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DVD Shopping Bag: Green Lantern First Flight Thoughts

An Origin Story of Sorts

By Robert T. Trate     July 28, 2009


DC Universe’s Green Lantern: First Flight arrives on DVD and Blu-ray
© Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

 

Warner Brothers has been cranking out the DC Universe animated films with incredible results. They have tackled the likes ofDarwyn Cooke’s incredible comic JusticeLeague - The New Frontier (see review) and re-launched Wonder Woman (see review) into the new millennium. Batman - Gotham Knight (see review) and Superman Doomsday (see review) on the other hand have been decent but didn’t surpass expectations. Unfortunately, Green Lantern: First Flight falls with the later two films. The big spectacle is present but the story is just run of the mill.
 
It should probably go without saying that this is an origin story. After all what comic book film, animated or live action, doesn’t have the origin story as the first adventure? Fans don’t appreciate this but let’s face it the studios count on our money but it’s everyone’s they are interested in. That first story is usually superhero character 101. As for Green Lantern: First Flight they hit a few key points for Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) that are gospel. Hal is a test pilot and Abin Sur (Richard McGonagle) is the Green Lantern that crashes on Earth and gives him the ring. However after a few attempts at trying out the ring the Green Lanterns arrive on Earth and take Hal back to Oa. There is little done to illustrate to the audience that Hal Jordan does in fact deserve the ring. Sure fans can go with it already knowing who and what Hal Jordan represents, but what about a new fan or a young fan who knows next to nothing about this Green Lantern? In this new era of The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and even with re-runs of Justice League: Unlimited a young fan has no clue who Hal Jordan is.
 
The story itself for the fan of the Green Lantern comics and his various incarnations in animated series starts off on the right foot. Under a tribunal Hal Jordan is judged that he may be worthy to be a Green Lantern. His instructor will not be Kilowog (played perfectly by Mr. Blonde himself Michael Madsen), the Green Lantern instructor. Instead, Sinestro (Victor Garber) volunteers to take him under his wing and start his training. From this point on we see a seasoned cop and his rookie on the hunt for Abin Sur’s killer. Jordan quickly learns of Sinestro’s brutality as he gives an addict exactly what she wants and then forces an overdose when she won’t comply further. This strong arm policy is what Sinestro believes the Green Lantern Corp is lacking. Then again, with a name like Sinestro we all know he is going to be the bad guy in the end. This is where the film really lost a chance to tell a different story. Anything other than Sinestro’s betrayal would have been better. All these new animated DC Universe films have been great starting points to tell stories yet, here again they give us the good guy vs. bad guy story and wrap it up nice and neat. Is it just me or is that getting boring? The mystery of who was betraying the Green Lantern Corp should have been the story to tell. Deception, lies and mistrust are perfect for this cop drama set in space. Does Warner Brothers really believe that the fans would have torn down the WB water tower if Sinestro would have been the good guy at the end? This felt as if it should have been the next story for the Green Lantern.
 
Like other DC Universe releases the two disc set and the blu-ray are packed with bonus content that justifies their price.A first look at Superman/ Batman Public Enemies promises a return to the direct comic book interpretation which were seen in JusticeLeague - The New Frontier. There are several Justice League Unlimited Green Lantern featured episodes included as well. These episodes are picked by Bruce Timm however only one actually features Hal Jordan for all of about five minutes thus illustrating my point. The interview with Geoff Johns is interesting but far too short as is the inside look to the foundation for his Blackest Night mini series. The creme de la creme is that “The Green Loontern” is included and that alone makes the blu-ray with having. It is a perfect mixture of Daffy Duck cartoons, the Green Lantern comic, Sci-Fi movies and the Super Friends. The cherry on top is who voices Hal Jordan. Perfect!
 
