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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Martin Campbell
Cast:
Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins , Jay O. Sanders, Taika Waititi, Angela Bassett
Writing Credits:
Greg Berlanti (and story), Michael Green (and story), Marc Guggenheim (and story), Michael Goldenberg

Synopsis:
In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite force of protectors for peace and justice has existed for centuries. They are the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of the Corps' newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).

Box Office:
Budget
$200 million.
Domestic Gross
$116.593 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Narration Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Thai
Chinese
Korean
Bahasa Indonesian
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Thai
Chinese
Korean

Runtime: 114 min. (Theatrical Cut) / 123 min. (Extended Cut)
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 10/14/2011

Bonus:
• “Maximum Movie Mode: Green Lantern’s Light” Interactive Experience
• “Focus Points” Featurettes
• “The Universe According to Green Lantern” Featurette
• “Ryan Reynolds Becomes the Green Lantern” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
Justice League #1 Digital Comic
• Previews
• DVD Copy/Digital Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Green Lantern [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 4, 2011)

In 2011, Hollywood got an unusual test of the strength of the market for superhero movies. From early May through mid-July, studios cranked out four flicks of this sort; that made 2011 the busiest summer since 2008.

One difference between the two years exists, though. 2008 came with some obvious heavy hitters. The Dark Knight featured Batman, arguably the most popular superhero of all-time, and the summer also featured high-profile flicks like Will Smith’s Hancock and the reboot of the Hulk franchise.

2011 lacked any obvious 800-pound gorillas in its superhero lineup. Batman, Spider-Man and Iron Man – the stars of the genre’s biggest hits - stayed on the sidelines and left 2011 to the so-called second tier heroes. Thor hit first in early May, and the X-Men followed a few weeks later. Green Lantern emerged in mid-June, and Captain America finished the season about a month later.

The summer’s first and final entries earned almost the same money, which I guess makes sense; both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger serve as lead-ins to 2012’s Avengers, so they’d seem to have similar audience bases. X-Men: First Class was the best-reviewed of the bunch and part of an already-successful franchise. However, it didn’t do great at the box office, as its $146 million made it the weakest earner of the series.

But not of the year, as the fourth summer 2011 superhero flick brought up the rear. Green Lantern made about $116 million, a figure that surprised me. I thought the movie had tanked, but that wasn’t the case; while $116 million isn’t a great figure for a summer blockbuster kind of film, it’s enough to keep the movie from being an embarrassment. (See the pathetic $10 million take of 2010’s Jonah Hex for an example.)

While the film’s gross might be acceptable, it wasn’t inspiring, and nothing about the movie’s reception indicated that the franchise boasted much future potential. Sure, X-Men: First Class didn’t soar at the box office either, but those who saw it tended to love it, and that creates room for growth. I get the impression that most who screened Lantern either thought it was okay or disliked it; I’m sure it has some big fans out there, most seem to regard it as meh.

And that’s where I fall, too. A prologue tells us that a race called the Guardians created the Green Lantern Corps to protect the universe. They use willpower – represented by the color green – as the source of their power, and each member wears a ring that allows him/her/it to harness the might.

An evil being called Parallax once threatened the universe, but the Corps – led by Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) – manages to stop Parallax, but only temporarily. Parallax eventually escapes and takes out a bunch of Lanterns with him – Abin Sur included.

With his last few moments, Abin Sur charges the ring to find its next host, and this takes him to Earth. There the ring locates Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a cocky – perhaps reckless – test pilot. The ring leads him to Abin Sur, who soon dies and passes on the power to Hal.

Who’s not sure he’s ready for it. The ring spirits Hal off to Oa, home planet of the Guardians and the Corps, where he receives some training and butts heads with Sinestro (Mark Strong), a top-notch Lantern and Abin Sur’s pal. He doesn’t think Hal deserves to be a member of the Corps and makes sure Jordan knows of his opposition.

