Movie Thoughts: Vampire Academy

February 10, 2014 Movie Review 24

 

Welcome to Day 7 of Vampire Academy week at Forever 17 Books!

Today is the last day of my week long Vampire Academy celebration and what better way to end it than with my thoughts on the movie, right?

Thoughts heading in:

I talked a bit about my thoughts on the movie in my Vampire Academy book review that posted a few days ago. But I’ll state them again here. I was not impressed by the movie trailer when I first saw it.

I hadn’t read the books yet but this was not making me rush over to my shelf to pick them up, that’s for sure. It seemed cheesy? And like a comedy or parody of some sort. I assumed it was the direction the producers and directors decided to take it to help distant it from Twilight. When I did finally read the book I could see the trailer in a little bit of a better light but I was still unsure of the direction. I mean, that tagline is horrendous to me. But I hoped it was just the marketing because a few of the newer clips and tv spots seemed better. But still, I was nervous. Because seriously, these books are super amazing and not at all cheesy or corny.

Aftermath:

Obviously all of my thoughts here are going to be spoilery of the movie. This is a tough one for me because I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I’m not usually picky about movies and tend to enjoy most of what I watch, even when others don’t. BUT I am super picky about adaptations. Hence the dilemma. In all honesty, if I didn’t read these books I would have never been interested in seeing this movie. In fact, after I read the books I tried to talk a few friends into reading them and they aren’t really interested because they saw the movie trailer. Ouch. But regardless of my issues, it is always nice to see some characters and scenes come to life on the big screen.

Casting

Hmm, I’m not so sure how to tackle this but in some cases I felt like the acting was off and in some cases I felt like it was the lines they were given to deliver that were cringeworthy instead.

Rose: I loved Zoey Deutch as Rose. She is pretty awesome at delivering that sarcastic tone and snarkiness that Rose has in the books. Plus the girl is seriously gorgeous! My complaint here was that they took that Rose character and amplified it by a trillion, it felt like. It was comedic overload. Way too much. Rose is way more subtle than that in the books. That’s where the movie takes on this parody tone. The books are pretty serious and though Rose can lighten it up in the books when needed, it was just too much here.

Dimitri: I’m still undecided here. Going in I thought he was great for the role but obviously a lot of these actors are unknown and I’m just going off looks. lol At times I had a hard time hearing him. Was that just me? It was like he was speaking really quiet and quickly. I couldn’t enjoy the accent as much as I wanted, or maybe that is what helped make him harder to hear. Some of the lines didn’t work when he did say them. I don’t know, I’m picky. He didn’t do too bad though. And he kicked ass in the action. Can we talk about his hair? Too long, in my opinion. Really it was the combination of the hair and the clothes that got to me. The duster was a must but the high collared shirt combo with the hair made him look too old. LOVED when his hair was pushed back though.

Lissa: Another I’m not really sure of. Some of her lines were really stupid and made me cringe. But that’s probably not her fault.

Christian: Yeah… his character didn’t work for me like I hoped. Again, a few of his lines felt so forced. He is so much more badass in the books for how he was portrayed here. He seemed weak in the movie.

Mia: I actually didn’t mind Mia too much in the movie. She nailed the bitchy mean girl, for sure. It wasn’t until later on where she had some moments that felt ridiculous.

Relationships

From before I saw the movie, Zoey and Danila were super adorable together and had such cute chemistry. I wish I saw more of that onscreen with Rose and Dimitri. At times I felt it but they really glossed over a lot of this relationship. This is what I wanted most! GIVE IT TO ME! The lust charm scene was probably my most anticipated scene in the whole movie. I mean, c’mon! But it went so fast and their lines during it were so stupid. I wanted to feel the swoons, not laugh. And it was so short! But their training sessions were a lot of fun. And I liked how they perceived it at the end. There were really cute together.

  

Rose and Lissa were great too. They played up the friendship a lot. Some of the other aspects of their connection fell flat though. Rose was seeing through to Lissa way too much in a little amount of time. And the constant back and forth to Rose during those times so we could get her commentary wasn’t necessary to me. She could have saved it for a thought or two afterwards, when we jump back into Rose POV. The itching and scratching was just weird.

