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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
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Index 412 reviews in total 

35 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

If only they didn't feel they had to push it so far

Author: Ayal Oren from Israel
22 August 2013

It's a nice film adaptation of a fairly nice teen fantasy. It follows the book fairly well at least in the spirit, until about two thirds of the film are done with. But then it goes too far, and even commits the unforgiven sin of adding a spoiler that the books kept as a secret for almost full three volumes. The rest is fairly well done. The acting is all right, the story as has been mentioned is not the most original but it's not all that derivative too. The look is true to this era of cinematic magic, in which CG can make everything look real enough. The whole thing would've been so much better if only the script showed a bit more respect to the original story. There are no real excuses for a few very significant changes from the original taking place in the last 30 minutes or so of the film. I've already complained about this Hollywood phenomenon, but it seems to me once again that the script writer's ego simply got in the way.

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41 out of 79 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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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Loved the Books, Very Disappointed in the Film

Author: songsingerhim
12 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm so disappointed. The books were great- thoroughly enjoyable reads, I can't wait for May 2014 when the final book is out.

I don't mind shortening sequences for movies ala Harry Potter and Hunger Games, but the entire plot is different from the books without any reason.

The characters (particularly Jace- although he wasn't bulky/bronze enough from my imaginings) had the potential to be decent but weren't given enough time to develop their characters. It would have been better for this first movie to be all character development with a little action at the end like the book. Then I could have looked forward to the action in the subsequent movies.

One of the major plot twists from the book was handled poorly in the movie as well which was really disappointing. (I don't think this is really a spoiler but I don't wanna get blacklisted so I put the warning up anyway). It was this twist that made the books so un-put-downable. I'm disappointed that the movies won't have that same element of suspense making the viewers wanting more from movie to movie.

Overall, suggest reading the books and using your imagination. I'd skip the movie. :(

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: dolce-vita818
3 December 2013

I needed a book series to keep me entertained over the summer, and hearing that this was being made into a movie I thought I may as well check it out. Now, I'm in my mid-20's and probably not the audience this book was intended for, but I still found the series enjoyable and easy to read, although it was a strange mish-mash of Twilight and Harry Potter at times. Also, if you're a fan of anything supernatural (demons, vampires, Sam and Dean) you'll at least have something interesting to pass the time with.

That being said, I was looking forward to this movie. I should have known better after seeing what movie producers have done to other smaller novels or series (aka non HP block busters). It was just thrown together to make money. None of the characters have any chemistry. At least Lily Collins looks the part of Clary. Poor Jamie Campbell Bower looks like a malnourished runway model, hardly a warrior. I don't know if it was the fault of the director or the actor, but the personality of the character was all wrong and half of the sarcastic/cocky lines were delivered straight, which just made it confusing. All other characters were very hard to get invested in, which is sad because Lena Headey is great in Game of Thrones!

As for the story line, if you haven't read the books or some sort of plot summary, don't bother. My poor friend got dragged to see this with me and was in a state of confusion the whole time. Too many unexplained parts of the plot to be able to enjoy the story. And as for book readers, prepare to be frustrated at the way the studio tried to dumb down the plot (notably with the Jace/Clary dilemma), as they spoil one of the major series plot twists right in the first movie.

The worst part was that I was actually embarrassed watching some of the romance scenes. Embarrassed for the actors who clearly had no compatibility and even more embarrassed at the cheesy manufactured music and cinematography. I'm embarrassed now, just thinking about it.

Anyways, don't go out of your way to watch this and definitely do not get your hopes up if you're a fan. I can't even say that I'm looking forward to the next films... that is, if they don't end up going the way of The Golden Compass...

