Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – Movie Review

August 8th, 2013 by

Oh my gods, could it be true? Is the second Percy Jackson movie finally out? Yes, three years after the first film, the newest movie, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, officially hit theaters yesterday!

But is it worth spending your hard-earned drachmas to see the film? You don’t need the Oracle of Delphi to tell you the answer, just check out our review below — told in animated images because this is a moving pictures review, after all! (Hardy har har.)

First things first — this post contains SPOILERS about the movie and book, so beware!

spoiler-alert

And now back to the review: We were pretty excited about the movie, since it has been three years. So when we sat down in our seats, we were like:

mike-sully-sit-down

Karen is the tall one, and Nancy is the one with the giant head.

 

Did you like the movie overall?

KAREN: I have to admit, I didn’t like it as much as the first movie, but I think that’s because it’s been so much longer since I’ve read the books. Before seeing the film, I was actually furiously studying up to refresh my memory, and then afterwards I was all like:

studying

KAREN: But overall, I enjoyed the movie — especially the view of Logan Lerman’s face!

logan-lerman

NANCY: Yes, indeedy. We both agree that Logan Lerman’s face, if you’re a fan of that sort of thing, is a good reason to see the movie. But beyond his cute face, I actually liked this movie more than the first one — maybe it’s just because my expectations were lowered after that first movie, but I found Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters plenty enjoyable! 

my-little-pony-clapping

How did you feel about any differences from the original book?

tyson-two-eyesKAREN: Nancy can tell you, before the movie I was positively foaming at the mouth in rage over Tyson’s appearance. Tyson is one of my favorite characters in the series, and I always pictured him as a big, lovable, one-eyed dude.

Based on trailers and photos, I saw lots of Tyson looking like a normal two-eyed person instead of a Cyclops, and I was NOT happy with the movie people…

fools

But it turns out, Tyson’s feelings about his face and his choice to sometimes be two-eyed are part of the movie’s message. So then I was all:

shame-and-relief

NANCY: Tyson’s eyes didn’t so much bother me, but I did expect him to be bigger! But my biggest beef with the movie was that they cut out a whole section that I thought could have been great: When Annabeth asks Percy to tie her to the mast of the Blackbeard’s ship so she can hear the Siren’s song (and see her greatest desires). I didn’t mind that there was no Blackbeard, but I thought that was really important to know how Annabeth still has hope for Luke!

What was your favorite part of the movie?

KAREN: Besides Logan Lerman?

romantic-percy

NANCY: It is pretty tough to beat that adorable face:

logan-lerman-sea-of-monsters

KAREN:  I loved the scenes at Camp Half-Blood, especially the opening sequence with the camp competition. Seeing all the demigods in their element and feeling like I was there, I was all like:

oh-yes-so-happy

NANCY: Me too! The first scene with the camp challenge was great. Usually I’m not a huge fan of 3D, but I also thought the action scene with the bull was pretty kick-butt — especially when Percy figures out how to defeat it! For once, I was like this:

3d-glasses-up

NANCY: I also thought the animated sequence where show the legend of Kronos was pretty awesome. Remember the animated telling of The Tale of the Three Brothers in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2?

three-brothers-hp

It was just as cool as that!

What was your least favorite part of the movie?

KAREN: Weirdly, I felt like sometimes Percy and Annabeth weren’t acting with enough urgency on their quest. Like, hello, the lives of all your friends and the entire future of Camp Half-Blood depends on you guys!

start-panicking

Also, I felt like Annabeth didn’t get to show off her awesome smarts and abilities enough. I mean, check her out in the first movie:

annabeth-rocks

NANCY: Well, this is kind of minor, but there’s a part in the movie where Percy busts out his awesome son of Poseidon powers, like when he did this in the first movie:

percy-jackson-lightning-thief

NANCY: Well, in Sea of Monsters, there’s a scene where Luke is also able to surf on water! Uh, c’mon. Luke is the son of Hermes (who was awesome in the movie, BTW), and last I checked, the children of Hermes do not have the power of controlling water.

selena-why-would-you-do-that

Okay, I know why they did it. It was a cool scene. But still. C’mon.

oh-brother-harry-potter

Face you give the movie:

sea-of-monsters_smileys

Click to see our awesome shirts

KAREN: I give this movie a smiley face, but kind of a small smile instead of a big grin. If you’re not already a Percy Jackson fan, this probably isn’t the right movie for you, but if you like the books, you’ll enjoy seeing Sea of Monsters come to life on the screen.

