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Lauren Montgomery
Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer, Michael Madsen, John Larroquette, Kurtwood Smith, William Schallert, Larry Drake
Writing Credits:
Alan Burnett

Beware His Power.

When Hal Jordan first becomes a Green Lantern, he is put under the supervision of senior Lantern, Sinestro, only to discover that his so-called mentor is part of a secret conspiracy that threatens the entire Green Lantern Corps.

Box Office:

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 1.78:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 77 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 7/28/2009

DVD One:
• “A First Look at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” Featurette
• “From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie - Justice League: The New Frontier” Featurette
• “Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess” Featurette
• “Batman: Gotham Knight – An Anime Evolution” Featurette
• “Blackest Night: Inside the DC Comics Event” Featurette
• Trailers
DVD Two:
&bull: “Behind the Story with Geoff Johns” Featurette
Duck Dodgers Episode: “The Green Loontern”
• Green Lantern Corps Character Profiles
• Bruce Timm Presents Two Cartoons


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.


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Green Lantern: First Flight - Special Edition (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 27, 2009)

Oft forgotten among Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and the X-men, the Green Lantern gets a chance to shine via a 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, and 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. 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 DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C

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.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.8571 Stars Number of Votes: 7
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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