In the meantime, governmental agents locate Abin Sur’s corpse and take it in for analysis. They recruit noted biologist Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) to inspect the alien and offer his opinions. As he does so, leftover energy from Parallax’s fatal attack on Abin Sur pricks his finger and infects him. This gives Hector special powers of his own and also opens a gateway for Parallax to attack the Earth. Hal needs to confront his demons and harness his strengths if he hopes to battle Parallax and Hector.

When I saw Green Lantern theatrically, I thought it was a perfectly decent superhero movie. Not great, not bad, but okay, and certainly better than the early, heavily negative early fan notices indicated.

Second viewings often offer a better indication of a movie’s true strengths/weaknesses as they come less burdened with expectations. Did the movie work any better or worse for me on subsequent review? No, not really. I thought it was mildly entertaining on the big screen, and it remained that way on Blu-ray.

Though I admit I find it tough to point out much that Green Lantern does particularly right, I also can’t spotlight much that it truly botches. Most of the movie comes across as perfectly decent and it rarely does anything that prompts the viewer to feel more passionate emotions in either the positive or negative direction.

The story? Serviceable, though a bit too muddled, I’d say. It might be too much to expect one two-hour movie to deal with the greater world of the Green Lantern Corps as well as the origins of one particular Lantern and a threat to the universe.

Admittedly, I’m not sure where I think the film could be cut, however. In terms of a satisfying narrative, Lantern probably would’ve worked best without the Parallax/Hector storylines; had it stayed with the structure of the Corps and Hal’s development, it could’ve been more satisfying.

However, this would leave the film without much obvious action or a challenge to test Hal’s training. Perhaps it would’ve fared better if it used the Batman Begins model: half origin story, half action related to a threat. Lantern mixes the two too tightly and it doesn’t develop either particularly well.

Director Martin Campbell shows a surprising lack of pizzazz here. He worked well with his two Bond flicks - GoldenEye and Casino Royale - and he also managed to make 1998’s Mask of Zorro a lot of fun.

Campbell’s usual sure sense of action and adventure abandon him in the fairly stiff Lantern. Maybe Campbell just couldn’t adapt to the movie’s heavy use of computer graphics; maybe he’s better with practical elements. I don’t know, but Campbell does nothing to turn this into an exciting superhero entry.

Lantern comes with a more than respectable cast, but they also seem buried beneath the effects and makeup. Reynolds is probably best of the bunch, as he manages a nice turn on the lead role, but the others underwhelm. Sarsgaard seems logey as Hector, and Lively offers a pretty presence but not one we take seriously.

Some of that may stem from my inability to suspend age-related disbelief. In the movie, Hal, Hector and love interest Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) are supposed to be the same age. In real life, the respective actors were 34, 39 and 23 during the shoot. I don’t insist that actors play their actual age, and I can sort of accept Reynolds and Sarsgaard as peers; Sarsgaard does appear much older, but I can swallow some of that as a character issue, as Hector’s a personality who would seem prone to premature aging.

When you toss Lively in there, however – a 23-year-old who looked 23 – then the casting loses points. If it becomes a distraction to see three actors on screen because we can’t accept their alleged ages, there’s a problem. My inability to accept them as peers didn’t ruin the flick for me, but it created an unnecessary distraction.

In truth, the biggest problem with Green Lantern stems from its blandness. This is a competent superhero movie but never a particularly engaging one. It feels like something made by a committee and lacks the life to develop into something memorable.

Footnote: stick around through the end credits and you’ll find a sequel-ready sequence.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A/ Bonus B

Green Lantern appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The transfer often looked great but lacked the consistent “dazzle factor” to get it to “A” level.

Sharpness was always quite solid. Only the slightest smidgen of softness ever affected the image, as the movie usually seemed dynamic and precise. I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.

