"Green Lantern: First Flight is an awesome film. It doesn't waste a lot of time on the origin (which takes place in the first few minutes) and heads straight to the action. Some people might see this as detrimental, but I like how the DC animated projects a lot of the time will just assume that you know the basics of what is going on. It saves a lot of time and allows the movie to start getting to the point.
First off, I was surprised at how brutal some of the violence was for this cartoon. I know that these releases are not necessarily tailor-made for children, but this is no JLU episode. People are impaled, shot, torn through walls into the vacuum of space, and there is pretty much non-stop fighting through most of the 120 minutes. I don't have any problem with that, but it might not be to everyone's liking.
Plot-wise, it's not Shakespeare, but we are talking about an action cartoon here. There is a hero, a villain and lots of cool use of the Green Lantern rings. Those were the only prerequisites I was looking for going in to this thing, and I was not disappointed.
The voice cast did a great job as well. If there is one thing that DC always does right, it is casting their voices. Michael Madsen as Kilowog was my personal favorite. Too bad he didn't have more voice time.
This might possibly be my favorite DVD project of theirs, which is saying a lot considering the fantastic Wonder Woman, New Frontier, and Gotham Knight DVD films. I sincerely hope they continue putting out quality releases like this one."
"In brightest day, in blackest night..." (c'mon, chant it wi
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 08/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the Marvel universe Daredevil is the Man Without Fear. In DC Comics that label falls to Hal Jordan, who shows no fear and brandishes a will of friggin' iron. I'm not one to be on Hal Jordan's jock but I've been reading comic books long enough to know just how much this guy's been put thru the wringer. Not only did he have to put up with Oliver Queen in all those socially relevant stories, but years ago Hal Jordan went insane and turned to the dark side - but having your city murdered under your nose might do that. Dude became a mega-supervillain called Parallax and wreaked incalculable devastation. Later, Jordan sacrificed himself and eventually took up the mantle of the Spectre, after which he came back from the dead (coming back from the dead being only marginally more challenging than chewing gum IF you're a comic book character). In DC's line of direct-to-video original animated movies, it's only natural that the spotlight first focused on the Big Three. But, after Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, I can see why Green Lantern would receive the next animated feature film treatment. Hal Jordan, whether home on Earth or patrolling the perilous spaceways, happens to be one of DC's all-time big guns.
GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT spits on the slow burn set-up and instead plonks you straight into the thick of things. Within the first four minutes of the film the dying extra-terrestrial Abin Sur crash lands and bestows his power ring onto dashing test pilot Hal Jordan, and Hal then becomes the Green Lantern of Sector 2814. There's barely time to acknowledge Carol Ferris and her Ferris Air company before the new Lantern is whisked away to a hellacious deep space adventure. Cue the non-stop action. Just one of the reasons I dig this movie.
Hal Jordan is transported to the center of the universe, to the planet Oa, home to those immortal blue midgets known as the Guardians of the Universe. The Guardians, creators of the Green Lantern Corps, don't think much of humans. Sinestro, the intrepid Green Lantern of Sector 1417, has to talk fast to convince them to allow him to take Jordan under his wing. So off Sinestro and Jordan go, on a mission to learn the identity of Abin Sur's killer.
But there's an even bigger situation brewing. For a while now the Lanterns had been on the lookout for any sign of the yellow element, the only thing powerful enough to counter the green element, which is the source of the Green Lantern Corps' power rings. I don't think I'm spoilering things when I say that Sinestro isn't as noble as advertised, that dude actually leans closer to finkhood than to heroism. Near immeasurable power has corrupted Sinestro, to the point where he now believes that the end justifies the means and has no qualms at all about torturing prisoners for information. He doesn't think much of the Guardians and disparages them every chance he gets. In his new world order, there is no room for these immortal blue midgets. Sinestro very easily lives up to his rep as Hal Jordan's archnemesis. As a bonus, for those who've been reading up on recent Green Lantern stuff, Sinestro eventually dons his black and yellow outfit from the Sinestro Corps. He looks darkly resplendent in a fashionably despotic kind of way.