Christian and Lissa had no onscreen chemistry. Rose had more chemistry with Christian than Lissa did in this movie.

Action

I thought the action was great. I mean Dimitri and Rose were awesome with their fighting skills. Danila and Zoey must have done a lot of work to train for that and it showed. I wasn’t let down in this department at all.

Effects

Terrible. Because the first thing that keeps coming to mind are those psi hounds. They were laughably bad. Everything about that scene made me cringe. They look worlds better in the below pic even but in action they looked so fake.

Book to Movie

Overall they followed the plot pretty well, just not the tone of the book. Why did they go in this direction? It’s sad because it alienated so many people from wanting to see it. Yes it is a YA novel but adults are a huge percentage of people who read YA too so making something that focused on high school drama and teenaged comedy didn’t work for me here. Yes there is that in the books but not at the same level. How would they ever make the rest of the series like this? The books have such a strong and serious tone that would never work in this style.

Do I recommend? Eh. Hard call. If you go into it with an open-mind, knowing what to expect, than I think you may enjoy it better. The first thoughts that entered my twitter stream after it premiered were all pretty positive. Looking back, most of those were from authors. Obviously authors are going to support each other and the movies made from their work. But then later on I started to see the negative too, from readers and bloggers, and unfortunately that is what I’ve seen the most of. And the box office totals were terrible. But really, it was okay for me on a whole. Interesting enough, the man in the row behind me laughed out loud a couple times and seemed to be having a great time watching it. I won’t comment about the older men (50-60’s) who came alone to see it. O_o

Have you seen it? Will you go see it? Thoughts? I’d love to hear what others think/thought of this movie! I hope you enjoyed this week long celebration! Don’t forget to go back and see what I thought of all the books!

Vampire Academy Week:

Day One – Vampire Academy review + GIVEAWAY

Day Two – Frostbite review

Day Three – Shadow Kiss review

Day Four – Blood Promise review

Day Five – Spirit Bound review

Day Six – Last Sacrifice review

**Oh and don’t forget you can enter to win a paperback of Vampire Academy! **

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

24 Responses to “Movie Thoughts: Vampire Academy”

  1. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Ugh, I was afraid of this. Other than Zoey as Rose, I pretty much hated everything else about this. (Haven’t seen the movie yet) I hated the direction they took with the movie and the casting. And it sounded and looked cheesy. What a shame because these books are so amazing. I think making series that have more than 3 books into movies is such a bad horrible idea! It worked for Harry Potter because they started off as kids so they grew as the characters did in the book. IF for some crazy reason the whole series gets made into books, and they make one a year, it will be over by 2019 or 2020. Will people still be interested when some of these actors will be well into their 30’s maybe and still supposed to be in high school? I still think they should give all these book series to the damn CW and they can turn it into gold. They have the demographic they are looking for for fans of the book and for finding new fans.
    I think this is a huge wake up call to directors. Yes, you may know best about movies, but you NEED to listen to the authors input because at the end of the day, no one knows the characters of the fans like them.
    So sad. Not sure if I want to go see this and have this series ruined for me…
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (88) + Weekly Recap!My Profile

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      I thought the same thing when they made TMI: City of Bones into a movie (well before it bombed). How would 6 movies work if they did they all? The actors would be super old, especially when a few were already cast too old anyways, to play teens.

      If you do go see it, I’d love to hear what you think!

