative of most tween fantasy book adaptation that has come out in recent years. This could be attributed to the fact that the books these movie are based on are actually awfully written. At least The Hunger Games delivered a better movie than the book was. This has been mentioned by many critics, but I just could believe from how many movie the director "borrowed" stylistic, thematic and mood elements.

So we have the awkward and overly dramatic love triangle that seems to be a staple of tween fantasy storytelling since the Twilight series (see I Am Number 4, The Host, The Hunger Games, even Harry Potter at times).

It is terribly predictable. "Luke, I am your father." Does that sound familiar. You can see every dramatic twist from a mile away.

The story progresses in such a disjointed manner that the storyline has actually lost all cohesion when we reach the end of the film. Plot elements are dropped without even demanding a sequel. I have seen better acting in Bela Lugosi movies and more realism in most animated movies.

I found no redeeming qualities to the movie. Not even the good looks of the protagonists could make me look past the cringe-worthy cheesiness.

And finally, I'm sick of seeing female protagonist depicted as hyper-emotional, male-reliant little dolls. Where are the Ripley's, the Selene's. Why do female protagonists have to be women who break down at the most importune moments and need rescuing from men. A strong female character was without a doubt the saving grace for The Hunger Games. A quality so many recent movies have denied their leading ladies. Judging from the Hollywood export one would almost have to believe that feminism is dead.

So if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, exchange it for quarters, go to a fountain, throw it in and pray for a better movie. Just don't watch this one. The title is aptly named. This movie is where imagination came to die.

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41 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

fantastic dark fantasy film

Author: gerry barnaby Film Reviewer from United Kingdom
21 August 2013

Wow i've never read the books on this film but what I stunning visual film this was, right from the start it throw you into a world of mystery that open up to a whole new world of beauty & darkness as the story is revealed. I will say tho this film might not be for everyone as it does come across as a Gothic teen feel to the film which is a cross between i'am number four & the seeker: dark is rising, but with a much better storyline & concept. I love the storyline & concept of this film, mundane , born human with immense power half angel/half human shadow hunters guardian of the light against the dark, this is what fantasy film's are all about. Lily Collins who plays Clary, wow she looking so beautiful in this film & a brilliantly done performance from her with her character as she really shows motion & believable character as she come to term with her destiny as a shadow hunter when she see things that go beyond reality.Like I said before this film is visually stunning with special effect & concept, the special effect on the face change was brilliant don't to show a dark horror tone to the demons as well as the beauty of the garden at midnight. The action scenes were fair there are a few moments where it does get a little slow but it acceptable as you don't fall asleep or get board of watch it because it does throw you into special scenes where things get interesting. I also love the back story of the angel warrior Azazel who gave his own blood to create the mundane to protect the world from demons. Like I said before a well this film won't be for everyone if you like the dark fantasy films this film you will probably like, but if not your going to find this film is bad or sucks because it won't be your type of film. But it worth watching & making it a part of the DVD collection. Dislikes : There wasn't much in describing the demonic world other than that there are people that have been taken over by demons that was the only thing I kind of felt should of gone more in depth with since the concept of the film is about a war between the light & dark but if you can over see this then you find this film brilliantly done.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Harry Potter meets Twilight via Season of the Witch

6/10
Author: siderite from Romania
24 October 2013

I wanted to enjoy this movie, I really did. However a very annoying lead character coupled with a below average direction made it really difficult for me.

The story is the classical teen who discovers she has special powers. They probably are trying all of these movies with female leads as to attract the female audience to the productive teen fantasy movie segment. Yet, of course, the chick needs at least two guys fawning over her and protecting her until she finds out how awesome she really is. That's really lame. This year is the year of witches, all movies and series have to have one, this is one of those films.

Anyway, back to the story. Lena Headey is the mother of a freak again, married with a weirdo again, widowed again. The casting holes actors fall in these days are really specific, aren't they? The plot proceeds like a mix of Harry Potter finding he is a wizard and the Twilight love triangle ... err... angle. There is even a medieval castle in the middle of New York (that, of course, people cannot see).