Like virtually all modern action flicks, Lantern went with stylized colors. It tended toward teal – to partially reflect the title, natch – as well as some amber tints. These weren’t over the top, though, so the image was a little more natural than most of its peers, and the hues looked fine. Blacks were dark and full, but shadows tended to be a little thick; low-light scenes could appear a bit more opaque than I’d like. None of these issues caused substantial problems, though, so this was a “B+” presentation.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Lantern worked well. With all its sci-fi and superhero elements, the soundfield boasted many opportunities for good usage, and it took advantage of them. The action scenes utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner, so we got planes that zoomed around the room and space sequences with a great sense of involvement and place. The track kicked to life quite frequently and delivered a consistently winning piece.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. This was an excellent track.

With that, we shift to extras. The Blu-ray provides both the theatrical version of the film (1:54:00) and an extended cut (2:03:39). What do we find in the nearly 10 minutes of additional footage? The vast majority of the added material comes from a 1993 prologue. This follows the opening sequence that introduces the Lanterns and Parallax. In the theatrical cut, we immediately jump “six months later” to witness the renewed threat from Parallax, but the extended edition takes us back to 1993 to spend time with young Hal Jordan, his family and friends. (When the extended cut rejoins the theatrical, it states “Present Day” instead of “Six Months Later”.)

Some of this scene’s footage shows up in the theatrical version when we see Hal’s flashbacks to his father’s death. That sequence remains untouched in the extended cut, which makes the repeated shots somewhat redundant; yeah, they remind us how his father’s tragic demise left an imprint on Hal, but they don’t have nearly the same impact since we just saw them a few minutes earlier. The repetition doesn’t help.

It’s fun to see younger versions of the Carol and Hector characters, but otherwise, I don’t think we get a whole lot out of the added prologue. We figure out the issues and relationships via Hal’s flashback and other moments, so the 1993 sequence doesn’t add much to the story. Indeed, it probably slows down the tale more than anything else; it’s interesting as a curiosity but not effective in the final flick.

All of the other added material shows up in the scene where Hal goes to Jason’s 10th birthday party. We get a brief extension of the scene when he first arrives and then see more between Hal and Jason; Hal gives the kid a pep talk and explains how he feels when he flies. This is another fairly superfluous scene; it does add a little depth to Hal’s character, but I don’t think it delivers enough value for the time it occupies.

We open with Maximum Movie Mode: Green Lantern’s Light, an interactive piece. DCE Chief Creative Officer/Green Lantern comic book writer Geoff Johns acts as host and leads us through the Mode. It shows footage from the set, storyboards, character biographies, still galleries and interviews. We get comments from art department researcher Ozzy Inguanzo, production designer Grant Major, director Martin Campbell, prop master Drew Petrotta, visual effects supervisor Jim Berney, SPFX makeup department head Joel Harlow, visual effects producer Alex Bicknell, costume designer Ngila Dickson, SPFX makeup supervisors Richie Alonzo and David Dupuis, SPFX makeup artist Steve Buscaino, and actors Ryan Reynolds, Temuera Morrison, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, and Mark Strong.

The “Mode” looks at characters and story, vehicle, costume, prop and set design, cast and performances, and various effects. I’m disappointed the movie lacks a proper audio commentary; Martin Campbell contributed strong efforts for some of his earlier films, so I’d have liked a full two hours from him here.

Nonetheless, the “Mode” acts as a decent substitute. It digs into a mix of elements with reasonable gusto and keeps things moving pretty well. Some gaps between content appear, but these aren’t too frequent, and we get a good take on the movie and its characters.

Under Focus Points, we find a collection of eight featurettes. With a total running time of 46 minutes, 55 seconds, we locate “The Art of Green Lantern” (6:03), “Weapons Hot: The UCAV Dog Fight” (4:04), “Reinventing the Superhero Costume” (7:46), “Ring Slinging 101” (5:20), “We Are the Corps” (5:38), “Acting Under 10 Pounds of Silicone” (7:10), “Guardians Revealed” (6:10), and “When Parallax Attacks” (4:42). Across these, we hear from Campbell, Reynolds, Johns, Major, Dickson, Lively, Berney, Strong, Harlow, Sarsgaard, Alonzo, Morrison, Buscaino, creature designer Neville Page, illustrators Fabian Lacey and Justin Sweet, visual effects supervisor Kent Houston, previs artist Kyle Robinson, actor/consultant Rick Searfoss, visual effects producer Alex Bicknell, digital effects supervisor David A. Smith, animation supervisor David Schaub, producer Donald De Line, writer/producer Greg Berlanti, and actor Geoffrey Rush.

