The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

I really enjoyed The Mortal Instruments, but that might just be because I like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the male lead looked cool, and I love fantasy worlds. There are a lot of things I wish they had gone into more detail about, it does drag at the beginning, and I can't argue with the "lame teeny-bopper love story" criticism.

I was beginning to think there were no more good movies out there, after my recent string of terrible movies. I took a gamble on Syrup even though the reviews were terrible, and it didn't pay off. The reviews for The Mortal Instruments were about the same, so I was hesitant about it. Then I found out Jonathan Rhys Meyers was in it, and I figured I'd probably like it no matter how bad it was. It turns out he's not even there for the first hour and a half of the movie, but luckily I still liked it, anyway.

I love different mythologies people create, and learning about how different versions of the world operate. I like finding out people's interpretations of standard creatures; vampires, werewolves, zombies, whatever.

At first I was put off by Clary's ridiculous eyebrows. They're so thick and dark, and they don't match her hair at all. I guess that's supposed to be her natural color, since her hair's the same color in flashbacks to when she was a kid, and her mom sort of has the same hair color, too. But the eyebrows don't match! Clary is a weird name, too. I'm not a fan of it at all.

Then I was put off by Lena Headey being in it. Apparently I've seen her in a few movies, but she wasn't a recognizable actress for me until Game of Thrones, so now she's just always Cersei, and I don't like her.

The whole "finding out you're a Shadowhunter" part of the movie did go on for too long and start getting old. I just wanted to skip that part and get to the interesting stuff. I didn't care about them saving Simon, either. Not that I didn't care about Simon, but I knew they were going to save him, so I just wanted them to do it quickly and get it over with so we could get on with the rest of the movie. Some cool stuff happened, though. I loved the way all those derelict tables and chairs looked, and it provided an opportunity for Luke to show his loyalty to Clary by rescuing her. Of course, he could've still just been after the cup.

Some of the scenes were really cliché. People say it borrows from Star Wars since Valentine is Clary's father, and tells her he's Jace's, too. I guess it was like that a little bit, but Star Wars just follows centuries-old archetypes anyway, so it's not exactly original. And it's a totally different story.

I didn't like that they threw in the classic scene where there was a big misunderstanding and Jace was angry at Clary, and Simon was angry at Clary, and she was "all alone." I still felt bad about it though, so I guess it was effective. I think they could've done something more original, though. It was pretty dopey when Jace took her to the garden. I think that terrible song they played during the scene had a lot to do with it.

I didn't like Alec at all. They didn't make him likeable enough. He was just mean to Clary, and that was his only note. When he got hurt, I didn't care if he died or not. Isabelle wasn't that likeable, either. I didn't buy that Clary's mom has just been covering up her runes with makeup this whole time. Did she never go swimming? Maybe most people can't see them and Clary could only see them that one time because her block was wearing off, and Jocelyn hadn't had time to take her to see Magnus again yet.

I looked at the next one, and it mentions something about "Clary's new-found brother Jace." If they're going with that angle, I don't like it. At the end of this movie he says "I don't think we're siblings, it doesn't feel right in my heart." And Hodge said Valentine should lie to them about their being siblings. Maybe they really were siblings and Hodge just didn't know it. But a blood test is a pretty easy way to sort all of that out, or maybe somebody's had a rune of seeing family ties drawn on them, or something. Apparently in the books they go on for like three books thinking they're siblings (see previous sentence: this is an easy question to answer!). I really hope they don't do that in the movie. I don't care about all the tension/whatever's going to go on when I know they're not actually siblings.

Also according to the summary of the next one, the entire plot is about trying to find Valentine and get him to wake Jocelyn up. That sounds like a terrible driving force for a movie. Hopefully more stuff happens than that.

I'm not sure how good the novels were. I'm guessing they didn't have very good source material to work with. Jace is a weird character. He's such a dick, so impulsive, so damaged from his childhood. I don't think they fully mean to flesh that out. There were a lot of things that weren't fleshed out. The whole thing was just skimming the surface of all these ideas. I want to find out more about all of it. I think the books would work well as a TV series so they'd have more time to go into everything.

