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August 2, 2013

Percy Jackson and...the WORST Movie Ever?


Here’s a hot tip: if your movie has a scene featuring a goat-man dancing in Las Vegas to the tune of “Poker Face”, you’ve made a terrible movie.

And now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s chat about Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.  Because I’m dumb and love punishing myself for existing.


All right.  So, if you’ve been around me and my online presence before, you may have picked up on me saying in passing that the Percy Jackson movie from a few years back is the worst movie I’ve ever seen.  And before you ask, yes, that means I think it’s worse than a couple of the Twilight movies (seen on TV, obviously, because I’ve got a working brain).  At least with the Twilight movies, I knew they were going to be bad; the only question was how bad they’d be…which turns out to be pretty bad.  Go figure.

But with Percy Jackson, which happened to be regularly airing on TV at one point, I went in blind.  I’d heard of the book series, but never bothered checking them out for myself.  Nor did I feel any drive to see the movie when it was in theaters.  I didn’t care enough about it to go spend money on it, but if presented to me on TV -- or at least presented to my brother and my buddy one night after a few rounds of Smash Bros. -- then I’d sit through it.

That was a mistake.


Maybe this is just my naiveté flaring up again, but isn’t a movie adaption supposed to increase interest in a property, not fill you with an overwhelming desire to burn everything with its name to ashes?  That’s what I would have guessed.  But good God -- I’m glad I’m not a fan of Percy Jackson, because if I saw the movie after devoting myself to the books, someone would’ve died that night.  No matter what the post’s title says, I’m not going to call it the worst movie ever (it can’t be, so long as any given Adam Sandler movie in the past decade exists)…but it’s still the one that gave me the biggest headache I’ve ever gotten from a movie. 

And as fate would have it, the movie happened to pop up on TV not too long ago.  So I decided to watch it -- you know, to see if I could find any redemptive material.  To see if it really was worthy of ALL OF MY HATE.  To blog about it, because apparently internet stardom is bred from highlighting and suffering through bad movies and video games.

So, what did I find out?  No, Percy Jackson does not get redemption.  If anything, it’s worse than I remember.  And in “honor” of the upcoming sequel, I’d say it’s about time I introduce The Lightning Thief to the Hammer of the Gods.  Because if there’s one thing the movie deserves, it’s a punch from Paul Phoenix.


…I reserve the right to make as many Tekken references as I want.  That’s the trade-off for thinking about this movie for more than a quarter of a picosecond.

All right.  Let’s start with a quick rundown of the plot.  Our hero is Harry Potter Percy Jackson, a below-average student thanks to dyslexia and ADHD that are so rampant he’s forced to attend a special school.  He lives in squalor alongside his worn-to-the-bone mother and a boor of a stepfather (or boyfriend, or something), and laments every day of his life.  But things take a turn for the surreal when one day, Percy is attacked on a school field trip by a Fury -- and while he survives the encounter, he’s pulled out of the world he knows to begin a new life at Hogwarts Camp Half-Blood, while losing his mother to Hades and his minions in the process.   The reason?  Twofold: first, it turns out that Percy is actually a wizard a demigod, and the love child of Poseidon, so he’s allowed to stay in Camp Half-Blood with all the other demigods and learn magic train to harness his powers.  The second: Percy is apparently the first and only suspect in the case of Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt, and the chief god is about to raise hell over it unless he gets it back.  In an effort to prove his innocence, save his mother, and protect the world from a divine hissy fit, Percy embarks on a grand adventure across America that wouldn’t be out of place in a Super Nintendo game. 

Okay.  I’m going to stop right here and make a bit of a bold claim: you really don’t need to read anything more on this post to figure out what’s wrong with this movie.  That paragraph up there should tell you everything you need to know about why this movie fails -- and not just because of the similarities to a certain boy wizard’s adventures.  Can you figure it out?  Here, I’ll give you a bit of time to figure it out.  Don’t worry, it’s easy.  You won’t even need a minute to guess.


Time’s up.  So, what have you got?  Seeing things my way?  Found your own problem?

Well, I’ll go ahead and tell you mine: this has to be the single most arbitrary and contrived plot I’ve ever encountered.  This entire movie didn’t need to happen -- and that’s because the thrust of the plot could be shattered with one word: how?

