Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Genre(s): Family / Fantasy
Fox || PG - 118 minutes - $29.99 || June 29, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-07-05


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer(s): Rick Riordan (novel); Craig Titley (screenplay)
Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Pierce Brosnan


Theatrical Release Date: February 12, 2010


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin

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.::THE FILM::.

I was really excited to see Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief again after already seeing it in theaters a few months ago. I must say this is a truly amazing movie that probably wonít give Harry Potter a run for his money but it might come pretty close.

Zeus (Sean Bean) and Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) meet on top of a building to discuss Zeusís missing lightning bolt. Unless the item is found, all war will break loose. He accuses Poseidonís son of taking the item, but his father refutes the idea and vows that it will be returned before the solstice. Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is your everyday kid trying to make his way in dreaded high school. Heís an excellent swimmer who can hold his breath underwater easily for minutes on end, and his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is always there to support him. While on a field trip to the museum he meets with the head of the institution Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan) who asks him multiple questions about Greek mythology. Percy is escorted into a room by his substitute teacher who transforms into a gargoyle and tries to attack him but is saved by Brunner and Grover, who turns out that heís a Satyr (for those who donít know, heís half human and half horse, sort of like a centaur but minus two legs).

Percy is escorted to a camp for half-bloods but in the process his mother Sally (Catherine Keener) is killed by another fury that shows up at the worst time. Percy manages to kill the fury with the pen given to him by Brunner but passes out from the pain. He wakes up to train with the other demigods and meets Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), the daughter of Athena the goddess of wisdom. The two donít really click right away but after besting her in battle she soon starts to like him. At the dinner service Hades shows up and lets Percy know that his mother is in fact still alive and if he wants her back all he has to do is give him the lightning bolt that doesnít have. The next night Percy, Annabeth, and Grover set off with the help from Luke (Jake Abel), the son of Hermes the messenger, on a quest to save Percyís mother and prevent an all out war from happening.

This really was a great flick and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The runtime is just right for an introduction to the series that I hope continues. The pacing is also something to praise, as though I remember the first Harry Potter was quite boring while this one was pretty fun to watch. The special effects, for those wondering, are phenomenal. Percy controlling water near the end and the major battles he and his companions have are truly breath-taking to view in the theater, and will hopefully be just as good when the film hits Blu-Ray this summer. The monumental battle at the end, between Percy and a character I wonít spoil was just as good if not the best one of the movie and one that will have you leaving the theater wanting to see more of the series.

The acting was really surprising, as besides Brosnan I hadnít really seen any of the cast in other flicks. That being said though, I look forward to future films starring the cast. Abel does an excellent job as Luke, Daddario comes off as the wise yet angst-filled Annabeth, and Jackson is quite entertaining as the funny but loyal sidekick. The cast really works quite well together and I could tell that they had fun filming the flick as much as I enjoyed watching it.

I am however disappointed with a few things. First off, there may not be a sequel due to the filmís reported budget of over $90 million. This means unless the film starts banking some serious cash we probably wonít get a sequel anytime soon. Second, I wanted more of the ďfuryĒ characters that only showed up twice. Whatís the point of talking about them in length when they are only there twice? The rest of the villains are barely explained although they do have some darn cool scenes. Therman as Medusa was an enjoyable fifteen or so minutes, and another multiple-headed monster sequence was entertaining as well.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Deleted Scenes (14 minutes): There are a total of ten deleted/extended scenes available for you to watch. I found some of these to be decent but the others were boring and either didnít add to the story or went on for a little too long.

Discover Your Powers Quiz: This short game allows kids (or adultsÖ like me) to answer a series of questions and they get to see what type of roman god they would be based on their responses. I kept getting Poseidon, so apparently Iím a pretty angry dude.

The Book Comes to Life (4 minutes): The cast talks about the book and how the movie came to be on the big screen. I like how one of the cast members clearly lies about his family knowing about the book, but overall this is a decent extra yet it runs too short.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I saw the movie when it hit theaters months ago and was expecting a similar transfer. Instead, I got a much better transfer full of vibrant colors and little to no noise the entire time the flick was on the screen. Colors are gorgeous and truly represent how great a film can look with attention to detail. There are multiple scenes available here to showcase what the movie can offer, mainly the Hades scene and the Hydra battle scene, but then again there are a few things I noticed. There were a few scenes that did have a little noise and grain in them, which is the reason this didnít get a perfect score. The one scene though that surprised me the most was the final battle scene and it just didnít look as great as I was hoping. The real difference between the DVD and Blu-Ray transfer is the fact that the DVD colors are little less bright and there was a little bit more noise.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is amazing for a DVD release. In fact, this is probably the best looking DVD Iíve had the pleasure of viewing in quite some time. Surround sound is used fairly extensively but the loudness and ďoomphĒ factor I enjoyed on the HD version isnít here. Iím not saying this is a bad track, because this is still a great track, but I just feel like this track didnít wow me like the other did. Dialogue levels were fine here and although surround sound was used decent it just wasnít up to par with the Blu-Ray version. Regardless though, this is still a great track and one that other studios should take a listen to when they do the audio for their DVDs.



.::OVERALL::.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is truly a phenomenal movie that should be enjoyed by anyone who in the slightest likes science fiction in films today. The movie provides both entertainment and education mixed into one great flick that is for both kids and adults. The technical package is above-average for a DVD but the special features are only slim compared to what the Blu-Ray gets. This is a thief that belongs in your collection pronto.