It’s been nine years since Shaun of the Dead introduced the U.S. to the team that included Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. I’m going to let that sink in for a moment. It’s been six years since Hot Fuzz came out and about that long since you manned up and watched Spaced. All great pieces of work, but I wish I wasn’t forced to wait so long for the band to get back together. Their big finale is the wonderful The World’s End.
The basic premise falls on a group of old high school buddies who once set out on an epic pub-crawl that would lead them through eleven pubs before they make it to the twelfth pub titled (you guessed it) The World’s End. Time has passed since these friends last attempted the feat. In that time, four of them have gotten legit jobs and families while Simon Pegg’s character Gary King never grew up.
Gary is one of the most worthless human beings on the planet but Simon Pegg's acting helps you find the human side of the character. The other Wright staples are present and individually hold their own.
Like all of Edgar Wright’s work, the movie bends several genres, ranging from nostalgia fest, comedy, drama, and balls to the wall end of the world action. I had a wonderful time and while it isn’t a direct sequel to his other films (they never are) it felt like I was saying goodbye to another era. See this movie. Now.
See, I’m not always a tool when I see movies.
Hello, friends. You haven’t heard from me in a while, but all of that is changing before your eyes. Literally, every word your eye is scanning was typed by these wonderful hands. I can tell by the way your eyes just rolled that you are upset with me for not writing. I feel the same way. I wish I didn’t lead off my new beginning with a rant, but I’m capable of doing few other things, so let’s get this out of the way.
Last night, I sat through The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I wasn’t forced to go so I only have myself to blame, but my curiosity was peaked because I had read the book during my Potter withdrawal period (which never really goes away, does it?). I forgave its glaring similarities the same way I forgave The Lightning Thief. Both series draw heavily from Potter for inspiration but I was okay with that because I could read it in private and no one had to know I was pretending to not skim over some obvious fan fiction.
Well, that was a year ago. I’ve had time to forget what takes place in the book, but it really struck a chord with me when I saw it splashed up on a movie screen. For those that plan to read the books or see the movie, or have done both and enjoyed them, you do not have to continue reading. I’ll try my hardest to not be condescending.
So, it’s a calm fall day when Harry—I mean Clary—wakes up in her cupboard—I mean bedroom—under the stairs? No? Over the stairs? So Clary wakes up in her bedroom over the stairs and finds that she is starting to draw symbols that attract demons or Voldemort—I mean Valentine—to her milkshake? Following me yet?
Her mother buried a secret in her head and annually takes her to a gay warlock to make sure her mental door is shut. Only gay warlocks have secret keeping powers and we all know what happens when we choose the wrong secret keeper (PETTIGREW!!!!).
Well, the secret springs out of her mind. When she starts drawing, I like to think of it as if Harry’s scar was just a picture in his mind that he just started drawing once he figures out he is a wizard, er, Shadow Hunter. Clary realizing she is a shadow hunter or part of the Clave brings Valentine back from the dead. Actually, her realizing she has art powers brings Valentine back. You see, her art powers allow her to pull a 2D image off of a sheet of paper and turn it into a 3D object. We spend 2 hours and 5 minutes learning about her art powers (which only one other wizard, er, clave member, er, shadow hunter…..which happens to be her mother has) and once she realizes her art powers, Valentine shows up and they fight about those powers for the rest of the movie.
Okay, I’ve gotten the general plot out of the way. If I said there were also vampires and werewolves in this movie and that Clary’s main love interest is a combo of Draco Malfoy and Edward Cullen in one character, would I have lost your interest? I thought not, which is good because I didn’t make any of that up.
The adaptation of this book was done with the fans in mind with a little bit of a Twilight cheesiness to initiate new fans. I found the source material largely derivative, because while Harry Potter was Lord of the Rings light, City of Bones was Harry Potter-lite. I amount it to someone handing you a watered down loaf of bread and then dumping a bucket of water over it while it is still dripping in your eager hands. If you are new to fantasy clichés, this movie and series will blow your mind. If you’ve paid attention for the last thirty years, walk away. Sir, just walk away.
Feel free to post in the comment field and tell me what you think of the new web layout or how this movie was the fantastic.
Thomas William Shaw is an author and stage actor from Birmingham, AL. He lives with his wife, Lauren, their children, and their cats in a quiet place. Occasionally he will post about it.