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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Chris Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery, Jay Oliva
Cast:
Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss, Kelly Hu, Arnold Vosloo, Steve Blum, Henry Rollins, Roddy Piper
Writing Credits:
Eddie Berganza, Alan Burnett, Todd Casey, Dave Gibbons, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi

Synopsis:
Six interlocking chapters weave together into a mesmerizing saga as Hal Jordan and members of the Green Lantern Corps tell stories of their greatest adventures to a young recruit, while awaiting a battle in which the fate of the corps hangs in the balance.

Box Office:
Budget
$3.5 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
German Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1
Castilian Dolby Stereo 2.0
Spanish Dolby Stereo 2.0
Subtitles:
English
French
German
Italian
Castilian
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
German
Italian
Castilian
Spanish

Runtime: 84 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 6/7/2011

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Co-Publisher Dan DiDio
• “Only the Bravest: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” Featurette
• “Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns” Featurette
• “Batman: Gotham Knight – An Anime Evolution” Featurette
Batman: Year One Sneak Peek
All-Star Superman Sneak Peek
• “Bruce Timm’s Picks”
• “From Comic Book to Screen: Abin Sur” Featurette
• “Beautiful… But Deadly – From Comic Book to Screen: Laira Omoto” Featurette
• Virtual Comic Book
• Trailers
• Bonus DVD


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: Emerald Knights [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 8, 2011)

With the title character about to make the leap to the big screen, the time seemed logical for a new direct-to-video Green Lantern adventure. And that’s what we get with 2011’s Emerald Knights, an animated flick that promises to help us “prepare for the upcoming film in theatres”.

Also touted as being from the live-action movie’s producers, Knights starts with the death of Ardakian Trawl, a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Her demise comes via the Shadow Demons, minions controlled by Krona, an evil being whose return spooks the Guardians big time.

Because of this, the Corps goes on high alert – and even means new recruits like Arisia Rrab (voiced by Elisabeth Moss) have to leap into action. Earth Lantern Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion) mentors her and tells her the tale of the first Lanterns. From there we hear more anecdotes about other Lanterns and their adventures as Arisia gets brought up to date.

The structure of Knights means that the movie lacks a consistent narrative. Instead, it follows a totally episodic path, as it uses various scenarios to introduce us to a mix of different Lanterns.

Since the big-screen Lantern won’t come out until a couple of weeks after my viewing of Knights, I have no idea how well it’ll help set anyone up for the former. It definitely leaves Jordan’s origin story for the movie – though I suspect most who watch Knights will already know it and probably saw the prior animated Lantern adventure, 2009’s First Flight.

This means we get a whole lot about other Lanterns, as Jordan does little more than offer a bit of narration. Oh, he gets into some action at the beginning and end, as the movie does try to use the Krona plot to form a general framework. Overall, however, Knights lives and dies with its vignettes about other Lanterns.

Since we get so many of these, they don’t receive enough time for much detail. We get some rudiments about the various characters but mostly find a lot of action. While a few of the vignettes offer a bit more depth than others, battles remain the focus.

If Knights plans to act as a primer to make sure we’re up to snuff on those characters when we see the big-screen movie, it’s not terribly successful. The brevity of the scenarios and their lack of substantial exposition means we won’t know a lot more about the various Lanterns than we would if we skipped Knights.

If viewed separate from the theatrical movie, though, Knights offers reasonable entertainment. The framework certainly ensures that we don’t find much down time. From start to finish, action dominates, so expect a lot of punch along the way.

While I usually prefer a movie with a consistent narrative, I admit that the construction of Knights has one benefit: if we don’t like one of the vignettes, we’re not stuck with it for long. First Flight offered one overarching story, and it was something of a bore. Some of the Knights sequences fare better than others, but even when they’re a bit slow, they don’t take that long, so they don’t wear out their welcome.

And they do ensure some pretty good action. We find a nice variety of situations that demonstrate the range of behaviors exhibited by the Lanterns. That’s one of the franchise’s strengths, really. While there’s only one Superman or Batman, there are scores of Lanterns; the comics just tend to concentrate on the human one. The fact that the series can opt to tell tales of so many different characters adds spice and lets us see a variety of circumstances beyond the same old same old.

None of this makes Emerald Knights a great movie, but it offers reasonable entertainment. I don’t know if it’ll help you enjoy the new Green Lantern film, but I suspect superhero fans will find fun in it.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Green Lantern: First Flight appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No problems emerged in this appealing transfer.

The only mild softness stemmed from the less than lavish animation; that factor resulted in wide shots that could be a little tentative. The many CG bits looked excellent, though, and overall definition worked well. I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and I also witnessed no digital artifacts or print defects.