I'm so used to Hal Jordan being the experienced pro that it's sort of refreshing to see him being the newbie on the block and getting that rookie treatment. You know you're lowest on the totem pole when even the squirrel Green Lantern disses you. Still, soon enough, Hal Jordan is doing his thing, kicking space alien booty, piercing thru conspiracies, and generally proving his doubters wrong. I don't know that Hal's use of his ring is all that inventive or imaginative, but, man, there is such decisiveness and flourish to the way he puts his ring thru its paces. Surprisingly, my favorite ring manifestation was that giant golf club, although, since I'm old-school, I'm kinda glad there's a sequence in which the classic gigantic green fists come into play.
The pace is poppin', the thrills keep on comin', but not so much with the character development. Hal Jordan is Hal Jordan, brash and resourceful and brimming with bravado, even as a fresh-faced rookie and even when his ring is stripped away from him. But Hal just rolls with the punches. Sinestro is the most interesting person here, although not too many'll be startled with his good-to-evil arc. Several old GL favorites make the cut: Boodikka, Arisia, Ch'p, Tomar Re, and one of my all-time favorite Lanterns, Kilowog. Gratifyingly, Kilowog is given a big role and even gets to mutter "Poozer!" a couple of times.
The film takes advantage of its PG-13 rating. I liked the violence, but then again I'm a fairly sick mo-fo. Others might raise an eyebrow to scenes of impalements, necks being snapped, and even of a ring's energy beam lethally punching thru a body. The animation is mostly solid, but is at times shaky, and there's that one bothersome sequence in which Sinestro's normally magenta complexion mysteriously shifts to a more human color.
But, never mind, the animators do the job in conveying on film that epic cinemascope vibe that comes with Green Lantern's intergalactic exploits. GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT doesn't quite achieve Justice League - The New Frontier (Two-Disc Special Edition)'s level of excellence, but it still places third on my list of favorite DC direct-to-video animated films so far (right after Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy)). The yellow element battery, created by the creepy Weaponers of Qward, looks impressive and menacing, and Sinestro's supervillain street creds are established when he almost dismissively takes out gangfuls (Corpsfuls?) of Green Lanterns. Again, this is a PG-13 picture, so characters actually die in this one, and sometimes quite horribly. Nothing says "Oh crippitycrap" like a shower of defunct power rings ominously klunking on the floor at the Guardians' feet. But, just when things look bleakest, check out who reclaims his power ring (no, it's not G'nort).
The special features are... okay. Disc One has: the widescreen feature presentation; the very promising exclusive sneak peek (7:49 minutes long) at the next DC Universe animated film SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES (based on Jeph Loeb's first story arc from the SUPERMAN/BATMAN comic book and starring the voices of Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, & Clancy Brown); in-depth featurettes on three original DC animated films JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER (10:43 minutes), WONDER WOMAN (10:25 minutes), and BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT (10:08 minutes); and a behind-the-scenes look (8:50 minutes) at Blackest Night, the DC Comics mega-event which resurrects the dead and has them wielding corrupted black power rings.
Disc Two has: Behind the Story with Geoff Johns as he discusses Green Lantern's mythology; the pretty friggin' great DUCK DODGERS episode: "Green Loontern"; Green Lantern Corps Character Profiles on Sinestro and the Guardians of the Universe; and 2 bonus cartoons from JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED: the very, very awesome two-parter "The Once and Future Thing," in which Batman, Wonder Woman, and the John Stewart Green Lantern pursue Lord Chronos and end up first in the Old West and then 50 years into the future. Hal Jordan shows up for a nano-moment in the second part, which I guess is enough of a tie-in to include the two-parter on this DVD. Not that I'm complaining. Watching GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT has got me all kinds of excited to see the live action film. Bring it, Ryan Reynolds!!"
First (Class) Flight for Green Lantern!
Joseph Torcivia | Westbury, NY USA | 08/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Green Lantern First Flight: Two-Disc Special Edition
(Released July 28, 2009 by Warner Home Video) Another Looong DVD Review by Joe Torcivia
With 1992's BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES, producer Bruce Timm began a roll of excellence in adapting DC Comics' characters and concepts to animation that continues unbroken to this day!
