Monday, June 20, 2011

In brightest day...

In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight,
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!

So...Here's how I ended up going to the movies this evening. My computer needed to be repaired, so I handed it off to a local guy who works relatively cheap for people who aren't incorporated. (He bills businesses at $79/hour!) It was initially thought that the problem was the power source, so I got enough cash on hand to pay $100, which is what we paid when Becky's computer had the power supply repaired.

But it didn't cost me $100. In fact, my computer's problem was the graphics card. Once it was removed, my computer booted up just fine. (In fact, I'm typing on it right now.) For his services, I was charged all of $20, and that left me with $80 burning a hole in my pocket.

Well, Becky is working tomorrow, which took the idea of a movie tomorrow out of the picture, and I may well be sentenced to something painful, or at least uncomfortable, after I see the special specialist on Wednesday morning. I was determined to go out and have a little fun, even if jolts of pain were being fired out of my foot to my brain. So it was that we went to see The Green Lantern.

As usual, when handed a story with A LOT of source material, they took creative license with it. I didn't follow the comic book version with as much zeal as I did the X-Men, so I wasn't missing anything. But they did do something right toward the end with the Easter egg that made next to no sense. I mean, there was no reason for the guy to do that thing to the stuff to take the ambiguous noun. (Yeah, I'm not gonna spoil anything with this one...not much, anyway. But do yourself a favor and stop reading right about now if you have any intention of seeing this thing.)

It seems that every superhero movie involves someone learning that mild mannered So-n-so is actually the glorious protagonist. Most of the time, the hero wears a mask, and so it's exceptionally difficult for those who know him to learn the truth. What has always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS bothered me is Clark Kent getting away with just a pair of glasses. Really...that was his brilliant disguise? And one of the absolute best reveals of his identity was!

Well, tonight's movie wasn't that ridiculous. No...The moment the hero presents himself to the woman who's known him since he was 11 years old, she leans in close and backs away, exclaiming, "Hal? Hal Jordan?!?" It was perfect, as it made the characters seem just a little smarter than average.

While I enjoyed the story, it was missing...stuff. The overall tale really could have used more. From start to finish, including credits, the movie was 105 minutes long. It could easily have been two and a half, with some more substance.

The problem with that idea is that every scene that included the Green Lantern in uniform was made to be an effects shot. It's not even a slight joke. On every close up, when all you'd see is his mask, there was green energy rippling across said mask. It was...too much. I would theorize that such a method of presenting the story chewed up a great deal of the budget, which was sad.

While I was teaching myself to write screenplays, I learned what to write and what NOT to write. Exposition coming from a character's mouth is weak writing. So when the best friend says, "I'm your best friend," I kind of sit back and think, Was there no way to actually SHOW they're best friends? Of course there was...but there was probably no money to film it. It removes substance from the story.

So when we find out that there's some kind of link between the characters of Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris, and Hector Hammond, we're left to guess what the details are. Hector has loved Carol since he first laid eyes on her? That's nice. Wouldn't have known it if he didn't actually SAY it. And when was it, exactly, when he first laid eyes on her? And how is it that he's able to greet Hal by name at the party. In fact, why was there a party at all, other than to have the hero show up to save the day?

The lack of substances shows in that the story comes across as disjointed. It just seems all over the place, and that's the main reason the critics are beating the snot out of this movie. The budget was blown on CGI and not the story itself, making it a large target.

That said, I still liked it. What they didn't tell us on film I generated inside my head, and my imaginings still managed to fit nicely into what we were shown. This wasn't meant to be a masterpiece of theater. If it was, classical Shakespearean actors would have been brought in to help with even just the voice acting. They weren't, which was okay.

Ah, but since I ripped into X-Men: First Class, I'll hold on to the hope that the sequel at least holds true to whatever they established in this film.

Be well, all, and DFTBA!

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