  2. Wendy @ Book Scents

    I thought it was okay. I enjoyed it enough. I thought Rose was SPOT ON, I liked the snarkiness. However… there was some cheesiness going on that I wish wasn’t there. Christian sort of worked for me – not at the beginning but he def grew on me. Dimitri… did not work for me. I just pictured him way different. Like.. taller and more like… lean muscle? I don’t know, but I didn’t get the swoony feelings for him that I did in the book. (however, when he scoops her up at the end and calls her Roza, THAT I liked) I just wish it wasn’t as cheesy. It followed the book really well though. I totally agree — did not need the teenaged comedy. Also, it wasn’t as bad as that first trailer made it seem. I desperately wish they hadn’t put together that trailer to market it because I think that turned a lot of people off of it. And the movie really wasn’t like that as much. Overall, it was ok. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. I kind of still want to see Frostbite as a movie — maybe they’ll cut down the cheese and get it right!
    Wendy @ Book Scents recently posted…Love For Books Giveaway Hop!My Profile

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      Most people seem to be pleased with Christian, like you, from what I’ve seen. I’m not sure why he didn’t work for me but really it was probably his dialogue and what he was given to work with. I think the trailer did a lot of damage too. All my friends who saw it were completely turned off… from the series completely. Sad for Richelle Mead.

  3. Jennifer @ Some Like It Paranormal

    I’m going to see it Tuesday and I’m excited and trying to keep an open mind. But I also do not like how they are over doing the whole “mean girls” high school drama/comedy angle. I mean just cause it is by the director of mean girls didn’t mean they couldn’t go in a different direction. Like you said I think the tone of the books is way more serious. I am sad it isn’t doing so good because Frostbite is my favorite book and I really wanted to see Adrian Ivashkov! But then again they might ruin my god like vision of him so maybe better it doesn’t get mad. LOL
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    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      Oh I know! It would have been great to see Adrian, if they didn’t screw him up which they probably would have. I also would have enjoyed Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise on the big screen. Well, done right. *sigh*

  4. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I have to admit Sara, I’ve been following your Vampire Academy week on here and I’ve loved it. You’ve made me really consider trying the books, as you seemed to enjoy them more and more as you went one, but I think even if I do read the books, the film will be a miss for me. I agree on your comment about targeting it to teenagers rather than the entire audience of teens and adults alike, both interested in the books and the film, and it’s sad that some people feel put off by the film to read the books. All of your reviews have been fantastic! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Review – The Geography of You and MeMy Profile

  5. Andreea

    I haven’t seen it and I don’t even know when it’s going to be released here in Germany but I can’t go to the cinema anyway because I don’t have time with my two little girls…
    But I do plan on buying the DVD as soon as it’s out.

    I have heard that the movie was very similar to the book but that it was too cheesy.

    Well, we shall see. I am still looking forward to seeing it.
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  6. April

    Nope… not gonna go see it.. lol. Just the fact that they got the whole tone wrong bothers me. I get that there are funny parts in the books, but for the most part there was some serious shit going on.

    I was so disappointed when I saw the trailer. Maybe I’ll wait till it gets put on Netflix. Even then I’m not sure I’ll want to see it. I wasn’t a fan of the casting either. I didn’t picture Lissa to look like a ultra tall drag queen.

    Oh and how could they gloss over Rose and Dimitris relationship!! Not!! Thats the bet part. I snagged the book on sale for kindle yesterday so I see a big re read in the future. Screw the movie. lol
    April recently posted…Review: The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. CarlsonMy Profile

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      I can’t put my finger one what it is about Lissa’s look that is weird to me. The teeth? IDK but when I see normal pics of the actress she is beautiful. They styled her all wrong I guess. A reread sounds great! I’m already trying to figure out how I can manage one. lol

  7. Joy (Joyousreads)

    When they first casted Dimitri, I was beside myself. He’s pretty much perfect for the role, as far as I’m concern. But then I saw the trailer. It was horrid and campy, much campier than Twilight. And that’s saying a lot. Needless to say, pass.

