Green Lantern Movie Review

I never thought in a million years that I would get to see a live action Green Lantern movie. Of all of the members of the Justice League, he was the one character that seemed to be the least familiar and the hardest to develop into a stand-alone film. Add to that the fact that pretty much all of the Green Lantern’s powers come out of the ring meaning that the special effects would have to be such that they are believable and that most of the film would be using a ton of effects. Luckily the technology is now available to make this a reality and therefore we now have Green Lantern in his own film. My hope is that this might lead to additional individual films for each member of the Justice League leading up to a Justice League movie, just like Marvel has done with the members of the Avengers leading up to the Avengers movie due out next year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that, but in the meantime lets discuss their current effort of Green Lantern.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Green Lantern, he is a member of a larger group called the Green Lantern Corps. They are an organization created by the Guardians of the Universe that patrol the entire galaxy to maintain balance and uphold justice throughout the universe. Each Green Lantern is proved a special ring that allows the Lantern to create anything they can imagine. You see, the ring is powered by willpower and the things it constructs are only as powerful as the willpower of the Lantern using it. This film deals primarily with the first human Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, and also gives us a great introduction to the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians, and their worst enemy Parallax.
For the most part, I was quite pleased by the story they told about the origin of Earth’s first Green Lantern. The casting of Ryan Reynolds was just about perfect, however the actor who stole the show for me was Mark Strong as Sinestro. I can’t think of anyone else that could have come close to his performance. If only they had made him the villain of the film, however I hope that this one does well enough to warrant a sequel. In fact, the best parts of the entire film were those dealing with the Corps as a whole and all of the scenes filmed on the Lantern home world of Oa. If only they had kept the scenes involving Hal finding Abin Sur and his wrecked space craft and Hal finally accepting the ring, but when he travels to Oa to begin his training and learning about the Corps, the action should have remained there to have Hal and the entire corps battling Parallax then have Hal come back to Earth as it’s protector. I just wasn’t as impressed by the after Hal comes back from Oa when he decides that he doesn’t want to accept the responsibility of becoming the Green Lantern. They could have just as easily created an origin story that took place on Oa and was only on Earth for the beginning and ending of the film. That being said, I was still incredibly impressed by what they did manage to put together and the overall story that they told. This was a good introduction to this amazing character but it is just the tip of the iceberg as to everything the Green Lantern can do and how essential he is to the safety of Earth and the Galaxy he helps to protect.
If you are any fan of Superman or Batman, you should go and check out this film. Keep in mind that Green Lantern is one of the seven founding members of the Justice League that includes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. I can’t tell you how much I hope and pray that we will not only get to see individual films for each of these characters, but also see them joined together in a Justice League movie. Give this film a chance, despite any bad reviews you might have seen, and immerse yourself in this incredible world. If this film doesn’t do well, our chances of seeing more of these characters in their own films will vanish before they are even given the chance.

J.Chandler: B

Disney Pixar’s Brave Teaser Poster!

The teaser poster for Pixar’s BRAVE looks pretty much like the teaser trailer itself: a murky forest, blue fairy-like creatures, and a warrior about to face… something… past the stone obelisks. The teaser is attached to CARS 2 opening this weekend, but you may be able to find the poster in theaters across the country now:

Latest Captain America Trailer


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EW Photos from the Hobbit!

These three photos come to us via a preview of this week’s Entertainment Weekly, which goes on-sale tomorrow.

PETER JACKSON WITH MARTIN FREEMAN
”There’s no way you can pace yourself for shoots like these,” Jackson says. ”When we were going through the schedule for The Hobbit, I felt a terrible drop in my stomach when I saw that we’d be shooting for 254 days. We’re only 12 days short of The Lord of the Rings even though we’re only doing two movies. When I saw that, I had to sort of pick myself up off the floor and carry on.”


IAN MCKELLEN (GANDALF)
”He’s in fantastic form,” Peter Jackson says of McKellen. ”In a way, his role in The Hobbit has more technical difficulties than Lord of the Rings did, because he has scenes with 14 smaller characters — obviously the dwarves and the hobbit are shorter… I remember saying to him [laughs], ”Look, this isn’t Waiting for Godot or King Lear. This is The Hobbit. This is the real thing.”


PETER JACKSON WITH MARTIN FREEMAN
”There’s no way you can pace yourself for shoots like these,” Jackson says. ”When we were going through the schedule for The Hobbit, I felt a terrible drop in my stomach when I saw that we’d be shooting for 254 days. We’re only 12 days short of The Lord of the Rings even though we’re only doing two movies. When I saw that, I had to sort of pick myself up off the floor and carry on.”

The Hobbit: The Start of Production 2011

OMG! I just about pee’d myself when this was released. Hope you enjoy it as much as I.

