Friday, November 26, 2010

Chance of Brightest Day, Most Likely Blackest Night

The trailer for the first live-action Green Lantern movie came out last weekend. Unfortunately though, when I call it live-action, I am using the term loosely. And this greatly disappoints me.

I am, of course a bit of sci-fi, comic book dork and in the realm of the superhero universe, Green Lantern was my childhood favorite. Superman was an incredibly boring and unimaginative character and Batman was just too mainstream for my taste. I wanted a B-level star to call my own and Green Lantern fit the bill (my choice of Green Lantern over Batman was for the same nonconformist reason that I chose to root for the New Orleans Saints and Houston Astros despite growing up around Pittsburgh and the greatest sport franchises of all time) . I was sold on the galactic policeman. Of course the cartoons that my fandom was built on didn't contain any of that confusing Book of Oa backstory. Just a man and his ring. But by the time I found out that Green Lantern wasn't that special in the comic book world, one of thousands that include a dog, a squirrel, and a cucumber, he had been imprinted on my amygdala. With the kind of brainwashing that only childhood cartoons can provide, I was very excited to hear that a Green Lantern movie was on the way. Of course, at this point my hopes should have been as high as a Democrat on election day but the lessons of G.I. Joe:Rise of Cobra and Transformers 2 didn't seem to fully set in.

The casting of Ryan Reynolds should have been the first warning sign. Yes, Hal Jordan is a cocky test pilot but the Green Lantern of Hal Jordan and John Stewart are definitely serious stalwart fellows. There is no such authority exuded by the Sexiest Man Alive (or Dead for that matter - I can't imagine a dead body being very sexy). He is the jokey, snarky, ironic guy. Just because Iron Man was such a hit, doesn't mean every superhero from here on out has to be Sherlock Holmes as Tony Stark. But I always like Reynolds going back to his days as a guy in a pizza place so I was willing to overlook Hal Jordan as a poorman's Stark minus the alcoholism. Then I saw the preview.....If they were going to use so much cheap CG, why not just make it an animated feature and call it a day. They couldn't even be bothered to fashion a real suit for GL out of real materials. They had to paint him up like on of the girls in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue. It looked horrible. When the next step after the three new Star Wars movies was the Cartoon Network's Clone Wars. I made complete sense. Nothing looked real in those movies. You might as well forget the expensive actors and just make it all computerized. And that is what we have with the Green Lantern movie. A whole lot of really fake looking CG done at the discount rate compared to the cost of Star Wars. If you were going to do this, why not just make another cartoon movie. At least Green Lantern has several options for his Jar Jar.

This blog post is sponsored by Ferris Aircraft.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who Says TV Isn't Educational

It is very likely that if you are fan of musical theater, you are fan of Glee. I know I'm that toe tapping kind of guy. A weekly song and dance extravaganza staged with tongue firmly implanted in cheek. What is not to like? Well, I will tell you in two words, Will Schuester, the most annoyingly awful main character a popular show has had to bear since Joel Fleischman. It is not clear whether it is the actor or the script that has led to such repulsion but what appears on screen is a most hateable personage unlike anything outside of Wysteria Lane. The first season presented us with a hapless sap with little backbone but the second season of the show has advanced him to a selfish, self-serving whelp with little redeeming value. And every time they try to find an excuse to feature him in one for the show's main pieces, he comes off as if he assembled the entire Glee club in a desperate bid to finally feel like the cool kid in high school (And wow was his rendition of Make 'Em Laugh just painful to watch). A sorry little creature. He is a fantastic argument for home schooling. Let's just hope the rest of the show doesn't go the way of the Schue although the last couple of episodes have shown a troublesome trend. The Kurt storylines have been both heavyhanded and predictable while this week's substitute episode had breakneck shifts between plot points was all over the map. But as long as they keep filling their hours with classics of rock like below I will be there.

Side complaint - As great as Hulu is for subverting commercial TV, it is still a shame their clips have a freshness label on them. It won't be too long in the future until the above highlight becomes non-functional. And won't we all be a little worse off for the loss.

Now for the unreplicated genius of the original source material as well as the best of this lot of educational diddies. "I'm Just a Bill" gives you a better understanding of our form of government than any civics class. Plus it rocks.

This blog post is sponsored by Rapunzhair.