Posted on

The Female Perspective: Jem And The Holograms or How Movie Execs Ruined Another Childhood Memory

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


video-undefined-1C7B8B1400000578-337_636x358

I never watched a ton of cartoons growing up, I remember the Smurfs and GI Joe and Transformers but more than any of those, I clearly remember watching Jem and The Holograms ALL the time. It was one of the few (the only?) cartoons centered around girls and it was also about a woman with dual identities who had and created kick-ass music and the color…oh my Lord, the colors! Not to mention, it often featured action scenes that made it exciting and conflicts as Jem tried to grapple with her multiple identities.

You can imagine that I was excited at the idea of a live action Jem movie, really excited in fact. Until this week. What happened this week you ask? Well first we saw some set photos emerge and they looked like this:

Ummmm...
Ummmm…
Huh?
Huh?

Pretty glum. Not at all like the vibrant fun of the cartoon- and before you say it, I didn’t expect it to look exactly like the cartoon, I simply expected more than this…blah-fest. I mean, come on…

Cartoon versus Movie. See the difference?
Cartoon versus Movie. See the difference?
Sigh.
Sigh.

When you compare the two…it just seems unfortunate. I know they wouldn’t follow the source material perfectly but this…this seems a lot like what happened with World War Z, they used the title of the book but that was it. It seems to me after seeing more and more about the Jem movie that they are using the names only, the rest is of movie execs creation. Sad but an unfortunate reality in today’s world. They want to make money, they don’t care about fans. I simply wish there could be a balance between the two, a middle ground between making loads of money and pleasing the fans.

There is no comparison...the movie is taking a "darker" tone.
There is no comparison…the movie is taking a “darker” tone.

I was still willing to give the movie a go because it’s JEM and THE FREAKIN HOLOGRAMS and I figured, how bad could it be? Even if the photos from set made it look gloomy and…well, dull. Then the trailer came out.

How do we go from this:

To THIS???

SERIOUSLY!?!?!?!  As stated before it seems that the movie execs decided to just use the name Jem and then go a whole different direction. A seemingly bad direction. The direction of the horrible Josie and The Pussycats movie or just about EVERY OTHER movie out there today. A young girl has to wrestle with new-found fame and blah, blah, blah.

In case you have no idea what Jem is about, here’s a quick synopsis from Wikipedia.

The series revolves around Jem, the mysterious lead singer of the rock group “Jem and the Holograms”. Her real name is Jerrica Benton, and under this name she is the owner and manager of Starlight Music. Jerrica adopts this persona with the help of a holographic computer, known as Synergy, which was built by Jerrica’s father to be “the ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesizer” and is bequeathed to her after his death. Jerrica is able to command Synergy to project “the Jem hologram” over herself by means of the remote micro-projectors in her earrings, thus disguising her features and clothing enabling her to assume the Jem persona. While disguised as Jem, Jerrica is able to move freely without restrictions and on several occasions other people have been in direct physical contact with her without disrupting the holographic projection. Jem, through the use of her earrings, is also able to project holograms around her and uses this ability throughout the series to avoid danger and provide special effects for the performances of her group.

Add to that the rocking awesomeness of their rival band, The Misfits, and Jem’s love interest, the purple-haired Rio and you have the recipe for a pretty awesome show. Jem/Jerrica was independent, strong and, most of all, FUN. This Jem/Jerrica seems boring, sad and WITHOUT HOLOGRAMS!?!?! Will there be action sequences? Doubtful. This Jem looks as if she doesn’t want to ruin her hairdo or makeup. Ugh. I detest when female characters are minimized in what could be a fun and exciting role.

I really had hoped for more from this attempt, but it’s clear that movie execs don’t want my demographic (I.e. women who watched the cartoon) in the seats for this one, they are trying to reach a younger audience who don’t have fond memories of playing with their Jem dolls as kids, the dolls that had a switch in the neck that turns on the famous earrings. Clearly they figure my age group doesn’t go to the movies anymore and it’s a bummer.

Finally, what also annoyed me was seeing some of the other posts about the Jem trailer last night, various guys saying, “Well it could be worse, at least it’s not as bad as the Transformers or GI Joe reboots.” Um, yeah it is, just because you didn’t watch Jem as a kid, doesn’t mean that this isn’t as disappointing for those of us who did. (FYI, I was also disappointed by the Transformers and GI Joe movies too and I’m a girl, so yeah, there’s that). Just because Jem was considered a “girl” cartoon doesn’t make it any less than the “boy” cartoons. It’s disappointing for the fans, plain and simple.

The fact is, Jem and The Holograms was special for me and I’m bummed out that the movie seems to have gone the route of so many “chick flicks” (I detest that term). Oh well, I can always just watch the cartoons and enjoy it in all it’s colorfully wonderful splendor.

Tell me, where you a JEM fan growing up? What do YOU think of the trailer? Sound off in the comments!