    And yay, for finishing the series!
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 100My Profile

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      Lot so people seem to hate the Dimitri casting. I’m not sure if it is because I read afterwards or what but I think he looks the part just fine, though they stylized him all wrong. He’s a good looking man. I prefer him with the short hair though. lol

  8. Lily

    I’m a huge fan of the books so i was so excited for this movie and despite the HORRID advertising this movie got when they released a few clips for the movie i thought they ere seriously good so i decided to check out the movie. BIG MISTAKE. I didnt like the movie at all. The casting wasn’t bad the script was just so bad some of the actors had no choice but to say some cringe worthy things in certain scenes. The movie literally seemed like a parody. I understand the the first book is the least serouis of the series but Oh My God they didnt do the book justice at all.they tried to make it funny but the movie came off awkward and cheesy in most parts. Sure they left all our favourite scenes in the movie but the execution of them was terrible and they changed some really good lines. Like really good one that they should have left in since lines they put in were awful.
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog
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  9. Giselle

    Ugh I was also very disappointed with the trailer when I first saw it. unlike you I had read the book and I was stunned at how different it was and scared that it would scare people off of reading the book which is so not that campy looking! I will still watch it, but my expectations are not that high and we’ll leave it at that >.< Sounds like it wasn't a complete fail I guess.
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  10. Ria

    Okay…I kinda loved it! Maybe it was the 2 glasses of wine I had and the 3 hours spent away from my fiancé and screaming child…LOL! Jk! I thought it was okay I HATED Mia’s hair…just because she mentions the curls in like EVERY scene!! and Lissa’s face is SOOOOO round. The queen though? Killing it! Loved her!! I’m totally with you on every other character you mentioned. Loved your reviews thank you for sharing!!
    hugs
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  11. Pam@YAEscapefromReality

    Ok, first I just have to say that my co-blogger and I just went and saw this today and it was just us two in the movie theater along with one 50 year old guy there…alone. So that is hilarious that that happened to you too.

    I actually really enjoyed the movie, although there were definitely some cringe-worthy moments, mostly with Lissa. I loved Zoey Deutch as Rose, but there was just something about the actress that played Lissa…I don’t know. And Dimitri’s hair…why can they change other things in the movie but not change that? And that never made sense in the books anyway since there’s that whole thing about Rose thinking about cutting her hair to show off the marks on her neck once she kills a Stroigoi (sp?) and then there’s Dimitri with his long hair. Oh well.

    Let’s just hope it’s a decent enough hit so that the second movie is made so we can see who is cast as Adrian!! 🙂
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  12. Lauren

    “If you go into it with an open-mind, knowing what to expect, than I think you may enjoy it better.” YES, my thoughts exactly. It was tough to do that, given my intense love for this series, but I think I was able to have fun when I just let go. I loved Zoey as Rose, but I also had a hard time hearing Dimitri, and that kind of bummed me out. Also a lot of the editing was rushed. But I still liked the chemistry and the friendship between Lissa and Rose, so I had a good time overall. I definitely want to see a sequel because Adrian is the one I would like to see on the big screen the most. Great balanced review! 🙂
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  13. Wendy Darling

    Hah, we talked about this in depth, but I agree that they should have cut Danila’s hair. I know it’s long in the books, but it can come off so cheesy most of the time! And I’m so bummed about the lust charm scene, too. That was so sexy in the book and it was so fast-forwarded and glossed over, like you said.

    We totally went into this with an open mind, by the way, and unfortunately it just still didn’t work for us, maybe because we are such huge, huge fans of the books and were so disappointed with what they did with the characters. I’m glad you enjoyed it, though.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Literary Swoon 2014: YA Authors Dish on their Fictional Crushes!My Profile

  14. Alise

    Yes! That trailer completely wiped the joy off my face and turned it into a grimace. It had such a clique/mean girls vibe it almost had a sort of parody feeling. I went into it expecting the worst and ended up really liking it! It’s really sad how it’s getting so many negative reviews 🙁

    Our feelings about this movie are almost exactly the same! I loved the casting for Rose but I am SO conflicted about Dimitri. He seemed kind of awkward to me and yeah-I couldn’t hear him either. Too fast and the accent was kind of hard to understand. It’s weird because I listened to an interview with him and his voice sounded fine-and he has a natural accent so I don’t know who decided that he need to have even MORE of an accent. And yes-THE HAIR. Yikes. Sometimes it looked okay but other times *cringe* I think it would have looked better if it was parted down the middle. But, little things.
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