Super 8 Review

Having been born in 1975, most of my formative years happened in the 1980s. This is lucky for me as Hollywood was experiencing a new Renaissance with up and coming directors like George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg. Each of these directors has produced films that have inspired people for the past three decades. It seems that one of the people inspired by these films, especially those of Mr. Spielberg, is J.J. Abrams. That’s right, the producer of Lost, Fringe; director of Mission Impossible 3 and the Star Trek re-boot, is an avid fan of “the beard”. So, with his new movie Super 8, we are treated to an homage to the great Spielberg and are taken back in time to remember how it felt thirty years ago to witness a Spielberg film for the first time.
The premise of the story follows a group of friends, avid film buffs themselves, as they are making their own film. During the filming of one of their scenes, they witness a train derailment by an oncoming car that not only destroys the train but lets loose a creature onto an unsuspecting town. Having seen this crash with their own eyes, the kids try to find out more about what happened, why it happened and what did the train free when it was destroyed. Pretty basic story line here, but the way it is told is in such a way that I was on the edge of my seat trying to solve the mystery along with the kids and being shocked, scared and excited right along with them. I love that even after the wreck happens, the kids continue making their movie as the Army invades their town and a monster runs loose killing people in its way. Nothing will stop the kids from their film and the situation gives them the perfect backdrop for their film making it look like a bigger production than it really is. Be sure to stay for the credits and you’ll be treated to their finished film.
The Spielberg influence is felt throughout this movie. I was reminded of E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies, Stand by Me and Raiders of the Lost Ark. That’s not to say that this film doesn’t have its own voice, but I really felt like a kid again sitting in a dark theater next to my mom watching E.T. and being stunned by the power of film. Like that film, what works best in this film, besides the direction, is the cast of kids they found. I’ve heard that most of them are so new to acting that this is their first movie. I never would have been able to tell this had I not read it recently. This story is ultimately about them, their friendship, their love of movies and their coming of age. The stand outs include Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths. They play the lead boy and his best friend respectively and they shine in every scene they are in. The biggest props should go to Mr. Abrams himself. He has written and directed a film that helps to cement him as part of the new regime of up and coming directors for the 21st century. With each scenes he helps to slowly unravel the mystery surrounding the crash and creature from the train, but through the eyes of 12 year olds who themselves are looking through a lens. I almost felt like I was a part of the movie or involved with the kids film as they were filming it. It is such a unique idea that I’m surprised it hasn’t been thought of before and if it has, I need to see that movie.
I truly enjoyed this movie experience and greatly appreciated all of the nostalgic memories it helped bring back. It’s movies like this that help to remind us of the power of film and its influence on our lives and memories. I’m sure everyone can tell about an experience they’ve had while watching a movie and being taken back to another time and place. I mean, that’s the point of movies , right? To help take us away from everyday life and make us feel like kids once more. Congratulations J.J.!! I think Mr. Spielberg will be proud!!!

J.Chandler: Grade: B+

X-Men: First Class Movie Review

I feel like I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but Marvel has done it yet again! I recently saw X-Men: First Class and I honestly feel it is one of the best comic book movies ever. Even though I was more a fan of DC Comics, the one series of Marvel that I read was the X-Men. I was always able to relate to the plight of the mutants because they were always on the outside of society looking in and had to deal with prejudice, ridicule, persecution, and exile. All of these are clearly shown in this new film, which is set in the 1960’s where tolerance and acceptance were almost a foreign concept around most of the world. Add to this drama of the mutants “coming out” to the world at large the real life drama of the Cuban missile crisis and you come up with the best script, best acting and overall best film in the X-Men franchise.
This film helps us to understand better a number of the relationships that we are familiar with and also raises some new questions that we hopefully will see in future installments. First, we get a little more back on both Magneto and Xavier’s childhoods and what influences them to go down the paths that we have seen in the previous films. What pushes Magneto to become the villain we know? How does he learn to master his abilities? What puts Xavier into a wheelchair? How did the two of them meet and form their friendship? What is the origin of Mystique and how does she become Magneto’s second in command? I love that these answers are provided in this film as I was unaware of most of these answers because they were told so early in the timeline of the X-Men universe. Now, whether the events of the film relate to the events as they were told in the comics, I couldn’t quite tell you because I only began reading them in the late 80’s, but I really enjoyed how they explained these things in the new film.
Another great thing about this movie is that we are introduced to a number of different mutants, both heroes and villains that we haven’t seen yet on the big screen. We get to see Beast before he was turned into the blue furry guy he is to become, Banshee, Havoc, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, and Azazel. All of these guys are supporting characters behind the big guns of Magneto, Xavier and Mystique, but it helps us get a better understanding how the X-Men were formed and how Xavier’s school began. Also, I’m not certain if the movie follows the same story as the comics. In meeting Alex Summers, aka Havoc, I wonder if he will turn out to be Scott Summers’, aka Cyclops’ father or other relation. The villain Azazel has the same ability to transport like Nightcrawler. Does this mean they are father and son with Mystique being the mother giving Nightcrawler his blue skin? Again, more questions I hope to have answered in the next installment.
This movie works on all levels but none so much as the great acting talent they cast in these iconic roles. The standouts include Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAvoy as Professor Xavier, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw. These four performances steal every scene that they are in and made each of their roles their own. Kevin Bacon really surprised me with his mastery of German and Russian and he reminded me what an incredible bad guy he can play. I’ve never seen Jennifer Lawrence before, but I can absolutely see how she is now an Oscar nominated actress for Winter’s Bone. I’ve always been a fan of James McAvoy, and he knocks it out of the park yet again with his witty, charming and sincere performance of the Professor. Lastly, Michael Fassbender, who wowed me with his performance in Inglorious Bastards, makes Magneto his own and gives the best performance in the film.
I really can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this film. It really upsets me that it didn’t make more money in its opening weekend and I truly hope that more people get out and see this in the theater. I would hate for the studio to stop doing these films because they didn’t make as much money as they were expecting. If they can keep the quality of future films as high as they have on this one, they could have a franchise that will be around for quite some time. So please go support this amazing picture and show that you want to see more high quality comic book films that aren’t style over substance.

J.Chandler, Grade: A

Green Lantern Kitty!

I just got my new Iphone 4 a couple of weeks ago….of course, I love that it has a flash on it. However, it is notorious for causing ones eyes to lighten up like….you guessed it! Like the Green Lantern!
My cat Maxie is in the DC Comic spirit lately, as you’ll see in this photo I captured of her last weekend. I call it my Green Lantern Kitty! Enjoy!