Archive for Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

At Camp Half-Blood, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) meets his half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), who is a cyclops. The camp is later attacked by Luke Castellan (Jake Abel), who announces his plans to destroy Mount Olympus. Percy’s mentor Chiron (Anthony Head) discovers that Luke has poisoned the magic tree responsible for the barrier that protects Camp Half-Blood, which Percy learns was created out of Thalia Grace (Paloma Kwiatkowski), daughter of Zeus, who was killed by a cyclops. Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario) finds out that the Golden Fleece could restore the tree, and the camp’s director, Dionysus (Stanley Tucci), sends Clarisse La Rue (Leven Rambin), daughter of Ares and Percy’s rival, to find it. Percy then sets off with Annabeth, Tyson and Grover Underwood (Brandon T. Jackson) to locate the Golden Fleece on his own. Before they leave, the Oracle (Shohreh Aghdashloo) prophesies that a half-blood child of one of the three prime gods will fight Luke, and the half-blood will have the chance to either save Mount Olympus or destroy it. As Percy is the only known half-blood of the three prime gods (Tyson is not a half-blood because he is not half human), he assumes the prophecy must refer to him.

The Graeae (Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown and Mary Birdsong) give the group the coordinates to the island and leave them in Washington, D.C., where Grover is captured by Luke’s men, who need him to find the Fleece as satyrs are naturally drawn to it. Grover fears the cyclops Polyphemus (Robert Maillet), the creature that guards the Golden Fleece and uses it to lure in satyrs to eat. Percy, Annabeth and Tyson then meet Luke’s father Hermes (Nathan Fillion), who tells them that Luke is in an ocean liner in the Atlantic Ocean called the Andromeda; he asks Percy to apologize on his behalf for being a bad father to Luke. Equipped with gifts of tape that makes things disappear and a thermos of wind from Hermes, Percy, Annabeth and Tyson take a Hippocampus to the Andromeda and end up being captured by one of Luke’s soldiers, the Manticore (Daniel Cudmore), but escape using the magic artifacts. The trio eventually reaches the Sea of Monsters and is swallowed by Charybdis, meeting Clarisse in its stomach. She was given an old Civil War Confederate ironclad from her father to use on her quest, run by a crew of Confederate zombie soldiers, which has been somewhat modernized. They join forces to escape and reach Circeland, an abandoned amusement park above Polyphemus’ lair, where they rescue Grover and retrieve the Golden Fleece before being confronted by Luke, who reveals his plans to use the Golden Fleece to awaken the Titan Kronos (Robert Knepper).

Tyson sacrifices himself to protect Percy from a crossbow bolt fired from Luke, who subsequently steals the Golden Fleece and awakens Kronos. Tyson then returns, having been revived in contact with water, and rescues the others. In the ensuing fight, Luke and Grover are swallowed by Kronos before Percy realizes his magic sword, Riptide, is prophesied to be Kronos’ only weakness. Percy’s sword swing send Kronos’s body back, piece by piece, to the golden coffin which held his remains, and Luke becomes trapped in the hungry Polyphemus’ lair. The Manticore mortally wounds Annabeth before being killed by Grover and Clarisse, and Percy uses the Golden Fleece to revive her.

Returning to Camp Half-Blood, the group uses the Golden Fleece to restore the tree, and are surprised when it revives Thalia and restores her body. While the others celebrate, Percy realizes that perhaps Mount Olympus’ fate might rest on Thalia’s hands, not his.

REVIEW:

Percy Jackson returns to the big screen with Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. For some, like myself, the announcement of this flick has led to pure joy, while others have questioned why it was even made, especially three years following the original film when no one was really clamoring for it. Well, since I’m still working on a project regarding Greek mythology, this is right up my alley.

What is this about?

The epic adventures of Percy Jackson continue as the son of Poseidon and his friends venture into the perilous Sea of Monsters to find the Golden Fleece that has the power to save Camp Half-Blood, safe haven and training ground to the demigods.

