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Lauren Montgomery
Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer
Writing Credits:
Alan Burnett

Test pilot Hal Jordan finds himself recruited as the newest member of the intergalactic police force, the Green Lantern Corps.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 78 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 7/28/2009

• “Blackest Night” Featurette
&bull: “Behind the Story with Geoff Johns” Featurette
&bull: “I Am the Ring” Featurette
&bull: “In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night” Featurettes
Duck Dodgers Episode
• Green Lantern Corps Character Profiles
• “Bruce Timm Presents” Five Cartoons
• “A First Look at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” Featurette
• “From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie” Featurette
• “The Amazon Princess” Featurette
• “An Anime Evolution” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Green Lantern: First Flight [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 11, 2023)

Oft forgotten among Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and the X-men, the Green Lantern got a chance to shine via 2009’s direct-to-video animated film called First Flight. A non-terrestrial representative of the Guardians of the Universe named Abin Sur (voiced by Richard McGonagle) crash-lands on Earth and dies.

The alien’s ring gives him powers as a Green Lantern. It chooses test pilot Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) as his replacement.

Soon after this, a few other Lanterns come to get him so he can meet the Guardians and find out if he deserves the privilege of being a member of the Green Lantern Corps. They’re not sure a human belongs among the Corps, but they give him a chance. Fellow Lantern Sinestro (Victor Garber) volunteers to help Hal learn the ropes.

As he trains Jordan, Sinestro also reveals some less noble plans. He feels the Guardians have become soft, so he wants to overthrow them and take over the Lanterns for his own nefarious ends. Despite his rookie status, it falls on Hal to foil Sinestro’s plans.

As a big-time comic book fan in my teens, I know that I liked Green Lantern, but then again, I liked pretty much all the mags of the time. Honestly, I maintain few memories of Lantern. I know I enjoyed it more than some of the real lesser lights – I can’t believe I even read Ka-Zar and Dazzler! – but the series never did a ton for me, and I really can’t even recall a ton about the characters or stories.

That makes it fun to re-experience the Lantern through First Flight, though the film does nothing to make me reassess my generally indifferent feelings toward the series. I’m sure there’s more to the character than we find here, but Flight introduces the Lantern in an only moderately satisfying way.

Memo to the Guardians: if you have a member named “Sinestro”, you should be able to figure out he’s evil. With a name that sounds so much like “sinister”, how can you be good? It’s not like he’s named “Teddybearstro” or something.

Sinestro indeed makes an awfully predictable villain. The best comic book baddies have some complexity or at least a quirk to add to their charm.

Sinestro feels like he’s straight out of some 1940s western. Heck, he even has a moustache to twirl. I half expected him to tie some damsel in distress to the railroad tracks.

Hal Jordan doesn’t get much better treatment, as the movie introduces him with virtually no backstory. We see him in a flight simulator and then bam! He’s a Lantern!

It’s reasonably fun to see him “earn” his ring, but we still don’t really get to know him. With his sassy attitude and wisecracks, he comes across as Peter Parker without the pathos.

In general, Flight seems pretty uninspiring. Partially due to the lackluster nature of its villain, the story never catches fire.

We get a serviceable “take over the universe” tale but nothing memorable. The cast of supporting Lanterns adds some spark, but not enough to help the flick succeed.

Add to that average vocal performances and stiff animation and First Flight ends up as a fairly lackluster superhero flick. Don’t get me wrong: it entertains to a reasonable degree. It simply never becomes anything particularly involving or dynamic.

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

Green Lantern: First Flight appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not a stellar transfer, it satisfied.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. Some shots suffered from moderate softness, but those instances weren’t severe. Instead, most of the film demonstrated positive clarity.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. 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 TrueHD 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”.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The Blu-ray’s lossless audio added warmth to the DVD’s track.

Visuals boasted a moderate improvement, as the Blu-ray seemed better defined and showed superior colors. This turned into a good upgrade.

The Blu-ray brings a bunch of extras, many of which promote other projects. 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, but this program remains nothing more than promotional material.

Another preview comes with the 10-minute, 45-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 product. It may succeed, but it’s still not exactly a stellar bonus piece.

Guess what? We find an additional ad via Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess. It goes for 10 minutes, 26 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, 11 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 discs, but it proves more introspective than most of its siblings, so it includes some moderately interesting notes.

During the eight-minute, 52-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.

After all that, we find materials actually related to the creation of First Flight - sort of. 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.

As implied by the prior paragraph, 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, 22-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” info under In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night. We find bios for Sinestro (4:01) and the Guardians of the Universe (3:40).

In these, we hear from Johns, Tomasi, and writer Neal Adams. They give us a little background about those characters in these informative clips.

I Am the Ring goes for 22 minutes, 31 seconds. It offers notes from DiDio, Levitz, artist Neal Adams, Our Gods Wear Spandex author Christopher Knowles, Once and Future Myths author Phil Cousineau, The Writer’s Journey author Christopher Vogler, Professor of Anthropology Sabina Magliocco, Superheros and Gods author Don Locicero, and Associate Professor of English Scott Kleinman.

As implied by the title, we look at the concept of the Lantern’s ring, its connections to mythology, and related domains. This becomes a surprisingly literate view of the topic.

Finally, Bruce Timm Presents gives us five animated Green Lantern episodes. From Justice League Unlimited, we get “Once and Future Thing” Parts One and Two (46:02), “Hearts and Minds (46:09) and “The Return” (23:05).

All these episodes offer John Stewart (voiced by Phil LaMarr) as Green Lantern and not Hal Jordan. They provide pretty solid adventures.

I believe a good animated Green Lantern film can be made, but First Flight doesn’t achieve that goal. While it provides a watchable movie, it never turns into anything memorable. The Blu-ray gives us pretty good picture and audio as well as a decent roster of bonus materials – albeit one with a lot of promo pieces. Lantern buffs might enjoy Flight, but I doubt it’ll win over new fans.

To rate this film, visit the prior review of GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main