Customer Reviews: Vampire Academy
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on February 8, 2014
I am reader of the Vampire Academy series (but its been awhile). I saw the movie with some friends who never read about the books. My two friends were skeptical about enjoying the movie, but willing to go. Personally, I was anxious about how well it was done. At the end of the movie, my friends' opinions changed. My friends loved the movie. I was more than happy that I chose to go on the release night.

Don't expect my review to be perfect, but I am trying: I believe the movie was a good adaption of the book. For book readers, remember it is an adaption from book to movie, which are not the exact same types of media. Some scenes or the plot line order (such as "explaining" the character types/powers) are slightly different on the movie screen vs in the book. Like all book-to-movies, some things were cut out the film that are in the book, but a movie shouldn't be 3+ hours long. I think they made good choices on the actors/actresses and they match the character descriptions. The movie definitely maintained the Vampire Academy portrayal. Overall, the movie has kept up with the reputation of the book- great and/or excellent!!!

For people who have NOT read the series: The beginning of the movie may be confusing, but it gets clarified. Don't walk out of the movie within the first 15 minutes. The first few opening scenes will seem strange, and misguide you into thinking it's some kind of YA thriller movie. Buts its how the author wrote the book. After that, it keeps to the environment/style that its trying to portray.

As for categorizing the movie: Its definitely a young adult movie. It has action, comedy, sci-fi/fantasy, and drama ALL in one. Many people think any YA vampire movie is "just another Twilight movie" [Twilight= YA fantasy drama movie]. No, the Vampire Academy is NOT another Twilight. The movie feels more down to earth- its easier to relate to. For the most part, the vampires are not your stereotypical vampire, especially in references the vampires who are the main characters. There is 2 types of vampires, plus half human/half vampires. I'm not going any further into vampire descriptions because that may be spoiler for some people.

The Vampire Academy actually puts the characters into a high school environment (fantasy style), but with some parts you wouldn't put in a high school, such as a temporary-hold prison and combat training. It deals friendships/bonding, and high school clichés, yet still includes rule breaking, rivalry, and comedy. The plot line deals with the more advanced good/evil plot that also includes adults, some comedy, action and certain issues/problems (which is the basis of books). Both the HS setting and good/evil plot have some drama, but as said, comedy is included too! [Once again, I'd go into detail, but then I'd be revealing the story with many movie spoilers.] Overall, I think the movie is great mix.
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on February 7, 2014
Last week I went to see the latest Jack Ryan movie and one of the previews was...Vampire Academy! While my sister and I were doing this ridiculous fist bump routine a man down the aisle said (loudly), "I have no interest in seeing that." Ha! You missed out cranky old man because I loved it!

Right off the bat we're hit with background on Richelle Mead's world of vampires. There's no way around a big info dump, so that's fine. Rose and Lissa have a bond beyond the mystical, they're best friends and that comes across in the movie. Dimitri comes across too. Seriously, he has a huge presence in every scene he's in. Lissa's accent took a couple minutes to adjust to and there were a few curious casting choices like fire starter Christian. My version of him is a tad less hot, or at least much angstier. And my version of Christian does not have an accent unless you consider hostility an accent.

The mystery isn't so mysterious since I read the books. There's a bully lurking around campus writing threatening messages in blood. And there's an awful classmate. She's more on the pipsqueak side of things. I really hated her in the books, but I just wanted to put her in a time-out in the movie. Rose has some terrific lines and delivers them perfectly. I loved the self-deprecating humor, that was spot on with the books.

