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  08-09-2009, 12:19 PM
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Here's the uncut review that I submitted to superheroes-r-us.com ...

Without a doubt, all Green Lantern or DC Comics fans should buy and watch this flick on DVD or Blu-ray. A GL-centric movie is long overdue, and this is an admirable attempt to tell an entertaining story.

But don't expect too much...

After last year's Batman movie, The Dark Knight, I know that script writers are capable of crafting thrilling and rich superhero stories. Like many others, I am now spoiled, and will accept nothing less. For many months, I looked forward to the Green Lantern animated movie, my imagination running wild with the many stories they could tell.

The GL/superhero fan in me say "Buy it, watch it, love it". But the journalist/reviewer in me says "It's passable, but don't expect this sort of rushed storyline to work for a sequel." For comic-reading GL fans, it's going to appear to be a random mish-mash of past comic book storylines.

The fault lies primarily with the overused style of telling the intro/background story -- why is this a requirement of so many superhero stories? Can we for once assume that people watching/buiying already know enough about the past to not need yet ANOTHER re-telling -- how about an actual original story, or at very least a good re-telling of a non-origin story? The recent New Frontier movie already gave us the GL intro, did it really have to be done again just one year later?

Some of the story just seems poorly planned. For example, having Sinestro say "Your *** is mine" was not only unnecessary vocabulary, but unusual seeing as how that's an American English slang phrase, and Sinestro is from the planet Korugar! Did we really need to use the word "***" that badly? At least the moderate violence fit the story.

The artwork and voice work was excellent, clearly the work of respected long-time DC animation team members, such as Andrea Romano and Bruce Timm. Watching the names scroll across the intro of the film really gave me high expectations, most of which were met.

The bonus features were a mix of excellent and awful:

* Almost more interesting that the movie itself, was the inclusion of the never-before-released Duck Dodgers episode, "The Green Loontern". It's such a creative and fun stand-alone story, I loved it when it first aired, and I still love it now. This is honestly the one true "bonus" to the film.

* The Geoff Johns bonus was almost painful to watch, a confusing item that should have been left on the editing room floor. For the most part, it was an orgy of name-dropping, and it was almost uncomfortable to listen to the repetitive brown-nosing of business associates and industry personalities. And when the conversation would finally center on the Green Lantern character or universe, it was quite clear that Johns had neither seen or even read a script for the movie, making his comic-universe-based comments seem rambling and incoherent. Johns is smarter and more interesting than this, so it's sad to see him used this way.

* Content-wise, the other Green Lantern "movie-related bonuses" were flat. They simply lacked in substance, nothing much was said. The Guardians piece, for example, was little more than some fluffy comments and poor comics scans that lasted a few minutes before returning the menu. I don't understand what its purpose was -- it did not add to the product. It seems to exist simply for the sake of saying "hey look, our disc has 4 hours of bonus materials!" I actually want a refund on the time I spent watching this dribble.

* The comics scans used in the GL bonuses look to have been scanned with a budget consumer flatbed scanner, as the shots lacked in contrast. Attention DC/WB: There's this awesome Photoshop filter called NeatImage -- look it up, buy it, use it. Photoshop also has the nifty ability to do "auto levels", which can make the blacks black, the whites white, and the colors pop. The noisy and muddy images being used is inexcusable.

The sticker on the front of the disc package claiming "more than 4 hours of bonuses" seems so desperate. It's almost as if the packaging was finished before the disc, and they had to scramble to find 4 hours worth of material. It ranges from the mundane (more episodes of Justice League Unlimited), to the gratuitous (trailers for all DC cartoon movies from the past few years). I adore the Justice League cartoon, but I already have those DVD sets. The Blu-ray presents them in standard definition anyway, so it's not even an HD version (which I doubts exists anyway). The trailers were also interesting, but to claim them as a "bonus" seems to be a stretch. Let's be honest -- trailers are advertising to sell more DVDs/BDs, not a "bonus".

Speaking of resolution/definition, the Blu-ray version of this flick is probably wholly unnecessary. The only "details" I saw in the Green Lantern movie were in the starfield outer space effects in the intro and closing credits -- the 1080p probably doesn't make much difference during the movie. The credits didn't really seem to fit into the Green Lantern theme anyway, it looked more like a demo effect for NASA graphics software.

What really irks me about the Blu-ray, however, was the pitiful condition of the "movie related" bonuses. Not only were the videos standard definition, but they were were butchered into a poorly-deinterlaced mess. To the layman, this means the image had every other line of picture missing, causing the odd artifacts most seen in text and in the hair of the interviewees. A movie production company should not make basic video mistakes like a typical Youtube uploader! It was painful to look at. I have not seen the DVD version, so I wonder if the bonuses are the same or better.

Even with the many flaws, again, it was a decent attempt. I want a sequel -- better done, I hope -- so go buy yourself the DVD or Blu-ray copy today. It's worth the $17 (DVD) or $20 (Blu-ray) from Amazon, for the movie and a couple of the bonuses.
For the best prices and fast free delivery, get your copy from Amazon.com today:

Last edited by kpmedia; 08-09-2009 at 12:36 PM.
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