Green Lantern was released on DVD in mid-October, but I had to wait
several weeks before getting a copy from my local library. Early
on, even before the movie hit the theaters in June, I wasn’t awash
with enthusiasm for the film. I wanted to see it in the theater,
but it didn’t hang around our local multiplex long enough for me
to do that.
The translated from the comic books plot was familiar to me, even
though there were changes made to various characters for the movie.
I have no problem with that. Comics and movies are not the same,
no matter how much some comic-book creators and publishers try to
pretend they are.
Hal Jordan is a top-notch test pilot who lives with the fear that
he will die in similar fashion to his test pilot dad. He’s also an
immature jerk, though he does grow out of that before this movie’s
end. Romantic interest and boss Carol Ferris is more interesting
than her comic-book counterpart, but not by much. Hector Hammond
is your typical scene-chewing movie villain, which is indicative of
how little Hollywood thinks of our comics art form. There are some
decent moments with Sinestro in the movie, but the other characters
- including big bad Parallax - just sort of move around the story
as needed. They never come to life.
Green Lantern ran 114 minutes in the version I watched with my son
Eddie, but it seemed a lot longer to both of us. The first forty
minutes drag, enlivened only by Hal’s first visit to Oa to meet his
fellow Green Lanterns and the Withered Smurfs. Hal’s whining gets
old real fast. The acting throughout the film is adequate at best.
The dialogue is just sort of there.
The movie does finish strong. Some terrific ring-action followed
by Hal going it alone against Parallax. The closing scenes of Hal
and Carol are a bit maudlin, desperately needing better acting and
writing. The obligatory sequel teaser would have worked better if
the script had laid its foundation better.
Adding to my less than glowing reaction to the film, not one of the
comic-book writers and artists who created the characters and the
concepts seen in this film are credited. Geoff Johns gets one of
those ”co-producer” credits that may or may not indicate anything.
It’s Hollywood, Jake.
Green Lantern isn’t a keeper unless you can buy it for five bucks
or if you get it as gift. I don’t feel bad about spending the two
hours watching the movie, but it’s not a film I would watch again
unless I had some special reason to do so. DC Comics movies remain
far inferior to their Marvel Comics counterparts.
Eddie and I also watched Batman: Year One. Adapted from the 1987
comics by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli, the animated movie
runs a tight 64 minutes.
This is more Jim Gordon’s story than it is Batman’s. That’s fine
with me as Gordon is far more interesting than the mental case into
which DC has so willingly transformed the Batman. Bruce Wayne is
more rage than icon. Gordon is an outnumbered hero trying to beat
a system enormously weighed against him. Gordon stumbles, screws
up, takes his lumps, but, at the end of the day, he achieves more
than does the Batman.
Bryan Cranston delivers a wonderful performance voicing Gordon. No
one else in the cast comes close to him, though most of the other
actors do okay in their roles. The stark animation brings to life
the mean streets of Gotham. This cartoon feels like a great crime
movie of the 1940s or 1950s.
A short Catwoman film is included in the package. It’s good, but
a little too sleazy for my taste. It’s hard for me to suspend my
belief that characters who appear on children’s clothing should not
appear in strictly adult fare.
That said, Batman Year One is a keeper. We rented it via Netflix,
but I’ll likely buy my own copy in the near future.
One more item. Entertainment Weekly has published a double-issue in
which it selects the best and the worst of 2011. It lists the top
10 movies, TV, songs, and books. The good news is...no comic books
or graphic novels or movies based on comic books or graphic novel
are on their “worst” list. The bad news...they didn’t make their
“best” list either. The worse news...in this magazine owned by the
same corporation that owns DC Comics, comics are not mentioned at
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2011 Tony Isabella