Bad people are after the main character, of course, but one of them is Kevin Durand in a really tiny role. Give that guy a break, man, he is too cool for these evil henchman roles!

Since I watched Twilight and I watched Harry Potter and I can safely say I wasn't terribly impressed, but I enjoyed myself, it would have been expected to at least enjoy this film as well, but I couldn't. The love scenes are ridiculous, the fight scenes don't make sense, the magical scenes either (check out the one when they battle demons, she freezes them up, and then they try to move around them rather than just kill them like they would do just a few seconds later when the demons unfreeze) and some of the roles in the movie are really confusing, like the one of the great warlock that seems to know all, appear out of nowhere when you need him and everybody trusts him.

The acting wasn't bad, but the direction and individual scenes were clumsy and sometimes outright bad. I have no choice but to rate it a failure.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Worse than the book, and that is saying something...

4/10
Author: Miranda Aldrin (cherrylollification) from Sweden
11 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I first saw the trailer, I was so excited! I actually read City of Bones mostly because I needed a filler. Unfortunately, the first book was an absolute wreck with an interesting premise. I liked the idea of Jace and Clary and the shadowhunters, but my god, Cassandra Clare is a terrible writer. I was sad a first, but still very excited for the movie. I assumed they would change the static dialogue, the cringe-worthy situations, and the unnecessary events which took place in the book. Unfortunately for me the script was even worse than Clare's writing and the end result was an embarrassing train wreck.

The script was the cause of incredibly awkward dialogues and lacked depth on any level! There was neither character nor plot development, and it really hurt the acting. It's very easy to see that this is Postigo's first screenplay. I was wrong when I said I did not think anything could be worse than Clare's writing. I'm still sitting here in shock after watching it. Just take the scene from the middle of the movie, right after Jace and Clary had their moment in the garden, when Jace AND Simon get mad because Simon's in Clary's room while Clary is kissing Jace. There's some screaming between the three characters, but the scene is only about 1 minute long, and the viewer is supposed to follow three people's emotional turmoil; the fact Jace doesn't open up often, Clary's new love, and Simone being in the friendzone etc. But the conversation was so static and rushed, that none of this actually showed on screen. Yes, it is written this way in the novel, but just because it is badly written once does not mean it has to be badly written twice! These were the types of things which I obviously thought the movie would improve upon. There are more moments like this, where the conversations are awkward and/or static, and nothing really comes of it. Like when Clary brings up the fact that Alec is in love with Jace. It's just there because it's in the book, but it serves no purpose. It is as badly done in the movie as it is in the book.

Another major problem was the fact that the plot was rushed. I feel very sorry for the viewers who had not read the book, because as I was watching I had to refer to it to understand what was going on. For example, the viewer did not get to fully understand Hodge's situation in the end, where he had actually been imprisoned for following Valentine, and the emotions which should have been there. The rushed plot also contributed to the problems with the conversations lacking depth. Also, instead of cutting some of the more uninteresting parts of the book, each scene was cut down. For example, the whole vampire nest scene was extremely useless. Sure, you meet the werewolves for the first time, but they could have been nicely introduced in some other scene. If they had cut scenes like that, the important scenes would have been longer and could thus have been more developed and explored the characters and the plot. But the biggest plot flaw, and probably the worst part of the movie and the book, was the incest. However this is not Postigo's fault, since it is part of the book's plot. The way the incest was handled in the book was the reason why I did not continue reading the series. The fact that Clare continued to write about Clary and Jace continuing being in love, while still believing they were siblings was just too weird. Since I assumed Clare was not quite as twisted as to write about incest in a teenage book, I googled the fate of Clare and Jace. My suspicion was correct, but that does not make it right to write about two "siblings" who are fighting their love for each other. What the movie did correct was to show when the lie was fabricated. It made the situation better, instead of continuing the lie for a few book, and allowing the readers to think it is incest. But I still have a problem with the way Jace and Clary acted once they find out. It is, without a doubt, the most cringe-worthy moment of the whole movie. Because they don't stay away from each other, or become disgusted with each other; they continue with their relationship. Sure, without kissing, but they are still in love and Jace says that "he needs her" and that she's an angel. It is so incredibly disturbing, and a major plot flaw and it just irks me every time!

