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Green Lantern (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (2011) by Directed by Martin Campbell
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Home Video Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B004EPZ07U
Date: 30 November 2011

Links: IMDB.com / Colonel Rick Searfoss, USAF Retired / 'Green Lantern: Rise Of The Manhunters' videogame / Show Official Info /

As a youngster, my first exposure to the character of Green Lantern was to the Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan, a founding member of the Justice League of America. Then in the crossovers with the Golden Age Green Lantern, I was introduced to Alan Scott of the Justice Society of America, and then subsequently to the Guardians of Oa and the Green Lantern Corps. To me and many of my generation Hal Jordan was the definitive Green Lantern of Earth and Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner were pale carbon copies of Hal Jordan.

It was with great pleasure that I learned that Warner Brothers was working on a live action Green Lantern film starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. While the producers and screenwriters tried to cram too much content into the film, it was certainly what I call an action-filled popcorn movie. Rest assured that it was a special day when the courier arrived with my copy of Green Lantern (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy).

Directed by Martin Campbell

Writing credits (WGA):
Greg Berlanti (screenplay) &
Michael Green (screenplay) &
Marc Guggenheim (screenplay) and
Michael Goldenberg (screenplay)

Greg Berlanti (screen story) &
Michael Green (screen story) &
Marc Guggenheim (screen story)

Cast overview:
Ryan Reynolds ... Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
Blake Lively ... Carol Ferris
Peter Sarsgaard ... Hector Hammond
Mark Strong ... Sinestro
Tim Robbins ... Hammond
Jay O. Sanders ... Carl Ferris
Taika Waititi ... Tom Kalmaku
Angela Bassett ... Doctor Amanda Waller
Temuera Morrison ... Abin Sur
Geoffrey Rush ... Tomar-Re (voice)
Michael Clarke Duncan ... Kilowog (voice)
Warren Burton ... First Guardian
Salome Jens ... Female Guardian
Clancy Brown ... Parallax (voice)

Watching the promo for "DC Comics The New 52", I was reminded of why I've never been a fan of the reboots, dating back to the one in 1986 that made me stop collecting comics cold turkey. Talking to young comics fans at the recent Montreal Comic Con, I learned many of them don't care about buying a printed copy, preferring to read them electronically. Hopefully this latest reboot is not the death throes of DC Comics and they get back to telling wonderful stories again.

When it comes to the promo for Green Lantern: The Animated Series, I read that it was advertised as 'Only on Cartoon Network'. That may be true for the US market, but here in Canada, Teletoon has the Canadian rights and they aired the two-part premiere ("Beware My Power: Part One and Two") on Friday November 11, 2011, simultaneously with Cartoon Network. According to IMDB.com, Season 1, Episode 3: Episode #1.3 is scheduled to air sometime in 2011, with Season 1, Episode 4: Episode #1.4 scheduled for January 2012, and Season 1, Episode 5: "The Enemy of My Ally" is scheduled to air sometime in 2012. While I don't care for the computer animation and the fact that Green Lantern has a jaw shaped like a square shovel, I did find the two-part premiere entertaining. Keep telling entertaining stories and I'll keep watching.

Watching the promo for 'Green Lantern: Rise Of The Manhunters' videogame, I noticed that it was advertised as available on June 7th (2011). What I liked about it was that the characters look like well animated versions of the actors in the live action film starring Ryan Reynolds, a quantum leap beyond the computer animation in Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Watching it almost made me wish that I was a gamer. (www.greenlanternvideogame.com)

When I watched Green Lantern (Theatrical Version) and Green Lantern (Extended Cut), I can understand why they cut 9 minutes, 39 seconds from the the Extended Cut since it was not significantly superior to the Theatrical Version.

Maximum Movie Mode: "Green Lantern's Light" features the Green Lantern ring as your guide to uncovering the secrets behind the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corps. Unfortunately this feature requires a BONUSVIEW-enable Blu-ray player and I don't own one so I can't tell you whether you should watch it or not.

Focus Points

  • I really liked "The Art Of Green Lantern" because not only did you get to see the absolutely gorgeous pre-production art, you got to hear from the people who worked on it. It was an awesome featurette but not nearly long enough by half.
  • "Weapons Hot: The U.C.A.V. Dog Fight" was a second awesome featurette but once again not nearly long enough by half. Frankly I'm not surprised this dogfight scene took 8 months to complete.

    Two minor quibbles with the title of this featurette: First, if you look up UCAV in technical journals, there are no freaking periods in the acronym whatsoever. Second, in the context of aerial combat between two airplanes, dogfight is one word. Someone at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. really needs to do their homework!

