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“Green Lantern”
a review by Darby O’Gill

In brightest day, in darkest night, Green Lantern manages to shine bright! Now let me just say upfront, I’m a huge Green Lantern fan! And over the course of the last year and a half, I’ve been looking forward to, as well as fearing, Warner Bros. big screen adaptation of my beloved Green Lantern. I tried to keep myself from seeing too much footage leading up to the film’s release, however the trailers I did see, looked good for the most part. Although, I would be lying if I didn’t say that there were a few things that did cause me to worry that the film might not live up to my expectations. The trailers and marketing campaigns, at times, did make it look like the film might focus a little too much on the Green Lantern’s Corps and all its members, and not enough on Hal Jordan. It also looked like there were going to be a lot of epic space battles, and a part of me was worried that the CGI would take over the show, causing it to become another movie that was more animated than actually filmed, much like Avatar. These were all fears mind you, which is ironic, given the nature of the Green Lantern story.

In Green Lantern, test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is doing the best he can to hold on to his wild and carefree life, but the galaxy has other plans for him. Unbeknownst to Hal, or any other earthling for that matter, there is a galactic police force in place known as the Green Lantern’s Corps. On the planet Oa, a group of beings known as Guardians of the Universe, forged a series of rings each with the ability to harness the raw green energy of will power. The rings are the source of each Green Lantern’s power, and they are only limited by its wearer’s will and imagination. The rings themselves have the ability to choose only the most worthy to wield their power, and when a Lantern dies it is up to the ring to find its nearest successor. The only job description is a being without fear. Fear is a Lantern’s biggest challenge, and it’s the yellow energy of fear that is currently threatening the universe. When Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) is fatally wounded, he races to the nearest planet in his sector, which just so happens to be Earth, so that the ring will be able to find a successor. That’s right; it’s none other than Hal Jordan! The man without fear… Well, if you don’t count commitment and responsibility.

I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! They somehow managed to pull it off! It’s got a little bit of an old school feel to it, in the spirit of Superman and Star Wars. I’m also glad to report that my fears were ill founded. The filmmakers take us to Oa, but at the same time manage to keep the story mostly grounded on Earth. It’s a really happy balance. We get to see tons of Lanterns, and at the same time never feel bombarded. Even though I’m happy with the balance, I would like to have spent a little more time with Sinestro (Mark Strong), Kilowog (Michael Clarke Duncan), and Tomar-Re (Geoffrey Rush). Speaking of which, the casting in this movie was amazing! This might come as a bit of a shock to some of you, based on one of my earlier statements (which can be found here). Ryan Reynolds makes a pretty good Hal Jordan! He didn’t play him the way I originally thought he would. I’ve got to say, I was wrong. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think Nathan Fillion is still the best choice, it just means that Ryan did a really good job. But hands down, the show stealing performance of this movie has got to go to Mark Strong! He manages to embody everything I’ve ever imagined Sinestro to be. I really would have liked him to have gotten a little bit more screen time. The movie does have its flaws, however minor. The 3D looks nice at times, but overall is not needed, and ultimately underplayed. There’s a helicopter crash at one point in the movie, and not only does it look like something out of a bad amusement park ride, but you can tell they were hoping to get a nice little 3D moment out of it as well. Sadly, it doesn’t work. The angle’s not right, and the whole sequence seems rushed. (For those of you that have already seen it, I’m talking about before Green Lantern shows up.) There’s one other thing that bothers me, and it makes no sense. The reason I like DC Comics more than Marvel, is because I believe the characters of the DC Universe can cross paths and interact with one another in a more believable way. I buy Superman working with Batman, or the Green Arrow teaming-up with the Green Lantern and Flash, where as with Marvel, I don’t buy any of their characters interacting with one another. But, in each of their movies they successfully bring up other characters. For about a half a second I thought it might happen in Green Lantern, and that we might finally get that acknowledgement of other heroes in the DC Universe, but no such luck. If Warner Bros. could take one page out of a Marvel’s movie making playbook, it would be that one; especially with the announcement of a Justice League in the near future. The only other thing I wasn’t a big fan of, was the add-on scene at the end of the end credit sequence. It felt really out of place. I realize they want to entice the audience with the hopes of a sequel, but that scene felt like something that they shot in an alternate script draft and wanted to just tack it on for the sake of tacking it on. Also, that five second clip should be the entire storyline of the second movie! Which I guess they could still do, but talk about your spoilers for people that don’t know that’s coming! Oh, well. I’m glad the movie didn’t let me down and I’m looking forward to seeing it again real soon!

