Topic: Comic Book Movies
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3439:
Just got back in from an early afternoon matinee showing of the 2011 film... 'Green Lantern'!
So, I'm quickly blogging 'my take' on this film, as there won't be a follow-up blog from my wife, Tina, as she elected not to go to see this film...
With the opening scene I could see why Tina didn't want to go... Too much CGI at the beginning, and I was beginning to wonder myself about the direction that this film was going.
However, once the film's storyline was on Earth, the film picked up for me.
First I must point out, yes I did read some of the early Green Lanterns with Hal Jordan as GL. I liked the Gil Kane artwork. However, as stated before in this blog, Marvel Comics came into being, and I was one of the early 'Marvel maniacs'.
With my allowance as small as it was, I couldn't afford DCs, Marvels, ACGs, Gold Keys, etc., so I decided early on to 'collect' Marvels, thus not keeping up with Green Lantern from DC Comics. So No, I didn't keep up with Hal Jordan or all of the later Green Lanterns on Earth.
Yet, I found this film well paced, cutting back and forth cleanly between Earth scenes and planet Oa scenes. Good editing!
Hal Jordan was portrayed pretty well in this film, and Carol Ferris was just a little differently written, probably due to having it occur in the 2010s and not the 1950's - 60's.
I enjoyed some of the updates, such as when Hal tried to get the ring to work with the Lantern, citing: "To Infinity and Beyond!", and something about the "Power of Greyskull".
The fact that Hal Jordan wasn't cut out to be a 'Green Lantern' because he wasn't fearless, per Sinestro's spoken thoughts, was because of his humanity.
It was the humanity in this film, or rather the interactions of humans with other humans that made this film play better on the Big Screen for me.
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER - WARNING WARNING WARNIG! If you don't want to know more about the actual film scenes, then skip the following paragraphs until you reach the end of the SPOILER WARNINGS!
Yes, the CGI was done pretty well, but it was the opening scene of Parallax being found that would have turned my wife, Tina, right off from the beginning. Indeed, as stated above, that is when I started wondering what I come into...
Yet the interactions between the human characters was done pretty well, IMO. The 'Space Opera' scenes were also okay, except for the part where Parallax was a cloud like space creature. I was already disappointed in another universe on screen, Marvel's Universe, where Galactus was a 'space cloud'. Yet I don't know the DC Universe's storyline of Parallax. Possibly he was a 'cloud like creature'?
Which brings to mind, that more than just comic book fans are expected to attend this comic book film. Especially with a budget of $200 million dollar per some estimate.
So why isn't this film written / filmed / edited for a more general film going audience? Because you know, comic book fans from the Silver / Bronze / and Modern Ages of Comics are likely to not agree on the storyline / quality of this film!
OKAY.... END OF SPOILER WARNING...
END OF SPOILERS WARNING!
I found that Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern did a fine job, even though the film was updated from its 1950's origins. He carried the film for me.
Blake Lively as Carol Ferris portrayed a good 'boss role' / 'girlfriend at one time' role. I liked the interaction between her and Hal / GL.
Peter Sarsgaard as Dr. Hector Hammond was just a little too 'cartoony' for a general film going audience, but I found the actor played the role well as it was probably written.
Mark Strong as Thaal Sinestro: this was a good role for Mark!
Angela Bassett as Dr. Amanda Waller: Good performance in a small role, although I understand that the comic book character was not the same size in physical appearance...
Tim Robbins as U.S. senator Robert Hammond: Yeah, a typical role that Tim Robbins plays... but he does them so well!
Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur: I could really believe this role... of an alien crash landing on Earth. Good job!
Michael Clarke Duncan as the voice of Kilowog: I really like Michael's voice, as well as acting. Too bad his character was a CGI character. I've enjoyed seeing and hearing him since 'The Green Mile' back in 1999. And yeah, I also enjoyed seeing him as The Kingpin in 2003's Daredevil film from Marvel Comics! Even though 'The Kingpin' I grew up with during Romita Sr.'s years was a white guy.
So, as you can see from the above, I believe that the majority of the characters were well cast!
The storyline was pretty smooth in between cutting from Earth to space and back again.
My only disappointments were the very opening scene of the film, and the cartoony climax scene... Which it seems that comic book films can't get rid of, i.e. my same thought on the recent Thor film...!
Is this worth going to see on the Big Screen?
Well... I said at the beginning that I was a Hal Jordan / Green Lantern early reader. Yes, it's been 'updated' to reflect the 2000s... but other than the two scenes mentioned above... It was worth it to me to see at the Big Screen...
But NO, I didn't opt for the 3-D version!
I'm not for certain if a mainstream film going audience is going to find this a film that they are going to 'rave' about... The targeting of the film via trailers turned off my wife, and my youngest son, who will be with on Fathers Day, but opted to not see this film either this weekend.
The marketing of the film made it seem like a 'space opera' or 'cartoony sci-fifilm', which it wasn't. I believe that this film is going to find it hard gaining traction with the non-comics film going public...!
My comic book grade for this comic book movie is a VERY FINE PLUS (VF+) 8.5 out of a possible 10.0 grading scale. I had forgiven the film for the terrible beginning of the film, and was ready to give this a Very Fine / Near Mint grade (VF/NM) 9.0, but again here was a comic book movie at the end going with almost all CGI... Sheesh! Which downgraded it to the VF+. Thevery ending was good, when back on Earth, and yes, you gotta stay for the end of the BEGINNING of the credits. A sequel, perhaps?
That's it for me on this one! And again, NO review on this one from Tina, who will NOT be presenting her review on this film from a woman's POV!
~Michael D Hamersky
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