The film is rated PG-13 but unlike Wonder Woman really has nothing in the first two acts that warrant that sort of rating. After the betrayal there are two incredibly disturbing deaths that put many of the brutal slayings in Wonder Woman to shame. This really isn’t for the kiddies, which is probably for the best considering how much of the character’s origin is not present.It is worth the watch but I would only add it to the library if you are a completist.
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
Angel of Death (2009) ~ Doug Jones, Lucy Lawless, Zoe Bell, and Jake Abel
 
Bad Boy Bubby [Blu-ray] ~ Nicholas Hope, Claire Benito, Ralph Cotterill, and Carmel Johnson
 
Bad Lieutenant ~ Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, Paul Calderon, and Leonard L. Thomas
 
Eagles Over London [Blu-ray] ~ Van Johnson, Frederick Stafford, Francisco Rabal, and Luigi Pistilli
 
Eagles Over London
 
Everest ~ William Shatner, Jason Priestley, and Leslie Hope
 
Fast & Furious ~ Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster
 
Fast & Furious [Blu-ray]
 
Fast & Furious (Two-Disc Special Edition)
 
The Fifth Commandment ~ Rick Yune, Keith David, Bokeem Woodbine, and Dania Ramirez
 
Frank: Diary of an Assassin ~ James Powell, Graham Bowe, Helena Roman, and Christian Finn
 
Green Hornet, The ~ Gordon Jones, Keye Luke, Anne Nagel, and Wade Boteler
 
Green Hornet Strikes Again, The ~ Warren Hull, Keye Luke, Anne Nagel, and Wade Boteler
 
Ichi the Killer Special Edition with Comprehensive Trailer Disc ~ Nao Omori
 
Inglorious Bastards [Blu-ray] ~ Bo Svenson
 
Island of the Fishmen ~ Barbara Bach, Claudio Cassinelli, Joseph Cotten, and Mel Ferrer
 
Melvin ~ Patrick O'Driscoll, Leif Fuller, Lloyd Kaufman, and Lilly Maher
 
Money Madness ~ Hugh Beaumont, Lane Chandler, Joel Friedkin, and Ida Moore
 
The Pioneers ~ Gene Alsace, Lynton Brent, George Cheseboro, and Chief Many Treaties
 
Severed Ways ~ Gaby Hoffman
 
Streets of Blood ~ 50 Cent, Val Kilmer, Dylan McDermott, and Sharon Stone
 
Tarzan of the Apes ~ Gordon Griffith, Thomas Jefferson, Colin Kenny, and Kathleen Kirkham
 
True True Lie ~ Jamie King, Lydia Leonard, and Annabelle Wallis
 
The Woods Have Eyes/Cruel World [Blu-ray] ~ Frank Adonis, Michael Bolten, and Garrett Harrison
 
ANIME
 
Pokemon Elements, Vol. 1: Grass
 
Pokemon Elements, Vol. 2: Fire
 
Samurai School ~ Tak Sakaguchi
 
xxxHOLiC: The Complete Series Box Set
 
CARTOONS
 
The Animation of Alexeieff
 
Bill Plympton's Dog Days: A Collection of Short Films 2004-2008
 
Extreme Animation: Films By Phil Mulloy
 
HomestarRunner: SBEmails' 50 Greatest Hits
 
Green Lantern: First Flight (Two-Disc Special Edition) ~ Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer, and Michael Madsen
 
Green Lantern: First Flight (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
 
Green Lantern: First Flight (Single-Disc Edition)
 
Spectacular Spider-Man: Complete First Season ~ Josh Keaton, Dee Bradley Baker, Irene Bedard, and Jeff Bennett
 
Voltron: Fleet of Doom ~ Jack Angel, Peter Cullen, and Michael Bell
 
Criterion Collection
 
Repulsion- Criterion Collection ~ Catherine Deneuve
 
HORROR
 
The 10th Victim ~ Marcello Mastroianni, Ursula Andress, Elsa Martinelli, and George Wang
 
