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Green Lantern Two Hours Well Spent

One of the few things I miss about my old place in the suburbia of Atlanta is that in my old townhouse, I was literally 5 minutes from the seats of an 18 screen cinema. Not five minutes to the door or the parking lot, but to sitting and waiting for the movie to start. So, now living in rural Georgia, I’m a lot pickier about what I go and see.

I’d been looking forward to the new Green Lantern movie for awhile now. High among the many superhero comics I grew up reading was Hal Jordan’s heroic Green Lantern. Honestly, it’s not one of the comics I would have expected to ever see on the big screen. Surely heroes like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man are a lot more well known to the masses and their powers a bit less fanciful by┬ácomparison. After all, Green Lantern features an intergalactic corp of police officers who wield an emerald ring that creates 3-D constructs based on their will-power. Enter the unlikely hero that is Hal Jordan,who happens to be at the right place when a dying Green Lantern is looking for a successor. The ring picks him because he is without fear. Are you still with me, that’s just a taste of the origin story!

Friday morning when I looked at Rotten Tomatoes, I saw the critics universally panned the movie. The interesting thing I noticed was that the audience reactions were almost entirely in the other direction. So, I followed my heart Saturday and stopped in to see the movie while out running errands, and I’m so glad I did! I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. In fact, it’s very rare for me to suggest a film could be longer, but I think Green Lantern would have benefited from a bit more time to tell such a huge story. Hopefully there will be more films in this series since having covered the origin of Hal’s Green Lantern, future films wouldn’t need that time to explain the characters and concepts behind Green Lantern.

Today, the Rotten Tomatoes ratings are about 25% for critics but 62% positive for audience members, I think that’s rather surprising. Maybe it speaks to the dedicated comic geeks who would see the film, maybe not.

There was a family who were sitting uncomfortably close to me in the theater. Really who sees three open seats next to someone and use all three of those seats in a theater filled with open seats? They were still less annoying than the person three rows in front of me who spent the entire time texting (from the moment he sat down before the previews until the end of the film). I digress… often… Anyway, the strangely familiar family beside me seemed (from their numerous comments) to be largely unfamiliar with Green Lantern, the characters, etc. and they still seemed to have a genuinely good time. So, while I would have left the movie unsure whether John Q Public would enjoy it was much as a comic geek would, maybe it has more broad appeal than I would have guessed at first.

Without a doubt, the DVD will be on my wish list and I hope the film rakes in enough $$ to warrant follow-ups. Bravo to the writers, producers, cast and crew of this film. It was two hours of a beloved comic book brought to life and I’m glad I took a chance on it.

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