I need a orange Fanta and Spanish sangria cocktail. STAT.
Zombies are all the craze lately. The Walking Dead is apparently the best thing since sliced bread. Like the Attack on Titan phenomenon, I don't get it. Cliches have rained perpetually on the zombie apocalypse genre. I don't see any fun in the stories, films, and games that featured this theme of survival over and over again with no resolution in sight. Not to mention I never cared about the drama between so many morons and assholes.
|Ok. This is one of the few exceptions.|
I can let some interpretations of vampires slide. If they spontaneously combust in the sun, that's fine. They are creatures of the night who fell from grace and gave up their humanity to the extent they cannot redeem themselves. If they can walk in the sun no problem, vampires become a predator that may be harder to detect. Anyone can be an undead if they can blend into society well enough. If vampires have super powers, that's fine. They are superior to us in many respects - at the cost of what makes them truly human. I can go on with this for a while.
Despite my willingness to be laid back, something comes around to test my patience. I kinda outgrew my interest in the young adult genre of books due to this problem. But going on too long about that would be a whole other post. To put it simply, I found many of the stories immensely anticlimactic, drawn-out, and shallow. Twilight is an example all to itself. Kelley Armstrong's The Darkest Powers series was another. With two disappointments, I was hesitant to read the Vampire Academy due to my PTSD. Thankfully, I enjoyed the books throughout high school with few complaints.
The illusion of peace the moroi - aka the "soulful" vampires for the sake of simplicity - cling to is failing. Despite having their own powers to defend themselves, they rely so much on dhampirs - half-human and half-moroi, or half-dhampir and half-moroi - as bodyguards to the point that the dhampir population is on a sharp decline. The wealthier vampires see no issue of changing their ways - mainly because they have enough influence that they can afford protection. Some of the students at St. Vladmir's Academy have seen the world beyond their secure bubble and realized how dangerous and cunning the strigoi - aka the "soulless" vampires - are. That motivates dhampir Rose Hathaway and her moroi friends to improve on self-defense and help their society before the system collapses.
The descriptions of the social dynamics between dhampirs and moroi in a way remind me of the world building of Mass Effect. You learn of the general expectations of individuals from each group to have cultural context for the conflicts that arise. At the same time you find outliers and outcasts painted in a respectful light. Most dhampir guardians are males; many females tend to get taken advantage of by moroi men or are single mothers raising their dhampir sons. In the story Rose meets a male dhampir who prefers working at a spa and be with his moroi mistress than fight. And some dhampir mothers, used as one night stands by moroi men, are just as tough and honorable as a guardian, despite their disgraced reputations. Even the moroi, while most prefer to hide from strigoi, have some individuals who'd rather fight alongside their guardians to protect themselves.
Unfortunately, as this is YA, it does take three or four books to get the non-high school nonsense done and over with. But along the way some social prejudice arises and some students question the effectiveness of the material they learn in school. Book five really gets deep into this meat and it's easily one of my favorites in the series. Overall, the books did not always highlight on needless drama and high school slut-shaming. Plus the romance between Rose and Dimitri actually has a better foundation of mutual attraction than I ever expected in a YA novel.
Sadly, the commercials don't want to capitalize the strengths of the story. Because Hollywood loves missing the point, all in the name of making a profit.
It's still a first impression, judge-a-book-by-its-cover opinion, but this movie does not bring me joy. I'm not sure if I'm happy or disappointed that I missed the showings. Its limited time in theaters and the overwhelmingly negative reviews tell me I should be grateful. On the other hand, I was one of the few people who begged for an adaptation. What I should have done was ask for a TV series, not a film. The Vampire Diaries had this treatment and it's doing well, so why couldn't Vampire Academy? At least the story could play out reasonably without cherry-picking what to keep in and what to replace with popcorn filler for the bored average movie-goers.
|This is missing a night-time filter and the CW's cheese.|
In the books Lissa is a thin, blonde beauty who was popular but genuine and kind. She loves animals and has a strong desire to heal the injured, which happens to be her ability. She's charismatic and loved by many, but her kindness allows her to pacify Rose's snarkiness and short temper. At the same time she's insecure, having to live to accept responsibilities she does not feel ready to handle. With a character description like this, I almost expected her to have somewhat soft or cute features. Or looking more like Daenerys in Game of Thrones, not a popular girl who got plastic surgery.
I know I sound petty about this, but if a male actor was picked for the sake of looks and did nothing for the character, I'd lash out too. Nothing against Lucy Fry as an actress, but the make-up crew made her look like the poster example of a prom queen. She's "stunning" in an uncanny, bizarre way like a porcelain doll of a supermodel. But considering how awful and hilariously cheap the fangs look on every vampire, I'll just say the production of this movie is at fault, not so much the actors and actresses.
|M-Mia? Oh, superior being(s), what did they do to you?!|
I have a feeling my problems with this movie will focus far more on its script and focus rather than the vampire lore Richelle Mead created. I really, really doubt this will justly stay in the spirit of the books. That depresses me tremendously. By this point I shouldn't be disappointed. Nothing can light a candle to the care and love in making the Harry Potter films. Look at how Narnia and the Percy Jackson films turned out when they banked on its popularity. Having any hope for a decent film adaptation is a joke by this point, especially if the creators picked this up for the sake of milking the questionable quality of the YA genre. And especially if the project lost its appeal a long time ago.
I don't want to know what could be the next target of this late-to-the-show trend in adapting to the film medium. Look, it'll be a video game or -
Damn it. Hit me some krogan liquor.