One of the things I love most about my second, unpaid job as an amateur writer/blogger is that I can express my opinion about the things I see in my world. I know that I can have an opinion and hold it as my own, without fear that someone else will tell me that it is not ok to do so.
It’s also what I love about the First Amendment and not living under the eye of government-controlled media/internet. May that never happen in my lifetime.
I watched the trailer for Jem and the Holograms this morning, while searching You Tube for another video (again, freedom to watch what I want, I was searching for something Mystery Science Theater 3000-related).
I had the slightest flare of fangirl fire and excitement come over me – Jem was everything little girls of the 1980s wanted to be (besides She-Ra, Princess of Power, of course). She had pink hair, she could sing, and well… she was cool. Jem was a strong female protagonist, and considering the quality of cartoons and how pretty female leads have generally been depicted as “damsels in distress” (Daphne Blake, anyone?) and brainless wonders, it was nice to know that female leads could be gorgeous, smart, and carry a tune.
Because who doesn’t love a good theme song?
God, I love that.
I had heard of a movie about Jem going back about two or three years ago, so imagine my excitement when a trailer popped up on You Tube!
…Aaaaand faster than you can say Synergy, any initial excitement I had about a Jem movie was somewhat deflated. Was the original concept not good enough for a movie? And why was Eric Raymond given a gender change? And WHY Juliette Lewis?! I know who this movie is looking to target, but what about all of the “little girls” (now adults) who idolized Jem as a kid… what about us? Jem (as well as She-Ra) was the Disney Princess fascination of my early childhood. Except louder and with better music.
The movie takes everything known and loved about the cartoon, removes several aspects of it (including removing Synergy as we know her… how do you do that?!), and puts out something that looks like an underdog story of a teenager who will regret everything if she doesn’t take a huge risk and form a singing group, and the inevitable struggles of fame and identity. Not that I’ve ever watched it before, but doesn’t this just seem too much like the basis of Hannah Montana: The Movie? And it’s not really surprising that this film looks like every other “Teenager on the Verge of Destiny and Greatness” film, since the trailer makes sure it reminds you that the studio responsible for this film is the same one that made Pitch Perfect.
If I sound upset by the whole concept of this film, it’s because I am. It’s an insult that something like this abomination could have the distinction of being called Jem and the Holograms, yet look nothing like the source material. I know these cartoon-based films are generally hit-and-miss, but wow… this one misses the mark entirely, and then hits it with a baseball bat to keep it quiet and subservient. Ugh.
Will I see it? Long after it dies a slow, fiery death at the box office. And only when I don’t have to pay any sort of hard-earned money to see it. Movies like this are the reason I have a Netflix DVD account.
Oh, and the part about the movie totally not targeting the right audience? Molly Ringwald plays Jerrica’s aunt. Does anyone under 30 know who she is (I’m 32, so I’m well-qualified to know who she is, thank you very much!)? Talk about misleading the original target audience and then beating us up with this monstrosity.
Watch this trailer, and then try to have a good day after doing so. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.