169 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Ride!
First off let me just say that I have read all 5 books at least twice through. I am an avid fan of this series. I was looking forward to this movie for quite a while. Of course this takes the course that many book adaptions take. That is, it differs from the book in many ways. Personally, I went to the midnight showing of this film expecting the differences, and went with...
Published on April 21, 2010 by Bookreader
209 of 257 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My sympathies to Mr. Riordan!
I managed to swallow Chris Columbus's changes to the first two Harry Potter movies, but the travesty he created from Riordan's lively, likeable "quest" novel I just can't ignore or forgive. All the great conversations, the truly funny situations, the believable universe, and the contemporarizing (is that a word???) of Greek mythology that made Riordan's novel (and the...
Published on July 8, 2010 by I'dliketosay
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209 of 257 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My sympathies to Mr. Riordan!,
I managed to swallow Chris Columbus's changes to the first two Harry Potter movies, but the travesty he created from Riordan's lively, likeable "quest" novel I just can't ignore or forgive. All the great conversations, the truly funny situations, the believable universe, and the contemporarizing (is that a word???) of Greek mythology that made Riordan's novel (and the complete series) such great fun were completely ignored. What this movie is instead is a retread of every stereotypical "fallback" character, plot line, and dialogue ever presented in a movie for preadolescents. Obviously, the choice of young stars was to introduce two more attractive youngsters who have some potential--whether as actors or teen idols remains to be seen. But what was the point of making Grover an over-sexed satyr? Of making Persephone a hot mama? Of making the Lotus Hotel an older teen's idea of free drinks, free sex, free gambling? Of making the gods SO stereotypical of every bad B movie from the 1930s through the 1990s? I mean, Riordan created a great new consistent universe, and Columbus turned into a tired old grade-B (even C or D!)
Don't bother with the movie--get the audio books instead! Jesse Bernstein does a good job with the tone and feeling that Riordan created. (And yes, I'm an adult who's been reading and enjoying "quest" novels for many years. Riordan respected his audience, and created well and true for them; Columbus, on the other hand, "disrespected" Riordan's intent, and it shows.)
173 of 220 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a Shame...,
My son talked me into reading these books with him, and we loved them.
When we went to see the new Harry Potter movie, scenes for it came on during the trailers.
He recognized the story the second the preview started. He was thrilled, and so was I. What potential this unique and fun series had for a movie--or movies...I mean, they advertised that it was being brought to us by the people who make the Harry Potter movies.
The Potter movies stay so true to the book--taking care to absolutely keep things in the screenplay that are necessary to the plot line.
I wish I could say the same for this movie.
When it finally came out, we went to a movie theater in NJ that was right across the river from NYC.
We could see the Empire State building from the theater parking lot, and took it as a sign that the movie was going to rock. We were so psyched to see it.
When we left the theater, I thought my son was going to cry, and I couldn't un-scrunch my eyebrows--huh?? I felt so bad for him, for me, for Rick Riordan...
We understand that it's impossible to make a movie exactly like a book-- but this was a travesty.
Every important aspect of the story was by-passed for the sake of special effects.
It's almost as if the screenwriter had been given a verbal summary of what the book was about, and took it from there. So many important plot points were left out or down right changed to the point that it would be impossible to even think about a sequel.
It's such a shame. These stories have the "book made to movie" potential of the Potter series, or dare I say, a kids "Lord of the Rings".
If someone with vision had just read the books, the money used to make it could have been so much better spent.
It could have been knocked out of the park, but, alas, the ball was dropped and we all lost.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Whomever Made This Movie SHOULD Be Cast Into Tartarus!,
So I finally got around to watching "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" (thanks On Demand! lol) & I'd have to say I was disappointed. Yes, I know that when good books are interpreted for the cinema that the book will ALWAYS be better (mostly due to movies still cannot compete with human imagination), but I was hoping for something better than what I just sat through.
