Bru’s Reviews: PERCY JACKSON TRAVELS SEA OF MONSTERS TO ELYSIUM; OR THE LIGHTNING THIEF HAS THUNDER STOLEN BY MATT DAMON August 12, 2013 – Posted in: Blog, Bru's Reviews – Tags: Bru-Hed, Elysium, Movie Reviews, Percy Jackson
All original written content is (c) 2013 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
August is getting hotter outside but the blockbusters seem to be cooling off, fans o’ mine. Your pal Bru-Hed thinks not enough film butts of film buffs are in the seats judging by the theater crowds I saw. Regardless, I have no less than THREE quick-ass movie paragraphs to throw atcha this week.
Since there’s no shortage of bullets in ELYSIUM, I’ll just give it all to you in one shot (so to speak):
If you liked writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s DISTRICT 9 (like I did), you’ll like this. Only this one has a much bigger budget so the sets, effects and action are all ramped up to 11. His South African childhood friend, Sharlito Copley, is back, but this time as the main baddie (emphasis on baddie–he’s friggin’ full-blown, bat-crap crazy). Matt Damon does his usual empathic job as the (more or less moral) good guy and Jodie Foster plays a mean bitch very well. The violence is brutal and bloody and there’s a nasty puke scene as well as lots of closeups of bloody wounds and a guy with his face blown off. (NO nude or even semi-nude babes, even around the pretty pool scenes on Elysium. Bummer.)
There’s a few plot/logic questions. Worse, a bit too much of the stereotypes of “white folks are rich, Hispanic folks are poor” and pro-“undocumented worker”-hamfisted sentiment (the Earth scenes conveniently ALL take place in L.A., so we never get a glimpse of what things are like in Chicago, Iowa, England, China, Norway or anywhere else). It’s not a major part of the action, and there are no speeches or preaching. The sets/architecture on Elysium are gorgeous, the earth ones appropriately grimy/nasty, the robots and hardware is cool, and the explosions and effects are well done. Lots of suspense. Predictable ending but at least hopeful.
If you like or even don’t mind the violence, SEE IT. (Otherwise, see PERCY JACKSON instead.) The “making of” and behind-the-scenes stuff would be fascinating, but I won’t be buying the DVD. There are different types of good” movies. Some are good because they’re powerful and effective (like DISTRICT 9), but they’re just not the type of flick you’d want to watch again and again. Unless you’ve had too much nitrous oxide and need to come (way) down.
Now to PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS:
Okay, this is a sequel and I did not see the first one. (I was gonna watch in OnDemand, but greedy-ass Comcast decided to suddenly charge $3 to see PERCY JACKSON: THE LIGHTNING THIEF–$4 to see it in HD! It was free a year ago, but now a charge? Buncha dicks.)
Anyway, here ya go:
- Monsters were pretty cool. Makeup and effects well done. Cyclops effect on the one character was creepy but well done.
- Some genuinely funny dialog. Keep in mind this is from a Young Adult novel, so the gags are family-friendly for the most part. I didn’t expect swearing and sex talk so I didn’t mind there weren’t any.
- Of course, nothing even close to nudity, but Percy’s gal-pal had a nice rack and his female warrior-rival was desirable. Badass babes with swords are hot, what can I say?
- LOVED all the cool gadgets and different powers and stuff. A pen that turns into a sword, a giant robot-bull with all kinds of guns and gizmos, a single eyeball passed around for three witchy cabbies, a UPS store that changes into a portal, a cafe-employee with six arms, and so on.
- Lots of clever and humorous puns and wordplay and ways of distinguishing the worlds of the gods vs. the normal world. Same with the kids’ powers and how they’re used. I won’t spoil any of them but just keep yer eyes peeled and mind open.
- That Nathan Fillion guy from FIREFLY is Hermes. I love that guy. He even makes a veiled reference to the show! Unfortunately, he’s only in one set of scenes.
- Satisfying, happy ending but open for more sequels.
- Not really sure who all the characters were, their backgrounds or powers, or who all the names were that they were talking about. Big reveals about certain characters showing up again and stuff meant nothing. Guessing it would be good to see the first one first.
- Nothing deep or too plot-twisty, so don’t expect much.
- Dead kid with a tree growing out of her belly. That’s kind messed up.
- As you’d expect, a few things will make you go, “Huh?” and “Wait a minute–if he can do that, why didn’t he do it earlier?” and stuff.
At the very least, RENT IT. If you have the dough and the time, SEE IT in the big theater, but only if you’ve seen the first one. See this one if you have kids, want fantasy or don’t dig violence/gore, ELYSIUM if you want something deeper that’ll make ya think and you’re more into sci-fi (and if you like seeing stuff blow up).
I had to know what the hell was going on so I stopped at my local video store (yep, still have a family-owned place nearby that’s hanging on) and rented PERCY JACKSON: THE LIGHTNING THIEF for a buck-and-a-quarter for five days.
Really helped make sense of the sequel. Good intro to the characters. (Also, there was a mention of Elysium–how’s that fer irony?)
Pluses were seeing Pierce Brosnan as a centaur (“Yes, I have a real horse’s ass,” he says), Joey Pants (Joe Pantoliano) as a smelly, jerky husband, and Uma Thurman as a sexy/creepy/way over-the-top-but-in-a-good-way Medusa. (She’d probably be great in the sack if it weren’t for that turn-to-stone thing. Maybe doggie-style…but you wouldn’t wanna grab them snakes!)
The satyr was my favorite major character of both films. Again, the creatures and stuff (Minotaur, Fury, Hades, Hell hounds and Hydra!) were pretty cool. And Rosario Dawson as Persephone in hell was HOT in both sense of the word. More emotional impact than the sequel too.
Minuses were same as the sequel. Pretty sugary–a lot of dead folks get cured or come back. Also, the one kid never cried after his mother bought the farm, even though she “sacrificed everything for” him. They trashed a perfectly good ’71 or ’72 Chevelle SS. A few scenes didn’t make sense. A logic/math flaw. Mostly minor gripes.
RENT IT. If it were in the theater, I’d see it more than the sequel. No idea what the special features were since rental copies now just have the movie and trailers and that’s it! (Cheap bastards.) But if there are good “making of” documentaries and stuff, I’d wait till the third one comes out and buy a boxed set used for five bucks.
So, there’s still some stuff worth seeing out there, whether you want to stay home or sit in a cozy theater seat. Either way, you’ll get out of the summer heat and be entertained!
Enjoy the popcorn,
P.S.: How about a piece of original art of some monsters, creatures, gods, goddesses, robots or babes? Pascale can draw any or all for YOU for a pretty fair price. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes or Mike Pascale. Or pretty much any reasonable person, god or demi-god on the globe, in space or on Mt. Olympus. At last, pre-season football has started!