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.