Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

I totally forgot to review a film that I wasn’t planning to watch at all, but did, and enjoyed quite a bit – “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” (by the way, is that the longest movie titles ever or what?).

I saw the trailer and thought that this film would exploit parents’ love for their children and good memories of epic fairy tales, such as Harry Potter & Co.  But my wife wanted to see it too much and I couldn’t say no, and there was no better choice, so we went.

I was surprised as to how much I actually enjoyed it.  There was a rather straight-forward story, but it was wrapped with lots of excellent visual effects, some humor, and an amazing cast.  I think the movie was way under-promoted for all the good work that went into it.  Maybe they ran out of money, who knows.   That’s not important.  The fact that it is solid, light, and provides good entertainment is important on the other hand.

4 out of 5.  Enjoy it on a big screen, but if you missed it – rent or buy a DVD.  You can watch it several times.

Be Cool

Be Cool” is ought to be one of the less promoted celebrity full movies of all times. I haven’t heard anything about this film until today – no posters, no trailers, no rumors – nothing.

Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Music
Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, André 3000, Steven Tyler, Robert Pastorelli, Christina Milian, Paul Adelstein, Debi Mazar, Gregory Alan Williams, Harvey Keitel, The Rock, Danny DeVito, James Woods
IMDB raintg: 5.5
My rating: 7.5 *******½

John Travolta is dancing with Uma Thurman in the movie with Harvey Keitel and it’s not “Pulp Fiction”? Yes. Danny DeVito is in and the film is both a comedy and a crime movie? Yes. The Rock is playing a gay guy and he’s got more screen time than Aerosmith voice Steven Tyler who is also in the movie? Yes. Vince Vaughn is in too and he’s trying to make out for more than himself. See, he thinks that he’s black and he sounds like Samuel Jackson half the time and like Snoop Dog the other half. And I haven’t even named half of the people yet.

The story is rather cliche, but it’s done well. In a nutshell – lots of criminals and show businessmen are trying to get over each other over money and power. But it has lots of charm and humor to it. Cedric the Entertainer plays a leader of a crime gang. But he lives in a good neighborhood himself and has Harward education behind his back. The monologou on racism was outstanding! Oh, and his gang is great too. Especially his first assistant.

There are lots and lots of things happening on the background. They are those nice touches that make up a movie. A Russian mafia guy with two black eyes and a rig, floored armchairs in Uma’s house, her wearing a “Widow” t-shirt after her husband was killed in the first two minutes of the movie – these and lots more is what made the film so good.

Character development and dialogues were outstanding.

Additionally, it was perfect technically. Camera work was great. Soundtrack – excellent. Costume and decor designs – fantastic. Especially costumes. Some of them were changing like for every scene of the movie (Uma’s), and other’s stayed the same during all the time (Travolta’s).

Now, all of that was perfect. The only thing that is offsetting this film is the story. An original plot would have made this one into a perfect movie. As it is, it’ll stay on my “Very good” shelf.

Paycheck

Evening in the movie with Olga. This time we went to see “Paycheck“.

It was a rather disappointment. There are few interesting ideas, but there is also a load of crap that this movie doesn’t need. Ben Affleck fighting with the stick while being a genuis computer engineer is really stupid. And overall Ben Affleck has nothing to do with this movie. They needed someone more geeky-looking. :)