Saturday, March 8, 2014

Movie Review: Vampire Academy

So, I’ve been stewing over my thoughts of Vampire Academy for nearly a month and I think it’s safe to post this now (without much spoilers I hope for those that haven’t even read the books).

Well, it took around four years for it to finally make its way from the pages and into a visual life. Having been a fan since practically the very beginning of the books releasing when the series began, I’d been insanely excited when the announcement first broke a few years ago that book one of the series had been optioned for film, and shortly afterward picked up by Preger to seriously discuss producing the movie.

This excitement began to deflate within a year though. Maybe I made the mistake by joining the fan page at the start, I’m not sure. This announcement also happened not too long after the whole Twilight craze was starting to finally die down and it was hard to be part of any fandom involving vampires without that comparison from those that hadn't read it (i.e. "Is it like Twilight?" "Ugh, love triangle and vampires... it must be like Twilight." Etc.). 
Then the eagerness began to really turn into being an annoyance with the constant excuses and posts by the producers about the “project still being worked on” and “we’re getting there soon” and basically “oh we know it’s been two years, but we’re still looking at how we’re going to do this.” It just all began to feel extremely unprofessional and frustrating from a fan’s perspective. I mean, sure it was exciting that it’d been sold for movie production… but since they generally didn’t have any means to start casting, filming, etc. until the last year or so, I just felt like maybe after the first initial announcement, we could’ve sat on our excitement from there until it was time to make other really important posts (like official casting, first photos from filming, first trailers, etc.). Otherwise, all I felt they kept doing for the longest was building hopes, consistently letting them down, building them back up, and repeat. By the time it got to the real deal and they'd started making all the casting and filming posts, I'd lost most of my desire to care.

Also, I could’ve done without the note from Preger indicating how a “true fan” would love the movie. Because no. That was wrong on many levels to say to fans (or any potential future fan).

To try to get back on topic here and quit much of my ranting, I’d have to say the movie itself wasn’t as disappointing as I thought it’d be. At the same time though, it didn’t WOW me like I’d hoped either, but I didn’t go into the theater with high expectations after seeing the previews. Whether I loved it or not, there was one stand-out thing I noticed: the cast. One awesome cast--the majority fitting to their roles (if you’ve read the book series). For me it was like seeing the book quite nearly come to life.

It's pretty rare for me to like a cast so much when it comes to a book-movie adaptation since we all have our general idea who we imagine to play a certain character.
I wasn't fond of every cast member, but they were at least quite close to being fitting so I didn't complain when it came down to it.

This was not perfect, no where near it. An entertaining rush of excitement with some added humor--and when I say rush, I do mean rush. It was unfortunate that timing felt too fast and often found areas barely brushed over. Especially when it came to the development of Rose and Dimitri's relationship/romance. I didn't feel the build-up too much throughout the movie, not much of that tension, like we get through the book from the start. With the film, it rushed through this for me and I didn't get that "aww, sweeeeet" feeling until toward the end. For a non-reader, it might even be confusing at times with various areas.

Would I watch it again? Sure. Would I watch a sequel if they make it? Yes. And I hope they do… because the fans are screaming for Adrian. 

If you've seen the movie, would love to hear your thoughts as well!



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