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Grand Moff Talkin'

Jem and The Holograms (2015)

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I recall hearing when the first trailer came out how people thought it was ripping off the "Josie and the Pussycats" movie. Which is inaccurate, I think, since it basically looks like a distaff version of Justin Bieber's rise to fame with maybe some "do you have to choose friends or fame and fortune" message thrown in, and lacks any of the self-awareness that "Josie" had. (And thank heavens. Can you imagine a generation of kids thinking "Jem and the Holograms" was an underrated satire?)

 

Also, I love how the commercials try to entice people by saying, "From the studio that brought you 'Pitch Perfect!'" Like, that's somehow less trustworthy than "from a producer of [hit movie]!"

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I remember seeing the poster and to me it looked like when College Humor would make a fake trailer of a dark re-imagining of a kids cartoon, yet the trailer is not even in the same ballpark in tone as what the poster seemed to be giving off.

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It looks like "Josie and the Pussycats" with PTSD. I think we're going to find out that Jem is in some sort of "Jacob's Ladder" kind of situation. Seeing the trailer, I have absolutely no idea who this movie is for.

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From the director who gave us never say never, I had to look that one up because I was clueless.

and my reaction, THAT'S WHAT HE'S KNOWN FOR!! that and GI joe.

 

Now I have to rewatch the trailer because I got interrupted by thought.

 

Is that Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis!

 

ok, the music doesn't seem too good, fluff ball garbage. was any of that from the cartoon i didn't see it so.

 

what happen to all of the 80s hooker hair.

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Not only is the movie yet another terrible remake of a cult classic of 80s pop culture (currently a 23% on RottenTomatoes and still falling), but the review from the Grantland writer even gave the podcast a shoutout:

 

"But what it lacks in humor it makes up for in sheer weirdness — it’s a master class in How Did This Get Made?" (http://grantland.com...-the-holograms/)

 

Plus, I don't know if she ever watched any of the cartoon when she was younger, but I'd love to hear June's take on how the movie turned the empowering character of Jerrica Benton, an independent and incredibly successful business woman who moonlights as a musical superstar and full-time philanthropist, into a weepy teenaged girl with stage frigh (who only becomes famous because her sisters secretly uploaded a video of her to Youtube), and is nearly impossible to empathize with.

 

...and of course Jason will have something hilariously disgusting to say as well.

 

It's probably not likely for them to review it while the movie is still in theaters, but I would expect it to be on VOD soon enough.

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From io9's review, (titled "Jem and the Holograms Fails In A Way I've Never Seen A Film Movie Before")

 

Not only does Jerrica/Jem narrate the entire movie through a video-blog she’s recording on her laptop (and there’s the usual amount of “found footage” action here and there too), but director Jon M. Chu has gone out of his way to intersperse actual YouTube videos with the action.

 

 

The YouTube videos inserted into Jem take two forms. There are videos that Chu solicited from fans of the 1980s cartoon, talking randomly about how much they love Jem and the Holograms, and those are dropped in here and there, whenever Chu feels the need to try and convince us that we should care about these lifeless characters.

 

More fascinatingly, though, whenever the movie reaches one of its rare moments of drama and conflict, suddenly a YouTube video of people randomly having a drum-circle or beatboxing or breakdancing gets intercut with the action. And the soundtrack of that video becomes the soundtrack of the scene—so it’s like when Jem gets (feebly) angry or assertive, the beatboxers or drummers are expressing Jem’s emotion. Or maybe Jem is powered by the collective emotion of all the people posting amateur videos on the Internet. It’s hard to say which.

 

In either case, this movie outsources its biggest moments of narrative intensity to random YouTube vids, which is a filmic choice so incomprehensible, I’m tempted to intrepret it as some kind of grand statement of Dada anti-meaning. Like, there’s no functional difference between this studio-produced Hollywood movie and some incredibly rough, totally uneventful YouTube videos, because both things are just meaningless successions of images. Un Chien Andalou via Pewdiepie.

 

 

YouTube videos intercut with the film? That sounds pretty bad.

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From io9's review, (titled "Jem and the Holograms Fails In A Way I've Never Seen A Film Movie Before")

 

 

 

 

YouTube videos intercut with the film? That sounds pretty bad.

That sounds like what Uwe Boll did in House of the Dead by randomly cutting in gameplay footage of the game as his form of scene transitions. Also, whenever a character died, a shot of them spinning on a lazy Susan would be shown and then fade to red like a game over screen.

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As we expected, Jem and the Holograms completely bombed at the box office this weekend. What we didn't expect was just how bad it bombed.

 

The estimated box office for the weekend is a meager $1.32M over 2,413 theaters, which averages out to roughly $547.04 per theater, making it the worst wide release opening weekend EVER for a movie released by a major studio. Experts are wondering if the movie will even be able to make back its $5M production budget.

 

Now it absolutely has to be done by Jason, Paul, and June.