Motive.  Opportunity.  Modus operandi.  Those are the three basic elements needed to decide if someone was even REMOTELY close to committing a crime.  Without that, there’s no reason to believe Percy stole the lightning bolt.  And rest assured, there isn’t a trace of even one of those.  Percy didn’t know a damn thing about the existence of gods until after the lightning bolt was stolen, and it’s at the tail end of the movie when he actually meets one of them (Hades) in person.  So how did he make it to Olympus and steal Zeus’ bolt?  When would he have done so, given that he’s bootstrapped to a school for the handicapped?  Why would he have done so, unless he wanted the most badass glow stick ever for that big rave coming up?  Zeus has no argument for his claim, or reason to believe it.  Further, why pick Percy in the first place?  Why that kid?  Why, out of all the love-children, would he choose that one -- and a love-child that isn’t even one of his own?


But wait, it gets worse.  The three main gods are Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon -- and it’s Poseidon that stays in relatively-constant contact with Percy throughout the entire movie via telepathy (or something).  So when Percy ends up in Vegas eating kid-friendly hallucinogens, Poseidon chimes in to tell him that he should stop and get back to his mission.  So here’s my question: if Poseidon knows where Percy is at all times and what he’s doing, why doesn’t he vouch for his son’s innocence?    Further, if Poseidon has the omnipotence that allows him to know where his son is (as you’d expect from a god), why doesn’t Zeus use his to immediately figure out the same?  Even if his foresight is limited to the range of demigods, that’s still more than enough to tell him Percy’s not guilty…and considering that the actual Lightning Thief IS a demigod, it’s not a stretch to say he should have known better.  And Hades is no less guilty; he’s just as much in the dark as everyone else.  He doesn’t even try to play the gods against one another; he’s just a stooge in all this that ends up getting outplayed by his hot wife. 

So yes, from the word “go” the plot has been dead for about fifteen years.  But wait, there’s more!  That’s just the conflict part of the equation!  It’s bad enough that that’s pretty much junk, but even at a cursory glance the rest of the movie’s particulars make no sense.  Example: Percy’s dyslexia and ADHD are actually symptoms of his demigodhood, and Camp Half-Blood exists to train demigods so that their powers and skills are developed.  Sooooo…why not just drop Percy off there in the first place?  Why dump him in such a terrible home setting to begin with?  The assumption would be that it’s to protect Percy, but the question there is, “from what?”  He’s in no danger at all until some punk steals the bolt, and even when it’s stolen he’s almost immediately found out by enemies that not only know him by name, but have long since infiltrated his world and lifestyle (the Fury that attacked him earlier?  One of his teachers).  Why even put him in the outside world?  If he’s supposed to become some defender of peace and justice, why not give him training from the outset?

But as it turns out, Percy isn’t the only one in the outside world.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…

Centaur…

Pierce…

Brosnan.


video

…Sorry.  I just…I just needed a moment.

So yes.  Centaur Pierce Brosnan is…is a thing in this movie.  And he’s also something of a protector to Percy, in that he disguises himself as a teacher (using magic to disguise himself as a blanket-wearing paraplegic).  But make no mistake, he’s not THE protector; no, that honor goes to Percy’s best friend Grover, played by Tropic Thunder alum Brandon T. Jackson.  Dignity is not allowed to either the actor or the character, as Grover is not only a half-man, half-goat -- a satyr, but let’s not fool ourselves here -- but about as aggravating as any number of Chris Tucker roles scaled up by a factor of three.  Unlike the centaur, though, Grover just disguises himself with…a pair of pants, and acts under the guise of having MS thanks to his crutches. 

Now here’s my question: why a satyr, and why a centaur?  Camp Half-Blood is packed with demigods with no shortage of training, with all the knowledge, power, and of course human bodies that should make integration a snap.  Why send in the horse-man and the goat-man?  Even if one of them could disguise himself with magic, what if something went wrong?  If at any point someone caught a glimpse of Grover not only revealing his ability to walk, but his possession of a pair of lamb chops, what sort of damage would that cause to the masquerade -- of if not that, then at least tipping off the bad guys to Percy’s presence?  What is there to gain?  Why not send in humans to a human school in a human town?  Why not just let Percy stay at Camp Half-Blood if there are dozens of other people just like him living their lives to the fullest?  WHEN DID I GET TRANSPORTED TO CRAZY TOWN, ALABAMA?!