***SPOILERS! Do NOT read any further IF you don't want info about the movie!!!***
Here's a list of Pros & Cons about "Percy Jackson":
CON: Percy Jackson - in the book, he's a 12 year old with ADHD and dyslexia...which causes him to have issues in school (so much so that he changes schools frequently). In the movie, Percy is now 16-17 years old with a weird Adam Lambert haircut & a "wink wink nudge nudge" delivery of his lines. I think this was an agenda to try & snag more teen/tween girls into attending. I had a hard time thinking he was a credible Demigod when he looks like the mutated love child of Zac Efron & Justin Bieber.
PRO: Grover - I just have to acknowledge the fact that Brandon T. Jackson (who often stole the show in "Tropic Thunder") made a great Grover. He played him with humor & distracted us from Zac Bieber's inability to act.
CON: Clarice - is missing. Completely. To have Percy's major antagonist completely MISSING from the movie was just plain stupidity.
CON: Annabeth - is different. Completely. The "writers" of this movie decided to blend the characters of Clarice and Annabeth...resulting in the "Claribeth" mess in the movie. She's the daughter of Athena but kicks booty like a daughter of Ares. Disappointing doesn't even begin to cover it.
CON: Hades - played by the often hilarious Steve Coogan. Hades could've gone both ways - either wickedly evil OR (by using Coogan's talents) weirdly funny. Instead, Hades came off as anemic & a tad boring.
PRO: Medusa - brought to life with an over-the-top performance by Uma Thurman in an acting style a tad reminiscent of her "Poison Ivy" role. I think this movie could've been good if it was all handled a bit more tongue-in-cheek.
I could go on but all I have are more "cons". The only other "pro" would've been the character of Luke, who was believable as a snarky teen with daddy issues. I'm thinking this series will flame out (cinematically - see "The Golden Compass" for another example of this) before it even really started due to shoddy writing, bad casting, and an inability to adhere to the original plot. Chris Columbus should be ashamed for his true disservice to a great series.
169 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Ride!,
First off let me just say that I have read all 5 books at least twice through. I am an avid fan of this series. I was looking forward to this movie for quite a while. Of course this takes the course that many book adaptions take. That is, it differs from the book in many ways. Personally, I went to the midnight showing of this film expecting the differences, and went with an open mind to the idea of differences. And you know what? I immensely enjoyed this film! First, let me run down some differences between the book and film.
Unless you've read the book and don't mind finding out what was cut and changed, consider this your SPOILER ALERT!
First and most obviously, the ages of the actors. They are all in their late teens, whereas the kids in the book are 12.
Second, no Ares, Clarisse, or Dionysus. The fight for the Lightning Bolt is with Luke instead of Ares. And Annabeth takes on the role of the warrior girl in the movie.
Third, instead of a quest, Percy Grover and Annabeth just ditch camp to get the lightning bolt and save Percy's mother.
Fourth, NO PROPHECY. No mention of Thalia or the Big Three pact. I hope they mention it in The Sea of Monsters if they make it.
Those are the 4 biggest changes I remember from the movie and biggest complaints from avid fans. Logan Lerman (Percy), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth), Brandon T Jackson (Grover), and Jake Abel (Luke) are all great actors. I hadn't really heard of them until The Lightning Thief. But they are terrific actors! Brandon is hilarious as Grover, and makes tons of jokes as the comic relief. Some may find his constant cracking of joke irritating, but in the right mood he's hilarious.
Sean Bean, and Kevin Mckidd are great as Zeus and Poseidon respectively. They're not in it very much, but Mr. Mckidd's entrance in the beginning of the film is awesome. I won't reveal more, but he's the first we see in the film.
And lets not forget Uma Thurman as Medusa! She was brilliantly done, and was very spooky and awesome. If you've read the book you know she dies, but I wish they would find a way to bring back Medusa because Uma Thurman was brilliant!