In GREEN LANTERN FIRST FLIGHT, Timm hits all the right notes, concepts, and character bits to create as perfect a Green Lantern film as could be imagined.
Everything is as it SHOULD BE. Test Pilot Hal Jordan is summoned to the crash site of the dying alien Abin Sur, receives Abin's Power Ring, and is transformed into Green Lantern! Little of the precious running time is spent on this well-known origin, and the transformation takes place between 3:45 and 4:10 of the film. THAT'S EFFICIENCY!
The balance of director Lauren Montgomery's film (again, as it SHOULD BE) is spent introducing the Green Lantern Corps, their masters the Guardians of the Universe... and the untidy matter of Sinestro. BIG kudos to writer Alan Burnett for working it all into little more than 70 minutes.
As a reader and fan of DC Comics since the Silver Age - and all phases since, both good and bad - I can say this film (Pardon) "RINGS" TRUE!
As is our custom in these reviews, we'll break it into CONS and PROS.
The Special Features: (For the "Two-Disc Special Edition")
There is NO COMMENTARY TRACK for Green Lantern First Flight.
There are "Promotional / Making Of" documentaries for OTHER DC Comics Animated Features - Justice League: The New Frontier, Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess, Batman: Gotham Knight, and a very welcome "first look" at the upcoming "Superman / Batman: Public Enemies".
...But there is NO "Making Of" or "Behind the Scenes" feature on Green Lantern First Flight! Couple this with the lack of a producers' commentary track, and there is little or no information on the film you've just purchased - though plenty of it on Warner catalogue titles. In all, there are NINE separate Special Features, and not one of them is actually about Green Lantern First Flight!
Credit Where Credit is Due: Much of the documentary material focuses on the current writers of the Green Lantern comics, Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. And, so it should, as they have restored the Green Lantern mythos from a long run of mediocrity to renewed greatness.
BUT, there is virtually no mention of those who created said mythos in the first place!
Artist Neal Adams makes a cameo along the way, but there is not one word about editor Julius Schwartz, writer John Broome, and artist Gil Kane - who conceived the whole shebang early in the Silver Age of Comics! The Corps and its specific members, the Guardians, the Central Power Battery, the Yellow Impurity, the Planet Oa, Hal Jordan, and Sinestro - and The Oath.
ALL of it sprang from the minds, words, and pencils of these talented individuals - but you'd never know it by the focus presented here. Even writer Denny O'Neil, who (along with Adams) revolutionized the Green Lantern concept at the end of the Silver Age, is among the unmentioned. DC Superhero projects from WHV have usually been good - or at least adequate - on historical perspective of the source material. But, not here!
The Film Itself: No more spoilers than I've already given, but... YES! Simply, YES!
The Cast: Christopher Meloni as Hal Jordan and (especially) Victor Garber as Sinestro make a great pair of lead cosmic adversaries. Michael Madsen, Tricia Helfer, and John Larroquette are nicely cast as supporting GLs Kilowog, Boodikka, and Tomar-Re.
And a very special treat for fans of sixties television! Among the actors voicing The Guardians are old stalwarts William Schallert and Malachi Throne!
The Characters: Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris, Abin Sur, Kilowog, Boodikka, Tomar-Re, Sinestro, and The Guardians of the Universe.
Green Lanterns in lesser roles: Ch'p, Arisia, Saalak, Arkis Chummuck, and the "Big Head GL". There are surely many more that escaped my enraptured notice.
Other villains include Kanjar-Ro (from 1961's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 3) and the Weaponers of Qward.
No John Stewart, Guy Gardner, or Kyle Rayner, as this is the tale of Hal Jordan becoming Earth's first Green Lantern. They would all come later.
The Special Features: (For the "Two-Disc Special Edition") Two features on the current Green Lantern comics - one overall and one specifically about the upcoming arc "Blackest Night". Though lacking in historical perspective (see the "Cons" section) they ARE very informative for those interested in being brought up to speed.
There are two "mini-features" - one on Sinestro and one on the Guardians of the Universe. Neal Adams gets the "line-of-the-day" in the Sinestro piece: "We had TRIPLETS. Here's BOUNTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, and SINESTRO... Who's gonna be the BAD GUY? Sinestro's gonna be the BAD GUY - I don't know why..."
