Green Lantern: First Flight appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While not a stellar transfer, it satisfied.
For the most part, sharpness looked good. Some wider shots suffered from moderate softness, but those instances weren’t severe. Instead, most of the film demonstrated positive clarity. Only minor instances of shimmering and jaggies appeared, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws remained absent.
Flight 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. Really, only the occasional bouts of softness detracted from an otherwise fine presentation.
I thought the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Flight opened up the comic book material well. This wasn’t a particularly ambitious piece, but it added pizzazz to the program. The forward channels brought out the majority of the material. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material. These instances mainly occurred during storms or bigger action scenes. The back speakers brought out a nice sense of space and environment.
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”.
Though billed as a two-disc Special Edition, Flight underwhelms in terms of supplements, partially because so many of them take a promotional bent. A First Look at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies for for seven minutes, 49 seconds and provides notes from DC Comics SVP Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck, executive producer Bruce Timm, script writer Stan Berkowitz, director Sam Liu, voice/casting director Andrea Romano, and actors Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Xander Berkeley, LeVar Burton, John C. McGinley and Clancy Brown. They tell us a little about the production and performances, but mostly they just tell us about the story and how great it’ll be. Actually, Enemies does sound good – I’ll screen the DVD – but this program remains nothing more than promotional material.
Another preview comes with the 10-minute, 44-second From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie - Justice League: The New Frontier. It features Noveck, Timm, Romano, Berkowitz, DC Comics president and publisher Paul Levitz, executive producer Sander Schwartz, writer/artist Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics editorial art director and editor Mark Chiarello, producer Mike Goguen, DC Comics Senior VP/Executive Editor Dan Didio, and director David Bullock. Like the Enemies featurette, this one makes the product look fun. Like the Enemies featurette, this one exists solely to sell DVDs. It may succeed – again, it’s piqued my interest enough to probably prompt me to review Frontier - but it’s still not a exactly stellar DVD extra.
Guess what? We find an additional ad via Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess. it goes for 10 minutes, 25 seconds and includes Levitz, Didio, Noveck, Timm, director Lauren Montgomery, writer Michael Jelenic, and actors Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson and Virginia Madsen. The show looks at the roots of Wonder Woman and aspects of the movie. It actually has a little more concrete info than its predecessors, but it remains promotional in nature.
Batman: Gotham Knight – An Anime Evolution lasts 10 minutes, eight seconds and presents remarks from Didio, Levitz, Noveck, Timm, Batman writer/editor Denny O’Neil, and writer Josh Olson. This one looks at how Gotham Knight will adapt Batman for the Japanese anime feel. Again, it appears here to sell DVDs, but it proves more introspective than most of its siblings, so it includes some moderately interesting notes.
During the eight-minute and 51-second Blackest Night: Inside the DC Comics Event, we hear from Didio, writers Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, Golden Apple Comics GM Ryan Liebowitz, and Golden Apple Comics clerk Mike Phlaumer. Yes, it’s another promo. Like the others, it’s watchable but it doesn’t deliver much more than advertising.
A few ads open DVD One. We get clips for Wonder Woman and Smallville. The Trailers area also includes promos for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ben 10 Alien Force, Bakugan and Batman: Gotham Knight.
Over on DVD Two, we actually find extras – gasp! – related to First Flight. Behind the Story with Geoff Johns goes for eight minutes, 41 seconds and features Johns as he discusses the Lantern series and his work in comics. I thought “Story” would offer details about the movie, but it really doesn’t look at Flight. It’s interesting to learn a little more about the Lantern and Johns, but the show is too general to be memorable.
A Lantern spoof shows up with a Duck Dodgers Episode. Called “The Green Loontern”, the 22-minute and 21-second program pairs Daffy Duck’s “Duck Dodgers” character with the suit and ring of the Lantern. It provides decent amusement.
Next we get some Green Lantern Corps Character Profiles. We find bios for Sinestro (4:01) and the Guardians of the Universe (3:39). In these, we hear from Johns, Tomasi, and writer Neal Adams. They give us a little background about those characters in these informative clips.
Finally, Bruce Timm Presents Two Cartoons. The executive producer introduces us to two Lantern tales: “Once and Future Thing” Parts One and Two. Together, these run 45 minutes, 58 seconds. They come from the Justice League Unlimited series and feature a different Lantern: here the character of dshkadhsa wears the ring. A physics professor learns how to travel through time, and he uses this ability to “borrow” historical items. He ends up at Justice League headquarters and escapes through time when the Leaguers pursue him. This sends the Lantern, Batman and Wonder Woman back to the Old West, and after that, they head to the future.
Because it features the Lantern – albeit a non-Hal Jordan one – I guess the inclusion of these shows makes sense on this disc. “Future” actually proves to be substantially more entertaining than Flight itself, as it shows a sense of cleverness and charm essentially absent from the main feature. At the very least, it makes me curious to see more of the Unlimited series.
I’m sure a good animated Green Lantern film can be made, but First Flight doesn’t achieve that goal. While it provides a watchable movie, it doesn’t turn into anything memorable. The DVD gives us pretty good picture and audio, but the extras are mediocre, mostly because so many of them exist for promotional purposes. Lantern fans might enjoy Flight, but I doubt it’ll win over new fans.