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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Action > Supernatural > The Mortal Instruments - City Of Bones (2013/Sony Blu-ray & DVD)

The Mortal Instruments - City Of Bones (2013/Sony Blu-ray & DVD)

Picture: B & C+ Sound: B & C+ Extras: A Film: A-

Clary (Lily Collins) just thought she was an ordinary girl, the kind into things like fashion and boys, until she started seeing 'angelic signs', and then discovers she is a descendant of a line of Shadowhunters; half angel, half humans who secretly protect the world from demons. After her mom goes missing, she is rescued by a mysterious young man, Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) and his team of Shadowhunters, where she learns of the Downworld and how the world is filled with vampires, werewolves, warlocks and other deadly creatures.. and she is the key to stopping them in Harard Zwart's The Moral Instruments - City Of Bones (2013).

Turns out a secret war has been going on for centuries between the dark and light, invisible to the 'mundane' humans. Clary is then taken in by group by mysterious sexy Jace and his small band of Shadowhunters, where she then learns about her lineage and begins her training. There, she learns about Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a fallen Shadowhunter who wants the 'Mortal Instrument', a cup that caught the blood of an Angel and has the ability to turn anyone into a Shadowhunter, but he wants it to create evil Shadowhunters to rule the world. The secret of the cup and it's location lies hidden in her past.

This movie plays like a combination of Harry Potter mixed with Twilight, with a Star Wars like plot grafted on top as a young girl who finds who learns how to be a warrior and is the key to stopping the forces of evil. The movie had plenty of supernatural creatures/races, with magic and sword swinging action, and even a bit of romance but it somehow all works. We'll see if a sequel follows, but the money is on the screen despite the abundance of CGI. Lena Headley, Kevin Durand, CCH Pounder, Jared Harris and Aidan Turner also star.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer has its share of CGI, but it was shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision using Kodak's terrific Vision 3 film negative stocks. The anamorphically enhanced DVD version is weaker and much harder to enjoy because it cannot capture the nuances of the shoot. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray is warm and full taking advantage of the multi-channel possibilities, so the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is not bad, but no match for the DTS-MA version.

Extras include feature length Filmmaker and Cast commentary on characters, stunts and cast transformation, deleted scenes, music video, creating the creatures of the Shadow World, and trailers.

- Ricky Chiang


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