NANCY: I’ve decided to give this one a solid big smile! It wasn’t perfect, but like Karen said, you’ll definitely enjoy most of the movie if you like the books. And if you haven’t read the books yet, you should, because reading the Percy Jackson series is like this:

tv-in-your-head
 
 
We attended an advance screening of the movie as guests of Disney Publishing.
We can’t take credit for making any of these images — all taken from the Interwebs!

ParaNorman Movie Review

September 1st, 2012 by

The new movie ParaNorman is full of creatures with no pulse, but it’s guaranteed YOUR pulse will quicken as you watch all the fast and funny zombie action in this flick!

We give it two thumbs up — watch our video for our commentary on the trailer and read on for our thoughts on the film and the book! (Warning: we tried to pack in as many spooky puns and references as possible, so be prepared to groan…)

Storyline
Karen says:I’m a huge scaredy cat, so I deliberately read as little as I could about the story before going to see it. I knew that if I thought about it too much, I’d start to get irrationally afraid of the zombies and my anxiety would overpower my BRAAAAAIIIIIIN and I’d chicken out of watching the movie. So I was really happy that it turned out to be not too freaky. Actually, I thought it was pretty sweet and heart-warming for a movie about the undead!

Nancy says: Unlike Karen, I did read the book (by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel) before watching the movie — and it was awesome! There are barely any differences in storyline between the book and movie, and I thought the WICKED twist with the witch was really clever.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 2

Characters
Karen says: I immediately liked Norman — but then again, you’d have to be a CORPSE not to like him! I also loved his new friend, Neil. But the rest of the characters seemed a little stereotypical — almost like GHOSTS of truly unique people. I especially would have liked Norman’s dad to have more depth because his character was as shallow as a SHALLOW GRAVE. But still, this didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the movie.

Nancy says: So what you’re saying, Karen, is that you would have liked to see Norman’s dad more FLESHED out? Heeheehee! In the book, Salma is a lot more involved and funnier, so I missed her. She was the BRAAAAIINNNSS of the operation. I liked how Norman eventually came around to being Neil’s friend; in the book you find out why he’s so shy and introverted, so when Norman gets the GUTS to come out of his shell in the movie, I had that in the back of my mind. I mean, BRAAAAIIINNN.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 9

Visuals
Karen says: I absolutely loooooooved the way this movie looked — and we didn’t even see it in 3D! Actually, I feel like the visuals are so good, the 3D is probably unnecessary. Of course, I can’t say that for sure — I’d have to pick the BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIINS of people who did see it in 3D — but I thought all the detail and richness of the visuals were great in 2D! Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but I kept staring at Norman’s eyebrows. Is that weird? Probably…

Nancy says: At first, I was kind of GROSSED OUT by the way some of the people look in the movie — especially Norman’s mom and sister, who have teeny-tiny waists and giant butts and heads. But in the end I thought, hey — I’m probably supposed to be grossed out. I also thought the climatic scene with Norman and the accused witch was beautiful — no spoilers here, but let’s just say… it was ELECTRIFYING!

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 12

Favorite part
Karen says: This was a huge surprise to me, given that I normally am DEATHLY afraid of the idea of the living dead, but the zombies were my favorite part of the movie! I thought all their mannerisms were really funny, and it especially SLAYED ME up when one of them ended up riding in a car with Norman!