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Lame but entertaining

Author: tinovalkki from Finland
5 October 2013

City of bones is more CGI effects than serious movie. Script is confusing and strange. City of Bones doesn't have anything to catch and storytelling is weak. None of the characters feels natural and familiar. I am sure that the story in book is much richer and stronger than here. Despite of that City of Bones is not too bad to watch. Especially if you compare it to Twilight saga. It was good thing to go to see this movie without knowing much about it, so I was entertained enough to watch the whole movie. I just hope that if they are going to film more movies to this series they focus on characters more. Better script is unconditional if they want to succeed with this series.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Made for young teens

Author: ronin3338 from Fort Worth, Texas
11 January 2014

The plot is simple, predictable, and at times a bit cliché. It is easy to see where this movie borrows elements from other movies and even role-playing games. Character development gets tangled up in haphazard storytelling. At times the blatant exposition drags the pacing to a crawl and at other times it is rushed along with barely any time to absorb what is going on. In the midst of all this are a variety of interesting young characters, most of whom we hardly know. Even the three main characters could stand a bit more depth to make us care about their situation. The acting is fine, but certainly nothing noteworthy. The dialog is mostly smartly written and current, but that makes the occasional gaffe really stand out. Visually this looks more like a television production than a theatrical release, and many of the demonic effects show a lack of either talent or budget. Overall, I would rather re-watch an episode of Buffy or Angel, or even Teen Wolf than this again, but it's not awful. If you like clichéd teen romance with a bit of supernatural/fairy tale parental drama, you might really enjoy this, but for most folks who like supernatural adventure movies there are a lot of better options available.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

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

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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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Decent *if* you can ignore how derivative it is.

Author: TCLAustin from United States
10 October 2013

Harry Potter, Underworld, Twilight, Star Wars - This script overtly, and at times painfully borrows heavily from all of them. Suitable for low to mid teens, the older folks will suffer tedium from knowing what's coming every step of the way.

Featuring violence throughout, blood and guts are kept to a minimum via the usual mechanics - you can tell the vampire is being terribly savaged by the werewolf from the noises going on, fortunately the werewolf hit the vampire at 40 miles an hour knocking him into a corner and you can't actually see any of it. Similarly, the shadowhunters favor edged weapons which somehow don't cause much blood to spray, nor does the camera linger on the wounds. The action is kept fast and choreographed well enough.

With a better, more original script this really could have been a standout. Dialogue was a middle of the road effort, but effects, acting, sets, cinematography, etc etc would have gotten this movie a solid 7/10 from me if the plot didn't keep going down such incredibly well worn paths.

As it is, 5/10. At way too many points in this I found myself shaking my head at the reuse of plot twists that have already left the dead horse nothing but a scrap of hair in a hole in the ground.

If a sequel to this is made I would certainly give it a chance on DVD, but I hope they will get some fresh writers if that happens.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Do you really disagree with the critics?

Author: aobryan2 from United States
24 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me start off by saying I DID read the books. Now I know that the movie is not going to match the book completely, and that is understandable. However, that being said, I have never seen a movie that is based off of a book, that strays so far! I don't understand some peoples reviews on here who read the book. Basically, the director took the book and basically just used what I would consider an "outline" of the story and then filled in the rest with his own. This irritated me like no other. SPOILERS***** Simon was not even turned into a rat! That seemed to be a pretty big part to me, not to mention that it was just Jace and Clary who saved him, not the whole group. This helped portray just how much Jace would do for Clary, such as going behind his partners (Alec) back! Then they rode the motorcycle off of the building. I was really excited to see that. Hmm too bad that never happened! I was really depressed with the Silent brothers. They seemed very scary in the book, and although they were creepy in the movie, it just wasn't the same. Valentine was too soft. He did not match the character in the book at all. Bane was so spunky in the book, and he was just a bland character in the movie, which really depressed me because I loved him in the book. I could go on forever, but I will stop now.

Now I am going to review the movie as if I NEVER read the books. That being the case, it has something promising aspects. My boyfriend who never read the books actually enjoyed it somewhat. However, the actors and actresses needed some more training. Sometimes when Bane talked, he seemed like he was reading from a script. There was barely any emotion. Hopefully with the second movie, he does better with this. Now Clary, oh dear Clary. She tried too hard. She tried to act scared when she was supposed to be, she tried to act angry and tough at the right times, she portrayed the right emotions...but she tried to hard! Clary also needs more training as an actress. That is how Twilight became such a horrible movie. Half of he cast sucked! Please don't do that with this series!!! Clary was just to cliché and I really really hope this does not happen with the second movie.

This movie is promising, if only minor things would have been tweaked. I am hoping the director and cast learn from their mistakes, and hopefully the second movie will be better.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Quest for the Next Franchise Continues Unfulfilled

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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