City of Ember Movie Review

On Friday I got to see the movie version of the novel, The City of Ember, named, City of Ember!! LOL, so much difference… wonder why they dropped the ‘The’ though… Anyways, onto the movie. I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by it, I was expecting to be disappointed. My expectations were crushed months ago when they decided to cast a 24 year old as the 12 year old Doon, the male lead alongside the female lead, Lina, who is meant to be the main-main character, it even says that on the wiki page for the novel… but it’s not made clear in the movie at all who’s the lead… Especially in the adverts, its cut to look like Doon is the main character…… GAH….I want to mega-rant about the huge errors they made… I do…. but later….later…

(Much more review below.)

The City of Ember is a 2003 novel by Jeanne Du Prau, which I picked up on world book day this year, purely coincidence that the movie was coming out the same year I began to read the series… weird… same thing happened with the Twilight series… Anyways, I asked the book lady, who came with many-many books, for a recommendation for someone who liked the ‘Wind on Fire’ Trilogy by William Nicholson((I always wanted them to make movies for this series… would have been awesome if done right…), and ‘His Dark Materials’ series by Phillip Pullman. And she pointed The City of Ember out. I was up for a new book after reading Jpod and other books by Douglas Coupland, so it was worth a shot. I started reading on the way home from school on my minibus and was pleasantly suprised. And happy to find out there were 2 more books in the series already available. BUT, not in the UK…. the first one must not have done very well in the UK, because the 3rd in the series never got published over here, and the first two were very hard to get ahold of. It was an Amazon job. The story is fairly simple. Underground city, the lights are going out, the food is running out, two kids try to find a way out after one finds what seems to be a set of instructions on how to do just that. Lots of things happen, yada yada, read the book to find out, or, the lazy mans option, check the wiki, which I’ve most helpfully provided the link for a little earlier in this post. The 4th in the series, Diamond of Darkhold has come out recently, hardback only so far, I just ordered it yesterday along with a Japanese language book. Have kept forgetting, and still haven’t finished the final Twilight book, Breaking Dawn! I suck….

(SPOILERS AHEAD)Now… the movie…. the movie was….intresting….wasn’t a total let down, the set design and actual city scenery was actually pretty cool, not how I imagined the lights of Ember, but otherwise, the houses and streets weren’t too far from my own ideas. They did add some things though…. giant animals… like moths and moles, creatures you’d find in the dark basically. Something not featured in the book…. and there was no real need for them either. Another thing they added, the card-key thing… the box was cool, but theres no secret compartment in the book far as I remember… I think the boat scene could have been better, its not how I remember it in the book… And it didnt seem as epic in the book, seemed darker, dingier, the generator room wasn’t made out to be so big… but it was quite a few months ago I read it, so I could be wrong. All I can say for sure is it was rushed. It felt too choppy, and the death of Granny(the great Liz Smith, who has played the Granny in SOOOOO many things I can’t remember now…) could have been handled alot better, it was sadder in the book thats for sure. And I would have liked Poppy to have a bigger role, she seemed to in the book… And they missed out the whole thing about the drawings of the cities that Lina did… which I feel were pretty important to the story.

They got some well known people in this movie aswell, Bill Murray, Tim Robbins. The problem in, the book didnt do well in the UK, so hardly anyone will know anything about the movie, and when it’s a movie of a book, its kinda important that people know the book. This will be no problem for the upcoming Twilight movie, as Edward and Jacob have girls swooning all over the world. The City of Ember was just too isolated in America. It’s a shame, cos the book was done really well. Can’t wait for the 4th. Regardless of this, the movie wasn’t fantastic. It wasn’t a total shambles, but it doesnt look good for the rest of the movies getting made. The rushed feeling of the film just made it feel bad… although, it might be because I was enjoying it time seemed to go faster? I just don’t know… the novel wasn’t that long anyways, only 270 pages-odd, it was aimed at a young teen audience. Around the same age as the 12 year old protagonists, which makes sense, apart from in the movie they got a 24 year old man to play the 12 year old Doon… seriously messed up….. there are plenty of kid-actors out there…but a 24 year old….. if they did make the rest of the movies he’d be like 30 before they’ll be done!!! And the second book doesnt even span a year after the first! I don’t know about the third, but I bet it won’t be long enough to explain the 12 year old growing into a 30 year old…. :sulk: Anyways, rant over…

If you’ve read the books, I’d suggest you go see it anyway, just to compare the two. And even if you haven’t read the books, if your in the mood for a steampunk-ish designed underground city and intresting story, go see it.  Although I’d get the book over the movie any day. Better story, better character development, better overall. Depends if your a movie or a book person. Some are both. I know I am.

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One Response to “City of Ember Movie Review”

  1. Briere Says:

    For the record, I’m not sure what Stephanie Meyer was thinking when she wrote breaking dawn. It’s good, just not Twilight or Stephanie Meyer good. Does anyone else agree with this twilight quiz

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