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Does the new 'Green Lantern' trailer actually hurt the movie's advance word?

November 17, 2010 | 11:58 am

It worked for "Iron Man," but will the superhero-as-wisecracking-free-spirit turn the same trick for "Green Lantern"?

The trailer for the Martin Campbell-directed summer movie about the DC Comics character -- long believed the better of the two upcoming 'Green' superhero films--  starts with Ryan Reynolds as a cad who doesn't give a fig. But Reynolds, sadly, isn't Robert Downey, Jr., and the scene lacks the panache displayed by the man in the iron suit.

The trailer doesn't get much better from there as it shows the transformation of Reynolds' Hal Jordan into a man of great powers, all in a swirl of greenlit earnestness.

Questionable trailers don't always presage bad movies. But teasers are supposed to get people more excited, and this one, well, doesn't exactly get us excited. (Judging by the reaction of many of the fan sites, which didn't like the absence of mythology in favor of the Reynolds-ishness of it, we were hardly alone in feeling that way.) Given how much anticipation surrounds this movie, it almost makes you wonder if a more mysterious trailer -- or none at all -- would have done more for the film than what the studio put out.

--Steven Zeitchik



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i don't think the 'bolt' audience will buy this trashing of the green lantern and i don't think fans the most complex of the comic universes will appreciate 'snark: the first adventure' take on their world view. worst of all, this showing embarrasses the batman by showing up dick.

I totally agree. I was so looking forward to the trailer. I even DVR'd it (and I can't stand Entertainment Tonight).

After I saw it, I was less excited about the movie than I was before.

I wouldn't give much stock to "fanboy" complaints. As a longtime comic book fan/geek, I can tell you that most people in my boat love to complain. Despite being the ones to camp out for days to be the first to see the films, they have a bad habit of always hating everything about the movies.

Personally, I think the trailer looks great. And keep in mind, the purpose of a trailer isn't to cater to the impossible-to-please demands of fans familiar with every issue of the source material, it's to spark interest in the largest possible audience. After all, regardless of how strongly we complain, it's a given that we comic book geeks will be in line to see the movie. And studios know this. So what's the point in putting in a lot of mythology/backstory that the average moviegoer isn't familiar with? So instead, they put out a more standard (safe) superhero movie trailer -- cool visuals, wisecracking hero, some explosions for good measure -- designed to attract the uninitiated.

As far as people complaining about Reynold's jokeyness (and here's where my own geekiness comes into play), people forget that Hal wasn't always the square-jawed by-the-book lawman he eventually became. Go back to those old comic books and you'll see a rule-breaking young daredevil who lives by the seat-of-his-pants and enjoys dangerous thrills. And this film is hopefully the first of a series of GL films. We're being introduced to Hal at the beginning of his journey, not in the middle.

So to all the usual complainers, I say chill out. And to Mr. Zeitchik's critique of Reynolds, I say give the guy a shot. It's not fair to make an assumption about someone's abilities because of who they're not. Robert Downey, Jr. is a great actor and makes a terrific Tony Stark, but he'd be a horrible Hal Jordan. But even if he were the perfect choice for the role, he can't be in every film out there. Watch the film and then say what you will about an actor's performance.

I thought the trailer was cut horribly, if you wanna see how to cut a Teaser Trailer go and watch the Cowboys & Aliens Trailer. Martin Campbell better not screw this one up!

Warner Bros get DREW GIORDANO back FAST!!! It seems like since the replace their head of marketing at Warners, the trailers have been awful!

I don't get a lot of the conflict on the film. In all honesty I think the odd amount of VILE being spewed on movie sites is really interesting. Some people aren't just not liking it, they're hating it, in some bitter personal attack reaction.

