Friday, August 23, 2013

Movie Review: City of Bones

Am I the only one who thinks it's surreal that just last year, we were freaking out over casting news and scouring the web for set pictures, and now the actual movie is actually out...? Like- in theaters.

Yeah, it's cray-cray.
I apologize in advance for how unorganized this following review will be. The thing is, I just have way too many feels about this movie to try and organize it into a coherent, well-written review so this random list of thoughts and such is what you're going to get instead. :)

I didn't have time for a re-read prior to seeing the movie but I thought that the movie captured all the key scenes very well. If they had lost some of the small moments in between, it wasn't big enough to notice. The pacing was very fast and full of action. There was literally not a moment of down time and I loved that. 

The cast was wonderful. Any other argument is invalid. Lily Collins played a great Clary- I'm normally not a huge Clary fan, but I really enjoyed her portrayal. To those who doubted Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace, eat your words now because he was absolutely fantastic! And the chemistry between the two.... Let's just say that I am not an adamant shipper of Clace in the books, but I was squealing and flailing like crazy every time they had a Moment in the movie 

Other character-related thoughts
  • Really enjoyed seeing more Simon-Isabelle interaction. Give. Me. More.
  • I had my doubts about Kevin Zegers as Alec, but he nailed it!
  • "Godfrey Gao more like Godfrey WOW." Amiright? That being said, I feel like the movie took away some of Magnus's flair and humor. He was more intense and badass, which was nice, but I really missed his flippant side. Hopefully they can bring out more of that in the later movies.
  • Lena Headey totally kicked ass.... in the moments before she lost consciousness, yes, but still.
  • Hodge's story line was slightly altered. I liked it, and I'm really interested in seeing how it continues. 
  • Jonathon Rhys Meyers.... Well. He definitely took his own spin on Valentine- slightly more madman-esque and creepy. Brilliant portrayal but. Please. Lose. The. Braids. Just. No. 
Overall, though, I think the characters lost a lot of their normal humor and wit in the translation to movie form. There were a lot of great direct quotes from the book (which my inner fangirl greatly appreciated) but I really missed Isabelle's flippant sass and the ever-enjoyable Jace-Simon banter.

The special effects were great- especially in terms of how they portrayed the Institute. By far my favorite location in the movie- the Institute's library gave me a good idea of what I want my heaven to look like. The runes looked amazing and I could tell that a lot of detail went into incorporating the runes not only on the shadowhunters but on various artifacts. I personally thought the demons were pretty dang scary.... especially that little demon child. *shudder*

In terms of how well the movie followed the book, Harald Zwart did a great job. I'd say the movie nailed all the major plot points- and I understood the ones that they had to change. 
BUT. THAT. ENDING. The movie differed greatly from the book in terms of the ending, and I am still left with a bunch of conflicting emotions about that. I understood some of the changes that were made, but others kind of disappointed me. 

This is one of the better movie adaptations out there- pretty high up in my list of favorites- but it's not without its faults. I think it definitely helped to have read the book because the world-building was only briefly explained. The pacing was so fast that had I not had prior knowledge of this world, I would have been a little lost. That being said, I did really enjoy this movie and words cannot describe how excited I am for the next one.


Last note:
To all the reviews out there calling City of Bones a Twilight wannabe.
Just. Stop. 


  1. Fabulous review Joie! I pretty much agreed with everything you said (especially the library-heaven comparison...I've had dreams about that library since watching the movie :P)! I absolutely loved the casting , especially Jamie as Jace-- he brings that intensity to Jace's character that allows us to see vulnerability in him. The chemistry between Jace and Clary was amazing too!

    Oh my, I am with you on the whole Simon-Isabelle thing! Seeing their scenes together makes you want them to fastforward a few novels and just get together :P

    Although there were some changes made, I feel like they captured the essence of the story and the characters accurately. They did a really great job and I can't wait for the second!

    Quick rant: I don't understand why people feel the need to compare this to Twilight! They are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!! *sigh*

    1. Oh my gosh, just about every review I've read online (not book bloggers' review) made a comparison between this book and Twilight!!
      What. The. Heck. -__-

  2. It makes me much more excited to see the movie now that you said the casting was great. I was kind of in doubt with the trailers but they sound like they did a great interpretation.

    Side note, I feel like almost every new YA book to movie coming out is going to be compared to Twilight. That's going to get annoying real fast.

    1. Yeah, you should definitely go see it soon! Really good. I'd love to hear what you think of it! :)

  3. Yay, so glad that you loved it, Joie! <3 I thought it was a great movie and I'm already excited to see City of Ashes, which I think used to be my favourite of the original 3?

    Lena Headey was great! I was never a huge fan of Jocelyn in the books but her acting was so spot-on. I want more Isabelle sass! :( She's such a strong, fierce character, something that I just didn't get to see in the movie. I AM glad about the Sizzy interaction though :) I guess it's a fair enough trade-off.

    And holy crap, that demon child was so freaky.

    Great review, Joie, thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Thanks! Hopefully there'll be more Izzy sass in the later movies when she plays a bigger part.
      I also wasn't a huge fan of Jocelyn in the books either, but I loved Lena Headey!

  4. I feel so bad cause I am not that excited to watch this movie. I did not feel interested in reading the book but I guess i'll watch the movie. Meh. I just...yeah. I don't know what's wrong with me Joie. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME!!!??!!!DX TT ^ TT


      But to be honest, I wasn't in absolute love with CoB when I first read it- I much prefer the Infernal Devices... Hey! Maybe if that were made into a movie, you'd be excited, yeah???

  5. I was kind of skeptical going to see this because of how other some other adaptations of YA books have turned out, but I thought this one was pretty solid. It was clear that a lot of effort was put into getting the Shadowhunter details just right- I LOVED the runes. Loved that bit of Sizzy foreshadowing, too. I also had an Infernal Devices moment, when Magnus remarked on Alec's eyes.

      I think I would die from feels overload.
      Like- How does one even go about casting William freaking Herondale?!

  6. I've been skeptical about this series for a while and decided that it isn't for me, though it's great to hear that it really lived up to your hopes! Having a series/book you're passionate about get made into a film is always a pretty nerve wracking experience, so it's a good thing that for you it wasn't a let down- though I have heard from other reviewers that they didn't have as good an experience. I'm happy it worked out for you.

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