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Green Lantern (Blu-ray Review)

And now it’s time to review a Blu-ray title that I know everyone out there is probably jealous and envious of me for.   Eat your hearts out because today we’re tackling a motion picture that took the box office by storm earlier this year.   No one could have ever predicted that this little superhero flick could have garnered so much praise, fanfare love and positive attention in the eyes of merciless critics around the globe.   And honestly, no one even bothered to believe that the film’s subject matter and lore could ever possibly be presented in such a down-to-earth reality-like fashion like that employed in Nolan’s Batman franchise.   I know.   I once stood with all of you.   I was once a naysayer of the picture too.  I overlooked the grand picture and judged the book by its cover.  Then came the premiere screening on June 17th and it suddenly hit me like the football that once struck Marsha Brady in the nose.   My world was never going to be the same…ever again!

Film  

Come on people!   I’m messing with you!   You didn’t seriously believe everything I wrote above did you?   If so, you did see the title I’m covering in this Blu-ray review, right?   LOL.  I loved writing that opening paragraph.   But seriously, despite its many flaws, I still managed to have fun with Green Lantern, much like 2009’s GI Joe, and that’s truly all that matters, isn’t it?

Remember Nic Cage’s Ghost Rider?   Whether you hated it or loved it, the film squeezed just enough money out of box office proceeds to green light (no pun intended per the subject matter of this review) a sequel, and I believe the same applies here.  I mean, how else do you explain green lighting a sequel when the film was such a huge critical flop?  It must have made just enough money to peak the studio’s interest and there has to be that underlying faith in the property that there’s a good story yet to be told, or otherwise, why do it?   I believe in the latter.  I believe the filmmakers on the next installment can learn from the mistakes of the first.   I put stock in that or else they should just given the money to me that they are planning to allocate and I will make them one hell of action film, but for the meantime, I digress.

Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins.  You would think a movie with these calibers of stars would deliver, wouldn’t you?  Just goes to show you…story is the most important.  And speaking of the story, the screenplay was written by Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Goldenberg and Greg Berlanti.  What I want to know is where was Geoff Johns and why was he not included?  Martin Campbell ended up directing the script that basically tells the story of Hal Jordan (Reynolds), who becomes the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps and given a ring that grants him, in my opinion, unlimited powers.  In this first installment, Hal must quickly learn his powers, struggle with his humanitarian flaws and single-handedly stop an enemy, much like in Rise of the Silver Surfer, that “enormously” threatens to destroy the balance of the universe.  That enemy is known as Parallax.

I’m not going to dive into and tackle Green Lantern’s superhero lore in this review.   Most of you already know it.  You just want to know how good the A/V presentation is.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  I’m pretty sure that’s the case, but I won’t assume.   Now unlike most of you, I didn’t know a single thing about Green Lantern before going into the screening this past June.   Green Lantern always seemed like a wussy character to me in the DC superhero lineup and he never provoked my curiosity in wanting to know more about him.  Believe me, I know how horrible that sounds since I’m the one writing this review, but unlike the majority of critics out there, I actually somewhat had fun with this film.   I wouldn’t lie to you and say it is great or anything along those lines, but I won’t stand by idly and let everyone trash it either.   It has it’s moments, but that’s about it.   It’s a guilty pleasure of mine that I’m not ashamed to admit liking, but I’m not going to boast about it either.   In my opinion, it’s notches below Thor, but leaps and bounds above Captain America, which I consider one of my worst films of 2011 right along with Season of the Witch.  Hate me!

So here’s the deal.  Everything that the critics have bashed the film about including our own Aaron Neuwirth here, I agree with.  This isn’t a perfect movie by any means.  It’s really hard to get into the heavy CG created universe, but once you are there, honest to God, I enjoyed it more than the happenings on planet Earth.  I hope in the next installment, the writers and filmmakers aren’t afraid to explore the vast universe the Green Lantern Corps serve and protect.  Look at me.  I’m talking like a Green Lantern fan.  How about that?  I immensely enjoyed Hal Jordan learning about his powers, his training with Kilowog and whatnot, but once we get back down to Earth, the world of Green Lantern just doesn’t seem that fascinating anymore.  Perhaps it’s that silly mask, but whatever it is, I’m looking forward to more space adventures in the second go around and oh yeah…bring on that baddy Sinestro!

