Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
Ryan Reynolds
Carol           Blake Lively
Hector         Peter Sarsgaard
Sinestro       Mark Strong
Abin Sur      Temuera Morrison
Dr. Waller    Angela Bassett
Sen. Hammond     Tim Robbins
With the voices of:
Parallax     Clancy Brown
Kilowog     Michael Clarke Duncan
Tomar-Re   Geoffrey Rush

Warner Bros. presents a film directed by Martin Campbell. Written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg, based on the comic-book series. Running time: 105 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action).

Green Lantern may at first remind you of a very famous movie from the recent past, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Green Lantern Corps are a group, and it’s a very large group, of intergalactic aliens who run around doing the “peacekeeper” job in the universe. Not only do they resemble the Jedi Knights of Star Wars in their organization, but they carry a Farscape name of “peacekeeper”. Green Lantern, however, is much older, almost by a generation than Star Wars and the concept probably goes back even farther. There isn’t much new out there in the entertainment world, seeing as movie production rarely takes big risks on things it hasn’t sold before.

The long and the short of the film is this: a Guardian of the planet OA, from whence the Corps operate as a home base, took a risk on fear and was devoured by it, then he becomes the movies main bad guy. Hal Jordan, a mere Earth man, is chosen by a Green Lantern ring to continue the service of a mighty warrior who fell to Parallax, the big baddie. Hal is of course, a rookie, and goes through training, then must defend Earth against the fear monger monster. 

Ryan Reynolds is a test pilot who becomes the Green Lantern, he shows kamikaze like tendencies in defeating a pair of computer jets during a test exercise. Blake Lively is the female love interest that the “good guy” must win over with his heroics. And in grand “James at 15” style, he is indeed the only thing that stands between Beauty and the Beast as he saves her not once, but twice. 

In order to do this, win the girl that is, and also save the Earth, Hal must continue to believe in the power of the will (whose color is green) over the power of fear (whose color is yellow). Just like the yellow stripe down the back that Looney Toons cartoons used to use for the symbol of being afraid. Get the girl, be courageous, don’t give into fear for it can consume you. Those are all great ideas and worthy philosophies, when you are just starting out in life, like say at 13 years old or so. But then again, whoever said that comic books weren’t aimed at the sophomore audience? They always have been, that is until recently when they have gotten dark and sexual beyond what is appropriate for the old quarter machines where you could buy a comic and it would slide down the rack like a bottle of coke. No, those days are gone I am afraid. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for this message, but we adults will just have to sit and smirk at how simplistic those ideas are presented, as we know better. A lot better. But that’s not my only marginal complaint here. There are actually two bad guys in this movie, one a transforming human besides the great beast of space making its way toward Earth for the final battle. I asked myself why in the world we needed this other precursor to the bad guy and I got my answer in a “scripting trick”. The movie spends way too much movie time explaining all the dynamics of the movie and why it exists at all and in order to make this work, we have to first follow the human bad guy until the explanations are over and we can get on to the real space monster. This makes for a less than satisfying story arch, however, and gives us two surface stories one after the other, and not a fully blown story from start to finish.

Action packed, the movie is indeed. Once things get going and we being training with Hal Jordan, the special effects kick into high gear, and high gear they are indeed. The rings can do anything the person wearing them considers. They even protect against space radiation, explosive de-pressurization and they can make you travel at light speed through worm holes and even reach the Sun in the blink of an eye. Not to mention protection against being within frying distance of that same Sun.

Sci-fi angled it is, in many ways Superman is not, and in all ways Batman is not. Lantern movies will always be “comic book” movies, and that’s not a problem, but it does stop them from being something a little more gravitational in its presentation than a larger movie audience is known to shell out bucks to go see. It’s no Dark Knight, and it never will be. And I hate to mention it, but as good as Ryan Reynolds fits the “nice guy” who gets empowered role, he’s no Robert Downey Jr. either.

I can’t say it was a great movie, but it wasn’t all that bad either. So I give it a little over an average rating.

3.5/5 stars        

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