Green Lantern: The Fanboy Free Breakdown

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Green Lantern: The Fanboy Free Breakdown

Moviebob takes off his geek hat to explain why Green Lantern fails not just at adaptation, but at basic film-making.

Read Full Article

Wow... Green Lantern does really sound that bad... Good thing I decided to skip it and watched Xmen: First Class instead...

It's funny, I like Green Lantern but I could tell from the preview it would be bad. Granted I'll still have to watch it to form a realistic opinion. I'm really not looking forward to doing that though...

Right on the money, Bob. And the crucial difference between GL's opening info dump and those of Thor and Fellowship of the Ring is that the latter two actually showed the exposition via action sequences, while GL was dropping a lot of non-contextualized fanboy references while doing slow pans of stars and planets. It felt like one of the video game opening cutscenes where they do solemn narration over recycled unanimated concept art. Snore. Set the tone for the rest of the movie, where nothing happens for the first half, and you can't be bothered to care by the second half.

Eh, I quite liked it as a fun sci-fi CGI-fest. I didn't have any expectations, so I wasn't disappointed, though nor was I too pleased. I suppose it also helped that I never read any superhero comics and only know of Green Lantern from the Justice League cartoon.

This was a really good article

I still would like to know why Ryan Reynolds was such a tragic miscast.

Okay, I've already said that this movie wasn't as bad as Bob made it out to be. Mind you, I'm not saying it's a great movie, but an acceptable inoffensive summer diversion that doesn't bear too much thought.

I can see from this analysis, and I can agree that every point he makes here is valid -- Green Lantern is an example of flawed movie making -- but it doesn't excuse Bob from going all-in with the fan-boy nerd-rage in his initial review.

I would imagine it is the same reason that Will Smith has problems in movies where he is not strictly forbidden to "be" Will Smith. Reynolds has a wry sensibility about him that just doesn't fit with this character. Hugh Jackman, played the character of Wolverine. Tobey McGuire became Peter Parker. Ryan Reynolds is being himself wearing a Green Lantern outfit, that never works no matter who the actor is or how good the movie may or may not be.

This is admittedly rather tangential, but the movie industry needs to stop obsessing over superhero origin stories. I realize if you want to start a series or franchise you need to spend some time on this, but compare Tim Burton's original Batman to the recent Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Green Lantern movies.

In Batman we get a few flashback scenes about Bruce Wayne's parents but it isn't the A story. And when the movie starts he's already Batman, we don't sit through ninety minutes of martial arts training and moping about his parents.

Origin stories can be handled well and there have been quite a few excellent ones recently. But from reading reviews of Green Lantern it sounds like someone decided this needed to be an origin story and then faffed around with that concept for the majority of the script. We can't have him accept this ring and try and join the Lanterns, we need to spend at least thirty more minutes on the protagonist being conflicted!

Glowy veins doesn't have the same hilarity as bat-nipples. And bat-nipples were more undermining to batman than veins were to green lantern.

So, no.

Great article, Bob.

Thank you Bob, for calming down and tearing into the movie for its cinematic failings. This was significantly more edifying than the video review as to why it's so bad. Thanks for showing us why it's a bad movie, not just a bad Green Lantern movie.

Hungry Donner:
This is admittedly rather tangential, but the movie industry needs to stop obsessing over superhero origin stories. *snip*

I second this. Hollywood's trope obsession is just too big right now; because the first successful superhero movie (Superman) was an origin story, that instantly became the template for all superhero movies since then. Let's see a little more branching out. And double thanks for trotting out Tim Burton's Batman. I'm all for celebrating the recent set of Batman movies (and they deserve it), but let's not forget that they're not the only good ones. Christian Bale is very good, but I'll always see Batman as Michael Keaton.

Granted, it helped that Batman was so iconic already in modern pop culture, and Green Lantern definitely is not. Still, there had to be a better way.

From the sound of it I won't have any regreat watching X-Men: First Class instead (I didn't wany to pay extra cash for a bad film in 3D).
Yeah DC comics is only known to be good at Batman only in terms of turning them into films. Too bad they didn't turn the animated film Green Lantern First Flight into a live action instead since the animated film is good.

