HTF BD REVIEW: Green Lantern - First Flight

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Osadciw, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    GREEN LANTERN

    FIRST FLIGHT

    Distributed by: Warner Premiere
    Film Year: 2009
    Film Length: 77 minutes
    Genre: Animation/Adventure/Science Fiction
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    Colour/B&W: Colour
    BD Specifications:
    Resolution: 1080p
    Audio:
    English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
    English Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles: English SDH (Movie and selected Bonus Material)
    Film Rating: PG-13
    Release Date: July 28, 2009

    Rating: 3.5/5

    Voices of: Christopher Meloni (Hal Jordan/Green Lantern), Victor Garber (Sinestro), Tricia Helfer (Boodikka), Michael Madsen (Kilowog), John Larroquette (Tomar Re), Kurtwood Smith (Kanjar Ro)

    Written by: Alan Burnett

    Directed by: Lauren Montgomery


    Hal
    Jordan was thought to be dead. After an apparent crash during a test flight, he was chosen by a dying space patrolman Abin Sur. Hal was chosen to be Earth’s next Green Lantern - the intergalactic police force with a set of ideas, philosophies, and traditions to bring order and peace to the galaxy. As Hal is recruited to the Green Lantern Corps, he is placed under the supervision of a respected senior lantern Sinestro. Sinestro has a tough attitude in the way he deals with issues and believes the current hierarchy is too soft when making decisions. Hal soon finds his mentor is actually a part of a secret conspiracy to shake up the ranks within the Green Lantern Corps. Hal sees the division within the corps from his point of view, and to maintain the current order in the universe, he hones his newfound powers to combat the treasonous Lanterns.

    This is the fifth entry in the DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 movies. Produced for direct-to-video release, I thought this was an entertaining piece that shouldn’t disappoint the casual fan. The characters are established within the 77-minute run time and the story moves quickly without being confusing. What would a superhero animation be without some superhero action? There’s plenty of it evenly dispersed throughout the film as Hal finds him place within the corps.

    Warner Bros. offers this Blu-ray disc with a digital copy and super-cool packaging. The BD case is in a cardboard slipcase that emphasises the Green Lantern Ring. As you hold the packaging, the ring and the packaging reflects light back in your eyes with a more intense glowing.


    VIDEO QUALITY: 4/5

    I haven’t had the opportunity to view many animation titles in high definition up to this point, so judging the image quality is a little new for me. First I’d like to say that this is a tremendous leap in clarity and definition over animation in standard definition. There are many who claim little difference between the two but I disagree. Encoding an HD title correctly results in cleaner edges, negligible compression artefacts, and wider colour space. Video artefacts that aren’t related to the original production are virtually absent. The animation looks very good! Image contrast is good and colours are typical of this genre; they are slightly muted in my opinion and are reminiscent of most of the cartoons I watched when I was a kid. When the colour really needs to shine (like the greens and the yellows) they do so with intensity but never appearing oversaturated for effect. The aspect ratio is 1.78:1.


    AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5

    The default audio track is Dolby TrueHD and I did not use re-EQ for this release. The audio didn’t appear excessively bright without the re-EQ application. I felt the soundtrack was a bit relaxed in terms of dynamics. There just wasn’t a whole lot of loud vs. soft sounds throughout. Most of the mix was at a similar volume level and then the visuals that should be loud only got moderately louder. I found that the explosions (just for an example) we rather weak and bassless. Surround envelopment was limited in terms of effects and volume. While there was ambience coming from the surround channels with the occasional effect, they sounded too polite and not engaging. This is not the title that you’ll want to try and impress your friends with. LFE is just the same – limited and less effective. Most of the bass is in the front channels and even then it is somewhat sparing. The gold (or maybe I should say green) in this audio production is the dialogue. It is very clean, clear, and almost completely absent of noise. It is surprisingly integrated well into the front soundstage mixing with the other elements quite nicely.

