Green Lantern

June 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard
Directed by: Martin Campbell (“Edge of Darkness”)
Written by: Michael Goldenberg (“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”), Greg Berlanti (debut), Michael Green (debut), Marc Guggenheim (debut)
 
How Warner Bros. Pictures thought it would somehow be advantageous to spend $300 million on something as botched up as “Green Lantern” will forever be a comic-book movie mystery. While it might make a considerable amount of dough and reach that summer blockbuster echelon, it would be a surprise if the superhero flick broke even at the box office. Sure, it’s not as terrible as, say, DC Comics’ “Jonah Hex” of last year, but it does give competitor Marvel something to grin about at least until “Captain America” comes calling for justice in a few weeks.
 
In “Green Lantern,” Ryan Reynolds (“Buried”) plays Hal Jordan, a hotshot Air Force test pilot chosen by an intergalactic squadron known as the Green Lantern Corp. to protect the galaxy with a powerful ring that could’ve easily come from a Crackerjack box if only it didn’t possess supernatural capabilities.

In his way is a fallen guardian of the Green Lantern Corp. who has used the power of fear to transform into some kind of menacing storm cloud known as Parallax set to destroy anything in its path. Peter Sarsgaard (“Orphan”) plays xenobiologist (a scientist who studies the biology of extraterrestrial life) Hector Hammond who has been infected by an alien after it crash lands on earth. Blake Lively (“The Town”) pretties up the picture as token love interest Carol Ferris, who isn’t given much to do besides stare deep into Green Lantern’s dreamy eyes and act like a love-struck teenager waiting to be asked to the prom.

Short on excitement and originality, “Green Lantern” is a lackluster way to set up a franchise that might not even get off the ground depending on how audiences react to this unfortunate entry into the superhero genre. Reynolds does his best to give Green Lantern some personality, but the room-full of screenwriters put in charge of the story only created a hollow narrative with $300-million worth of computer-generated effects and little proof of anything enlightening.

Life as We Know It

October 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas
Directed by: Greg Berlanti (“The Broken Hearts Club”)
Written by: Ian Deitchman (debut) and Kristin Rusk Robinson (debut)

The cuteness factor might be at an all-time high, but with parenthood reduced to montages of changing poopie Pampers and dodging projectile peas, even a pair of the most squeezable baby cheeks can only get “Life as We Know It” so far.

In “Life,” first-time screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson try to give the film some emotional substance, but end up padding the narrative with so much predictable nonsense you’ll long for the days when Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck were on diaper duty.

After impressing audiences in Judd Apatow’s 2007 comedy “Knocked Up,” Katherine Heigl has since made a handful of regrettably dreadful choices by starring in “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” and “Killers.” She looks to find her footing in “Life” playing Holly Berenson, a bakery owner whose life is thrown into a tailspin when her best friends Peter and Alison die in a car accident and leave Holly to raise their only child, Sophie.

If that wasn’t difficult enough, Holly has been named as a co-guardian for Sophie along with Peter and Alison’s other friend Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), a TV sports director whom she’s only tolerated over the years because they shared Peter and Alison as mutual friends. A bad date the two had years prior was just enough for Holly to recognize their incompatibility.

Now faced with the responsibility of raising a child, the two must learn to get along while living under the same roof and providing a stable home for Sophie (played here by triplets Alexis, Brynn, and Brooke Clagett) all while anticipating surprise visits by a no-nonsense social worker who is watching their every move.

“Life as We Know It,” could have worked if it has simply stayed honest about the situation at hand. Instead of capturing a genuine look at just how difficult raising a child would actually be under these circumstances, director Greg Berlanti (“The Broken Hearts Club”) lets Heigl and Duhamel stir up the schlocky sentiment. “Life” ends up pandering in the most formulaic ways possible and hits all the standard romantic comedy plot points even the average filmgoer could see coming from a mile away.