Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Big Screen Experience

I was beyond excited for the Percy Jackson movie. My excitement was not in vain.

Yes, it was fairly dissimilar from the book, and some of that really annoyed me. No Ares-bashing? No cabins? NO CLARISSE??!

But you know what? I got over it, sat back and enjoyed the ride. My inner mythology nerd couldn't help but inflate its ego whenever it recognized a reference, and the Lotus Eaters was the only one I didn't recognize. I mean, I got it belatedly, but it wasn't an 'Oh, snap!' moment.

Even though it wasn't so prominent in the book, my soppy side enjoyed the romantic tension between Percy and Annabeth, even though I kind of objected to the aging of the characters. What can you do? It's Hollywood, and I guess you've got to sell.

My worst pet peeve was the sword fighting scenes, but that's universal, not specific to this movie. As someone who fences, I narrow my eyes and hiss whenever anyone takes a sword and swipes and clangs it together with another person's sword. Geeze, people. You'd be dead if you did that in a real fight.

I particularly enjoyed Grover in the movie, and the Turkish subtitles' version of his name: Kivircik, meaning 'curly.' Nice. Plus, the ending fight scene with Luke was epic. Heck, Luke was epic. At first I didn't like him all that much, especially sans scar, but by the end... he convinced me. He definitely had the mischievous-but-smart Son of Hermes thing down. ;)
(Don't get me wrong, Logan Lerman was also epic as Percy, but I watched 'My One and Only' over Christmas and knew that he was going to be good, so no surprises there.)

Plus, the guy who played Gabe Ugliano was called Joe Pantoliano. Doesn't that just make you laugh?

Overall, I'm happy with the movie because it'll probably entice more kids to read the books, and thus to get into mythology. I think some knowledge of Greek myths is kind of essential to life, not just for general knowledge but because it helps you understand and appreciate Classical Civilization in story form. And they're great stories-- when I was a kid I thought Perseus, Theseus and the rest of them were incredibly cool. (The Disney version of Hercules may have had something to do with this.)

What did you guys think?



  1. Great review!
    Yeah, sword scenes are always pretty fake in Hollywood.
    My pet peeve is slightly different; it's the continual Hollywood portrayal of Hades in a Satanistic way. Hades is NOT like Satan in the Bible, I must shout! In both Disney's Hercules and ESPECIALLY Percy Jackson, Hades was like the Devil and the Underworld was like Hell.
    (In Hercules, Hades looked more like the Greek version, yet acted more like Satan; in PJ, Hades looked more like Satan, and acted more like the Greek version, imo.)
    Hades was just the youngest brother who got taken advantage of! Rick Riordan got it right; Hades wasn't trying to take over the world or anything. He's just a poor dude who's brothers took advantage of him.
    And now, he is cursed forever to be portrayed as Satan...
    (I had the same problem with the Underworld. It would have been waaaaaaaaay scarier if it had been dark and empty-looking.)

    Sorry for the rant. :( *Greek Mythology nerd here!*


  2. Thanks! :)
    I guess that I never thought of it that way, but that's so true! I mean, we did the Aeneid last year and the underworld was this dark, depressing place, not half as crazy as people seem to portray it.

    Total mythology nerd here, too- I'm actually reading a sort of compilation at the moment. I'd tell you the name, but that would require me finding the book... and sadly, I can't see the floor in my room at the moment.


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