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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief [Blu-ray]

 

(Chris Columbus, 2010)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: 1492 Pictures

Video: Fox 2000 Pictures

 

Disc:

Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:58:37.902 

Disc Size: 46,589,116,952 bytes

Feature Size: 35,179,364,352 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.65 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 29th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3897 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3897 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Disc 1
10 Deleted Scenes (14:03 in HD!)
Secrets of the Gods (interactive)
Discover Your Powers Quiz (interactive)
The Book Comes to Life (4:24 in HD!)
Inside Camp Half-Blood (5:09 in HD!)
On Set with Brandon T. Jackson (5:57 in HD!)
Meet the Demigods (3:49 in HD!)
Composing for the Gods: A Conversation with Christophe Beck (3:29 in HD!)

Disc 2: DVD

Disc 3: Digital Copy

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Modern and mythical worlds collide in this thunderous fantasy-adventure starring Pierce Brosnan, Kevin McKidd and Uma Thurman as you’ve never seen them before! Percy Jackson is no ordinary teenager...he’s just learned he’s the son of Poseidon and is accused of stealing Zeus’ ­lightning bolt – the most powerful weapon ever created! With storm clouds brewing, Percy embarks on an incredible cross-country journey to prove his innocence, recover the bolt and prevent a war amongst the gods that could destroy our world!

 

 

The Film:

Every movie involving superheroes requires an origin story, and "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" has a doozy. The Greek gods on Mount Olympus sometimes descend to earth to have children, you see, and these half god, half humans are demigods. They live among us. One is Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), who is the teenage son of Poseidon and Sally Jackson (Catherine Keener). But he doesn't know this. I wonder if his mom noticed. Kind of a letdown to discover Greek gods are runaway dads.

Percy finds he can think best when underwater for 10 minutes at a time. Poseidon was the god of the sea, you will recall. His best buddy is Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), who is revealed as a sort of assistant demigod assigned to watch over him. His teacher is Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan), who is actually Chiron, a centaur. Give Brosnan a lot credit for wearing the back half of a horse as if he'd been doing it for years.

The movie, based on a novel by Rick Riordan, has fun working out modern parallels for Greek mythology. Percy, for example, thinks he is dyslexic, but it's only that his eyes instinctively turn English into Greek letters. That's no help in class. After learning of his real identity, he goes off to Chiron's demigod training camp with Grover, and he becomes friends with Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), a demi-goddess if ever I've seen one.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Aside from the expected, quick-cut haze of CG monsters this Fox Blu-ray it gives a solid presentation in 1080P.  The feature takes up over 35 Gig on the dual-layered disc with a high bitrate. There is a lot of darkness in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and the transfer carries it very well. Grain gives the image a thick appearance but it remains consistent throughout.  Turquoise, fire reds and blues come to the surface looking exuberant. Contrast exhibits very healthy, rich black levels. I like this look very much - detail is supplanted at times by texture - but it works very well in the overall. To me this video renddering looks quite pristine.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is just as good as the video with an active DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3897 kbps. Predictably the film is filled with effects sounds and separations are deftly exported to the rear channels. Monster like The Hydra give the track some real aggression and bass response can reach scary levels that make you attentively sit-up. There is a good score by Christophe Beck supporting the action and heroic exploits and the lossless track gives it subtlety and crispiness. Optional subtitles are offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked although is available in region 'B' supported editions.

 

 

Extras :

If you can't get enough of the film (you mean like me?) you're likely to indulge in the 10 Deleted Scenes running shy of 15-minutes. As well as some smaller video features (all in HD) - about 20-minutes worth - there are two educational segments on the Secrets of the Gods and a quiz on discovering your 'powers'. Some effort went into these and they are good - especially for the kids - but no commentary is available. The mythology indulgences are appreciated though.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Despite the PG warning of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - I've watched this three times with my two boys... and we've loved it, riveted to the screen, in every viewing. I'm perplexed by the mediocre critical response - I thought this was a magnificent adolescent/adventure utilizing a unique modernization of the Perseus mythology. One must think of Clash of the Titans (and it's reportedly poor 2010 remake). Percy is filled with the Greek-based adventure sagas spouting Harryhausen-esque monsters at every turn.  The adult/kid in me found the smaller role casting absolutely perfect - Rosario Dawson is dark/sexy Persephone, Sean Bean plays the noble Zeus, the naturalistic Catherine Keener as Percy's caring Mom and, get this, Uma Thurman as Medusa! LOL - What more could you want? Even Brosnan is super as the tutoring Centaur overseeer Chiron. Don't be deterred by ho-hum reviews of this overly-long titled film (taken from the book series). It's fabulous fun and top notch adventure. The Blu-ray is another excellent job by Fox on all fronts and I'm so glad I gave this a chance knowing virtually nothing about it before sticking the disc in. It will get a ton of replay in my household and I'm guessing many will see similar value. A HUGE recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

June 23rd, 2010

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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