I think you hit the problem between critics and fans Bob: "It's film studies 101".

We don't take the course. Most people don't even get into nuts and bolts about filmaking or try to gain a deeper understanding of way they like certain things, or why certain things work better than others. They just judge based on entertainment, hence people respond better to a poorly told entertaining story than a well told boring one.

Not that I'm saying that a good attitude. If anything it's pretty damaging in all media. How many good TV shows got the ax because fans couldn't take a lull in the action with little regard for setup, pacing and characterization? Still, we need education on some of this, otherwise people raised on crap won't realize there's better.

You know, this movie actually makes for an interesting comparison with Emerald Knights, an animated GL film that came out a few weeks earlier. It's basically a collection of short stories featuring various Green Lanterns - but not Hal Jordan. Oh, he's there, and he plays a part in the framing narrative, but the focus is on the more colorful unknown quantities in the Corps.

And it's a much better film for that, because there's really very little about Hal Jordan that hasn't been done elsewhere - Spider-Man, Batman Begins, Iron Man and so on, I think most moviegoers have already figured out the formula. But when Hal Jordan's front and center, it's the exact same process all over again: flawed protagonist with a tragic past discovers The Hero Within and overcomes his own shortcomings, saves some girl in the process, blah blah blah. There are other types of stories to tell, especially with a rich high concept like Green Lantern, but I really don't think you can get there with Hal as the protagonist.

So what happens if the DVD is different???

A couple of sources have reported that the version in theaters is heavily cut down from actual footage. Is it possible that the home version will have better story structure and flow??

Arkvoodle:
So what happens if the DVD is different???

A couple of sources have reported that the version in theaters is heavily cut down from actual footage. Is it possible that the home version will have better story structure and flow??

We can only hope that's the case......but lets be honest they are not going to do a special extended edition of a movie that tanks as bad as GL has. The reason LoTR got its extended edition is because the thing we saw in theaters was AWESOME.... and so they sold the original and then after 4-6 months they resold a special extended edition, thus getting all us fanboys twice ( though by the third film I had learned the virtue of patience.) But GL as bob said PROBABLY won't get a 2nd film let alone a 3rd.

Hitchmeister:
Okay, I've already said that this movie wasn't as bad as Bob made it out to be. Mind you, I'm not saying it's a great movie, but an acceptable inoffensive summer diversion that doesn't bear too much thought.

I can see from this analysis, and I can agree that every point he makes here is valid -- Green Lantern is an example of flawed movie making -- but it doesn't excuse Bob from going all-in with the fan-boy nerd-rage in his initial review.

He made it pretty clear that this analysis was nothing to do with fanboy-ism, which means he wasnt trying to explain his 'fan-boy nerd-rage' here. And if there are things in the movie that piss off fans (I dont really know the green lantern mythos so I cant comment on that), then that added to his points in this article are why he trashed it.

Will Chandler:
I still would like to know why Ryan Reynolds was such a tragic miscast.

There's one problem that I have with this: who would you do it otherwise? Visually, I mean.

Here's what the Hal Jordan Green Lantern looks like in the comics
image

Visually, Reynolds is a decent pick, and, with all the actors looking for work, you really need to find someone that could immediately be identified as the character in the story. The problem is that his acting in this movie is terrible, which I can see as partially the fault of the director and producers. If he could act and they could do their jobs properly, this would have been a significantly better movie.

The alternative would be to frame the story around John Stewart (the marine/GL made famous by the recent Justice League series, not the comedian), but that would probably cause die-hard GL fans to sit out opening weekend.

WanderingFool:
Wow... Green Lantern does really sound that bad... Good thing I decided to skip it and watched Xmen: First Class instead...

Dude go see it, it's honestly not as bad as Bob says I was expecting it to be bad but I really enjoyed it. I think a lot of these reviews came from people who decided not to like it before watching or who are biased against Ryan Reynolds.

Reading a lot of websites I think the anti backlash has started, a lot of people are coming out and saying that they enjoyed the film which says to me a lot of the anti Lantern sentiment comes from people who are judging it by the poor previews and 'nerd' critics pandering and exhagerating their opinions for their readers.

