Lightning Thief

My kids have been breathlessly waiting for this movie for, like, my God, ages.

They have read and reread the books countless times. I tried to read the first one once, but my son said I was going to slow, and he made me give it back, so he could reread it. Again.

I promised them I would take them to a midnight show and this is the show they picked. Said midnight movie sounded much cooler a few months ago than it does right now, at 10:51–an hour out from showtime. I am on my second cup of coffee. I can’t imagine I’m going to stay awake through the entire movie.

I’ll be anxious to hear how it is. The books are good considering the age group they’re written for. Somewhat derivative (Harry Potter formula of two young guys and a girl, not to mention all of Greek mythology), but entertaining for sure. My 7-year-old and I are on book 4.

The movie worries me a bit, though. They took 12-year-old outcast Percy and turned him into a 17-year-old played by a kid who looks like a refugee from High School Musical.

Bad enough for now, but are they going to set the fifth book in grad school?

And the whole basis of the series is a prophecy that’s supposed to hit when the kid turns 16…

Whatever the reaction, it is definite that we will be attending this weekend, or I’ll lose my dad license.

Haven’t read the books, so I know nothing about the series or this adaptation, but my 6.5yo daughter has been seeing the commercials and is naturally begging me to take her. But it looks like it might be a bit too intense in certain scenes for a 6yo. I might go see it first, wife and I tend to be pretty strict on what we let the kids watch.

What age are these books (and movie) geared to? I have a 5 yo that I want to start on an appropriate series (me reading them to him at the start) before we do Harry Potter together in a couple of years. These sound like they are probably too much for someone his age, yes?

Can’t speak for the movie, but the books are pretty much the same age as Harry Potter. HP may be a bit more dark toward the end, but I found the quite equitable in terms of age level. My 10 year old started reading them a year and a half or two ago and has read them multiple times. But I think 5 might be a bit young.

I am planning on taking my daughter to the movie, but I agree with Denny, Percy (and the other main kid characters) look far too old in the commercials. In this movie they should be about 12 (well, okay, not the satyr). I don’t think they have thought these movies out as well as the Harry Potter series was thought out, at least in terms of casting the leads.

Yep my kids have been excited to see this one as well. We’ll probably be heading out this weekend to see it.

My kids love the series as well. I think the books aren’t as well written as Harry Potter, but I find the stories more interesting because of the translation of mythology. When a cool character is introduced, or a particularly engaging scene occurs, it give me a chance to discuss the mythological origin of that bit with my kids.

It does seem like a great kids’ series, but honestly, I just read it and I absolutely loved it. Great all the way through, and better than Harry Potter, for my money (though it isn’t as revolutionary, for sure, and the writing is a bit simpler). I’m hoping the movie isn’t too heavily kid-focused, but it the combination of older actors and serious special effects looks promising…

We’re going tonight. Will report back. Also, The Last Airbender preview is supposedly attached. I’ve avoided watching that on the Internet so I can see it on the big screen.

The books are aimed at kids older than my 7-year-old (I’d say maybe the 9-14 range as primary demographic, though they’re plenty entertaining for adults), but he’d heard about them from an older kid in his school this summer and was excited to read them. (Or, since he’s a first-grader, have them read to him.) I do think they’re a bit much for a 5-year-old, as there are some deaths, and some of the mythology takes a bit of explaining even for my son.

I saw an article that said they aged the characters because seeing 12-year-olds sword fighting would make you think of battles with wooden swords. Might make adults think that, but younger kids/teens would love that. But I guess with movie budgets the way they are, they’re more interested in engaging adults & older teens. If they do all 5 books, the kid playing Percy will be 30 by the time the finish.


Wake up and tell us how it went!

Still seems like a stupid reason. It just throws of the whole time course part of the books, with each taking place during the summer of each successive year. We’ll see.

My 12- and 9-year old are pushing to see this, and this was my initial problem w/ it also, from what little I’ve seen in the trailers. Harry Potter looked 11 in the first movie, and acted like it. The main characters here are clearly teenagers, and while the story is basically the same as the book, it pole-vaults to relatively more mature themes, beyond the first book. I’m OK with bringing my 12 year-old, but not necessarily my 9 year-old. I guess they don’t have the guts to try and build a franchise over the years like HP did.

Terrible. The lead is clearly not up to the task. I gave it 1 (of 5) stars and that was a gift.

[INDENT]Here is what I wrote on FB: Lerman and his female costar were clearly selected for their stunning blue eyes. Unless those eyes were CGI, and in that case, I have no idea why they were selected. The kids really enjoyed it.[/INDENT]

My kids loved it. The CGI monsters and vistas are well done. The story seems like a good idea, but the execution killed it for me.

Because my kids liked the book so much, I have to be circumspect about what I say on Facebook, but here, I realize, I can cut loose.

What really killed it for me was the death of the mother in the first reel. The kid sees his mother die before his eyes and his response is something like, “Damn, Mom’s dead. That sucks, but at least I’m in this bad ass camp with centaurs, satyrs, and big breasted, shapely twelve-year old girls.”

What’s was up with Alexandra Daddario as a twelve year old chick?


The thing that really kills me is that it would have been trivial to add something to the script to address the oddness above–have one of the sage beasts mention to the boy that his mother might not be dead, merely visiting with Hades (as they do in the book), which gives the viewer a little more perspective, instead of laying it all on the shoulders of the inexperienced Lerman.

My kids loved it. Myself I got home and threw up. I am not sure if the film caused that reaction or not.

The reviewer on NPR this morning said, among other things…

“generic movie making at its most banal.”

Just saying.

That’s Chris Columbus for you.

Yeah, this feels a lot like Chris Columbus’ way of kicking off Harry Potter, though apparently he didn’t follow the book all that well like he did with Potter. My boys were ticked at a lot of the omissions which they claim are major plot points in later books.

It’s certainly watchable, but the bit Tim mentions above about Percy watching his mother die… that was really badly executed. There was zero emotion from Percy as if he knew mom wasn’t dead (and of course you assume it because it’s the movies…) but I was like, “OK, that’s not how kids react to parental trauma at all.”

There are some good scenes, some neat creature effects, and a depiction of hades that may as well have been the Dante’s Inferno commercial cut into the film, but overall it was just ok and it’s clear that Columbus doesn’t know how to get anything worthwhile out of the people he directs. Thumbs down.

I feel like Percy takes his mom’s death pretty stoically in the book too, but that doesn’t mean I disagree about it needing some emotion in the movies. I also think it’s good they used older actors, but they should have just changed the characters’ ages too.