The Mortal Instruments: Never judge a book by its Movie!

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the first book of the Mortal Instruments series, by Cassandra Clare, was adapted to film last year and it didn’t quite live up to the expectations. I first watched the movie a couple of months ago, and although I didn’t love it, it intrigued me enough to want to read the books.

I just finished the first book, City of Bones, and I’m loving the second one, City of Ashes. In a cinematic universe filled with successful Young Adult fantasy books adaptations, what went wrong with this one?

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THE CASTING…

… HITS: When you read a book that’s turned into a movie, it’s sometimes hard to let go of the image you create, weather this is by looks alone, attitude and spunk, or sometimes, only really bad writing. These are the actors I thought were well chosen for their roles:

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        • Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace – well, arguably, although extremely attractive, Jamie is not the handsome young man described in the book. He has, however, the demeanor that makes Jace, well, Jace!
        • Robert Sheehan as Simon – despite some minor differences, Robert plays Simon to a teeth…
        • Lena Headey as Jocelyn – Lena Headey can do no wrong in my eyes, weather she’s playing mean Queen Cersei, or Jocelyn Fray, she looks great doing it. She was also fortunate enough with the role, because it was the only one that they boosted up in regards to the book.
        • Aidan Turner as Luke – I can totally see him as the level headed and fiercely protective werewolf that he’s supposed to be. We could even catch glimpses of it during the film, but like most of the characters, the writers decided that the most important stuff wouldn’t make it… shame!

…MISSES: And these ones, for one reason or another, did not convinced me that they were right for their part…

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        • Lily Collins as Clary – I liked her for some of the movie, and here I blame who ever did this adaptation, because they took out some of the best things about her character. No one can deny, however, that she and Jamie have an incredible chemistry, and I hope that her role doesn’t get so trampled in the upcoming movie. 
        • Kevin Zegers as Alec – It was such a miss, that while I was reading the book I couldn’t even remember his face from the movie. Alec has something special about him, besides being in love with Jace, Clary even says that she sees what Magnus sees in him… well, we don’t see it in the movie.
        • Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Valentine – well, I’m not even going to mention the white-blond hair that Valentine is supposed to have, I’m going to concentrate on the fact that he’s not supposed to wear his rage on his sleeve, he’s supposed to be smart about it and able to manipulate people… he did no such thing! Rhys Meyers, although great on the physical side of stuff, lacked in all other departments…

…IT COULD HAVE BEEN GOOD, BUT…:

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        • Jemima West as Isabelle – she did very well, but I didn’t like her, not in the way I liked in the book, she should have more development… lets hope it comes.
        • Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane – This could have been a brilliant piece of casting, the guy sure looks the part, but I still have no idea if he can act, given that Bane’s role was so deeply cut!
        • CCH Pounder as Madame Dorothea – I love this actress, really. Not sure about this role though! Not only was the role of Dorothea severely trimmed, but her best interactions with Clary and Jace were not in the movie.
        • Jared Harris as Hodge – I guess it was a good choice, for a very different role from the book… IDK…

   

THE OMISSIONS

There are a lot of omissions in the movie in regard to the book, and it’s only natural, it happen in every single adaptation, because no book has the length of a 2 hour movie. However, certain pieces of information that were kind of vital to the plot were left out, and sometimes replaced by stuff that just doesn’t make sense.

For instance, in the movie Simon is kidnapped by the Vampires because they supposedly want to get to Clary to get hold of the Mortal Cup (WTF?!). At this point in the story, how the hell do they know who she is?! What actually happens is that they take Simon – in RAT FORM – because they think he’s one of them, because he’s a freaking RAT! Then, when Jace and Clary go to rescue him (by themselves), they meet Raphael, the Vampire leader, who will be vital to the plotlines ahead. Also, the wolves help them escape and Clary throws the blade that Jace had already given to her (it doesn’t just occur to her to ask him for it in the heat of the moment) and injures Alaric (NOT LUKE!!!!). I could even accept that they would kidnap Simon to annoy Jace, maybe if they had included the motorcycles story, it could make sense…

The biggest omission of the movie, however, is the Accords and Idris. It’s a vital piece of information that explains a lot of things, from the absence of the Lightwoods in the Institute, to the timing of Valentine’s attack and the whole story behind the Uprising… which they forgot to mention properly as well.

