So! While my job is usually not all that glamorous, one of the occasional perks of it is that I get to see advanced screenings of movies based on children's books. You might remember that I had a chance to see Where the Wild Things Are a few months back, but it was a screening specifically for people in the publishing industry and librarians. When I went to see Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief last night, I thought it was going to be the same deal. Except it wasn't. It was the actual NYC premiere, and we only discovered this because my boss, my coworker, and I rolled up to the theater at the same moment Pierce Brosnan did and got to listen to all of the photographers scream, "Pierce!! Pierce!! Will you sign autographs, Pierce!!!" (Former Mr. Bond is much shorter in person than I was expecting.) We ended up having to wait in a longish line out in back of the theater to pick up the tickets that we had reserved. That took QUITE some time. After we finally made it upstairs, we were ordered to "surrender" our cellphones (I should have just lied and said I didn't have mine!! That was dumb of me.) to the little plastic bags in the big plastic tubs outside of the main theater. The main theater that was, unfortunately, already full. I'm trying to think of how to explain the set up since aforementioned surrendering meant that I couldn't snap any pictures for you guys. They split the upstairs hallway lengthwise so that there was a continued red carpet up there, where all of the stars were posing as they walked into the main theater, but they were blocked by big backdrops. We ended up in a much smaller overflow theater, which was fine by us!
I wish I could give you a review of the movie, but I'm not terribly familiar with the Percy Jackson series. In fact, I've only read the first half of the first book. But! From that I can tell you that there are a number of major differences, none of which I will spoil for you, except to say that they aged all of the kids up so that they're 15-16 instead of 12, the monsters are pretty scary, the special effects were very cool, and the gods were great (Poseidon is a ginger Kevin McKidd, so that's automatic 10+ in my book)... but it seemed like they took A LOT of liberties with the story and characters. So basically, now all of the Percy Jackson fans will know exactly how the Harry Potter fans have felt for years. I think people coming to the film with no real background on the series (much like me) will enjoy it, weird plot holes and all, but the diehard fans might be disappointed. The Greek mythology aspects are explained well--I thought the Lotus Eaters bit was especially clever.
Oh, and Logan Lerman? I thought he was great. Very charismatic, with good comedic timing. He kept reminding me of a young Chris Pine, otherwise known as Chris Fiiiiiine.
To be honest, I was pretty worried about the movie to begin with, since February is usually where studios send horrible movies to die. I have NO IDEA why they aged the characters up, though. Was it to capture some of the Twilight audience? I really hope they don't alienate the book series' actual 8-12 audience, though I do think the boys will find Percy very cool and the girls will find him very cute. I wouldn't bring kids under 8 to the film, though. I was surprised by how scary and nasty many of the film's monsters were.