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City of Ember
- David Ryall

Overview - The lights are going out in the City of Ember, a time-limited underground haven created some 200 years ago by the higher-ups of humanity in a world on the brink of disaster. Meanwhile, many of its literally and figuratively in-the-dark citizens don't suspect a thing.  Read more...

 
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More About City of Ember - David Ryall
 
 
 
Overview

The lights are going out in the City of Ember, a time-limited underground haven created some 200 years ago by the higher-ups of humanity in a world on the brink of disaster. Meanwhile, many of its literally and figuratively in-the-dark citizens don't suspect a thing. The only wise ones are two plucky teenagers (Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway) who are devoted to finding--with or without the help of the cagey Mayor Cole (Bill Murray)--the exit from Ember. Screenwriting credit for CITY OF EMBER, a refreshing fantasy film based on the first novel in author Jeanne DuPrau's sci-fi/adventure series for young adults, belongs to none other than Caroline Thompson. She's a silver screen veteran of family-friendly otherworldliness who's collaborated on many of Tim Burton's most definitive projects, and indeed she's brought to this live-action sophomore effort from enthusiastic movie-geek director Gil Kenan (MONSTER HOUSE) a miniaturist sensibility reminiscent of the condensed and simply plotted eccentricity of CORPSE BRIDE and A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. In stark contrast to some of the more epically turgid fantasy films released in the wake of Harry Potter's first outing, EMBER harks back to the modestly scaled ethos of cinematic spectacle typically embodied by the whimsical adventure movies made for children in the 1980s. When the film's farfetched premise meets its unadorned storytelling to unfold in a neatly contained, nearly real-time episode, it renders the image of ordinary children traversing an architectural phantasmagoria with the kind of paradoxical patina of fluffy-yet-provocative fantasy that can stimulate the imaginations of both kids and adults. The movie's neon-filamented aesthetic, a post-apocalyptic pastiche of industrialization, is sometimes evocative of German expressionism. Still, including cinematographer Xavier Perez Grobiet's kinetic tracking shots, Kenan's film is not without its 21st-century elements.

Cast List

Gary Goetzman
Martin Landau - Oscar winning actor, ED WOOD
Harry Treadaway
Toby Jones - Actor, INFAMOUS (2006)
Gil Kenan
John D. Schofield - co-producer, JERRY MAGUIRE
Caroline Thompson - American Screenwriter
Caroline W. Thompson - American Screenwriter
Diana Choi Sachs - Executive producer
Tom Hanks - Oscar-winning actor/director/producer
Thom Hanks - Oscar-winning actor/director/producer
Ruth Myers - Costume designer
Bill Murray - American actor, LOST IN TRANSLATION, MEATBALLS
Saoirse Ronan - Actress, I COULD NEVER BE YOUR WOMAN (2006)
Tim Robbins - American Actor/Director, BOB ROBERTS (1992)
Jeanne DuPrau - Children's novelist
Andrew Lockington - Music, SAINT RALPH (2005)
Mary Kay Place - American actress, MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN
Xavier Perez Grobet - DOP

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 123
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 024543563396
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Rating: PG (MPAA) (for mild peril and some thematic elements)
  • Release Date: August 2014

Related Categories:
Movies > Science-Fiction/Fantasy

Related Keywords:
Adventure
Fantasy
Theatrical Release
Teenagers
Based On A Novel

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Reviews:
"[T]he elusive Bill Murray pops up, playing the pot-bellied mayor of a dying underground city. He's fun, and the movie, slathered with grimy color, looks striking." - 10/24/2008 Entertainment Weekly, p.52


"CITY OF EMBER, based on a popular children's book, has some strong fantasy moments and makes a gentle statement about corruption and blind faith....CITY OF EMBER provides audiences with a thought-provoking and family-friendly adventure." - 10/10/2008 USA Today


3 stars out of 5 -- "Saoirse Ronan makes a plucky tomboy heroine..." - 12/01/2008 Total Film, p.62


3 stars out of 5 -- "Ember is a dank urban jungle of crumbling redbricks, rusting lampposts and bleeding pipes, the kind of fantasy-sci-fi-retro world realised by Gilliam or Jeunet and Caro....CITY OF EMBER is full of sprightly visual thrills, and packed with delightful details..." - 12/01/2008 Empire, p.88

 
Customer Reviews