Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

How to teach kids Greek Mythology

Lover: Taken from IMDB
“I had read the original series, and I love it...I would choose both Percy and Harry Potter, for my top 10 fantasy series. I had wanted to see the movie when it was in theaters, but it went out, so I'd waited 'til it came out on DVD. I'd watched it and I thought it was really awesome; I did not like some of the negativity on it. The film (as you all know), is about teenage Percy Jackson who seem to be an ordinary teen; until after a monster attack at the museum (a Fury disguised as his English teacher), he found out he is a son of the sea god Poseidon. And have been accused of stealing Zeus' master lightning bolt, he finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save his mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves. So anyway I really love this film; even if there were changes to the characters.”

Not really a review, not sure why I picked this one now…

Hater: Taken from IMDB
“The first question I must ask myself is if Chris Columbus can even read... Because obviously he never read the books. Well maybe he read the back cover summary, its the only reference to the book in the movie. As for the book, Rick Riordan should be ashamed for letting anyone slaughter, I take that back, Massacre, his artwork in such a way. Not only were critical details left out of this story but the entire story was altered in such a way that a remake and an refund should be in place for all readers. The story line itself may have needed a little touching up for the big- screen but leaving out Kronos, Mr. D, Clarisse, The Oracle, blaming Hades, and everything else (I can go on for 375 pages) is unforgivable. If the plan was to make one lone movie and never touch Percy Jackson again, they were successful. I will never again be able to attend a Chris Columbus movie. Not even a free one.In their defense, if you had never read the books the cast did a good job on a kids movie. The amount of money spent to screw up a story this awesome is mind boggling. Please do not support the future career of the screen writer and director by spending your money. They should both be banished to Tartarus for such a crime! Long story short It is difficult to even write a review as it makes my blood pressure skyrocket to unhealthy levels. Signed, Devoted, Story loving readers of Rick Riordan.”

Oh yeah this is why, both these ‘reviews’ are from people who have read and liked the books. Just look at their contradicting opinions, it just goes to show that when you adapt something your bound to have people who hate and love you for it in equal measure. The first review admits some characters have been changed however he still enjoyed it!? The other guy makes it sound like he’s eyes have been raped, it’s all a bit over the top but see it for yourselves before passing judgement.

What I thought:
As a stand alone kid’s film Percy Jackson does what it says on the tin, it entertains the kids. It has a simple episodic plot of trying to find pearls, rescue Percy’s mother and find the elusive lightning thief. It’s easy to follow the action is cartoon but thrilling enough for a younger audience. It’s just a pretty good kids film and not else more.

Of course it’s adapted from a book so for a lot of people like the Harry potter books before it were divided. Some didn’t mind the cut backs to the book to make it convertible; others can not contain their anger. Whichever way it must be recognized that there is a reason these films are called adaptations, the original work has been adapted and in some cases completely ripped to shreds. For me the important thing for an adaptation is: does it capture the feel of the source material?

That of course is up to the reader but I treat Percy Jackson just as a film and as just a film it’s not too bad for kids. Our young cast are likable enough and they are joined by some thespian greats; Pierce Brosnan, Shaun Bean and Uma Thurman to name a few. The latter I have to say does not convince as Medusa at all, but I think that has something to do with her choice of costume, she looks more like a bad guy in the Matrix than a Demi-God. The effects work well and there are some childish giggles along the way, it makes for a great film for younger eyes.

It does however feel a bit like a School lesson in Greek Mythology, now they cant really be blamed for it; its basic exposition to help the audience understand the film. However this exposition does fell a bit forced, when every God and Demi-god spends most of their time on screen explaining who they are and who cursed who etc. You begin to ask is it all needed, most people have a basic knowledge for Greek Mythology and even if you don’t the film would only inspire kids to read up about it if they want to know more, I think they missed a trick.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
"Films are Loved, Films are hated. I'm here to help you decide where you stand..." I also do web work including a good knowledge of HTML, ASP, using the adobe web package and a strong understanding of SEO, Google Analytics.