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Comic Con 2010

Well, another Comic Con has come and gone, but your old friend Darby is here once again to give you all the news you need to know, and 100% Nerd Flu free.


“Tron: Legacy”

Tron: Legacy was back at the Con this year, and this time Flynn’s Arcade was also able to transport you into the game itself! After you had your fun playing free video games, you are escorted to Flynn’s workshop, where you get zapped into the game and find yourself at the “End of Line Club” a haven for rogue programs. This re-creation of a set from Tron: Legacy was one of the most impressive things at Comic Con this year. I almost didn’t want to leave the room.






“Burn Notice”

It was announced at this year’s Burn Notice panel, that there will be a straight-to-DVD Burn Notice prequel, starring Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe, and will tell the story of Sam’s last mission before Miami.





“Predators”

Sadly, Robert Rodriguez announced Thursday, that 20th Century Fox will be releasing a sequel to this month’s new Predators incarnation. I know, not everyone disliked the new movie, but let’s be honest; it was crap, and I’m sure Predators: Electric Boogaloo isn’t going to be much better.




“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”

At the end of the panel for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, director/co-writer Edgar Wright announced that a surprise secret screening was about to take place. He then took a select few of the audience members from Hall H, and lead them Pied Piper style through the streets of San Diego to a theater not far from the convention center. Let me just say, that this is hands down the best movie of the summer! A review will be up here closer to the release of the movie, but take my word for it and buy your tickets now!




“The Walking Dead”

AMC‘s new series The Walking Dead, based on the Image comic, definitely had the biggest presence at the Con this year. You couldn’t go any where without seeing a horde of zombies, or footage from the upcoming show, stopping people in their tracks… Literally. At the panel on Friday we got to see some bloody amazing footage, and I mean bloody in both senses of the word. The cinematography on this show is going to blow you way. The sparkly vampires and teenage werewolves have had their time in the sun, well maybe not the vampires, but I do believe it’s about high time for the zombies. Long live the zombies! Can you say that about the undead?




“Saw 3D”

I was able to attend the press event/panel for the new Saw 3D, or Saw VII whichever one you prefer, and got to see the first eight minutes of the movie. They also unveiled the new eye popping poster, and also announced that this will be the final chapter in the Saw series.





“Green Lantern”

After thousands of people, along with Ralph and myself (Ralph was out there much longer than I), camped out all night just for the chance of getting in to Hall H for the Green Lantern panel, it was finally 11:45AM and thanks to Ralph and Lenny we made it in! On hand for the Q&A was Mr. Hal Jordan himself Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard, and directory Martin Campbell. The panel wasn’t overly flashy, but we did get to see a few minutes of footage in the form of a somewhat trailer. It’s less than a year away, but I think I might just have to get in line now!




At the Warner Bros. booth, there was also a floor display of Abin Sur’s body.





“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

At the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides panel, the audience received a special message from Captain Jack Sparrow himself! Does this mean we can stop calling it a trilogy?




“The Stabbing”

Okay, so here’s where Saturday gets a little pear shaped. Two men started arguing over space, or lack there of in Hall H, just after the Resident Evil: Afterlife panel, and just before the Paul panel. It was at this point, that of the one guys ends up stabbing the other guy near the eye with a pen. When news of the event quickly made its way around the Con, the only thing that shocked me was that it doesn’t happen more often. You’ve got thousands of antisocial people all huddled together with other antisocial people, add to that most haven’t eaten or slept in days, and at some point the nerd-rage is going to fly. The best part of all this was the costumes that followed on Sunday.