Seriously everyone give it a chance, it's a fun film it's not as good as Iron man but I thought it was as good as Thor (which was a great film but really dipped during the Earth parts and what's with all the dutch angles, seriously that film would not have been as loved if it didn't have the perfect for the role Chris Hemsworth).

Dude go see it, it's honestly not as bad as Bob says I was expecting it to be bad but I really enjoyed it. I think a lot of these reviews came from people who decided not to like it before watching or who are biased against Ryan Reynolds.

What it comes down to is this: Green Lantern has flaws. Copious, egregious, obvious flaws.

That said, if you enjoyed the movie anyway? More power to you. But just because you liked it in spite of its problems, doesn't mean those problems aren't there. It's just that you're able to look past them. Other viewers may not.

this was really really good, not as entertaining as listening to bob rave about bad movies and cutting frisbees and heads into pictures but very informative.

I thought this was a really refreshing breakdown of the movie. I was still tempted to catch a matinee of this, mostly because Ive never been a huge Green Lantern fan and all of the reviews Ive read focus on the break from the comics. I mean, I loved the Kick-Ass movie and loathed the graphic novel so I thought I'd give Green Lantern a chance. After reading this I think I'll save my $ and go see Super-8 instead.

One more thing: Bob's last line reminded me of G4. That is a channel with a lot of money behind it but populated with people who really don't have an interest in games.

So in short the movie should have progressed as such?

Prolouge: shots of paralax killing shit and the GL corps penning him up (with narration)

Act 1: Introduce Hal, Carol, and Hector at the test flight/combat simulation, Gov likes the demo. Carol's dad gets mad and suggests Hector's the better man, setting up triangle. Drop the daddy issues or keep them but replace best friend with family member. Hal meets alien and goes to Oa for training, insert insecurities and he leaves before finishing training (10-15 min.) Sinestro gets pissed with the guardians (for squeal). Heroics back on Earth to end Act 1 as Hector does his autopsy.

Act 2: More heroics as Hector starts going evil. Funny scene between the two and Hal tells Carol who reassures him. Hector kidnaps Carol and the fight between the two which ends with Hector's death but not before he wars Hal about Paralax, cut to Oa and the guardians denying Sinestro's plans as Paralax approaches Earth.

Act 3: Sad scene as Hal blames himself for Hector's death. Paralax starts blowing up shit, Hal gains the willpower to fight Paralax which ends as Sinestro disobeys orders and helps re-imprison Paralax.

Post credits: Sinestro watches as his ring changes color.

Vote: which is better, this or what the movie put out?

Oh, and the original costume is actually worn instead of the CG monstrosity and I haven't seen it so if there's scenes I'm missing that's why.

*edit* double post, thanks computer

The Gentleman:

Will Chandler:
I still would like to know why Ryan Reynolds was such a tragic miscast.

There's one problem that I have with this: who would you do it otherwise? Visually, I mean.

Here's what the Hal Jordan Green Lantern looks like in the comics
image

Visually, Reynolds is a decent pick, and, with all the actors looking for work, you really need to find someone that could immediately be identified as the character in the story. The problem is that his acting in this movie is terrible, which I can see as partially the fault of the director and producers. If he could act and they could do their jobs properly, this would have been a significantly better movie.

The alternative would be to frame the story around John Stewart (the marine/GL made famous by the recent Justice League series, not the comedian), but that would probably cause die-hard GL fans to sit out opening weekend.

I think that it is more about Hal's personality and demeanor. Ryan Reynolds is a great pick for Deadpool or, in my opinion, The Flash, but Hal is meant to be a bit more serious. He isn't a comedic character, and while Reynold's is a fine actor, he does the comedic roles much more effectively.

haha, Bulk and Skull. Way to go, MovieBob.

Yeah, I would have to agree that a wordy explanitory sequence at the start is not really a good way to go with a movie like this.

Part of the point is that a regular guy suddenly has a purple alien fall on his house or whatever, and gets a mystic ring that flings him into space and expects him to protect it.