If you're a die hard VA fan, I'm not sure what your take on the movie will be. There are a couple change ups and like always some of the best parts are either cut or abbreviated, but Rose rocks and she is the star. Dimitri makes you swoon. Lissa can be annoying, but she annoyed me in the books too. Christian needs a shirtless scene in the next movie. I think the action and storyline will only get better over the span of the movie franchise if there will be a movie franchise. There is no lurking scene after the credits roll, but I wanted one because I wanted more. That says a lot right there. I hope you enjoy the movie too!
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on July 12, 2015
First off let me say The Vampire Academy books are my favorite series ever. I have read VA mny times. When the movie came out I did not watch it bc of the reviews. I did not want my love of the books to be tainted by a bad adaptation(Twilight-ahem). Well, I finally watched the film and I actually really liked it. The filmmakers clearly tried to stay very true to the book. By doing this the pace of the movie was a little rushed and fast but I understand why. Zooey Deutch was a wonderful Rose in my opinion. She is a great actress and really did great zinging those one liners like Rose and playing a dedicated best friend/guardian. Actually, I think most of the actors cast did a good job. My one problem with the movie was with Rose and Dimitri's attraction. While the actor who played Dimitri was quite handsome, I don't think he is a very talented thespian. I don't know if it was the language barrier or what but it was quite painful to watch. That bad acting definitely took away from any real romantic connection they were trying to portray on screen. It is too bad they did not find a better actor to play such a strong and complex character because the romantic bond that blossoms between Dimitri and Rose in the book is a huge part of the story. Besides that I think it was a pretty darn good movie!
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on June 14, 2014
I'm a huge fan of the Vampire Academy books and was thrilled to hear that the series was making its way to the big screen. I enjoyed it. That said, I do think you would have to be a fan of the series to really get the movie and the characters.

As someone familiar with the books, I felt the casting was appropriate. Zoey Deutch was fun as Rose, if not a tad grating at times. If you didn't know Rose going into the movie, I would imagine she'd be hard to take. Lucy Fry as Lissa, was fine, but not a standout. By far my favorite character and best casting was Danila Kozslovsky as Dimitri. He fit the bill physically and hit the mark as Rose's trainer who was falling for her. My favorite parts of the movie were when Rose and Dimitri were onscreen. They frequently made me smile as they tried to one-up the other and the actors had good chemistry.

If you love the books, you'll enjoy the movie. If you're a vampire fan, The Vampire Academy series is a different take on the genre and it might be worth your time give it a try.
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on January 7, 2015
I got this movie shortly after I started to read the series and I decided on to watch the movie after a little bit. Since I didn't want to watch the movie before I finished the book.

Everyone always think that when a book turns into a movie that the movie would suck and not work very well. For me I was a little bit worried about watching it since I had read some reviews about the movie sucked but after I started to watch it I decided that I did like it.

The reason for that is because it is really good. The only point of view we got from the Vampire Academy book series is Rose Hathaway's view and in the movie we have a bunch of other views. It's a really good movie and I actually love what they did to it. Everything about the movie reminds me a lot of the book and even more so since they added their own twists and stuff to it that the author Richelle Mead said that she would have liked to added it to the books.

This movie is really good and I recommend anyone that has read the books and liked them to watch the Vampire Academy and not fall in love with this movie. I mean even my mother liked the movie and she didn't even read the book series at all.
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on May 21, 2014
This could have been awesome! But it's average. I liked who was cast (despite the nay-sayers) and the special effects were pretty good for a middle budget film. The editing helped with the story. The lead teen girls had a connection that felt natural. Lots of action, some comedy.

My issue with this film is that it follows the book too closely. How can this be an issue? The key plot & world-building points are introduced by pieces/flashbacks and not in a chronological order. This can be very confusing if someone has not read the book. (Thank goodness I've read the series).

While the production kept many lines from author Rachel Mead (props for that), they did a poor job with explaining her world until after you're about 15 minutes in. It would have been better if the entire film was done in chronological order of events. Even if they made up a few scenes--introducing the school life first (maybe introduce key characters), explaining how the "good" vampires control the elements (but the co-star is unsure of herself & wonders why she's failing to have a single element), why the girl running away (needs to break from book and show the reason so audience understands a huge plot point instead of waiting half-way through the film) and about what life was outside of the academy (they did some of that).

ALL OF THAT would have been smoother for an explanation for an uninitiated audience. Another example--a random cursed item is introduced as a gift. Even though the editing is well done to hint that it's the item causing behavior, what could have been better is actually hinting that someone is cursing the item and thus the audience gets a hint that the item is what's causing the characters to behave strangely.

This whole film has a very modern TV quality and I am not surprised if many of the tech come from that cinematography background. What do I mean? Deep & mid-focuses everywhere. However, color choices are right-on, and eventually you get used to the style.

Personally, I think Vampire Academy could have been better served by using one of the later books as the plot, however, this film does set the stage for later conflicts.

