Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Green Lantern in the News

My favorite comic book

I was major fan-boy of Marvel and DC comics when I was kid. I collected non-stop between ages 4 and 13. It was only a life-long obsession with football that kicked me out of the ranks of the comic book geeks. I didn’t have any time for it once I began preparing for my future enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio.

Of all the comic books I read, Green Lantern was my absolute favorite. It was the best fusion of comic book superheroes with science fiction. The Fantastic Four was also fantastic, but not quite as good as Green Lantern. Hal Jordan was the dude I most wanted to be growing up.

As you may know, Hollywood is set to unveil their new live action version of Green Lantern. I am trepidatious about this movie. There are several general, and a few specific, objections I have to Hollywood attempting a live action version of Green Lantern.

· The universe of the Green Lantern Corp is a complex thing. It’s at least as complex as the Federation of Planets in Star Trek, or the universe of Star Wars. I have great doubts that the typical Hollywood producer would want to do faithful justice to this creation.

· Hal Jordan/Green Lantern is not a particularly romantic figure. He cut an impressive figure in his uniform, but he was married to his work. He had even less time for Carol Ferris (his theoretical girlfriend) than Superman had for Lois Lane. Being an interstellar cop, and lead hero in the Justice League, is tough, serious work. Hal was only slightly less intense, serious and reclusive than Bruce Wayne. Further, Hal felt no need to put on airs as a playboy.

· For some strange reason, Hollywood finds it categorically impossible to shoot a superhero film without upping the romantic content of the story to fatal levels. They blow the entire fuel mixture of the comic book in the futile attempt to interest the female of the species in what is clearly a guy thing. I always suspected they would try to “Superman” Green Lantern if they made a Green Lantern movie.

· For some strange reason, comic book adapters find the need to inject stupid comedy into what is typically a serious comic book. They find the need to do something goofy, or set a goofy tone in these movies. Green Lantern is a pretty serious book for the most part. There is nothing goofy or comedic about this book. I have always doubted their willingness to

· Green Lantern does some astounding things with his power ring in combat. He also visits some amazing alien worlds. Surely the visual effects cost of implementing the real Green Lantern in a live action film would be prohibitive. A faithful live-action movie would cost several hundred million U.S. Dollars.

· Hollywood always seems to shoot the origin story. For some reason I don’t quite understand, they rarely start off a new Super Hero franchise with a great adventure. No, they have to give us countless origin stories. Sooner or later, the general public’s interest in Super Hero origins has to give out. We fan boys already know the story… and better than you producers in most cases. Will you bore us, the core audience, in order to tell yet another origin story?

They are upping the romance, and changing the fuel mixture

Ryan Reynolds has been cast as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. It is worth noting that Scorpio Ryan Reynolds has recently been voted the World’s Sexiest man by People Magazine. Blake Lively get’s second billing as Carol Ferris. She recently hit #4 on the Maxim top 100 list. Do you see a pattern here? Does this not give away the central plan of the film? Res ipsa loquitur.

Lively is listed two slots higher than Mark Strong on the cast credits. Mark Strong is cast as Sinestro. I solemnly assure you, Carol Ferris never got top billing over Sinestro in the comic book. Sinestro was a far more important figure in the comic than Carol Ferris. Here we have Prima Fascia evidence that Hollywood producers have fundamentally altered the fuel mixture of Green Lantern. They are going to up-scale the romantic content of the film in a potentially fruitless move to interest women in the movie.

The effects look good

Based on the preview only, it does appear that this is another origin story, and we will be visiting with the Guardians on the planet OA. The effects look decent, but not spectacular. We’ll see if they do justice to the Green Lantern universe.

The tone is a serious problem

If you ask me why I think the Green Lantern movie is likely to fail, I will point the finger at the tone set by the director. Hal Jordan comes off as a little goofy. This is fairly typical stuff for Ryan Reynolds. Further, he seems to lack the courage and confidence to take his place among the officers of the Green Lantern corp.

