Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vampire Academy The Movie

Okay first I cannot believe it has taken me this long to post this.  I have just been so swamped and every time I'm able to sit at the computer to type I go to get a correct spelling for a name or some such and end up watching trailers which turns into a long event for me.  Seriously, do you know how much time you can lose on YouTube when not paying attention?  Dangerous amounts.  Any who I am turning my internet off until I finish typing this to post.
              First I have to say that I LOVE the series.  The books, all 6 Vampire Academy books, are amazing.  I am eagerly awaiting the 5th book in the Bloodlines spin-off sequel series to be released.  With that said I have been following the progress of the movie since the start and have been very excited to see it all come together.  A perfect reason to put on fake tattoos no one in my area had any clue meant and rock out like the total and unashamed book nerd that I am.  I adore my friends who encouraged and even indulged with me, not 100% sure what the meaning was but willing to go with it.  To say I had high hopes is to put it mildly.  And it did not disappoint me one bit! 
                I know this movie has gotten a bit of a bad rep before it came out, people comparing it to every other vampire movie and that is not fair.  Sure the title doesn't help that but it's a different take.  Honestly its more about the life of the characters and the fact that they happen to be vampires is just a small part of it.  And if you want to categorize it as a vampire flick then do it but please note that, there are both sides of vampires.  They have the Moroi, the good mortal vampires, more modern take on vampires, and the Strigoi, the undead evil blood suckers that seek to kill, more old school Dracula.  The trailers also make it seem more spoof, funny, cheesy, than anything, which I did devoured them like a germaphobe does hand sanitizer in a public restroom.  But I highly recommend checking out the final trailer (below), it is by far my favorite and made me realize I have been pronouncing all the names of the 'races' or 'breeds' wrong as I read.  Now when I tell people about them they don't look at me funny.
                Now I will say that comparing movies to their book counterparts is never easy and they almost never win.  Books have the advantage of getting into the head of the character, of being able to describe everything for you and give you more in-depth scenes that work really well on paper but might not translate well to the screen.  With that in mind I still think this is one of the better adaptations.  Things like hair colors/styles, character appearances, set dressings and the like are all simple things.  There were a few scenes that were changed or dropped of course to keep pace on film and explain things in a way that is more visually appealing.  Sure fan girl me, was sad to see a few lines/conversations omitted, but it overall stayed true to the book and I am so happy to say that.
                The acting by the whole team is above par in my humble opinion, and let's be honest it's my review so it's the only one that matters.  Our main character, Rose Hathaway, played by Zoey Deutch came across as strong, confident, funny, and on point with her witty retorts or snipes.  A big part of the story, okay the majority of the story is about the bond she has with her best friend Lissa, and when they are together on the screen you can see a connection is there, not some faked for film friendship which adds to it for me.  And let us please not forget her chemistry with a certain Russian love interest.  They sizzle and you can't have any type of lust charm scene without sizzle.  Speaking of sizzle, they got pretty famous Russian actor to play the Russian Dimitri Belikov, one Danila Kozlovsky.  So his accent was totally real, and I maybe swooned a bit.  But that aside he was able to pull off the look, not exactly what I pictured, but I could believe he was Dimitri.  Strong silent warrior Zen master who stays composed at all times, but when he is around Rose, finds his composure slipping ever so slightly. 
See what I mean...
                Only  a couple more or I will describe every actor/character in the movie.  Lucy Fry, who played the royal Lissa Dragomir.  She had a bit of a different look than I expected but I was able to see it.  She was able to pull off the radical and varying emotions and moods that her character is forced to endure.  When a character is going to have to play with the matter or mental and emotional instability I have to give them credit.  And then there is her love interest Christian Ozera played by Dominic Sherwood.  He is what I expected actually.  He is attractive and brooding, an outcast given things out of his control seeking someone who understands.  He also has that smirk, that mischievous smirk I couldn’t have pictured better myself.
                The story again stuck to the book pretty well and I think can be enjoyed by everyone, not just those who read the books.  I went with three of my girlfriends to see this, one had read the books and the other two hadn't, one of them also isn't a huge vampire fan, but when we walked out we all had enjoyed it and the two non-readers had plans to read soon.  It had a unique story, with the different type of vampires and a story all in of itself.  It has action, hello, the Dhampirs have half a day dedicated to learning ways to maim and kill, to be protectors.  It is also strongly filled with friendship and loyalty, honor and duty all in a high school, of sorts, setting and with the backdrop of good vs. evil and mental instability. 

