WHEN I WAS A SMALL BOY, I was obsessed with pencil sharpeners. Though my obsession lasted a couple of years, I acquired a large collection of them within that time frame. I had several pencil sharpeners that were in the shape of airplanes and rocket ships; another group of them was made up of different animals. I would rotate bringing different sharpeners to school with me; as you might expect, I never had a dull pencil at my desk. There was a game I used to play with myself when sharpening a pencil. I would try to turn the pencil continuously to see if I could get one long shaving off of it. Yes, I was an intense child at times. One of my favorite pencil sharpeners was a flying saucer, the top half white and the bottom gray. The pencil hole was right in the center on the top, which allowed the pencil shavings to spin around the interior circumference of the round saucer. There was always a good chance I could get a long shaving with this pencil sharpener. At home, I would keep this sharpener in a desk drawer and whenever I needed it, I would take it out and hold it high in the air, pretending it was flying. AS I GREW UP MY OBSESSION faded away and the pencil sharpeners were relegated to an old shoebox that resided up on a shelf in a closet. Through the years, I had other things that became my new obsession. In one of my recent reviews I talked about my thing for wristwatches; so, you see I have been visited by obsessions through my whole life. Whenever I have had conversations and talked about an obsession, I always say I prefer shaking hands with the obsession instead of trying to wrestle it. The thing I am grateful for (if there is something to be grateful about) is my obsessions never involved other people. They were always things that only had an affect on me, whether it was pencil sharpeners, wristwatches or dance music CDs. I had a friend who became obsessed with someone she met online. This altered her daily life to the point it put a strain on her friendships. She would cancel dates with friends so she could drive to finally meet this individual at a central location, only to receive a last minute text that he was called into work or some other excuse like that. Yet she would do the same thing over and over to the point some of her friends refused to make plans with her. I could see their point, but I tried to stay neutral; her obsession was preventing her from coming to terms with the reality of her situation. I could say the same thing about the main character in this dramatic movie. WRITER AND CRITIC MORTON VINT, PLAYED by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The 12th Man, The Tudors-TV), wanted to know everything he could about the famous poet Jeffrey Aspern, played by Jon Kortajarena (The Cliff, A Single Man). He would even pretend to be someone else if it meant getting more information about his favorite poet. With Vanessa Redgrave (Letters to Juliet, Howards End) as Juliana Bordereau, Joely Richardson (Event Horizon, Maggie) as Miss Tina and Lois Robbins (Girls Nite Out, One Life to Live-TV) as Mrs. Prest; the only reason to see this film would be to watch Vanessa and Joely working together. They were wonderful to watch as they powered their way through the weak script. I thought Jonathan’s character was not believable; he came across so odd to me that I found him uninteresting. The scenery and sets were pleasing but due to the direction and script I felt many opportunities were lost to add drama and back-story. It was sad to see Vanessa and Joely being wasted in this misfired picture. I only wished the writers would have been obsessed with telling a good story as much as Morton was obsessed with the poet Jeffrey Aspern.
1 ½ stars
All of us I am sure have encountered people who turned out to be someone totally different than who they claimed to be. It goes without saying that type of revelation has broken many hearts. I find these types of individuals to be learning lessons for us, no matter how painful it may have been to learn the lesson. But have you ever considered that these people may only be one definition of beings that affect our daily lives? Think about it; what if two elevators open up for you at the same time and in a split second you switch and take the one on the left instead of the right side. As you rise up to your designated floor; unbeknownst to you, the other elevator became stuck between floors, trapping its passengers for a couple of hours. How about that split decision you made to wait an extra 30 minutes for a ride home instead of walking through an unfamiliar area only to discover later a crime had been committed along the route you would have taken. These things could be attributed to our intuition, internal voices or maybe from some being watching over us. I believe anything is possible and that concept is what attracted me to this action, fantasy film. Lily Collins (The Blind Side; Mirror, Mirror) played Clary Fray, who lived with her artist mother Jocelyn, played by Lena Headey (Dredd, Game of Thrones-TV). When Clary began to doodle the same odd symbol over and over, it set into motion a discovery that was kept hidden by her parents, finally explaining the strange things she had been seeing. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (August Rush, Match Point) as Valentine, was the best character out of the cast for me. Lily was ok for the most part but I did not understand why she had to wear the outfit she was wearing through most of the movie. Based on the acclaimed book series by Cassandra Clare, I can appreciate the task of staying true to the story. I felt so many characters and things were being crammed into this adventure film that I never got a sense for any of them. It became a series of altercations that were nothing special. Jamie Campbell Bower (Twilight franchise, Winter in Wartime) as Jace did not have the physical presence to be a lead character as far as I was concerned. I liked the concept of the story but there was no life to this movie. If the people responsible for creating this film were basing their decisions on their inner voices, they were listening to the wrong ones.
1 3/4 stars