80s

The terrible tragedy that happened to Jem and the Holograms

Poor Jem.

For Three years and 65 episodes, Jerrica Benton and her friends transformed into a stellar band of pop stars – all with the help of a hologram computer and badass earrings. It was strange and dreamy and something that could have only been created in the 80’s. For many Jem was a shining beacon of everything cool.

That’s a lot of hard work for one 80’s pop star. After years of hard work being an absolute icon (reruns continued into the early 90’s), and creating generations of dedicated fans, Jem and her band the Holograms received their first live action movie. Last week the first trailer premiered and… it was this:

Well, at least there should be a trailer released for a movie about Jem and the Holograms, but where that trailer is is a complete mystery. The trailer that was uploaded couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the iconic TV show. There are no Misfits, Eric Raymond is now a woman, there isn’t even a hint of original music (which would be ridiculous for a movie about a band). This packet of questionable material certainly leaves a lot to be desired. A lot.

Putting the Jem title on this is a bit insulting to fans. Fair enough if you want to make an uninspired, crap movie but if you claim something is based on a certain content, make sure it is there in some form or another. While it might seem like a lot of hoopla over a movie and a cartoon, people have to remember that this was a character who broke a lot of barriers. She was a young woman who could do everything: she could balance being in charge of a foster home and be a CEO of a record company.

Stefanie Scott, who plays Jerrica’s sister Kimber in the movie, told Superhero Hype:

“I think you have to see the movie to understand. You can’t put it all in the same movie, and I feel like it really does set it up in a cool way. I think a lot of the things that people think are missing are in there. You just have to see it to understand. You can’t put the whole movie in the trailer. I want people to see it so they can see it’s a heartwarming story,” she continued. “It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story about family, but the music is incredible and it’s really our rise to fame and then after that… I think it really needed to set up the story before we could get into everything.”

First off, isn’t the purpose of a trailer supposed to bring hype and excitement? Shows what people know…

But so much for girl power. Heartwarming and coming-of-age stories are so rare these days, right? Angst has its place, but it certainly doesn’t in a story about Jem. Girls need all types of women to look up to, and denying them a character that has power and talent is actually really sad. This is clearly a movie targeted at teen girls and probably not the 30-year-old fan demographic. Even still, it’s a bit insulting of the writers and anyone else involved to think that this is all young girls can handle.

But reminisce about the good old days because there is no way anyone could compete with Britta Phillips.

There is also a really cool IDW comic based on the show going on right now. Check that out to see how adaptions should be done.

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Vinyl Friday #5: “Pretty in Pink: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

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From the opening drums on “If You Leave” to the closing trembles of the mandolin on “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” the soundtrack for Pretty in Pink is front to back everything I love.

There’s something to be said for a record you can share your soul with. I know that’s a statement most people wouldn’t allow for a compilation soundtrack, but many of John Hughes’ soundtracks were different than most. Each was like a love letter to his movies and characters that could be shared with fans.

As a teenager, I deeply related to Andie Walsh. Not the whole “being torn between two men” thing (because let’s face it, I was no Molly Ringwald when I was 17), but the sort of inability to fit in knowing you were destined for something better. As the Suzanne Vega song says, “f you want me you can find me / Left of center off of the strip / In the outskirts and in the fringes / In the corner out of the grip.” It takes an outsider to know one. Plus she worked at an ultra-cool record store.

Still my dream job.

In 2012, there was a special Record Store Day release that was numbered and came on a bright pink vinyl. It’s super lovely, but unfortunately this isn’t it. I do have some comfort in knowing that if I was a teenager in 1984, I would still be buying this copy. This specific copy was found in an antique mall – just peering from the stacks waiting for me to pick it up. I had been a massive fan of the movie and its soundtrack and knew we belonged together.

And Jon Cryer’s Duckie remains to be the ultimate in cool/’we’re pretending he’s actually a dork.’ I know I’m married and everything, but this character still remains one of my biggest crushes. As I watched this movie growing up, I knew I needed to be with someone who loved Otis Redding as much as I did. Found him.

Anyway, I mean just watch this clip of Cryer reviving his classic character on this week’s Late Late Show. He’s still just as cool:

The soundtrack is full of what are now considered many of 80s alternative staples like OMD, The Smiths, New Order and Echo & the Bunnymen. But in 1986, not many of these bands were massive names in the States. John knew what songs would help create the character of the music-obsessed Andie: all the must-haves with the carefully selected odd track by fringe bands like Belouis Some.

This particular record holds such a part in my heart. Even though I’ve grown a bit older, this still sounds how it feels to be…me.

I was definitely born in the wrong era.

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