Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sea of Monsters -- Movie Review

Sea of Monsters -- Movie Review
Where to even start.
Okay, I guess we start with the obvious: I hated this movie. I knew I was going to since I saw the trailer (actually, more like since I heard they were making a second movie after the mediocre first one). But I tried to keep an open mind, I really did. Buuuuuut, I still hated HaTeD HATED this movie. It wasn't a good adaption of the book and it wasn't even a good movie without taking the book into consideration.

And I lowered my expectations for this. I knew it would probably just as bad as the first one so I prepared. Then I saw the first trailer and I lowered them again. Then I saw the full trailer and I lowered them some more. I thought, "there's no way it could fail to reach these standards." But it didn't reach a single one of my expectations, even with as low as they were.
As a warning, if you hate sass and sarcasm I would suggest not continuing in this review considering that it is chock full of both.
But, like I did with my review of The Host, I'm going to list the things I liked and the things I didn't like (admittedly one list is much shorter, take your guess which one that is).
Things I Liked:
1. "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark"
I love this song and when it showed up in the movie I was like, "welllll, okay then." But, it was used in kind of a weird place. Were the movie made correctly, there would have been a ton of really cool places to use this song. Instead of during that weird training-game-scene-thing. Yeah, it was kind of weird placement, but I like the song. So that's why it's on this side of the list.
2. Stanley Tucci as Dionysus
Why wasn't this a thing originally? I mean, if the makers of this movie made one good decision, it would be this casting. He also delivered the ONE line in the movie that made me laugh because it was actually funny, not because it was ridiculous.
3. The Trailer for Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2
Yes, I AM actually including this on the liked list. Sorry, I just felt bad leaving it at two things. But, this also might have been the best part of seeing this movie.
Things I Hated:
So many things. I hated so many things about this movie.
1. Clarisse
No, seriously. What the heck. She was pleasant for a lot of the time! Book-Clarisse wasn't even pleasant when Percy was saving her butt. That was a big part of her charm. Even when she was supposed to be mocking him it just came off as like borderline teasing/flirting.
2. Stupid Dialogue and Hilariously Not Clever Comebacks
The humor in the books is always spot-on and genuinely clever. This movie's humor was just stupid. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover kept saying things that I was supposed to laugh at, but I just found myself groaning. It was just really really really really bad. This movie was in the business of saying the most obvious thing they could think of saying.
3. Percy and his Motive
I get that they decided to start the movie at Camp Half-Blood, I get that. But in the process of not starting with Grover being kidnapped they completely screwed up Percy's whole personality. Like, in the book he couldn't care less about not being the star of camp or whatever. He's not out to steal the quest from Clarisse and get the fleece for himself. He's just going to rescue Grover from Polyphemos. In the movie he became this stuck-up kid who couldn't stand not being the star of everyone's life. That's just messed up.
I know Logan Lerman isn't a bad actor. He's been great in everything else he's done. But there is only so much you can do with a crappy script.
4. Grover and Annabeth
Perfectly wonderful characters ruined by sidekick-syndrome and bad writing.
Annabeth is so much tougher in the books. In the movie she just kind of stands by the sidelines and screams while she lets Percy work things out. DANG IT, ANNABETH IS SUPPOSED TO BE AWESOME.
5. Tyson
UGH. Where to start. Firstly, Percy was friends with Tyson at school before Camp Half-Blood and before learning he was his step-brother. THAT'S IMPORTANT. Secondly, why the spray-on mist? THAT'S NOT HOW THE MIST WORKS. It was just really stupid. Also, they tried to make him somewhere in between dumb and wise and it just didn't work. I mean, they changed the entire way that he talked from the books. He just came off really dense, not his naïve, adorable, endearing self.
6. Fight Scenes
Keep in mind that these people are all carrying swords and other weapons, BUT NO, they had to fight hand-to-hand combat. That makes sense.
Also, when the golden bull attacked it annoyed me that all the campers ran away. These kids are being trained in tactical fighting and battle strategy. They have been taught to fight with all variety of weapons. They are used to seeing monsters show up randomly in their world. Don't you think that at least most of them would pick up a weapon and plan an attack? The only ones fighting were Clarisse and Percy (Annabeth threw one spear and then kind of gave up).
7. The Oracle and the Screwed up Prophecy
The oracle looked a lot like how I pictured it, so that was cool. BUT EVERYTHING ELSE WAS SO MESSED UP. Things are going to be decided when Percy is 20? TWENTY? I get that Logan Lerman I too old to pass for under 16, but we all already knew that. Currently I don't even know what age he's supposed to be in the movie... 18? 19? How would he still be at Camp Half-Blood? He'd be too old.
And combining prophecies? Just stawwwwwp.
8. Misusing Concepts from the Books
I'm fine with movies leaving a few things out that aren't all that important to the storyline. That's completely okay. Movies are different from books and should be treated as such. It's a different form of storytelling that requires different emphasis than books. I like to consider myself pretty lenient with how a movie adapts from a book. As long as the tone and theme of the book is the same and the same ending is reached, I'm all good. But I CANNOT STAND when movies take concepts from books and change them into something STUPID. That happened SO MANY TIMES in this movie. Here's the list:
1. The Claiming Signs
Tyson apparently followed his to Camp Half-Blood? What?
2.  The Mist
Apparently they can spray on the mist now? Otherwise it doesn't work? and otherwise people see what's actually happening? WHAT THE HECK. The mist works no matter what and often even works on demigods (to where they have to make a conscious effort to see past it).
3. Nectar
Dude, they acted like it was espresso or shots! It was just weird. What happened to only sometimes and to heal?
It felt like they were just trying to fit as many of the concepts in as possible so they could point to them and say, "look, we actually read the book." But they missed the point of around 99% of everything, soooo it doesn't really count.
Then they really did try to come up with their own things and they were just really dumb-sounding. (like diety-bay and demi-google).
9. Changing Silena and Chris
Why did you even have to mention them being with you? That's not how it went down. They could have come up with any new name and it would have been fine. And Chris being a traitor? NO. WHAT EVEN. Then they didn't even do anything with that, they just said it and then forgot it.
10. Luke Castellan
Again, past just the hideous writing and such, the biggest problem story-wise was definitely that his motive was completely twisted around. Firstly, why was he the mastermind? Like, he "crawled through Tartarus" and brought Kronos back to bring him to life again? UMMM, NO. And secondly, he kidnaps Grover too late and puts him with the fleece, when Percy was headed to the fleece ANYWAY! And then he locks them up on the Princess Adromeda...but didn't he need them to get the fleece for him?
Example of lines that made no sense:
Luke: "Don't walk on my roof."
ummmmmmmm... ok?
11. Charybdis
So, Charybdis actually looked pretty cool. But the positioning was strange and they were in a raft and then they met Clarisse in the stomach. That was all weird. Then they poked a hole in the stomach...or something.... I'm still not sure how the heck they got out of that thing. But I'm pretty sure that's not how stomachs work.
12. Circeland
Do I even need to list the things wrong with this? Because there are just so many.
Also, when making a movie, if at ANY POINT the characters join in singing "It's a Small World" together, you need to take a step back and examine your life choices because you are headed in the wrong direction, my friend.
13. The "Villains"
Kronos shouldn't have shown up in this one. Not fully formed and battle-ready, at least. And not as some weird lava-creature. And not as a lousy, easily-defeated lava-creature. If it takes you only 3-5 minutes to defeat a villain, then you need a better villain. Then having Kronos eat Luke? WHATTTTT. No, seriously. WHAT?
 In summation, don't watch this movie. It's a waste of time that you could spend reading the fantastic Percy Jackson books.

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