Jem and Holograms
Let's get this out of the way, this movie is shit. There is no other way to put it. It is a vague, vague retelling of the 80s cartoon show. There is so much wrong with the premise and the story that one review couldn't cover all the mistakes this movie is plagued with. Plus, it shows no respect for the material from the cartoon show. It is merely using the Jem IP to tell a really bad story that teens growing up on Bieber and Kim Kardashian would understand.
Directed by Jon M. Chu , it feels like those Step Up movies than a callback. Instead of throwing us back to that corny 80s pop music which was all over the cartoon show, we get some shitty auto-tuned stuff. So, let's shove in a bunch of teen and millennial bullshit into a movie that is supposed to be aimed at women who grew up watching the show. It makes no sense, because who is this movie for?
Sad to say it but, this is where I think a Micheal Bay would work nicely as a producer. Bay is a walking and talking 80s meme himself.
-The four female leads aren't that bad: For a shitty movie, these four Holograms are pretty good. Unlike other shows with young people like say Girls, I really don't loathe them. They are rather charming as Jem and the Holograms. The script fails them.
-Josie and the Pussycats 2.0: This is clearly a retelling of that movie more than Jem. Except, they torn out all humor and replaced it with an unfinished love story and a half-measured tale of family. There is little to no fun in this movie, and it needed it if the budget is this small. You can fill in a lot of things with good humor and the concept of Jem has good spoof material.
-What is this movie supposed to be about? You have the YouTube videos and social media aspects, but even that isn't fully realized and taken to next step. It is merely touch upon. Is it about family and extended family? Is it about quick fame? Jem turning into a cheap Lady Gaga? That stupid Jar-Jar robot?
-The Rock is in this piece of shit. He has more charm in his 20 seconds than anything or anyone else in this movie. Wait, the Rock plays Roadblock in GI Joe and GI Joe is a part of the Hasbro family like Jem. So, is this merely Roadblock talking about Jem? Nope.
-The Misfits ARE in the movie, but only at the end: Yes, the appearance of the Misfits in the last scene is sequel-bate, but it actually works. Their behavior and appearance feel more like the cartoon show than the rest of the movie. I think the movie would have been more fun if we had the Misfits in the story all the way through. We needed a real villain.
-Juliette Lewis as Erica Raymond : Yes, Scientology mouthpiece Lewis plays the so called villain, but not really. Eric Raymond was his name on the show and he was more of an asshole than Lewis plays her. Yes, they switched genders and made he a she. Lewis is that nutty to almost pull off the manger role, but she really isn't the bad guy-asshole character from the show.
-YouTube the Movie: Luckily, it's not Fred the movie. However, we get random YT clips that move in and out of the film as if the director had ADD. No one really knows why these clips are in the movie. The show would have their own pop songs move in and out of the show mid-stream, but this makes no sense.
-Aubrey Peeples as Jerrica "Jem" Benton: She is actually not bad as the lead character. To bad this isn't the Jem character.
The narrative is a complete mess with nothing really fully being fully realized. First, Jem gets famous from posting music on YouTube. She and her band-mates debut and they break up. There is also a story about Jem finding clues from her dead father in basically an Easter Egg hunt. Erica Raymond wants to make Jem a solo act in the form of Gaga. Story lines happen and are quickly resolved with little or no effect. This scatter brain approach to story telling is rather annoying and takes away from the movie. Nothing is fully realized in this thing because it is merely touched upon and thrown away.
I feel bad for the fans of the animated series, because this movie is merely a shadow of the series. It is a WB drama series wrapped up in the false nostalgia. Old fans won't like it and young crowds aren't going to like it because it is not hip enough.
I can't figure out what happened between concept and post-production with this movie, but it turned out nothing like the old TV show. With only a few random references here and there, I can't recommend this movie to any of the women that grew up on the cartoon show. Just stick with the back issues of the comic from IDW instead, because that series honors the cartoon show more than this cheap WB letdown. I hate this movie and it will cause you great pain.
I went through the entire review without saying, “This movie is truly-truly terrible”...until now.