Poker Face Lady GaGa Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
This is the conclusion of a two-part review entitled When Harry Met Gaga. Read the first part here.
Whereas Columbus remained faithful to Rowling’s novels (so faithful, actually, that he practically left no line of dialogue, no punctuation mark, no character big or small unadapted) when he made his Harry Potter films, he chose to do quite the opposite with The Lightning Thief. He and screenwriter Craig Titley applied a considerable number of tweaks to Riordan’s story, doing away with a lot of characters (even major ones) and subplots in the novel. The result is an unexpectedly witty and picaresque movie, fast paced and wonderfully cast (Uma Thurman is delightfully campy as Medusa and Rosario Dawson, dare I say it, is a sexier Persephone than Monica Bellucci). It is not without its fair share of goofs and glaring flaws, to be sure, but it’s a largely enjoyable film nonetheless.
The Lightning Thief is typical Columbus—lively, humorous, optimistic, and brightly hued. The film does dip into slightly darker territory every now and then, but the results of such trips are often ironically amusing. Scenes depicting death and grief, for instance, are staged so as to be at least mildly entertaining. More noticeably, the film makes a conscious effort to draw attention to its lead character’s parental issues, trying to bring Percy’s inner struggle to come to terms with the absence of his hitherto unknown father (who on account of his deity has to keep himself at a distance from his mortal family) to the fore, but the otherwise laudable attempt is easily dwarfed by the prevailing lighter moments.
A weirdly intoxicating sense of fun and allusive wit seem to pervade the film, and no other scene is as quintessential as the one where Percy, Grover, and Annabeth have fun in good old Las Vegas. En route to their destination, the trio visits the Lotus Hotel and Casino to look for an object that they need to proceed on their quest. But no sooner than they could figure out where to find their quarry, they are offered some lotus flowers, the casino’s signature dish. If you paid enough attention to your high school literature teacher during her lecture on Odysseus and the lotophagi, then you might think you’ve got the outcome of this scenario all figured out. Well, think again. Percy and company eat the lotus, of course, and they instantly forget about what they’re in there for, sure, but your Thomas Bulfinches and Edith Hamiltons clearly left out one important detail: the involvement of the goddess of bad romances and disco sticks herself, Lady Gaga. As soon as they bite into their lotus flowers, Percy, Grover, and Annabeth begin to trip out, surrounded by vibrant colors, giggling with euphoria as a song as well-suited as any plays in the background. What else but Lady Gaga’s phenomenal and mind-bogglingly infectious Poker Face? An upbeat montage ensues—scenes of gambling demigods, of a dancing satyr, of three people having a good time and enjoying themselves—and before you know it, you’re smiling mischievously from watching as though you’d eaten a lotus flower yourself.
Forget Harry Potter, forget Columbus’s more or less pedestrian direction, and just admit that the film is simply intoxicating. Like a serving of ambrosia and a shot of nectar, it satisfies and leaves you wanting more. Now good luck with that hangover. Aldrin Calimlim
In the final sequence of the movie, a devastated Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) puts on a show in front of the whole student body, reciting a well-written eulogy for her beloved brother. Very subtly, the song starts playing like a whimsical, jeering tune. Bit by bit, the congregation floods out of the chapel. An enraged Kathryn marches out the door, the contrapuntal music continuing in the background, gathering momentum until it bursts into percussions.
The whole student body watches Kathryn as everything starts to makes sense, even the taunting music. Cecile (Selma Blair) hands her a copy of the Cruel Intentions, exposing Kathryn for the bitch that she truly is. The music wells into an overwhelming victory cheer as Annette (Reese Witherspoon) drives off triumphantly in Sebastian’s car. Jansen Musico
(If you have the chance, grab a copy of this soundtrack. It’s one of best compilations of late ’90s tracks.)
Hi, guys! We’re constantly improving this dear film Tumblr of ours so we decided to make a special podcast for Valentine’s Day! In this first edition of Pelikula Podcast, I play a bunch of songs from my favorite films to watch during Valentine’s Day and talk a bit about them. There’s music from films like Me and You and Everyone We Know, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love, Garden State and more!
I know I missed my column last week, which is why I’m going to try something a little different this week. I’m not going to write my thoughts about a certain film this week; instead I’ll give you dear readers a slice of my knowledge about acquiring films online. Here at Pelikula, we don’t merely suggest you a whole barrage of films to watch, we would also like to help you acquire them.
When I first started out at Tumblr, I had this tendency to post random film musings and most of the time, either through cBox or Formspring, people would ask me how to get these films. Being the snob that I am, I always tell them to Google it. Somehow, the questions about downloading torrents piled up and I got pissed eventually. I mean, just Google it, man. And that, basically, is the main premise of this article: I’ll put everything I know about torrents out there and hopefully, some of you would cherish my “wisdom” and stop pestering me about it. Wow. I sound like a pompous ass right now. Anyway, are you ready? This is going to be long and comprehensive… I assure you.
Let me ask this first: You do know that downloading torrent is illegal, yes? Oh, well. Fuck ‘em.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
D: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
S: Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner
Purveyors of stadium sci-fi rock, Muse, have been skronking out heavy blasters riddled with space operas, black holes and uprisings. In the trailer to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 28 Weeks Later, his follow up to executive producer Danny Boyle’s zombie rock, 28 Days Later, we witness the slow trickling of human population after the scouring brought about by the Raging Monkey Virus (a.k.a. the Rage Virus). Burbling under these proceedings is their eventual demise. Ripping the trailer apart, as the military sounds the alarm, is Matthew Bellamy’s recognizable screech, sending shots of adrenalin to our veins.
Shrinking Universe is an ode to Despair, the kind of song that you’d like to sing amidst thousands of audiences while the song erupts into fiery prog-rock dimensions. It carries the anxiety of the characters struggling to escape the resurgence of the virus. Shrinking Universe catapults into the scale of Asimovian and Clarke-sian thinking: searching for our place in the vast fabric of the universe. Don Jaucian