A blog in which I tear apart a movie.

When I saw the movie Ella Enchanted for the first time, I was appalled. I had loved the book and read it multiple times. It was not a hard story to translate into film and it had a wonderful ending. The movie sucked. Sure Ella had to follow every command someone gave but where did the singing and dancing come from? The talking snake? The droves of screaming girls over Prince Char? And, spoiler alert, her curse wasn’t broken because she had to kill Char and she didn’t. The real story is that he asked her to marry him and she said no… even though she wanted to say yes. That would have been a wonderful movie.

I bring this up for a reason. I thought that movie was awful when compared to the book, but on it’s own- I enjoyed it. It’s cute, and funny. However, that is still not the reason why I bring it up. I bring this up because I just watched The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie.

Now some back story. In high school I came across this book called “The City of Bones.” Instantly I fell in love. It was funny, the characters were interesting, the story was pretty good, and the world around them, oh the world around them was enchanting. Quickly I became a fan and eagerly awaited the series… and still am waiting for the sixth and final book of the series.

Naturally, I was generally excited when I learned that it was being made into a movie. The books have a lot of moments that would translate well onscreen. When I saw what actors were playing the characters, I was slightly disappointed but didn’t want to make any judgements. I saw a trailer… and I became worried. There was little int he trailers that made this movie seem accurate.

Now, when I say accurate, I don’t mean that it has to be word-for-word to the book. It needs the main elements, but most of all the movie must capture the essence of the book. A great example of this is the movie Hugo, based of the book, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick. Sure there were elements that were different between the two, but overall, the movie managed to capture the magic and wonder that the book invokes.

When City of Bones was released, I heard awful things. Reviewers hated it. I don’t put a ton of stock in reviewers, but when the majority hate a movie, there has to be something wrong with it. Then, a good friend of mine saw the movie. I had introduced the books to her and she enjoyed them. She said the movie was horribly inaccurate and I completely lost hope.

Now the movie is on iTunes and because I am impatient, and to be honest, today hasn’t been great, I decided to see for myself how awful this movie really is. If I thought Ella Enchanted was grossly inaccurate then, well, this movie is an abomination. There are a few bright spots though and here they are in list form: 1. Simon- he was one of my favorite characters in the book and I think the actor captured him well; 2. one-liners- the book is full of them and they always made me burst out laughing, thankfully some of them exist in the movie; 3…. I thought I had a third one, but I guess not.

Oh they did have one of my favorite scenes. Here’s a paraphrase:
*Clary and her mom are arguing and Simon bursts into the room.*
Mom: “Jesus!”
Simon: “No, it’s just me.”
End Scene.

Sadly, the rest of the movie did not follow suit. Besides attempting to make the set and the music sound like a Harry Potter ripoff, they made it so that every single creature in existence is after the Mortal Cup (a thing that does a thing… look it up on Wikipedia). Also, Simon gets turned into a RAT at Magnus’ party… he isn’t stolen by the vampires and then strung up in their Hotel Du Mort as bait. (Once again, just look up the synopsis and then enjoy the rant even if you don’t follow it.)

That leads me to another thing. Magnus Bane. He is a warlock and probably my other favorite character (second to Simon) in the book. He’s hilarious and unique and quite colorful. In the movie he’s reduced down to the robot who fills in all the background information so that the audience can find out what’s going on because it wasn’t already obvious. 

Now we get to Clary. Clary is the main character, and like all main characters, she is obliviously gifted and has some legitimately awesome moments in the book. One such moment is when she throw a knife at a werewolf as they’re running to safety and it manages to stick… in the movie adaptation, she asks for a knife so she can throw it at the wolf from three feet away. It’s so anti-climatic that I just wanted to bury my head in the sand. (By the way, this blog post is being written in conjunction with watching the movie. Every time I get overwhelmingly annoyed at the awfulness, I have to pause in and write… I have an hour left at this point.)

So, rather than bore you with longwinded descriptions, here’s the rest of the movie in Tweet form. Use your imagination for the rest:

  • That line was not delivered well.
  • Why must his hair look so awful?
  • There is no portal in the Institute.
  • Now that’s just weird… I know this is fantasy, but…
  • She just put a burning candle on the stairs beside her and turned away.
  • The music is just too obvious.
  • The apple disappeared… I guess it’s okay since they’re eating each others’ faces.
  • This movie has the “Twilight” effect, lines that were so wonderful in the book just aren’t as great said out loud.
  • Poor Simon.
  • Please. Put. Your. Shirt. On. Jace.
  • Apparently Bach was a Shadow Hunter… They pulled that from left field.
  • WHAT. JUST WHAT? I’m so confused… That scene was better in the book.
  • I like his hair better when there isn’t product in it.
  • Valentine’s hair. What is with the random braids. It’s like Padawan gone wrong.
  • Valentine was insane, yes. But he wasn’t psychotic, he was calculating.
  • Really? This is, like, dumb. (This is a direct quote said out loud.)
  • Please people, don’t see this movie. Read the book.
  • I just don’t understand what’s going on and I’ve read this book five times.
  • Apparently demons are Japanese?
  • Now Jace has a block on his mind? He didn’t know who his father was? Is this Star Wars or something? I just, I just… I…
  • This is one hot mess of a movie… But it’s oddly enjoyable in its awfulness.
  • Simon is still wonderful.
  • Well I’ve become more progressively lost that I am beginning to make sentences incoherent.
  • And Clary had an epiphany so we go to slow motion where the weight of the epiphany manifests itself in a blank face. 
  • They really didn’t build that up well enough. 
  • Nooo, this is bad.
  • Horrific, absolutely horrific.
  • Gah! This confrontation was so much better in the book…
  • I give up, I’m so confused, I don’t know what to think. The portal just turned to ice and now it’s not.
  • It’s snowing!
  • This movie sucked all the charm out of the story.
  • I have no good words.
  • Simon saves the ending! He just said the Star Wars line and it didn’t sound bad.
  • NO. JUST NO. SHE IS NOT MAGIC.
  • UGH.

{Now figuratively slamming computer into the wall and throwing my hands up in disgust.)

Well that just happened. 

I slightly kind of really enjoyed how awful that was. 

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One thought on “A blog in which I tear apart a movie.

  1. Some familiar ranting here! It’s so funny how I keep coming back, again and again, when books I like are made into movies. I don’t actually mind if they change the events of the plot somewhat, but what bothers me is when characters are made to be different, especially characters who in the book are interesting but awful, and are made to be more sympathetic. For example, Daisy in the recent Great Gatsby. I didn’t like how the movie let her off the hook.

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