They wanted Nathan Fillion (or anyone else from Firefly). Someone said that it's not as good as the Fillion fan trailer. Or that it IS a fan trailer. That's totally wrong because then all of them would be praising it, hoping the real trailer is as good. I think they're bitter that this movie, based on the trailer, is catering to all audiences, not just them. I actually noticed on Joblo.com that all the positive comments for the movie had a -1, and the negative a +1. A commenter on slashfilm only had one comment to his name, and only to say his friend of a friend who works on the film says it's like Fantastic Four.

I'm seeing the movie trailer posted on celebrity tracking blogs, or websites for women. It's spreading all over the internet very very quickly, and outside the nerdy areas, getting good reports.

Which does lead to Reynolds. I think he looks fine in the role, I like him. The average movie viewer likes him. I think there is so much focus on him because they don't have anything else to properly show yet. We haven't seen enough, and I hope the next trailer shows more story and more of everything. We're not seeing the scope, which from all the set reports say is fantastic, we aren't getting any story, which from the set reports say is great. This is a teaser of all teasers while still showing a good amount.

I predict that the trailers are going to get grander with every release. Perhaps a reverse Tron: Legacy effect. That initial teaser made people lose their minds. But the more we've seen, the seemingly low quality acting from the star has tempered the excitement a bit. Though I'm still really game for that movie.

Winning internet posters gets your nowhere, and it means nothing. Scott Pilgrim was a sure fire hit according to the internet. Of course there are still lots of positive comments for the movie, the nail really hit hard when that awful ET clip came out in blurry fashion. The backlash began. This was their movie, and it debuted there!?

I'm expecting great things from this movie, and I think the more we see, the more it'll be easier to keep expecting that.

As a Green Lantern fan since Hal Jordan first got his green & black jammies back in the '50s, I have to disagree with you on virtually every count.

I like Ryan's ability to throw away lines that would be hammered zingers for anyone else - and his ability to show dramatic range. He may not be Robert Downey Jr., but the approach to the GH film is not precisely the same as the Iron Man films - and there was enough of the cosmic stuff to intrigue [both Tomar-Re and Kilowog looked surprisingly believable for a live-action film].

The feel of trailer is not a million lightyears away from the GL comics of the fifties as I remember them.

So, yeah, the trailer got me stoked. I'll be in line to watch the movie opening day.

The trailer pegs this as a 2-star movie at best.

Peter Sarsgaard looks absolutely ridiculous.

I think the main argument of the article is not whether this movie will be good but that the trailer is not doing the movie and Ryan Reynolds any favors. I have to agree.

I don't think this trailer is the right approach for this movie. It's a predictable cookie-cutter comic book movie trailer which is fine if you have a really good cast, amazing special fx, great music or epic cinematography. Unfortunately, GL has none of these qualities. The music is a mediocre blues track, the plane flying sequence looks un-inspired, the alien world looks cheesy, and Ryan Reynolds can only do so much in delivering some terrible lines.

Maybe there is a really good story and interesting characters in this movie but I'm not seeing that in this trailer and I think that's what the author is suggesting. Maybe a more mysterious trailer or experimental one would have been a better fit to make the film stand out from the competition. This preview just can't compete with what's out there right now.

Pass. Looks like a SciFi Channel movie. The trailer is not showing anything epic, which I would expect from a film of this pedigree.

horrible !!

without question.

the only salient piece of news to date was that this will not be an origin story.
this trailer points to the opposite.
the producers forget how important it is for their heros to keep their promises.

the producers do seem not know how serious boys are about planes. planes are as serious to boys as law, medicine, and architecture.
that's what makes hal jordan compelling.

a wizard of oz spin on the plot turning hal 'serious' will not save this one.

prediction: reboot with a side of ouch - actors should be banned from playing more than one 'super' hero. it's as insulting as having to watch heath ledger body slam michael jai white.

Yawn. When's Thor coming out?

