Saturday, February 27, 2010

On Films: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I really wanted to read the book first before watching the movie, but unfortunately, I couldn't find the time. So, I had no choice but to go when my friends invited me.

My friends say it's a kiddie movie, but I disagree. I love it! One thing I can say is that there's not a dull moment (unlike some adult movies that I could name LOL) and I was right there in the thick of the action. The story is great, a dazzling mix of action and adventure, mystery and mythology with a little hint of romance in the modern world. It was certainly fun to see the mythical creatures that I've read about come to life and I had a fun time identifying what creatures they were too (I was able to identify the Hydra and Charon [the ferryman in Hades, though he's not technically a "creature"], so there! LOL) The Zac Efron look-alike (Logan Lerman) for a hero is not a bad idea either. I'm sure it drew in a lot of the teenage girl crowd. *grin*

I especially like the end of the movie, on Percy's scene with Poseidon. It was heart-wrenching. The father who wanted to have a place in his son's life and the son who longed for his father but as yet couldn't forgive him for abandoning them.

I should've guessed who the lightning thief was, but truth to tell, I was so caught up in the adventure that I'd forgotten about it. I do have to admit that there were some continuity problems in the movie, but hey, what movie doesn't have those? What bugs me though are these questions: Why wasn't Percy put in Camp Half-Blood from the time he was younger, like Annabeth and, I assume, the other kids there? Why was Percy so special that he has to have a bodyguard and the numero uno centaur Chiron in school with him? And why, when the lightning bolt was stolen, did Zeus immediately assume it's Percy and not some other demi-god? After all, I should think Zeus, Poseidon and Hades have other half-blood children littering the Earth. Especially Zeus.

Maybe these questions were answered in the book or maybe, in the later books. I don't know if I'll read the book now that I've seen the movie (there have been occasions when I watched the movie after reading the book but never the other way around), so if anyone knows the answer to my questions, would be much obliged if you could answer them. Thanks!


MJFredrick said...

I'm reading the book with my class, so I can answer your questions!

Percy's mom couldn't bear to part with him sooner and so kept him away from Camp Half-Blood. Once he was there, she wouldn't be able to see him anymore. She married Stinky Gabe because his scent would cover Percy's special scent.

Zeus, Hades and Poseiden are the Big Three gods, and so their offspring are extra-special. SO extra-special that the three of them made a vow to NOT have any more children because they caused so much chaos. Zeus and Poseiden both broke the vow, which is what ticked of Hades.

I've not seen the movie, but I'm really looking forward to it!

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Hi MJ, thanks so much for the answers! It certainly cleared up my questions. But why did everyone assume it's Percy who was the lightning thief? Was someone spreading that rumor about him?

MJFredrick said...

Let me double check with my class, and I'll get back to you ;)

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Thanks MJ, really appreciate it!

MJFredrick said...

My kids said Percy was the only one who could have stolen it because it had to be a demi-god, and he's one of the most powerful, because he's the son of one of the Big Three. I don't remember that part, but they were positive that was the reason.

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Thanks, MJ! Since they read the book and I didn't, I'll take their word for it. :)

nath said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the movie, Silver. I just went yesterday and I was kind of disappointed, but I read the book...

MJFredrick answered the question about the Camp Half-Blood... However, I thought that it was a bit misleading during the movie... Camp Half-Blood is a SUMMER camp. So half-bloods usually go there during the summer to train, but come school year, most of them go back to their mortal parents... with some exception. Very few half-bloods live year-round. Percy's mom was told about the camp by Poseidon, but I guess she wanted Percy to live as normally as possible.

Satyrs such as Grover are sent all over the world to find half-bloods. So in that sense, Percy wasn't so special... However, the reasons why Chiron also came was to verify Percy's identity.

The thing that bugged me about the movie is that nobody knew at first that Percy was the son of Poseidon. Zeus didn't know and Chiron only suspected. One of the best moment of the book is when Poseidon claims Percy, but it really didn't happen during the movie :(

If I remember correctly, the actual reason why Zeus thought Percy was the thief is because he was the only half-blood in the vicinity of New York during the time of the thief.

Finally, the movie completely omitted the prophecy that says that something not so good would happen when the next half-blood from one of the Big Three would turn 16 years old. And that was before WW II. So Zeus, Poseidon and Hades had a pact not to have any half-bloods... but another reasons is that the Big Three's half-bloods tend to be stronger than regular half-bloods, more special... and so they are more threatening to the Gods.

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Oh, nath, then I have to read the book! Yeah, I kept expecting to see Poseidon claim Percy too and what should've been a touching father-son scene, but when I didn't get it, I thought, 'oh, must be too early for that and Percy had a lot of issues with his father, so maybe in the next movie.'

Ah...that makes better sense. I did still wonder why it was Percy that was the suspect when I'm sure Zeus and Hades had other half-bloods. Re the brothers' pack not to have any half-bloods, you mean, Poseidon broke the pact and had Percy? Did the book relate the story of how Percy's parents met?

Looks like I really gotta read the book. ;)

nath said...

Actually, in the book, the scene when Poseidon claims Percy is not touching. It's funny, but not touching.

There's a sort of detachment feelings between all the gods and their half-bloods. Not that the gods don't care about their children, but they don't show it outwardly very much and perhaps, that's why so many half-bloods are frustrated, angry and resentful.

Well that's the thing, Zeus and Hades don't have half-bloods running around either. When everyone accuses Percy of having stolen the bolt, they don't know he's Poseidon's. Some suspect, but that's it. It wasn't because he's Poseidon's son that he was the main suspect... and yes, Poseidon broke the pact. And no, there's no, the book doesn't really tell how Poseidon and Sally met.

You should really read the book. The movie left out a lot of important details, change a lot of important details... and most of the twists are not there :(

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Oh, looks like a generation gap there. LOL Don't kids these days go for touching scenes anymore?

I can understand why the gods are detached. After all, they're gods, aren't they? But yeah, I can understand the kids' frustrations. Sad, if you think about it, that all they want is to be acknowledged and have some sort of relationship with their parent.

Looks like I'm missing out on a lot by not reading it. :(


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