My Top Five Choices For Green Lantern

According to this First Showing report, the long in development Green Lantern film took another step closer to seeing the light of day this week. The film will of course be an origin story, centering on white-bread test pilot Hal Jordan rather than soul brother architect John Stewart. (The Stewart version of Green Lantern will be featured in the upcoming Justice League film and will be played by Common).

Provided Hollywood doesn’t screw this one up with merchandising demands, script alterations, and hideous casting decisions, Green Lantern has the potential to be another Iron Man in terms of box office success. It should also be a spectacular special effects bonanza, with the variety of fun energy shapes (giant fists, axes, hammers, etc.) that Green Lanterns can produce with their power rings. The key to the movie’s success is finding a strong leading actor to portray the fearless Hal Jordan. Here’s a look at what I think are the top five choices:

5.) Mark Wahlberg: I’ll be the first to admit that I used to despise this guy. I looked at him and all I saw was a former underwear model/rapper/obnoxious wigger who wanted to add acting to his resume.  Things changed with his role as Dirk Diggler in P.T. Anderson’s porn saga Boogie Nights, however. He showed some terrific range in that flick, balancing humor and drama deftly, and since that breakthrough role he’s made nice career for himself with strong performances in films like We Own The Night and The Departed. Wahlberg has yet to star in a huge superhero blockbuster (the upcoming Max Payne doesn’t really count), and GL may be the perfect vehicle for him.

4.) Gerard Butler: After 300 this guy has been rumored to be up for every superhero role from Captain America to Aquaman, but so far he’s shied away from any cape-and-cowl offers, choosing to mix it up on an island with Jodie Foster and Little Miss Sunshine for some mysterious reason. Perhaps the imposing Scotsman is just waiting for the right pair of tights to don, and Green Lantern may be the opportunity he’s been waiting for.

3.) Thomas Jane: I know, I know, he’s already played The Punisher, but so what? Jane was the only decent thing about that festering dungpile, and he’s one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood (Don’t believe me? Check him out in The Mist. Awesome stuff). He has one of those faces that’s suitable for just about any superhero and you could sure as hell do a lot worse.

2.) Aaron Eckhart: I never thought much of this guy, and as a matter of fact, I was always confusing him for Thomas Jane for some reason. He always seemed like a pretty vanilla actor, but then a little role in a movie called The Dark Knight came along and changed everything. People like to talk about how mind-blowing Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker was, but Eckhart absolutely owned Harvey Dent and showed range above and beyond what anybody could have expected out of him. I don’t think audiences would have any problem buying Eckhart as the brash, cocky, fearless test pilot.

1.) Nathan Fillion: Yep, that’s right, good ol’ Captain Mal himself. I’m sure I just made a ton of Browncoats happy (not to mention padding my stats with Fillion image searches, heh heh). Anyway, Fillion may not have the star power of the other actors on this list, but I believe if given the right opportunity, Fillion can become a huge leading star in Hollywood. As Firefly has already proven, Fillion has the talent, the looks, and the charisma to be a hero and a leader in a sci-fi setting. He certainly deserves a better fate than his post-Firefly career has dealt him, as he has languished in guest roles on LOST, and the abysmial Desperate Housewives…*shudder*. Fillion really needs the break and that is why he’s my number one choice for the role of Hal Jordan. The only thing that may stand in his way is another masked man role…fans are currently clamoring for him to take on the mantle of The Lone Ranger alongside Johnny Depp as Tonto in the upcoming Disney film.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump 09-25-08

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Ratings for season 3 premiere of Heroes=EPIC FAIL. Wow, that’s quite a drastic turnaround in viewership. I continue to watch this show more out of habit and a desire to see Ali Larter in lingerie than anything else, but I’ve always maintained that it’s one of the worst shows on television. Characters constantly do idiotic things and switch allegiances and personality traits to accommodate the sloppy, plot-hole ridden writing.  At least Malcolm McDowell is back this year, that guy is just a bowl of badass.

Stephen Chow to star in and direct the Green Hornet movie. This project just keeps getting weirder and weirder. It started life as a Kevin Smith film, who was going to treat it as a serious superhero adaptation, but he chickened out after writing the screenplay and the property floated around until Apatow cronie Seth Rogen decided to take a stab at it and turn it into a campy comedy. Now, the Kung Fu Hustle guy gets on board? This will either kick unholy ass or suck harder than The Love Guru…*shudder*

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed-The Movie? This pains me to say George, but it’s over. That dead horse you’re beating is just a bloody pile of guts at this point.

Here’s a report about a ton of upcoming genre projects from Disney, including The Lone Ranger, Pirates 4, National Treasure 3, Cars 2, Up, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and Wild Hogs 2: Bachelor Ride. I learned two things from reading this report; Johnny Depp is owned by Disney and I’d rather set a basket of puppies on fire than watch Wild Hogs 2.

