Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2010

ARTICLE INDEX

"Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" (DVD) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-august-2010-percy-jackson

Synopsis

On the surface, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) appears to be a typical teenager, struggling with his home life and school.  During a class trip to a Greek art museum, Percy is attacked by a mythical flying creature called a Fury who accuses him of stealing the lightning bolt of Zeus, king of the gods.  After being saved by one of his teachers (Pierce Brosnan) and best friend (Brandon Jackson), Percy learns that he is in fact a demi-god, and Poseidon is his father.  Percy has only one week to return the stolen lightning bolt to Zeus, or a terrible war between the gods will wreak destruction upon the Earth.

Specifications

  • 20th Century Fox
  • 2010, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 58 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec:  Not Specified
  • English 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Starring:  Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin McKidd, and Uma Thurman
  • Directed by Barry Levinson
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

The hallowed tales of Greek mythology provide a very fertile ground for storytelling and I am pleased to see that someone has finally put a modern spin on them.  Sadly, this film does not live up to the immense potential of the subject matter.   The plot had a lot of promise, but never really went anywhere.  The characters are different enough to keep a viewer interested, but the poor dialogue and script ruin what good have been some great interplay between the three young leads.  For a young adult oriented film, there is a surprising amount of violence but I think it is fitting given the Greek god backdrop.  The action scenes were pretty good, but I wasn’t entirely convinced by the CGI effects.  While no Harry Potter, I hope that the inevitable sequels build upon the solid foundation layed down by this film.

Technical

It has been a while since I’ve watched a new film on regular DVD.  Even with the excellent upscaling offered by my Oppo Blu-ray player, it was pretty obvious that I was watching standard-definition.   Most of the long shots are soft, and background details are blurry in the majority of scenes.  On the positive side, colors are well-saturated and shadow detail and black levels were fine.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was a big step up from the video, with incredible dynamics and extremely powerful bass.  Dialogue was clear and concise.  Surrounds were used to good effect as well.

Extras

The screener copy of the DVD I received included some deleted scenes (none of them worth watching), a quiz on “Discovering Your Powers,” a featurette on turning the book into a movie,  the theatrical trailer, and some previews for other upcoming movies.That’s it.