So I guess I have nothing else to offer here.  I’m at a loss for words about what to say anymore on the topic of Green Lantern.  You have so many people that hate this film that I honestly have no ammo to fire back at them.  They are in the right and I’m in the wrong.  Majority wins, right?  I enjoyed it for what it was, a mindless popcorn summer action film and NOTHING more.  I know Ryan Reynolds was excited for this role, but I could not tell at times if he was having fun with it or truly bored.  And Blake Lively…meh.  I think any female lead would have been just as ineffective here.  Take this review with a grain of salt.  It is what is and I will keep pounding this following point in your brains.  The filmmakers hope for bigger and better things the next time around just like Sony is gambling with Ghost Rider.  Let’s give them a second chance.  I truly believe there are better stories to be told here.  But enough about my sentiments, let’s take a look at how Green Lantern shines or doesn’t sine in the A/V presentation categories.  Ready when you are!

Video  

Here’s where it gets really ugly, sad to say.   How can a video encode of a 2011 superhero action adventure film look so murky?   I did not even think it could be possible.   Hell, I need a superhero to save the day with this botched transfer.   The MPEG-4 AVC codec looks mighty lackluster in this 2.40:1 presentation.   There’s a whole slew of things wrong such as black levels, colors, brightness and sharpness, perhaps due to that pesky DNR tampering.   Perhaps?   That’s an understatement.  I definitely did not expect this from a new Warner Bros. release.   I remember noticing the flatness and DNR issues in the theater, especially on Hal Jordan’s masked face, but never was it more evident than right there in front of me in 1080p on the 50″.   Everyone’s face looked like a wax apple.  It was like the Predator re-master all over again.  Luckily, there are some scenes, like the outside nature ones, that make you say ah, but they are too infrequent.   There are no issues with artifacting or obtrusive noise, but there’s not enough to boast about here to warrant a higher score than what I gave it.   This makes me sad, because I want “brightest day” pop in my Blu-ray presentations.  However, I will say this.   There was 3-D pop all around, but that’s not enough to save this.   Unfortunate it is.

Audio  

Where the video presentation will let us fall, the audio catches us here and makes everything safe again.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track roars in this features and has the kind of iron balls that would even make Iron Man jealous.   What impressed me most was the extravagant use of the rear channels.   Jets, emerald will power and explosions come to fruition all around you.   Booms, engines, explosions, punches and fire all take advantage of the LFE channel as they shake and rock your viewing room.   I actually had to turn this track down a bit.   I like that!   My usual biggest pet peeve, the dialogue, is mostly clear and intelligent throughout.   It’s just a shame that is A/V presentation is one-sided.   It could have offset the weak film, but again there’s always that glimmering hope that the inevitable sequel will deliver.   Let’s hope.   My fingers are crossed.

Special Features  

I guess if there really is a bright spot to this review, it’s that the Special Features department really shines on this release.   I mean, you have not one, but two different versions of the film, a drink coaster (aka DVD) and a digital copy.   On top of all that you also have Maximum Movie Mode, featurettes and more.   But instead of me just simply listing them, let’s tackle them in greater detail below.  Shall we?

