Ryan Reynolds is turning 40 today. His first acting job was in a Canadian TV series called Hillside (renamed Fifteen in the US). American audiences got to know him in the sitcom Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (the pizza place was dropped from the show, and the title, after two seasons), where he played one of the leads.
Reynolds first lead role in a film was in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, a critical flop but a modest financial success given its small budget; the remake of The Amityville Horror was much the same story, with somewhat bigger numbers across the board. He also began to find a niche in romantic comedy:
The original Blade came along at a time when comic book movies were deemed “too risky”. The year before, a hat trick of comic-based failure consisting of Batman and Robin, Steel and Spawn all struck out at the box office. Marvel movies weren’t cool yet, so the first Blade was sold as a low-budget vampire movie rather than the adaptation of a comic book. Blade was a decent enough hit to generate two sequels and a TV series. Writer-director David Goyer clearly had plans to carry on the Blade franchise. In fact he seemed to be using the third Blade movie to set up a series of spin-offs. But instead, Blade: Trinity killed the series and ended up with everyone embroiled in a bitter lawsuit.
When Green Lantern hit the big screen this past summer, it was savaged by critics. So much so, that this super hero fan gave the movie a pass at the box office. Most fans I’ve talked to liked the movie better than the negative reviews would suggest. When I finally watched Green Lantern for myself, I wondered whether I would agree with the critical consensus or the general public. Now that I have seen it, I can weigh in that both groups are right.