Directly related to the one above, is Luke’s story and his background with Jocelyn and Valentine, which correlates directly to…

CHANGES

Let’s just say that a bit chunk of the story goes directly against the book… Yeah, you read it, it’s lot a light change, or a different road to get to the same place. No! It’s an entirely different universe! Just from the moment that Valentine shows up at the Institute:

  • Hodge orders Hugo to attack Clary and holds her in place and knocks out Jace, while summoning Valentine;
  • Valentine lifts Hodge curse and Hodge leaves the Institute as soon as he can;
  • Valentine takes an unconscious Jace through his portal, which by the way, is not in any way near the Institute;
  • Hodge then sends a message to Magnus Bane (for him to go and help Alec, which we only read about later on);
  • Clary follows Hodge and Luke, in wolf form, saves her, leaving Hodge incapacitated;
  • Luke tells Clary all her story, including the fact that she’s Valentine’s daughter;
  • Clary finds out where Valentine is hiding, at Renwick’s  – AND NEVER, EVER, EVER WAS HE HIDDEN IN THE INSTITUTE, OR OPENED A PORTAL FOR DEMONS TO GET IN, AND HODGE HAD NO PART WHATSOEVER IN THIS OR IN THE “JACE AND CLARY ARE SIBLINGS” BUSINESS;
  • Luke, Clary and his pack head into Renwick’s, where they find Jocelyn unconscious;
  • Clary finds Jace, who tells her that he got his father back – Valentine – that is, Jace clearly recognizes Valentine has the man who raised him and that he thought was Michael Wayland, unlike the movie, where Jace was never truly convinced of this;
  • Valentine plays with the fact that he knows that Jace and Clary are siblings, slowly torturing both his children;
  • Luke fights with Valentine and is almost killed;
  • Jace only goes against his father when he thinks that Clary is in danger, and only then gets out of his control, refusing to travel through the portal to Idris;
  • Yes, Valentine not only escapes unharmed, he also takes the MORTAL CUP with him!!!!
  • Simon, Isabelle and Hodge were not present during these events. Also, Simon does not get bitten by a Vampire and never in the first book shows any sign of turning.
  • In no point in the book Clary develops the ability to draw up runes that she doesn’t know… actually, she gets her second mark ever in the beginning of the second book (the first being the healing mark at the beginning drawn up by Jace).
  • Clary ends up in good terms with Isabelle and Alec.
  • By the end, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Jace and Clary are really siblings, both children of Valentine and Jocelyn!

John Oliver: FIFA and the World Cup

The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ kicks off today, with the Brazil – Croatia game, from group A. A lot of controversy as been surrounding this particular World Cup, mainly because of the ridiculous amounts of money spent in Brazil and the government attitude towards the people in regards to this subject.

 

Still, I’m with John Oliver in this one. For one, I’m really excited about this, it’s football, I’m Portuguese, it’s impossible not to be excited. We have been having a good run for the last few international competitions, and we have such an amazing team.

For the other hand, and I’m not even going to talk about FIFA, because the video below explains it so well, but I’m really doubtful about the organizational success of this cup. I do hope I’m wrong, but I’m predicting that a lot (a lot) of things will go wrong during this next month…

Time in a Bottle

I had never heard this music before I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, but I’m in love with it. If you already saw the movie, you’ll recognize it easily… BEST SCENE IN THE MOVIE! Quicksilver rocks!

Jim Croce – Time in a bottle (1973)

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day ’til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go through time with

Supernatural: “Do You Believe in Miracles?”

I finally watched the Supernatural season finale, Do You Believe in Miracles? and wow! The main outline of the episode is that Team Free Will wins, but at what cost?!

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Metatron’s new plan is to have humanity, a.k.a., he wants to be it’s new God, and things go quite well for him, until Dean gets there. Dean gets punched around and stabbed my Metatron (which Sam witnesses), Gadreel sacrifices himself to let Castiel out of Heaven jail, so he can destroy the Angel Tablet and in the end Castiel locks Metaton in jail – and doesn’t kill the son of a bitch!

