So continues my fantasy movies and television month review series.
When one goes to watch a movie, seeing it received one star, there is a little bias when you hit play. The effect reviewers have on an art form is truly important—be it peers or professionals. You can do this sort of thing on a Sunday, and unfortunately for me, the outcome was how I expected it to be.
This movie was terrible.
I have not read Vampire Academy, but I do hear from many people that it is an excellent series. How could I do such a thing like not read the book before watching the movie? I spent many years in college grabbing two majors, and now that I do have time to read, I have enjoyed some books, but not as many as I would like, as I have 16 planned to write myself. I am friends with a book reviewer who told me not to read Vampire Academy, so I won’t. From what she says, the dialogue in the movie was almost exactly the same in the book.
Background. Fans fought to get the series made into a movie. There was a Indiegogo campaign for it. These people are impressive, and after the movie was released, many of them felt sad that the leading actors did not promote the movie through social media. One fan even called out the lead actors for not promoting the movie, and you can read the background story I read on movie pilot.
Let’s start with the two main characters.
The main character (we will call her Wose) talks excessively, which is a little hard to take in. At one point, a bird flies by her, and she’s like “woah guy, watch out.” She cannot just duck and be quiet, or issue a scream. Wose must comment on every little thing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s how it is in the book, too (says my hilarious source). Wose’s excessive yammering is really what knocked off a few stars. How is any actress supposed to act like that? I don’t know, when that isn’t the personality of any real person I’ve met . If you’ve met anyone like this, please, please, let me know. This Wose is also a half-vampire, called a Damphir, which are automatically body guards to vampires, no questions asked.
The best friend. The best friend is a Princess. The rulers in the town have monarchs. I’m good with that, as my book series takes place in London, and many monarchs show up. It’s kind of a magical thing in itself, and we don’t have anyone like that in the States. She’s not popular and no one likes her, but she’s pretty, so that’s weird that no one does. I’m saying that adolescent relationships tend to be quite shallow (says adolescent psych) so it is not very probable that no one likes her. She is also a good vampire. They have humans, half-vampires, good vampires, and evil vampires.
The plot. So, basically, the two best friends escape school because they are not safe or happy there, and then get caught and brought back to school. Then there is a dance, and a peer is turned into an evil vampire. The end.
The relationships. It is cute that the plot centers around two best friends and their relationship. I don’t mean “cute” in a sarcastic way. Friendship is a great point to write about. Romantically, there is a pyro-maniac vampire who is obsessed with the princess. Pyro-vamp is a little flat. They could have stood to crank up the volume of the crazy to make things more unique. There is also an over thirty-year-old mentor from Romania, that likes Wose, who is sixteen. This character has a few weird things about him that I will discuss later.
Points I didn’t like:
The vampires learn magic. That’s just weird, and elemental magic belongs to witches. Why would you need to live off of blood when you have magic? Apples and oranges. It felt like the writer couldn’t make up her mind about what she wanted her characters to be, and that the whole vampire thing was an afterthought, just so she can fit into the genre (remember, there are good vampires. I hear that these good vampires can be un-vampirized in the book, again, by my hilarious source). Why are they even learning magic? Is it like algebra? You need it to graduate and then hire an account in real life who knows wtf they are doing? Is it like learning imaginary numbers at 8am with a teacher with a scratchy voice? Drop the class like I did and get your partial refund while you can.
The mentor love interest: Okay, so I grew up videotaping Salior Moon every morning at 6:00am, in which, Tuxedo mask is somewhere in his twenties, and Serena is like, fourteen, but Vampire Academy goes too far. He is over thirty, which is TWICE her age. The mentor, Demetri, looks like her dad. He is not shown to be physically athletic even though he’s supposed to be a body guard (looks like a dad), has a brown pleather jacket, and even cheaper hair extensions, and you can tell he’s in his thirties. From the licensed Cosmetologist side of things, when a movie is made into a screenplay, sometimes you should make the decision to cut somebody’s hair. I think Demetri would have been better suited with short hair, that didn’t look like an awkward weave. I am so sure it was a weave. If anyone can confirm this, do. It doesn’t matter how attractive somebody is when you style them all wrong. I am also partial to black jackets. Brown jackets tell me that somebody lives in the desert. He is from Romania, which could be cool, BUT he pronounces her name “Wose”, when it is “Rose”. Accents can be cool, or funny, and like Krum’s Her-my-oh-ninny, in The Goblet of Fire, they can be both (Go, Bulgaria!). This accent was as awkward as when you cringed during the kissing scene. Didn’t I sound ridiculous using it by saying “Wose” in the first half? It sounds childish, and script writers should have made the decision to leave her name “Rose”. He now seems immature because of it. I know that’s unfair, but that is how it is.
The conclusion. Obviously, the dialogue and dad love interest really killed this movie for me.
In part, I avoid the dad love interest by not writing about sixteen year olds. Or, if there is some interest, my other characters put an end to anything happening, because some of them do have morals while others don’t. While I also put my foot down on sibling romantic relationships, which creep me out, there are better, smarter ways to be creepy that don’t have to do with incest. Those I do.
I think the things I noticed are probably what most viewers would say. There was an opportunity to start a slew of Vampire Academy movies, but it just didn’t work as well on screen as it did as a book. Rose had great stunt scenes, but I couldn’t take her seriously as a badass when she was so talkative. With a little more maturity in the lines, the whole movie could have turned out better. I also don’t like when sixteen year olds act too old for their age. Is a happy medium possible? A total rewrite of the character would have helped a screen adaptation.
It’s also a little late to market a movie as the next mean girls with a twist of good vampires. A few years earlier would have been better.
What are your thoughts?