Finally, here’s some Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen spoilers featuring info on some new characters which will be familiar to TF fans.  And here’s some concept art of Megatron’s new tank mode. There’s also a rumor going around that this Transformers movie might actually be watchable, but there’s no confirmation yet. 

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09-18-08

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Well, here’s an interesting idea: Aint it Cool? News reporter Moriarty thinks the Coen brothers would make an awesome Superman movie. I’m a big fan of the Coens, and there’s no question they can shoot the shit out of a movie, but I keep picturing Javier Bardem playing Superman with that creepy bowl haircut he sported in No Country For Old Men. *shudder*

Tahmoh Penikett (Helo on Battlestar Galactica) discusses the fate of his character in the series finale and how brilliant the Galactica writers are. If I were him, I’d be happy with any final scenario for my character as long as it still involved banging Grace Park on a regular basis. In a related story, the Battlestar Galactica franchise is 30 years old today. Holy crap I’m old.

Will Ed Norton be back as the Hulk in another sequel or in The Avengers movie? I think you’ll have a better chance of seeing a sequel to Blankman than another Hulk solo movie, but I think Marvel will throw some money at Norton, Downey Jr., Jackson, etc., to get all of them aboard for the Avengers. Speaking of Marvel’s super-team, is Eva Longoria in the running to play the Wasp? Please God no…

Here’s some footage of uber-hottie Megan Fox auditioning for the first Transformers. If you watch this and think, “Man, she is a God-awful actress”. Ask yourself this: would your penis you say “no” to her? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Finally, another Aint it Cool? News contributor attended the Paramount Pictures 2009 slate press screening, and saw some nearly-completed scenes from the upcoming G.I. Joe movie. To the shock and surprise of absolutely no one, it looked like ass in a can. Of course, I already outlined in great detail why this movie is going to be a giant piece of Rhino shit, and this report just confirms my beliefs.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09/09/08

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

AWWW HELL NAW!!! Will Smith as Captain America? Say it ain’t so! Oh, ok, it ain’t so. -Whew-.

Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi “officially” back for Spider-Man 4 (and possibly 5). This is probably terrific news for a lot of Spider-Man fans out there, but I was hoping for a fresh start to this series. Part of the allure and staying power of comic books is that artists and writers come and go, but the characters endure because new creators come aboard with different perspectives and directions. In this case, any direction away from emo haircuts, jazz dance numbers, and the painfully mediocre and mis-cast Kirsten Dunst would be a good way to go.

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and the rest of the Judd Apatow boys as Ghostbusters? Looks to be that way, according to recent comments by Ghostbusters actor and co-creator Harold Ramis (Egon). There’s a part of me- a teeny, tiny part of me deep down inside, that thinks a Ghostbusters sequel/reboot with Bill Murray and the rest of the old school Ghostbusters acting as mentors to some of today’s top comic actors would actually be a fun and cool idea. In all honesty though, this would probably turn out to be one of the most epic disasters in movie history. You just can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice. Blues Brothers 2000, anyone?

Some people in Chicago see an early screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Apparently it’s really shitty and isn’t very faithful to the book at all. Shocking.

New trailer for the Star Wars: Clone Wars CG-animated series on Cartoon Network. 100% southern, homosexual Hutt free!

Finally, check out the uber-awesome Big Lebowski 10th Anniversay Special Edition DVD!

Summer Movie Box Office Recap

Well folks, the Labor Day weekend has come and gone, offcially marking the end of the summer movie season. It was a very lucrative summer, with two movies grossing over $300 million, and one giant behemoth of a flick shattering all kinds of records to become the second highest-grossing movie of all time. Here’s my thoughts on the summer blockbusters, divided into monetary categories:

$400 million +

Only one movie cracked the $400 million barrier this year, blowing right by it to achieve a mind-blowing (for this theater-going era) $510 million and counting. I’m talking of course, about Beverly Hills Chihuahua, a funny and heartwarming masterpiece about a canine who—what? It was actually The Dark Knight? You mean that movie where Martin Lawrence travels back in time to Medieval England? I thought that came out years ago…

$300 million +: Iron Man, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Iron Man was the commercial and critical darling of the summer until Batman showed up and absolutely annihilated ol’ shellhead. Still it was a massive hit for a third-tier comic book character that the “masses” were mostly unfamiliar with. Simply stamping the name “Indiana Jones” on a movie is good enough for a guaranteed $250 million, so there really isn’t much more I can say about how it performed. Considering that it was by far the worst entry in the beloved series, I think it’s actually quite surprising it took in over three bills.

$200 million +: Hancock, Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda

The $200 million mark is nothing to sneeze at in terms of a summer movie gross these days, especially when you factor in the downturn the industry has taken and the competition from Blu-Ray DVD and High Def home theaters. Just like the “Indiana Jones” brand is worth an instant box-office paypay, slapping the “Pixar” name in front of any title is also worth an easy $150 million at the least. No Pixar film has ever made less than $160 million, and even with the semi-hard sell concept of a lonely Robot on a devastated Earth, Wall-E still racked in a ton of cash. I was really surprised to see Dreamwork’s Kung Fu Panda hit this mark, however, but a fantastic marketing campaign that emphasized the colorful animal characters and Jack Black’s antics, really sold this movie to the kiddies (it was also a very good movie to boot).

