Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts on – Jem and the Holograms (2015)

Even though we just did the review, we couldn’t contain our anger on this one…LOTS of anger.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Philippe GEORGES

    I watched the cartoon in the 80s and I kinda liked it then (especially the music), but when I look back at it there are a lot of horrible things in it. How the Misfits never went to jail, I don’t understand.

    Crimes they should be convicted for:

    – Attempted murder,
    – Arson,
    – Kidnapping,
    – Reckless driving,
    – Terrorism,
    – Bombings,… they even left someone in an active volcano.

    And people say Mortal Kombat is brutal and immoral.

    • I completely disagree. Well mostly disagree, anyway.

      I’ve heard this argument made several times before and looking through every episode careful a certain trend emerges.

      The Misfits never when out to the way to have anyone killed and neither did their boss Eric Raymond. It was alway one his hired goons who’d go that far, usually Zipper. When he first hires Zipper to mess around with the Holograms, he just says to make them nervous. After Zipper burns down their house (without planning to btw), he tells him do it right next time. Some how I don’t think pointed a bomb under their couch was exactly what he had in mind.

      The reckless driving I’d agree with and the kidnapping, but even than the girl in question had been working for them in secret and made herself a liability. They didn’t even plan on kidnapping her the opportunity just sort of arrived. As for leaving someone in a volcano, that was all Zipper’s idea. All suggested was find “some way” to kept Kimber from competing with them in the last day or a tournament.

      That was the last time we ever saw Zipper BTW, which suggests he actually went to jail and stay’d there because he couldn’t afford a good lawyer like Eric. Though it’s been suggested the real reason is some viewers found him to extreme and moved up the less savage mad scientist character Techrat to the role of main henchman.

      But here’s what most reveling. When Eric and The Misfits find out in one episode that royal conspirators that’s been working with in some made up country had actually been using them to plot an assassination, that make no hesitation to stop what they helped get started. They even rush the stage get Jem and the Holograms off before the time bomb goes off, risking there own lives in the process.

      So they got away with a lot of crazy shit, but I don’t they were ever as bad as some of the people they worked with.

  2. TragicGuineaPig

    You know, the show should have had someone die just once, just so they could go, “She’s dead, Jem!”

    • Well there was one moment Kimber fell off a building into a laundry basket and sound general shock she’d still alive. “I’m in one peace.” Although, I would have loved to hear someone say just once, “She’s dead Jem.”

  3. 10:21-:27 I think your absolutely right that this was not the movie the director set out to make. I read somewhere he’d try to sell executives on an adaption that would have been more faithful to the source material, but was told the premise was too hard to believe in a live action movie. Um, what!?

    First of all,if that were the case why not just make the movie animated? There were actually plans during the shows original run for a feature film that were canceled after the Transformers movie disappointed financially. Second of all, THIS premise was too strange to sell to todays kids?! They could still buy the concept of Transformers, TMNT, and GI Joe in modern live action movie, but not a music executive who can moon lights as a rockstar unnoticed through high-tech illusions!?

    I hate to think that it’s just a sexist thing, but considering the last time a live movie adaptation of a western cartoon botched the premise so badly was Inspector Gadget, (a show that despite having a male character in the title role really depended more on his niece to save the day time after time) it’s hard not to wonder.

    • Simply put, if you’re out to make a “Jem” live-action movie but you think the premise to “Jem” is too hard to believe…why in the world are you trying to make a “Jem” live-action movie? To just plaster the name on a generic movie to get a built-in audience?

  4. I wonder what would happen if you guys WERE fans of the show. I mean, it would probably be the worst movie you ever reviewed! You’re not into GI Joe? You said it was one of your favorite nostalgic cartoons! I guess you might have changed your mind. It’s clop, not clomp.

  5. The guard is Veronica Mars alum Ryan Hansen who specializes in playing comedic idiots/douchebags. So I’m glad to hear that him doing his thing was the high point of the movie. He is really good at it.

    As for how to make a Jem movie:

    Before I saw any material about, I was expecting something like The Brady Bunch movies. And I was okay with that. I’m not a Jem fangirl and wasn’t growing up, but even if it wasn’t a great movie, I was hoping for an exuberant love of ’80s cheese. Quote from actual movie “I don’t want to look like a fashion reject from 1986.” 🙁 Movie, you have completely missed the best possible universal point to a Jem movie, a love of the ’80s.

    A second option would have been to do it more seriously, with the fashion and make up choices made to garner attention since pop stars at the moment are not as colorful and out there as they were in the ’80s.

    A good plot: Jerrica & Kimber’s father just died and left them his share of Starlight Music. His partner Eric Raymond is being domineering and, kind of like Cinderella, the sisters aren’t getting their money because Eric overspending (possibly embezzling( to keep his top stars, the Misfits, happy. Do something with the disconnect between the haves and the have nots. Jerrica has a head for numbers and managerial skill. Kimber was “boy crazy” in the ’80s. Instead of using that angle, make her ADD, but a brilliant song writer (something she also traditionally does). After some conflict between the sisters Jerrica comes up with the idea of a band as a way to use Kimber’s strengths along with those of her friends/foster sisters to bring the Misfits to heel by creating a group to compete with them on their own level. Jerrica wasnts to hide her identity as Jem for fear she won’t be taken seriously in the business world if she’s an ’80s style pop singer, This pressure can be present in all future movies as it will not be resolved until she and Kimber have full control of the company. And even then it’s a perception thing, like you want your banker to wear a suit, not be covered in pancake makeup with a Flock of Seagulls hairstyle.