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I thought the Sandler film Men, Women & Children got less when it went into wide release because it earned around $505 per theater. But then I saw it was for a movie in 600+ theaters which I guess still makes Jem the record holder since it was in a lot more theaters.

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If we're taking in all movies released by major studios, regardless of the theater count, then I think the "winner" for worst opening weekend goes to Blonde Ambition starring Jessica Simpson (2007 remake of Working Girl).

 

That film, which was released by Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Entertainment, was released in only 8 theaters in Texas and had an opening weekend box office of $1,332 ($165 per theater).

 

It eventually was released on DVD, and has suprisingly made over $11.5M in sales (which still pales in comparison to the film's $40M budget).

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That's kinda expected though of a movie released only on 8 screens. Hell Zzyzx Rd. with Tom Sizemore and Kathryn Heigl only made $34 TOTAL for it's week long run in a single theater, which was meant as a way for the director to be able to distribute the movie overseas.

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I think I read that it was something like 4th worst opening ever for a film with 2000+ screens. Right behind it was the new Bill Murray flick, also out this week. It was a (sort of) record breaking weekend at the box office! Pretty much every new release this week shit the bed.

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Okay, now they REALLY have to do this movie on HDTGM. After only two weeks in theaters, the movie is already being pulled out almost completely because it was doing so poorly at the box office:

 

http://www.businessi...15-11?r=UK&IR=T

 

The second week of the film only took in $387,925 (over 2,417 screens that's an avg. of $160 per theater)

 

"Theater chains are contractually obligated to hold a film for two weeks after booking it. However, in all my days as an analyst, I've never seen a studio actually stop reporting after two weeks," Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst at Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider Monday. "This is unprecedented, and shows just how badly this film flopped. Not only is it the lowest-grossing debut for a studio film this year, but it's the worst all-time — by a considerable margin — for any film released in 2,000-plus theaters."

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I often wonder with throwback properties like this why we can't get the full, nostalgic experience. Why not a two-hour 80's-style cartoon movie with the original voice actors, "vintage" animation and in-jokes? It worked brilliantly on that one episode Community where Jeff overdosed on "youth pills" and Scotch and had a G.I.Joe cartoon-like dream.

 

Why do we need this continual parade of repro properties from 30 years ago with Gen-Y/Millennial updates, anyway? Why is this generation being robbed of having their own nostalgia? When they are in their 30's and 40's, are they really going to fondly remember this shit?

 

I'm in my early 40's and I have fond memories of Robocop, Point Break and Total Recall. These youngin's will have not-so-fond memories of how all of the remakes of these original films were uninspired, tedious and boring.

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Okay, now they REALLY have to do this movie on HDTGM. After only two weeks in theaters, the movie is already being pulled out almost completely because it was doing so poorly at the box office.

 

Who knew making a movie based on an 80s cartoon that most kids haven't heard of and then ignoring everything the original fans liked about it would result in such a disaster?

 

It's funny, because in the reports about the movie being withdrawn, people mention how Universal had some of the biggest hits of the summer and year. Which makes you wonder how exactly losing money on a $5 million project affects anything. I don't think it even brings down their average gross that much, considering they have like five movies that brought in hundreds of millions.

 

I often wonder with throwback properties like this why we can't get the full, nostalgic experience. Why not a two-hour 80's-style cartoon movie with the original voice actors, "vintage" animation and in-jokes? It worked brilliantly on that one episode Community where Jeff overdosed on "youth pills" and Scotch and had a G.I.Joe cartoon-like dream.

 

It's not quite what you're describing, but the last time we got a two-hour cartoon-style movie where the creators were clearly familiar with the original, it was "Speed Racer" and it flopped.

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Yeah but doesn't Speed Racer fall into that niche category of cartoons that a select group really follow and enjoy? To me that would be like trying to make a live action Robotech or Star Blazers movie today and expecting it to bring in huge box office returns. I know that Speed Racer is a bit more well known in the US than Robotech, but not so much that it would be like TMNT or Transformers in regards to popularity.

 

I do find it odd that they are saying that this is such a huge flop when it only cost $5 million to make and only made just under $3 million, which isn't too bad considering there really wasn't any marketing for this movie and I believe both Fast 7 and Jurassic World were making $5 million per minute on each of their opening weekends. This isn't like John Carter or The Lone Ranger where hundreds of millions were spent and they only made a fraction of the cost back. Though I admit it is embarassing that the movie made less than $8,000 outside of the US.

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Yeah but doesn't Speed Racer fall into that niche category of cartoons that a select group really follow and enjoy? To me that would be like trying to make a live action Robotech or Star Blazers movie today and expecting it to bring in huge box office returns. I know that Speed Racer is a bit more well known in the US than Robotech, but not so much that it would be like TMNT or Transformers in regards to popularity.

 

I do find it odd that they are saying that this is such a huge flop when it only cost $5 million to make and only made just under $3 million, which isn't too bad considering there really wasn't any marketing for this movie and I believe both Fast 7 and Jurassic World were making $5 million per minute on each of their opening weekends. This isn't like John Carter or The Lone Ranger where hundreds of millions were spent and they only made a fraction of the cost back. Though I admit it is embarassing that the movie made less than $8,000 outside of the US.

