I know I’m tardy for the party, and I find it ironic that the first movie I’m going to review here just got canceled in Brazil… But I wanted to share with you all my Vampire Academy experience anyway. Specially for our friends in Brazil, who unfortunately won’t be able to go to the theaters and watch it—the Brazilian company that bought the rights to show the movie announced yesterday that they won’t be putting the movie on the theaters anymore, which left a lot of fans heartbroken.
But before I tell you what I thought of the movie let me tell you about the event Vampire Academy San Francisco Mall Tour, where I had the chance to chat a little bit with Lucy Fry (Lissa Dragomir), Zoey Deutch (Rose Hathaway), and Dominic Sherwood (Christian Ozera). When I found out that the cast was coming to San Francisco I had to talk to some coworkers and get my work covered so I could take that day off and head to San Fran. The event started at 2 pm, when they had girls doing hair and makeup to get you ready to take a picture on a very bad ass looking chair. They also had some props to make the pictures fun, like hairbands, necklaces, earrings, and such. Needless to say that the girls had a great time getting all dolled up for later, since the first 50 people in line got a wristband that was their ticket to the Meet & Greet with the cast.
The cast arrived in the middle of a Chinese New Year celebration—for those who don’t know, we have a lot of celebrations for it in San Francisco. They had some dragons dancing to the beat of drums around the mall, and it all started right in front of where the Vampire Academy San Francisco Mall Tour was taking place. After the celebration was over, the Meet & Greet started. They had us waiting in line and when it was your turn you’d walk up to the table and could talk to them and get an item signed—which could be a book if you brought one, or it could be one of the movie posters that they had already set aside just for signing at the table. They also took a picture of you with them.
I was one of the last few people in line and was able to chat with them for a couple of minutes. I told them that I’m from Brazil and that my friends in Brazil were very excited to watch the movie. All three of them had only good things to say about Brazilian fans, which was really nice. They said that Brazilian fans are the most passionate ones, that they’re really grateful for all support that they’ve been receiving from them.
After I talked to them and got the info on where I could download my picture with the cast, I ran into the person who was responsible for the event and the Vampire Academy movie twitter and Facebook page. I chatted with her for a couple of minutes and, again, she said how wonderful the Brazilian fans were and thanked me for coming. A few minutes later, I found out that she posted on Twitter a picture of me talking to the cast, which my friends quickly started going crazy about and made my Twitter explode with mentions
I had a great time at the event and it was really nice to talk to the cast. The entire crew was super attentive and it was so worth it to take the day off work and go to San Francisco for a day.
Now, onto the movie review. When I first saw the trailers that were released for the movie I was worried. I got the impression that they were trying to sell the movie as a Mean Girls meets vampires kind of thing. I get it that they needed to appeal new fans, and not only people who’s read the books, but I thought the tone on the marketing for the movie was off. And after watching it, that feeling only grew stronger.
Rose is our narrator, just like on the books, and we start off with her explaining the viewer about Moroi, Strigoi and Dhampirs. I thought it was a little bit too straight forward, it’s really right on your face. But I guess on movies there’s no room to waste time, so we jump right into the story with that explained. For those who did read the book it may not be a problem, but I’m pretty sure that for those who had never heard of the definitions of Moroi, Strigoi and Dhampirs it was way too much information at once to be able to assimilate it.
The movie is fast paced and, of course, it doesn’t follow the book 100% of the time. I honestly can’t point out every single thing that was changed from the book because it’s been a while since I read the series, and I didn’t want to re-read right before watching it because I wanted to be able to enjoy the story other than analyze every single scene. And on that note I can tell you that I had a great time watching it.
Vampire Academy is funny on a lot of moments, just like in the book. It tells a story about two best friends who ran away from school because they feared that one of them was in danger. Even thought Rose hasn’t officially became a Guardian yet, she feels the need to protect Lissa, her best friend and what she considers her family. And when they get caught and need to come back to St. Vladimir Academy, they have problem adapting to that world.
Yes, the movie is not perfect, it has its flaws like any other one. Some of the special effects weren’t that great, and some actors didn’t really feel like they were the right fit, in my opinion. I had a really hard time with Lissa on the books—the character just annoyed the heck out of me—and unfortunately I couldn’t help but feel the same about her on the movie.
But overall I had a great time watching it and will certainly get it on DVD when it comes out. I just feel really sorry that the marketing on this movie wasn’t that great, and that they really set themselves to a failure when they picked the release date. I don’t think Valentine’s Day was a good date, and I was kind of relieved when I saw that they had moved up a week. But when I got to the theaters and saw the line going around the block, I noticed that competing with the Lego movie was not the smartest move for a movie that was not widely publicized and that had vampires as the theme. We all know that people got sick of vampires after the Twilight saga. I could count 10 people, me included, in the room where I watched, and it was on the release weekend.