Some of the lines were so cheesy. "You'll never be my dad!" was just ridiculous. It didn't fit in the movie at all. The dialogue was delivered too quickly sometimes, too. People said stuff so fast. They wouldn't have time to think of a response that fast. In general, I don't know if it was a problem with the actors, the script, or both, but a lot of the dialogue didn't come off as being natural at all.

The demons were really gross. I wonder if there are more kinds of demons, or just the slithery rubbery tentacly ones? And what are they doing on Earth, anyway? Do they want to eat people, kill people, what? I guess Valentine summoned some more demons, and they weren't the same kind. But maybe they weren't demons, either.

Aside from having a lot of questions, I found the movie totally engrossing. I loved Jonathan's performance. He's such a good actor. He got a Golden Globe for Elvis (I had no idea he was in a miniseries about Elvis), but they should give him more awards. Jamie Campbell Bower did a great job with Jace, too. He was a fascinating character. I loved the way they made him look; so foreign and alien. I loved how all the Shadowhunters had accents. I had no idea the guy who played Simon is actually Irish. His American accent was perfect.

The costume designer did awesome, too. All of the Shadowhunters looked pretty good, but Jace's outfit was the best. It was really original; he looked so unique and different in it. The silver earring was a great touch. It made him look kind of Elvish. Magnus' look was amazing, too. I loved what they did with his makeup and earrings. Godfrey's acting was a little flat, though. Valentine's braids were terrible. Whoever had that idea should never design a character ever again.

Clary's nails were a lot like Amber Heard's in Syrup, but somehow I liked them a lot better here. I liked how even her toenails were perfectly painted, when she took off her boots to cross the plank of wood (which was pretty dumb). I noticed she had the boots back on later. I guess she grabbed them and put them back on somewhere in all the frantic running. I didn't like her hair at first. The color just seemed like a cheap attempt to get attention. But it grew on me, and I wound up thinking it was pretty.

The props team maybe could've done better. The things they wrote runes with and the clear weapons looked kind of hokey and plastic-y. Maybe they could've made them out of crystal or something instead of plastic. I guess they figured they looked good enough. The continuity person had a major flub when Clary's hairstyle changed completely from when she was outside the City of Bones to when she walked into it, but I guess sometimes you just can't fix things like that. They should've fixed it with CG. Most of the CG was pretty good, but it didn't all work. They only had $60 million to make the movie, so with that in mind, I think they did a great job.

The action was decent. I loved the overhead shots of the swordwork. I don't know if it was actually Jonathan who did that flip-dive off the balcony, but whoever it was looked amazing. Isabelle was pretty cool with her snake whip. The vampire-fighting scene was good; the music helped it a lot. I felt like Clary and Simon should've just stayed hidden under a table, but I guess that only would've worked if the Shadowhunters had been able to kill all the vampires, which wasn't going to happen.

I thought they were going to do something with Simon's vampire bite, but they didn't. I don't know why Clary's mom wound up in the hospital. Wouldn't the Shadowhunters be better-equipped to heal her?

I loved all those spears wedged into the floor that made the pentagram. They looked really cool. I liked how human they made the Silent Brothers look. At first it seemed liked they were just weird creatures, but then we you saw more of them they looked more human, and it made it better somehow. I want to know more about who they are and what they do. We didn't learn enough about "The Clave." Apparently they're homophobic, which isn't any good. Maybe one of the sequels can be about overthrowing them. Valentine and the "good" Shadowhunters can team up.

It was weird seeing Lane from Mad Men, and he kind of played the same kind of character here. He wasn't bad, though. It's kind of like they picked him because they were just like, "we have a very small pool of actors that are British." Both of the Shadowhunters on Valentine's side were perfectly cast. They definitely looked like brutish henchmen.

The AFI song was a perfect choice for the club, and I totally recognized it as AFI. The one they played for the credits was good, too. It's nice that AFI got to be in something, although I'm not sure how much of an accomplishment it is since they're alongside Demi Lovato.

The ending was perfectly satisfying and everything got wrapped up appropriately, but I didn't want it to end. There's still so much to learn about, I wanted to see more.

No comments:

Post a Comment