  • Extended and Theatrical Cuts – Two cuts of the movie appear on the Blu-ray disc.   The Extended version clocks in around 123 minutes and the Theatrical one has a runtime of approximately 114 minutes.
  • Maximum Movie Mode: Green Lantern’s Light (HD) – This enhance Picture-in-Picture track features comic book writer Geoff Johns as he takes us behind the scenes of the film and it also includes interviews, featurettes, trivia and more.
  • Focus Points (HD, 46:55) – The seven featurettes available within the Maximum Movie Mode are also accessible here.  Yea!
  • The Universe According to Green Lantern (HD, 20:12) – DC artists, writers and executives and more dive into Green Lantern’s lore, characters and universe.   This is quite informational for ignorant superhero fans like myself.
  • Ryan Reynolds Becomes the Green Lantern (HD, 8:48) – Ryan Reynolds models the CG capture outfit and explains how he prepared for the role.  Yawn!
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 7:16) – Here we get five deleted scenes that I really could care less about, but they’re here!
  • Justice League #1 Digital Comic (HD, 9:13) – Here you can kick back and digitally enjoy the first issue of Justice League from the “New 52” DC Comics lineup.
  • Preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series (HD, 6:32) – I’m kind of turned off by the animation here, but if you’re interested, you can check out a preview of the new animated series here.
  • PS3 Arkham City Character Skin Code – This code provides you with a Sinestro Corps outfit for your Batman character in the PS3 version of Arkham City.   My only question is…why?  Why would you want to suit Batman up in this?   I guess it’s like they say about car colors, there’s always one for somebody out there.
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy (SD) – Here’s what they boast.   You can watch this digital copy anytime, anywhere on computers, tablets or smartphones and also stream on Flixster.   There’s a catch.  You have to register a free account on the website to even gain access to this Digital Copy.  My God!   I don’t want to go through all of this.   I just want my code and allow me to download it so I can get on my way.   That’s just my two cents.

Final Thoughts  

Here’s my best sales pitch.   Buy it!   Buy it!   Buy it!   Don’t even think about it, just click on my pre-order link below.   Please?!   I really don’t have any more ammo than that to persuade you to buy this day one.   My best bet is that this one will be below the ten-dollar mark quicker than I really care to think about.   There’s a good movie lost in here somewhere.   The fans of this feature are the ones that can find it.   I have no doubt about it.   Unlike Ghost Rider, I liked this one (a wee bit more) and I’m ready to give the second installment a fair chance to win me over.   Are you with me?  In all seriousness, rent this one first before a purchase.   Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Green Lantern sees the light of day on Blu-ray October 14th.

 

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

10 Responses to “Green Lantern (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Matt Goodman

    I’m one of the few who enjoyed this. It’s dumb fun.

  2. Gregg

    Great coverage! This movie was highly disappointing and had several bouts of boredom. I still don’t think Ryan Reynolds was the right actor for this role. I’m shocked the video is lacking so much here as well. I’d still check out a sequel now that the meat of the lantern conflict is unfolding.

  3. Gerard Iribe

    That’s a pretty high score for such awful video, imo. I have not seen it yet, so I can’t say if it sucks or not.

  4. Sean Ferguson

    Nice one Brian. What’s the difference between the extended cut and the theatrical version?

  5. Aaron Neuwirth

    More wasted time. 🙂

  6. Gregg

    LOL!

  7. Brian White

    Aaron is right, but seriously, the only thing I noticed was that the beginning was a bit longer, if I remember correct. There was a little more expose on his childhood and dad. But nothing else really stood out to me 🙁

  8. Aaron Neuwirth

    One of the funniest scenes in the movie!

  9. Sean Ferguson

    Thanks for the update Brian. I was just curious what was added.

  10. Gman

    I agree right on with your opinion that it’s not as good as Thor (special effects wise) but I did like the plot more oddly enough. I liked the development of each character and how connected I felt to each of them. I didn’t care much for the ways in which Green Lantern decided to attack his enemies and I kept thinking: “that’s the best you can do?” So I saw this movie in the theater but my kids have been begging me to rent it because they didn’t get to come on my date night with my wife. I’m a very strict parent when it comes to what they watch so after seeing it in the theater I was waiting for the right opportunity to show it to them. I suppose I’ll buy it for them for Christmas so this Blu-ray review was handy. I always rent in HD because we have a big TV and DISH always has the best quality HD available. The HD is free for life too for qualifying customers which always impresses me when I think about it.