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Monday, February 9, 2009

Movie Review: City of Ember

Last weekend kiddo and I went to our local Redbox to see what we could see. There were several kid-friendly movies available but we’d already seen (or didn’t want to see) most of them. Our only remaining choice was CITY OF EMBER. When this was in the theater I wanted to go see it but kiddo did not … guess who won that discussion. I figured he’s say no to it again, but I was wrong.

Kiddo: “Mom, if you really want to watch it, we can.”

Me: “No honey, it’s up to you – if you don’t want to see it we can just watch something on TV.”

Kiddo: “No, that’s ok – we can watch this one.”

And that was that. We went home and started the movie; Hubby was on the big chair while kiddo and I cuddled up under a blanket on the couch.

*** The Story ***

The world is coming to an end in some undescribed calamity. To preserve humanity, an underground city is constructed and filled with children who will grow up with no knowledge of their history. For 200 years people will live in the city, then they will return to the surface and begin creating a new world. At least, that is what’s supposed to happen. Unfortunately the truth about the city and its builders is lost and more than 200 years goes by underground. The city is beginning to fall apart and the inhabitants are at a loss about what to do. Two teenagers, Lina and Doon, are worried and they want to do *something* to help. When they are assigned to their life jobs, they both begin to learn some secrets about the city and they concoct a plan to escape.

*** What Did We Think? ***

Kiddo LOVED it. How do I know? First of all, he hardly moved during the whole movie (and he is a very, very fidgety child). And second, as soon as it ended the exact words out of his mouth were “can we watch it again?” … as in, right now (we did end up watching it the following night for a second time). He wants us to buy a copy so he can watch it any time he wants.

Hubby was bored, but that is usual – I think the last kids movie he actually liked was CARS … and since he loves NASCAR that was a given.

I really enjoyed CITY OF EMBER. I thought it was well done for a kid’s movie – fast paced, interesting story, nothing too scary or objectionable. I enjoyed watching it a second time, and I'll definitely buy a copy for us to keep.

I *did* get a kick out of one of Doon’s outfits (not the one in the picture though) … it reminded me of something my friends used to wear when they’d go to the midnight showing of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. Hubby totally agreed with me on that one. Oh, and I thought that the actual city of Ember looked a lot like Wannado City in Florida. If you've been there, think of how the entire "city" is laid out almost in a circle, with business names above each door - that's exactly what Ember is like!

*** The Book? ***

Have any of you read the book? Does is differ from the movie? I see that there are three books that follow CITY OF EMBER … do you recommend the rest of the series?

*** Spoiler Alert and Question ***

After we watched the movie for the second time, kiddo asked a very good question and I didn’t have an answer for him. At the end of the movie, Lina and Doon look down a very deep chasm and they can see Ember far below. Kiddo wants to know why, if they can see Ember, can the people in the city not see the sunlight coming down the chasm? Good question. I’m wondering if the book portrays this scene differently … any thoughts?


ANovelMenagerie said...

Can I add this on Mr. Linky on my Monday's Movie meme?

Lenore Appelhans said...

I read the book, but it was when it came out and I don't remember if the spoiler scene you ask about was like that in the book or not.

Suey said...

The movie follows the book very well, until the end, when it switches things up a bit. BUT, they do look down and see the city, and throw a rock with a note attached. I never wondered about the sun showing to the people of Ember. Except they were up VERY high and I imagined the crack to be VERY small.

The books are fun and very worth it. I've read the first two and plan on continuing.

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like a movie I might like. I had never heard of it before now. Thanks for the review, Heather.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Heather! It looks like you haven't done the 10 favorite things meme, so if you'd like to partcipate, I'm assigning you the letter "D." Happy Monday to you!

BTW--I've never heard of "City of Ember." Where have I been?

Kerry said...

As I recall, for the scene at the end, they don't just look straight down, but have to walk from the entrance at bit, so the sun may not penetrate. Also, as commented above, it was very small compared to the size of Ember.

I've read the second book and enjoyed it. I have a review here is you're interested.

Alyce said...

I read the first and second books and reviewed both of them. I liked the first book better than the second, but they were both good.

I remember the scene at the end, and I think they do say something about why the people of ember can't see them or the crack. I think it's because they go inside a cave (I think?) a little way before finding the crack, so it's dark.

Dreamybee said...

I read the book back in September and enjoyed it. My (short) review is here. I don't recall the ending exactly either, but I think what Kerry and Alyce said sounds right about having to go into a cave or something. Glad kiddo enjoyed it so much!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

anovelmenagerie - thanks, I added it to the list!

Lenore & Suey - I guess I'll have to read it myself to find out. :)

literary feline - be sure to let me know what you think of it if you do watch it.

chartroose - sounds good, I'll get my post up soon. And go check out the movie or book - I think you'll like it!

Kerry, Alice, and Dreamybee - thanks, I think I WILL get this to read with kiddo at some point.

Erin said...

Just found your blog and am super excited to see that we like a lot of the same books. I read the entire Ember series and loved Book 1 and Book 2. Book 3 wasn't necessary in my opinion, except for the very last chapter... Book 4 was good as well. Overall I enjoyed the series, even more then the movie!

Jill said...

I read the first two and enjoyed them very much. I am glad the movie was such a hit - I'm putting it in my Netflix queue to watch with my kids. Thanks! :-)

Shana said...

Heather, I had no idea this was a kids movie.

I haven't read the book or watched the movie.

I have three fidgety kids and I LOVE it when one of them sits still thru an entire movie!


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