Wednesday, January 1, 2014

City of Bones: movie review

A while ago I did a movie-review on The Host and it got bombarded with views, so I thought I'd take a try at this one. You're probably thinking- "City of Bones movie? That's old news, Jane." Well. I was gone all summer in Europe and didn't manage to find a single movie theatre (somehow.) So I have had to wait until the DVD release to see it. My copy finally came in at the library yesterday. I saw it with my friend and her older brother which made the experience…different.

Overall I'd like to make a point and say, against my expectations I actually DID enjoy the movie, and would probably see it again sometime. But it is in my nature to critique and tear things up, so that is what I'm going to do now. :)

The Goods
  • Simon. Simon was definitely a Good Aspect of the movie. I think he fit the role. Unfortunately his band didn't make the cut, but that was more of a book-two thing anyway, right? At least he had funny tshirts a couple times. Only thing is he turned out to be more attractive than Jace. Sorry to all Team Simon fans (even though that really wasn't ever a thing) but Jace is just supposed to be hotter. Fact.
  • When they go see the poetry slam? Great great.
  • Clary's mother. She was nice and sheltering and cool and I can totally picture her as a retired ass-kicking Shadowhunter. But she looks very young still.
  • Hodge. Who was an excellent Moriarty by the way. 
  • Silent Brothers. The City of Bones was cool, chill inducing, all that jazz.
  • Clary. Good acting, pretty, fit the role okay. 


Hm…the accents? Those were okay. But if there is ever a showing or mention of the Enclave in London, there could be come confusion. But according to my friend, it does make them a degree cooler. (Says the Americans.)

The effects. I guess the directors had a thing against using CGI, and just went with rubber monster masks. Especially the demon cop things. I mean really. (okay it wasn't all terrible, but there was a degree of cheesy non-realness.)

Magnus Bane.
Yeah, I think he has to go to the in-between. He is one of my absolutely favorite characters ever. Thankfully his movie-version isn't totally screwed up. I didn't like his first introduction. (Um. Shorts.) But right as it cut away from that strange scene, his cat eyes flashed and there was a collective "eeep!" of excitement. And when he shows up at the institute later to help Alec it's so brief, so it's just kind of sucks…but maybe he is in more of CoA.

Luke was different than I pictured in my head. Which, to be honest, was a less-ragged looking Lupin. As the movie progressed he grew on me a little.

Isabelle had pretty nifty weapons. Flamethrower sequence baffled me but it looked cool. Interesting differences to her whip? All Electra and alive? I think they changed it because it looks more visually appealing that way.

The Bads

  • Jace's hair and accompanying hoodie.

Let us just sit on that sentence for a second.


I feel the need to point out that Jace would never agree to wearing a hoodie, as it would mess up his hair (which is actually attractive in the books) and also. Jace. Hoodie. It just does not work. I will resist a rant paragraph.

  • Valentine's hair.
  • Luke's hair.
  • actually, everyone's hair.
  • I'm just kidding, Clary's hair was okay.

  • Back to Jace, he wasn't funny of self obsessed enough; or maybe he was, but it was too subtle. And again those words don't belong in the same sentence. There was one direct quote, and you probably know which one I mean (I turn myself down occasionally) and that little quip back and forth between him and Clary was good, but that was the extent of it. His demeanor was too quiet. I know he's observant and moody broody. But no, he isn't actually. His defense mechanism definitely leans toward humor. Even if that hoodie attitude in hiding on the inside.

  • OH MY GOD I JUST REALIZED THERE ARE NO ADULTS IN THE INSTITUTE. Like right as I'm looking at my notes and typing this I was like wait. Where are the other characters? There were none!!! The Lightfoot parents are nowhere to be seen! 
  • Also. Isabelle says something quick, I think referring to Alec as her best friend….not once do they even mention they're siblings. Did I miss that? Hm.

  • Why did they make Simon awkwardly hang in the hotel? What did that achieve? Why WASN'T HE A RAT? I don't get any of that. And their whole rescue mission of sliding a board across the gap which was extremely wobbly, and then sending Clary across who is the least coordinated…just none of that whole scene made logical sense to me.

What was left out.

Raphael! Hotel Dumont. Like everything to do with that. BUT they did hint at the vampire thing with the bite marks on Simon, which regrettably clues us there will be a sequel since that issue did not get wrapped up. *torn feelings about this*

(anyone else remember what they left out? I haven't reread the book recently but it didn't seem like they left out a whole bunch, just mixed things around.)


End note. I know movies are supposed to be different than the books; if they were exactly the same, it would probably not work because books are all about inside feelings and movies have to rely on a more outwardly impression. So, I do like John Green's response to this, with regard to TFiOS: Why Stuff Like Hair Color Is Not So Important To Me.

And I may expand this review as more things come to mind.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Thanks for this! I loved the books, and so have not seen the movie yet (I was so pissed at the movie treatment of The Hunger Games that I stopped seeing movies based on books altogether). I now might venture to see this, with expectation of a less-fun Jace and less-badass-Isabelle firmly in place. I'd venture the guess that the rat scene would make things less urban paranormal and more fantastical/fey, which doesn't sit well with general audiences (especially if they haven't read the books). I know that the actor playing Simon does a fantastic job in the British TV series "Misfits", and a totally different character, so I expect him to be the highlight. I hope the second movie, if there is one (??) does a better job of sticking to the character-building stuff and not just the action sequences.

  2. I know what you mean. Even when I enjoy something, I still usually critique the stuffing out of it. :)

    Haven't seen this one yet (and didn't love the books), but I may give it a go just to see the rubber masks and the hair ... and the hoodie.