The “Points” look at the design of alien characters as well as various costumes and props, shooting the fighter jet scenes, sets and a mix of effects. This becomes a good combination of the creative and technical sides of the filmmaking process, so we learn quite a bit in these informative pieces.

Two more featurettes follow. The Universe According to Green Lantern goes for 20 minutes, 12 seconds and offers remarks from Johns, former Green Lantern writer Dennis O’Neil, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, DC Comics executive editor Eddie Berganza, Zero Hour writer/artist Dan Jurgens, Green Lantern Corps writer Peter Tomasi, creative executive Adam Schlagman, and artists Patrick Gleason and Doug Mahnke. “Universe” looks at the late 1950s revival of the Lantern character and the series’ development over the years. We get a very nice tutorial here, as the show covers the franchise in a satisfying manner.

Ryan Reynolds Becomes the Green Lantern runs eight minutes, 48 seconds and features Reynolds, Johns, Lively, De Line, Campbell, Harlow, and stunt coordinator Gary Powell. The piece looks at the Hal Jordan character and what Reynolds did to portray him. It tends to be fluffier than its predecessors – expect lots of praise for the actor – but it still offers some good notes.

Four Deleted Scenes occupy a total of seven minutes, 16 seconds. The first (2:37) shows the early development of Hector’s mental powers, while the second (2:10) views a chat between Hal and Sinestro after the defeat of the Corps. In the third sequence (1:01), Hal deals with Carol as he plans to stop Parallax, and the last clip (1:28) lets us see Jason and his family as they evacuate to escape the threat of Parallax. Most of these deliver exposition – and pretty needless exposition at that. The fourth is better, as it shows some action, and it might’ve worked in the final film.

Next we get a digital comic. It offers an excerpt from September 2011’s Justice League no. 1. This comes as part of DC’s “New 52” reboot and tells a story that starts when superheroes were a new phenomenon and the various biggies – Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, etc. – didn’t know each other.

The format zooms from panel to panel, which is good and bad. It’s good to be able to see the images up-close – a prior “virtual comic” made things too small – but all the motion means it can be tough to ignore panels before we’d normally view them.

As for the tale itself, we only get the first act of the comic. Green Lantern and Batman confront a threat and then go to find a mysterious, powerful alien in Metropolis – some guy named “Superman”. I’d never heard of “The New 52” until I got this Blu-ray, but I must admit Justice League #1 makes it look pretty awesome. Too bad the “digital comic” is just a tease and doesn’t include the whole issue.

The disc opens with ads for “DC Comics: The New 52”, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and the Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters video game. No trailer for Green Lantern appears, but we do get a Preview of The Animated Series. This clip lasts six minutes, 32 seconds shows snippets taken from upcoming episodes. I don’t know how good the stories will be, but the series’ computer animation is awful; it looks terribly cheap.

A second platter provides both a digital copy of Green Lantern for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This delivers a barebones package, so don’t expect any extras.

With this disc, the standard digital copy boasts some expansions. Green Lantern uses the “Ultraviolet” format. This means that you can still download it to your computer or portable viewing device like other digital copies, but you can also “instantly stream it from a digital cloud to many computers, tablets or smartphones”. Look, I only own a really old iPod and a primitive flip cell phone, so I don’t know nothin’ about the world of those gadgets. Will the Ultraviolet digital copy be a boon to the more technologically advanced? Probably, but I can’t say from personal experience.

While I’ve certainly seen worse superhero movies than Green Lantern, I’ve definitely seen many superior flicks. This one musters passable entertainment but never manages to become anything especially exciting. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture plus excellent audio and a reasonably interesting set of supplements. The Blu-ray’s a nice release for an ordinary movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 9
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main