Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Movie Review--CITY OF BONES


Hey folks,

I actually saw CITY OF BONES in theatres a couple of weeks ago. I made a few notes and then life. Now, here we are.

I’ll start with what worked. This was a decent book-to-movie translation. The actors were good for the characters (Simon in particular). We got to see more of Jocelyn in the beginning, which I loved. I pictured her just lying down and giving up in the book, and that bugged me. The movie shows her kicking butt.

I also liked that Jace was toned down. There were times in the book he really came off as a jerk. And I don’t mean a jerk to the main characters, I mean an overall jerk. He treated people he didn’t even know like crap. His undying love for Clary was also lessened, and I thought it worked better.

The humor translated beautifully. I particularly loved the image of Clary shoving her notebook at no one at the beginning. I recognized lines from the book, and they were delivered as I imagined they would be.

The pacing was good. The action kept moving. The tension was high. The friends I went with who hadn’t read the book said some plot points were kind of obvious, but hey, it happens.

K, now I’m going to say what didn’t work so well. Stay with me if you’d like.

One of the major complaints I heard going into the movie was that it felt like the entire movie crammed into the novel. I kind of have to agree with that. With a few exceptions, very little was left out. Having read the book, I was able to keep up. The overall reaction from my friends who hadn’t read it was “That was a pretty good movie.” *Ask tons of questions* Good movie adaptation. Clearest book-to-movie adaptation, maybe not.

Shadowhunters with British accents. Didn’t see that coming and not sure how I feel about it. It worked for Jace and the older generation, but it completely destroyed Isabel’s character for me. That’s a personal preference thing, though.

The vampires—in the book, Simon turns into a rat, and the vampires steal him. Magnus says this is probably to spite the shadowhunters (which makes sense given the animosity between shadowhunters and downworlders), and Jace and Clary go to save Rat-Simon. Cool.

In the movie, the vampires steal a human Simon? And hang him up-side-down in an elevator shaft? When Jace, Clary, and company find him, Simon tells them the vampires want the Mortal Cup. Why would the vampires want the Mortal Cup? Unless they want to destroy it, but that was never addressed. So I was confused.

The portal—in the book it was at Madam Dorothea’s. In the movie it was at the institute. K, not a big deal. It just changed when/how certain things happened—like Clary porting to Luke’s.

My bigger issue with the portal was its history. It apparently sprouted out of nothing (I recall Jace saying it was rumored that the Institute was the first building in New York because it was built around the portal.) I can get behind that. What I had more trouble with was Jace saying “No one knows how to destroy it.” Then it mystically blows up when Valentine goes through it at the end. Well, that solves that problem?

Side note—Valentine going through the portal. In the book he went by choice. In the movie, Clary punches him. Ok, girl power. But Valentine is a trained shadowhunter, and Clary is able to get the jump on him because he is too busy staring at the shiny, floating ball of light Jace tossed at him? Err…ok?

And now to my biggest issue—Jace and Clary are siblings. In the book, this made sense in how it was presented. Clary, Luke, and Luke’s people rush to the showdown at the O.K. corral (which, in the book, was at some abandoned hospital, not the institute). Clary rushes through the building until she finds Jace. Jace is clothed and calm. When Clary says they need to get out of there because of Valentine, Jace tells her it’s okay because…his father is there. (Cue Valentine’s entrance). Clary is all like “no, that’s Valentine.” Jace is all like “no, that’s Michael Wayland.” Valentine is all like “I pretended to be Michael Wayland, but Jace really is my son. And, Clary, you are my daughter.” Not the happiest family reunion, but it makes sense.

The movie…not so much. Jace finds Valentine in the institute and does his man-challenge thing. Valentine tells Jace he’s his father. Jace says ‘no you are not, Darth Valentine,’ and they beat each other up. Meanwhile, Clary is working her way back to the Institute. She gets there, finds Valentine and Jace, and is told (rather abruptly) that she is Jace’s sister…by Jace.

What happened to Darth Valentine? And why did Jace suddenly believe Valentine was his father after not even recognizing the guy? And why does Clary believe it too? In the book, this scene was plausible. In the movie, it, well, wasn’t.

Side note: Did Jace never see a picture of the original Circle and have Valentine pointed out to him? Neither the book nor movie addresses this.

One final thing. I saw a comment on a review of this movie that said the person who decided to put the song in the greenhouse scene needed a special kind of Hell. Whoever you are, commenter, I agree with you.

Wrap-up—I enjoyed the movie. It kept me interested. Some things could have been handled better, but for what movie is that not the case?

Lastly, a special thank-you to one of the friends I saw this with for entertaining me by “shouting” (movie theatre style) out similarities to other movies as he noticed them.

Thanks for reading.

@desantismt on Twitter

Monday, September 16, 2013


Books 1 & 2 in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy Coursodon Dimension Series


Meet Hailey - possessed by an otherworldly being who was trapped in her Kindle.

Hailey Parrish was quick-witted, irreverent, and hadn’t had a date in three years. She only wanted an eBook reader because her collection of paperbacks threatened to take over her small living space. Little did she know that the "special offers" that prompted the purchase included much more than a reduced price in exchange for a few ads. The device came pre-loaded with the essence of Sebastian Kess, an erudite womanizer with magical abilities from a parallel dimension. When she inadvertently releases him and he inhabits her body, she finally has a man inside her, just not in the way she imagined. And soon her predicament introduces her to yet another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams Alex Sunderland. Can Alex and Hailey find a way to return Sebastian to his own body, stay one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is, and not lose their sense of humor?

Special Offers, the first book of the Coursodon Dimension Series, combines paranormal romance, urban fantasy, a bit of science fiction and a healthy dose of quirky humor.

As I lay in the darkness, it occurred to me that I must be the most boring single 30 year-old ever. I didn’t go out much, I ate crappy food. I couldn’t even remember the score of the games I just watched.

This was not how I had imagined myself at this point in my life. Had my marriage not crashed and burned, we probably would have a baby by now. Yeah, and I would still be married to an asstard. He probably would have spawned asstardlets. I just wanted to feel like my life was going somewhere, like I was accomplishing something. I rolled over on my side and vowed to try to get myself together and move forward.

When I finally fell asleep, I dreamt I went on my first post-divorce date. The guy took me to a fancy restaurant, ordered lots of food and expensive wine and then ditched me for the voluptuous hostess. I was presented with the check but lacked any means of paying it. After negotiating a payment plan with the restaurant owner, which involved allowing him to indulge his foot fetish with my pinkie toes and some flavored whipped cream, I left the place and got into my car, which was really weird, because my date drove.

There in the parking lot were dine-and-dash and the hostess, groping each other with utter abandon. I revved up the engine, threw the car into drive and peeled out towards them. The headlights illuminated their stunned faces as I spun the car sharply, rolled down the window and chucked a lit Molotov cocktail - made from the empty wine bottle from dinner - at them and sped off humming the theme to “The Lion King.”

I woke up thinking I must be making progress. Usually in my dreams I ran them over after I set them on fire.



M.L. Ryan is a profes¬sional woman – not that she gave up her amateur status, but rather that she is over-educated with a job in which she spends a lot of time writing dry, science non-Fiction. In an effort to strength¬en the less logi¬cal side of her brain, she decided to write some of the many stories rolling around in her head. She lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband, son, four cats, two dogs and an adopt¬ed Desert Tortoise.

Visit M.L.’s website. Check out her blog. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @MLRyan1, and connect with her on Goodreads.



Trade paperback
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Hey readers,

Improvement is not running them over. Hee lols

Follow the rest of this tour here.

And don’t forget to comment for a chance at a prize.

M.L. will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.