Tag: Leven Rambin

Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters

This just in. The director of Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters is named Thor Freudenthal. What a bad assname.

He has done a few kids movies before (Hotel For DogsDiary of a Wimpy Kid), but that is it. Hopefully directing this movie is a sign of changes for this man. With a name like that, I want him involved in most action movies from now on.

Back to the movie, I am pretty excited for this sequel. I actually enjoyed Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief. As an undergraduate, one of my majors was Ancient History, which of course gave me a love of mythology as well.

No, I don’t hate that these films change the Greek Mythology meaning and stories around. Because this is just another case of a movie not being identical to the source material. If I am fine with what happened in Iron Man 3, I will be fine with whatever they can throw at me here.

Besides, these mythologies are basically dead. I love it when anything can attempt to spice them up a bit. This one is promising to add a whole sea of monsters! Hooray!

Horse? Sea horse!
Look! There is one right now! It looks nothing like a rainbow version of The Water Horse, either!

Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is no longer a big deal in the demigod camp after the first film, as teenagers are fickle. Who cares if he just saved Olympus/the world. What has he done for them lately? For fucks sake, Percy.

His friends, Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover the Satyr (Brandon T. Jackson) believe in him, but everyone is else is obsessed with Clarisse (Leven Rambin), daughter of Ares. She wins all the events and challenges at camp.

Don’t remember her from the first movie? Well, presumably she was there somewhere. Maybe she just sick the two or so days that Percy visited in the first film, since at that point, Annabeth was the best warrior in the camp. Maybe they can’t handle two great female fighters at the same time.

Well, it turns out the protective barrier around their camp is falling, and it is all thanks to Luke (Jake Abel), son of Hermes, villain from the first film. Of course! He wants to do the unthinkable, and resurrect Chronos, the Titan, so that he can kill all the gods and ruin the world.

Classic villain strategy.

But that is not as important. They just want to restore the barrier to their camp, and to do that they have to find the Golden Fleece! Anything else is just gravy.

Oh, Percy also has a new half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), a young cyclops. His dad Poseidon just gets lonely sometimes, I suppose. Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades do not make any actual appearances this movie, but we do get Hermes (Nathan Fillion, technically a recast), and Dionysus (Stanley Tucci), who for some reason didn’t get to drink wine. Chiron is also back in this movie as the camp mentor, but he is played by Anthony Head (of Buffy fame), and not Pierce Brosnan. Boo recasts.

Group shot
I would have raged the hardest if Brandon T. Jackson was replaced.

I would say that overall, Sea of Monsters is not as good as The Lightning Thief. But one major improvement was getting rid of the “& The Olympians” part out of the title. That title was long enough to be comical.

Here is one of my biggest issues. Luke as a villain doesn’t make a lot of sense in this movie. To resurrect Chronos, he also needs the Golden Fleece. Unless he didn’t think he could get it himself with his band of mighty demigod soldiers, it is silly to break the camp barrier, causing them to go after the fleece as well. Instead, he could have not done that, and succeeded in his plan as no one even knew he was alive.

Instead we have a movie where there is a ton of buildup for the great and powerful Chronos, who then gets easily “defeated” in a matter of minutes. It happens in a lot of fantasy films. I am surprised more people don’t get angry when they are teased about the destroyer of the world coming, but when he finally does, its a whimper. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is another recent example of that.

It does have a lot of cool effects still. Caribdis was gorgeous and they had a manticore! However, the manticore went out in a single hit. Caribdis ended up being comparable to the whale from Pinocchio. I didn’t feel scared for any character, because the solution was always immediate or obvious. Plus, you’d think there would be more monsters in the sea of monsters. At least more than one. Maybe.

They did have some good attention to detail for the minor mythologies though. I loved the gas in the Oracle scene. There are many references to The Odyssey. Just showing Caribdis without bringing up Scylla is unique. Tyson the cyclops seemed like a horrible addition early on, due to the awkwardness of his CGI’d eye, but I got over it, and he became a funny/sweet character.

Overall on its own, it is a decent family movie. Minor continuity issues arose, but they can be ignored easily by most movie goers. The ending was cliffhanger-ish, which generally feels tacky when used in movies.

I mean, what if we started allowing cliffhangers in everything? Like songs, movie reviews, and

2 out of 4.

Chasing Mavericks

Miraculously, Chasing Mavericks is not a story about John McCain and his quest for presidential glory. Nor is this about an unbranded calf (definition on google). Apparently it is a local Californian term for a mythical giant wave that actually occurs somewhere near Santa Cruz!

Ah yes, the legend of the big wave. Only the coolest of surfers could be cool enough to surf them.

Butler's gerard
As awesome as Butler? We will see. You might be able to surf on his hair.

The story of Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) is one based around the ocean. He had it tough growing up. His dad left him when they were young, his mother (Elisabeth Shue) is bad with money and cannot hold down a job. But hey, as long as he has his surfboard, he is a happy man.

He was actually saved as a kid after falling in the waves, by one of his neighbors, Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). A successful handy man with a wife (Abigail Spencer) and kids, he told her he would give up surfing the big waves, but still does it anyways. Not like lying has ever gotten anyone in trouble.

Ever since that day, Jay has been fascinated with the waves. But one day he finds the secret cove where Mavericks form, hidden away and yet being surfed on by his beighbor! The biggest waves he has ever seen and some nice pointy rocks. Well he says he wants to surf on them, and eventually convinces Frosty to train him. He agrees to train his mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional sides in order to conquer these beasts. At the same time he is attempting to woo his favorite girl (Leven Rambin) by being a great friend. Hah.

This also takes place during the 1990s El Nino, fucking everything up, meaning it is making crazier, bigger waves. So big, the secret area is no longer that secretive and a lot of people (amateurs) show up to conquer the mavericks, creating a huge potential for death.

I am now going to call tidal waves “huge potentials for death” from now on.

If you didn’t know, Jay Moriarity is an actual person, and this is his biographical movie. So if you click that wiki link, there will be some spoilers. Basically, he is considered a soul surfer, someone who surfs for the love of it only and is not to be confused with the other recent biographical surfing movie, Soul Surfer. He was made famous thanks to a photographer capturing his picture at the top of a Maverick crest.

But enough history, the movie itself? Typical feel good sports training film. You know how it will end, he will surf the wave. If you know the actual person, you will be aware of other events that happen in the film too. The only other feature this movie might have for entertainment purposes would be cool surfing scenes. I would describe them as “okay.”

For some reason, Chasing Mavericks has an incredibly slow feeling. It begins with a quote that doesn’t make too much sense, and ends with a scene that feels forced and awkward. There might be some inspirational moments in here that speak to certain people, but all in all, the fact that this was a real kid isn’t even that impressive. I’d say it offers not much in the film world, and it makes me wonder if there are any good surfing movies out there.

1 out of 4.