I think that IS the sign of a true flop though, that it cost so little to begin with and couldn't even make THAT back. It's like it may as well not have even existed, because it was gone in the blink of an eye and wasn't even really seen by enough people to really even be able to make fun of it. I think that that's somehow worse than something like "Battlefield Earth", which cost a lot and did terribly, but is infamous and is still talked about to this day. It has a legacy. A SHITTY legacy, but a legacy none the less.

 

Jem reeked to me like a movie that got made just for the sake of making a movie. I imagine the rights were bought around the time of the great '80s nostalgia arms race that began around the time of the first Transformers movie and that Universal had just been sitting on them with no fucking idea what to do with them. Maybe it was about time for the rights to go back, and not wanting their investment to be a COMPLETE waste, Universal threw together the cheapest production possible so that at least in the worst case scenario there'd be very little to lose. At most, this would have been a happy accident if it made any significant amount of money, but since it didn't, it was easily abandoned. Even the expensive duds will play for a while, because there was THAT much more of an investment to recover, but this movie will be lucky if it's remembered at all.

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I'm starting to feel really bad for the people involved in making this. Nobody, especially young actors, would want this on their resume.

 

Honestly, I'm pretty torn about it. On the one hand, I have zero desire to see it, but on the other hand, I think the gang almost HAS to do it just based on how spectacularly it failed. Maybe they could do a live episode where they pair this and the recent Fantastic Four movie...

 

I wonder--and I'm honestly not trying to be hyperbolic--if HDTGM chose to do this movie, could the amount of listeners that would then rent or buy it just for HDTGM double its total gross? Someone at Universal should really get on that...

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I'm starting to feel really bad for the people involved in making this. Nobody, especially young actors, would want this on their resume.

 

Honestly, I'm pretty torn about it. On the one hand, I have zero desire to see it, but on the other hand, I think the gang almost HAS to do it just based on how spectacularly it failed. Maybe they could do a live episode where they pair this and the recent Fantastic Four movie...

 

I wonder--and I'm honestly not trying to be hyperbolic--if HDTGM chose to do this movie, could the amount of listeners that would then rent or buy it just for HDTGM double its total gross? Someone at Universal should really get on that...

 

 

didnt this kind of happen with a movie like gooby?

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I'm starting to feel really bad for the people involved in making this. Nobody, especially young actors, would want this on their resume.

 

Honestly, I'm pretty torn about it. On the one hand, I have zero desire to see it, but on the other hand, I think the gang almost HAS to do it just based on how spectacularly it failed. Maybe they could do a live episode where they pair this and the recent Fantastic Four movie...

 

I wonder--and I'm honestly not trying to be hyperbolic--if HDTGM chose to do this movie, could the amount of listeners that would then rent or buy it just for HDTGM double its total gross? Someone at Universal should really get on that...

I'm sure there would be a nice bump but, how much I don't know and with as small of a budget as this, it might make a dent in its losses but I don't think it would put it in the black. As for actors not wanting this on their resume, I'm of the mindset that EVERY actor has one or two movies like this on their resume. I feel it's better to get them out of the way early in a career so that you can push forward. George Clooney was in Return of the Killer Tomatoes, Leonardo Dicaprio was in Critters 3, Jennifer Lawrence was in the Bill Engvall Show, etc. If they do it later in their career it comes off as worse I think, just look at Nic Cages career for the last 15 years or Zac Efron's We Are Your Friends.

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It's not quite what you're describing, but the last time we got a two-hour cartoon-style movie where the creators were clearly familiar with the original, it was "Speed Racer" and it flopped.

 

Yeah, but Speed Racer was a spastic, seizure-iducing turd. Had it been produced in the "vintage" anime style, but with sly, modern comediac overtones, it just might have been a subversive cult classic (and yes, I know you can't "make" a cult movie al a Snake On A Plane, but humor me here).

 

I know it's too much to expect out-of-the-box ideas from Hollywood (especially when it comes to grafting those ideas onto well-worn properties in order to maximize profits), but a moviegoer can dream, can't they?

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I still have yet to have ever watched Speed Racer that movie has been PVRed more times in my house then any other film and yet never watched. I've tried to watch it and then hit stop or it's gotten deleted because of space needed on the drive. LOL,I kid you not. and it's got Matthew Fox and Christina Ricci how could you lose?

 

that and deathrace the remake, I love Jason Statham and Ian McShane, so I should, you would think. like this movie but I can't some how find the will to force myself to watch it.

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I honestly quite liked Speed Racer and think that it's a pretty fun and silly movie. The only real low-points are the chimpanzee parts. And I really think Jem and the Holograms would have been lucky to get the Speed Racer treatment, if in an alternate reality the Wachowski siblings did Jem in the same bright and fun way they did Speed I bet it would've been a real treat...

 

sorry, got a bit defensive about Speed Racer.

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