When I heard Jem and the Holograms was being made into a live-action movie, my ‘80s-nostalgia-girl-heart soared. I loved the cartoon it was based on, loved the girl-power action, glamour, the magic behind Jerrica Benton’s transformation into the mysterious rock star. I even loved the dynamic that the rival group, The Misfits, brought to the show.

There was little of any of this in the actual film, save for the live-action version (Aubrey Peeples) having the same name as the animated character.  The girl-power action and the glamour were drowned out by the un-engaging dialogue and plot. The magic of Synergy was entirely different, which wouldn’t have been a bad thing, if it had manifested in a more thoughtful or exciting way. The Misfits didn’t bring any sort of dynamic because they weren’t even in the movie.

The movie version was realized by several people, all of them men, including Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. Other hands in the cookie jar included John Chu, of Step Up fame, Jason Blum, known for micro-budget horror films like Paranormal Activity, and apparently the inspiration for the updated plot was Justin Bieber himself.

I can’t blame this film’s failure on any one of these elements individually; they all worked well together to produce a culmination of disappointment.  My ‘80s-nostalgia-girl-heart was crushed.

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