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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Genre: , , , ,

Cast: Logan Lerman, Uma Thurman, Rosario Dawson, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin McKidd, Steve Coogan, Sean Bean, Catherine Keener

Director: Chris Columbus

Rated: PG-13

Review By:
Dan Deevy

School:
New York University '00

Quote:
"I don't think you're dumb... I just think at times you're under-exposed to information." -Murphy Brown

percy_jackson_and_the_olympians_the_lightning_thief_bluray-logan_lerman
Release Date: June 29th, 2010
Click to Buy on DVD or Bluray!
Movie Grade: B+
Features Grade: A-
Overall Grade: A-

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Review By: Dan Deevy
DanDeevy@TheCinemaSource.com

When <i><b>Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightening Thief</i></b> first came to theaters in February of this year the critics were harsh on it. With only a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes it seemed clear that opinions were pretty evenly split. I was in the minority at the time praising the film for being a fun, well made family adventure that wouldn’t bore parents and would actually help to educate kids on Greek mythology. Now that we have seen the lackluster performance of all films in 2010, I think it’s clear that we should have appreciated this mythological romp more when it first came out.

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The movie tells the story of what happens to the half-human half-God or more properly, the ‘Demigod’ children of the Greek Gods after their parents have abandoned them on earth. Zeus decreed that any contact with them was forbidden for fear of the Gods becoming too human through loving and raising them. One of those children was Percy Jackson (<b>Logan Lerman</b>), son of Poseidon God of the Seas. When Zeus’s all powerful lighting bolt is stolen from Mount Olympus suspicions fall on young Percy who isn’t even aware of who his father really is.

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With the help of his sworn junior protector Grover (<b>Brandon T. Jackson</b>) and the beautiful battle tested Annabeth (<b>Alexandra Daddario</b>) the three set out on a road trip of mythical proportions to find and return the Lightning bolt to Zeus before an all out war of the Gods erupts and destroys earth in the process.

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Again this is a super fun movie that when taken as it was intended is very entertaining. If you’re an ancient Greek scholar then you will have a field day picking apart the inaccuracies of the story and the history, but if you look past that to see the human elements behind this adventure you’ll enjoy yourself.

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For me, I really appreciated the relationship between Percy and his mom and how he dealt with having an awful stepfather around. Of course in a world of mystical fantasy things like having a disgusting, clearly below you and your mom fat ass around constantly can be explained away by needing his repulsive scent to keep demons from tracking you down. I swear I wish my mom had had such an awesome excuse for her choices. But the point is director <b>Chris Columbus</b> and the story tapped into a very real emotion in a very real situation that a lot of kids are going through and used it to ground this fantastical tale in reality; which makes the movie succeed in reaching and capturing its audience. As long as you feel it’s coming from an honest relatable place, you’ll go along with the less believable elements of the story and just enjoy yourself.

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The special FX are truly amazing in this film. It’s one thing to convincingly create

a landscape or a fully CGI’d monster as a lot of movies have done, it’s quite another to successfully integrate parts of a real person with parts of a CGI’d animal as they did here numerous times with the Centaurs, Satyrs and other mythological half-man half-animal creatures. Believe me I watched closely for flaws in their work and I honestly couldn’t find any. Even with Bluray quality there was nothing unconvincing on screen. The FX team did their jobs amazingly well. (Take that <i>Clash of the Titans</i>!)

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This edition of the film comes in three versions, Bluray, DVD and a digital copy. Often times I say that it doesn’t matter which format you watch it in, this time I’m going to say Bluray all the way! Movies like <i><b>Percy Jackson</i></b>, <I>The Dark Knight</i> and <I>Avatar</i> are the types of films that this format was made for. Sure it’s nice to have super clarity on <b>Anna Faris</b> in <i>House Bunny</I> but it’s not really necessary. So if you’re a fan of movies like this it’s time to go get that Bluray player already.

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Special features abound in this set including 10 deleted scenes and plenty of featurettes.

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Of the 10 deleted or alternate scenes there was really only one that should have been included in the film; it’s a scene where Hades explains more about why he is ruler of the underworld and what that really means. It wasn’t crucial to the story to get these extra details but it did add more dimension to his character which was interesting to see.

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The <i>Secrets of the Gods</i> interactive feature allows the viewer to choose which God they want to learn more about and then through an ancient Greek-like voice-over and scenes from the movie the history behind that God is revealed. It’s a more erudite feature than most but the editing of the film clips makes it enjoyable to watch.

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<i>Discover Your Powers Quiz</i> is another interactive feature that is great for kids. Through a series of questions it lets you know who your God parent might be and what untold powers you may posses. I think this is a fantastic thing for kids… and adults too. In case you were wondering I’m most likely a member of the House of Poseidon.

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<i>The Book Comes to Life</i> is a feature that shows the process of translating <b>Rick Riordan</b>’s book into this feature length film. The various interviews with the author, the actors and the creative team are great and the behind-the-scenes stuff is fantastic to watch. Any movie that has as much green screen as this one does deserves some extensive behind-the-scenes footage so people can see how it was all created. <i>Inside Camp Half-Blood</I> and <i>Meet the Demigods</i> are two more informative behind-the-scenes featurettes with great B-roll and interviews. <i>On Set with Brandon T. Jackson</i> is another chance for the uber-extroverted

actor to cheese it up for the cameras as he takes us through a few days on set. <i>Composing for the Gods</i> talks about the music behind the film and finally the theatrical trailer can also be found in the ‘Extras.’

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This is a fun, incredibly well made movie that should have gotten more love and appreciation in the theaters but now can be appreciated over and over again at home on Bluray. <b>Chris Columbus</b> may have utterly destroyed <i>RENT</I> but he was the perfect man to bring this fan favorite tale to life!

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Pick this up for your kids or for yourself and you’re guaranteed to enjoy the ride and maybe learn a thing or two along the way as well.

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