Animalada DVD ~ Carlos Roffe, Christina Banegas, and Walter Quiroz
 
Combat Shock (2-Disc Uncut 25th Anniversary Edition) ~ Rick Giovinazzo, Veronica Stork, Mitch Maglio, and Asaph Livni
 
Doom ~ Dexter Fletcher, Doug Jones, Robert Russell, and Ben Daniels
 
Horrible ~ Annie Belle, Laura Gemser, and Van Johnson
 
The Howl ~ Tina Aumont, Luigi Proietti, Antonio Segurini, and Tino Scotti
 
Necessary Evil ~ Lance Henriksen, Aubrey Morris, Richard Riehle, and Danny Trejo
 
Oh! My Zombie Mermaid ~ Shinya Hashimoto, April Hunter, Sonim, and Nicholas Pettas
 
The Phantom Fiend ~ Elizabeth Allan, Iris Ashley, A.W. Baskcomb, and Peter Gawthorne
 
Pop Skull ~ Lane Hughes, Hanna Hughes, Brandon Carroll, and Maggie Henry
 
Slime City Grindhouse Collection ~ Tommy Sweeney
 
The Others (2001) [Blu-ray] ~ Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, and Fionnula Flanagan
 
Torso ~ Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Roberto Bisacco, and Luc Merenda
 
Vampire's Bite Lunch Box ~ Drew Fuller
 
White Noise ~ Michael Keaton, Micki Maunsell, Ian McNeice, and Deborah Kara Unge
 
MODERN CLASSICS
 
Becoming Charley Chase ~ Charley Chase
 
This Is Spinal Tap [Blu-ray] ~ Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
Acolytes ~ Joel Edgerton, Belinda McClory, Michael Dorman, and Sebastian Gregory
 
Big Man Japan ~ Riki Takeuchi
 
Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead ~ David Tennant
 
Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead [Blu-ray]
 
Dragonball: Evolution ~ Justin Chatwin, James Marsters, Yun-Fat Chow, and Emmy Rossum
 
Dragonball: Evolution [Blu-ray]
 
Dragon Hunter ~ Isaac Jr
 
K-Pax ~ Jeff Bridges, John Toles-Bey, Conchata Ferrell, and David Patrick Kelly
 
The Land That Time Forgot ~ Timothy Bottoms, C. Thomas Howell, Lindsey J. McKeon, and Stephen Blackehart
 
Supernova & Poseidon Adventure [Blu-ray] ~ Luke Perry
 
TV LAND
 
Armchair Thriller: Set 1 ~ Ian McKellen
 
Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
 
Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 ~ Edward James Olmos
 
Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 [Blu-ray]
 
Charles in Charge: Season 5 (Amazon.com Exclusive DVD)
 
Dollhouse: Season One ~ Eliza Dushku, Harry J. Lennix, Tahmoh Penikett, and Fran Kranz
 
Dollhouse: Season One [Blu-ray]
 
Early Edition: The Second Season ~ Kyle Chandler
 
Knight Rider - Season One ~ Justin Bruening, Deanna Russo, Paul Campbell, and Val Kilmer
 
Life On Mars: Series 1 (U.K.) ~ John Simm
 
The Middleman: The Complete Series ~ Matt Keeslar, Natalie Morales, Mary Pat Gleason, and Brit Morgan
 
Torchwood: Children of Earth ~ John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd, and Peter Capaldi
 
Torchwood: Children of Earth [Blu-ray]
 
Torchwood: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] ~ John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, and Naoko Mori
 
BOX SETS
 
Fast & Furious 4-Movie Collection ~ Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster
 
Tales of Terror LiteBox (slimpack) ~ Eiko Koike
Tod Slaughter Vintage Terror Collection
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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everdreaded 7/28/2009 6:38:56 AM

I enjoyed it alot..it wasnt the greatest but it was good and enjoyable in a it can only get better sort of way...

I now understand the chair thing...lol...nice reflexive thought and action..go with what you know..lol!

