The trailer for City of Ember makes it seem a moderately cool thing, as if sunnier, disparate elements of Dark City, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Bridge to Terabithia and Journey to the Center of the Earth were somehow all mashed together into one adolescent-leaning adventure smoothie. A Walden Media and Playtone co-production based on Jeanne Duprau’s best-selling novel, and releasing October 10 through Fox Walden, the movie is the directorial follow-up of Monster House helmer Gil Kenan, who was juggling doctors’ appointments that would allow him to travel internationally when last I interviewed him.
Starring Saoirse Ronan (Oscar-nominated for Atonement, but also very good in the under-appreciated I Could Never Be Your Woman, her first film role), City of Ember is set in an underground city where, for generations, people have flourished. With its once-powerful generator failing and the great lamps that illuminate the city starting to flicker, though, that time-tested “race against time” subsequently ensues, with citizens searching Ember for clues that will unlock an ancient mystery of the city’s existence before permanent darkness falls. Tim Robbins, Bill Murray, Martin Landau, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Liz Smith, Mary Kay Place and Toby Jones also star. For more on the movie, click here.