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Corresponding to the theatrical release of the live action GREEN LANTERN film, Warner’s direct-to-video, DC Universe Animated Original Movie GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS ($24) offers an anthology of stories that have been adapted from the 1981 three-issue limited series entitled Tales Of The Green Lantern Corps. In the framing story, Emerald Knights, the Guardians of the Universe assemble all of the Green Lanterns to fight off an ancient menace known as Krona, which has somehow reconstituted itself and threatens to break back into our universe. The assemblage of Green Lanterns includes a newly recruited Lantern, whom Hal Jordan is mentoring, which allows for a series of stories about past Lanterns and the creation of the Corps to be recounted.

The First Lantern is the origin story for the Green Lantern Corps and tells of how the Guardians assembled the greatest warriors in the universe to serve as the first four Green Lanterns, and how one of the four came a highly unexpected choice. Kilowog is the story of the drill sergeant Green Lantern, whose less than sunny demeanor is legendary in the Corps, and how he initially dealt with a superior, who exhibited similar traits. Laira is the story of a new Lantern on their first solo mission, which happens to be to their home world, where she has to deal with family issues that are being felt across the cosmos. Mogo Doesn't Socialize is the story of the most "elusive" of Green Lanterns, who managed to keep an enemy at bay by hiding in plain site. Abin Sur is a tale about the Green Lantern who would eventually pass his power ring to Hal Jordan, and depicts Jordan’s predecessor fighting side by side with Sinestro, in the years prior to that particular Green Lantern’s fall from grace. For an animated anthology film, with a very limited running time, GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS proves to be very well done. The stories are tight and well written, plus the voice actors really bring it all together. The vocal talent behind GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS features Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss, Kelly Hu, Arnold Vosloo, Steve Blum, Roddy Piper, Henry Rollins, Wade Williams and Bruce Thomas.

Warner Home Video has made GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Like Warner’s other direct-to-video, DC Universe titles GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS comes with a strong 1080p presentation that nicely renders the production’s 2D animation. The image appears very sharp, crisp and clear and accentuates the lines of the comic book style animation. Colors are fully saturated and bright. The high definition rendering ensured the primary and secondary hues are without flaws. Blacks are decidedly inky, while the whites appear crisp and stable. Contrast is truly excellent, or as excellent as this type of animation will allow. GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS wasn’t produced on film, and therefore, is free from grain and print flaws associated with the medium.

GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Like the earlier direct-to-video animated releases falling under the DC Universe banner, the sound design tends to be somewhat front heavy. Fortunately, there are channel separations across the front. And, as expected, they do become more pronounced during the program’s action sequences. Active effects do emanate from the rear speakers, as do ambient sounds and musical fill, but the mix is dialed down from theatrical caliber. Thanks to the lossless encode, music and sound effects have superior definition, while the bass channel adding adds weight to everything. Voices maintain a robust sense of character, while the dialogue is always easy to understand. A French Dolby Digital 5.1 channel and Spanish 2.0 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with co-screenwriter Geoff Johns and DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Only The Bravest: Tales Of The Green Lantern Corps (thirty two minutes), Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent Of Geoff Johns (eighteen minutes) and From Comic Book To Screen (seven minutes). Next up are Bruce Timm’s Top Picks- from Batman: The Brave And The Bold are The Siege Of Starro! Part 1 (excerpt) and Revenge Of The Reach. Also provided is a Digital Comic sampler featuring Green Lantern, as well as a Sneak Peak of the upcoming Batman: Year One. DC Animation Project Previews close out the standard supplements. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray, along with a Digital Copy of the film.

GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS is an entertaining and solid anthology program that has been given a very nice presentation on Blu-ray. Definitely recommended to the comic fanboys looking for something to feed their Blu-ray player.


Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2011)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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