And Sinestro and his "Your ass is mine!" Line..Trippy!

Chopsaki 7/28/2009 7:46:44 AM

I enjoyed it as well though I did wish they would of played up more of the moral ambiguity of there "Training Day" premise. And speaking of Sinestro lines the "Earth Boy" refrence to Hal started to get old. I would of changed a couple of things but still a solid entry.

LocoLobo73 7/28/2009 7:56:52 AM

First off , I just want to say that I have a lot of respect for the guys that do the reviews for Maniaand it is my favorite place for everything comic , however i disagree with his assement of First Flight, now yes I am a long time fan of GL and am well versed in his history and lore, howeverI dont think that all that was nessary to understand Hal Jordan and think the movie plays out well as to how Jordan earns His ring. I think many comic book movies get hung up on the origin issue and that is where they fail. that or they completely muff up the origin , like they did with Wolverine and it just turns the true fans away. I think that you only have to show so much and that was done here, he was a test pilot and showed that he had little fear and that the ring picked him because he had the qualities of a Lantern, what else did you need to know. My son is 10 and has grown up with Jon Stewart as the Green Lantern via JLU, he asked One question and that was where Jon dad and I simply told him Hal came before JON and you know how they have the Corp, he just another personon the team. He understood that and really liked it. I think its important to recognize this as a movie and a whole lot of time has to used to move the story along. Im a big reader and im the first person to complain that they left this out or that out but If I had never read the books , I still would be able to follow and understand the story. For instance the last Potter film,6, just saw it and I was , kinda disappointed because I felt they left some pretty big plot points out, but when I talked  my friend, who had not read the books, about the movie he had a good understanding of where the story was going for the last two films. I think that FIRST FLIGHT follows that spirit and it captures the essence of Hal Jordan Perfectly.

On top of that it makes first time fans want to learn more about the characters and they will pick up the books , which with Blackest night goingon is a great time to get into one of the best stories on the stands right now. They will Wiki Hal Jordan and read about his long history and may be we will have another person to add to our growing group of Geeks, Plus they have to leave some story to told out on the silver screen in the Movie.

 OH YEAH Dreaded you right Sinestro rocked

hanso 7/28/2009 8:24:29 AM

Checking out GL tonight but more importantly someone give me $250 quick!  I needs to get BSG on Blu Ray.

TigerPrime 7/28/2009 9:16:17 AM

Dis the full BSG series come out on regular DVD today too or just Blu-Ray?

themovielord 7/28/2009 9:29:16 AM

Kingvoyeur it ccame out on both!

gauleyboy420 7/28/2009 10:44:29 AM

I loved it, Totally Training Day, and I loved that it didn't get quagmired inthe this is Hal Jordan, and this is him learning to use the ring for half the movie. It is a MORE THAN SOLID entry intothe DCU animated films.

 

 

There is no way this is in the same category as the Superman Doomsday movie from last year. That was ....meh....not so great.

I easily liked this as much as the Wonder Woman Movie!

hanso 7/28/2009 11:38:34 AM

Was up with Torchwood Children of Earth, is it any good and will I be lost if I see it?  I've never seen Torchwood but I'm Netflix is shipping Children of Earth my way. 

I want to play Halo 3 so should I take away time from Halo 3 to watch T:CoE or not?

silversurfer 7/28/2009 12:03:47 PM

I have to say that I'm looking forward to Green Lantern this evening when I get home...I was thinking about which version to buy, but I now know that I'm going to have to have the Blu-Ray Version....I passed up buying Watchmen because I saw it and did enjoy it, I was actually looking more forward to picking this up....
 

redhairs99 7/28/2009 1:38:30 PM

What's the Voltron: Fleet of Doom?  Is that not a part of the original cartoon series?  I have the 5 volumes released in the collector's Lion's tins just didn't know if this is a part of that set or something different.

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