Hey Y'all, I was going to post this to the actual review post but it got so long that I decided to give the subject it's own post entirely.
First, my reason for dropping the City of Bones movie from 4 to 2.5 stars.
So after I posted this yesterday I finally let myself google what the mainstream movie reviewers were saying about the movie. It was bad y'all. Seriously, I got this vibe that most of the reviewers were living in fear of another Twilight type movie phenomenon and they thought if they gave it enough bad reviews the studio would cancel City of Ashes and they wouldn't have to review it. 'Cause their time would be better spent reviewing insert any (Franco/Day Lewis/Clooney) movie.
Naturally, my inner fangirl wanted to rush back to the blog and give the movie a million stars and call them all butt heads. Thankfully, I slept on it and chatted with others on twitter (s/o to L.M. Murphy & DB Graves) about the movie which helped me to work out my own thoughts on the movie.
Looking at the movie now what the film left out was a clear explanation of The Clave and the Downworld(ers). If the foundation of the TMIverse is ignored then the rest crumbles, simple as that. As a fan of the series it was hard for me to see that because I already knew what was left unsaid or unexplained so I wasn't sitting in the theatre scratching my head. This lack of clarity is what I believe led to many critics saying the film took a 'kitchen sink' approach of throwing every kind of supernatural creature into the movie and it knocks the film down to a 2.5 for me.
As for the other reviews I read last night, what ticked me off the most wasn't so much because they were negative but because of the tone the reviewers struck. Many seemed to either write the entire series off because of Cassandra Clare's fanfiction roots or because it had vampires and a love triangle so it must be Twilight 2.0.
Bias Alert: My name is Whitney and I write fanfiction.
As someone who has written fanfiction (Harry Potter, Naruto, Supernatural, BtVS, Avengers, etc) and also aspires to write original fiction this obviously upsets me. Fanfiction for me is like a writer jungle gym. I get to hone my own writing style while playing in another author's sandbox. Writing fanfiction is nothing to be ashamed of and no one should be written off (so to speak) because of their fanfiction background.*
As for the many Twilight copy references I read last night in reviews, that's just plain incorrect. Would the studio like for the movie to recreate Twilight's success? Obviously. Did Cassandra Clare hope her book would sell as well as Twilight? You bet your bottom dollar.
Spoiler Alert: The series has sold more than five million.
2nd Spoiler Alert: Aside from the fact that there are vampires and a love triangle, there are no other similarities to Twilight that I can think of.
Clary has her moments of being annoying, but for the most part she is a badass female main character. She doesn't curl up in a ball for three months because Prince Edward & the Sparklepuss Gang left her. To me, this is where the critics should at least read the TMI cliffnotes so that they have an understanding of what the series is actually about. I know they are reviewing the movie and not the book but even if they read the cliffnotes after the fact that will enhance their review because they'll be able to more accurately pinpoint where the director went wrong with the City of Bones movie, instead most just resorted to (incorrectly) comparing it to Twilight.
End rant. As you were. =)
*Unless you write self-insert fanfics, those are the outcasts of fanficdom, usually, for good reason.