Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Percy reviews are in....

I spent the last couple days asking lots of kids what they thought of the Percy Jackson movie. In general, they liked it... but all of them who had read the book said "it's nothing like the book."

There were many reasons - missing characters and missing setpieces high among them - the biggest reason was, as one 2nd grader said simply "they took away all the character stuff."

Adapting a book like the Lightning Thief for film is incredibly hard. Clearly, there was a choice made to try to appeal to a bigger audience by aging up the characters, but that wasn't what bothered the kids I talked to (and based on first weekend grosses, seems to have been a good choice). Instead, it was taking away the emotional stories they connected to. And here again is a challenge of book to film - Rick Riordan could set up so much about the half-bloods and their camp with the luxury of time that a film doesn't have. From the kids I talked to, though, the happy medium wasn't found.

As for me... I preferred the book, too, but wasn't looking at my watch during the movie. And you?


Victoria Dixon said...

I'm afraid my hubby was turned off by the trailers and then the bad reviews. We probably won't see it until it comes out on video now. I'm kinda bummed by that, quite honestly. Despite Peter Jackson's and Jo Rowling's best efforts, there still aren't as many GREAT fantasy films out there as I'd like and I'd hoped Lightening Thief would be one.

Followed you from Market My Words. :)

Unknown said...

I really really hoped this would be okay. I told myself going in that it would be different from the books, but like those you talked to, I just thought there was too much missing. I think I was even more irritated by the missing things because the ADDED stuff. Why not just keep what was already there? Ok, I can feel my blood boiling again:-) On the other hand, my husband who hadn't read the book really enjoyed the movie. As I said to my friends and students, this is another argument for BOOKS, you get so much more of the story.

Melissa said...

Wasn't much like the book, but I wasn't expecting it to, and so I had fun.

Then again, I'm not really a purist when it comes to movie adaptations of a book. I think it worked as a *movie* fairly well, and that was enough for me.