Thursday, January 23, 2014

City of Bones: Book vs. Movie

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... 

So I tried reading City of Bones back in 2011 and was unsuccessful. In fact, I failed so badly I hardly made it past the initial club scene, which was chapter one. Why, you ask? I honestly couldn't tell you at this point. But I gave up, and it made me hesitant to watch the movie, so I waited until it had been out on DVD for awhile. Turns out I loved the movie. Who knew, right? So it made me curious enough to try the book again. So for fun, this review will be a comparison of what I liked book vs. movie, and which I think won out in the end.
Truer Words Have Never Been Spoken - ie. The Language.
Do You Hear The Words Coming Out Of My Mouth?
 photo WHATEVERTHATMEANS_zpsd10ce511.gifBOOK: One minute, they were relatable characters, the next, it was thesaurus overkill. Seriously, no fifteen year old girl talks this way. Neither would a bunch of teenage assassins who spent more time training how to kill a demon than opening a book. What were all these words?  My SAT test didn't contain vocabulary this complex. Seriously. If I wanted to kick up my vocabulary ten notches, I'd open a vocabulary book. I simply want to enjoy the book I'm reading, and a huge part of that is understanding what the hell is being said without having to run for the thesaurus. (I wish I would've marked some of these as I went through, but I didn't realize it at the time. If I have time later, I'll do some searching.)
MOVIE: Totally relatable and believable for teenagers. Obviously, they pulled a few from the book, but they were so few and far between that it passes right over and doesn't dampen the moment.
Ahh...That First Kiss.
 photo cw_zps83483b35.gifBOOK: WTF was that? Why in the hell did these two people kiss? In reality, their kiss should have been as awkward as this:

Clary's the POV we mostly get, and I'm sorry, but there was nothing going on in her inner monologue that had anything to do with thinking Jace was kiss-worthy. Sure, she asked the occasional question, like had he ever been with Isabel, but they were so left field and not even supported by thoughts of desire to warrant such a question. Seriously. Jace wasn't even on the radar until he kissed her and he fell off it again afterwards. Oh, wait... She did admit he was  good kisser after the fact. <rolls eyes> And what few times we got Jace's POV, ditto on the same problem. So I'm left wondering WHY?! At best they merely tolerate one other.

MOVIE: Uh...LOVED! There were moments leading up to the kiss that actually made me think these two were growing on one another. Things happened in the movie that just didn't in the book, like catching one another's gaze and holding on for a bit; Clary landing on top of Jace and the two of them again, unable to separate themselves right away; Clary regretting screwing up his first advance and silently chastising herself for it, that she literally jumps him for the second attempt. Alright, a little music to set the mood helps too, but I actually understood why the kiss was coming and smiled when it did.

The Final Smackdown
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MOVIE: Loved it. A so-called family collides and their not so cheery reunion becomes an intense battle to the death. Thank you, movie screenwriters, for coming up with an ending that wasn't lackluster like the book. I was happy when they rewrote the ending to Breaking Dawn to actually give it some action (LIKE A FINAL BATTLE SHOULD HAVE - DUH!) and I was happy when they did it to City of Bones. And Clary got to play a significant role in the battle. And being our main character, she should've had that role all along.
buffy gif photo: buffy uni sparkz0r1.gifBOOK: I'm honestly a little disappointed in this. You could argue that it's because I saw the movie first and was looking for similarities, but that's really not the case. I was underwhelmed, and quite frankly, a little bored for this to be the conclusion. The entire (*coughs) family ends up at the asylum where Valentine is staying. Jace is completely docile, and even though Clary and Luke argue valid points that Valentine is not the man he claims to be, Jace is a little too eager to take him on as his father and refuses to lift a finger against him. That poor boy needs some serious love and affection. 
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The only fighting was between Valentine and Luke, leaving out the main characters. So that bums me out that they didn't participate more than Jace trying to hold her back out of the way.

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And sorry, but I still don't think Jace is Valentine's son. I think it's highly possible he killed Michael Wayland and took his son to raise him in a way of screwing MW over more. What the hell he did with his real son is still up in the air for me. I'm not sure he would have been psychotic enough to kill him, but he's obviously not with his father, so I'll have to think on it a bit more. ...But I guess I'll find out soon enough as I read the rest of the books.
The Little Things
Like with any book to movie release, things have to change to cram a novel into a two hour time slot. 
  1. Hodge. Hmm. Need I really comment on either book or movie? He was a douche either way. Although it was interesting that he was cursed in the book but not the movie.
  2. Alec. Ditto on the douche part.
  3. mean girls photo: Mean Girls &#9829; meangirls3.pngIsabel I prefer in the movie because she's kickass and sassy. In the novel, quite annoying and likes to play with people, and at times I felt she was ready to have Clary sleepover just to pretend they're BFFs and paint her nails and braid her hair like a crazy high school chick.
  4. psych gif photo:  tumblr_ljptw17gZA1qd80ug.gif Alec and Isabel have parents? And they live in the Institute and raised Jace? Say what?
  5. Interesting to learn that there were only two portals nearby, and neither were in the Institute like in the movie. One was at Dorthea's and was why Clary's mother chose to live above her, and the other was at an abandoned asylum. I have to say, an asylum would've been a cool place for the final showdown, but I understand budget costs when it comes to locations.
  6. Luke went and challenged the local pack leader once Clary's mother went missing just so he could have a bunch of werewolves back his ass up? lol. That's a man worth keeping. (Part man...whatever)
  7. Jeesh. Clary has to write runes on the paper to reach in and grab the object? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of just her and her mother having that ability? Wouldn't anyone be able to do it if all it called for was writing the rune? No wonder they skipped that step in the movie. Much cooler without.
  8. Uh...Simon is turning into a vampire in the movie but not in the book? Or does this happen later in the series and they're already throwing it out there?
Sorry guys, I know it's rare, but in this instance, movie trumphs book for me. I think they took this story and made it better. What do you think?

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