Green Lantern

New Green Lantern Not a Pooser

Ok, listen up all you poosers.

Contrary to my low expectations of and the other poorly executed comic movies that have come out this year Green Lantern is awesome!  Quite often I find myself singing the praise of the animated movies over the large budget movies but in this case both are great.

They did a great job with the story staying faithful to the comics pulling elements from even the first showcase presents Green Lantern.  In the non action parts of the movie made sense and furthered the story along.

The effects including his suit looks good in 3d and not so good in 2.  Darn them for making me praise 3d but this time it works.  

Between this movie and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights I'm looking forward to seeing the Sinestro Core War.

If you havent picked up your copy of Emerald lights get it here it's worth it!

All I ask of a Superhero

Iron Man
Image via Wikipedia

A couple of people took me to task for my take on Iron Man 2. I like to think of myself as a simple man, but maybe that isn't true anymore.

Rethinking my expectations

I started reading comics as a kid.  Batman, Green Lantern, The Hulk, and the X-men were some of my favorites.  Growing up, superheroes were pure escapism.  Granted some of the characters had family problems, personal problems, and even Batman lost a Robin, but the stories were all larger than life.

Superhero flicks are still larger than life, but they have more "realistic problems."

  • Batman is a male Paris Hilton who fights crime.
  • Peter Parker wouldn't know what to do with the girl if he got her.
  • Tony Stark is rotting away from a self-inflicted disease + he is a male Paris Hilton who doesn't fight crime, he is bringing about world peace.

Holding out for a Hero!

Ok, everyone knows that I am a huge Bonnie Tyler fan, but every time I watch one of these movies, I hear her in the back of my head:

Where have all the good men gone And where are all the gods? Where's the street-wise Hercules To fight the rising odds? Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed? Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need

I need a hero I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night He's gotta be strong And he's gotta be fast And he's gotta be fresh from the fight I need a hero I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light He's gotta be sure And it's gotta be soon And he's gotta be larger than life

I want a superhero who is, well a hero.  They don't have to be perfect, and well they can have basic human flaws, but at the end of the day, they need to be a hero!

Returning to Iron Man 2, I thought Whiplash made a good case against the Stark family, and Tony just acted like the spoiled brat Whiplash thought he was.  I actually found myself wanting Whiplash to win.  I can't stand whiny, self-important bitches, and that is all I saw in Tony.  His womanizing turned me off, and his self-pity made me roll my eyes.  He dug his own grave, and I was ready to see him lay in it.

Escapism and Realism

I think my biggest issue with the film is that I was really looking for some pure escapism from the movie. That is what I look for in a superhero movie.

I watch a superhero for action, mystery, and pure escapism. Watching a super hero struggle with illness was outside the realm of what I wanted to see, especially with people in my life actually struggling with various illnesses that do not have a magical deus ex machina serum.  It felt like salt in the wound.

The illness reminded me of my real life, and the magic cure just upset me.  I went to see a movie where a superhero and super-villain tangled with each other until the film climaxed in a super-mega-ultra battle.

The movie, like all (not so) superhero movies since Batman Begins, opened with scenes of stark realism... but it is a superhero movie!!  Superheroes just aren't realistic, and films cannot serve two masters.

I am not sure exactly when escapism became a bad word, but my life is complicated enough.  Sometimes I just want to walk into a dark cave and forget about my real life for a couple of hours.  It might sound petty, but that is it.

I want a great, escapist spectacle from time to time, but more than anything, I want filmmakers to be honest with me and with their material.  If the movie is not an action movie, don't tell me it is.  If the movie is not a smart, well written think piece, be good with that.  Just don't pretend one is the other, and stop telling yourself you can be both at the same time.

A half-assed story with half-assed action is just a half-assed movie.  Two half-assed jobs never make a whole.

I know some of you liked the movie.  Great!  I wish I was one of you.  Keep having fun, and sharing. It is good to hear contrary opinions.  Just remember, we don't have to love the same things, we just need to help each other find more things we can all enjoy.

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SF News Bites: Green Lantern Movie Begins Filming, Sharktopus Syfy Original Movie?

Green Lantern Movie Begins Filming

Green Lantern casting continues with shooting to begin in March. The scheduled release of Green Lantern is 17 June 2011. (via /Film: )

Sharktopus Syfy Original Movie?

Syfy is putting Sharktopus into the works for an original movie with Roger Corman making it.  I would be surprised if it were any worse then some of their latest ones like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.  (via SCI FI Wire)

Marvel’s Planet Hulk Premier

hulk-planet-hulkMarvel premiered Planet Hulk at the Paley Center for a lucky select audience to rave reviews. I can’t wait for February 2nd when Planet Hulk is released to DVD.  You can preorder your copy from Amazon here.

