Friday, August 30, 2013

At the Movies: The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones

Movie: The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones
Stars: Jamie Campbell Bower, Lily Collins, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Robert Sheehan, Godfrey Gao
My Rating: 5/5

I read the books way back during my second or third year of college, so by now most of the things of the story have faded away into vague memories [not because the story is forgettable, but because I read SO MUCH it's hard to keep track of stories]. At first, I wanted to re-read the book before going to watch the movie, but I decided against it. I wanted to take in the movie without any expectations at all. What I found out was that not only was the movie super enjoyable, but it brought back all those awesome book memories I had locked somewhere deep inside my mind.

What I Loved~
All the actors. They all did an outstanding job of portraying the characters. Lily found a perfect balance between vulnerable and strong that just worked really well with playing Clary. Jamie is Jace, there’s no question about it. I didn’t oppose his casting, but I still wasn’t sure about him being good for the role. And I was so, so wrong. Kevin as Alec did a good job with all the jealousy issues, and OMG his surprised face when Magnus calls him sexy...
Godfrey was flawless as Magnus. Jemima played Isabelle exactly as she's suposed to be, sexy but a hell of a lot dangerous with that whip. Holy shadowhunters everywhere did this girl whip some ass with it! Robert as Simon took me by surprise, not only was he funny but he almost made me cry during confession time. The secondary actors also did an excellent job with Clary's Mom, Luke, Valentine, Hodge, etc.

Flawless Magnus is flawless…with or without pants.

What I liked~
All the settings. From Clary's house, to the Institute, to the City of Bones, Madame Dorothea's home, Hotel Dumort, Luke's shop, etc. They paid attention to every single detail and everything took me back down memory lane, especially the Institute. All I can say is that Disney better get working on building a second castle and making the church turned shadowhunter lair part of their attractions ASAP.

The portal. I was really confused by this when it appeared on screen, because I didn’t even remember a portal being in the books. But then I remembered there is one at Madame Dorothea’s. For the sake of the movie though, it totally made sense to move that feature to the Institute. Plus, Jace messing around with the portal water LOL

A sort of role reversal. We’re all used to the girl throwing a tantrum, or to seeing a scantily clad heroine or villainess, but Mortal Instruments twists this in a really awesome way. It is Jace who throws the tantrum because he thinks Clary doesn’t love him, and then we have Valentine prancing around with a leather jacket and no shirt.

Crunchy punches. I mean literally a crunchy sound with every punch and hit. It had me wincing and making painful faces at the screen during every fight, but boy were those fights awesome. I wanted to get up, jump inside the screen, and join the fight. Oh, and remember girls, frying pans and silver platters are acceptable weapons in any fight.

The Ships were sailing...or beginning to sail. Jace and Clary, check. Alec and Magnus, look at the gif above. Izzy and Simon. Huzzah! I did so not expect this on movie one, so thank you movie-making people for giving us this. There was even some Luke and Jocelyn o___o

Wish they’d done~
Parabatai. There was a severe lack of bromance in this movie and it just made me want to cry or stand up and curse at the screen. What happened to all the wonderful Jace/Alec interactions?! Other than showing a very jealous Alec and a very oblivious Jace, we don’t get any of the precious parabatai dynamic these two have. Heck, they don’t even mention the word parabatai at all. And I wanted that. I felt its absence like a big black home in my fangirl heart. I think they could've done so much more with it, especially during the fight scenes.

Magnus’s party. How dare Pandemonium’s party be louder and livelier than Magnus Bane’s party!? That is inconceivable! I was hoping for this big, awesome party full of different and noticeable downworlders everywhere...but Bane's party was pretty tame. *sniff*

Magnus’s voice. When he first came out and started talking I frowned, because there was something weird going on that I couldn’t pin point. I later realized that Godfrey Gao’s accent was missing. Magnus was speaking flawless English and It. Bothered. Me. Did they fix his voice with a computer (if so I do not like) or is that really Godfrey speaking?

No Church the cat. I know, I know. They announced this from the beginning, but I’d somehow erased the fact from my mind.

What I didn’t like~
Werewolves... in a school bus. It's not that I didn't like it, but it was a big WTF moment.

The City of Bones. Why oh why didn't they show this awesome place? WHAE!? It's like Welcome to the City of Bones, we shall show you only one tiny room and that's it.

Valentine’s hair. From the second he appeared on screen I just wanted to jump on his back like a rabid koala, take a knife, and saw through those horrible fake braids. HORRIBLE. FAKE. BRAIDS.

Jokes. Some of the jokes fell flat for me because they sounded forced. The jokes that I remember from the book were awesome, but the others not so much.

PS: I didn't mention the Greenhouse scene because we already know that's the best scene ever, second only to the Magnus/Alec first meet.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm not lost...

...just drowning in work!

It's been more than a month since I last made a post, and I'm cringing at that because I promised myself I would be diligent and make regular posts. Alas, thesis work, writing blocks, and graduate studies have taken over my life.

If I haven't posted any book reviews is because I haven't read anything since May. I'm already having severe withdrawal symptoms. You know, insomnia, anxiety, and an uncontrollable desire to buy every new book that comes out even though I've got mini pyramids of unread books all over my room.

If I haven't posted any movie reviews is because I haven't gone to the theater since May. *cue sad music* I missed all of the summer movies: After Earth, Man of Steel (I didn't get to see that suit on the big screen and for that I will forever cry), Monster University, World War Z, Despicable Me, Pacific Rim (everyone keeps telling me it was amazeballs and I just whimper because I have to wait for the BluRay), etc. I'm still on time to watch Wolverine, Percy Jackson 2, and Elysium, but I just Don't. Have. Time. Or more like, I fear if I get a taste of the outside world I won't want to come back and work. I'll be like a wilde beast set free to stretch its limbs who will then put up a fight when it's time to go back in the cage...And the example got away from me. *apologizes profusely*

Anyways the only movie which I'll go see (hopefully today) is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and it's because IT'S THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS!
*fangirl mode: on* 
*fangirl mode: off*
A possible review will be written after watching it and after all the fangirl has died down a bit.

The bad news is that from here on out things will only get harder with the thesis and school work. Overachiever me somehow thought it was a smart idea to take not one, but two classes this term, a how-to-teach module and a grammar module, on top of trying to finish revising my entire novel for this term. *throws up* Yes, I'm fine. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS.

The only thing that's kept me in a semi-alive/sane state through all this is...


Because being a hermit writer was getting kind of boring, I've now become a hermit writer with a Kpop obsession. I think this is perfectly normal for us writerly-nerdy-mostawesometypesofpeople types to have an obsession (read:fandom). I don't know about the rest, but I've found that having a current obsession typically fuels my muse. So while others have their tumblrs desktops filled with Supernatural, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Sherlock I have mine filled with all of those plus Kpop idols. Pics, gifs, fanfiction, you name it, it's there. And while it's been an uphill, graveled and thorny road with my thesis, I'm sailing down a nice stream writing short Kpop fanfics that will probably never see the light of day, but that nonetheless keep me writing.  Kpop videos have also fueled something in me I thought long lost...the desire to *gasp* dance. Yeh. I've been dancing (read:wiggling/spazzing) to some of the kpop dances and it is beautiful to have something active to do.

In other words, obsessions are useful procrastination.
And in dire times, they keeps you somewhat sane.

PS: Note I've tagged this as 'rambling'