It’s like…what am I even supposed to work with here?  The adventure at large is bare-bones, the framework behind it is about as solid as a bunch of Pixy Stix, I’m almost certain this movie is related to the book in name only, and the less said about the characters in it, the better.

Now let’s talk about the characters.  It’s not like I needed my brain for anything.  A little melting is always appreciated.

Basically, you’ve got three characters here: Not-Harry, Not-Ron, and Not-Hermione, comprising the movie’s trio of heroes and pretty much the only members of the cast to have any impact or relevance to anything.  Since I’ve already talked a bit about Grover, let’s focus on him first.  As the Not-Ron of the group, Grover is, in theory, supposed to be the team’s wild card -- useless in some situations, but incredibly vital in others.  He’s the “other guy”, the supporter who helps the lead out, but occasionally gets his time in the spotlight.  Grover doesn’t.  Oh sure, he’ll drive a truck as a distraction, or pull out a Medusa head to finish off a hydra, but holy hell is this guy useless as a protector.  Take away the truck and the Medusa head, and what does he have?  Crutches?  How is that going to stop a hydra?  Plus he doesn’t even get to use his skills, crutch-fu or otherwise.  When Percy gets attacked by a minotaur en route to the camp, Grover tells Percy to fight the monster off with his transforming pen-sword he got from Centaur Pierce Brosnan.  (Bonus points to CPB for not just telling Percy “click the pen, get a sword” and dancing cryptically around the subject.)  What sense does that make?  That’s like telling the president to fight off a bunch of White House invaders with a baseball bat…and only a certain breed of president can pull that off.


Grover isn’t worth even a quarter of a damn in this movie.  Pretty much everything he does could have been done by someone else (Percy, most likely), and in fact his mere presence ends up creating arbitrary problems later on.  The three MacGuffins the group’s been collecting to go to hell and save Percy’s mom can only transport three people there and back -- one for each person, for…whatever reason.  Grover ends up deciding to stay in hell so Percy, his mom, and his newfound love interest can go back to the surface…and I don’t think there’s ever been a more accurate application of the phrase “and nothing of value was lost.”  It would have been a meaningful, even noble sacrifice if Grover had ever been set up to be something besides “wacky, wise-cracking black sidekick” or “mouthpiece for all the trends and lingo the kids are into” (which only helps date the movie that much more thoroughly).  As he is, he’s just a waste of space that makes an already painful movie like a lobotomy performed by a blind, drunk surgeon using spoons and toilet paper.

But as bad as Grover is, there’s a special level of hell reserved just for him AND his buddy Percy.  As our Not-Harry, it’s his job to be the put-upon everyman with a terrible home life -- and then, gets whisked off to a magical world thanks to his birthright so he can become the savior of a world he barely knows anything about.  I joke (somewhat), but once more Harry Potter has the advantage; at least in his case and his movies, it’s tempered by him being thoroughly enticed by the new world -- a service to readers/viewers -- and being an active member of it rather than its sole deciding factor.  Highs and lows, struggles and triumphs, strengths and weaknesses; those are all things that are a part of Harry’s character.  Even a terrible movie should be able to get that much right.


But not this one, of course.  This universe pretty much revolves around Percy, whether he’s in the normal world or the magical “you’re the most special-est of all!” Camp Half-Blood.  There’s a sense of artificiality and insincerity to the movie from start to finish, and I think I can sum up why: Percy isn’t allowed to be anything but the center of the universe…even if it’s undeserved, and ESPECIALLY if it doesn’t make sense.  If I remember right, one of the first shots in the movie is of Percy looking sad in the depths of a pool.  Why?  Obviously, so we can feel sorry for him; between his worn-down mother, his borderline-abusive stepfather, and his flaring-up ADHD and dyslexia, he’s a character that we’re supposed to feel sympathetic towards from the get-go.  It’s sympathy by dint of his circumstances, not his character (character, in a movie?  Can’t have that!).  And it’s because of that attempt at sympathy that the whole thing feels flat.  Fake.  Engineered.  It’s nothing but shorthand for actual investment in a character.

