Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Which is Better? Vampire Academy

I remember when the trailers for this movie came out, and rolling my eyes at it. I wasn't going to pay to see that movie, and it looked dumb anyway! Was it satire? Were they trying to appeal to twilight fans who desperately needed a fix of vampires? How is this movie a thing?

Vampire Academy came and went, and I thought no more of it until it showed up on my Netflix a few weeks ago. I was home alone, after a long day of work, and decided to indulge myself.

And you know? It was really entertaining.  I was sort of surprised it wasn't a bigger hit since there were a few comic book movies that were just as good as this one that did relatively ok at the box office. I googled, as we all do, on our phones when we want to know more about what we are watching, and I realized that it was a book (though the more I googled, the more I remembered that it was a series that I also rolled my eyes at when it came out) and that it was part of a series.

Were they going to make a sequel? I had to know.

Well, unfortunately, it bombed at the box office. The movie was funny, satirical and made exclusively for the teenage girl. AKA, the kiss of death. It's hard enough to market a movie that is satirical (isolating audiences, etc.) but one that was made for the teenage population? The teenage girl population, a part of the female population that the market never takes into consideration anyway? I'm surprised it was made at all.

It was heartbreaking the gofundme that was created to try and make the sequel failed. I hope it becomes a cult classic, like other movies that bombed at the box office,  and a sequel is made in the future, but since the fandom of teenage girls are often pushed to the side in favor of male nerdom, I'm not holding my breath.

So, as for the comparison of the movie and the book? The movie was great and it doesn't take away from the book at all and vice versa. I can see why the changes were made. For example, it's much more dramatic to have the cuts appear on Lissa's arm rather than her hurt herself after she tries to heal an animal or a person.

I also liked how the movie shot from the hip, much like the book, in telling the audience the world in which the book is written in. Within the first 20 minutes, you understand Dhampirs, Moroi, Strigoi and Guardians. You miss the other backstory, like the complicated relationships between Dhampir women and Moroi men along Dimitri's backstory that changes Rose's perception of "blood whores" but there was no way that could be fit into the movie.

There is more excitement and action in the movie with more appearances of Strigoi in the beginning, which was missing in the book. It didn't necessarily take away from the book that it wasn't in there, but it shows the differences of art and the interpretation of the story through different mediums.

However... Richelle Mead... what were you thinking with the title? I think the title, "Vampire Academy" was also the kiss of death when it came to the movie. It's just an awful title, and anyone who didn't know the book (like myself), would immediately write off the movie as some head of corporate who has no idea how to market to youngsters and was desperately trying to recreate the Harry Potter and Twilight craze. It might not have been your choice, but whoever had final say in the series title needs to be chastised severely. It might have been more successful if the title was different.

Anyway, I strongly recommend to go watch the movie if you have a night where you're in the mood for something funny and silly. It's cute, it's all about girl power and female friendship and there are vampires. What's not to like? Grab a glass of wine, watch it, and then go buy the book for some added fun.

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