Based on the comic Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk Smash Into the Planet Hulk Trailer.  The Hulk was a monster, impossible to control, too dangerous to ignore. So Earth’s mightiest heroes exiled him into outer space. But now The Incredible Hulk crash-lands on the distant planet Sakaar, ruled by the tyrannical Red King. Sold into slavery, the Hulk becomes the planet’s mightiest gladiator—but his new masters get more than they bargained for when he forges a bond of brotherhood with his fellow fighters: crafty insectoid Miek, ruthless rock-man Korg, ex-shadow pirest Hiroim, and the noble-born rebel Elloe. Unlike Earth, the desperate people of Sakaar believe a monster is just what they need. But will the Hulk be the one to save their world…or destroy it?

Marvel has done such a great job with their direct to DVD movies.  I have watched, bought, and love each one of these.

Watch the trailer below.

DVD Releases: July 28, 2009

Out this week we have seven DVDs to feature:  Dollhouse: Season One, Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, Torchwood: Children of Earth, Knight Rider, Green Lantern: First Flight, Dragonball: Evolution, Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5.

  • Dollhouse: Season One:  This is a great show, Joss Whedon does it again.  It received mixed view based on the first few episodes which are not the best but that is due to Fox forcing rewrites and re-shoots on Joss' vision.  The fans have lovingly come to refer to those episodes as Fox's Dollhouse and the rest of the show as Joss' Dollhouse.  After about episode five this show really opens up and develops.  This set includes the original pilot episode plus the episode Epitaph One. A must own!
  • Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead: a special episode of David Tennant Doctor Who when the Doctor and his fellow passengers are mysteriously transported through a wormhole to a planet inhabited by an endangered anthropomorphic species.  It's on the top of my Netflix que if not an owner unseen.

  • Torchwood: Children of Earth: I love this series, this is a five episode mini-series picking up for season three of Torchwood.  It's on the top of my Netflix que if not an owner unseen.

  • Knight Rider: This was a light, fun show with fast changing cars and action.  It started with some promise of having substance with gay characters and interesting subplots it just unfortunately suffered from too much studio tampering and test audience death and lost it's substance.  Watch it here on Hulu.
  • Green Lantern: First Flight: another DC Comics animated project bringing us the Hal Jordan Green Lantern.  It's on the top of my Net Flix que and almost an owner unwatched because of how good the past animated DC projects are.

  • Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5:  The conclusion of season four and the Battlestar Galactica show.  I really liked how this show grew into it's own and tackled some interesting topics.  I wished it had been bolder with some of the social and philosophical topics addressed.  My issue with this product is it's an overpriced 1/2 of a season set.

Netflix, Inc.Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home - Try free for 2 weeks

Headlines for April 15th through April 21st

Racism in The Last Airbender Casting and Margaret Cho

avatar: the last airbenderActivist/Comedian Margaret Cho posted a set of emails from her fans about the casting of M. Night Shyamalan's film version of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She frames the problem very well:

I am never surprised when Hollywood takes a story with Asian characters and casts white people instead of Asians. This is so typical and happens with such frequency! I always thought that in order to make our presence known in entertainment, we should be writing, bringing our dreams and realities to the cinema, but now even telling our own stories isn’t even enough.

Why is it better to have white actors play the roles of Asians? I don’t understand. Because it sells more tickets? I am not white and I have had no trouble selling tickets. Maybe the powers that be should ask me what to do. I would tell them. “The Last Airbender” is the last straw to a lot of people (Margaret Cho Blog):

We were initially excited about the movie, and the idea of a trilogy, but were given pause when we saw the cast.

Avatar: The Last Airbender casting characterss avatar: the last airbender casting actors

It is hard to understand what M. Night Shyamalan was thinking when he cast this movie.

I have said for a long time that Speculative Fiction is one of the most racist film genres.  It is not uncommon for white actors to be cast in the role of other ethnicity.  It is hard to get an SF movie cast if the main character is non-white (take Green Lantern for example).

My Experience

All of my books have non-white leads, and my latest book, Shine Like Thunder has a Gay Persian as the main character.

I have received a frightening amount of hate mail and personal confrontations about the ethnicity of the characters from white readers.

You would think SF readers would be more open minded.

Why would M. Night Shyamalan do this?

To me, that is the big question.

I think the casting was intentional.  They believe the film will attract a larger audience with a white cast of heros and a brown cast of villains than it would if they followed the example of the series.

This is all about money.  Hollywood consistently underestimates the intelligence of the American people, and almost always aims for the lowest common denominator.  This is less a sign of racism on the part of Hollywood as it is an sign of Hollywood's belief about how racist the American people are.

I would love to hear your opinions about this.