And it becomes a hell of a lot harder to become invested in this character when he makes the switch from zero to god in the space of a scene.  As it turns out, Percy’s dyslexia is actually a result of his brain subconsciously organizing things into Greek symbols and language -- and his ADHD is actually his impulsiveness, bred from his warrior instincts.  First off, what warrior instincts?  Poseidon is a god; he fights by throwing hundreds of gallons of water at his enemies, not by swinging a sword and shield.  Second, am I the only one who’s more than a little wary of how easily they shrugged off Percy’s issues?  “Oh, those conditions of yours that got so bad you were sent to a special school to move past them?  Pshaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!  Those are just your super-awesome senses!”  And they’re never brought up again.  I don’t know about you, but there’s something dirty about saddling Percy with these issues and never doing anything about them; given that there are people in the world that do have dyslexia, do have ADHD, and don’t have Olympian parents to make it all better, I would have figured that a little decorum would be in order.  Then again, I would have figured that they wouldn’t have made a shitty movie where the lead character doesn’t borrow from the Shia LaBeouf School of Acting.   


One thing that really irritates me about the movie is how Percy starts to realize he’s got the power of a god (and I stress god, because he pretty much pole-vaults over being a mere demigod within the first hour).  There’s a training exercise between the other kids of Camp Half-Blood, organized into a game of Capture the Flag.  Percy’s thrown into the mix, and as you’d expect he’s shown to be completely incompetent, uncoordinated, and cowardly; he even ends up getting his ass kicked and laughed at by the better part of the camper population.  But all it takes for him to awaken to his supreme godlike power and completely overwhelm his asskicker is…some water splashing over him.  Even though he was in water earlier and presumably countless times before getting to the camp, only now is he suddenly able to do things such as…swing a sword with incredible power and dexterity!  Have his wounds healed when they touch water!  Waterbend!  So basically, he has no reason to train ever again, and is in fact the most awesomest dood that ever existed.  Also, those powers of his will only come in handy for two out of five skirmishes.  If that.  And he’s STILL the best of the trio. 


His fatal flaw isn’t his impulsiveness, you see; it’s that Percy’s really fucking dumb.  His plan isn’t to find the missing lightning bolt; it’s to find three magic pearls so he and his pals can teleport to hell; once he’s there, his plan is to talk to Hades and say he didn’t steal the bolt, and that’ll convince the lord of the underworld to let his mother go.  So once again, the plot is all based on completely arbitrary nonsense; there is NO WAY things are going to go the way Percy hopes.  But he does it anyway, and Hades rightfully calls him out on it -- if Percy hadn’t been played by the real Lighting Thief into delivering the bolt to Hades, the movie would have stopped right there.  (Side note: the bolt turns out to be nestled inside Percy’s collapsible shield the whole time.  Even if it’s “hidden” in a secret compartment, how the hell do you not hear the crackle, feel the heat, or notice the light coming off of a damn bolt of lightning?) 

In spite of having several opportunities to behead a Medusa from behind, Percy just decides to reveal himself and risk getting turned to stone.  Even with a movie like Disney’s Hercules long since passed, he doesn’t know not to cut off the head of a hydra.  In spite of being effectively immortal as long as there’s water around, he never bothers to carry some for himself to act as an instantly-healing salve or power boost or even weapon.  The mere concept of going to Olympus and asking Zeus for help (and acquittal) never even occurs to him; nor is finding out who really IS the Lightning Thief and clearing his name.  It’s as if common sense doesn’t even begin to exist for this moron. 


