For What It's Worth

Friday, April 25, 2014

Movie reviews: YA book to movie – City of Bones & Beautiful Creatures

I’m just catching up on all the “YA” movies. I know there’s a big push to support these projects but honestly, I’m underwhelmed.  Warm Bodies was good and The Fault in Our Stars looks promising, so there’s still hope.


City of Bones – IMBD

Based on the insanely popular The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. This move stuck pretty close to the book, to it’s detriment imo. I can’t imagine too many people who haven’t read the books could understand what was going on.

I liked Lily Collins as Clary and Robert Sheehan as Simon but was sooo disappointed by most of the other casting. Especially Isabelle, Magnus and Jace.

Jace as played by Jamie Campbell Bower was awful. Instead of Jace’s bad boy, snarky humor we had a droll delivery of some of the best lines from the book. And that hair. I will never ever make fun of Jasper’s hair from the Twilight series again after seeing what they did to this poor kids hair.

This actually wasn’t quite as bad as I expected. It was watchable but the cast didn’t have much chemistry and the ending felt rushed.

Final verdict: Meh


Beautiful CreaturesIMBD

I haven’t read the books so I went into this with no expectations. I had a difficult time with Ethan’s heavy accent at first and I got a big Twilight ripoff vibe but I really loved the chemistry between Lena (Alice Englert) and Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich). They acted like two, realistic, fumbling, ordinary looking teenagers and I was charmed.

Once the big bad(s) entered the picture however, the movie took a nosedive into wtf-ery. Was this supposed to be scary? Funny? I didn’t know what they were going for anymore. The acting was wildly uneven and instead of the dark gothic feel that (I think) they were going for – it ended up looking silly.

I could tell that nothing was going to get wrapped up in this film . It’s one thing to do that in a book but I don’t think movies handle cliffhangers very well.

It’s also another case of feeling like I’m missing a whole chunk of background, one that readers would know. Particularly pertaining to Ethan.

Final verdict: Good beginning and I was digging the romance between Lena and Ethan but it went downhill pretty quickly.


I’ll close out this post with the new movie trailer for If I Stay, based on the book by Gayle Forman. What do you guys think? It seems to capture the feeling of the book which makes me all kinds of sad remembering it and the sequel – Where She Went. I do think it’s one of those books that could translate well to film. It seems harder to do with the paranormal series. Probably due to the special effects coming off as cheesy.


  1. I will watch the Bones day

  2. I so want to see if I stay and yes the others were meh

  3. I totally agree with you on Beautiful Creatures. I haven't read the book either but I was confused when the bad guys entered the what is going on?! Is this funny or what? And same with that ending, I forgot about it.

    CoB I just can see anything good out of that movie. I didn't like it at all. Again, so confusing and I read that book.

    Gaaahhh If I Stay I don't have that book and I want to read it before the movie and everyone starts spoiling everything :'( Boooho! *wants*

  4. CoB: the only thing worse that JCB was Jonathan Rhys-Myers. The weird hair and open shirt? That was nothing like Valentine. As a fan, I felt embarrassed by that movie.

    BC: I haven't read the book, but I have the movie on my dvr. Just can't bite the bullet yet.

    Great reviews!

  5. I've seen parts of both of these, but I'm not terribly interested as I haven't read any of the books. I'm excited for some of the book-to-movie adaptations this summer though like The Fault in Our Stars and If I stay. I think you may be right, and contemporary books translate a bit better to film.

  6. Sorry to see that City was Meh. I still want to read the book and I may do that first. I have it on my tbr staring at me! :) I was disappointed in Beautiful Creatures even though I haven't read the series. It did go downhill for me as well, but it was still enjoyable enough. I don't know if I'll see If I Stay until it is out for home viewing. Hate to cry and really hate to cry in public. LOL

  7. I had some issues with CoB-- Simon, awkward acting, but having read the books, I thought it was decent. I just wonder if they will continue... Though my husband, having not read was pretty confused.

    I thought Beautiful Creatures was just okay, but again, some acting issues.

    IF I stay trailer looks pretty amazing, and gave me chills... I really wanna see it and TFiOS

  8. eeeep yeah, I haven't heard the greatest things about these two which makes me less likely to watch it. I'm sort of curious about If I Stay though!

  9. Yes, I think 75% of books to movies fail because movies can't quite get across all the background knowledge, the feels, and just everything booky. I think I want to give up on movie adaptations, but then again, what if one day they get it right for me?
    I like to point out everything wrong with a movie like these. I just can not help it.
    I haven't read If I Stay, but by the looks of that trailer I really want to read it, watch it, and judge them.

    88dreamers @ Seriesly Reading

  10. I haven't read the the books for either of these but I have seen the movies. I loved Mortal Instruments...mostly for the action I think and I wasn't really impressed with Beautiful Creatures. BC was actually kind of painful to watch.

    Divergent is the best YA movie I've seen so far.