These Three Bros Will Completely Ruin the Upcoming 'Jem and the Holograms' Movie
This news is truly outrageous.
By Brian Moylan
There is nothing I hate more than the instant Internet reaction to the announcement of movie news or a casting decision where everyone instinctively rails against casting decisions. You know, the kind of torment Ben Affleck went through when it was announced that he would play Batman in the new Batman & Superman movie. How can these people judge the job he'll do when the script isn't even finalized and his rubberized codpiece hasn't been fitted?
That said, I just received word that there is finally going to be a movie based on the genius '80s cartoon Jem and the Holograms and I know, for certain, that is it is going to be an absolute piece of shit that will destroy the franchise forever.
The news came today from director John M. Chu (Jon M. Who, amiright?), the director of cinematic classics G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and Step Up 2: The Streets. It is clear that this man has never met a colon that he didn't love. Should we brace ourselves for Jem: Holograms? He is joined on the project by Jason Blum, a producer best known for making horror films and Scooter Braun, the man who manages Justin Bieber, which must be a horror show of its own. They made the announcement in a YouTube video.
It's quite fitting that Chu directed a G.I. Joe movie, because Jem was a cartoon around the same era. (The trio tells people, "If you have a cool mom ask her about it," which is mildly insulting.) But the thing about Jem is that it was an antidote to all the G.I. Joe guns and boosterism of the before-school-cartoon landscape. Jem was a story about a young woman named Jerrica Benton whose father passed away leaving her both a record label and an orphanage (yes, I know) to run. He also left her a giant computer called Synergy, and when Jerrica pushed her magic earrings (yes, I know) and said, "It's showtime, Synergy," she turned into Jem, an international pop star who had a band with her friends. But, like Hannah Montana after her, she had to keep her real identity a secret.
Jem was basically a 30 minute commercial for a line of Hasbro dolls, but back then we didn't mind being marketed to. The show featured not only the exploits of Jerrica and the crew and their mischievous competitors The Misfits, but it featured little "music videos" for each band. This was the early days of MTV, a channel too hot for most of us to be allowed to watch at the time, so the only way we could get in on the video craze was this cartoon. The songs were actually quite good, and the show was interesting, sophisticated, dealt with real world issues, and, most importantly, it was not G.I. Joe.
Jem was the show for everyone who didn't want to watch war dudes carry their guns against international terrorists with mirrored faces bent on some vague idea of world domination. Jem was like our big sister who had an amazing life, a super impressive car, great taste in music, the coolest friends, the best clothes (though most of them now look like creations for the fashion show in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead), and also happened to be a rock star. A rock star!
I can't tell you how many women I know who have started bands or gotten involved in the male-dominated world of indie music because they were huge fans of this show. Jem was literally an inspiration. She was also fighting for the underdog, all the girls (and young homosexuals) out there who were different and downtrodden. Jem was our hero and inspiration. G.I. Joe just liked to blow shit up.
And that is the problem with Chu and company. They are exactly everything that Jem was opposed to. Here are three straight guys walking with machismo through a video announcing a Jem movie. One of them carries a gun and one of them carries an axe and stands in front of a chord of split wood. This is is not Jem. These are some stupid bros who want to put Katy Perry in a revealing top and have her coo about how she likes boys to try to make a buck. They are not going to empower women or the underdog or stand for some sort of difference. They are what we are all fighting against. They are all Eric Raymond, the slimy record exec who would exploit girl bands for his own narcissistic purposes. They are the villain.
Even worse is that these three want all the suggestions from the fans on Twitter (don't forget #JemTheMovie) so that they can see what the fans want. OK, I have some suggestions for Hashtag JemTheMovie. How about hire a female screenwriter and director, fire all these fucking bros and make the Jem that some of us have been waiting decades to see the silver screen? That should be a good start. (Also, hire Katy Perry, but put her in something at least a little bit demure.)
Yes, this is probably a stunt to get the fans feeling more involved than they are, but it also seems like here are a bunch of dudes who don't understand the appeal of the show. It's like they sitting around a conference room asking, "What do women want?" and the only answer they can come up with is "I dunno, bra. Let's ask some chicks!"
For aficionados, Jem had two songs. One of them started "Me and my friends are Jem girls…" That's what Jem was about. It was about being a girl (sure, I wasn't one, but I identified with them more than I did the rough and tumble boys who were playing with world destroying robots that turned into cars) and being with your friends and trying to find the one thing that was cool in a male-dominated world. Jon M. Chu and his friends are not Jem girls. They wouldn't even know a Jem girl if one clobbered them with a guitar. And I wish they would leave this movie to someone who would actually know how to please all the Jem girls out there.