• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

TITLE: Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

YEAR: 2010

GENRE: Fantasy and Science Fiction

Ever since the tremendous success of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone sold millions of theater tickets in 2001, Hollywood studios have been shopping for the next big franchise designed for tweeners and teenagers. Hollywood turned to book series such as the Chronicles Of Narnia, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, and Ramona and Beezus in the hopes that they can find the next big thing in the sea of potential hit movie series. Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the next entry in tweener series by 20th Century Fox, and unfortunately is not as exciting or as interesting as either the Harry Potter or Narnia series.

Percy Jackson (played by Logan Lerman) is a typical teenage who struggles with ADHD and dyslexia as well as the usual teenage drama. While on a school field trip Percy is attacked by a Fury disguised as a substitute teacher demanding the return of a lightning bolt, and the demon is chased off by his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and his Latin teacher Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan). After the attack Percy learns that he is the demigod son of the God of the sea Poseidon and his teacher and friend are both mythical creatures. Percy finds the stories impossible to believe until a minotaur kidnaps his earthly Mother (Catherine Keenan) and he is forced into the mythical world to find his Mother and free her from the clutches of Hades (Steve Coogan) who wants the lightning bolt. Assisted by Grover and daughter of Athena Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario), Percy ventures to ancient Greek recreations around theUnited Statesfind clues to free his Mother and finds adventure and danger throughout the trip.

Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief was a $95 million production so it is expected that the production end of the film is stellar, but what is striking here for me is that some of the special effects and CGI are not as good as one would expect. Despite that, the main problem with this film is that the viewer has a hard time truly caring about the characters or the adventures as the film has a very much run-of-the-mill feel to it. Oh sure the production is great and the actors are acceptable, but the story just does not capture the magic or the imagination of the Harry Potter or Narnia series and much of the story comes across as unoriginal and at times not very interesting. The Percy character is a great one though because he is Joe Everybody at the local junior high, as pretty much any 10-15 year old probably knows a Percy Jackson at his own school. The realism of the character makes him more accessible than many fantasy characters and the creator of the book series Rick Riordan deserves credit for this. In the acting department Uma Thurman plays a fantastic medusa and Rosario Dawson is sexy and hysterical as Persephone, goddess of springtime and the wife of Hades, but the rest of the performances range from acceptable to boring. In the end though Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is not as exhilarating or appealing as the other tweener fantasy and science fiction series that are filling multiplexes every summer and Christmas seasons.

Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief was a modest hit in theUnited States but did very well in foreign and DVD sales and the second film Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Sea Of Monsters is due to hit the theaters in 2012. it is this reviewer’s hope that Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a prelude to a much better series and that the story will grow like the Harry Potter series. In the meantime Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief will be one of those DVD’s that will be watched once and gently filed on the shelf. Films like this is what Netflix is for: so that the viewer can see the film, be glad they saved the money, and move on to the next project.

* * 1/2

–Mark

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