Why are people giving so much crap to Ryan Reynolds and this teaser? This made me get MORE excited for the movie. I would not agree with the statement that the "wisecracking-free-spirit" worked for Iron Man. The first Iron Man film worked because it was well made and exciting and well written...people didn't go to see it in droves because Downey Jr. was in it. While the second Iron Man movie was nowhere near being a failure, I think it was less well received because of it's use of more "wisecracking-free-spirit" dialogue. I get the argument about forced humor killing our hero films, but how is what is shown in this Green Lantern trailer out of character for the character, as he was written for the page? I used to read Green Latern as a kid, and I say, based on the little info we got from this trailer, Reynolds is pitch perfect for this role. Maybe this is just a subjective opinion, but I'd take Reynolds over Downey Jr. any day in a role such as this. This trailer says that Jordan liked to womanize and is an adrenaline junkie... wow, I can see why the 'fans' are up in arms. How outrageous that this trailer portrays Green Lantern EXACTLY as the character is. Grow up 'fans'.

Whoever was the genius to cast Reynolds in this part needs to be fired.

I know close to nothing about The Green Lantern. I do, however, occasionally see superhero movies and enjoy them. As just a general moviegoer, I can say the trailer makes it look like a cheesy B movie. It just looks silly. Maybe if they *did* actually cater to the mythology and the history of the character, it would have been more interesting. Based on this trailer alone, I would have no interest in seeing the movie.

the visuals look like a winner to me! lets just hope it was "shot" w/3D equipment - avatar - because after all, isn't that what special effects on a big screen are all about?

Wow. Let's see - during the preview, I, as a long time GL fan saw - An ok version of how Hal gets the ring, a great Abin Sur, Kilowog, Sinestro, Hector Hammond, Ferris Air, Carol Ferris, Oa, and Pie-Face!
Sure the GL outfit is a bit 'off', but that's about the only complaint I have. So Far.

Dumb....shoulda picked a different actor. Almost as bad as Chris Evans as the new Captain America.
Ryan Reynolds should have played The Flash, it would actually fit right.

GL was my favorite hero.....But with the actors selected and the cheesy effects, this movie looks phucking lame.

Fascinating to see how time and the internet have changed the industry. Now fans comment smartly (or snarkily) not just on a yet-to-be-released film, but on the trailer: its content, how it's cut, etc. Wouldn't a-happened in the '50's.

Will we get to the point where a film is released theatrically or not depending on how the trailers are reviewed?

I read the director went to great pains to make the flying and aviation scenes as realistic as possible. Apparently he even hired a consulting company of Navy fighter pilots to work with the actors and himself.

Hal Jordan in the earliest Comics and in ALL of his 70yrs in comics was NEVER EVER a jokey or sarcastic character. Not even remotely. His NEAL ADAMS run and even BIRTHRIGHT had always portrayed him as serious. To the point that even GREEN ARROW would tease him abotu being square.

A shirtless HUGH JACKMAN didnt give WOLVERINE stellar numbers. It did mearly OK. and is HATED by comics fans.

DUMB comedy in what should be a serious EPIC film didnt help PHANTOM MENACE in the long run either.

This trailer should have been what STAR TREK IX, AVATAR, & TRON LEGACY did. serious EPICS with mindblowing CGI and AWSOME ( and finished) WOW shot.

GREEN LANTERN is 2011s SUPERMAN RETURNS. will do OK $ and be REBOOTED in a few yrs.

Well, beside the fact that he is very very hot, ryan reynolds is a really great actor...But still, I say he's style is more adaptive to comedy than to action movies.

Hey eventhough im atill fairly young, my Green Lantern comic collection puts a lot of comic book stores to shame... I loved the trailer, it def. made me actually want to go and came outside the theaters days in advance to see this movie on opening night... STOP GIVING REYNOLDS CRAP, I think he's dont an awesome job at bringing Hal to life. Also to all of you so called fans did you forget that in the begining Hal had an cocky, cant tell me nothing type of attitude... clearly ya'll have or you wouldnt be talking as much trash as you are... for the next 5yrs DC is gonna kick Marvels ass in the box offices

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