Saturday, June 16, 2018

The living are not permitted here.

Except for, you know, dealing with children, teaching Ancient Civ rules. For the most part.

While dawn of man/Mesopotamia is kind of lame, the Code of Hammurabi is beyond rad. Egypt is a good time, sure, but China tends to drag (remember these are eleven year-olds). So does India. And the Hebrew Kingdoms. And everything else that comes before the Greeks.

Everybody loves Greece. The inventions, the battles, the impact on government (just kidding, no one cares about democracy anymore) - THE GODS!?!?! Damn near all of it. But what they love the most? What they will actually stop talking (about Fortnite, mostly) for a few moments to learn about? The myths. 

Too bad most of them are beyond filthy. 

I mean, try explaining the origin of the minotaur to a room full of pre-teens without getting arrested.

If only they made a family-friendly movie set in contemporary times that featured mythological beasts and dabbled in Greek history just enough to be passably relevant to an administrator who decided to see how things were going.

If only...

Somehow, even in a teaching career spanning more than a decade, I had managed to avoid seeing Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Maybe it was the fact that my former grade-level partner showed it every opportunity she was given (jesus, lady - other movies exist, for f--k's sake), or maybe there was something about the idea of  potentially/definitely leering over a young(ish) Alexadra Daddario in a room full of children that didn't sit right with me. I mean, a creepy old guy lusting after a beautiful young maiden?

Uhh...this is beginning to sound almost ....mythological.

Outside of his affinity for water and crippling dyslexia, Percy Jackson seems like your typical high school kid. That is he did, until, on a field trip, his teacher turns into a Fury (think winged, lady-demon) and tries to murder him. Turns out, probably after the Under the Sea dance (*nudges you with elbow* huh? huh?), Percy's mom bumped uglies with Poseidon and boom, a demi-god was born. But with great power comes great culpability, and it appears that Percy is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Zeus' coveted lightning bolt. To clear his name, PJ and his crew are going to have to go on an modestly-budgeted/epic journey filled with modern versions of ancient legends.

You get all that? Me neither. But Daddario shows up swinging a sword and nothing else mattered. Not even the fire drill that took place during the film. Mr. Brown, *shakes shoulders* Mr. Brown! WE HAVE TO LEAVE.

Okay, so that didn't happen. What actually did occur, was a class full of hyperactive kids totally settled down and, over three days, watched this entire movie intently. For me, it was an at-best poor-man's Harry Potter. But for my students? They were utterly riveted to the paint-by-numbers adventure of Percy, Annabeth and that moderately creepy half goat-dude, Grover. I wouldn't recommend it for a room full of adults, but if you somehow find yourself at the Gates of Hell/surrounded by eleven year-olds, crank this one up and enjoy the peace and quiet. Oh, and go ahead and tell them ahead of time, No. This is not a real story. (no shit, I was asked multiple times)

Old as she is, even Medusa is impressed by ancient technology.
Speaking of words you can't believe an actual person strung together, here are the Yays and Boos. I took a day off near the end of the year to help with my son's Field Day, so my students watched the sequel without me. Even with the promise of more/older Daddario, go ahead and put me down for all set with any additional adventures in this fictional universe, mmkay? But a San Andreas [review] sequel? That's a whole different story...

Rosario Dawson is the best thing that ever came out of 1979. 
Fine tied with my wife, too.

