on July 8, 2010
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.)
on June 24, 2010
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.
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.
on March 4, 2010
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.
on January 24, 2014
I had to stop this movie halfway through because it was so disloyal to the books that it angered me. I wish I hadn't wasted my money on the rental. I'm not even sure how they were able to use the rights to the title of the book.
on October 13, 2013
If they would have had the courage to stick to the script it would have made even more money in the box office because people would have been happy to see it over and over again! Instead some idiot took Rick's well written book and pissed on it! They added things in the movie that never happened while leaving out the great things that did! Rick's book was like a history lesson (wish I would have had it when I was studying Greek Mythology). This movie was a parody and a sad one at that!
Don't let that director near anything else you write Rick.
on April 9, 2014
My child got this book when it came out. It is a really sweet story because she chose it for its length and to impress her fourth grade teacher. Well, what a lucky choice! She has since devoured all of Percy Jackson's books, and this one in particular, is very very worn out. Great book.
on August 27, 2013
I am not sure the film writer even read the book. The book was well written with a lot of humor, plot twists and surprises in it - all of which are missing from the movie. I am really not sure how anyone could mess up a good story as badly as has been done with this one. In short don't waste your time and money on this garbage movie.
on August 23, 2013
Gosh, what a horrid movie. Bad acting and a bad script and moving so slowly that you have to notice how bad both are. I won't be checking out any more in this series, that's for sure. Poor Pierce Brosnan wearing a horse's ass (literally) or at least having one CGI'ed onto him serves as a pretty good metaphor for this whole sorry movie.
on April 21, 2010
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)