Harold Perrineau Defends His Daughter Aurora from Critics Saying She’s ‘Not …

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Corporate Synergy: The Focus-Grouped, Mundane Sci-Fi Mess of ‘Jem and the Holograms’.

Aurora Perrineau’s father Harold has slammed critics who stated she is ‘not black enough’ to portray the character of Shana in the upcoming Jem And The Holograms film. Hollywood repeatedly learns this lesson when fans clamor for a favorite TV show or movie to return…and are then inevitably disappointed by the reboot. Though the movie is supposed to focus on the positive aspects of finding and loving one’s own identity, many fans were outraged when the only two ethnic band members in the cartoon – Aja and Shana – were cast with a half-Japanese actress and half-African-American actress for the movie. ‘The reason I’m so angry right now (and I’m sure that many people will be able to understand this) is that I feel like my daughter – MY CHILD – is being attacked. Jerrica Benton (Nashville’s Aubrey Peeples) takes on the alter ego “Jem” and performs with her sisters Kimber (Stefanie Scott), Shana (Aurora Perrineau), and Aja (Hayley Kiyoko).

But then the movie’s lumbering, overstuffed, unfocused plot shows up, and whatever high hopes we might have had for this latest exploitation of 1980s nostalgia are slowly ground away. She is being harshly and unfairly judged during a time when she should be relishing her accomplishments.’ The actor then went on to try to unravel why there was so much anger surrounding the casting decision, and suggested that perhaps detractors should put their energy elsewhere. ‘We live in an incredibly creative time, where it may not be necessary to have big money and power to have your voices heard. Maybe it’s to see how certain TV actors aged (“Dallas”); to hold out hope that this remake will be better than the last remake (“Batman Begins”); or even seeing old cartoons in CGI (“Alvin and the Chipmunks.”) But sometimes there’s just a complete disaster. Why not use your power there?’ The cast of the film is a who’s who of young Hollywood talent, including Aubrey Peebles, 21, Stefanie Scott, 18, Aurora, 20, Eiza Gonzales, 25 and Hayley Kiyoko, 24.

Enter the live-action “Jem and the Holograms,” a movie based on the delightful ’80s Hasbro syndicated cartoon about a teenage girl (rocking some seriously colorful hair) who doubles as a rock star. It’s almost as noisy as those films because it’s about a girl band that finds Internet fame and, apparently, a pile of rejected Katy Perry orchestration.

The revamped live-action movie version of the hit ’80s cartoon premiered on Thursday in Hollywood, and all the movie’s young stars wowed on the red carpet, showcasing their individual styles. But when the film’s first trailer was released, its contemporary twist on the ’80s cartoon was criticized by some for venturing too far from the source material. Eiza on the other hand went for a slightly steamier look, and decided on black leather turtle-necked crop top paired with a sexy simple black dress with a seriously high asymmetrical split.

In this version, Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples, probably best known for her arc on Nashville) is a modern-day girl living with three sisters (two of them adopted) and her aunt (an underused Molly Ringwald) in a comfortable but run-down house in the Valley. Then the second trailer came out and introduced Synergy, Jerrica’s holographic computer that projected her stage persona onto her body in the animated series. He teamed up with [producer] Jason Blum, and because there’s a lot of music involved, he told Jason, “Look, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to need Scooter to help me.

Jerrica’s got a special gift, you see, but she’s shy about using it: Even though she loves to sing the songs she’s written late at night in her room, she won’t even think about putting them online. You deal with identity through [a new lens]: Are you the person you post online, or who you are with your friends?” “After doing Step Up 2, and then 3D was in New York, which in between those I created the LXD, the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, and we did that because YouTube was just starting, and we challenged Miley Cyrus to a dance battle.

So her wily baby sister does it for her under the Jem pseudonym she’s created—and faster than you can say Snapchat or Boomerang or whatever the kids are into these days, her strummy little homemade ballad has made her a bona fide, mystery-shrouded sensation. That’s when Starlight Enterprises CEO Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis) comes calling, sweeping all four girls away to her L.A. lair to mold them into superstars.

