thehefner: (Green Lantern: Facepalm and Rage)
[personal profile] thehefner
Why did the Green Lantern movie suck so much? The answer, according to one source, may be exactly as I feared:

One thing I feel needs mentioning: this is not Martin Campbell’s cut of the film, but the studio’s. I live in New Orleans where it was shot, I read the shooting script, all of which was painstakingly filmed with intense research, and all of that was left on the cutting room floor — a sort of combination of what happened to Daredevil and Watchmen, respectively — character development sacrificed for CG, scenes made irrelevant by removing their setup. The movie in the theater starts with an explanation of mythos that is made redundant by the more natural, scripted questions from Hal when he gets the ring. Ten minutes of childhood Hal, Carol, and Hector that sets up Hal’s first ring construct is reduced to an awkwardly placed flashback in the middle of another scene. The training with the ring is almost completely excised except for one minor scene. Most appallingly, the ending completely deletes the fact that Kilowog, Sinestro, and Toma-Re arrive at the end and help Hal defeat Parallax. Not to mention Parallax was supposed to be a 3rd act reveal after we spend the film worried about Hammond going evil, not the main villain for the entire film. I sincerely hope we get a director’s cut or at least all the deleted scenes on the video release.

Very interesting. Even if we do get a director's cut, I wonder how much of this bittersweetly-hilarious list will still hold true.

I don't know to what extent the source is to be believed, but it certainly jives with the finished product we saw on the screen. It sounds like Daredevil all over again, where a studio hacks apart of decent enough film and turns it into a franchise-kneecapping disaster unloved by audiences and critics alike. The Daredevil: Director's Cut is a far more watchable and enjoyable film, just shy of the first Spider-Man film in terms of quality, but the was already done. Put it another way, I still haven't watched the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven, which was also hacked apart by the studio, because I just don't care enough. Who'll care enough about the director's cut of GL when it's so universally panned and has actively pissed off fandom?

I fear that the character of Hal Jordan--already one of the most controversial and LOATHED characters in fandom--will never recover from this. The only thing keeping him going will be the stubbornness of Geoff Johns and DC who refuse to believe that anyone couldn't dislike the character. It hurts a vital part of me deep inside to admit that even I no longer like Hal Jordan. Not as he is. Maybe not even as he ever actually was, but rather just the version I always WANTED him to be back when he was replaced by Kyle "Poochie Parker" Rayner. This is a very distressing thing to consider as a fan.

Looks like my only hope left for a quality GL adaptation rests entirely where I least expected it:

Much as I dislike CGI shows, I have to remind myself that Bruce Timm is producing. Maybe it won't suck. Maybe maybe maybe.

Date: 2011-06-21 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
if the movie were actually written like that article on topless robot i would pay money to see it. i think hal jordan should leave all social situations by saying "sniff you jerks later."

Date: 2011-06-21 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Didn't see the movie, and wasn't planning to. I think that summary did a better job of telling the story anyway. It sounds pretty cut-and-dried. Or maybe just cut-and-paste from other intro-superhero films.

Thing is, I really like origin stories. They're often the most interesting bit to me, where the human has to cope with being powerful, rather than focusing on the power.

Date: 2011-06-21 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Problem is, GL is more of a mythology than a single superhero's story. The only way one could even come close to trying to tackle the GLC is doing it as a show with an ensemble cast of aliens. At its best, it has Star Wars style action and Campbellian hero's journey arcs by way of Star Trek's scope, ideas, themes, characters, etc, thereby pretty much being able to *combine* Sci-Fi as "The Genre of Ideas" with Sci-Fi as "The Genre of Spectacle."

That's what really hurt the GL film. Imagine if someone adapted all of Trek to just "Captain Kirk whines for two hours, then everyone applauds him at the end" plus lots of CGI. It really tried to have both the mythos and the origin story, along with a love story AND an entire villain subplot, and failed on all counts.

Date: 2011-06-21 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That seems to be a common problem with first movies: too much story to tell all at once. Comic book readers appear to be prepared to be in something for the long haul.

It's actually a bit of economics I never quite got. A comic book issue is what, $3-$4? And if a story takes up a dozen issues, that's $30-$50, the price of a video game and twice the price of a movie. Not the most expensive hobby in the world, of course, but pretty pricey.

Date: 2011-06-21 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I imagine it's not too different from following serialized novels like Harry Potter and whatnot, if you take into account that most superhero comics tell story arcs that can be collected in trade and read as single volumes in sequence... or at least, that's the idea, if DC actually cared to number their volumes anymore. I think DC should just invest more talent into stand-alone, out-of-continuity stories and sell them as graphic novels. Treat them like an actual novel series.

