Thursday, July 15, 2010

On yet another costume intended to attract attention and generate debate

If you haven't seen it yet, Entertainment Weekly has Ryan Reynolds in his Green Lantern outfit on the cover of their special Comic-Con preview issue.  And predictably, it's generated some comment.

I do have some problems with the outfit, but likely not the ones most have.  The mask looks a bit odd.  It's too low in the middle, which makes the sides look almost pointy.  The lines of (I presume) energy look like they're supposed to mimic the sinews of muscle.  It's interesting, but makes the suit look too busy.  I'm hoping that's more of a "climactic" effect, to give the look of his body bursting with energy, perhaps after drawing a charge directly from the central battery. 

But here's the thing.  The pic is billed as a "first look", and that's exactly what it is.  With almost a full year until the premiere, I'll lay odds this design will change.  It's one of the mixed blessings of CGI effects - you can tweak it until quite close to the release date. 

In fact, I'm betting this isn't even actual CGI output.  It looks much more like Photoshop.  Take a look at the hi-res copy of the pic at Newsarama.  The mask looks rather flat, much more like it's just painted on his face, as opposed to the more solid look that you'd assume a mask would have, even one generated by the ring, as this one allegedly is.  The colors of the suit are flat, with not too much texture.  I'm betting this is only a pale shadow of what the final product will be.

My copy will likely be waiting for me at home today or tomorrow, and if there are more pictures inside, I'll be able to make a more educated decision.  But right now, my decision is that I can't MAKE a decision.  You can't make a decision on the film based on one picture.

At least, not any more.  I remember when that picture of Michael Keaton in his Bat-gear showed up in, of all things, TIME magazine.  The photo was intended to calm the fans down, to make sure we understood that this was to be a serious take on the character, not a comedy, regardless of the choice of star.  And it worked - there wasn't a comic shop in the country that didn't have a copy of that pic posted.  You could hear the sigh of relief, followed by the first of many held breaths over the next decades as our anticipation built.

But that suit was a physical thing. They were almost finished filming by the time that photo hit.  If fandom cried foul, they had no way to change it.  With the GL costume being CGI, if there's a hue and cry about it, they can change it with relative ease.

If there's any fully-rendered effects yet, they exist solely to show at Comic-Con next week.  And even they may change in 12 months.

There will be PLENTY of leaked footage, in-progress effects shots and photographs taken from 3 miles away using  L.B. Jeffries' telephoto lens from Rear Window for you to make your mind up about the film before it opens.  Don't hang all your outrage on a last-minute slapped together piece to get a shot on the EW cover.  Save it, parcel it out over time.  If you declare the film crap now, you run the risk of being ignored for the next year.  And if there's one thing the children of the internet fear, it's being ignored.

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