Nancy says: I already mentioned how much I loved the scene with Norman and the witch, so I’ll go with… every funny part of the movie! Seriously, the movie made my RIBCAGE rattle from giggling so much. Even though the hockey-mask scene is in the other ParaNorman trailer, it’s still a HOOT in the movie.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 16

Overall impressions
Karen says: I would definitely recommend this movie. It’s got everything you could ask for: an unlikely hero, an action-packed story, awesome stop-motion visuals, lots of humor, and lots of heart. Definitely not one of those dumb movies made by people who expect kids to just enjoy anything; the people behind this film definitely used their BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINS to make something really cool! So I give it a thumbs up for sure!

Nancy says: I would also recommend this movie, and the book by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. I think it’d be enjoyable to read the book first or in the AFTERLIFE of the movie.

Have you seen the new movie ParaNorman? Leave a comment with YOUR review! Did you love it? Did you hate it? Did you freak out when the zombies appeared and wail like a baby who’s diaper needs to be changed? We wanna know!

Total No. of Spooky References: 18

The Graveyard Book: Movie News

May 3rd, 2012 by

graveyard-book-neil-gaimanIf you enjoyed going to the theater and munching on popcorn as you watched Coraline flee from button-eye wielding alterna-parents in the movie version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, then you’re in luck — Disney has announced a film adaptation of Gaiman’s Newbery winner, The Graveyard Book!

The movie will be directed by Henry Selick, who did the Coraline movie. Disney hasn’t said whether The Graveyard Book will be live-action or animated, but my hope is that it will be stop-motion in the same visual style as Coraline.

Also no word on the release date. They actually don’t even have a screenwriter yet, so I think we’re in for a looooooooooong wait… The upside? More time to re-read the book, or discover it for the first time if you haven’t read it before. And if that’s the case, you can get the scoop on the story in this podcast, where I made The Graveyard Book my Halloween pick.

Now, I was completely spooked the entire time I read The Graveyard Book, so I can only imagine the extreme terror I’ll feel when the story comes to life before my eyes. But obviously, there’s no way I’m going to miss this movie! I just may need to hide my face every once in a while. I hope Nancy doesn’t mind when I clutch her arm and scream in her ear

But what about you? Have you read the book, and would you see the movie? Leave a comment and let me know!

— Karen

Karen has to confess she’s never read Coraline or watched the movie. Nothing freaks her out more than the idea of parents who are actually monsters. Great, now she’s getting creeped out just thinking about it! [insert panic and fear here]

More about Karen »

The Lorax Movie Review

March 8th, 2012 by

the-lorax-by-dr-seussWe saw The Lorax on opening night.
Was it a beauty or was it a fright?
Watch the video if you want to see
A movie review from Karen and Nancy!

Hey, give us a break, we know we can’t compare to Dr. Seuss! But really, who can?

The REAL question here is whether you should see the Lorax movie. Watch our movie review video to find out:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy protecting the trees from greedy, axe-wielding men — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new Lorax movie? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

Book-to-Big-Screen Winners

February 28th, 2012 by

Monday mornings are always rough, but it was especially hard for me to get out of bed yesterday because I stayed up watching the Oscars on Sunday night. Did you?

My favorite part of the Oscars is always checking out what the celebrities are wearing, but this year I was also paying close attention to all the categories where War Horse and Hugo were nominated, since they’re both based on children’s books. Though neither one picked up the Best Picture award, I was delighted when The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won for Best Animated Short Film. What what! Book love at the Oscars! Raise the roof! Holla!

Anyway…

Since I have book-to-movie adaptations on the brain, I thought maybe you guys would too. So here’s a round-up of our favorite films based on children’s books, to help you get ready for your next DVD night. Out of ALL our movie reviews on Kidsmomo, these are the ones that got two smileys from us!

How to Train Your Dragon, based on the book by Cressida Cowell:

(And apparently there’s a sequel in the works. Yahoo!)

 

Ramona and Beezus, based on the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary:

 

Flipped, based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen:

 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, based on the book by Judi and Ron Barrett:

The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

February 23rd, 2012 by

Imagine a film about tiny people living in the walls of your house, sneaking into your room at night, taking little items while you sleep. Is it the newest horror movie to hit theaters? No, it’s The Secret World of Arietty, based on Mary Norton’s classic children’s book The Borrowers!

