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Friday, October 10 12:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: City of Ember

By Brian Briggs

The City of EmberIt just so happens that I've read The City of Ember as part of the Mother-Daughter and Mr. Briggs Book Club.  For the purposes of full disclosure, I liked the book, so I might be biased in my review of the trailer.  BBspotters need to be able to trust their sarcastic trailer reviews, or the world may end.

Speaking of the world ending, that's what The City of Ember is all about.  A city has been built underground to save the human race from the nuclear holocaust on the surface.  It was built to last 200 years.  Unfortunately, in the passage of time that message got lost and the citizens don't know about the world above, or how to escape.

Mayor Bill
I've got you babe!

A young girl finds the encoded escape instructions, but she doesn't know what they mean.  Times are getting desperate though.  The generator that powers the entire city has broken, and they don't know how to fix it.  In an underground city, that's not what you want to happen.

The young lady teams with a young man to decipher the secrets of the document she found.  They think it leads to an exit from the city. 

Tim Robbins plays the young man's father.  He tells him that it's too dangerous.  He's part of the old crowd that is running out of hope.  He gets told. 

"I've found the way out!" Now, Tim Robbins turns into a "you-must-follow-your-heart" father. 

Child Labor
No child labor laws in Ember.

Bill Murray plays the mayor of the city.  He says that the citizens will stand united against the darkness.  Sound familiar?

From the trailer, it appears the movie is faithfully interpreting the book, down to even the orange hues used in the book's cover in the set design.  The world underground looks fascinating.  I can't wait to see it explored.

Finally, the trailer closes with one of the most frightening scenes in trailer history!  A golden Internet Explorer icon assaults the viewer's senses.  I was visibly shaken by this brazen display of horror.  The movie is rated PG!  I think parents need to be warned.


Trailer Quicktime

Bill Murray
Tim Robbins

Director Gil Kenan
Official Site Link
US Opening

October 10, 2008

Rated PG
Genre Book-to-Movie
Explosions 2
Weapons None
Man Quotient


Déjà Vu
Geek Factor 60%
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? Yes
Follow Up Pending

Ending Prognostication: Unfair as I've already read the book, and know how the movie will end.

Conclusion on Trailer: It's a good trailer that does a good job of laying out the outline of the story without giving too much away.  The pounding music builds excitement along with the actions on the screen.  The set design looks wonderful.  Tim Robbins has a couple dopey lines, and it looks like that character plays a bigger role than in the book, but that's to be expected.

Conclusion on Movie: This is a PG-rated movie that should be enjoyed by fans of the book.  I think the public in general will enjoy it as well.  The story really does play into the mood of the country right now.  It is PG rated, so it may not have enough swearing or explosions for BBspotters, but at least you can take your kids with no worries.

(ed note: I will be seeing this movie with the book club on Saturday, so expect a follow up next week)

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