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In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite, powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).

Green Lantern
Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal's humanity is one weapon no member of the Corps has ever had, and if--with willpower, determination and the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively)--Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he will save the Earth and all of mankind from certain destruction.

Since I was young I've been more of a fan of Marvel's collective universe over the DC Comics one. Besides the obvious characters such as Spider-Man and The Hulk my favorite stories were always the more space-based books such as ROM: Spaceknight, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, and The Silver Surfer and about ten years ago I really got into reading Green Lantern on a regular basis. When I was a kid my only exposure to the Green Lantern was watching the character on the Saturday morning cartoons, and he was always 'the guy with the ring that could do cool stuff' and not much more. I got more interested in the character and the mythology after the title was relaunched several years ago and more focus was placed on the Green Lantern Corps and the myriad of aliens and cosmic adventures that would follow. As far as I was concerned DC finally had a character and story that could easily sit along side my Marvel favorites. I'd been looking forward to the film version of Green Lantern since it was announced, and was anticipating it more than the three Marvel produced films that were also released this summer that it would inevitably be compared to.
 
I really wanted to like Green Lantern, but it's a lot like watching a friend attempt cartwheels while on a treadmill--there's a lot going on and it looks kind of exciting at first but ends up being a clumsy exercise that goes nowhere fast. Over the years I've come to terms with the fact that all of these comic movies are adaptations and aren't always going to follow the years and years of established characters and stories, so the alterations here to the established Green Lantern mythos didn't bother me as much as it might others. No, what annoyed me was that my knowledge of the comic was a major detriment to my enjoyment of the movie simply because it was much easier to see what little the filmmakers did with the source material they were given.

Green Lantern
Hal Jordan spends too much time rocketing back and forth between Earth and the Green Lantern Corps home, Oa, spending too much time on the former and not enough on the latter. I really enjoyed the space-based portions of the movie and the various members of the Corps, but these portions of the movie never seem to last long enough and these otherworldly characters are never really given time to do anything other than chant how great and invincible they all are. What we're primarily left with on Earth is a bland love story between Reynold's Hal Jordan and Lively's Carol Ferris and Hector Hammond's (Peter Sarsgaard) daddy issues and transformation into the main villain's ultimately useless lackey. There's a few of other human characters, including Tim Robbins as Hector's Senator father, but they're all just filler material not integral to the plot of Hal's origins as Earth's first Green Lantern and bog down the story further.

That being said the movie isn't exactly a chore to sit through and the special effects are pretty decent throughout most of the running time, but it's a shame that the movie isn't more fun than what it is. Even though I got the feeling I was watching Ryan Reynolds the actor and not the character of Hal Jordan, Reynolds is very likable here and Mark Strong brings a conviction to his performance as Sinestro that overcomes the shortcomings of the scripted character, though it isn't enough to save the clumsy way in which the writers chose to conclude his character's story arc during the credits.

I was hoping that the extended cut of Green Lantern included with this two-disc set would help fix the Earth based portions of the film and alleviate the the issues I had with the editing not allowing a bit of breathing room and some jarring transitions between scenes, but the bulk of the additions are a flashback to Hal's childhood that were either referenced with greater economy or alluded to in the theatrical version so those looking for a bit more are going to be disappointed. The few big set pieces still feel like a series of special effects rather than proper action scenes, the Green Lantern Corps characters aren't given any more screen time and the movie's big baddy, Parallax (voiced by an unrecognizable Clancy Brown), is still underdeveloped and uninteresting. Speaking of which, did the filmmakers not learn from Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer that an amorphous cloud doesn't make for a good villain?

Green Lantern
Video
Warner's release of Green Lantern on Blu-ray delivers a 1080p, AVC encoded transfer at an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, and the resulting video presentation is very close to what I experienced in the theater this past summer while taking in a 2D showing which could be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing. The film was a bit darker than what I had expected and it had an overly processed (i.e. DNR) look in the theater, and for better or worse the Blu-ray retains much of what I experienced. I can't help thinking that perhaps the 2D version was altered to conform with what would have been a dimmer 3D presentation, but I hope I'm just reading too much into it. While I can respect that it more or less is the theatrical presentation, I wasn't exactly a fan of how it looked in the theater either with the contrast and brightness levels dimming the overall picture and was hoping for some sort of small tweaks to the home video presentation which might have given the colors a bit more pop. Otherwise the video is pretty decent and free of anomalies that might otherwise pop up in older or lower budget presentations such as artefacting, aliasing and debris from the source print appearing while black levels are consistent. Overall Green Lantern looks very good but not great on Blu-ray, especially when held up to the standard of other films from the past summer already released on home video.

Green Lantern
Audio
Green Lantern may not have set the box office on fire this summer, but the included DTS-HD Master Audio track has blockbuster written all over it. The track makes great use of the surround and LFE channels while Hal soars through the galaxy and battles it out with his foes on Earth, but it doesn't come as a detriment to the dialogue and smaller effects that are crystal clear throughout. Even though I'm not a big fan of scores that mix the orchestral with guitars and drum loops such as this one, James Newton Howard's music is well represented too. Overall the audio is excellent, demo worthy material even if the accompanying movie isn't exactly up to the same standard.

Green Lantern
Extras
Fans of either the picture or the Green Lantern comics should be pleased with the assortment of high definition extras that Warner has supplied with the inclusion of both theatrical and extended version of Green Lantern on Blu-ray. First up is an informative Maximum Movie-Mode (available on the theatrical version only) hosted by DC Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer and Green Lantern comic writer Geoff Johns that features plenty of cast and crew interviews, trivia and background information on the characters in the film, which the bulk of can also be accessed outside the movie from the disc's special features menu. Another featurette, 'The Universe According to Green Lantern', goes into greater detail about the character, his origins and journey though the years with interviews from Green Lantern artists and writers as well as fans.

Also included is an interview with Ryan Reynolds on becoming the Green Lantern and and around seven-minutes of unfinished, deleted scenes that might be of interest. Rounding out the package is a digital comics version of the recently released Justice League #1 and a preview of the upcoming Green Lantern: The Animated Series. The two-disc package also includes a Sinestro Corp Batman skin for the Playstation 3 version of the upcoming video game Batman: Arkham City and a DVD copy of film along with an UltraViolet digital copy. UltraViolet is a new form of digital copy which allows users to download a digital copy to their PC or Mac and have a copy kept in cloud storage that can be streamed through multiple devices.

Green Lantern
Overall
Green Lantern isn't the movie I was hoping for earlier this year before it's theatrical release, but it also wasn't the worst of this past summer's supposed blockbusters either. A couple of good performances and some decent special effects can't fix the pacing issues, dull characters, underdeveloped villain, and the fact that a lot of what has made the Green Lantern an interesting read over the past decade or so wasn't translated well to the screen. Warner Home Video's Blu-ray release of the film features a good video transfer to go along with an excellent audio track and some nice extras for the fans.

*Note: The images on this page were taken from the standard definition DVD and are not representative of the Blu-ray image quality.


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