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One if by 'Green Lantern'

Published June 22. 2011 05:01PM

"Green Lantern" "The Green Hornet," "X-Men," "Thor."

Welcome to this summer's edition of comic book superheroes at the cinema.

It's all a blur. The 3-D glasses didn't help.

"Green Lantern" is based on the DC Comics character first introduced in 1940. DC revived the Green Lantern comic book in 1959 and again in 1970 and plans a relaunch in the fall.

For the comic-book superheroes challenged among us and that would include me Green Lantern (Ryan Reynolds with fab abs that are apparently not CGI) has a special ring charged by a lantern but powered by the willpower of its wearer.

The ring was created by the Guardians of the Universe, who grant a ring to worthy candidates, in this case, test pilot, Hal Jordan (Reynolds), who becomes a member of the Green Lantern Corps, a sort of intergalactic police force.

"Green Lantern" the movie provides a lot of back story explanation about Oa, headquarters planet for the Guardians; Parallax, a villain that looks like a sludge pile from outer space; and the ring.

The plot has to do with Hector Hamond, (Peter Sarsgaard, who brings believability to the role), a mad scientist whose mainly mad at his dad, United States Senator (Tim Robbins).

The romantic interest for Green Lantern, and likely every male who sees the movie, is Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), daughter of the owner of Ferris Aircraft, a government contractor.

The screenplay by Greg Berlanti (TV's "Brothers & Sisters"), Michael Green (TV's "Heroes"), Marc Guggenheim (TV's "Eli Stone") and Michael Goldenberg ("Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," "Peter Pan," "Contact") tries to make something of Green Lantern's father issues. The movie ironically opened on Father's Day weekend.

Director Martin Campbell ("Casino Royale," 2006) barely keeps the clumsily-written script comprehensible, despite extensive expository scenes during the first third of the movie. The tone is erratic. It's neither jokey enough, romantic enough nor thrilling enough.

The 3-D effects in "Green Lantern" are probably not worth the upgrade and, once again, darken the frames and make two-shots, i.e., those with two actors, look like cardboard lobby cut-outs.

"Green Lantern" falls short of "Batman" and "Iron Man," standard-bearers for comic book superheroes on the big screen.

"What's the deal with the mask?" Green Lantern is asked by Carol Ferris.

"It came with the outfit," he responds.

At least he didn't have to wear 3-D glasses.

"Green Lantern," MPAA Rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13); Genre: Action, Crime, Science Fiction, Thriller; Run time: 1 hr., 45 min.; Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous: If you stay during the closing credits for "Green Lantern," you will see Sinestro (Mark Strong) of the Green Lantern Corps trying on a new ring - a yellow ring. And you know what that means: A sequel, "Green Lantern 2," is in development for 2013.

Box Office, June 17: "Green Lantern" lit up $52.6 million, opening at No. 1, with "Super 8" dropping to No. 2, $21.2 million, $72.7 million, two weeks; and surpassing "Mr. Popper's Penguins," opening with $18.2 million.

4. "X-Men: First Class," $11.5 million, $119.9 million, three weeks; 5. "The Hangover Part II," $9.6 million, $233, four weeks; 6. "Kung Fu Panda 2," $8.7 million, $143.3 million, four weeks; 7. "Bridesmaids," $7.4 million, $136.8 million, six weeks; 8. "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," $6.2 million, $220.3 million, five weeks; 9. "Midnight in Paris," $5.2 million, $21.7 million, five weeks; 10. "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer," $2.2 million, $11.1 million, two weeks;

Unreel, June 24:

"Cars 2," PG: The cute, animated cars are back, voiced by Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, John Turturro, Joe Mantegna, Bonnie Hunt,. Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon. This time, it's the Race of Champions, across several continents.

"Bad Teacher," R: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake star in a comedy in which the title says it all, much to the chagrin, no doubt, of good teachers everywhere.

Read previous movie reviews at Email Paul Willistein at: and on Facebook.

Two Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

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