    TACTILE FUN!! 1/5
    TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: ON

    If you have a bass shaker of some sort attached to your LFE channel, there will be moderate rumble only. I think many of the fight sequences could have benefited from some bass. With some of the green contraptions Hal
    Jordan comes up with to smack his enemies with, some of it called for a good bass wallop which would have added to the tactile feeling of being in a superhero fight.


    SPECIAL FEATURES: 3/5

    As mentioned previously, Warner Premier has included a digital copy on the Blu-ray disc (not as a separate disc). It expires July 28, 2010, so be sure not to sit on it for too long if you intend on using portable devices for movie viewing.

    There are about four hours worth of extras on this disc, all in SD and 2.0 stereo. The feature selection font size is very small even on a 110” screen, so those of you with a 32” screen or smaller – good luck.

    • Behind the Story with Geoff Johns (8:41): In this feature, the New York Times best-selling writer discusses the mythology of the Green Lantern.

    • I Am the Ring (22:31): A look at the symbolism of the ring in literary lore (e.g. ancient stories, folklore) and how the connections were made when creating the Green Lantern. This feature is made exclusively for the Blu-ray disc.

    • Green Lantern Corps Character Profiles (7:41): Sinestro and the Guardians of the Universe

    D.C. Promos:

    • Exclusive Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Upcoming Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (7:49)
    • From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie – Justice League: The New Frontier (10:45)
    • Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess (10:26)
    • Batman: Gotham Night – An Anime Evolution (10:11)

    Cartoons:

    • Duck Dodgers Series Episode: The Green Loontern (22:22): Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers. He puts on a Green Lantern ring after a mix up at the drycleaners.

    • Bruce Timm’s Top Picks: Green Lantern: he’s selected 5 episodes of DC Universe’s Justice League cartoons.
    • Once and Future Thing, Part I (23:01)
    • Once and Future Thing, Part II (23:01)
    • Hearts and Minds, Part I
    • Hearts and Minds, Part II
    • The Return


    IN THE END...

    This is a good package from Warner Bros. The feature is entertaining, the video is good, the audio is on par with the average production, and the special features are generous. This package should be pleasing for fans and casual viewers alike.
     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    One of the better things about Wonder Woman was that there were several scenes that established her character and relationship to her native community before she ever dons the tights.
    MTV had the first four minutes of GL up to view, and it seems disappointing just how quickly they get the ring and the duds on him. From 0-60 in four minutes. It sounds like I've seen all the Carol Ferris thats in the movie at that point, as well as all the character establishment of Jordan - which amounts to ' I make a few swaggering quips in the face of danger'.
    Personally I never get the appeal when someone describes a story as 'not strong on character, but boy-oh-boy does it have some great action'. An action movie, if you don't bond with the characters, is a pretty empty and obnoxious experience to me.

    That said, I did order it this morning. I told myself that I just want to encourage the studio to keep moving ahead with these, hopefully moving towards bigger budgets and better animation. It's been a kick to see so many (good) live action films made, but for some properties I think I would rather see a high quality animated version done.
     
  4. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The Hal Jordan/Green Lantern origin story was actually handled very well in the Justice League New Frontiers DTV. It gets shorter shrift here, unfortunately, but I guess they wanted to get right to the action.

    Regards,
    Edited by Ken_McAlinden - 7/29/2009 at 12:50 am GMT
     
  5. Porfirio

    Porfirio Second Unit

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    The digital copy is not on the disc. You just get an insert with a code, and website address, so you can download it.
     
  6. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    After the Wonder Woman DTD, I am a bit disappointed in GL:FF. It certainly isn't bad. It's a fun watch with some nice action and a few humorous scenes. There is not a ton of depth. WW was a lot stronger.

    Still, worth a watch. Typically strong voice acting, good animation, and lots of love for the DCU.
     
  7. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    That's the reason why it was 'cut short' here. Two separate movies both dealing with the birth of the Green Lantern seemed a bit much according to the producers. So it really cuts to the chase in this one.
     

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