The story should flow like that, we should get into his mindset of not really knowing much then BAM! HERE'S A MAGIC RING! KILL THAT THING! STOP LOOKING AT ME! GO KILL THAT! NOW PRESS THAT BUTTON! EAT THE MAGIC FLOWER!

In my opinion anyway.

MorganL4:

We can only hope that's the case......but lets be honest they are not going to do a special extended edition of a movie that tanks as bad as GL has. The reason LoTR got its extended edition is because the thing we saw in theaters was AWESOME.... and so they sold the original and then after 4-6 months they resold a special extended edition, thus getting all us fanboys twice ( though by the third film I had learned the virtue of patience.)

Duinno, Kingdom of Heaven was terrible in cinemas, but they released a director's cut on dvd that was actually good. You never know.

Diana Kingston-Gabai:

Dude go see it, it's honestly not as bad as Bob says I was expecting it to be bad but I really enjoyed it. I think a lot of these reviews came from people who decided not to like it before watching or who are biased against Ryan Reynolds.

What it comes down to is this: Green Lantern has flaws. Copious, egregious, obvious flaws.

That said, if you enjoyed the movie anyway? More power to you. But just because you liked it in spite of its problems, doesn't mean those problems aren't there. It's just that you're able to look past them. Other viewers may not.

The thing is I don't see these nitpicks as problems with the film;

The info dump: most people have an idea who Batman is or who Superman is but have no idea who Green Lantern is. This is the problem with us geeks is that we assume people have prior knowledge of GL going in, but if it wasn't for the info dump you'd have normal people constantly asking whats going on. It's not a problem but a necessity.

Hector Hammond and other characters: Yes his connection to Hal isn't elaborated on but that's fine you can infer from the way they act that they know each other. Would it be nice to see a scene of them as kids? Sure. But do we need it? No, we get all we need from their scenes together to know that all of these characters have a history. And the family gives a little depth to Hal that's about it.

The Corps: OK we could have spent more time with them but they could've overwhelmed the film and overshadow Hal they needed to be there but they should be saved for the possible sequel, the film needs to be all about Hal and his character.

Hal keeping the ring: Sure it's silly that no one goes after him but I'm assuming that they were giving him space to come around about being a GL. Yes Hal left after 5 minutes but wouldn't you want to leave is 2 different aliens started wailing on you physically and verbally.

The Jet bit wasn't that the robots lost but that it made the company look bad, it wasn't the product it was the company losing face.

None of these 'flaws' are in any way egregious or obvious, they're nitpicky at best. There's loads of problems with other superhero films (see the Dark Knight and Jokers ability to transport explosives around Gotham) but we look over them. The only reaon why GL didn't get a pass is because people decided to hate it before it came out.

Depressive lantern

*Facepalm* Ok, this crap is getting old bob, first you attack people for liking the expendables, now this? Just stop the rage man, let people like what what they like, dont try to say there wrong for liking it, damn.

Brad Shepard:
*Facepalm* Ok, this crap is getting old bob, first you attack people for liking the expendables, now this? Just stop the rage man, let people like what what they like, dont try to say there wrong for liking it, damn.

If you see this as on the same levels of his expendables rage then I really doubt that you actually read the article.

I could forgive the Guardians letting Hal keep the ring when he stormed off... IF there's evidence later on in the movie that they had a hunch that he'd prove himself worthy of it, or there was a discussion about stripping him of the ring and a Guardian saying "The ring chose him. If we are patient, we will discover why." I haven't seen the movie, and don't plan to, so I have no idea if this is the case.

Will Chandler:
I still would like to know why Ryan Reynolds was such a tragic miscast.

I'm also curious, about this, Movie Bob. Is it because Reynolds did a horrible acting job, or did his (and the screenplay's) interpretation of Hal Jordan deviate a too far from the comic book version? I noticed that you didn't say much (or anything) about ANYBODY's acting here, which may have been deliberate, as this article appeared to be a critique of the structure of the film, and not a judgement on the acting in it.

Hmm, Green Lantern Merch on the cheap. Well, it's not all bad...

Except it's all GL Corps. No Alan Scott stuff, now I has a sad.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here