Jun 17, 2011

Overcome Your Fear!! Go Watch Green Lantern

5:53 PM

A lot is riding on the success of The Green Lantern opening weekend, with it being the first big Superhero film not called Superman or Batman from the WB/DCE camp and with all of the stiff competition of other solid comicbook and genre films out now.  We all heard the talks of this being the next Harry Potter-like cash-cow for Warner-- from talks with friends at the shops yesterday-- I heard that most of the "critics" reviews were sucky, while most "comic" sites were on the opposite spectrum.
So when I walked into the theatre and sat down I tried to keep expectations marginal though I am obviously one of those geeks running around in those cool muti-colored Lantern shirts...the opening trailers ended and my fears of this film being shitty started to creep in more.

If there was ever a superhero film that gave me tingles (Dark Knight doesn't count cause well he is more an anti-hero)..I have to think back to Richard Donner's Superman back in the 70's.  From John Williams' goose-bump inducing score, to the on-screen magic of Lois & Clark that played so naturally between Margot Kidder and the immortal Christopher Reeve, to just any time we saw Kal-El in flight-- making us almost feel like we can do the same-- the film was unforgettably breathtaking.

15 minutes into Green Lantern, 30 minutes and then an hour later-- I was getting Donner-like deja va and I thought to myself-- how brilliant it was for Martin Campbell and crew to use that Superman-nostalgia in how GL was filmed.  Don't read on unless you want some SPOILERS.

What makes Hal Jordan such a compelling character is he is an everyman, powerless, flawed and just as heroic with or without his power ring on.  Reynolds captured Jordan's essence to the T.

Enough time was spent in the beginning of the film to reinforce the importance of Hal's deep connection to his father.  And how he has still yet to cope with his father's loss.   This was the source of Jordan's fear that made him go Maverick into a flat-spin that ended up making him lose his plane and nearly bite the big one.  Lively as Carol Ferris was spot on showing the fire, strength and grit that many modern women can identify with but also being a tether to Hal and helping to push him to be the hero he could be.  Her use of the AI craft missiles in saving Hals' life from near annihilation at the hands of Krona/Parallax rawked.   

Another homage to the Donner Superman films was the repeated use of intimate, romantic patio scenes were Hal flew in to visit with Sapphire..err I mean Ferris.  But damn let's all hope that Lively is signed on to the trilogy so she can get some ring-slinging on as the Queen of the Star Sapphires!

Everything OA was ill!  Sure there wasn't a lot of time spent in space but enough was provided to show how truly intergalactic they could get in the films to follow.  The Guardians character designs were slick, especially how their robes were flowing down each of the thrones in their Citadel.  CG-characters like Tomar-Re, Kilowog and the like were solid but some atmospheric shots were a bit low-tech looking but that's me being a lame internet geek looking for the flaws in things.  I was really pleased with how Thomas Kalamaku was written into the story as his best friend and a prominent cog of Hal's life as a pilot.  A far departure from the rascist "Pie-Face" shit going on in the 60-70's.

Parallax attacking Coast City was one of the more haunting imagery that will stay with us for awhile making us remember how crazy things were with footage of hundreds of people running away from groundzero during 911.

Intergalactic in scale but grounded in reality.   Martin Campbell didn't do it alone though..let's not forget that his Co-Producer, Geoff Johns was once an understudy to the legendary Richard Donner.  And the groundwork of this film is largely adapted from Johns' incredible retcon reboot of GL in Rebirth that also gets shine in the first of it's kind after the end credits.

Green Lantern is Superman: The Movie reincarnated in 2011 with all the fascinating use of CG, technologies but with the timeless quality of solid acting, strong directing and so on that leads to movie-magic.

I really couldn't have been happier leaving the theatre with thoughts that Green Lantern was created as an epic film experience first but treated as a comicbook movie with equality.

Actually I am about to head out to meet with some friends now to re-watch it in 3D! 

The above deviantart will eventually be replaced by the after credits final scene that shows Mark Strong enter his destiny of being Hal's greatest enemy as leader of the Sinestro Corps.  I literally crapped my pants that they jumped right into that!

Go check it out and tell a friend to do the same! 

This post was written by:
big O
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