“Cowboys & Aliens”

Thanks to the amazing Jon Favreau, for the first time in Comic Con history, Harrison Ford graced the Con with his presence, and in handcuffs no less. The handcuffs could have had two meanings; 1) that’s what it took to get him to his first Comic Con, or 2) it was trying to make light of the stabbing that took place earlier. Either way, the crowd erupted when they saw Han Solo being lead to the stage by security.




“The Avengers”

For the first time ever, the cast of the up-coming Avengers movie were assembled in one place, and that place was Comic Con! The video says it all!

Avengers Assemble!!!



But it’s not just all about the movies at Comic Con. One of the best reasons to go to Comic Con is to get your hands on the exclusive toys and action figures only available at the Con… Well that is until they’re put on eBay for five times the original price. This is just a few of them; there really are way too many to list.



Plastic Man

This one was a “Must Have” for me this year!



Attack of the Show

These Gentle Giant Comic Con exclusives, are mini-busts of the Attack of the Show hosts Kevin Pereira & Olivia Munn.



Doctor Who

This years Doctor Who figure is a two-pack of the Eleventh Doctor and one of those lame Dalek redesigns.



Venture Brothers

These old school action figure dolls of Henchmen 21 and 24, were almost impossible to get.



Mo-Larr vs. Skeletor

By far the funniest exclusive at the Con this year, based on the Robot Chicken skit, this two-pack features for the first time ever Mo-Larr and a gapped toothed Skeletor.



One last thing before I go. Every year the studios at Comic Con make these giant bags for people to carry their stuff around in while at the Con. Well the best bags this year, without a doubt, go to the SyFy Channel.

One side of the bag reads “Mega Tote,” and the other “Giant Backpack.” But the thing that makes it so great is that in the fold of the bag it reads “vs.” You’ve got to love that!



Well, that does it for another Comic Con, but Comic Con 2011 will be on July 21st to the 24th next year, so start making your plans now.

“Kick-Ass”
a review by Darby O’Gill

You don’t need super powers to make a difference, which is exactly what high school student Dave Lizewski finds out when he throws on a pair of tights and decides to fight crime. Well, he gets his ass kicked first, but then realizes that you don’t really need powers to be a superhero. I’m not going to be cliché, and say that Kick-Ass kicks ass, even though it totally does. I’m not even going to say that I’ll kick your ass, if you don’t go see Kick-Ass. Nope, you’re not going to find any of those cheesy play-on-words in this review. Instead, I’m just going to say, you’ve really got to see this movie.

Based on the comic book by the same name, Kick-Ass tells the story of Dave Lizewski, played by Aaron Johnson, a nerdy high school kid that wants to be a superhero. He can’t believe that no one has ever tried it before. But little does Dave know, there is already a father and daughter superhero team is his city. They’re currently in training to take down the city’s biggest crime boss. Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, played by Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz, might not have powers either, but they do have a weapons arsenal that could bring the crime in the city to its knees. I’m telling you, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a ten year old girl kill a room full of baddies, and Nicolas Cage do a classic Adam West impersonation. The good news is that you can see both of those wonderful things in Kick-Ass. It’s basically Spider-Man meets Superbad, with a healthy side of Steven Seagal. This movie really does do an amazing job of mixing its genres and giving the audience a ride they’ll never forget. I think the trailers I’ve seen for Kick-Ass have made it look hokier than it actually is, but having seen the movie, I can say that it’s just the way they packaged the clips. When you see the movie, which you should, it’ll have a completely different feel to it. I’m sorry, I know I said I wouldn’t do it, but it’s got to be said… Kick-Ass does in fact, kick ass! This movie is just simply a good time, and much like The Hangover and Superbad, you’re going to want to see it in the theater, because people are definitely going to be talking about this one.

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