See, the acting could have been better, but I am not blaming it on the actors. I am blaming the script and the director, because most of them are decent actors in other movies. For example, Jamie Campbell Bower in Camelot is great! And I also really like the other actors, like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Robert Sheehan (him in Misfits is just hilarious), and Jared Harris etc. They have all done some really good stuff in the past, but they had to work with what they got, so the result wasn't great. I feel really bad for them, having to be associated with The Mortal Instruments in the future. This is the type of movie, which the actors will be embarrassed of having done, sort of like Clooney's Batman and Robin.

Basically, the movie was worse than the book, and in all honesty that says a lot about movie. It's got plot issues, a lack of character development, and it is just downright terrible. My problem is just that both the movie and the book could have been so great! Had the writing/script just been up to par, and you minus the incest part, it would have been very enjoyable. Unfortunately, as it is now, it's absolutely horrific.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The Quest for the Next Franchise Continues Unfulfilled

5/10
Author: RichardSRussell-1 from United States
5 September 2013

The Mortal Instruments is the first in what was obviously hoped to be a series that would catch on like Harry Potter or The Twilight Saga (or, one presumes, The Hunger Games). Alas, it's more like The Golden Compass, The Spiderwick Chronicles, City of Ember, I Am Number 4, or the Percy Jackson "series" (currently up to #2). It features a naive teenager who's heir to mystical powers but who has been "protected" from that knowledge up until a crisis from the other world claims her mother. The dotter, Clary (Lily Collins, the good Snow White from the bad Snow White movie), and her mom, Jocelyn (Lena Headey from Game of Thrones, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the under-appreciated The Purge) are perfectly fine, tho Jocelyn gets to spend much of the film doing her Sleeping Beauty impersonation. The rest of the movie is portentous and stylized. It has a few good action scenes, and an interesting wrinkle or 2 in the plot line, but it suffers from the same problem that all these supernatural/demigod films do, which is trying to explain the motives of the bad guys, other than just, well, that's the way villains are supposed to behave. It doesn't get all carried away with special effects but actually lets the actors perform. I will leave it to the females who see it to explain to me why the heavily tattooed shadow hunter Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) is supposed to set young Clary's heart all aflutter, as he seems to me to be self-centered, boorish, and badly in need of shampoo. But then, maybe that's what's in these days.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

This should have been so much better

5/10
Author: PrincessTarah from United States
22 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first half of the movie could have been really good. They had everything from the beginning of the book in there, but it was all out of order. This, combined with the fact that they didn't explain anything (Downworlders, Accords, Valentine, the Circle, etc.), made the movie confusing, especially for those who have not read the books. It also jumbled up the development of Jace and Clary's relationship, to the point where it didn't even really develop, it just kind of happened.

I feel as though they had a basic understanding of the end of the book, so they discarded it for the latter half of the movie and just did their own thing. My biggest problem is that Jocelyn being hidden inside the institute the whole time is just way too far-fetched.

Many important elements of the book were either a) left out completely, or b) needlessly replaced with something stupid. They put things in the movie that weren't supposed to come to light until City of Ashes, which I could have forgiven if they would have put everything from City of Bones in the CITY OF BONES MOVIE.

They had a demon walk outside in the middle of the day, when in the books demons are killed by sunlight. That right there was just plain negligence. Speaking of negligence, I would like to know why the vampires wanted the mortal cup. Don't they know Valentine wants to use it to wipe out downworlders? Oh, wait....they apparently don't know that, because the movie didn't say anything about it.

Finally, the thing I was most displeased with was that they revealed one of the biggest, if not the biggest, twists of the series, which was not supposed to be revealed until City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3): the fact that Jace and Clary are not actually related. Apparently, we're putting the spoilers in the movies themselves now.

However, they did do some things right with this movie. First and foremost, the casting. It was perfect, except they really should have dyed Valentine's hair blonde, like it is in the books. But I can let that go, because Myers did such an amazing job portraying him. Also, the score was wonderful. And, I must admit, the shadowhunter-vampire fight scene was very cool. Lastly, I did like the Midnight Flower scene. It was my favorite chapter of the book and it was great to see they got it right.