If you are interested in getting involved with the movement to effect the casting, check out:

Green Lantern OVA Trailer

I cannot wait to see the new Green Lantern movie.  The Lanterns have never gotten the independent treatment they deserve as either an original series or movie, but that is all about to change.

The new trailer has assuaged my fears about this film being just another origin story.  Since the other members of the Green Lantern Corps are in the trailer as is Sinestro, this film will have to move past the origin story and dig into the rich mythos of the Lanterns.

It looks good.  Nice use of 3d and 2d animation, an the characters look fresh and recognizable.  I cannot wait until July 21st.

Where is the Diversity in IDIC?

Fandom is a beautiful thing. Fandom is nothing more and nothing less than people gathering in common cause to say, “We love this!” It is a common bond bringing together people from disparate groups that would ordinarily never mix and mingle. Through movie attendance, book clubs, fan clubs, conventions, and online networks, we join in unanimous praise and critique of the objects of our love. The stories, characters, and settings we love tie us together, and give us shared stories through which we relate to each other. What happens when certain voices of the community are not represented in those stories, characters, and settings? How do these people make their voices heard. We unite with our friends and allies to hi-light the problems and seek to bring these lost voices out of the community and into the very things we love.

Minority Report

John Stewart. Promotional cover art for Green ...
Image via Wikipedia

Gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity are only a handful of the communities struggling for representation within Speculative Fiction and fandom. Over the years, I have been delegated the responsibility for dealing with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity by a couple conventions in Maryland. The problems are deep, the solutions are imaginative, and our progress has been impressive.

Roles for women, ethnic minorities, and homosexuals are not only under represented, but they are often included either as stereotypes or as the character who will be killed at some point in the story.

The Jon Stewart Green Lantern movie couldn't get green lit, but the Hal Jordon Green Lantern did.  Even in the Transformers, the black Autobot died.

It is time for more more minorities to take on leading roles without having to pander to a white, heterosexual, male audience.

Homophobia is Sexism

It is not the most widely held opinion, but I have argued for years that Homophobia is just another form of sexism. For most people, their problem with GLBT people is that we do not fit nicely into the culturally acceptable gender roles assigned to us. The solution to this is not to conform to these gender roles, or to defy them. What we need to do is be ourselves.

IDIC

In this series, I will be discussing my experiences as a gay man in fandom and SF.

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Will Chris Pine ruin The Green Lantern?

Green Lanterns of two worlds: Hal Jordan (left...
Image via Wikipedia

Rumors are spiraling around Chris Pine as the Green Lantern.  I only have one thing to say:

DEAR GOD NO!!

Chris Pine has never done a good or even decent job in anything he has ever done.  He even did a bad job in Princess Diaries 2!  Which was not a role that required a lot of skill.  I have not seen Star Trek yet, but his performance in the trailers has been William Shatner bad.

I have enough concerns about the movie because director Martin Campbell made Casino Royal, but he also made the 2 Antonio Banderas Zorro movies.

I really hope this is just a rumor.

Could Chris Pine Be The Green Lantern? | /Film.

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Is Green Lantern Next For Warner Bros?

Hal Jordan, Silver Age Green Lantern.  Promoti...
Image via Wikipedia

Warner Bros President Alan Horn tells Collider:

“I think Green Lantern is probably the best guess but I can’t promise it at this moment,” Horn said, adding that it’s “On the runway. Hasn’t taken off yet, but we’re close.”

Meanwhile, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the filmmakers have already started scouting locations and interviewing key crew members in Sydney Australia’s NSW Fox Studios (/Film).

Well the rumors keep coming up, maybe this time it will amount to something.  Since Green Lantern is my favorite Superhero, I can only hope they get the movie right.

Hey Warner Bros, can we get a green light already?

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Green Lantern and the Tiger Construct

Gl2If my love for Green Lantern is not the stuff of legends yet, then it soon will be. The brilliant hyper-cartoon of Hal Jordan and a green tiger is an original piece by Dave Perillo. He was commissioned to make this brilliant image. Part of me thinks this is the "The Incredibles" version of GL, or maybe "The Fairly Odd Parents" version. I love the clean lines, and how it reminds me of the old World War II era posters.

(via Montygog's Art-O-Rama! Thanks Bill!)

Review: Elseworlds Fan Series

Elseworld Elseworlds was one of the most original, innovative and captivating alternate timelines ever to come from DC Comics.  A staple of the series was that it turned everything you know about the heroes and villains of the DC Universe on its head.  Nothing and no one was sacred as they explored this completely new way to look at the characters.  Not long ago, on P:SI I wishfully said that I wish more Elseworlds comics would come out… well something better happened. Chris Cowan and Lex Randleman are producing an original webseries set in Elseworld.  They have produced three episodes so far with a fourth on the way.