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Arguably, this season’s bromance has been the one between Dean and Crowley, way more than the “normal” one between Dean and Castiel. So, when the eldest Winchester gets himself locked up in the bunker, he summons his new BFF to get him out. Crowley by now knows that something is wrong with Dean… come on, first the guy doesn’t order anything to eat, and then he leaves his cheeseburger untouched… weird, right?!

Dean: What the hell is happening to me, you son of a bitch?
Crowley: Liquor before beer, bad taco, how should I know? It’s the Mark. It wants you to kill. The more you kill, the better you feel. The less you kill, the less better you feel.
Dean: How much less better?
Crowley: One would imagine the least best better.

 

There are good guys, there are bad guys, and then there’s this jerk!

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Metatron! For God sake, the guy is a lunatic. In his pursuit of his new “God” status, he’s willing to let people kill for him, he even provided the weapon… crazy!

Metatron: Quick. Which makes me look more pathetic?
Neil: Why do you want to look pathetic? You just reunited all the angels under the banner of heaven. I mean, that’s like…
Metatron: Winning a People’s Choice Award? Not quite the real deal, now is it?

Castiel and Gadreel

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The two angels find a way to get into heaven, only to be locked up as soon as they walk in. Without any other hope, Castiel tries to convince Hannah that he wasn’t responsible for the Angel’s suicides, that Metatron was in fact behind the, but she’s not buying it. So Gadreel does the only thing he can to prove that he cares more about humanity than his own suffering… he sacrifices himself to let Cas break out. At this, Hannah decides that Castiel was telling the truth, and helps him break into Metatron’s office, where he finds the Angel Tablet and destroys it. Without the Tablet’s juice, Metatron goes to Heaven convinced that he’s gonna entrap Cas, but he’s too smart for that and broadcasts Metatron’s evil speech for the whole garrison to hear. Castiel, however, proves that he doesn’t want any other Angel to die, and decides not to kill Metatron, but lock him up in jail instead.

Gadreel: So you said you had a plan of how we might convince them to let us pass.
Cas: Wookiee.
Gadreel: Brother I have  no idea what that means.
Cas: It’s a reference to a very popular film that…never mind.

 

Dean and Sam

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It took Sam a while to accept that his brother was their best chance to defeat Metatron, but he did it.

Sorry I’m a little less than eager to hear that our best chance is arming the warhead and hoping it hits the mark. This is not a bomb we’re talking about, this is my brother.

So, he decides that they will do it together. Dean has other plans though, and leaves his little brother unconscious while he goes to fight the big bad Angel. This doesn’t go well for him… he should at least have listened to the whole plan… so when he gets there, Metatron is still powered by the tablet and Dean has no chance in heaven or hell to defeat him. He takes a pretty bad beating, which culminates with him being stabbed by Metatron, while Sam watches in bewilderment. Metatron gets lost (to deal with the fact that Castiel broke the tablet) and Dean is left to die. Sam tries to get his brother to safety, even though Dean wants him safe and that maybe it’s better this way… the mark as turning him into someone he didn’t want to be… But Sammy is having none of that.

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Dean: What happened to you being okay with this?
Sam: I lied.
Dean: Ain’t that a bitch?

They don’t get very far away though, Dean can’t take it no more and stops his brother to say…

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I got to say something to you. I’m proud of us.

… and then he dies in his brother’s arms… yep, he dies. And, OMG, I cried my eyes out because watching Sam (Jared Padalecki) cry over the body of his bro was just to much pain. Sam takes Dean home, cleans him up, and puts him in his bed, while he goes to do what Winchester’s do best: drink and bargain. He tries to summon Crowley but to little success.

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Damn it, Crowley. You got him into this mess. You will get him out…or so help me, God

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Dean and Crowley, pt2

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Crowley does not respond to Sam’s summoning, because he’s already there…

Your brother, bless his soul is summoning me as I speak. Make a deal. Bring you back. It’s exactly what I was talking about wasn’t it? It’s all become so… expected. You have to believe me, when I suggested you take on the Mark of Cain I didn’t know this was going to happen. Not really. I mean I might not have told you the entire truth. But I never lied, I never lied Dean. That’s important. It’s fundamental. But, there is one story about Cain that I might have forgotten to tell you. Apparently he too was willing to accept death rather than becoming the killer the Mark wanted him to be. So he took his own life with the Blade. He died. Except as rumor has it, the Mark never quite let go. You can understand why I never spoke of this. Why set hearts aflutter with mere speculation? It wasn’t until you summoned me, no it wasn’t truly till you left the cheeseburger uneaten… and I began to let myself believe, maybe miracles do come true. Listen to me Dean Winchester, what you’re feeling right now is not death, it’s life. A new kind of life. Open your eyes Dean. See what I see. Feel what I feel. Let’s go take a howl at that moon.

