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 City of Ember

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Invader Zim
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Invader Zim


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PostSubject: City of Ember   City of Ember Icon_minitimeFri May 14, 2010 7:11 pm

In an underground palace, The Builders of the City of Ember place secret instructions and a plexiglass rectangle with an icon engraved on it in a strong, thick metal box. As the heavy drum of bombardment is heard overhead, the officials debate how long to set the time-delayed digital lock on the box. They agree that 200 years should be a reasonable margin of safety to stay underground. The box is thrust into the hands of the Mayor of the underground complex. Each mayor, in turn, passes the box onto his or her successor. When the box has 47 more years left on the time-lock, the mayor holding the box dies suddenly. It seems the significance of the box had not been explained to anyone, because the box is just put at the back of a junk-filled closet. The box, with its crucial secret instructions, sits amidst refuse for the next 47 years, gathering dust. When it finally reaches year 0, the time lock clicks open, but this event goes unnoticed.

For generations, the people of the City of Ember have lived in a huge underground complex built as a refuge for humanity. It is built into a vast cavern that is so high that it is filled with regular-sized buildings. Far above the tops of the buildings are banks of floodlights which light the city during the day and provide light for the greenhouses. The lights are powered by a massive generator. Now Ember is falling into darkness as the generator fails. "Blackouts" are occurring with increasing frequency and they last longer every time. Despite growing concern for the future of their beloved City, Ember's students find themselves confronting the next step in their lives. A rite of passage for all graduates, it is Assignment Day, the day on which the Mayor himself will stand before the graduating students as they choose, by lottery, how they will spend their lives working for their society.

Lina, praying with all her might to be a messenger, is devastated to be assigned to the Pipeworks, the vast network of pipes underneath the City. Her classmate, Doon Harrow, who wants more than nothing else to work in the Generator, panics when he pulls the messenger assignment. Doon offers to swap assignments with Lina. She is thrilled and grateful and eagerly changes jobs. Thus, an unlikely friendship is born. Lina finds herself zipping all over Ember, delivering important messages to even more important people, including the mayor himself. At home she cares for her aging and forgetful grandmother, and her baby sister Poppy.

When an old metal box is discovered in their closet, Lina's grandmother is overjoyed. Completely sure that the contents of the box are of the utmost importance, she is completely bereft of any memory as to why. Lina discovers some cryptic papers inside. Unable to piece the papers together, but sure that they are important, Lina resolves to decipher their meaning and enlists Doon's help. As blackouts in the City become more frequent, Lina and Doon realize that the information inside that box could lead to the salvation of their City and their fellow citizens. Now racing against the clock, the two follow the clues, cleverly maneuvering around corrupt politicians and unsavory characters.

The pair realize the document is a set of instructions on how to escape the city, and they look for the hidden exit. They discover that the Mayor has been hoarding canned food in a secret room. When they report the theft, the two are declared traitors. Now on the run from the Mayor's police, the pair put the escape plan into action. They get Poppy, and follow the instructions. They combine the plexiglass rectangle with a second one stolen from the mayor, to form a key. As they are escaping, the mayor flees to his secret room filled with food, he runs into Looper who was supposed to go in with him but the mayor shoves him down and locks the door with Looper banging at the door yelling for the mayor to let him in. Inside the secret room the Mayor hears some clattering and turns on a light, revealing a giant mole to be only a few feet away from him. The mayor lets out a scream before being eaten alive by the giant mole. Meanwhile,by activating various switches and levers and the plexiglass key, the friends are able to initiate the escape sequence that the Builders had planned. Boats automatically launch, and the three escape down an underground river. When the boat stops, they get out and go through the same bunker that was shown at the beginning of the film. The blast doors are now twisted and rusted with age and the concrete is crumbling. The three see and feel the real, natural air and sky for the first time. At first, they are sad that there is no light, but they do not realize that it is nighttime. In the morning, as the sun rises, they gaze in amazement at the glowing disc and blue sky. They then tie a message of their discovery to a rock and drop it back down to the city, and by chance it is found by Doon's father.

The film, while mostly faithful to the book, contained several differences and omissions. One of the notable new scenes was one featuring a giant mole. Another added scene shows Doon finding a large, injured moth which he heals with a shoelace. Other additions include a subplot involving Lina and Doon's fathers trying to escape Ember. The character of Doon's mentor, Sul, was created for the movie. The ending was changed. In the book, Mrs. Murdo picked up the message attached to the stone, but in the movie, it was altered into Doon's father.

Comparison with the book

In the book, Lina and Doon are both twelve when they receive their jobs, but in the movie Doon is noticeably older. Lina's house is covered in yarn in both the movie and the book.she uses colored pencils for her drawings, not crayons. In the book, messengers wear a red jacket, but in the movie they wear red cloaks.

Downplayed scenes included Lina's drawing of the city, Granny's death, and the instructions to escape Ember. Omissions included a scene in which Lina discovers that the store supplies colored pencils, and the following scene where Lina loses her sister on the street during a blackout.

In my opinion this film is very weird
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