Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: Green Lantern First Flight (animation)

Green Lantern First Flight

Directed by Lauren Montgomery

Written by Alan Burnett & Michael Allen

Starring Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer, Michael Madsen

Running time 75 minutes

To bring us (and by us I mean those of us that do not move in the comic book universe. Honestly, not to belittle the format, but I stopped reading them in the late 60s. Not saying good bad or indifferent, books lasted longer and at that time I had a LOT of time on my hands) up to speed - from the Wikipedia: Green Lantern: First Flight is a 2009 direct-to-video animated film adaptation of the DC Comics Green Lantern mythology. Centering on the first mission of Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni), the first human inducted into the Green Lantern Corps.

There that wasn’t so bad was it? I rented the blu-ray to see what might be going on in the GL universe. I wasn’t sure if I had seen the film before, so I wanted to see how DC treated fans. Come to find out, Cartoon Network showed a large portion if not the complete movie late last year. So that was a bit of a let down. However the blu-ray graphics were much much better that what I got off cable and without commercials, it was a pretty fair trade. The movie plot-line is straight up DC JLA larger than life kind of thing. There is something about American animation that often seems to cater to a less sophisticated audience. That is a bit of an over simplification but you have to admit you take any character from an anime feature and it will almost always be a richer character. It’s not the “style” of the animation either. Each has its own look and feel. Nothing wrong with that. But where Anime seems to point at the young adult audience more often than not, American animation often aims at the pre-pubescent male. I know this isn’t always the case. The larger publishing houses seem to reward formalistic treatment of the subject matter. Where as you look at in house animation produced for Cartoon Network say and even though they are still clearly aiming at the same audience, many seem to relish making the characters more complex, maybe as a nod to older audience members who are often watching with their children.

So that’s my rant. The movie isn’t horrible, but if anything played safe and aimed low at the JLA/GL and the younger portion of that group.

What is nice about the blu-ray however is the extras! Extra JLA episodes, plenty of making of material. movie ideas, writers, directors, producers comments and so forth. There seems to be easily twice as much extra material than movie! That’s a nice extra.

So rating? Well the extras are pretty much and more of what I like if I am looking for additional material so that is a clear 10 the movie...ehhhh 5 or overall 7.5. If you are into GL go for it. But more than likely even though its straight to DVD, it has played on CN. My suggestion would be rent it for the extras.


JoshM said...

As one who is probably a somewhat more than casual GL fan, I found that it met without ever exceeding my expectations. It was fine, but they could have done a lot more with it.

I felt, too, that a more Earth-bound story could have made it a little more inviting to non-fans just checking it out. Plunging straight into the full-on Lantern mythology at the outset didn't feel to me like the right approach.

Beam Me Up said...

I think you might have hit on the burr under my saddle with this film. Other than a casual reader in the 60-70s I never picked up more than a glossing over of the mythology. This film seemed to want to give everyone watching a GL history lesson. I really wasn't up to the task. Just for giggles though, I have the live version of GL on reserve when it comes out. I will more than likely weigh one against the other.