All in all, this was an amazing film, and I look forward to the deleted scenes included with the Blu-Ray release, because only 5 out of 10 scenes are on the DVD release. Plus, the Blu-Ray comes with a DVD and a code for a free copy on iTunes, which is brilliant. So this is a great film for the whole family, and I know I will be headed to the store to get it after it's release. (or, I think I'll just buy from amazon, because they do have really good prices on Blu-Rays)
56 of 73 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Movie, worst book adaptation ever!,
I am a teacher. I recomend these books to all my students, family, and friends. All who have read them, loved them. I loved the entire book series. I was very excited when they announced they would be making a movie. If the movie had been made to the caliber of Harry Potter or LOTR, with a close following of the story and characters, then this would have been the awesome first installment of a great set of movies. Instead, we're left with some decent action and special effects, with poor acting, casting, script, and reworked plot. I wish I had waited to watch it at home, what a waste of money. The books are great, please read and enjoy them, don't waste time watching this film.
100 of 134 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Generic,
Pros: One or two redeeming acting performances, decent special effects.
Cons: Bad casting, failure to bring the world to life, lack of creativity, complete failure to capture either the tone or the characters from the book.
Percy Jackson and his friends are racing to the underworld, desperate to get the lightning bolt in time. As they reach Hades' residence, they are greeted by Persephone, wearing a ripped black lace, cleavage baring dress. They ask to see Hades, but Persephone makes a few suggestive remarks and then thrusts her breasts into Grover's face.
"I've never had a satyr ...(long pause) ... visit before," she purrs in a Spanish accent.
Grover (who has already been established as sex obsessed) is appreciative.
If this sounds like a scene that would remotely fit in with your concept of the first Percy Jackson book, then you might enjoy this movie. If not, then stay away, because it's pretty well a snapshot of the movie as a whole.
They went for a more mature feel for the movie - not just the characters' ages, but the content reflects this. The casting for this movie was completely wrong. It wasn't that the acting was bad, exactly, it was just that some of the actors were completely inappropriate for the parts they were playing. Grover is not a smooth talking, wise cracking, confident character. Sure, the guy playing him was funny, but he wasn't Grover. Annabeth was an even worse failure. They kept telling us that she was smart, the daughter of Athena, etc., but we don't actually get many instances of her acting smart. Instead, she seems like a generic tough, sexy action girl. In fact, every female character in this movie (with the exception of the mothers) is sexualized - Annabeth, the women at the Lotus Casino, the Aphrodite girls, Medusa (who is supposed to be ugly), Persephone. Female characters that could not be turned into sexy girls (like Clarisse) are cut from the movie altogether. It isn't that I have a problem with action movies that are about smashing heads and meeting beautiful women, it's just that this is so not what the Percy Jackson series is about.
By making this movie about the action, the creators have really undersold the wonder and magic of this series. I'm not a person who believes that a movie must mimic a book exactly, but there are so many missed opportunities here dealing with setting alone. For example, in the books each of the Olympian gods has a unique throne - Poseidon's is a fishing chair. This is something that could have been a great visual for the movie and could have been played up even more - instead the movie opts for identical marble thrones. In Camp Halfblood, we get generic military setting instead of the unique cabins and campers. In the Underworld, we get a generic hell instead of great details like the EZ Death line and the burnt out fields of Asphodel. Generic is the best word to describe this movie.
There were a few good points. The kid who played Percy Jackson really captured that character's impulsiveness and good heart despite being way too old for the role. The special effects were okay. Not great, but okay.
You might be wondering if this movie would be good to someone who has never read the books. The answer is no. It might not be such a huge disappointment, but it is still nothing more than a below average action flick.