And the balance of trying to maintain what you loved about it but also giving your spin is one of the great exercises in finding your own vision.” “[Talent manager] Scooter Braun called and said, ‘There’s no money in this, but it seems fun.’ The airline had no idea what the f— we were making and the FAA had no idea. We know she’s nefarious from the start—but she’s also, against all biological probability, the mother of Jem’s requisite romantic interest (28-year-old Ryan Guzman, a.k.a. the guy who loved J.Lo’s cookies in The Boy Next Door). Further plot complications come from Synergy, a cute little robot who whirs like a highly evolved Roomba and leads the girls on an elaborate scavenger-hunt-style chase designed by Jem’s father for unknown reasons before he died.

It’s coproduced by Justin Bieber Svengali Scooter Braun, and you can feel what the makers are going for — Pitch Perfect with a rock band — and laugh when it turns into accidental outsider cinema by virtue of its inane plotting and bizarre choices. Chu, uses Synergy as an excuse for a treasure hunt subplot in which the girls, even as they’re riding the fame monster, track down pieces of the robot that Dad, for some reason, left in hiding places years ago and that, improbably, are still there. Like, you’re locked in and you have to watch it.” “I’d never done a documentary, but I’ve always loved Michael Jackson, I’d wanted to do a Michael Jackson thing, and I love pop music, I think it’s just fun, so the idea to tell a story through YouTube videos and through the music – it was sort of a musical documentary and I thought that was really interesting.” “I got a script for what started as a direct-to-DVD sequel to Step Up, and I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t do sequels, or straight-to-DVD movies.’ My mom called me a diva. I laughed out loud a few times, the hardest when Jem visits her childhood home in Los Angeles and it’s the same Angeleno Heights Victorian gingerbread house that played the whorehouse where Dick Whitman/Don Draper grew up.

It’s hard to tell.) Regardless, there probably isn’t a lot here for the greying Gen Xers who grew up with the cartoon Jem in their living rooms, unless they have tween daughters they really want to share this experience with. The producer defensively urged fans not to judge a movie by its trailer…but what else did they have to go on? “The project seems to go out of its way to basically an ‘in name only’ adaptation of the show. She said, ‘You haven’t proven yourself yet, so what makes you think you’re better than that?’ So I set out to direct the best damn direct-to-DVD dance- movie sequel ever.” “We were filming Nelly Furtado’s ‘Turn Off the Light,’ and there was this giant swamp set with water. It offers not a fantastically fabulous young woman and her equally bad-ass rock star friends, but rather a somewhat generic coming-of-age origin story,” Forbes wrote. “It’s a little disheartening to see the often spectacular and occasionally crazy source material turned into another generic ‘young girl doesn’t believe in herself and then gets corrupted by fame’ fable.” Naturally, the reviews are brutal. They dumped 14 pounds of acorn powder on top and gave me a stick and were like, ‘Stir.’ For 14 hours I stirred this stuff until it was mud, and I promised myself that I would never be a production assistant ever again.” “My final thesis was a 17-minute short about what mothers do when everyone’s away: They sing and dance!

Chu,1 responsible for several of the sequels in the immensely entertaining Step Up series and director of the two fascinatingly evangelical Bieber documentaries, has been tasked with making a musical for social-media-savvy millennials. Separated from its source material—and the unfair expectations of original Holograms loyalists (nostalgia: it’s a hell of a drug) —Jem is probably much better for not being outrageous. And yet the film seems inexplicably embarrassed by its roots, instead serving up half-baked and self-consciously contemporary drama that no one in the sure-to-be minimal theatrical audience will remember quite so fondly some 30 years on.” And therein lies the problem. Jerrica is having identity problems — am I me or my rock star alter ego? — that were mined more engagingly in “Hannah Montana.” The movie doesn’t put enough effort into any of these subplots; it seems to be merely tossing ideas into the pot that it thinks might appeal to 9-year-olds.

