Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Jem and the Holograms

Jem and the Holograms
Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, Aurora Perrineau, Juliette Lewis and Ryan Guzman

Rated: PG for thematic material including reckless behavior, brief suggestive content and some language.
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: October 23, 2015 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

Based on the 1980's Hasbro toys and cartoon series, this live action film follows teenager Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples), her sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott) and foster sisters Shana (Aurora Perrineau) and Aja (Hayley Kiyoko) on their whirlwind rise as a pop singing group.
They live with their aunt (Molly Ringwald) and have a good relationship with one another.  Jerrica is the shyest of the girls and writes and sings in her room a good part of the time.  She misses her dad, who passed away years ago, and puts that feeling into her music.  One night she films herself with the lights dimmed, wearing pink makeup and hair, and she loses herself in her song. Her sister uploads the video without Jerrica's knowledge and it goes viral almost immediately.
The tape touches a chord in thousands of kids, who are also dealing with loneliness and having a tough time fitting in, and before you can say, "Iron-clad contract", a record producer (Juliette Lewis, hamming it up in the part) sweeps into town and whisks the teens off to Hollywood to find fame and fortune.
Jerrica agrees to the arrangement because her aunt is losing their house to foreclosure, so the girls undergo hair, makeup and fashion makeovers and are housed in a mansion that is home to other music groups primed for stardom.  They're watched over by handsome Rio (Ryan Guzman), who keep them from getting in trouble.
There's also a back story that involves a cute little robot "Synergy" that their father invented.  It sends out holograms that are clues to a message he left for them.  The girls travel around, with the help of Rio, trying to piece together the puzzle.
Directed by John M. Chu (Step Up), the film is sweet with engaging performances and a good message.  Its a good picture for parents to enjoy with their teens.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Jem and the Holograms     C+   F                     D+ 

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