I tried to decide if the few points of light were enough to give this movie two stars. I concluded that they weren't, because not only does this movie suck, but it completely ruins any chance for a decent series. If they make another Percy Jackson movie, then it will have to move away from this one completely to be any good. 1+ stars.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing adaptation,
Imagine the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, without mentions of He Who Must Not Be Named, Draco, or Dumbledore. Oh, and where Harry is played by a college-aged man, Hermione is even older, and Ron is a wise-cracking hipster. Imagine if that first movie did nothing to set up the plot for the following movies. If you can imagine what a mess that would have made of the Harry Potter series of movies, then you can just about imagine what this travesty of a screenplay did to the plot of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. So much is changed from the book that Craig Titley, the screenwriter, should have just penned his own original script and left the film adaptation of Rick Riodan's very enjoyable Juvenile novel to someone who cared about the book and its fans. As for the casting of adults instead of children for these roles, I just don't get it. Chris Columbus did such a masterful job of staying true to the Harry Potter books. What a disappointment that he decided to completely ignore the book with this film. Perhaps he wanted to use his artistic license. If so, his license should be revoked. And shame on Rick Riodan for allowing it to happen.
If you haven't read the book, then you might enjoy the movie for the special effects. If you read and loved the book, you'll likely be disappointed in this film. I don't know if they're planning on making films of the other books in the series. I do know I won't be watching them if they do.
33 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should have left the movie with Hades,
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This movies is awful, the only reason I gave it a star is because I have to. The only thing they got right from the book was the name of the characters. I very much enjoyed the book, and have read the entire series, but this movie was an epic Failure. Look I know that books do not translate well into movies, so to expect it to be perfectly and follow it exactly is rather unfair, however this was nothing like the book and followed nothing at all. I have enjoyed movies where they changed the story like Harry Potter, X-Men trilogy, and Star Trek. I am not a Book -> Movie Nazi, but this movies was not even mildly entertaining. Had it been a good movie with good acting I would have been forgiving of the fact that it did not follow the book. But it was slow and boring and completely wrong. I wish I could have these two hours of my life back. Next time leave the movie in the Underworld with Hades.
What was wrong
No mention of the prophecy, wtf is this law about gods not being able to interact with their Children, children of the big three are rare?!?!? they didnt even mention that the big three had a pact not to have kids with mortals, left Grover in the underworld, no mention of the quest instead Percy just decided to leave, no interaction with Ares, had them run all over the US for pearls which were actually given to Percy in the book, Annabeth should be blonde, Ms Dodds should be the math teacher not a sub english teacher, no mention of the fates, so many more things missing... and it was utterly boring!!!!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It was hard to watch, even for one who hasn't read the books,
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Of all the recent book-to-movie adaptations I've seen, I have to rank this among the worst (even below Eragon, if you can believe it possible). I had trouble watching the movie at all. The sound balance was nothing short of horrible. You either couldn't hear a word anyone was saying or you had to rush to turn it down before you lost your ear drums. There was no in-between. As for the effects, I spent half the movie looking away from the annoying strobe effects that gave me a headache. If I could have heard what people were saying without having my hearing destroyed a moment later or actually managed to look at all those special effects they spent their film budget on, I might have enjoyed it. Judging from the other comments, however, I suspect I'm not missing much.
In short, there are plenty of better book-to-film adaptations out there, though few remain faithful to the books from which they are derived. It's more of a shock to find a movie adaptation that stays faithful to the book these days than the opposite.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slaughtered the book,
True, if you have read the book, then this movie is terrible. If you just go see the movie, you will find it mildly entertaining. Director Chris Columbus does try to put lots of detail into the direction of photography (especially the boat ride into Hades) but the script writing assumes way too many liberties with omitting important story details. ie: Clarissa - daughter of Mars, and the God Mars himself!
The book did a nice adaption of the Olympic Gods to the Western world/culture, but the movie just does not have the charming details or great character build up that the book has. Pierce Brosnan looked and acted like he wished he were elsewhere.
All in all: too many rushed, left out or thrown together parts just to make it fit into a teen wanna-be movie. Not even worth renting! Save your money and wait to see it for free on TV, even then I bet you will end up turning the channel...!
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