The quality of the story, filming, and FX in this series is surprising.  The actors and the story keep you on the edge of your seat as the the mystery slowly unfolds.

Episode 1- “Fair Play” (view here)

Elseworld_ep1

stars-5

Green Lantern hunts down Mister Terrific looking for answers in a resent murder.

The 2 minute 25 second runtime is far too short.  The hook is immediate, and the characters are instantly recognizable.  I am not sure how long they took to cast the series, but it is spot on.

Starring: Dan Johnson - GL John Stewart Lex Randleman - Mister Terrific Lauren Alto - Huntress Christina Napier - Batwoman

Shot by: Chris Cowan, A.J. Rickert-Epstein

Episode 2- “Titans” (view here)

Elseworld_ep2stars-5

Mister Terrific goes after Cyborg, while Raven gazes into the universe.

The action in this episode really picks up and plot thickens.  I am glad this episode is longer than the last one, and quite frankly I wish this were an hour long tv drama.

Starring: Dan Johnson - GL John Stewart Lex Randleman - Mister Terrific Chris Cowan - Cyborg Lauren Parkinson - Donna Troy Brittany Jones - Raven

Shot by: Steve Murray, Chris Cowan

Episode 3- “What’s in a name?” (view here)

Elseworld_ep3 stars-5

The Question is dead, and Raven is confronted mysterious figure with a dire warning.

I am glad this episode is over 8 minutes, and I hope this portends the episode length to come.  They have created such an interesting story and setting I want to spend as much time in it as I can.  I think I know who the unknown figure is, but I will wait to see if I am right.

Starring: Dan Johnson - GL John Stewart Lex Randleman - Mister Terrific Lauren Parkinson - Donna Troy Christina Napier - Batwoman Brittany Jones - Raven Vonzell Carter - Unknown Katie Fischer - Black Canary Christopher C. Cowan - Cyborg

Written by: Lex Randleman

Shot by: Chris Cowan

Series Details

This brilliant series is directed by Chris Cowan and written by Lex Randleman.  These two have a bright and wonderful future ahead of them.  I cannot wait to see the rest of the series, and hope to see some original work from them too.


Update

Check our my Interview with Chris Cowan and Lex Randleman.

Simpson Superhero Fan Art

supersimpsons Lion-O-Thundercats Dean T. Fraser has drawn a brilliant set of Superheroes in the style of the Simpsons at his blog, Springfield Punx.  They are giggle inducing.

He has just started what might become a Thundercats series.  You should definitely check out the blog if for no other reason than to see what the world would be like if we lived in Springfield.

Dean’s art is interesting and humorous, check out his other work at DeanFraser.com

(via Gizmodo)

Berlanti's Green Lantern?

top10-greenlantern Greg Berlanti, writer of The Broken Hearts Club, and Eli Stone is reportedly hard at work on a script for a Green Lantern flick! There is no word as to which Lantern we might see in the film, though most people are assuming it with be John Stewart. I cannot think of a writer I would rather do this. Berlanti is a great writer. I expect great things.

(via DoorQ.com)

Green Lantern Flick in the Works

Green LanternMichael Green, who previously wrote for Smallville and Heroes, is currently working on a script for a new Green Lantern flick.

"I'm co-writing it with Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, the best people you could hope to get stuck in a room with for any length of time," [Michael] Green said. "As for status, we're writing it now and having way too much fun doing it."

Superhero flix reports that the movie will be about Hal Jordan and not Kyle Rayner or John Stewart. There is also an assumption that this script is for a live action film and not an OVA. I can see a cool trilogy:

  1. Hal Jordan the Hero: Green Lantern saves the day
  2. Hal Jordan as Parallax: Hal possessed by the parasitic Parallax threatens the galaxy.
  3. Hal Jordan as the Spectre: Hal seeks redemption.

I think this could be a compelling series, but I am not holding my breath to see it.

(via SuperheroFlix.com)

No Justice for Superman or Batman?

justiceleague The film is about Green Lantern, Green Arrow and others of the Justice League of America, an organisation made up of the world's greatest superheroes. They must deal with the expulsion of Batman and the death of Superman at the hands of the monstrous Doomsday (EntertainmentNewsDetail)

51tn2jeOewL._SL210_ Really? That would be awfully dark for a superhero flick, but a story I would love to see. The Doomsday arc is a great story... but it has recently been done as an animated film. Would DC allow the story to be filmed twice so close together? Maybe.

I have to wonder if with the recent Batman related tragedy, that could be the reason they would drop such a popular character from the League.

Rumors are rumors, but it is interesting to think about.

BTW: Comics2Film is reporting that the release has been pushed back to 2010. Sounds like a lot of retooling to me.