But as bad as Percy is, there’s still Annabeth.  Oh Annabeth.  Poor Annabeth.  She’s awful, don’t get me wrong -- but I can’t help but feel sorry for her.  She’s the biggest casualty in this entire movie, hands down; even so, it’s hard to feel too much sympathy for a character that almost singlehandedly makes the movie even worse than it already is.  We’re introduced to her at Camp-Half Blood with several shots of her being a tough, battle-hardened swordswoman, and in her first chat with Percy she reveals that she’ll have none of his guff.  In addition, we’re told that she’s also a demigod -- the daughter of Athena, goddess of (pulled straight from Wikipedia) wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.  So the expectation here is that if Percy has raw power and no skill thanks to his heritage/lack of training, then Annabeth would be the counterpoint; she might not be quite as powerful, but she’d compensate with battle savvy, strength bred from ages of training, and supreme knowledge of weapon usage, enemy weaknesses, and --

Annabeth is useless.  As useless as Grover, maybe more.  At least he has the decency to sacrifice himself.

There are two big problems with this character.  The first is that from the moment she’s introduced, you can literally count the seconds before Annabeth goes from tough, competent warrior to Percy’s arm candy. It’s not even subtle or gradual; she’s hostile toward Percy from the outset, and after he becomes an instant expert on fighting and beats her, suddenly she starts playing right into his hands while putting on airs of being a strong independent woman.  And then in a scene a little later, she has to be saved by him from Medusa, and by then she’s pretty much putty in his hands.  And in what can’t be any more than two scenes later, she’s pretty much a cheerleader for Percy, bouncing up and down on her heels as she claps and cheers him on.  For someone who’s known she’s been a demigod for a while and presents herself as such, she sure stops acting like it early on.  I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but if I’d just been upstaged by some doofus who only won by stumbling into godhood, I’d be a little bitter.  He only trained for half a day, if that.


The second problem with this character is that she never, ever capitalizes on being Athena’s daughter.  That is to say, she acts like a teenage girl -- and is about as useful as one.  And half as smart as one.  Their first boss encounter is against Medusa, and in spite of the audience figuring out what they’re going to be up against seconds after they enter the area, it takes Annabeth ages to even begin to realize it.  Moreover, she ends up being saddled with a panicked woman who had her husband turned to stone (and still can’t quite put it together), only to come across…across…

CGI…

Snake-haired…

Uma Thurman.


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…You know, it’s stuff like this that makes me wonder: why am I even alive?

So when Medusa comes out and reveals her snake hair, Annabeth wisely decides to keep her eyes shut.  But that’s about the ONLY wise thing she does, considering that she decides to stand in place and not run away, or even attempt to get the woman clutching her wrist to safety.  Inexplicably, the woman listens to Medusa and opens her eyes, turning to stone as a result and anchoring Annabeth to that spot.  Fantastic.  She’s eventually “saved” by Grover and Percy…and it’s worth noting that while one of them breaks the forearm of the lady to free Annabeth, the damsel herself pulls the rest of her arm free from the stone by pulling the rest off with her bare hands.  How?  And why?  Does she have super strength?  Is the stone that feeble?  If that’s the case, why didn’t she do that earlier?  Did she just not feel like doing anything to help in a life-or-death situation? 

Annabeth’s lack of even basic awareness of Greek mythology and monsters is astounding, considering that as a demigod of Camp Half-Blood -- and, you know, the daughter of the goddess of wisdom -- she had to have at least picked something up.  Even without that knowledge, pop culture would have given her any number of options against the enemies they face -- and if it’s a lack of pop culture that cripples her, then she should have the Greek knowledge to compensate.  When she and the others run into a hydra in the museum (which is apparently made out of guards speaking in synchronized monotone…just go with it), she’s incredibly slow to mention to Percy that cutting off the heads only makes more heads.  


That seems like the first thing you’d want to mention to a guy whose chief weapon is a sword and has already displayed his penchant for cutting off the heads of his enemies.  And her primary offense against a three-story-tall fire-breathing monster?  Shooting arrows at it.  Honey, that’s not a very good game plan.  She’s pretty much useless from then on, falling prey to the same Lotus Eater trap as the others, cowering in fear at the sight of approaching hellhounds, and barely appearing (if at all) during the final fight between Percy and the actual Lightning Thief.  Hermione ran shit in her universe; the least Annabeth could do was be more than a measuring stick for how amaaaaaaaaaaazing Percy is.

But there’s good news!  At the end of the movie, when all’s said and done, and she’s pretty much confirmed to be pining for Percy’s mighty javelin, she gets to save face by disarming him and telling him to keep his guard up.  I’m sure he will thanks to your brilliant instruction, sweetheart.  After all, he’s learned from the best. 