A good start.
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on November 14, 2014
Adaptations tend to either be extremely good or extremely bad. Very rarely do they ever fall in the middle. This adaptation of the Vampire Academy book falls into that middle ground, up so close to good that I have to go ahead and give it five stars.

Is it word for word? NO. There's no way it could be. But, the changes were either very subtle or at least very plausible and gave it a very "current" feel. In some cases, the added dialogue actually made it better, in my opinion.

The actors... I give those choices a 99% positive. I did find the change to a much younger headmistress to be a less than wise choice. Not that the actress playing the part didn't do a good job. She did. It just made no sense to me to make that change. It didn't better the story.

Truly sorry to see that they've put production of the second book, Frostbite, on indefinite hold. I was really looking forward to seeing these actors resume their rolls.
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on May 23, 2014
In Short: Lyssa, a Moroi (vamp) is the last of the Dragomir family. Her brother and parents died in an earlier car wreck. Rose, Dhampir and Lyssa's bestie, is a stubborn and sometimes reckless guardian. Well, guardian in training. A bond between the two makes her the ideal choice. Rose's near constant chaos makes it hard for others to align her with Lyssa. After a brief escape into the regular world, a few guardians return the duo to Vampire Academy.

So. One of my biggest beefs with the film was Dimitri. Danila Kozlovsky, who played him, was not at all what I had pictured for the character. Not even close. I did read the entire book series in which he is described as being very formidable, calculating and breathtaking. The Kozlovsky version just didn't portray that.

Rose, played by Zoey Deutch, wasn't a very good bad ass either. Rose is head strong, stubborn and opinionated and she herself is a weapon. Zoey lacked conveying these trade mark attributes. She was much more mature in the book too.

Vampire Academy, the movie, was "meh" entertainment. Without the actors giving a performance that aligns the characters closer to their true selves, it made the movie another whiny teen vamp film. It could have been much better.
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on May 28, 2014
I doubt that there will be a sequel. According to Wikipedia, this film barely made half of its money back. Budget = $30 million. Box office = $15.39 million. I LOVED the VA books! The Twilight books were fun and I wanted more. This series was IT! Great characters and the plot was different enough from other vampire books, that I read this series in a few days.

On to the film - I wasn't a fan of the casting. The exception being Sarah Hyland as the adorable little sidekick Natalie Dashkov. Awarding winning performance, especially at the end!

I saw this through streaming on Amazon. I don't know if it was an Amazon thing, but I had to adjust the brightness on my laptop to see the darker scenes, and sometimes that didn't work, so I only could tune into voices.

Loving all things Britain and European, I found the accents cringeworthy. Most of the time, they seemed forced, fake and not geographically correct. Needless to say, I was rather disappointed with this offering.

As popular as the books were, I'm surprised that I didn't see more marketing for the film, but I rarely watch "regular" TV. Had it been mass marketed, sadly this film still would have sucked (pun intended).
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on April 1, 2016
I'm really sorry I watched this movie. First of all, let me say that I just started reading the first book a day or so ago and am nearing the end. Is it the best young adult/fantasy/horror/etc., book I've ever read.. No.... but it is entertaining. So I thought, 'What the heck...I'll see how close the movie comes to capturing the mood, characters and story'. I'm usually able to accept that things have to be changed and altered for a Movie, so I was prepared for that. Here's the scoop, from someone who isn't a VA Super-fan (yet) who just wants to hate on the is movie because it isn't exactly like the books.
The movie seems superficial, and most of the time it has more of a 'Made for TV movie' vibe than an actual 'Cinematic Experience'... at times, it is downright 'Sit-com-y', and a few times it almost enters 'After-School Special' territory (am I dating myself here?...sorry); The scenes are VERY rushed (it seems as if some of them only last about 10-15 seconds before we are thrown into the next one); it relies quite a bit on exposition rather than good storytelling (telling rather than showing), and most of the characters are way more annoying than they are in the books. A few minor changes could've added depth to the story and characters (in my opinion...which all of this is, of course).
I'll agree with several others' comments, however. If you don't plan on reading the books, this might be a fun movie. But don't expect, or accept, that it accurately represents the doesn't. Read the book.
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