                The movie wasn't perfect, of course, there were a few things I think could have been explained a bit more in depth for the non-readers in the audience.  But I hold out hope that it was done to be explained in more depth in the sequel (no word yet but I'm crossing my fingers and toes).  Those things for me were the wards, Strigoi and a certain conversation about them in the car, that Dimitri was slated to be one of Lissa's guardians when she leaves the school, being a royal and a last of her line and all, explaining the conflict a bit further.  Also from the trailers I saw scenes that apparently didn't make it to the movie, so I can't wait for the DVD extras. 
                Again that was just me wishing for more as a greedy book nerd.  Overall if it isn't completely clear, I LOVED this movie and can't wait to see it again.  Have plans to go again this week at least once and admit to being guilty checking the DVD release date update so I know when I can own it in my house.  Check it out and rate it on all the sites!  Have you already seen it?  Did you read the books?  What do you think?  Share your thoughts, ideas, ramblings below. 

Rating: 5 Molnija


  1. Well, my friend, I was one of those non-readers. I'm also the not so keen on vampires/today's chick flicks chick, but give me credit. I am doing better. I even know some of these characters' names AND I totally recalled a scene from the Manga...lol. My anti-froufrouness aside, this wasn't bad.

    Normally, girl characters work on my nerves and while Rose's character seemed to be a bit too much of something, I didn't even roll my eyeballs, which is a total plus. She was snarky, but not in that Juno/I need to stab my eyeball sort of way. She is terribly cute and while she sort of embraced the concept of sex appeal, she wasn't trashy. I like that.

    We all know that I'm down with Dimitri. I think I may have said something about wanting one at some point, but you know I rarely know if I think it in my brain or say it out loud. I'm pretty sure I fell instantly in love with him when Rose told him he'd have to go through her and in his cool, calm way, the challenge was accepted. He was instantly game on. He reminds me of Jet Li. Naturally, he is imminently more large than my perfectly tiny Jet Li, but he's very controlled and precise. You know this is high praise. Not only is he Jet Li-like, but he's capable and manly without being a donkey. Plus, he's completely pretty. How those simple features are transformed into one gorgeous man, I don't know, but I can tell you that I thought about having his child. You saw his body. That's functional muscle, not just pretty muscle. Makes me wonder what he does to have that body. And then there's the accent and the voice. Measured, calm, rich, and manly... I'd be okay with yielding to his mastery.

    I may edit or continue this later after I have read the books, but for now, I'm a sleepy broad. Perhaps I'll dream of a certain Russian loverly!

    1. Thank you for going with me and posting your thoughts. Yep see, I think you will like the books to and yes you are admittedly getting better. Oh and yes again, you did say you wanted one of him out loud, it made me laugh and I think he would be mighty pleased to be ranked as Jet Li-like by you. Sleep well, ninja.

  2. I'm back. Please note that I'm drowsy and medicated, but I did read the book yesterday. Admittedly, I passed out more than I actually stayed awake and read, but I did finish the book. Before I go into that, he most definitely should be pleased to be ranked as Jet Li-like. In the words of me, that's "sear-us bidness" and you know how I'm is about Jet Li. (This horrible thing is making me break my response up into pieces. Silly character limitation.)

  3. Now, moving on. For those of you who are not familiar with me, I'm the one who was banned from watching these kinds of movies with Eve. I have little tolerance for things like Twilight. I'm not telling you this to bash your beloved Edwin, but you need to understand the significance of what I'm saying. I seriously get a twitch when someone mentions how great Twilight is... I cannot abide the "writing" style of the broad who penned it. Honestly. It hurts my head and my heart that she is an acclaimed literary great. Additionally, I started reading college level books before I ever attended my first day of class. So, I'm a snob when it comes to reading and writing. I admit that. I also grew up as the only girl in a gaggle of boys. How I turned out to be such a girly broad is beyond me. What's even more difficult to understand is the oxymoronic nature of who I am. I love romance. I am all kinds of ribbons and bows. I have three feet plus of hair that I flip over my shoulder as I bat my lashes and twirl with girlish delight in my flirty skirt, BUT I cannot tolerate certain things about girls. I'm the first to admit that it's a trick. I'm also sexist. I vote, pay my bills, blather on, and answer to myself, but I enjoy cooking for and taking care of my fellow when I am in possession of one. I am typical in my gender role in that respect. With all that and the rest of me, you'd think I'd be more like most girls these days. I'd love sparkly Edwin and that High School Musical Guy with that perfectly flippy hair thing going on, but do I? No. It's like nails on a chalkboard while I am bathed in flames. It's abominable to me. Again, not saying all this to bash. Just explaining.