Bruce Timm picks a favorite JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED episode that is tangentially related to Green Lantern: "The Once and Future Thing" Parts One and Two. Bruce T. KNOWS how to pick `em! This tale of Batman, Wonder Woman, and John Stewart Green Lantern vs. a wonderfully browbeaten, disrespected, and resentfully angry version of time-mastering villain KRONOS - takes them from the Old West (with Bat Lash, El Diablo, and Pow-Wow Smith) to the future of Batman Beyond! (Yes, Bruce Wayne gets to meets Old Bruce Wayne! Wouldn't you feel cheated if he didn't?)
And the Crowning Glory of the Special Features: "The Green Loontern" a 2003 episode of the DUCK DODGERS TV show, where Daffy / Dodgers' DRY CLEANING is accidentally mixed up with Hal Jordan's (Ring included!) and Daffy is summoned to assist the Green Lantern Corps with a Sinestro-spawned galactic crisis!
It took FOUR WRITERS to pull off this crossover masterpiece - Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone, and old WB hands Tom Minton and the great Paul Dini - and they wring every ounce of Daffy-esque humor and admiration for the Green Lantern concept from this script, as perfectly as could be!
If you thought the character list of Green Lantern First Flight was something, check out who they squeezed into this 22-minute marvel: Duck Dodgers, Eager Young Space Cadet, Dr. I.Q. Hi, Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Katma-Tui, Kilowog, Tomar-Re, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, G'nort, Arisia, "the Diamond Green Lantern", Saalak, Ch'p, Boodikka... and (in keeping with casting sixties icons to voice Guardians) John Stephenson - at his most regal and officious - as Ganthet!
DAFFY/DODGERS: Hey, you know... In person, you REALLY DO look like THE DEVIL!
SINESTRO: (resigned) Yes, I get that a lot!
DUCK DODGERS has yet to be released on DVD, making this a TRUE bonus! If ever a single Special Feature was worth the price of admission, this is it!
OVERALL: Green Lantern First Flight Two-Disc Special Edition is a rousing success in both the feature itself, and the extras. If you are a fan of DC Comics (Now - or Silver Age), the Warner Bros. DC Comics Animated Series - or are just looking for a great introduction to the Green Lantern concept -- Green Lantern First Flight is highly recommended!
3 ½ Stars: "EMERALD DAWN Collides With "SINESTRO CORPS"
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 07/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From Warner Brothers animation who gave us "Wonder Woman", "Justice League Frontier" and `Gotham Knights", comes DC's next direct to DVD installment "Green Lantern: First Flight". Directed by Lauren Montgomery with script written by Alan Burnett, the movie is a 75 minute ride in the beginnings of Hal Jordan as a member of the Green Lantern corps and incorporates several references in the story arc from "Sinestro Corps"collected in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps comic monthly comic titles.
While testing out a flight simulator in Ferris aircraft, Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) suddenly disappears in a flash of emerald light. Taken to a remote area where an alien spacecraft had crash landed, Hal becomes the recipient of a ring of power, since its previous wielder, Abin Sur was mortally wounded. Hal was chosen by the ring because of certain qualities but before he becomes the ring's true user, he must prove his mettle to the Guardians. Sinestro (Victor Garber) takes Hal under his wing in the hunt for Appa Ali Apsa (William Schallert) who was responsible for Abin Sur's death and who has found the yellow source of power. While in the quest, Hal and the other Lanterns (made up of Kilowog (Michael Madsen) and Boodikka (Tricia Helfer) finally uncover Sinestro's secrets; he intends to destroy the central power battery that provides power to the rings of the corps members.
Think "Emerald Dawn" and "Sinestro Corps", then you may get a general idea as to what the movie is all about. The direction and screenplay keeps the story moving, with a lot of ring slinging scuffles while touching on the certain character attributes of Hal and Sinestro. I liked the part where Burnett displays the differences as to how Hal uses his ring as opposed to the other members' methods. Hal uses bats, guns, springs to get the job done; one may say that Hal is more creative with the ring's uses as opposed to other members merely generating force blasts and force fields. It was a good attempt at human qualities being brought into exposition when compared to the other alien members. Sadly I find this development very hard to buy into, as we don't see Hal being the recipient of the ring's workings--no definitions of will power and imagination are explored, I found it hard to believe that a rookie green lantern would be more adept with the ring. I guess the filmmakers are relying on fans of the comic series to fill in the gaps.