What did I like?

Up the ante. As can be expected, the ante was upped in the sequel to 2010s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. With this film, we get bigger set pieces, no origin-itis, and lots more action. If Percy is going to succeed on the big screen, these films will have to continue to grow and give us more of what we ask for, because, if I recall, fans were begging for more action from the first film, and now we got it.

Old and new. All the characters we fell in love with in the first film are back. Well, most of them, anyway, as Pierce Brosnan is replaced, some may argue upgraded, by Anthony Head. Also returning to challenge Percy is Luke, son of Hermes, who now wants to resurrect the titan Kronos and is still suffering from daddy issues. We are also introduced to some new faces, particularly Tyson, Percy’s Cyclops half-brother with a heart of gold and Clarisse, daughter of Ares and an apparently rival to Percy.

Heart and comedy. Some films these days lack that emotional resonance with the audience, but when you have a character like Tyson who is whole heartedly devoted to his half-brother Percy. Sometimes, we just need to see that innocent love put on display. I, for one, was very appreciative that they played tins angle up, not to mention the fact that he was a nice little bit of comic relief. Also bringing in some of the funny was Nathan Fillion’s cameo as Hermes. You’ve seen his scene in the trailer, but he has a line that will have Firefly fans cracking up, plus who better to run UPS than Hermes, messenger of the gods?

Stain glass. Early on, there is a scene that is a bit of a flashback, but it is told using animated stain glass. The animation fan in me was loving this. I wish more films would use this technique. It wasn’t perfect, but it broke up the monotony of the film up to that point.

What didn’t I like?

Departure. I read this book when it first came out and was excited about it coming to the big screen. Unfortunately, it seems as if they strayed so far from the source material that it was nearly unrecognizable, not to mention leaving out and rearranging sections. It is too easy to bring up the age thing, or how the car scene is eerily reminiscent of the one from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but that is just the beginning. There are numerous things out of place from the source material, too many for me to look past.

Fantasy. I don’t know, I just felt like there should have been more of a fantastical element here. At times we got it, like with the chimera, the cyclops’, and the hippocampus, but I just think there could have been so much more. This is a film about the children of Olympian gods who have powers and abilities far beyond that of us mere mortals, let alone the fantastical creatures they can see that we don’t. I guess the filmmakers were thinking too many would have made this “childish” or “immature”. Don’t you hate it when they assume things like that?

Kronos. The great titan and father of the goods, Kronos, makes his first big screen appearance, but I have to question the choice of using him. First of all, he doesn’t appear for another couple of books, if I’m not mistaken. Going even further is the fact that he seems to resemble Hades from the God of War games, in terms of design The worst thing about the guy was his liquid form. I’m a little unclear if this was meant to be because he was still coming together, or if this is another power he had. Whatever the case may be, the CG wasn’t that great. As a matter of fact, he looked a bit pedestrian. For such an imposing figure, they could have done so much better with him.

Golden fleece. So, if something has golden in the name, such as the golden fleece, doesn’t it make sense that it should be gold? So, why is the golden fleece that they use to resurrect Kronos and heal Thalia a piece of fabric with a pattern on it. If this is to keep it in the modern world, fine, but, like I said, it’s called the golden fleece for a reason! Some may say it is cheesy, but at least in Jason and the Argonauts, the fleece is actually gold and…um…fleecy!

Please don’t get me wrong. I really did enjoy Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters for what it is, which is a decent fantasy flick. I even enjoyed the 3D *GASP*, because they actually did it right and threw things at the screen, which is more or less the reason for 3D, right? I don’t think it is any secret that they want this to be the next Harry Potter type franchise. If they want this to happen, then they need to tighten up the script and give us better visuals. That being said, this is still a highly enjoyable film, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

4 out of 5 stars

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Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

At the top of the Empire State Building, Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) meets with Zeus (Sean Bean), who comments that the storm clouds have no lightning and that his master bolt has been stolen. He blames Poseidon’s son for the theft. Despite Poseidon’s claims of his son’s innocence, Zeus gives Poseidon 14 days to return it, lest war break out.