  • There is an alarming amount of star-power in this one. That wheelchair-bound caveman? Pierce Brosnan. Greek version of Gozar the Gozarian? Rosario Dawson. The list goes on, too...
  • Speaking of things going on and on, how about (a not-underage) Alexandra Daddario looking sexy as ever? My goodness. I don't know why she's wearing armor on her chest. I mean, who would dare desecrate such...monuments of perfection?
  • Apparently, if you're the son of the god of the sea water has healing powers. Hopefully, for Percy's sake, when sealing/healing wounds, water also calms erections. 
  • While Hermes' flying sandals are pretty cool, Percy's winged-Converse are infinitely more stylish. And practical.
  • I'm pretty sure if you're taking a bus to New Jersey, it's state law that AC/DC's Highway to Hell be played throughout.
  • Holy shit, who is this Frantic Lady at the gift shop, and more pressing, why do I love her overacting so much? WHYYYYYY?? 
  • Dude, Medusa is pretty hot, right? But what's weird, is I'm looking right at her, right? But only my pants are turning into stone.
  • Eventually, they Percy and his crew head to Vegas for a too-long sequence of tripping out and f--king around. But my favorite part? One of my students turned around, Hey - Brown! You been there, right? Yes. Yes, I have (and the whole room goes wild)
  • I too would make goat noises if Rosario Dawson gave me the come hither finger. Hell, I'd probably die if she gave me the finger.
  • And finally, this film basically ends with Percy choosing centaurs, Dadarrio, and goats over living with his mom in New York City. Harsh, right? Well, yeah. For a minute. Then you remember being a high-school kid and you're like, No. Makes total sense.
Kyle! Nice new backpack!
  • Sean Bean plays Zeus. I like Sean Bean. But, uh, Liam Neeson is still alive.
  • Percy Jackson has ADHD. How do I know this? Because he tells us. More than once.
  • Why do all these high school kids look like the teenagers you'd find on promotional materials for Great Clips?
  • Joey Pants shows up for two minutes and they are easily the worst two minutes of his career. And my life. 
  • Honestly, his scene is the most horribly cliched bit ever. Scumbag Step-dad, you say? Well, he should probably slap mom's ass while drinking a beer in his wife beater, right? Of course. Oh, and could we get mom to be ironing her sundress in the kitchen while we're at it? Thanks. When's the poker game with his d-bag friends? Is that after he throws what you call dinner against the wall?
  • Camp Half-Blood is pretty f--king lame. Imagine if Hogwarts, right? Now take away the big fancy building. And the teachers. And the point. Got it? Good. Now whatever you've got left? That's a million times better than Camp Half-Blood.
  • Turns out, Brosnan is actually not a handicapped man, but a f--king centaur. Or as I like to call him, Remingston Steel-shoes. *crickets* F--k you guys.
  • Troops! We need a team name for this crazy competition that's about to begin! Guys in all blue, anybody got any ideas? Blue Soldiers!!! Um, okay. Anybody else? Anybody that's not a f--king moron?
  • At one point, Daddario has to convince the guys to let her come along on the journey. Uh, no. Demons, monsters, Joey Pants having a wife? All this bullshit I believe. Daddario begging two young dudes to come with them cross country? Straight fiction.
  • Jeez, they have to go to some replica of the Parthenon in Nashville on their quest? Like there's really a replica of the Parthenon in Nashville? I mean, how dumb do I look? What's that? They really built a full-scale replica of the Parthenon on Nashville? Ah. That's, uh...good to know.
  • Thanks for letting us borrow the DVD, Ms. Capriotti, but the disc absolutely freaks out during one of the best parts. You're making me look bad over here, Jane. And I already told the kids that Parthenon we just saw didn't really exist.
  • Hey, I get it that we're tripping out at the club in Vegas, that's fine. But, uh, everyone's cool with the fact that the one dude in here has goat legs? It seems kinda tame otherwise, you know? 
  • Despite this film being released in 2010, the underworld is basically the flying toasters screensaver from 1994. 
  • Speaking of Hell, Hades (as played by Steve Coogan) comes off as a bit of a wanker, no? Imagine if Jason Segel and John Cusack co-fathered a cockney roadie and you'd be close to the awfulness that is Hades. Couldn't we just get Vinnie Jones and be done wiff it?
  • So, uh...Percy can fly? According to this sky-battle he can. And quite well, too. This power probably would have made the previous perilous journeys easy-f--king-peasy, right? Good thing he didn't discover this inherent ability earlier. 
  • Also good thing, the fact that every single building in New York (or wherever the Hell they are) has one of those wooden water tower contraptions affording Percy has a steady supply of ice to throw at the bad guy. 
  • And finally, even though it's against my general policy (of being an unrelenting a-hole), what's with the lack of a romantic kiss at the end? As an alleged educator, it brings me infinite joy when a room full of students completely come undone when two on screen characters share a simple kiss. Almost reminds me that they are just little innocent kids, you know? Two actors lock lips for a second and it's utter chaos. So heart-warming and silly, right? Awww. [But let's just say, I've stopped reading the notes they leave behind (like, what sixth grade girl writes down that they want to eat some dude's butt?)]
On that horrid, horrid note (literally), let us never speak of any of this ever again. No more talk about children, school, Greece or anything even remotely educational. Well, okay...none of this was educational in the first place, fine. School's out, dammit. It's now, officially, summer. No more teaching. Unless...unless you're actually willing words...that I say? You are?

*clears throat* 

See, according to Greek legend, we get summer only because Persephone hasn't returned to the underworld. How did she get down there? Well, it's a funny story. [no one laughs] One day, a long time ago...


  1. "what sixth grade girl writes down that they want to eat some dude's butt?)"

    that was after Eddie the Eagle, wasn't it?

    Ah, your love for Daddario. It's nowhere near my love for my feral boo but it's close. I actually rewatched Wolves last night. No one can top that.

    1., I never showed Eddie the Eagle after the whole orgasm scene. What little professional judgement took over...for now. Maybe during the next winter Olympics?

      I do love me some Daddario, despite 99% of her filmography not being very good. To your point, though, it's close, but I don't think anyone currently loves anything as much as you like FishGuy.

      YOU DID WHAT?????

    2. Yep. I am totally gonna rewatch Bad Batch one of those days too. Love and madness always win when it comes to how I use my movie viewing time :)

    3. Love and Madness. Sounds like what I should rename this website.

  2. I have no doubt at all that your post is 100x more entertaining than the movie itself! Although to be honest your posts are more entertaining than most movies. I've avoided this series so far and I intend to keep it that way!

    1. Hahaha...thanks, Allie.

      It's actually not soooo bad, and has a surprising amount of famous faces. The Greek mythology component is enjoyable enough, assuming, you know, that's your thing.

      Otherwise, big loss if you stay the Hell away from these Harry Potter knock offs..

  3. This film is a perfect example of when you shouldn't cast way older people to play teenagers. Alexandra is a year older than me, and I'm suppose to believe she's in school still? Waaattt

    Though in retrospect I remember when True Detective came out Logan Lerman was enthusiastically tweeting about how everyone should tune in to see Alex before her big episode, and we all know the beauty that was in it. Percy saw that. lol

    1. I think she was twenty four playing sixteen/seventeen - something like that. And I agree it's entirely ridiculous...but it does make the lusting moderately less creepy. I hope.

      Not only did Percy see that. WE ALL DID. And I've never fully recovered.