    Rick Searfoss who played the 'Two Star General' is actually Colonel Rick Searfoss, USAF Retired, Astronaut/Space Shuttle Commander. According to his Johnson Space Center bio (http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/searfoss.html, "He served as pilot on STS-58 (October 18 to November 1, 1993) and STS-76 (March 22-31, 1996), and was the mission commander on STS-90 (April 17, to May 3, 1998)."

  • In "Reinventing The Superhero Costume", we receive an excellent behind-the-scenes look at how the Green Lantern costumes for Hal Jordan and Sinestro were digitally created using motion capture suits, as opposed to attempting to create the suits with the latest high tech fabrics. This time around I have no complaints here in the length of this featurette.
  • "Ring Slinging 101" is an interesting featurette which showed clearly how the filmmaking process is not simply a straight line from Point A to Point B.

    Another minor quibbles with the title of this featurette: In the books, the original source material, 'ringslinging' and 'ringslinger' are one word, not too. I repeat my earlier comment that "Someone at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. really needs to do their homework!"
  • All in all, "We Are The Corps" was a nice little primer on the Corps. Given that I stopped collecting comics in 1986, the only Green Lanterns I knew by name were Hal Jordan, Tomar-Re, Katma Tui, and Sinestro, but having seen the various animated series and features, I also now know Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Kilowog, Ch'p, and Boodikka, so it was so cool seeing other very unique members of the Green Lantern Corps.
  • 'Acting Under 10 Pounds Of Silicone' was another awesome featurette since it gave us a very close look at what it's like to be an actor under all the prosthetics. By the end of the film, Peter Sarsgaard was wearing about 12 pounds of latex on his head and the producers had to use CoreControl RTX Body Cooler, aka 'The Glove' to cool him down to a point where the latex headpiece would not separate from his scalp and slip or fall off.
  • "Guardians Revealed" proved to be yet another awesome featurette.
  • "When Parallax Attacks" showed us in this film how the producers have taken a few liberties with the character of Parallax, who in this version of the story was created as a result of the Yellow Energy possessing and corrupting Krona, portrayed in the film as a Guardian of the Universe.

"The Universe According To Green Lantern" was a featurette that really rubbed me the wrong way. I remember Dennis O'Neil as Denny O'Neil, half of the blockbuster team with Neal Adams. Watching this featurette, I am so very glad I missed the Powers That Be screwing things up royally and turning Green Lantern into Parallax in the books. Not only do I agree wholeheartedly with the many fans who hated this turn of events, I strongly disagree with the revisionist rubbish of Geoff Johns. I also detest the nonsense of the color spectrum of the various colored Lantern Corps (Yellow -- Fear; Blue -- Compassion; Red -- Rage; Orange -- Avarice; Indigo -- Compassion, and Violet -- Love).

"Ryan Reynolds Becomes The Green Lantern" is a decent enough featurette, but not my favorite.

Deleted Scenes

  • 'Hamster Scene' was a disturbing scene; good riddance to it.
  • Unnamed Scene #2 was a partially completed scene where you see that not all of one of the two wires supporting the motion capture-suited Ryan Reynolds when he flies has been digitally removed. The digital Tomar-Re appears and speaks to Hal and the motion capture-suited Sinestro but there is no audio for his voice, only sub-titles. Too bad it was cut since it probably would have advanced the story.
  • Unnamed Scene #3 shows a tender moment between a motion capture-suited Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris, probably cut because it did not advance the film in the mind of the director. Too bad it was cut since it probably would have given both characters more depth.
  • Unnamed Scene #4 shows a motion capture-suited Hal as he saves his nephew Jason from Parallax when Jason tries to bring his dog Slim in. Probably cut because it did not advance the film.

The preview of "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" provides a longer look at the two-part premiere ("Beware My Power: Part One and Two") which aired on the Cartoon Network on Friday November 11, 2011. A sneak peek if you missed it the first time around and an inducement to get the Cartoon Network if you don't already have it.

Warner BD-LIVE Unfortunately my Blu-ray player doesn't have this feature, so I can't tell you what treats await you. You'll just have to find out for yourself.

While this year's live action Green Lantern wasn't the best it could have been, it was entertaining enough. Given my longtime love of the Green Lantern comic books, for me the most difficult thing to believe was that Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively could possibly be test pilots. As superhero films go, I would give this a solid B-.

All told Green Lantern (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) is a must buy for a serious Green Lantern fan and a recommended purchase for anyone else.

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