    Yeah, that leaves Shana and Aja to side, but that is how it always was in the cartoon. Do some good character stuff. If they got a second movie, focus it on Shana trying to balance her personal desire for a fashion career and being her own businesswoman with how the group needs her for its success. Set that up somewhat in film 1 when she answers the call to be a dummer, and then build it to a boil in movie 2. Build up Aja more as not knowing what she wants. I don’t think we know much about Aja’s background other than that she’s Chinese. So build her character as being torn between friends because before she lost her family, they were incredibly traditional and supported group harmony over individual success. Being Chinese-American and raised mostly in traditional Eastern values but in a Western country that values individualism, focus on the conflict of the two value sets for the character, and how she’s still trying to find a way to balance both sets of ideals, figure out who she is. Shana vs. Jerrica and Kimber really tears Aja apart, and film 3 focuses on Aja and includes a trip to China where she figures out how to be supportive of the family but also how to say no.

    Um… so yeah, there you go. Shana’s story was in the original show. Just do it better. I don’t recall Aja ever getting much of a story, so go for a route that allows for appeal to both Americans and Chinese viewers, with the end being some kind of blending of the two outlooks. Possibly also the best time to add Reya since she wasn’t there for all the previous drama, so she can be Aja’s sounding board, and while her family has been in America a long time, she can relate to Aja on issues of racism and cultural conflicts. Shana comes back at the end of movie 3,

    Again… I didn’t really care all that much about Jem as a kid. Or as an adult. I didn’t know I could be so pissed off about a movie for a show I didn’t care about. God, this was bad. The badness of the movie actually led me to start reading the comics because I’d been hoping for an ’80s nostalgia fix and was denied.

    Definitely read the comics/get the comics for your wives if they liked Jem. The comics are awesome.

    • All really good suggestions. Oh about Ryan Hansen. I’d forgot to mention in the original review that the movie did manage to get one thing from the cartoon right: the swiss cheese security!

  6. Rob, can you express your opinion in the form of a chart?

  7. The new ghost busters doesn’t look as bad as I feared it would turn out, usually female comedy is reduced to watching them scream, run around, then turn into some over the top clumsy thing either that or a really annoying femnazi, of course you also know anything involving a female is going to be turned into something sexual because Hollywood is full of Liberals and Liberals can’t help but think with their little head rather than their big head. But this one looks to go beyond and actually TRY comedy and not for either awkward laughs like most comedy goes for now.

    • That’s the weirdest anti-liberal stereotype I’ve ever heard of. I think it’s proof that the word has just become a word for “people I don’t like” among certain people.

  8. Scared for Ghostbusters yet?

    • I’m not enthused by the Ghostbusters movie trailer. I don’t think it looks anywhere near as bad as Jem looks.

      For me, the Ghostbusters movie looks like it misses the point of the original by not mixing seriousness with comedy in the same way (see SF Debris’s video on the original movie). But on the surface it’s trying. And while the tone seems all wrong, the basic character ideas seem reasonable.

      I expect it will be bad and repetitive, but I could see myself being amused by parts of it if I just wanted to let my sense of taste go.

      Jem on top of just looking wrong also looks mind-numbingly boring. And boring is far harder and worse to watch.

      • “Better than Jem”. Why do I have the feeling that might become the defense of every adaptation for the next six years? 😛

        But seriously, I’ll probably check out the remake. Just not on opening day. The good part about negative hype is that it lowers your expectations to effectively zero. I’m expecting something…thoroughly meh. But meh is better than bad. The newer trailers are better than the first. Not outstanding…but better.

  9. I’m pretty sure at least Doug is a millennial, if not both of them. Millennials start in 1980.

    • Depends on when you date it as starting. Generation Y has been listed as starting in 1980, 1982, 1983, and 1984.

      If you use the internet, Doug was born in 1981, so he’s on the edge between the two, and since the start date for the Millennials gets shoved back, probably more like late Gen X. Though an episode of the Nostalgia Critic having an identity crisis over what generation he’s in could be funny if he were watching the right movie. Can’t find a date for Rob, but being as he’s older, definitely the tail end of Gen X.

  10. Off Topic that i’m sure many people have said already: New Voltron series on Netflix. Check it out :3

  11. Mamma Mia is looking a little better now, huh, Rob? ;D Also, yeah, as a millennial, I dislike most millennials. Oh, and I never saw Jem very often so I was planning on seeing this movie. I knew that this movie wouldn’t be very loyal to the show but I thought it would at least be an averagely good movie. One last thing: Yeah, I remember liking the Josie and the Pussycats movie as a kid.

  12. TheSuicidalTeddybear

    it got 2 000 000$ in two weeks. even if it failed, people still saw it, so you can’t say “nobody saw it”

  13. Have never seen the show, and don’t plan on watching it OR the movie.

    I was wondering if you guys could do a real thought of the Nicktoons that you reviewed way back. I’d be interested to see if you guys REALLY do hate Hey Arnold and Rugrats (my personal favorite show of all time, although I would have to say Avatar is the BEST show of all time), or if it was exaggerated. I would ask for a real thoughts on Full House too, but I think that your review is probably pretty spot on 😛

    Thanks for the real thoughts, always enjoy them and the reviews as well! Keep up the good work!

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