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Uma Thurman's Head in a Bag

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Uma Thurman's Head in a Bag

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Very, very minor spoilers for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

So, I finally saw the Percy Jackson movie, and I have to agree with twasadark that it was kind of meh. Which was a shame, since, as I’ve probably mentioned, we are big fans of the books at my house, mostly via my 8-year-old, but I’ve come to really like them too. They do very clever things with Greek myths, the characters are interesting, sympathetic, and have great voices; and while they knock off some stuff from the Harry Potter books, they also move along at a noticeably faster clip. I am usually incorrigible anglophile, but one of the things I like best about the books is how American they are.

The movie was certainly enjoyable, but, y’know, it could have been better. *sigh*

The good: They kept a lot of the cute uses of American locations from the books: the Lotus Eaters trap people in the Lotus Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; the entrance to Hades is below the Hollywood sign in LA. The New York scenes seemed to have been filmed in NYC, although the Camp Half-Blood (summer camp for demi-gods) scenes, which are supposed to be in Montauk, were clearly filmed in Vancouver.

All the main actors were appealing, though cast much older than the books. Jake Abel (yes, Adam Milligan!) was very good, especially considering his character probably suffered most from having his back story stripped from him.

The bad: Speaking of which: One of the things I like about the books is how much less weighed down by back story they are than the Potter books. Yet I found myself missing the minimalist back story they do have when the movie took all of it away. It was especially hard on Jake Abel’s character, whose motivations seemed arbitrary at best, but Annabeth suffered as well.

Also: The books are written in the first person, making excellent use of Percy’s funny, dry, self-deprecating voice. So I have no idea why the movie didn’t capitalize on that pre-existing asset, and instead chose to substitute a truly crappy script. Seriously crappy—making the worst SPN S5 scripts look good….Don’t know why they made that choice, since it seemed to drain a lot of life from the story.

Oh, but one more good thing: Uma Thurman was the Medusa, with a gorgeous head full of snakes. And when they defeat her, they carry the head around in a bag (as legend dictates one must) so that it/she can keep turning people to stone. I really want an icon of snake-headed!Uma!
  • Sorry the movie let you down! I agree about Medusa's snake head - it was way cool! Good point about the back story - I didn't realize until you mentioned it that the back story was completely missing. I wonder why they did that? They were probably in a rush to put the movie out and make some bucks, lol.
    • Oh, I still enjoyed it! And the boys enjoyed it, even though it was their second time through--so over all it was a win. But yeah, the back story doesn't give the books incredible emotional heft, but they have more than then movie. And their "Percy Jackson" voice is great--don't know why the movie got rid of that--it seemed like a gimme....
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