All in all, this movie is not a good representation of the book. While some shortenings and tweakings are necessary for all book-to-movie adaptations, they can still be portrayed well, and this film was not. If you saw the movie, whether you liked it or no, please please please READ THE BOOKS. They are amazing. Cassandra Clare created an awesome world, and everyone should see it the way it was meant to be.

~A Shadowhunter & Book-lover

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Good but could have been so much better

6/10
Author: hayleyearcher
22 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After being a massive fan of the book for years, i was hoping for a better first movie. All the actors were perfect the only problem i had was Jonathan Meyers is just not old enough in my opinion to be their dad. He pays an amazing part but it's hard to believe he is their father when he doesn't look much older than them. Hopefully they will stick more to the book next time, i know it's hard to include all things in under 2 hrs but i was that lost at the end i had no idea what was going on. Nothing was mentioned about Jace and Alec being bound and wasn't explained how Luke became a werewolf. Hopefully it does well so we can get a better second movie!

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Not for the kiddies, nor for the adults or for anyone ...

2/10
Author: redber from Canada
23 August 2013

What's the vision here? I'm sorry I'm a little confused at what's going on & I need a medicentre to referr me to an optometrist. My retinas have been permanently damaged & I need help. Call me maybe at 308-641-222 if anyone has the slightest sympathy to care for someone in & I encourage those selfish-minded people to do something nice for once instead of continuing their satisfaction for eggos which is only a fake emotion, and give yourselves a true feeling of respect & help those who have less than you. And then maybe you all can understand our purpose in this world. Or just keep walking until your hate leads to the cellar of hell. You live the life you want, but if you continue to lead your life the way you are, I feel sorry for you because of your failure to understand & acknowledge life. Your legacy will be a tombstone that people will forever ignore because they are selfish from poor examples, & afraid of the nature of living. Because truly caring for someone is a sustaining emotion. One you'll want & need to have. Please... It's for the better of us...

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14 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Did anyone actually read these books??!!??

1/10
Author: araquest from United States
25 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Harold Zwalt and Jessica Postigo sure didn't.

Although Cassandra Clare's book, "The City of Bones," read like a poorly planned high schooler's first attempt at painting an epic novel of wanderlust and love blackened by the reality of a dark cruel world, her books graduated in quality and she grew into a writer. Still, she is burden with the lack of foresight needed to garden the authority and respect of structured foreshadowing that cultivated the cherished love of J. K. Rowling's fans.

Heedlessly, Jessica Postigo's rewrite and Harlod Zwat blatant disdain for understanding the piece he was creating has left us with a gilded unprepossessing garble of two books jigsawed together like a 5th grader attempting to tape and glue together two Fabergé eggs.

Forget the poor directing, forget the script rewrite to fit the time allowance; to what end does changing the villain from a large, Nazi poster boy, blonde almost silver haired, smooth talking, skill-fulled, man that people mistakenly trusted and adored to an oily, black haired, tiny man who was simply tricked and pathetically kicked into another dimension by an uncharacteristic action Clary would never have gotten away with. Lets not forget that for two books Hodges was a scared man who couldn't stand up to a wet paper bag let alone help the children stop Valentine's invasion. The list of travesties will go on and on as this broken record is replayed, retried, and retired in cinematic history as one of the worse book to screen follies of 21st century.

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34 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Loved the books, great film!

9/10
Author: Thecollective-772-245351 from United Kingdom
24 August 2013

Loved the books and really enjoyed the film, if you like twilight / potter and these kind of fantasy films then this is defiantly worth a watch or read... My only grumps were - poor choice of music, it was just far too cheesy and childish, it ruined the dark mystery moods for me and did nothing to enhance the film. There was 1 min (Birthday candle part) it almost went all Disney for my liking.... cringe....!! Hope they don't repeat any of this in the next film & find better music that suits the moody darkness of the film. The main characters pretty much matched what I had I visualised from the book, Clary and Simon spot on! Jace - good but needed to be more warrior muscular and Valentino just a little older. I will defiantly watch it again and the next film....

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