Never trust a movie with a colon in the title … The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

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Yeah, I wanted to see The Butler. I still want to see The Butler. Tonight, I did not see The Butler.

Nope, instead, I saw The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Yup, you read that sentence correctly. Any film that has that many cryptically ominous words AND a colon in the title is truly as bad as it sounds. At least we still have truth in some advertising, regardless how inadvertent. Cold comfort.

When will this turgid phase of young “adult” fiction-turned-cinematic tripe finally pass like the hastily consumed, calorically empty fast food dinner it is? (I apologize for the colorful, though apt, metaphor.) Whom do I get blame for these movies? Harry Potter? Edward and Bella? Dawson’s Creek? Oy.

I’m not sure what to say about this one. Simply put, this film stole two and a half hours of my life that I’ll never get back. (The trailers beforehand weren’t even interesting. Another adaptation of what I personally view as Shakespeare’s least interesting work, Romeo and Juliet? With Paul Giamatti?!? Really?!)

After the movie, my friends and I spoke at length about movies and tv shows that move us to tears (in a good way). The chat had nothing to do with this film, but we had it nonetheless. You want to know what made me cry about this film … other than the colossal waste of production time and money it represented?

I’ll tell you what made me cry…that THIS is the way Hollywood chooses to use the brilliant Jared Harris as he moons around like an angsty, tattooed version of his father Richard’s last role Dumbledore (which also was kind of a crime against humanity and art, but not as bad as this).

CCH Pounder, also a terrific actor, is relegated to Viola Davis’ mystic sci-fi blockbuster cast-offs as some spooky voodoo witch landlord who, at the film’s midpoint, turns into a strange hybrid of Lord of the Rings’ Golem and Whoopi Goldberg’s character from Ghost.

Oh, and our hero? The darling Lily Collins, so charming in the underrated though clunky Mirror Mirror, borrows heavily from the Kristen Stewart balsa wood school of acting while bringing a smidge of Annette Funicello’s furrowed brow and Kate Beckinsale’s leather/lycra-wearing-demon-slaying contortions. What the h*ll?

This movie is a mess. I don’t think it would even make it through pilot season on The CW. And they’ll put anything on the air.

The plot? What plot. Something about a girl born with some sort of magical powers to kill werewolves or vampires or demons while befriending angels and lurking about spooky old museum/castle locations in what appeared to be the Manhattan of 1984’s Ghostbusters. Oh, and poor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lena Headey, and Jamie Campbell Bower show up to collect a paycheck and act out some portentous nonsensical mystical hoo-ha.

Yup, could have been watching The Butler. Instead, saw a movie with bad CGI, worse dialogue, and a colon in the title.

Here’s hoping when I finally see The Butler, Jane Fonda and Oprah don’t suddenly turn into mopey vampire-slayers.

16 thoughts on “Never trust a movie with a colon in the title … The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

  1. yep, I thought I was all alone lamenting that culture is experiencing death throes and dismal death-rattling…and the youth are being deprived and will soon be depraved…kids should be watching the butler minus cuba gooding’s odd dialogue…kidfare has gone down hill starting with Claymation and “let’s encourage chicks to yearn for hiking boots and bows and arrows” … and populating movies with vampire lust and kids riding brooms…jared needed money enough to participate? you are kidding me!

  2. I truly doubt it…we must dumb down America and sell ourselves completely to China…these churned out nutty films and our interest in Jennifer Aniston’s love life and the Kardashian (whoops…mis-spelled…I don’t care!) dynasty and crass materialism and selves will assure that any noteworthy contribution America ever made during our two seconds of existence are at an end. Probably by next week. (sentence fragment…why not?)

  3. sorry you wasted your time on this one roy, hopefully you can call it even when you go see the butler, which i saw last week and loved, 3 cries for me during the film – my emotional review of sorts ) beth

  4. Thank you for your wit and candor Roy. I had a good laugh and I like that you credited the actors well, and didn’t sink them with the film.

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  9. Maybe before judging the plot and characters read the book; the movie may not be one of the best, but the acting is good, and they chose the right people to portray the characters as they are written. And do not even try to compare an amazing actress like Lilly Collins to someone like Kristen Stewart. In case you didn’t realise she was supposed to be acting the way she was, which brings me back to my first point of: Read the book before you judge the whole thing just from a bad movie.

    • fair enough! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and offer your feedback. I will definitely check it out – my only counterpoint is that a film adaptation really shouldn’t have to be reliant on reading the book to enjoy it but should be able to stand on its own without that additional guidance. For example, and we may disagree, but I really enjoyed Divergent, and I’ve not read that book either. thanks again for stopping by!

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