This is telegraphed through some experimental choices: location-establishing shots are shown on Google Earth and fake YouTube videos are woven throughout the film. Instead, it grabs for the YouTube generation by making Jem a heroine for every kid who has ever been fat-shamed, had parents who don’t listen, has been anxious about sexual identity and so on. As I was giving them to him, his assistant came by with a suitcase—it had, like, a humidifier—and said, ‘These are from Fidel Castro.’ All these amazing cigars.

It’s really different than it was in the ’80s, so it addresses social media, and how it really does all play out, and how the record industry, you can’t trust everybody. If you do a low-budget rush job (as “Jem” appears to be, with a reported budget of just $5 million) of any much-loved project, it only serves to make fans angry, and certainly won’t bring in any new ones. The performance sequences are jarring, mostly because making Jem’s music sound like Mumfordcore stadium folk-rock with Imagine Dragons live drumming contradicts the band’s stylization as ’80s rock stars. In today’s terms, that means they look to us like a 2000s electroclash band — with her pink triangular face paint and hair, Jem resembles a desexualized Peaches. I was super surprised that they made it as current as they did, but I thought it was really cool because it makes a cartoon that’s however many years old super relevant today.

Once it turned out that the “Jem” creator wasn’t even consulted, it should have been clear right away: The new producers could hype it all they wanted, but this project never had a chance. The movie’s “hit” song, “Youngblood,” combines shout-along folk rock with party pop but avoids veering into actual instrumentation or specificity. He said go into music first and then you can go into everything else, because movies take years, TV takes years — music can change your life in a night. I’m having fun, and I’m waking up every morning and my staff is waking up every morning looking at each other and saying, “What can we do today that would be really cool?” I cannot complain about my life.

Don’t sign that!” I just really felt for her, because when you’re young and naive, all you want to do is make music and do what you love, because you’re passionate about it. It’s unfortunate that people in the industry take advantage of that, but the lesson is that you need to keep the people that you trust and love around you and close — that’s really important.

The only thing that’s so different is that it’s so much slower, and you really have to put your trust in other people a little bit more than you do with music because there are so many more people involved with film and TV. It put an American twist on some anime tropes — a magical girl squad each of whose members are associated with a color (as in Sailor Moon), secret pop-idol identities much like those of superheroes, and, of course, a semi-sentient computer built by Jem’s dead father. The Jem cartoon was animated by Japanese studio Toei Animation, which did anime classics like Cutie Honey, Galaxy Express 999, Dragon Ball, and Sailor Moon. I really hope there is [a sequel], because first of all, that neon green hair is by far my favorite hair color I’ve ever had, but also, I so much enjoyed being on the set of the movie. The ’80s were strange in every possible way, and one of them was the innovation of reverse-engineering TV shows around which to build merchandising.

The idea of Jem has potential — bifurcating human identity into Internet/stage persona and real person is a rich vein mined by Hannah Montana and Perfect Blue alike. She’s fabulously high-camp as an evil record executive, in the grand tradition of Parker Posey in Josie and Gina Gershon in Showgirls — she knows what movie she’s in. Except the band in BTVOTD, christened the Carrie Nations, takes acid and gets naked and generally behaves in a way you might call rock ’n’ roll, including playing rock songs. Among the movie’s many odd choices is the one to depict the truly outrageous story in a semi-naturalistic fashion, rather than going cartoony or exaggerated. Jem, née Jerrica, finally discovers how to click her magic purple earrings, a transformation sequence that also clicked some weird nostalgic ASMR part of my brain that doesn’t remember much about Jem but instinctively remembers that much.

But she doesn’t even transform into Jem through this maneuver — it just triggers a hologram of her dead father to appear and explain his dreams for her. This was the point at which I found myself hoping Jerrica’s deceased father the robot scientist would reveal to his daughter that she, too, was a replicant, that her empathy and humanity were just programs her mainframe had been built to run.

If you’re driven and talented and you want something, there is a way to make it happen, so don’t ever give up on that — and also, just get a good lawyer.

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