The superhero films that came out in 2011 were actually really good. That is, up until this one came out. Green Lantern comes off as such a banal, passionless product that its infinite other faults scream for attention. All of the space material on the lantern training planet and elsewhere in space could provide a less mediocre focus for the movie, seeing how all the scenes that take place there are the closest thing to what could be described as interesting.
“It should be set it mostly on Earth in order to show the main character’s humanity” – some test audience member that probably fucked the movie up in some way. Or some Warner Bros. executive early in the planning stages. Either way, bad call.
So instead, our story occurs mostly here on our big blue planet, and comes complete with thinly written characters with non-existent motivations, slapdash editing, one ridiculous villain and another utterly pointless one, bland action scenes, some genuinely stupid parts (an elaborate racetrack projection? Really?), an out of place and overbearing score, and the overall scope and feel of an early ’90s TV movie.
The only feasible excuse this movie could have for being so messy is that, because the movie did in fact run over budget, not all of the extensive effects shots could be finished by the release date, and therefore the movie needed to be re-cut to be more Earth-centric. But that theory only accounts for a portion of the awfulness at hand, and it is, after all, just a theory. Green Lantern is a missed opportunity, and one that Warner and DC will suffer because of for some time to come.
Green Lantern debuted this weekend in 2011 to a $53 mill opening weekend, but poor word of mouth saw to its rapid decline afterwards and while the movie made back its budget, it did little more at the box office.
Toy Story 3
It’s actually pretty impressive how dark and heavy Toy Story 3 is considering its status as something kids will enjoy. Yeah, it does have its fair share of juvenile humor (one of the few detractors the film has), but that’s not the majority. I mean, the biggest theme in the movie is what happens to a toy after their owner is done with them. They really drove home the idea that the garbage is the saddest, loneliest, most disturbing end a toy can have.
When I read early on that this would be a weeper, I just assumed they would use the sappy, manipulative, War Horse strategy to get audiences bawling. Luckily, it was not the case. The reason people got misty-eyed (including, possibly, myself) was because you still cared for the characters and seeing them given such a warm, caring goodbye hit all the right notes.
Toy Story 3 opened this weekend in 2010 to a mighty fine $110 mill and went on to be the highest grossing film, domestically and globally, in 2010.
Bruce Wayne has disappeared off the face of the Earth after the death of his parents. In reality, he has been around the world learning about criminality and training with a secret organization of assassins. After a falling out with them, he returns to Gotham City to find it more corrupt than ever. With the help of his trusted butler Alfred, scientist Lucias Fox, lieutenant Jim Gordon and assistant district attorney Rachel Dawes, he becomes the symbol the city needs to shake it out of apathy. As the Batman, his resolve will be tested against the secret forces out to destroy Gotham.
To make a confession, I wasn’t originally crazy about the movie the first time I saw it. It was too dark, mature, and complex for my stupid, 13 year old brain to comprehend. I didn’t read any of the comics, the animated series had ended and opted to go with the flashier The Batman, and the final note of the previous film franchise had been not particularly cerebral. It was only on repeat viewings that I discovered all the joys this movie had to unfurl. Seriously, it completely went over my head the first time that Liam Neeson was Ra’s al Ghul.
Now it stands as one of the greatest comic book movies ever. Putting the focus back on Batman and all his psychological complexities and not letting any of the villains get in the way of this untold story that was about him was essential. Director Christopher Nolan does a masterful job of telling a masterful script, brought to life by a mostly masterful cast. Aside from Katie Holmes and not quite enough Scarecrow for my tastes, the movie would probably be flawless. As is, it’s a superb, memorable turning point for modern film adaptions.
Batman Begins opened this weekend in 2005 to $48 mill. It was dubbed a strong but unimpressive opening by the blockbuster standards of the time. Grossing $205 mill in the U.S. and $372 worldwide, Begins sits as the eighth highest grossing movie of 2005. Its modest success didn’t foretell what was to come for the Batman franchise’s next installment.