So.  At the end of the day, what is there to say about this movie?  What is there to like?  If the plot is worthless and the characters are worthless, what is there to latch onto?  It sure as hell isn’t the journey, there’s hardly any interplay between these or any other characters, meaning that they have no arcs or development.  The adventure itself has no sense of weight or impact; there’s no observation of the passage of time, and certainly not the distance traveled; these characters are driving across America in a single truck, but all those miles traveled might as well be the loading screen between levels.  So many characters in this movie are unlikable morons trying to tug at heartstrings; those that aren’t readily acknowledge how stupid people are being.   And that’s ignoring all the plot holes, like how they’re paying for gas, how they snuck into a museum at night, how they make it into a casino during regular hours in spite of being underage, why Zeus starts conjuring a world-destroying storm, why he needs that one lightning bolt in the first place, and more.

Cursory glances at wikis and forum posts suggests that a lot of things were changed (or lost in translation) from book to movie.  I know that the book will always be the superior site for telling the story -- lots of stories, really -- but the assumption is that A) the movie will take the chance to fix issues with the book, B) adapt certain elements so that they’re a better fit for the medium, C) pay respect to the source material, and D) BE GOOD. 


But there’s none of that.  There’s nothing here.  Nothing.  It’s the cheapest, most insincere attempt to push the next Harry Potter around.  You just can’t do what they did with this movie -- because there are fans, and plenty of them, justified in their enjoyment of the series.  You have to pay respect to your audience’s intelligence, whether they’re fans or not -- hell, especially if they AREN’T fans.  What could have been the start of something magical is just the most groan-inducing, mind-flaying, heart-rending movie I’ve ever seen, limping its way to a sequel with the flimsy excuse of “there’s another book we can film.”

They want to make a big franchise out of Percy Jackson?  Fine.  But they need to make a good movie first.  And I can tell you right now that they’re not going to do it with a goddamn dancing goat-man.

See you guys around.  I need to go punch something.

A dancing goat man…damn!  What were they thinking?


14 comments:

  1. Might be a good time for playing the first 5 minutes of Doom 3. SUPER TURBO TURKEY PUNCHER 3!


    I can't reserve judgement on this movie until I eyeball the novel. But on the bright side, it's light reading I could probably read enough of it to pass judgement in an hour.

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  2. I've got plans to give Dragon's Crown a shot in the coming weeks, so hopefully that'll turn out to be pretty fantastic. There's been too much negativity on this blog recently, and I'm hoping to change that soon enough. Then again, even if DC doesn't work out, I've still got an ace up my sleeve. I've been finding a LOT of enjoyment out of an old game recently; I might end up doing a post on it sometime soon. We'll see.


    That aside, I'm going to go ahead and assume that the novel (or the series proper) is infinitely superior to the movie. It has to be; I REFUSE to believe that the plot of that first book is based on a god throwing a temper tantrum and playing the blame game like a fussy six-year-old. I REFUSE.

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  3. It's been a long time, but I did read the book before seeing the film. ... That was years ago. I can't remember my reaction in the theater, but I can assure you that 'Prometheus' and 'Oblivion' made permanent psychological scars of trauma, despair, and rage on my brain. Maybe 'Percy Jackson' was so bad my brain control-alt-deleted the memory of my reaction. Still, this film was bad. Very bad.


    The contrivances may have still existed in the book, but the world was better established and explained (the dyslexia and ADHD, etc.) Everything took place over the span of two months or so. That gave Percy enough time to train and learn more about being a Demi-god. A few episodes on their more-than-one-week journey like Las Vegas that referenced monsters and gods in Greek mythology were skipped over completely. Granted, they were entertaining and interesting ideas that were simply eliminated for the sake of a plot that rushed things pointlessly. Pacing was a serious problem with this film. Everything was so rushed and nothing sank in, save for disappointment.


    And the final showdown with the real Lightning Thief? Never happened in the book. The ending is COMPLETELY different. It came off more like a twist ending, kinda like your friend comes to say high to you, gives you a hug, than stabs your liver with a butcher knife... except metaphorically.


