The release of Green Lantern is almost upon us, bringing one of the most anticipated, debated, doubted and risky projects of the summer 2011 movie season. With all the money DC/Warner Bros. has invested in making director Martin Campbell’s CGI-heavy sci-fi superhero tale, it’ll be interesting to see if the studio is successful in launching their second-tier hero into the mainstream. With Harry Potter bowing out of theaters this summer, the stakes have never been higher.

Thankfully, the latest Green Lantern trailers have been much improved over the original teaser trailer, and recent TV spots, featurettes and images have all evidenced an increasingly good-looking film. But as any savvy moviegoer knows, promotional materials can be (and often are) misleading. The real test of a movie is how it actually plays in context and sequence.

Today we have 8 new clips from Green Lantern, each about a minute long, giving viewers a thorough look at snippets of the film from start to climax. The clips do a good job at teasing just about every aspect of the film fans are curious and/or worried about:  Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s chemistry as Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris; the CGI alien ranks of the Green Lantern Corps and the Planet Oa; the fear entity known as Parallax, and how Hal Jordan slings his ring in battle.

Normally I’m not one to watch a bunch of clips that give away alot of a movie before I see it – but in this case I am just too curious about how this film has come together. I’m betting that more than a few of you out there are as well.

Check out 8 minutes of Green Lantern below. We’ve put them in as close to sequential order as we can without having seen the film:

Seeing these clips settles a lot of issues for me. The Green Lantern costume effects are much improved, while the ring effects are just downright awesome in battle. Ryan Reynolds IS Hal Jordan – no doubt about it, he was the right choice. Blake Lively isn’t as bad as I worried. The Green Lantern Corps look pretty good. Mark Strong’s Sinestro may be the best comic book character performance of the summer. Even the music score is fittingly epic and moving. Overall, this film looks like a superhero origin tale that will actually transcend the genre to become a bonafide great cinematic adventure.

I officially mark this down as the moment I switched from looking forward to this film with worry and slight dread, to looking forward to this film with genuine excitement. Considering that some early reviews of the movie also paint it as a good experience, and it seems that Green Lantern is now poised to be a big score for DC/Warner Bros. Probably why we picked it as our winner of the 2011 Superhero Movie Showdown.

We’ll find out for certain if we were on the money next week, when Green Lantern hits theaters (in 3D) on June 17th, 2011.

Sources: Warner Bros. via HitFix & Mr. Superhero Movie Fan