Hancock is currently the fourth highest-grossing picture of the year, and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. I never bothered to see it because I, unlike the legions of gullible, ignorant mouth-breathers out there who flock to any Will Smith summer movie, actually saw this piece of crap for what it really was, a skillfully engineered and pre-packaged crapfest. You could almost see and hear the excutives planning this turd in some boardroom somewhere:

Head Exec: “Ok people, what can we make this summer, what’s been popular?”

Clueless Underling #1: “Superheroes!”

Clueless Underling #2: “Will Smith”

Clueless Underling #3: “Will Smith on the Fourth of July! He owns that date!”

Head Exec: “Okay, a Will Smith superhero flick on the Fourth of July. Get somebody to write a script. Now, what’s for lunch?”

*sigh*

$100 million +: Sex and the City, Mamma Mia!, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wanted, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Step Brothers

$100 million used to be the gold standard for a successful summer movie, but nowadays that rarely even recoups the marketing budgets for these huge action/sci-fi/superhero pictures. Comedies, dramas, and musicals however, are still considered huge smash hits if they are able to reach this goal, and that’s what a good percentage of the films in this range are.

Get Smart proved Steve Carell could carry a summer blockbuster on his shoulders, and washed the bad taste of Evan Almighty out of our mouths. Mamma Mia! and Sex and the City were surprisingly massive counter-programming hits, proving that lots of women and gay guys go to the cinema in the summer. I don’t understand how a giant piece of runny, corn-riddled shit like Zohan even cracked $25 million, and I never got around to seeing Step Brothers, but heard good things.

On the action front, Narnia, Hulk, and The Mummy all were huge under-performers, especially Prince Caspian, which was predicted to do even better than its predecessor and generate Lord of the Rings numbers. Sadly, audiences didn’t flock to see more shitty CGI beavers and a lead character who looked like a Jonas Brother. The Incredible Hulk wasn’t able to shake off the rancid odor of Ang Lee’s ponderous 2002 Hulk film, or the bad press it was getting right before release when Ed Norton complained that the director cut out too much of the film’s dialogue and story elements. Wanted came out of nowhere to do great numbers with some terrific action sequences and the allure of Angelina Jolie, and as for the Mummy, it looks like the absence of uber-hottie Rachel Weisz kept audiences away there. Learn your lesson, Mummy people! Rachel=box office gold!

$50-$100 million: Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, What Happens in Vegas, The Happening, The Strangers

Well, here’s where the disappointments come in. When you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing, special effects, etc. on what is perceived as a summer “blockbuster”, it’s devastating when audiences just don’t give a rat’s ass or the movie just gets lost in the crowded summer lineup. That’s what I’d like to believe happened to Hellboy 2, a great, imaginative, and gorgeous-looking movie that should be in the $200+ million category. It’s sickening to think this Guerillmo Del Toro sequel was out-grossed by the likes of Hancock, Sex and the City, and freakin’ Zohan! It’s yet another shining example of the brain-dead movie-going public who continue to slurp up the sugary, pre-packaged pap the studios churn out.

Tropic Thunder was also a disappointment. It had a massive budget of over $100 million (huge for a comedy), yet it failed to beat out more moderately budgeted comedies like Step Brothers or Christ, yet again, the Zohan. Simply incredible.

The Happening was a giant turd, and many people are calling it the nail in Manny Shyamalan’s coffin. We’ll see. I have nothing to add about the other flicks.

$0-$49million (A.K.A., The Shit List): Speed Racer, Meet Dave, The Love Guru, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Babylon A.D., The House Bunny, Space Chimps, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Disaster Movie, Death Race

Yikes, as wise old Ben Kenobi once said, “A wretched hive of scum and villainy”. Just looking at this list sends a tingling creeper up my spine. Awful, awful stuff here.

It seems like after the Wachowski brothers delivered those two reviled Matrix sequels, they just can’t buy a hit. Their attempt to make the old Speed Racer cartoon into a  surreal, manic, strobing, colorful, seizure-inducing movie did not play well with audiences at all. It was a massive failure that many on the Internet say is destined to become a “cult classic” like Tron in the future.

George Lucas thought he could package up three episodes of his forthcoming CG Clone Wars animated series, toss it up on the screen, and it would make at least $100 million based on the Star Wars brand, but casual audiences ignored it and fans threw it right back in his bearded face. Similarly, FOX thought there were still people out there who cared about the X-Files, and they were probably right, but stamping the “X-Files” name on a utterly boring snooze-fest backfired right in their faces as well.

Everything else mentioned up there just really isn’t even worth discussing. Ciao!!

*All Box Office info was gathered from Box Office Mojo.