Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters review

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The Percy Jackson series,to it’s fans, is cleverly based on greek mythology, presenting these stories as funny,modern,and unique. While to unfamiliar folks,they come across as cheap,cardboard cutout Harry Potter rip-offs that only exist to create franchise films like the one we are about to discuss. 

Logan Lerman’s performance as Percy is all too forgettable and flat. He’s the kind of character that tries to be the heart of the story,but ultimately gets tripped up by his bland acting,and uninterested expression of his character throughout the film. Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth) doesn’t fair much better. She has the exact same problems as logan,but the added issue that she seems lost in the film,and not in a good way. It’s as if she stumbled upon the film set and got mixed up in the entire production by mistake. 

Douglas Smith (Tyson) on the other hand,fairs much better than the previous two actors mentioned,if only for the fact that he seems even a little invested in what he’s doing. BT Jackson and Jake Abel (Grover and Luke, respectively) pretty much both have the same problems as each other. They both seem very over the top,and a little corny. Clarisse was just there. She served her purpose,(though not very convincingly) and nothing more.

For a movie called Sea of Monsters,there aren’t many monsters in the film,especially compared to the amount in the book. The monsters that ARE in the film though,are very well handled. The first beastie we meet is a colchis bull. The best way i can describe this creature is a very steampunk stylized bull,and that’s AWESOME. The Charybdis (a kraken type monster) was an interesting concept, but nothing we haven’t seen before. They do some cool things with the main antagonist,but it’s nothing mind blowing, and he could have used a lot more development,which we will hopefully get in future films. All the monsters looked lifelike,and creative.

The writing is where this film really falls flat though. Literally,it’s flat. Which is very impressive since it’s based on a book that’s writing is anything but flat! The screenwriters obviously did the bare minimum to keep it true to the book. However it loses the book’s tone and the overall feel that fans loved about this series so much. This movie just didn’t know what it was doing,but to be fair,the writing WAS better then The Lightning Thief. 

However, don’t let any of this deter you from the book version. Where the movie fails, the book does anything but. The series is compelling, very character based, fast paced and full of originality. If the screenwriters had taken the book seriously, kept the tone of it, and were dedicated to the story, then we might have had a movie worth watching. 

*Special thanks to the wonderful and amazing Madeleine for helping write this review*

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Despicable me 2

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Despicable me would had been the best animated movie of 2010 for me. (if that pesky Toy story 3 didn’t come out that same year.) It had something that i felt was lacking in other recent animated films,and that was it’s humour. It was hysterical from beginning to end. And now we have Despicable me 2! Is the sequel as good as the first one?………Yes. Yes it is. (Sorry Ryan Wheeler )

One thing that struck me about this sequel was that it felt like a much extended ending to the first one,rather then a different story all together. Some people may see this as lazy writing,but i think it works because we get alot more character development from Gru and his three little girls.(although the latter doesn’t get as much screen time as the first one)

As far as the new characters go,we have Lucy, an agent of the anti-villain liege and Gru’s love interest of the film. She’s a likeable sidekick for Gru and gets some pretty funny lines here and there,but i thought the romance could have used more time to help develop and understand the characters more,but it’s really just reduced to a subplot half-way through the movie and you start to forget that it’s even there! But despite that,she’s still a welcome addition the the Despicable me family.

Now onto the villain of the movie,El macho. The less i say about him the better,but what i WILL say,is that he’s a MUCH better antagonist then Vector. He’s just more interesting,and seems like more of s match for Gru. And his backstory alone had me laughing like one of the minions.

Speaking of the minions,well….their terrific.(but did you really expect anything less?) Just like the first film,they provide the best laughs from the audience and i felt like every time the movie seemed to be loosing it’s focus or getting lost,the Minions would always pop up to get them movie back on track,as they are the franchises mascots by this point.

Despicable me 2 isn’t as good as say,Toy story 2 or 3. But it IS, in my opinion, a more then worthy successor to the first despicable me movie,and i highly recommend it to fans of the first film,and i even think that you would enjoy it if you haven’t seen the first one. If i had to give it a rating,i would say 4 out of 5 stars.