City of Ember (DVD)

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Description

Family sci-fi adventure starring Bill Murray and Tim Robbins. The City of Ember is an underground city built to last 200 years to house humankind following an unspecified disaster. However, the 200-year mark has been and gone and the city is running low on food and energy. The technological knowledge from the original builders of the city has been lost and disregarded, and generations of corrupt officialdom have added to the deterioration of the once flourishing community. When two teenagers, Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) and Doon Harrow (Harry Treadaway), uncover the precious box of instructions left behind by the city's builders generations before, they decide to brave the darkness and set out on a mission to save their dying city.

Product Details

Barcode
5017239195884
Department
Movies & TV
Released
23 Feb 2009
Type
Movies
Format
DVD
Genre
Children & Family
Region
Region 2
Language
English
Studio
EiV
Runtime
94 min
Age Restriction
PG
Supply Source
UK

Movie

Title
City of Ember
Release Year
2008
Running Time
95 min
Language
English
Categories
Science-Fiction/Fantasy / Adventure / Based On A Novel / Fantasy / Teenagers / Theatrical Release
US Box Office
$7.8 million
Official Website
http://www.cityofember.com/
Ratings
IMDb
6.5
Rotten Tomatoes®
53% 46%
Metacritic
58
Synopsis
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.
Poster
Poster for City of Ember
Cast & Crew
Director
Gil Kenan
Star
Toby Jones / Martin Landau / Bill Murray / Mary Kay Place / Tim Robbins / Saoirse Ronan / Harry Treadaway
Screenwriter
Caroline Thompson
Source Writer
Jeanne DuPrau / Author: Jeanne Duprau
Composer
Andrew Lockington
Executive Producer
Diana Choi Sachs / John D. Schofield
Producer
Tom Hanks / Gary Goetzman
Director of Photography
Xavier Perez Grobet
Costume Designer
Ruth Myers
Movie Critics
Empire
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..."
Dan Jolin (1 Dec 2008, p.88)
Entertainment Weekly
"[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."
Gregory Kirschling (24 Oct 2008, p.52)
Total Film
3 stars out of 5 -- "Saoirse Ronan makes a plucky tomboy heroine..."
Matt Mueller (1 Dec 2008, p.62)
USA Today
"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."
Claudia Puig (10 Oct 2008, )