Of course, the writers set this tone because they want to do the ‘ole hackneyed and cliché hero’s journey thing where a young man overcomes self-doubt and develops confidence as he rises to meet a crisis head on. How many times have you seen that one? Oh, several hundred times by now. All else being equal, I would simply find boredom in this theme, but all else is not equal.

Clearly, the writers don’t understand the Green Lantern comic book. Their choice of themes clearly shows this. A Green Lantern is chosen for his will power and his courage. The rings, themselves, seek out the individual with greatest will-power they can find. Like the sword Excalibur, they know and choose their masters. The ring will not select a weak willed individual who lacks courage or conviction.

By choosing this theme, the Hollywood writers have done some violence to the core principles of the book. This may well go over like a lead balloon.

The movie producers may be saved by the gossip columns

For those who don’t know it yet, Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johanson are married, but now starting the divorce proceedings. Ryan claims she ignored him, not making time for him. Sources close to Scarlett claim Ryan has an affair with his co-star Blake Lively.

This is now the lead story on the tabloid news. The “world’s sexiest man” is now divorcing one of the world’s most desired women. You know this will bring ladies to the movie. All the tabloid action will stir up interest in the female of the species. In your mind’s eye, can you not see the producers of this movie rubbing their little hands together with glee? Lots of free press.

The whole thing reeks with Astrological overtones

For those who don’t know it, Scarlett Johanson is a Sagittarius. This is a masculine mutable fire sign. We would expect her to have a high sex drive, but changing and superficial interests in the romance department. Sagittarius is notorious for developing and loosing romantic interests.

For those who don’t know, Ryan Reynolds is a Scorpio. This is feminine, fixed water sign of considerable intensity. Accordingly, we would expect him to have the highest sex drive in zodiac, we would expect him to intensely, obsessively fixated on his lady, making big demands for intense intimacy. He complains that he didn’t get what he wanted out his Sagittarius lady.

No shit, eh? I could have told him that. Although these two signs are side-by-side in the Zodiac, they are definitely characterized as being incompatible. Fire and Water don’t mix. Superficial and changing interests don’t mix well with a highly intense, fixated, obsessive involvement. I am astounded that they ever got married in the first place. It doesn’t surprise me at all that they are now getting divorced. She wanted her freedom to do her own thing. How Sagittarius is that?

Then comes Blake Lively… For those who don’t know, Blake Lively is one of the few human beings walking the face of the Earth who is actually more Virgo than I am. Virgo is a feminine, mutable Earth sign of considerable intelligence and precision. We tend to be home bodies, not adventurers. We tend to have a few good friends, not a lot of friends. The friends we have are very close. We are not players. We don’t move around the mating grounds like conquistadors. Although we are mutable, we don’t develop romantic interest easily or lose them easily.

According to the poop-sheet, Scorpio and Virgo are very well matched. Some even give this pairing a rating of 5/5. My mind harkens back to a video I once saw of two male astrologers, both of whom were Scorpios, discussing which sign of the zodiac yielded the most desirable maters. In less than two minutes both agreed that Virgo women were the most desirable women. They named their reasons.

Evidently, Ryan agrees. Although both Ryan and Blake are denying the whole story, I suspect the rumors are true. You know what they say about rumors, don’t you? They are all true. After he has given it some time, I suspect Ryan will be seen publically with Blake and they will be a couple. The producers claim they cast these two because they thought they had great chemistry together.

Will it last? If I had to guess, I would say I doubt it. Surely, Ryan is better matched with Blake Lively than Scarlett Johanson. Still, according my software their Synastry is not particularly hot. Here are the numbers:

Category Totals

  • Romantic and Sexual Attraction: 57
  • Similarity of Interests and Temperament: 171
  • Mutual Success and High Achievement: 129
  • Problem Solving, Communication, and Mutual Understanding: 152
  • Mutual Kindness, Friendliness, Pleasantness, and Peace: 55
  • Aggressiveness, Competition, Power, Success, or Violence 127
  • Adventurousness, Surprises, Disturbances: 86
  • Shared Creativity, Imagination, and Inspiration: 84