Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Blu-ray)

December 23, 2013 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

A few years ago I remember a little movie called Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief hitting theaters. I hadn’t really heard of the Percy Jackson books or maybe I’d heard enough to think they were kind of a rip off of the Harry Potter series.  Nevertheless, the movie sat on my shelf for a while, but one evening I decided to give it a try.  Yes, I realize that the target audience for the film is about 20 years younger than me, but darn it if I didn’t like it!  That and I’ve always been a fan of mythology, so that coupled with a fairly interesting plot made the movie rather enjoyable for me.  Granted, Percy…isn’t Harry Potter and never will be, but it’s a fun way to spend a few hours. And let’s face it, with five books in the series, I’m not sure if they quite have the legs to make all 5 into films (and with three years in between each one, the cast will be in their 30’s before they’re complete), but I see maybe one more in the future.  Having said that, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters essentially picks up where the last one left off.

Camp Half-Blood has been attacked by the forces of evil. We learn that it’s protected by Thalia (Paloma Kwiatkowski), a daughter of Zeus whose selfless sacrifice transformed her into a magical tree.  Percy (Logan Lerman) is visited by his half-brother, Tyson (Douglas Smith) who just happens to be a cyclops.  No sooner do they meet than the camp is attacked by Luke (Jake Abel) and Percy learns that he is the one who poisoned the magical tree.  Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) pieces it together that the magical Golden Fleece has the power to heal Thalia and therefore save the camp, though Dionysus (Stanley Tucci) assigns Clarisse (Leven Rambin) the task. However Percy, Annabeth, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and Tyson head off anyway to the Sea of Monsters to get the Golden Fleece.  Of course, we have to ask ourselves…will they succeed?

Seeing as how there are three more books in the Percy Jackson series, I’d say we know the answer to the above question, no?  I have to be honest, I really didn’t get nearly the fulfillment out of this sequel as I did the original. Then again, that’s somewhat common when it comes to films and their sequels. It just seemed to lack the magic “pardon the pun” of the first and the cast seemed a bit out of sync.  Granted the imagery is still there. The effects are pretty good, but I was expecting a bit more.  Audiences must have felt this way as well since the movie only managed to rake in $70 million of its $90 million dollar budget.  But I think the thing I was looking forward to the most was just to gaze at the lovely Alexandra Daddario! I kid. Sort of.  I’m starting to ramble but I’ll finish it with this: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters isn’t a bad movie, it’s entertaining and has some good action scenes, but it’s nowhere near as good as the original.  It’s good for a watch…once, but I don’t really know about repeat viewings.

Video: How’s it look?

As we might expect the film looks absolutely stunning on Blu-ray and though this was shot for 3D (the 2D version is reviewed here), it’s not distracting in the least.  The 2.40:1 AVC HD image simply reeks of everything that’s good about Blu-ray’s and their amazing ability to convey the most crystal clear images to screen.  Yeah, that’s a phrase I haven’t used before! As mentioned above, some of the special effects are a bit dated, but nothing to worry about.  Detail is amazing, the darker scenes aren’t challenged by blocking or inconsistency and contrast works well.  Now onto something I have said before – this is a new to Blu-ray release and it just looks nearly perfect. Viewers will not be disappointed.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Couple the near reference-quality video with a very robust DTS HD Master Audio track and you’ve got yourself a technical powerhouse.  The track is lively, active and really only lets up during a few moments in the film.  Vocals are strong and solid, but what really got me were the surrounds and LFE.  There are a few choice sequences in the Sea of Monsters where the waves are crashing, the boat is avoiding teeth and whatnot…it’s easily the best example of audio in the film.  The front stage handles the rest of the audio with no faults whatsoever.  Any way you slice it, this is a top notch audio mix.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There aren’t a whole lot of supplements on the release, I think I got through them all in about 18 minutes. Nevertheless, let’s check ’em out.

  • Tyson Motion Comic – This is kind of a prequel to the movie in which we see Tyson, where he’s from and how he ended up at the camp. As the name entails, it’s in a motion comic form.
  • Deconstructing a Demigod – One of two obligatory “Behind the Scenes” features with some information about the cast and crew as well as the shoot.
  • Back to Camp Half-Blood – And the other!  We get a look at some of the shots at Camp Half Blood as well as a few words from the Director.
  • It’s all in the Eye – We get a brief explanation as to how the face was digitally changed when Tyson’s one eye appeared versus when he was wearing the sunglasses.

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