Date: 2011-06-21 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think that would be a great use of the art form.

Date: 2011-06-21 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I USED to love origin stories, but they've become so overdone by now that, even when they're done WELL, I'd rather see a superhero story "begin" media in res.

It's one of the cases in which another trope I harbor deeply mixed feelings about — the POV exposition-prompt character — would serve a legitimate purpose:

"Who the fuck are you, and what the fuck is going on?"
"I'm so-and-so and this is my fight with these other guys. Try and keep up."
*Action explodes around them*

Even with a relatively new hero, this could be played in an endearingly cocky way, to help short-circuit the emo to which so many wangsty pseduo-introspective origin stories seem to descend:

"You know what you're doing, right?"
"Um, sure, yeah, no problem!"
"How many times have you done this before?"
"Counting this time? Um ... one?"

That being said, if you MUST do an origin story, there are better ways of doing it.

Date: 2011-06-21 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
While we're on the subject of animated series...

1.) What do you think of the current Young Justice show, and

2.) Did you watch "The Batman" Hugo Strange episodes?

Date: 2011-06-21 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
1.) Tried watching one episode, was bored silly. I'm not really a huge fan of sidekicks and young legacy versions of characters anyway. Is it good?

2.) Not yet. I mean to, but I'll need to suck up my general distaste for the entire Teh Batmans style and attitude.

... Hm. Perhaps I should have waited to answer these questions until AFTER I was no longer cranky from hunger. :)

Date: 2011-06-21 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, Greg Weisman's writing, and the Joker is slated to appear some time in the future. That's the only thing I know about the show.

TB's Hugo Strange episodes are considered amongst the show's finest, to the point where:


He actually played a large role in the series finale.

Also, you're deliberately misspelling it as "Teh Batman", aren't you? ;)

Date: 2011-06-22 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Weisman's writing? Okay, now I'm more interested, although it's bittersweet considering that it's yet another reminder that Spectacular Spider-Man was canceled. We just got into that show, and while we haven't finished Season 2 yet, we're already disappointed to know that there won't be more. It was an astounding show, the best Spidey adaptation I've ever seen (or at least up with SM2).

And yes, yes I am. ;p

Date: 2011-06-21 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
John Stewart has truly become the Green Lantern with the most commercial potential.

Date: 2011-06-21 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Which is precisely why he won't be used, because DC doesn't even want to cater to the primary market that it claims to be catering to.

Between pushing Hal in other media and the Flashboot, DC has actually become Marvel's twin now more than ever, since both DC and Marvel's directions are being determined by nostalgic middle-aged men who are so out-of-touch that they refuse to even acknowledge how old and out-of-touch they actually are.

I can actually imagine Geoff Johns reacting with aghast disbelief at the idea that the kids could still like John or Kyle better than Hal, after all that he's done to sell Hal as the greatest ever, and what's worse is that, unlike Quesada's crew (and DiDio), by all accounts Johns genuinely does want to be liked, except that he can't come to terms with the fact that his era is done.

Date: 2011-06-22 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I firmly believe that Johns is a good guy who genuinely loves these things, and who lacks the malice and contempt of certain others in the biz. He just really seems to lack a fundamental understanding things sometimes. I'd love to hang out with him. I met him at a con around 2003, back when he was an honorary member of H.E.A.T. and on our mailing list, interacting with members. He signed a promo poster of JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice for me and doodled a word balloon over Ollie's head that read "To John: Keep the faith!" From what I can tell, he's still the sweet, optimistic fan he used to be, which makes his obliviousness (even to the graphic violence of his own work at times) all the more frustrating.

Date: 2011-06-22 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, but which Jon Stewart? The hot-headed, anti-authoritarian rabble-rouser? The soulful intellectual who calls others on their bullshit while still being introspective himself? Or the badass military man with no personality from the animated show, which is the version that Geoff Johns has shoe-horned into the comics, even though it totally clashes with the character as he used to be?


Maybe those takes aren't so irreconcilable when I consider that pretty much sums up [ profile] box_in_the_box. Holy shit.

Date: 2011-06-22 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
His usual icon's t-shirt is green...

Date: 2011-06-22 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Or the badass military man with no personality from the animated show, which is the version that Geoff Johns has shoe-horned into the comics, even though it totally clashes with the character as he used to be?

Should have proofread the comment before posting, as that part doesn't apply to Box by any stretch of the imagination.

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