  4. I actually (surprisingly so) LOVED this book. I even liked the girl characters. Lissa made me want to protect her, to whisk her away to a remote area where her days could be filled with cute little birds lighting upon her hand, chirping happily to be in her golden presence. Rose was a little too something, but as strangely as this may seem, she reminded me of my younger self. When my baby brother (JV at the time) was pulled to play a varsity game against PK Young, I had some Rose-like impetuousness going on. I'm not the tallest person and back then, I didn't tower in at my current impressive five feet nothing. The PK Young player was huge...think 7'0, 300 plus pounds. His entire game book consisted of falling on our players and just laying there, crushing them. The first time, they caught me at the gate. The second time, they caught me at the sidelines. The third/final time, they didn't catch me. I promptly launched myself at him, tugging him up and off my brother and the others. I then proceeded to give him whatfor in front of everyone from both schools. Smartest move? Nah, but he didn't fall on my brother or our players like that again. I rather fancy she would have acted in the same manner. I liked book Rose more than movie Rose, but I have to admit that I visualized book Rose as movie Rose. Plus, I liked how snarky she was in the movie, but I think it missed the mark when it came to her humanity. Also, it didn't really show the angst Lissa felt reference her desire to "protect" and "save" Rose. I think it was a vital piece and should have been included. Plus, I want to know more about Ms. Karp. Lots more.

  5. The biggest difference I noted was my response to Dimitri. I liked his movie character...a lot. I LOVE his book character. I cannot believe how many Dimitri moments were left out of the movie. I would have totally capitalized on his awesomeness had I had a hand in the movie...lol. Book boyfriends... Ruining real men for nerd girls for years! His total Jason Bourne/Mr. Darcy-ness aside, I have a theory about Dimitri. I know you're not going to tell me if I'm right or wrong, but I'm is who I'm is and thus I shall state it now. I am convinced that they're going to turn him Strigoi, he'll make a run for it in an effort to protect Roza, she'll track him down, he'll try to turn her, she'll decline, she'll try to kill him, Lissa will somehow intervene, he'll be fixed, guilt will rack him, he'll push Rose away due to his guilt/misguided feeling of indebtedness and caring, but she'll keep on loving him until she wins him back as he forgives himself. Note that I will strike against this with every fiber of my being if he simply becomes Strigoi and isn't fixed. If you don't know me, you don't know what striking against something is...lol. I used to love the Lethal Weapons until the very second that they killed Jet Li in part 4. I immediately stopped watching and have boycotted it since then; didn't even finish the remainder of the movie.

    If I ever assign a song to a book or a character, it's a serious indication that it resonated with me. I completely have made Say Something my Rose and Dimitri song. It's lurve, y'all, but it's time to sleep again.

  6. Wow you did come back. Your response might have been as long as my whole review of the movie. And to think I sat and talked to you about these books at length when we worked together a few years back and you didn't process it. We shall see what happens and I hope you won't strike. Yeah and women of smaller size can beat a grown dood as you put it but not without ample training which she had been lacking given being on the run but she got back up to par and then learned from said fellow to use her size against her opponent, plus I think ever so slightly he was distracted by her :)
    Yes there was more in the book that could have been expanded upon and I hope to get more of it in book 2/movie 2. Keep reading and keep me posted.

  7. Yes, you told me to read the books back then. My anti-froufrouness/Twilight-hate worked against me. I'm sorry. BUT...I'm totally taking us to watch the movie again this weekend...lol. In any event, while I can admit that broads, even tiny broads, can hold their own if properly trained/motivated, you know what I'm talking about with the rest. Nine out of ten times, she isn't going to apply physics to beat the opponent. Also, I started reading part two yesterday before the fire, but I sort of had to put it down. I didn't get too far, but I've decided that Mason has to die. She has waffled about why she cannot like him, so I think his death will be the resolution. We need to make us a VA menu treat.