Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Book vs Film)


I finally watched 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' movie! As usual with a book-turned-movie I have a lot of thoughts regarding the interpretation of the novel and wanted to share them with you all. I must say before I start that some of the events (and the order in which the events occurred) in the book are a little foggy to me as I reviewed the first book in March 2012 and have read countless books since (including two more books in that series). There are some details I was pretty sure about though, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

As far as casting goes I felt like they definitely picked some likable actors and actresses. Were they the most like the characters I envisioned when I read the story? No. Don't get me wrong I absolutely adore Lily Collins. I thought she was really fun in the 'Mirror Mirror' Snow White adaptation and I think that she seems like a really classy young actress. I didn't think she was an authentic Clary though. I pictured Clary to be freckle faced with ginger hair and possibly blue or hazel eyes. I also thought that the dress Isabelle lends to Clary looked nothing like I imagined it. It was prettier than I thought the book description was though...


Isabelle Lightwood was not as fun on screen as she was in the book. I didn't see much joking, laughing or remarking as I would have thought I would see. I don't think I even saw her smile that much. I did however, see Isabelle fight, and that's not completely inaccurate so maybe this script doesn't represent  an in-authentic Isabelle, maybe it's just showing us her more serious side? It's not like the film focuses that much on her anyway, so I guess it can be hard to portray all of those things with limited screen time. 

I thought Kevin Zegers did a pretty awesome job of portraying the character of Alec. Even if he is 29 years old, you wouldn't have guessed. He does the teenage angst thing so well. I was really happy with how much of "his" story was portrayed in this movie and I can't wait to see the other films in this series so that I can watch "his" story unfold a little more.

I also thought Simon was pretty hot, but he did the nerd thing so well with the style of clothes he wore and the way he acted/talked. I felt like this was the perfect Simon and it's pretty much spot on with my imagination. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't really anything in the movie about Simon's band or that we didn't get to see him turn into a rat. Yeah, I thought that was funny...

What about Jace Wayland? I thought Jamie Campbell Bower was a pretty good choice for Jace. If anything he was probably a little skinnier than I had imagined, but otherwise he seems to really match the character description. If Clary looked more like her description than you could see how the whole Morgenstern thing would have been more believable. Jamie was also pretty spot on with the Jace humor. Loved that they kept that in the movie.

I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to meet Alec's parents. And, wasn't there some younger kid living at the institute? Valentine was a total creep, Hodge was old and Clary's mum had a bigger talking role than I expected... Yeah that's my thoughts on the acting/casting and individual character plots... (not sure if plots is the right word, but you know what I mean)


I have to admit when I saw the trailer for this I thought this movie was going to be pretty scary! Not in a things-that-go-bump-in-the-middle-of-the-night way, but in a I'm-going-to-have-a-heart-attack-in-my-chair sort of scary. Yeah the scariest thing I have ever watched was probably the Halloween episode in Season One of Dawson's Creek, The Vampire Diaries TV series or the Charmed TV series. I am glad to report that this wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but it was actually a little on the gross side. I think I would want to have a really good bath after being touched by one of those freaky monsters!

I really liked that the movie incorporated the whole "You can't trust anyone" aspect of the book. There was a lot of stuff (foggy memory again here) that I don't remember from the book that was in the movie, but I liked that it was included.

I thought that the action scenes were really "Wow" and once again I'm not sure that I remember them this way. Did all these things really happen? And did they happen in this order? I don't know. It definitely did get my attention though. 

I also thought the whole Who-is-my-father thing was played out well. It was as awkward as it should have been and you definitely felt bad for the characters involved. 


Overall I think I actually preferred the movie to the book. While there were some discrepancies between the novel and the film adaptation, I felt like they didn't alter the entertainment value of the story and if anything made the story a little less far-fetched. I know, I know; fantasy is meant to be far-fetched, but if you've read the book you'll know what I mean.

 The thing is though, that if you haven't read the book first I think the film might be a little confusing for some. I know that if I hadn't of read the novel first I would probably be a little confused right now... So, even though the movie is better you are probably better off reading the book first or having someone who has read the book explain it to you when you are watching it. But then again, I could just have been not paying enough attention, and if you are really switched-on then you won't have any troubles keeping up.

So what do you think? Have you read the book or watched the movie? And, if you have done both, which do you prefer?

*I tried to keep it spoiler free, please respect that in the comments by not posting spoilers.

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Missie said...

I thought the movie was awful, pour storyline and they changed so much from the book. I hate when they do that!
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­Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

Natalie_vintage_girl said...

aww really? I know that they changed stuff, but I've kind of gotten over that in adaptations. My mum totally hated this movie. she only saw snippets of it, walking in and out during the last half, but she was creeped out.

Lisa Smith said...

I haven't watched the movie yet, but I think I'm going to re-read the book before I do. It's been almost two or three years since I've read it. Awesome post!


Natalie_vintage_girl said...

Thanks! that's a good idea too. I definitely wish I had reread it before I watched the movie.