Knights boasted pretty solid colors. Unsurprisingly, green dominated, and the transfer gave us good emerald tones. A mix of other hues showed up as well, and all seemed full and clear. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows showed nice clarity. Across the board, this became a consistently fine image.

I also found strong material with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. More ambitious than First Flight, the prior Lantern adventure, Knights gave us a consistently lively soundscape. It boasted nice stereo music and active use of the side and rear speakers. Battles brought the channels to life the best and contributed solid impact and movement. Quieter scenes also added a good environmental feel.

Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B+”.

With that, we head to the set’s extras. These launch with an audio commentary from DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and co-publisher Dan DiDio. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at character and story topics, connections to the Lantern comics and mythology, and cast and crew.

The best parts of the chat add to our understanding of the Lantern universe – or to my understanding, at least; it’s been decades since I actively read those comics, so I was happy to learn a bit more about the characters/situations.

Unfortunately, we don’t get that much information about the subject, and the rest of the commentary provides little to educate us about the comics, characters or movie. Mostly DiDio and Johns talk about how much they like the movie and how much they like the Lantern franchise. That’s really about it; we get very little detail about the project. It’s not an unpleasant listen, but it’s not a terribly productive piece.

Two featurettes follow. Only the Bravest: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps runs 31 minutes, 51 seconds and includes notes from DiDio, Johns, writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, The Hero’s Journey author Phil Cousineau, and UCLA Professor of Psychology Dr. Benjamin Karney. The show examines the concept of bravery and discusses it within the context of the Green Lantern series.

That’s an interesting – and potentially introspective – topic, and “Tales” does manage some interesting insights. It tends a little too much toward theory, though, and feels a bit like it tries too hard to make the Lantern comics more literary than they are. While we get some useful moments, “Tales” can drag.

Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns goes for 18 minutes, 11 seconds and features Johns, DiDio, and writer Grant Morrison. “Talent” concentrates on Johns’ impact on the Lantern series and various aspects of its evolution. This doesn’t give us a real examination of the character’s history, but it does offer interesting thoughts about recent developments. It’s a nice glimpse of the thought processes behind thee choices.

After this we get two Sneak Peeks. These look at Batman: Year One (10:47) and All-Star Superman (10:47). In the first, we hear from DiDio, co-directors Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu, executive producer Bruce Timm, voice director Andrea Romano, and actors Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku, Kate Sackhoff, and Alex Rocco. Superman provides comments from DiDio, Romano, Timm, Liu, DCE SVP Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck, and actors James Denton, Anthony LaPaglia, and Christina Hendricks.

Both exist as promotion and little more. Both are fairly effective in that regard, especially Year One, which should be really good. Nonetheless, they remain long ads, so don’t expect more from them.

Under Bruce Timm’s Picks, we locate two bonus cartoons. We find an excerpt from Batman: The Brave and the Bold’s “The Siege of Starro! Part 1” (2:37) as well as “Revenge of the Reach” (22:58), also from Brave and the Bold. I have no idea why the disc bothers to unclude the “Starro!” excerpt other than advertising; it introduces the episode and then concludes with the notice that we can buy Brave and the Bold on DVD. The clip’s inclusion here is a tacky tease.

At least “Revenge” provides a full episode. It concentrates mostly on Batman and the Blue Beetle, but the GL Corps plays a pretty big role. It becomes a reasonably fun program.

Next we find two From Comic Book to Screen featurettes. These cover Abin Sur (3:11) and Laira Omoto (3:52). These give us character overviews during which we see comic book panels and hear narration. They both achieve their goals well, as they deliver nice little summaries for both characters.

A Virtual Comic Book finishes the extras. It offers an excerpt from July 2005’s Green Lantern No. 1. By “virtual”, that means we see a series of still frames; these don’t let you zoom in and get a close-up look at the panels, so expect some of the images/print to be small. It’s fun to get a glimpse of the modern Lantern in the comics, but it’s frustrating that it’s just a tease and doesn’t include the entire issue.

The disc opens with ads for Green Lantern (2011 live-action film), All-Star Superman, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The Blu-ray also provides trailers for DCU Application and Matty Collector.

A second disc provides a DVD Version of Emerald Knights. This offers a barebones release, so don’t expect the same platter you’d get if you bought the DVD on its own. Still, it could be useful if you want to watch the movie on the fly.

Despite a strong narrative, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights provides pretty good entertainment. It tells a mix of short tales that vary in quality but often deliver fun and excitement. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture and audio as well as an inconsistent but generally positive set of supplements. Both the movie and the Blu-ray work fairly well.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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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