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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
- Sneak Peek at upcoming DC Universe animated movie
- Sneak Peek at “All-Star Superman”
Present several short stories in the Green Lantern universe through an animated film.
Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss, Henry Rollins, Arnold (motherfucking) Vosloo, Roddy Piper
Amid a threat to the universe, stories are told about the origins of the Green Lantern Corps, a powerful group of soldiers defending the universe since the (near) beginning of time.
With an all-star cast including fanboy dreamboat Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is really not bad at all. It’s divised as a pack of short stories set in the Green Lantern universe, some told by Hal Jordan to younger members of the Corps. Kilowog (voiced by Henry Rollins) and Sinestro (Jason Isaacs) tell a couple other stories.
There are 5 segments, told with the backdrop of a pending invasion. The first is about the very origins of the Corps, and the 4 beings that the first rings were given to. Kilowog’s younger days are looked at in his story, when he was being trained. The “Abin Sur” segment is the best. It is told by Sinestro and involves Abin Sur and Sinestro defeating and capturing Atrocitus. The difference between destiny (what Abin Zur believes) and luck (what Sinestro believes) are debated. I felt more of an emotional connection to this story than anything that inhabited the actual The Green Lantern film itself. This segment also alludes to the Blackest Night storyline trigger event. Also of note is the final segment, which features every Lantern banding together to defeat Krona, an evil anti-matter alien being who tried to eradicate all life once before. Using their powers to literally push the planet Oa towards him, this is the flashiest and most well-animated segment on the disc.
The voice actors are all great. Nathan Fillion as Jordan is good, of course, but the standouts are Jason Isaacs as Sinestro and Arnold Vosloo as Jordan’s mentor Abin Zur. Henry Rollins is Kilowog, almost unrecognizable since his voice is modified to be deeper. Elisabeth Moss (of Mad Men fame) is excellent as something of a central character, that being fledgling cadet Arisia who Jordan tells the first story (about the very first group of Lanterns) to.
Unlike some other animation compilations that have gone straight to DVD (stuff like The Animatrix or Batham: Gotham Knight) the animation is the same throughout each of the stories. I was a little disappointed by that. I certainly wasn’t led to believe that it’d be different based on those other titles, but it would have been cool to see some different styles, especially with different interpretations of the wide and varied outer space segments.
I’m a more casual fan of comics and superheroes than most. I certainly love these stories but I never read comics as a kid. Crazy, I know. I only began to truly discover comics after the age of 18. And since then I’ve bought tons of graphic novels at various points in the last 10 years or so. I don’t always flock to the superhero stories, though. I’ve always preferred the non-comics, the stories which weren’t about men dressed in tights. Stuff along the lines of Hellblazer or Sandman or The Walking Dead. Stuff like that. So my geek cred is a little questionable where superheroes are concerned, but I know a little more than basic stuff. That being said, I think these stories really come alive in the other mediums, off of the page, and have immensely enjoyed the comic book movies ever since X-Men really got everything started back in 2000. Now, every other big summer blockbuster that comes out is based on a comic book, and I’m fine with that as long as they are good. We had the big screen Green Lantern this summer and while Ryan Reynolds was pretty solid in it, and deserves a worthy sequel to star in, I felt like it was just a little too restrained story-wise and for all of its flash and outer space grandeur, I was just a little unattached to it at the very core.
Tangents aside, I felt the animation (aside from the final segment) to be a little lacking in this film. My PS3’s upscaling abilities may have faltered here a little, though if anything it made certain aspects of the animation look less fine than they should have. Rest assured, the animation isn’t bad by any stretch. It’s just that, my eyes have become all too trained to enjoy high definition, so maybe this would have been better for me in HD. But for me, I wasn’t blown away by what I thought was very bland, mid-90s animation. Which, of course, there’s nothing wrong with, but I guess these days I expect a little more flash and better looking textures, especially coming from a big animation mainstay like Warner Brothers. Plus there’s no Jordan origin story but that’s already been handled in First Flight from a couple years ago so I guess it wasn’t really necessary. You could do a lot worse than checking this out, but you’ll probably enjoy it more if you have a more solid understanding the of the lore. Which I don’t.
A ten-minute sneak peek for the upcoming Batman: Year One which looks remarkable. God damn that’s a great story. Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon is brilliance. There is another 10-minute sneak peek at All-Star Superman, which is already out. A couple other trailers, one of them being for Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. Bare bones, but helped greatly by the Year One featurette.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars