Green Lantern: First Flight (2009) - Special Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Animation / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 77 minutes - $29.99 || July 28, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-07-21


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Lauren Montgomery
Writer(s): Alan Burnett (written by)
Cast: Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer, Michael Madsen, John Larroquette, Kurtwood Smith


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 9 Featurettes
  • Duck Dodgers Episode
  • 5 Animated Episodes
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

Warner Animated and DC Comics continues their onslaught of animated feature films (including Justice League: The New Frontier, Batman: Gotham Knight and most recently, Wonder Woman), they continue on with Green Lantern: First Flight, an animated movie that comes out at the right time as the live action feature film found its own Green Lantern in Ryan Reynolds.

Plot: When pilot Hal Jordan (voiced by Christopher Meloni, “Law & Order: SVU”) accepts a mysterious, powerful ring from a dying alien creature, it transforms him into a Green Lantern, one of an elite force of heroes who patrol the universe to ensure peace and justice under the leadership of the Guardians of the Universe. Unsure of their newest recruit, the Guardians assign Hal to their most-honored Green Lantern Sinestro (voiced by Victor Garber, “Alias”) for training, unaware that Sinestro wants to overthrow the Guardians and create a new order he’ll control. It’s a battle of might and willpower as Hal must prove his worth by defeating Sinestro to save the Green Lantern Corps.

Like Wonder Woman, I’m not too familiar with the ‘Green Lantern’ comic book series, though I have heard of previous Lantern’s like Jon Stewart, Guy Gardner, etc; but for the most part this is my first real foray into the character. And for the most part, I enjoyed what I saw in First Light, despite a few issues with the story and pacing.

First – and perhaps this is faithful to the comic book or a way to streamline the story – I had a hard time accepting that Hal could almost immediately be able to wield the power of the ring with little problem: he’s able to fly and make amazing shapes out of the ring’s energy. At the same time, I also can’t see why the film needed a training sequence either so maybe this was the best path for the story overall especially since the movie doesn’t pick up speed until the midway point towards a great finale.

Green Lantern: First Flight is an all around entertaining movie, this coming from someone who generally tends not to appreciate animated films. The voice talents are all great from Christopher Meloni to Victor Garber to Michael Madsen in a small role (his sister, Virginia Madsen provided her voice in Wonder Woman), they all sound great for their parts. It’s hard to really judge voice talent work outside of the some of the classic talents like Mel Blanc and, more recently, Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman in several animated series).

The animation style is on par with previous animated DC Universe movies which, while nothing outstanding, still look great. It’s obviously a step up from your standard Saturday morning cartoons though I will always appreciate what Bruce Timm and the animators did with “Batman: The Animated Series”. But as I said, it’s not bad at all for 2-D animation...

Overall, First Flight has some great action, a compelling story (the old mentor turned villain never goes old – see: Batman Begins or Training Day) and some great voice work making this perhaps the best so far from DC Universe’s Animated Movie line. As I said, I’m not really familiar with the comic book so even novices can still enjoy it as much as fans so if you already have the other releases, you can easily add this to your collection.

On a side note: If your name is Sinestro aren’t you casting your lot to being a villain? Why couldn’t the Guardians see that one coming?



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in 480i/p standard definition.

BEHIND THE STORY:
Green Lantern: Behind the Story with Geoff Johns (8:41) – The New York Times bestselling writer, who was responsible for reintroducing Hal Jordan to the “Green Lantern” comic book, reveals what it takes to capture the classic “Green Lantern” in writing. This is an interesting featurette about the rebirth of the Hal Jordan character and what makes him so appealing. Johns also explains the people he’s worked with on the comic book and what he loves about the “Green Lantern” characters.

I Am the Ring (22:31) – How the ring thematically is steeped in tradition from ancient stories and how the comic book writers perpetuated the lore with new found popularity in the form of “Green Lantern”. Slow paced documentary on the mythology of certain stories such as King Arthur and his sword, Harry Potter and his wand, etc. and comparing them with Hal Jordan and the ring. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

In the Brightest Day, In Blackest Night: The Green Lantern Corps is split into two separate featurettes. The first covers Sinestro (4:01), the personification of the greatest Green Lantern... gone bad; and The Guardians of the Universe (3:40) where you discover their significance in the Green Lantern universe.

EXTRAS:
A First Look at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (7:49) – As a Batman fan, I’m eagerly awaiting this release so while this is just a promotional featurette, it’s well worth watching for fans. It’s kind of like the featurette included on the Wonder Woman release promoting Green Lantern: First Flight. Coming Fall 2009.

Blackest Night: Inside the DC Comics Event (8:52) – Concluding the trilogy of “Green Lantern: Rebirth” and “The Sinestro Corps War” comes Geoff Johns’ eagerly anticipated storyline “Blackest Night”. This gives a sneak peek at the newest “GL” storyline from Johns himself.

The last couple of featurettes were already included on previous DC Universe Animated Movies: From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie – Justice League: The New Frontier (10:45), Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess (10:26) and Batman: Gotham Knight – An Anime Evolution (10:11). Not saying these aren’t worth checking out, but if you already own the other Blu-rays or DVDs, you probably have already seen them. Of course, there’s nothing wrong including them either...

Finally there are some animated episodes beginning with Duck Dodgers “The Green Loontern” (22:22) and followed by five episodes featuring Green Lantern chosen by Bruce Timm.

And we can't forget our good friend, the digital copy!



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Green Lantern: First Flight is presented in 1080p high-definition with a 1.78 aspect ratio (on a 25GB Blu-ray disc, VC-1 codec) and looks excellent in HD. Now, there are banding issues with some of the solid colors (blues and purples IIRC) where it was most obvious. Banding aside, the picture does otherwise look perfect and on par with other 2-D animated movies from the studio. Colors look bright and vibrant especially the numerous amounts of greens and yellows and black levels look nice.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is less impressive, however. Compared with other tracks, it’s not too bad, but I wasn’t blown away either. The score probably gets the most use out of the lossless track and dialogue sounds fine, but the action sequences don’t make use out of every channel. My rear speakers weren’t exactly on overdrive and even the bass was at times a bit soft. That said, it’s a suitable track, just not the best I’ve heard from Warner.



.::OVERALL::.

The Green Lanter: First Flight Blu-ray release has some OK features, strong visuals and acceptable lossless audio. The movie is probably the best of the DC Universe Animated Movies has released yet.