Jem and the Holograms

Rated 1.0

A teenager (Aubrey Peeples) and her sisters both biological (Stefanie Scott) and foster (Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko) become overnight YouTube stars, catching the eye of an unscrupulous music company executive (Juliette Lewis). Jem dolls were created in the 1980s by Hasbro as a rival for Mattel's Barbie and promoted with a kids' cartoon show, but the dolls flopped and were forgotten before the decade was out. Still, pockets of fandom survive, they say, and presumably these include director John M. Chu and writer Ryan Landels. Whatever they saw in the old series, or the dolls, remains a mystery. The movie is trite, cheap and shoddy, designed to be watched on an iPhone instead of in a theater—plus, there's no way this assortment of bland nice-girls would ever become superstars. Not even on YouTube. J.L.