Wednesday, June 22, 2011

OK is NOT a BAD Thing

I saw Green Lantern. I saw the mostly bad reviews of Green Lantern.
I thought the reviews were unfair.
The reviewers seem to want Green Lantern the film to be as great as Lord of the Rings or more recently, Game of Thrones (excellent by the way, best TV show since Battlestar Galactica, No Really, it was that good).  But truly epic films are one in a thousand.  So many perfect things have to line up to get a truly unforgettable film in the can and on the screen, the odds are stacked against such a thing happening.  As a person who has managed multiple year-long, multi-person projects, I can tell you that you swing for the fences every project and try as hard as you can for perfection (or at least greatness) and if you are lucky you get a “good” product, a “solid” and “respectable” result from all your team’s efforts.  But epic greatness?  You aim for it, but you don’t get it.  Except for once in a while the gods smile, the fates are kind, the stars align, some mysterious thing happens (which you can’t explain or duplicate later) and one project out of hundreds turns out stellar, epic, wonderful and magical.

I hope that every movie I go to see is going to be the next miracle movie.  But I don’t expect them all to be EPIC.  I do expect that the movie making team tried for FANTASTIC.  I encourage them to try.  But I am happy with a GOOD movie.  And Green Lantern was a good movie.  It was a chili dog and fries movie.  It was a straight ahead fantasy action film.  And it delivered a good ride.  It was not fillet mignon and lobster.  But I don’t want surf and turf every meal.  Green Lantern was a plastic action figure.  It was not a Faberge Egg.  But plastic toys are fun to play with.  Who ever got to play with a Faberge Egg??  Give me LEGO and GI Joe any day.
And more than anything, Green Lantern the Movie gave me what I can honestly say is the thing I get the most enjoyment from in a movie: ANTICIPATION.  For about a year I got the solid joy of wondering how good the Green Lantern Movie was going to be.  Would the special effects be convincing?  Which plot points from the comics would they keep?  Which characters would they highlight?  How would they pronounce "OA"?  How silly would the little blue Guardians look?  Would they make radical changes to the mythos or the characters?  I enjoyed all of that speculation and anticipation.  A Lot.

And then, the movie was good.  It was fun to see what had been worked on so hard by so many people.  And then it was over.  Thanks, Green Lantern Team!  In brightest projector, in blackest theater, no popcorn shall escape my sight!  I had a fun time playing with the plastic action figure they presented.  I even hope they make a sequel.  Fighting Sinestro will make for a much better plot than fighting Parallax anyway.
I see no reason to give the film bad reviews.  It wasn’t an epic masterpiece for the history books.  So what?  But it was not a BAD movie.

And now?  The anticipation turns to Captain America: The First Avenger coming in July.  Will the shield look stupid?  Will the Red Skull be scary or just silly?  Hugo Weaving is always cool, so I have high hopes for Red Skull, the movie version.  But it might not be a great movie.  It might just be OK.  And I am okay with that.  Avengers, Assemble!

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