City of Ember(released Oct/08)stars veterans Bill Murray as the mayor of Embro,Martin Landau as Sul and Tim Robbins as Mr.Harrow.The newcomers and the focus of the movie has Harry Treadaway as Doon Harrow and Saoirse Ronan as Lina Mayfleet.Tom Hanks production company obtained the rights to the 2003 DuPrau novel of the same name and co-produced the movie.The film has quite the plot but there are alot of unanswered questions that the film glosses over.However this movie aims for the smaller fry(younger than 12)so any quibbling on details is moot at best.
The plot involves the small town of Embro,that is an oasis of light in the darkness.It is forbidden to go out into the dark and one can be arrested for such a transgression.The city's founders 200 years before left special instructions for the future inhabitants of Embro for the equipment failure that would eventually occur.The movie begins here and the instructions,put into a special box,have been handed down by each succeeding mayor.However the box at one point became "lost",and 200 years later the city's electrical generators are failing.Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow stumble upon the missing box that contains the clues both must piece together in order to save Embro and its inhabitants.
The eventual answers to the giant puzzle the two piece together contain more questions than answers,which is readily apparent to adults watching.But as I said this is geared towards the younger set who will let the movie off the hook and accept things as they are,where an adult would not.The film has a solid cast but the plot,as interesting as it does get,is nothing to write home about and is just average fare for this genre of film.The special effects while adequate are again nothing to shout about,especially in the final escape sequences in the log boat racing through the waters.
Technically this movie is clear and crisp in its original a/r of 2:35:1.It is a dreaded double sided disc(why this is this way I will never know)and the full screen version is on the other side.There are no extras.
In conclusion City of Ember will certainly delight the small fry who will openly accept the giant plot holes and numerous unanswered question adults would otherwise question.Recommended family fare.