Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Very few issues materialized in this generally excellent presentation.
Sharpness was quite good. No softness ever crept into the image, as the movie looked crisp and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws also remained absent.
Thief stayed with a fairly earthy palette. Some scenes went with a chilly tone, but most offered reasonably warm natural colors that looked solid. Some sequences boasted more dynamic hues – especially when the characters hit Vegas – and those tones appeared fantastic.
Blacks were deep and firm, and shadows were usually good, though a few shots seemed a bit dark. I suspect that this occurred to hide some lackluster visual effects; low-light scenes became too thick only when various CG creatures filled the screen. This slight murkiness knocked my grade down to a “B+”, but the film usually looked terrific.
I felt even more impressed by the excellent DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Thief. The soundfield was consistently active. As expected, the movie’s many action scenes created the greatest impact. From flying objects to thunder to lightning, the soundfield used all five channels to excellent effect. The elements swarmed all around us and firmly placed us in the action.
Quieter scenes also worked well. These formed a nice sense of atmosphere, though they also produced some involving effects. At all times, the mix used the different speakers to their full advantage.
Never did the quality of the audio disappoint. Effects remained concise and robust. They presented great dynamics and lacked any distortion or other problems. The score occasionally threatened to get buried under the onslaught of action effects, but the music managed to stay lively and bright nonetheless. Speech was crisp and distinctive and bass response seemed terrific. Really, I found a lot to like and virtually nothing to criticize from this superb soundtrack.
Most of the movie’s extras come from a series of featurettes. The Book Comes to Life goes for four minutes, 24 seconds and includes notes from Jackson, author Rick Riordan, director Chris Columbus, and actors Jake Abel, Logan Lerman, and Alexandra Daddario. Riordan tells us a little about the origins and development of his novel series, and we also hear about the adaptation. Riordan throws out a few decent notes, but “Life” remains thin and superficial.
During the five-minute, nine-second Inside Camp Half-Blood, we hear from Lerman, Jackson, Columbus, Daddario, Abel, screenwriter Craig Titley, property master Bryan Korenberg, producer Michael Barnathan, and production designer Howard Cummings. “Inside” looks at the design of the movie’s camp as well as aspects of the fight training. The latter area is pretty dull, but we do get some good thoughts about set design.
Next we hang around with one of the film’s lead actors as we go On Set with Brandon T. Jackson. It runs five minutes, 56 seconds as it takes us around a few days during the shoot. This program stays on the fluffy side of the street and lacks much merit.
Meet the Demigods occupies three minutes, 49 seconds, and features statements from Lerman, Jackson, Daddario, and Abel. They simply describe the story and a few characters. If you’ve seen the movie, “Meet” is a complete waste of time – and it’s pretty useless even if you haven’t watched the flick.
Finally, Composing for the Gods: A Conversation with Christophe Beck lasts three minutes, 28 seconds. Beck talks about the score he wrote for the flick in this quick program. Despite the intense brevity, Beck offers a pretty good overview of his work.
10 Deleted Scenes take up a total of 14 minutes, three seconds. Grover becomes the biggest beneficiary of the extra time, as he sees more action and reveals more of his backstory. We get a little more of the Medusa sequence and extra fighting in Vegas as well as a few other expository moments. This means more from Hades, too. The various scenes are all actually pretty decent, but none of them seem essential, and they probably would’ve slowed down an already semi-lethargic film.
For an interactive feature, we go to Secrets of the Gods. This lets us learn more about six of the film’s gods: Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Athena, Hermes and Persephone. It also digs into mythical creatures like minotaurs, Medusa, and hydras and characters Percy, Chiron, Luke, Annabeth and Grover. The clips run only about 30 seconds apiece, so they don’t tell us much. If you want to get background about these topics, go to Wikipedia or some other online resource; this set is pretty useless.
A quiz entitled Discover Your Powers pops up as well. This asks a few questions to which you need to answer with an emotional response. When you finish, you get assigned to a particular “house”; actor Brandon T. Jackson delivers the news. It’s painless but not very exciting.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for The A-Team, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Marley & Me: The Terrible 2’s, The Tooth Fairy and the Percy Jackson series of novels. The disc also includes the trailer for Thief.
A second disc offers a DVD Copy of Thief. This appears to be the same disc that you’d buy commercially, not a “dumbed down” one intended just for this set. If you want to own Thief but aren’t yet Blu-ray capable, it’s a good bonus.
Finally, a third platter provides a Digital Copy of the movie. This allows you to transfer the film to a computer or portable gadget. And there you go!
It seems unlikely that Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief will span a movie franchise. Based on what I saw, I can’t say that upsets me. Thief provides a competent adventure but not one that ever threatens to become especially exciting or involving. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a pretty dull compilation of supplements. Thief ends up as a mediocre fantasy flick.