    'Percy Jackson' - both the movie and the books - do have strong similarities to 'Harry Potter'. That may be why the guys in Hollywood signed Chris Columbus as director. Still, that does not excuse him taking Harry Potter seriously, then completely blowing this in the face with a bazooka.


    *shrugs*


    I still found the book to be a quick, fun read with some really cool ideas with Greek mythology. My cousin's son likes the series and its spin-offs. I picked up the second book for the heck of it. Not as big a reader as I used to be, but they're easy to digest. And they deserve better than this movie.


    P.S. - some really mean, but insanely awesome revenge falls upon Percy's stepdad that was sadly not put in the film. That should not have been removed... at all. T-T

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  4. I haven't seen Oblivion, but I do know what you mean about Prometheus. There are things I can't help but appreciate about it ("Let's go on a space adventure! YEAH!"), but virtually everything else falls apart even on a surface level. It's a frustrating movie, without a doubt. But anyway...

    "Everything took place over the span of two months or so. That gave Percy enough time to train and learn more about being a Demi-god."



    See, that right there automatically proves that the book is better. If the movie makers had taken even a few minutes to explain or show the passage of time, it'd make the adventure a lot more meaningful. I don't know exactly how they'd pull it off in the movie, but there has to be a way for them to show that time is passing -- and likewise, to make each encounter with mythology more effective. Why they would decide to create a scene with a dancing goat-man and a montage where said goat-man gets his hooves painted is a question that no man could answer.


    I know I joked about the similarities to Harry Potter, but obviously that's not a bad thing. Harry Potter became as popular as it was -- and still is -- for a reason. It has a formula that CAN work, but can ALSO be tweaked significantly. By the sound of things, the book series understands that, and I approve of it. But the movie makers either got too complacent, or just didn't give a shit on the grounds that "it's based on a book, so plenty of fans are gonna come see it anyway."


    If there's one thing that I hate about a bad product -- game, movie, whatever -- it's the wasted potential. And this movie wastes its potential almost gleefully.

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  5. Maybe it is just me and my personal loathing of one particular piece of media, but in my mind something needs to be appalling to be considered the worst. Now, based on your write up, which I more or less skimmed through in all honesty, this movies sounds like a truckload of hogwash. But whenever the worst worst comes to mind, the question of, "Is a hooker dressed like a flight attendant kidnapped, assaulted until she has the mental prowess of an infant, fed dog food, and about to be sold to the foreign sex trade market? While the coordinators are talking down to someone who they forced into unknowingly assisted them in this heinous act."


    If the accuser is currently looking mortified, chances are that there is quite a gap between their low and my low. It's called Master of Martial Hearts and it's forever related to Christmas for me because I am sort of a masochist and want to forever stain my favorite holiday by watching it a second time so I could make 7 pages about why I found it to be utterly disgusting... I talk about that vile show way too much for something I hate.

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  6. Indeed, skimming is all you really need to know that this movie is hogwash. It falls apart at the word go, and doesn't do anything to fix itself from then on. Why think about a movie when the movie makers clearly didn't?


    But that aside...yowza. That is...quite a vivid image you've generated there. (I had to go back and read it a couple of times to make sure I had it right. Turns out I did, and...double-yowza.)


    I've actually heard of Master of Martial Hearts before in passing -- there were ads for it over on Japanator a few times, and I think JesuOtaku did a review of it at one point -- but I've never gotten in too deep with the show. But the way you talk about it...that does NOT inspire confidence. I would ask "how bad could it be?" but I'm afraid I might not like the answer.


    Oh well. I guess everybody's got that one thing -- show, or book, or game, or movie -- that drives them up a wall. It's unfortunate, but it can't be helped -- and man oh man can it make for some real spectacles when someone finally vents on why they feel the way they do. It's cathartic for all parties involved.


    Although...sorry Martial Hearts tainted Christmas for you. A shame it couldn't have tarnished one of the lesser holidays. Nothing's ever going on during Talk Like a Pirate Day...except, you know, talking like a pirate.

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  7. The thing is, I actually plan on going through the biggest piece of trash I can find, and review it for a Christmas special. Though, following up that show, which I spoiled the worst of many missteps made in my brief description, will be tough. Or maybe I'll make it a Thanksgiving special where I finally get around to the notorious School Days. Who knows, anything to stop the show from being a running gag in my mind!