During a field trip to an exhibition of Greek and Roman art, teenager Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), is lured away from the crowd by a Fury disguised as his substitute English teacher, who then attacks him, questioning him about the lightning bolt. The incredulous Percy, who has no knowledge of this, is rescued by his Latin teacher, Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan). After dispatching the Fury, Brunner gives Percy a magical pen. On Brunner’s instruction, Percy’s best friend, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), takes Percy to a training camp for demigods, Camp Half-Blood, along with Percy’s mother, Sally Jackson (Catherine Keener). During their trip to the camp, Percy attempts to learn about his biological father from Sally, but they are attacked by a Minotaur. Although Percy and Grover, who is revealed to be a satyr, make it to the camp, its defenses prohibit entrance to Sally, who is captured by the Minotaur, and disappears before Percy. Percy engages the Minotaur with the magical pen, which turns into a sword named Riptide, eventually killing the creature with one of its horns.

In touring Camp Half-Blood, Percy learns that Brunner is the mythological centaur Chiron, and the camp’s trainer, and that his father is the god Poseidon. He also meets Luke Castellan (Jake Abel), the son of Hermes, and Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario), the demigod daughter of Athena. While at the camp, Percy learns that water has the power to heal his injuries, and allows him to manifest his magical abilities.

Hades later appears and reveals that Sally Jackson is his prisoner, and proposes she be traded for the master bolt. Chiron instructs Percy not to bargain with the demon, but to go to Olympus to convince Zeus of his innocence. Percy sneaks away from the camp to travel to the Underworld, along with Grover and Annabeth, who secure for him from Luke a portable shield, flying shoes and a map to Persephone’s (Rosario Dawson) pearls, one of which will reveal the exit from the Underworld when retrieved.

At Aunty Em’s Garden Emporium, the trio are attacked by Medusa (Uma Thurman), but manage to decapitate her, and take the pearl from her bracelet. They also take her head, which they later successfully use against a hydra that attacks them during their acquisition of another pearl from the crown of a giant statue of Athena at the Parthenon replica in Nashville, Tennessee. They acquire the third and final pearl from a roulette wheel at a hotel casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, in part with help from Poseidon, who aids them against Lotus Eaters. The map reveals an entrance to the Underworld in Hollywood, California, beneath the Hollywood Sign.

The trio enter the Underworld, where, after traveling across the River Styx, they encounter Persephone, who takes them to Hades. Percy attempts to explain to Hades that he is not the lightning thief. During an ensuing melee, Percy drops his shield, whose handle conceals the missing master bolt, which Hades takes. However, the trio manage to reacquire it before escaping the Underworld with the rescued Sally. They are transported to the top of the Empire State Building, which they learn is the location to the entrance to Olympus. They are confronted by Luke, who reveals himself to have been the real lightning thief. Expressing his desire for a new generation of rulers to take over Olympus, he explains that he had hoped that the trio would not have escaped the Underworld alive, and after stealing the bolt from Percy, the two engage in battle. After using his water powers to dispatch Luke, Percy arrives in Olympus, where he presents the retrieved bolt, and reveals the truth about Luke. Poseidon explains to Percy the reason why they could not know each other during Percy’s childhood, but expresses his love for his son. Percy returns to Camp Half-Blood, where he resumes his training. After the end credits, a scene shows Sally forcing Gabe out of their apartment, and as he goes to get a beer from the fridge, opens it only to be turned to stone because Medusa’s unprotected eyes are staring right back at him.

REVIEW:

I’ve always been fascinated with mythology, but with the release of this and the upcoming (unnecessary) remake of Clash of the Titans, as well as my recent addiction to the God of War games ($10 for both at Gamestop…what a steal…until I found out they can be bought together…lol), it has been ratcheted up.

