Saturday, October 31, 2015

Jem and the Holograms Zero Stars

Image result for Jem and the holograms film stills

    "Jem and the Holograms," objectively speaking, is not only the worst film of the 2015 campaign thus far, but it is truly one of the most egregious pictures I've ever had the liberty of viewing as a critic of the art form itself. It is cheap, showy, infused with bland dialogue, and in a general sense, it is about as empty and soulless as any low-budget production from here to Timbuktu. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it contains no value whatsoever (whether it is in the realm of profundity or entertainment), hence the very poor rating.

    The film merely chronicles the rise to stardom of one Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peeples) and her flamboyant alter ego known only as "Jem" all while shamefully force-feeding audiences one-line motifs that become so unbearable that one will need a shot of penicillin just to remain coherent. (We are repeatedly told that it is okay to be who you are, that one should choose their own destiny, and that risk becomes necessary in order to live life fruitfully, yet these are all moot points considering the imbecilic spirit of the subject matter.) As a moral implication film, it is entirely mucked, and it would seem as if our writers here lack all knowledge of the concept that is subtlety. (The picture's inspirational dialogue is so repetitive and forced that one would have to have the lowest self-esteem imaginable in order to extract any sort of value from it.)

    Let's face it, "Jem and the Holograms" is nothing more than a melodramatic propaganda piece designed to enhance and spur the popularity of a culture that is defined by its intellectually undemanding naturethat being, viral culture. The question essentially becomes this: Should we really be surprised by this outcome? For, the presence of director Jon M. Chu, a man who piloted two projects dedicated to capturing Justin Bieber's implausible rise to fame, should only hint at the film's ulterior motive. To be quite honest, "Jem" would have served well as a simple allegory highlighting the self-identity issues aligned with viral celebrity stardom, and in the harshest light, it could have been a riveting satire aimed at the ludicrousness of the industry. However, this pro-democratization of talent emphasis is downright valueless; I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but not everyone is destined for wealth and fame. Democratizing talent (which is only one of several drawbacks of the technological era) only obscures true definement of natural aptitude.  

    As for the diehard fans of the original series, what can I say? The original animated classic captured the glitz, glam, and peculiarness that was the 1980s with relative ease. This rendition of your beloved "Jem" aims to encapsulate its relative era, and the result is not only unpoetic but absolutely ignominious.

    I'm sure that most moviegoers will find little worth when it comes to "Jem and the Holograms," unless, of course, one is Matt Zoller Seitz, a contemporary of mine who compared Chu's camera work here to that of Terrence Malick and who gushed over the picture's more heartwarming moments. (The former being an outright insult to arguably the greatest American auteur to ever have lived and the latter being a slight to the entire medium. Unforgivable.) I may be coming off as a carping critic at this point; however, a line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere. Pictures of this stature are simply an embarrassment to the industry.    

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