I saw The Green Lantern on the brightest screen, in the blackest theatre

After a weekend hiatus from writing movie reviews to visit Kirk’s birthplace (oh and go to my cousins wedding), I’m back on the horse with one of the summers most anticipated comic book movies The Green Lantern.

(Side note: if you were hoping I’d review Super 8 this past Monday, have no fear.  I’m planning to see it at some crazy new theatre with D-Box seats on Wednesday night so, if I do, I’ll put something together for Thursday or Friday.)

I was stoked to see DC bring Ryan Reynolds’ abs to their comic universe. Wait….. no, I’ll stick with abs 🙂

ryan-reynolds-shirtless

Wrong movie, you say? Ask me how much I care.

As you know, I spend a good amount of my time grading comic book movies on how successful they are with staying true to the content of their origins. The problem this time is that I don’t really know a whole lot about Green Lantern aside from the fact that I live in Sector 2814 (*cue me hanging my head in nerdy shame*).  So this review is going to get filled in with some good ol’ fashioned fun movie judging. Sit back, relax, and see why I thought The Green Lantern was kind of a middling movie.

SPOILERS AHEAD

I want to kick this off by saying that I love Ryan Reynolds’ abs… I mean acting. Damn. I’ll fix that I swear. He has boyish good looks, a wry smile and a charming charisma that even you boys can say you like without sounding too gay. IMHO he’s got a kind of Nathan Fillion-esque quality to him. Maybe it’s the water that they give those boys in Canada? Who knows. He pulls off the action sequences quite well, and even the more touching scenes between him and Blake Lively are pretty decent.

blake-lively-in-green-lantern

"See what they did with my hair in this scene? It means that while I'm sexy and girly, I can still fly a plane."

The main problem for me is that Ryan seems to lack a real dark side. Perhaps it’s just his innocence-exuding face but when he uttered the line “Because I’m afraid” I just didn’t buy it. No one else in the theater did either. That might just be him or the fact that I had no idea what he was afraid of. I might have missed it, but he’s a fighter pilot that has no problem launching his jet into the outer reaches of the atmosphere before tumbling back to earth but he’s afraid of… dying? That just seemed odd. And once he overcame his fear it felt very much like “Ok, well, that was nice, now I’m going to kick your ass.” It never had quite the gusto that Christian Bale had in Batman Begins. Uhh, sorry every comic book movie made after 2005, but you sort of have to live up to Christopher Nolan’s genius. Suck it, k? Cause you do.

Which, let’s be honest, is incredibly difficult to do with this content. These are characters that have a ton of back story that needs to be filled in, from the Lantern Corps, their home planet Oa, and the Guardians that created it, you’ve got a lot that you’re asking the average movie goer to swallow.  Trying to include a giant backstory in a very short period of time can be done very successfully if you dumb it down enough (see: Star Trek 2009) or less successfully if it is hurried through at the beginning (see: Serenity). This one took the later approach and honestly, nerd to nerd, I was just mildly lost. I don’t really know any major Green Lantern fans so there was no one around to help smooth out the rough edges for me. It seemed to just cruise through certain relationships without developing them when I really wish it had.

Moving on to the special effects…I was fairly impressed with them. Oa was awesome, the Green Lantern suit was amazing (despite what anyone might say). I even enjoyed Blake Lively. I guess what I’m saying is that I wish a bit more time had been spent mainstreaming this movie for audiences. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I felt like a lot of stuff went over people’s heads. Everyone I went with walked out kind of saying “meh.”  It did make me want to spend some time reading more of the Green Lantern comic books though, so it had that going for it.  I have my hopes pinned on the next movie, if they do one. At the very least, I look forward to Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool if that one comes together.

It’ll have abs in it…right?

Sci Five 2.5

I went to the future birthplace of James Tiberius Kirk

USS Riverside (NCC-1818)

I mentioned on the facebook page last week that I would be MIA for a few days while I attended my cousin’s wedding in Iowa.  I hadn’t planned on doing anything non-wedding related but when my Mom and I found ourselves with a perfectly good Monday and nothing to fill it with there was really only one place we wanted to go.

That’s right kids.  Riverside, Iowa.  Future birthplace of the one and only James T. Kirk.

So we hopped in the car with my Aunt Lori and drove 2 hours East to a dinky little town with a population of 924.  It’s the home of the annual Trek Fest which we missed by 2 weeks (it’s June 24-25).  Bummer.  Oh well.  We got to see all the major landmarks which are all within about 5 blocks of each other (pretty sure the town is only 10 blocks long).

So allow me to give you a tour of the town where the greatest Captain of all time was born and bred.  Enjoy.

=/=  <–that’s supposed to be a Star Trek insignia

This is Murphy’s Bar & Grill, the place where Jimmy was conceived. That’s my Mom and Aunt Lori getting excited to see what’s inside.

A hotbed of romance this place

 See that little bump on the floor underneath the pool table?

The pool table of loooove

That would be the plaque indicating that this is the very spot where Jimmy’s parents got it on.

See? I told ya!

I helpfully pointed out the parts needed for this conception.

You're welcome for the biology lesson.

We then moved on to where Jimmy was born behind the local barber shop.  When you see the flag on the lightpole you’ll know that you’re in the right place.

Tada!

Once behind the barber shop, you are presented with a monument that is eerily gravestone-like.

Nothing creepy about that...

We then proceeded to introduce ourselves to the local print shop owner.  He looked Amish but was super awesome.  I got into a tribble throwing battle with his grandson.  Because that’s what one does when in Riverside, Iowa.

I do have a thing for men in suspenders...

I bought some potholders crocheted by his wife.

Best. Souvenir. Ever.

We then headed to the local ice cream parlor where the walls are signed by TOS cast members.  What flavor did we get, you ask?  Some delicious concoction called “Oops.”

Wrong hole, but nice try.

After our frosty treat we made our way down to The Voyage Home, the local Star Trek/history museum and gift shop.  Outside is parked the infamous USS Riverside and Van Allen shuttle.

Inside the museum is a display donated by the local movie theatre.

Don't be fooled by the empty shelves, they're just rearranging for Trek Fest

And a wooden carving of Jimmy that looks remarkably similar to Han Solo.  I felt the need to hold it’s hand.  I don’t know why.

Hey good lookin'

I can now die happy a happy Trekkie.