Saturday, August 24, 2013
I just recently watched the film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. As a book lover and fan of Cassandra Clare's works myself, I'd give this film 8.5/10.
I found that the movie received much negative reviews from movie critics and I believe it is undeserving of such injustice. My greatest frustration with those negative reviews was their opening line claiming that they heard this movie was supposed to be the next "Twilight/Hunger Games" franchise, and that it wasn't true. I think this film is worthy of so much more. Of course it's not true. Hunger Games has a totally different theme and discusses a totally different set of issues. I understand that it targets almost the same audience: the teenage population; but it is just as unfair to compare a horror film to a fairy tale film. In Twilight's case however, I beg to differ only because I believe this movie to be so much better than the whole Twilight movie franchise. I was - and still am - an absolute Twi-hard book fan, and the sappy movie adaptation did Meyer's emotional and passionate book series no justice. The acting and special effects are so much better too.
This was a well thought out movie and though it may not have been the best possible movie adaptation for the original book, it was one of the best book-turned-movie I have ever seen. Besides, for book lovers - whatever genre you might prefer - I don't think there's such a thing as "the perfect movie adaptation" anyway. The movie scriptwriters will always want to put their own art into it, so some scenes have to change, otherwise what would be different? If you want the exact same thing, just read the book again.
One of the things I loved the most about the book was the soundtrack. The songs used were perfect for each scene. The exciting song used during the battle scene with the vampires was one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the name of that one. Lovato's "Heart by Heart" was definitely perfect for the greenhouse scene, with a crescendo feel to it that matches the scene's pace. Caillat's relaxing and enchanting "When the Darkness Comes" had just the right mood for the ending scene.
Regarding the acting, I really loved most of the main characters. It's a shame they didn't get as much scenes as they did in the book, but that's impossible anyway. My favorite portrayal was Robert Sheehan's Simon Lewis. His confession of love to Clary was with few words and a lot of feels. His casting was one of those I was happiest with because with just his looks, I could already see the possible transformation of his character from City-of-Bones Simon to City-of-Lost-Souls Simon. (On a random note I'd like to take this chance to proclaim that I'm a fan of Lily Collins and I totally ship her real life love team with Jamie Campbell Bower. Fangirl out.)
I'm more than satisfied with the casting of this movie though I'd have imagined Hodge to be a lot younger. Before I watched the movie I thought the one perfect face for a certain character was Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane. I have to say I'm completely disappointed with Magnus's lack of airtime. Yes, I'm sure he'll definitely have more scenes in the sequels, but a character's introduction is one of the most important things in establishing his role in the film. His lines were also far from the book's Bane - sarastic, witty and easily angered. I just couldn't believe he explained everything immediately when he saw Clary.
The special effects absolutely wowed me from the very start. Not even my imagination could keep up with the transformation of a dog-turned-lesser-demon. It was like his insides came out of his body and then decided to wrap itself around him and then it started looking like it was digesting itself. Okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration but no words can describe my awe with the special effects team of this movie.
All in all I'm more than satisfied with the way the film turned out. I have to say I had expectations that went past the moon because I was looking forward to this movie to the point that I interviewed all the people I know who watched it on the day it came out. It was the only book-turned-movie that I completely approved of from the casting to the teaser trailers to the actual trailer and even to the movie posters way before I even watched the movie. Were all those expectations met? No. (I didn't think they'd be anyway because I could hear myself babbling and making too much of a big deal out of it during those times.) It's alright though because the movie has its own appeal and atmosphere to it that wasn't exactly the same as the book's, but it incorporated a part of the book's allure at the same time. It's like they really did give us Clary, Simon, Jace, Isabelle and Alec, but it's not exactly like the book, so it's like they're just identical twins of all these characters with the same name and experienced some of the same things. And that's more than good enough.
(Some adaptations just borrow all the names and don't even bother trying to make it look like they were following the plot, character, etc. --shoutout to TVD series, of which the TV series is a whole lot better.)
I'd like to make it clear that this is in reference to the film adaptation when I say, "Still a better love story than Twilight."