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  8. Sounds awful even though I have a soft spot for the book series, I was still very disappointed with the film. The casting of Grover was the worst, because in the books he's a soft spoken ginger white kid with glasses and just a bit of a wimp, and then the casting people were like fuck that "Let's get rip-off Chris Tucker to be the stereotypical black guy!"


    Still though, while this film is bad, nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever come close to the horror of "Undercover Brother". I can't even begin to explain why that movie makes me sick to my core.

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  9. School Days? Oh SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII- I would expect no less than eight references to nice boats in your theoretical review. Or, alternatively, I'll gladly await your "biggest piece of trash" Christmas special.


    It'd sure make up for that one year when all I got were clothes and an almanac. Fun times.

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  10. That's the thing that confuses me the most about Grover. I mean...WHY would they do that? Was there a fear that there would be riots in the streets if they didn't put in enough black people? It makes no sense -- especially considering that Harry Potter was A-OK with not, say, making Ron into a breakdancing rapper.


    ...Actually, that might not be so bad. Someone should make a fanfic about that.


    I've heard of, and seen about two minutes' worth of Undercover Brother, but that's about all the experience I've had with it besides hearing "Get me Undercover Brother!" repeated furiously in the commercials. By the sound of things, I might have lucked out. Although I seem to be recalling certain conversations about "Conspiracy Brother" and "black man's kryptonite"...


    Only one way to purge my mind -- to YouTube, and myriad Guilty Gear content! Venom confirmed for Xrd? THE HYPEST SHIT!

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  11. Oh my gosh, I can't believe you actually reviewed this movie. Are you okay? You're not going insane, are you? Somebody, give this guy a Tylenol! (I don't know how Tylenol cures insanity, but...)


    Anyways, for some reason, I was reminded of that Scott Pilgrims movie and the Spongebob movie as I was reading through this post. I never watched the former, but the premise seemed too random for me to consider it a good movie, so I dismissed it. The Spongebob movie, as nonsensical as it was, got some things right that Percy Jackson apparently failed in. At least we know why King Neptune blames Krabs for taking his crown. And Spongebob's reputation as being nonsensical, random and silly is expected. If the Percy Jackson book makes as much sense as the movie - first of all, why are you even reading a book like that in the first place? - at least, the movie would have lived up to its expectations.


    Maybe the industry needs to stop making movies based off of movies. Sure, Harry Potter was good (though I didn't like all that teenage romance in the later movies), but it was an exception (or one of the exceptions. I'm not a movie person at all). It's like the industry is just mass-producing these movies with hopes that some of them comes out right and earns them a fortune, not that they need it.

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  12. First off, you don't have to worry about me going insane. I lost my mind back in 2006, and I've gotten used to having a brain that might as well be upside-down. Second, I should probably be thanking you for putting the idea to comment on the movie in my head. Fate just happened to put the movie back on TV, but I probably could have done a post regardless.


    So yes...thank you for that.


    I would assume that the primary (if not only) reason for the Percy Jackson series to come to the silver screen is to fill the hole that Harry Potter left. Not having read the books I won't discount the author's efforts, but the movie in question is about as naked an attempt at making lightning strike twice -- pun intended -- as it gets. And based on what I've gleaned from the wiki, they not only made a naked attempt, but got so much WRONG that it's beyond belief.


    I don't know what they were going for -- besides money -- but all they managed to do was piss off fans, scare off newcomers, and make me want to slam my skull into a brick wall. So yeah, bang-up job, guys.


    Side note: as it stands, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is sitting at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hmmm.

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  13. Worst movie ever. Not even half-way through and it's taught the intended audience (children/young adults) about partying, racism, nazi feminism, and materialism.

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  14. You mean you actually got something -- however negative -- from this movie? Man, you're pretty sharp. Then again, I probably could have done that if the sight of a dancing goat-man didn't put me into a rage-induced concussion, so there's that.


    I'll give the movie one thing, though: it's the perfect tool for breaking a witness' will during an interrogation. Although it probably ventures into the realm of torture, so...yeah, wouldn't make a big fuss about it.

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