In a manner similar to Harry Potter, I have yet to read these books, but I will be changing that before the next film is released.

When I saw the initial trailer for this film this summer, I didn’t know what to think or make of it, but when a more detailed one came out this fall, it made more sense and piqued my interest. After watching this afternoon, I must say it wasn’t too shabby, but not without its faults.

First of all, the story is pretty cool. Think about it, almighty Zeus has his lightning bolt stolen and automatically accuses Poseidon. Not quite sure why. Seems to me, the #1 culprit would be Hades, but maybe that would make too much sense. Sean Bean doesn’t scream Zeus to me. Sure, he has that medieval look about him and all, but not Zeus. He could have pulled of Poseidon or one of the other gods, but for Zeus, I envision an old guy with a booming voice and all that jazz.Of course, he could be described a different way in the books, so I’ll leave that alone.

Percy seems to be your typical teenager, for the most part. Angst ridden and all. I really wish Hollywood would stop with these Zac Efron look-alikes, though. They’re almost as bad as every actress in Hollywood that thinks they have to be super skinny and blonde . The character of Percy as the picture goes on, though, goes up and down. At one point he is confused, the next he’s cocky, the nest he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. All this is well and good, except that I didn’t get these emotions from this kid.

The actress that plays Annabeth is quite beautiful. Megan Fox better look out, she has some competition. Seriously, as far as actual acting goes, she doesn’t have much to work with here, but she is a presence that is much needed and welcome, and you just know that somewhere down the line she and Percy are going to hook up. The tension is there and the foundation was laid in that final scene.

Steve Coogan as Hades…what can I say, but no. Um, this guy is a comedic actor. He seems like he was trying to channel a bit of James Woods’ Hades as well as sprinkle a bit of hisself in there. That wasn’t the problem for me, but rather, the goatee. Yes, the goatee was my biggest problem with him. I don’t know, some men just shouldn’t wear facial hair and Coogan is one of them. Yeah, that’s a little thing, but it really took away from his performance for me.

There are many who say Uma Thurman is one of the most beautiful women in the world. I’m not one of them, but I do get the irony in having such a beautiful woman play Medusa. As am atter of fact, if I’m not mistaken, Medusa is a beautiful woman before Athena puts the curse on her, so it makes sense, if I have my mythology right. All that aside, Medusa in every film is never on-screen that long. This is no exception, she ends up getting her head chopped off maybe 5 minutes after we first see her, but her head is seen throughout the film.

Rosario Dawson and Brandon T. Jackson…look, I’m not going ot beat around the bush. Look at the rest of the cast, then look at these two. Can we say quota. Not to take anything away from them. Jackson brings some much needed comic relief and Dawson is hot as hell, but I can’t help but think they were brought in to add some color.

Pierce Brosnan seems like he is in pain throughout this film, sort of like he doesn’t want to be there, but came into work for the paycheck. Having said that, though, I think his character is one that, if this becomes a franchise will rival that of Hagrid in the Harry Potter films. He’ll be that loved.

For me, this film took itself too seriously. I mean, aside from Grover, everyone seems to be acting like they’re in some Academy Award nominated drama. That is far from the case. For goodness sakes people, have some fun with this thing. I’m really surprised about this, especially considering that Chris Columbus, who directed the forts couple of HArry Potter films, is the director. Rumor is that they are working on a second one to be released in 2012. Hopefully, they’ll lighten up by then.

This is a perfect film for this lull between the holidays and summer. It isn’t quite a blockbuster, but it isn’t all artsy-fartsy, either. It blends action and heart, while at the same time providing the audience with some good entertainment. The scenery is beautiful at the camp and the CGI monsters aren’t too shabby, but could be better. Having said that, I belive if this becomes a franchise, we’ll look back at the faults and chalk them up to this being the first film. Is it worth watching? Most definitely, but don’t expect to see perfection, just go in and expect a pretty good flick about gods and stuff in modern day.

4 out of 5 stars