City of White People

On Sunday night (actually, very early Monday morning), I watched two films: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Ender’s Game.

I have never read either novel, so this was something of an interesting experiment for me. For your potential entertainment, I reproduce below my comments as I watched The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

Hey, it’s New York. Why is it always New York?

Ooo, fancy title symbol. Not overblown enough, guys. You should’ve done a SMASH CUT.

Well, there’s one good actor here. Pity it’s not the stars. Hi, Lena Headey! You look like an interesting parent! I bet you’re SIR NOT APPEARING IN THIS FILM, because you’re too interesting and awesome for it.

Teenagers being teenage and possibly having mental breakdowns. Where is tension? Tension is not here.

Oo, unexplained fight scene! Ominous warning phone call! Lena Headey yay!

Damn. I was right. Sir Not Appearing In This Film from this point on.

Possibly-having-mental-breakdown teenage daughter really is TSTL, isn’t she? Why, why, are you running home when your mother told you to stay away? TSTL.

But you’re the star, so obviously you don’t get killed.

Oh, icky transforming demon dog. Fine, blow up your goddamn kitchen. Like that won’t leave burn scars …Icky, gooey, re-coalescing exploded demon dog.

Very blond weird-looking black-clad boy plays saviour. With a British accent. Blond guy is at least polite, maybe he’ll grow into those cheekbones. Other guy – glasses-boy – looks like Xander with a better face.

So blond guy is Buffy. Buffy/Hermione. That sort of makes sense: he looks like a cross between the pair, if they were boys. I bet you have ANGSTY BACKSTORY, blond boy. You look like the type.

Oh, what a great load of nonsense this is so far. GIANT SECRET MANSION INNA GRAVEYARD. Yes, film, we get the point, it’s like Hogwarts crossed with the X-Men. Except with more skull decoration. Is there an Alan Rickman here? That’s all we need to make this complete.

*peers about hopefully *

No Alan Rickman. No Patrick Stewart either. So sad.

…Are all the people in New York white? I’ve passed through New York. It did not seem quite so full of white people.

Special brain-talking creepy people, too? Ooookay, film.

Hmm. At least blond boy has a sense of humour behind the angst. Girl seems to have very little personality beyond ARGH RUN OOPS WHAT OO PRETTY BOY. But blond boy has something.

In fact, we may have two good actors here! Lena Headey and blond boy. Blond boy is doing a hell of a job with some truly terrible material. Terrible material and the worst case of gel-hair I’ve seen in any film ever. At least when it’s not supposed to be gel-hair.

Hello, people dressing up for a goth party. I guess all the wizards of New York are into the goth scene.

And we have two New Yorkers with dialogue who aren’t Caucasian! Wheee! (Both of them are magicians. Whee?) Also, what is it with eyes? Magic people and magic eyes.

Fight scene! Fight scene with vampires! …Well, that’s interesting choreography, I guess.

Falling-down clinch between blond boy and plucky-but-personality-free girl! We have achieved UST BINGO! (I claim my prize.)

Oh, looky, it’s vampire bitesies. Will this go anywhere other than making glasses-boy look interestingly pale and ill?

And blondie’s a pianist. He is really working very well with absolutely crap material.

Hey, it’s a Stargate! I wonder if that’s a Chekov’s gun.

Oh, look, glasses-boy (not glasses anymore!) is sad and jealous. I know she has no personality, but don’t you think the kid has enough to deal with without you dumping your unrequited feelings on her, sad boy?

Fight scene? Fight scene! Dead black person.

Girl does nothing but run around and get into trouble. And then fall into people’s arms.

Stupid kid takes no precautions. Hand over your bargaining chip, my little friend! Of course you’re going to be betrayed. HI VADER-DADDY.

“I am your father, Luke.” This wasn’t kind of already obvious?

STARGATE! Oh, well. Girl’s still alive, then. And Mum’s beardy friend is a werewolf.


It’s a missing brother. Hi, blondie. You guys are related. Vader-daddy says so. “I am your father, Luke. Come to the Dark Side and we can rule the galaxy.” DEMONS.

And Lena Headey has been lying in Hogwarts all this while.

Bored now. Oh, wait. A werewolf motorbike gang.

…This is a really disjointed film. I mean, I don’t know what I was expecting, but this is really a bunch of set-pieces stuck together with used duct-tape.


That was a good set piece. Girl DID SOMETHING. But why didn’t sword-girl smash the demons while they were all frozen? This seems like poor tactical thinking.

Logic plays no part in this.

Luke vs. Vader. Fight, fight, fight. You know, Vader-dad does not look old enough to be the father of teens. Not unless he started illegally young.

Well, that’s interesting choreography, I suppose. But how come nobody’s lost any of their perfect teeth yet?

That’s one way to deal with having a shitty-ass father, I suppose. Explode the library. And now it’s snowing inside.

Verdict: mildly entertaining, if you skip most of the parts that aren’t fight scenes and don’t expect any of it to make sense.

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