Tuesday, September 03, 2013

logan lerman, tween dream

Kids grow up so fast (too fast) these days. My nine year-old may still like her Barbies and stuffed animals, but she also has huge crushes on boy bands One Direction, Big Time Rush, and certain young actors. One of her current faves is Logan Lerman, AKA Percy Jackson. We saw the first movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and liked it (well, I was pretty lukewarm about it at first, but I have enjoyed it more since on DVD), so I knew we would have to go see the second film which came out recently, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

Dionysus and young Percy
Hermes can get any package, any dimension, any time
The film seems to move at hyper-speed, and people who are neither familiar with The Lightning Thief or the books that the movies are based on may feel a little at sea ... but there was a lot of humor (for Greek mythology geeks like myself) in Sea of Monsters and great cameos, by some of our favorite actors:

Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Merlin) as Chiron, Percy's centaur mentor
Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games, Easy A, Big Night) as Dionysus
Nathan Fillion (Firefly) as Hermes
Missi Pyle (Galaxy Quest , Bringing Down the House), Yvette Nicole Brown, and Mary Birdsong as the Graeae

Percy and his two best buddies, daughter of Athena Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and satyr Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) set off on a quest to once again save the world and prevent the destruction of their home, Camp Half-Blood, a training camp and refuge for the modern-day sons and daughters of the Greek gods. Zeus & Co. may have retired to Mount Olympus, but they apparently still occasionally come down to earth and have relationships with humans. The trio are joined by Percy's nemesis, daughter of Ares Clarisse (Leven Rambin, who is a very good) and Percy's newly discovered half-brother, the cyclops Tyson (Douglas Smith). There are some nice set pieces, including a visit with the Oracle, Hermes, a hippocampus, the Golden Fleece, and Scylla and Charybdis. The movie, like the books, follows a pretty predictable course, but the kid enjoyed it, which is most of the point. It was also nice for me to dodge one of the many animated movies that were clogging multiplexes this summer. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for little Minions or Smurfs.

The gang's all here, L-R: Tyson, Clarisse, Grover, Annabeth, and Percy steal the Golden Fleece from Polyphemus
Of course all of this is fine and dandy when her not-so-secret crush is in a movie that she can see, like Sea of Monsters or the silly but entertaining remake of The Three Musketeers. But things get a little murkier when an actor like Lerman branches out into more adult fare, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I found myself having to explain to the kid why she couldn't watch Percy and Hermione (Emma Watson) in a movie together. Not exactly appropriate for a nine year-old, no matter how sophisticated and pop-culture savvy she might appear to be.
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