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Can’t wait for season 10!

Merlin, Arthur & co.

I finally started watching BBC’s Merlin… yeah, I know I’m a bit late for the party, considering that the show is already over and everything (and that I know how it ends 😦 )…

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It’s a great fantasy show, and even though the fights are clearly staged, you won’t see any blood and there is a lot of noticeable CGI’s effects, the characters, the drama, the story and the actors are more than enough to keep you entertained. Not to mention that kind of sarcastic and wonderful humor that you only get from british shows!

The Bromance

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Most of the show is arguably the relationship between Prince (and later King) Arthur and his servant Merlin. Arthur treats Merlin like crap sometimes, but Merlin is no better, and each time he gets the chance, he makes sure to put Arthur in his place! All and all, they truly like each other, and while Merlin protects Arthur because it’s his “destiny”, Arthur truly couldn’t live without Merlin. 🙂

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Colin Morgan and Bradley James have an amazing chemistry, better even in the most absurd of scenes.

The Romance

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There is no King Arthur without his Guinevere, right? Well, in Merlin, Gwen is a servant! Still, they manage to find their way towards one another. One might argue that during the first season there was little interaction, and that the romance between them came out of the blue. I think not. Gwen was always one of the few people who always told him the truth, and never treated him specially, this combined with her strenght and kick ass personality, made Arthur fall heads over heels in love with her. Because of this, Arthur does not pretend in front of her, and she loves the man, not the Prince… lovely! And really, it took them long enough, right? I’m in the beginning of season 4, and at least 3 years have already pass with a lot of courtship and not enough kisses. It kills me when he calls her “Guinevere”!!!!

The Villain

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In one name: Morgana! But she was so sweet and good in the beginning, that it just breaks my heart when she turned bad… Katie McGrath did this transition perfectly, in one moment she look so sweet and caring, and in the other she looked murderous! Kudos!

The Magic

It is a show about a warlock, so you have a lot of Magic! Along with a lot of magical creatures and being, including Dragons (John Hurt, anyone?!).

The Knights

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My favourite part of transitioning to the 4th season of the show so far has been the presence of Arthur’s Knights! Sir Leon (Rupert Young), Sir Gwaine (Eoin Macken), Sir Percival (Tom Hopper), Sir Elyan (Adetomiwa Edun) and off course Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera), made the show even better. Although I have to admit that I would take Gwaine to Lancelot, anyday!

Farewell Suburgatory

I finally had a little time to watch the final episodes of Suburgatory and I already miss it! =( I’m so sad that they cancelled this show…

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It’s incredible how they dealt with the whole “Teens getting married”, I think that they got it right (within everything that you might think is wrong….). First, Malik’s proposal to Lisa was one of the most amazing proposals in TV history… and he’s only “17”. Second, I like that even though his family thought it was wrong for them to get hitched, they managed to be there to support them. Third, married life is not easy, still they’re willing to put in the work.

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“This is why people don’t have their weddings on a school night.”

George and Dallas have a random hookup at Lisa and Malik’s wedding, but they both reach different conclusions to what it meant. George fells liberated, while Dallas feels it was a mistake and wanted him to fight for her. This I don’t get, because let’s be honest, she broke him in the end of last season, she left him completely alone in the house he had just bought for them. I would say that the ball was in her corner, and she failed to play it right…

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Now for the maid of honour, Tessa, after running on fumes all season, she realizes that she wants Ryan Shae and she goes for him. Luckily he realizes the same thing just in time, which lead to a really strong make out session in the middle of the street, with clothes coming off… all of them – they couldn’t give us Parker Young for a couple of episodes and not show him without his shirt, right?!

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More credit should be given to Carly Chaikin, who played Dalia Royce amazingly for the past 3 years. Seriously, she had the hardest job of anyone there, with that long crazy speeches and super funny facial expressions.

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I will miss this show!