Films,  Review,  Three Stars

Monday’s Movie Musings; The Mortal Instruments; City of Bones (2013)


Monday’s Movie Musings is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. The idea of this feature is to have all of my movie things occuring in one place. Whether it is a review, article, or something else, this feature will just be all about movies.

Today I have a review of City of Bones for you all.

city of bonesDirected By: Harald Zwart
Adapted By: Jessica Postigo
Novel Written By: Cassandra Clare
Production Company: Constantin Film Produktion
Main Cast: Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins, and Robert Sheehan
Format: Cinema {OUT NOW}
Add It: IMDB

(From IMDB) When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld.

There Are

Before the release of this film, a lot of my blogging friends were really excited for the movie because they were already huge fans of the series but before the movie news, I hadn’t even heard about the books. So, after being persuaded, I decided to read City of Bones before the movie, which I did a couple of months ago. However, while I liked the book, I hadn’t loved it – and had struggled to see while everyone was such huge fans of the series – and so, because of that, I went into the cinema not expecting it to be the best movie of the year. So when the movie ended, I was glad because I found I wasn’t disappointed with the mediocre film. I hadn’t expected it to be amazing, and I didn’t find it to be amazing. I still liked this film, enjoyed it, and would happily see it again, but it just wasn’t the best film I’ve seen this year. But I never expected it to be.

Things Lurking

The first thing that really needs to be remembered is that the book and the film are two different mediums and will each play different roles in the storytelling process. For me, I found the plot of the film to be really well done. By excluding the mention of the Shadowhunters’ hometown, it made the film easier to navigate and understand without overloading the audience with too much. The story flowed well on the screen, and it was easy to get the story from it. It was full of action, it was fast-paced, and it still held with it an aura of mystery. There was just enough plot to keep the audience wanting more, without leaving them completely confused and in the dark. I feel that if you hadn’t read the books, the way this plot played out would have made the film enjoyable, and the ending would have shown that it could work as a single film but there is more things to come if another film is released. Something that isn’t always easy when you’re doing an adaptation of a series.

In Front

The main problem that I really found with the film was the representation of the characters. While I found that every actor and actress did a good job with their characters, I found it difficult to really feel for the characters on the screen. This is because the directors were making an action movie – and generally that already pushes away character plot – and so it felt like getting the audience to connect with characters was a secondary thought. I didn’t feel anything for the characters. If one of them got hurt, or had died, I wouldn’t have felt anything for them because I wasn’t allowed the chance to really get to know them. There weren’t enough scenes where you were given the chance to just see the characters as they were. This is also true of the relationships. Even the main relationship between Clary and Jace left me feeling numb. I couldn’t see their attraction. It was like one minute they were strangers, and the next they were kissing but I didn’t feel the transition and I just found it hard to actually believe in. This was the same for every on-screen relationship except for between Simon and Clary, and I feel this was more to do with acting than script.

Of You

The cast were good. Again, there were a few irritations I had with the acting, but I feel like the actors and actresses just weren’t given enough time on the screen so it was just hard for them to get into their character enough for us to truly see them. Lily Collins, however, is definitely one exception of this. I found her to be a really great Clary, when she broke down, when she was happy, when it was all too confusing, I could see it in her, could actually feel myself empathising with her plight. Jamie Cambell Bower was a good choice for the role of Jace as well but I felt that there was too much sly editing for his role. Like they were just showing how attractive he was, rather than focusing on his character and that made it difficult to really feel any emotional connection to his character. Lastly, Robert Sheenan is an actor that I have loved ever since I saw him in Misfits and when I saw him in this, I could just see how he was a perfect fit for Simon. Robert brought humour to the film, and he gave me a character to emotionally connect with. He had personality and he had flair and it was just easy to see him in his entirety.

That Will

As is natural to happen due to the different ways of telling the story, there were things that the film didn’t portray from the books, things that were changed, and things that were added in. Normally this would be something that I could just accept but with this film there was one change that really grated on my nerves, and that was a line towards the end of the book that has now ruined the second (and possibly third) book for me. As someone who has read the entire series, it wouldn’t matter. For people who haven’t read any of the books, it wouldn’t matter. But as someone who only read the first book but planned to read on, it does matter. And it irritated me that they added this into the film. I can understand why they did it, can see how important it was and see how it made the film work, but at the same time, it has saddened me greatly. But aside from this one major change, everything else that they removed and changed worked well for the film and I would say that this was an excellent adaptation that I know a lot of people will really enjoy.

Change Everything

Overall this was a film that I enjoyed. It was one that had me intense, full of tension and kept me captivated. It is a film that many people will enjoy, as long as they’re not looking for an oscar-worthy performance – and sometimes we all need films to just be entertaining. I can see why they have made it the way they did and can appreciate what they have done, but I just didn’t find it to be the most amazing film out there and that’s okay but I still enjoyed it and I would still watch it again. I can see how fans of the series would really enjoy this film and while they may have a few issues with it – it would be incredibly difficult to please every single fan – it would be an overall great experience as it really did capture the essence of the book as every movie adaptation tries to do. If you haven’t read the books, and like films that are fast-paced and full of action, as well as mystery and intrigue, then I would recommend you head to the cinema soon as this is a truly good film. I may not have found it to be utterly fantastic, but I still liked it, and sometimes that is enough.

Three Stars



  • Nikki @ Foil the Plot

    I felt the same way as you did about both the book and the film. While I liked the book, it didn’t wow me in the way I hoped/thought it would. Same thing with the movie (although I did think it would be better than the book). There were definitely some plot points that I enjoyed more than the book and others that left me kind of stumped. Same goes for the acting. I thought Clary, Jace and Simon were pretty spot on but Isabelle, Alec and Magnus were pretty awful. I can see why fans were displeased, but overall, if you haven’t read/liked the books, I think the movie is a good alternative.

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