The movie also has several plot missteps. The Guardians are supposed to be one of the eldest and wisest races in this universe; also they are powerful telepaths--yet they didn't think of using their abilities to probe the dead mind of Appa. (I am thinking that the telepathy of the Guardians is more potent than Xavier's). It was just too convenient for Sinestro to know what to do to find the Weaponers of Qward. Also, I find it unbelievable that the Guardians only had one attack up their sleeve and then they yield to Sinestro. Sinestro, alone with one yellow ring could undo the entire corps? Sure his power battery was sentient, and the rings were vulnerable to yellow but really, these are the corps members who supposed protected the universe? They all felt a little too inexperienced to me and the rules of the green central power battery felt a little too underdeveloped.
Now for the ultimate question: Does "Green Lantern First Flight" display good ring-slinging action? Yes, it does. The encounters between Appa's gang of bug-aliens and Hal were very entertaining. The final fight between sinister Sinestro and Hal is reminiscent of their encounters in the comic series, with Hal utilizing the power of the green central power battery (ala "Emerald Dawn") to use against him. The fight was well-choreographed with a good exclamation point. It was a great touch to have Hal move two moons against the yellow central battery. The animation is fluid and nicely executed, the style of the art is similar to other Warner bros. animated features; the layouts are also very spiffy and cool.
"Green Lantern First Flight" is good, it has that child-friendly quality but mature enough (there is some blood and death) to entertain the adults. However, this "first flight" doesn't serve up enough character depth, Hal's psychological profile is a key element in its mythos. The movie is a little hollow, and most characters just disappear from the screenplay a little too quickly. I supposed it was Lauren Montgomery's intention to keep the pace moving to avoid too much dialogue, but in the end, the movie felt a little too short and felt a little rushed; it relied to heavily for fans to fill in the gaps. I sure wished that the other familiar faces of the GL universe played a more active part in the movie. Kilowog was underused; Ch'p the squirrel GL provided some humor, and familiar faces Arisa and Tomar also make appearances.
Despite its flaws, I found "Green Lantern First Flight" a decent entertaining entry in the DC universe. It does portray "green rookie" Hal Jordan as a hero right off the bat and the movie has loads of action to dish out. I like John Stewart, Alan Scott and Kyle Rayner...but Hal is still the best ring-slinger in my book.
Batman once said: "The most powerful weapon in the universe and all Hal could dream of is a boxing glove and a flashlight?" Let's hope for a sequel...
Recommended! [3 ½ Stars]
Great start but a bumpy ride
Media Man | Minneapolis, MN USA | 08/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally Green Lantern gets the spotlight. While I don't consider myself a huge fan of the Green Lantern I was rather looking forward to this film. The story is a liberal take on Hal Jordan's (a human Green Lantern) beginning as an intergalactic defender. The movie was neither good nor bad and was entertaining to watch. Here are my thoughts;
+ Great voice acting with notable actors playing the roles of a few of the Green Lanterns.
+ Some adult oriented themes with minor blood.
+ Nice representation of Green Lanterns from other races across the galaxy (minus the Lantern that was a squirrel...)
+ Interesting back story of the Green Lantern organization.
- Not exactly true to the mythos which will upset true fans
- Seemingly omniscient immortal leaders of the Lanterns completely oblivious to Sinestro's treachery and villainy (Much like the Jedi are somehow amazingly clueless to the Sith menace, go figure).
- Typical silly Green Lantern ring powers abound that ruin the serious feel of the story for me. For example giant green fly swatters, golf clubs, fans etc... At times it felt like George Lucas injected his "family friendly jar jar binks" humor into the film so it could appeal to all ages.
A fun film to watch and great to see Green Lantern get some individual treatment. I just wish it would have been a little more serious and polished in some areas."