Hey guys! I’m new to WordPress, so to get a feel for the site and how it suits my hobbies of reviewing movies, my first reviews/posts will be ones that I’ve already written. In the spirit of the new year, I will be posting only my “Top 10” and “Bottom 5” movies of 2015 (or at least for the ones I wrote reviews for). Enjoy and let me know what everyone thinks. 🙂
Big shock, I knew nothing about the original 80’s cartoon of the same name. Seriously, never heard of it. When this movie was announced, I wasn’t curious, either about the movie itself or the original source material it’s based on. My initial thought: it’s going to be bad. But wanna know why I went out to see this movie anyway? Because of the reviews. They were branding this movie as, not just bad, but awful. I remember one review saying, it’s not even JUST awful, it’s a special kind of awful. Now I’m tickled. I didn’t REALLY want to spend money on this movie, so I decided to find the cheapest theater near me, Studio Movie Grill in Simi Valley ($9.00), and sat down hoping for a good laugh.
The story follows a teenage girl named Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples), whom along with her sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott), and their two foster sisters Shana (Aurora Perrineau) and Aja (Hayley Kiyoko) get catapulted from their humble suburban lives into becoming world-wide singing sensations for a famous record company after a video of Jerrica singing as her alter ego Jem goes viral on the internet.
Fun fact: Aurora Perrineau is the daughter of Harold Perrineau of MATRIX: RELOADED and REVOLUTIONS and TV shows LOST and CONSTANTINE.
Oh dear shit… it’s not just bad, it’s not just awful… it’s GOD-awful. At the core of this movie, behind it’s bad writing, awkward score, and lazily tacked-on sci-fi elements, lies a deeply troubling and rotten film.
Before I start ranting and raging, is there ANYTHING redeemable about the film? Eh, kinda. The actresses are giving their best to their performances, but their characters are just carbon copies of every cliche girl-centric movie ever made. They aren’t bad performances, really, but there’s nothing to them. I think only Juliette Lewis is having any real fun with the role that she was given, which the focus of the writing was clearly centered on. Pity…
Alright, here we go, right off the bat we’re telling the story through flashback. I don’t have a problem with the movie modernizing the original material by making Jem a Youtube-esk sensation… but, why her? The vast amount of internet wannabes that have their music posted, there’s probably really solid singers out there. Jem ranges from bland to straight awful (whether we blame whatever voice coach she had or Peeples herself, I couldn’t say). There’s nothing she’s showcasing that makes her stand out as a performer in the sea of music hopefuls that exist. Not to mention that first uploaded video isn’t even pleasant to look at, all darkly lit and shit. So how exactly she became an internet sensation is BEYOND me. In order to hit it huge on the internet, you need to show something that is wild, crazy, never before seen or expected, which is why “He-Man Heyyeayeayea” is so damn popular because it’s so stupid and unexpected. Jem isn’t anything special, so how would she hit the radar of a high end music company?
Now we get into the most annoying parts of the movie: a montage of women trying on clothes, accessories, judging what looks good on one another, and a whole ton of giggling. Every lazy chick-flick note was struck in three minutes. I was honestly surprised that no one sang with a cucumber while pillow-fighting or anything. Another big cliche that got to me, the song-and-dance with the lead meeting the romantic interest who hate each other at first, but we know they’re going to hook up later on. I want to say that I would have been impressed if the movie would not show Jem and Rio get together, as the two hadn’t shared any real physical contact throughout the film, but the movie disappoints me by having the two kiss at the end. Everything about their relationship is sporadic. Rio’s a dick for no reason when he first meets the girls, then decides to be their friend all of the sudden, and he and Jem kiss at the very end. None of this has any real build-up. Even naming the band was lazily thrown in.
And what the hell is up with Synergy? I get it, her dad’s an inventor (inventing shit that even the fucking Japanese haven’t perfected yet), built Synergy, but supposedly never finished… unless it goes back to L.A. where it mysteriously just turns on… no rhyme or reason for that. Synergy is an artificial intelligent machine, essentially, capable of understanding human speech and having emotional responses. Why in bloody hell isn’t this bigger news to the world at the end??? I mean, Japan would be all over that shit trying to figure out how the hell this dude from the suburbs was able to create ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE before the most brilliant minds in Japanese labs haven’t even got down yet. Synergy is such a weird addition to a world that is established as grounded and real, but adds this machine that thinks and feels like it’s no big deal.
Honestly, I could go on and on about the bad writing, but I mentioned how rotten the film is. Here’s why. The story revolves around Jerrica. I get that. Her dad died. Get that too. Upon his death, he left her Synergy and a scavenger hunt for her to find some missing pieces to it (because… reasons…), but his final message is to Jerrica… not to BOTH his daughters, Jerrica AND Kimber, but JUST to Jerrica. Um… fuck you, dude, why does Jerrica get special treatment? Where’s Kimber’s personal farewell? Where’s her emotional payoff? And for that matter, why is Kimber so calm about being singled out? Where’s the outrage and disgust? I mean, seriously, this is straight-up favoritism and it’s kind of disgusting to see that this movie thinks that not addressing that shit is okay… and it’s NOT okay! This would be acceptable if Kimber was re-written to be just a friend of Jerrica’s or another foster sister that she grew up with, but no, they’re BIOLOGICAL SISTERS and Kimber gets completely axed off from the emotional payoff department. Yeah, fuck you movie, Jerrica’s the only one who lost a father? Go suck a dick!
I’m not familiar with the source material, but I pray to everyone’s higher power that it’s far better than this elephant shit that thinks it’s a movie. It’s definitely a special kind of terrible. I had hoped for something that was so bad it would be enjoyable, but no, the more I think about this movie, the worse it gets.