Yeah, we were just kidding with that horror film stuff. Although the question still remains: Is this movie a delight, or a fright? Check out our video review below:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy hiding from the household cat because you’re about the size of his paw — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new movie The Secret World of Arietty? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

Flying Books at the Oscars

February 9th, 2012 by

oscar-statuetteYou probably already know that two movies based on children’s books have been nominated for Best Picture Oscars this year (Hugo and War Horse). You may even know that last year, an animated short film based on a children’s book won an Oscar (The Lost Thing). But did you know that this year, a film not based on a book but ABOUT books is up for an Oscar?

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is nominated in the Animated Short category. And as you can guess by the title, the story is about a man who lives among flying books. He fixes up old ones, matches just the right tales with folks who want to read ’em, and even does some dancing with them!

You can watch the whole film below — and I really suggest you do because it’s completely lovely. But just a warning: you may not want to watch it in public because it’s quite moving at the end. I snuck in a viewing at work, and I had to fight back tears at the office! Then again, I tend to weep at books, TV shows, and movies pretty easily…

Why don’t you just watch The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for yourself and leave me a comment with YOUR thoughts!

— Karen

Karen really wouldn’t mind a life like this; she highly prefers the company of books over people anyway.

More about Karen »

Hugo Movie Review

December 2nd, 2011 by

hugo-movie-posterLike the station inspector chasing after Hugo, or Hugo and Isabelle seeking out the answer to a mystery, last week Nancy and Karen went in search of a magical movie experience… We saw Hugo, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick!

And did the movie deliver? To find out, you’ll just have to watch the video review below! You know, just like Hugo and Isabelle watching a film, or — oh, forget it, let’s just get to the review:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy winding the clocks at the local train station — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new movie Hugo? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book? And what do you think: do you need to know the book already in order to enjoy the film?

Jeremy Fink Movie Trailer

August 16th, 2011 by

I know it’s a cliché to say, “You learn something new every day,” but I really did learn something new today! I found out that there’s a movie adapation of Wendy Mass’ book Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life that’s supposed to come out sometime in 2011!

And there are only a few months left in 2011, so it should be hitting theaters any day now, right? Right?!

Unfortunately, I can’t find any info on a precise release date, but that’s okay — it gives everyone more time to read the book before seeing the movie!

(Btw, if you’re not familiar with the book, it’s about a mysterious wooden box that Jeremy receives in the mail with the words, “The Meaning of Life — for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday.” The only problem? Four locks and no keys! So Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy, set out on a quest to find the keys and discover the meaning of life.)

Here’s the movie trailer:

And for some behind-the-scenes fun, check out Wendy Mass’ blog post about her day on the movie set!

So… what do you think? Leave a comment with your opinion on the trailer. How do you think the movie will compare to the book?

— Karen

Karen has no idea what the meaning of life is. When you find out, please let her know.

More about Karen »

Movie Trailer Madness: Penguins and Puke!

April 9th, 2011 by

Have you looked outside lately? It’s spring! The birds are chirping, the sky is blue, the flowers are blooming… Oh, wait. Uh oh. It’s starting to get overcast… and now the rain is pouring down. =( Well, you could always curl up with a good book — or watch these new movie previews for some upcoming book-to-movie adaptations!

Check out Count Olaf — I mean, Jim Carrey — in Mr. Popper’s Penguins:

I don’t think literal dancing penguins were part of Richard and Florence Atwater’s book, but I fully support dancing penguins in nearly any movie.

And when you’ve d’awwwed enough about those so-called “pesty” penguins, check out this zany preview for Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer:

Roller coaster puke, a search for Bigfoot, and a new book out this summer? It sounds like my rainy spring is soon going to be a NOT bummer summer!

Let me know in the comments which upcoming book-to-movie adaptation you’re more excited about: Mr. Popper’s Penguins or Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer?

— Nancy

Nancy sometimes enjoys movie previews more than the actual movies themselves. The trailers sometimes just have the best parts of the movie in those two minutes!

Meet Nancy »

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