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In brightest day, in blackest night…

Could it be that the cinematic arena is beginning to become overcrowded by the sheer numbers of superhero movie adaptations? With so many superhero themed offerings, are audiences to start to lose interest? I know the box office numbers for GREEN LANTERN ($36) wasn’t what the studio was hoping for, so I would have to imagine that superhero overload is beginning to become a problem. Of course, it could be that the screenplay for GREEN LANTERN is way too thin, while the application of CGI special effects is way too thick. Sure, I liked GREEN LANTERN for what it is- a big, loud, eye-candy bloated spectacle. However, it would have helped it GREEN LANTERN had some genuine substance to actually support all the flash (wait, that’s a different superhero). Still, Ryan Reynolds proves incredibly likable, although a bit goofy, as Hal Jordan and Mark Strong is a surprisingly engaging as Thaal Sinestro, a character and performance that have plenty of potential if a sequel ever gets made.

The premise of GREEN LANTERN offers up an origin story featuring the first human to be inducted into the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps, which was created by an ancient race of beings called the Guardians of the Universe. In a prologue, we learn that sometime in the past, the Green Lantern known as Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) defeated and imprisoned an immensely powerful planet destroying being called Parallax. However, Parallax is accidentally awoken, released from his imprisonment and begins destroying inhabited worlds. Abin Sur faces Parallax again, but is mortally wounded in their encounter and ultimately crash-lands on Earth. With only a short time remaining, the dying Abin Sur sends forth his power ring to find a worthy successor amongst the planet’s inhabitants.

Test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is the power ring’s choice and is soon whisked off to the Green Lantern Corps home planet of Oa, where he receives training. Corps leader Thaal Sinestro (Mark Strong) has serious doubts that a mere human could be a worthy Green Lantern, or live up to the memory of his fallen comrade Abin Sur. Discouraged by Sinestro, Jordan attempts to quit the Corps and is returned to Earth. However, while Jordan was away scientist Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) was infected by a piece of Parallax during an autopsy on Abin Sur's body. The infected Hammond begins mutating and wreaking havoc, which forces Jordan to utilize his power ring to protect innocents. Unfortunately, the piece of Parallax infecting Hammond recognized Abin Sur's power ring, which leads the planet destroying entity towards Earth. The cast of GREEN LANTERN also features Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Jay O. Sanders, Taika Waititi, Angela Bassett, Gattlin Griffith, Jon Tenney, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Clarke Duncan, Salome Jens and Clancy Brown.

Warner Home Video has made GREEN LANTERN available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Both the original Theatrical Version and a nine minute longer Extended Cut of the film are present on the disc. The 1080p presentations are generally quite good and do well handing the film’s stylized visuals, and the CGI excesses. Occasionally, some of the CGI work become a bit cartoony and doesn’t meld perfectly with the live action, but the Blu-ray does quite well rendering whatever the filmmakers and the effects houses choose to throw at it. Image sharpness, depth and dimensionality are all fairly impressive, but the image tends to be a bit dark, as if it were attempting to emulate a printed page of a comic book, where the blacks are absolute and the colors are laid on top. There is some softening in places, which may or may not have to do with the marrying of CGI to the live action. Colors definitely pop and are at time excessively vibrant- an obvious stylistic choice. Flesh tones usually look attractive, but a sometime a tad overdone. Black are pure inky goodness, while the whites are pure. Contrast has a slight push, while shadow detail oftentimes leaps into the abyss. The elements from which GREEN LANTERN has been mastered demonstrate virtually no imperfections. Levels of grain/noise are usually pretty minimal.

GREEN LANTERN is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, GREEN LANTERN delivers the sonic goods, featuring an aggressively mixed superhero movie sound design. Sound effects are robustly deployed throughout the entire soundstage, with all of the outlying channels springing to life with as much force as a Green Lantern’s power ring can muster. Sonic information springs at the viewer from all sides, in addition to effortlessly panning around the entire soundstage. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity proves to be exceptional; the musical component sounds fantastic, plus the sound effects are weighty and totally convincing. The bass channel is deep, percussive and shakes the ground whenever required. Dialogue is very cleanly rendered and the actors' voices maintain a natural timbre. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplemental materials. GREEN LANTERN features Warner Brothers immersive Maximum Movie Mode, which is hosted by DCE Chief Creative Officer and Green Lantern comic book writer Geoff Johns and offers viewers an enhanced version of the film with picture-in-picture pop up windows that contain ancillary programs that look at the film’s development, special effects, character designs, etc… (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Programs from the Maximum Movie Mode are also available to view independently as a series of Focus Points that total up to forty-seven minutes worth of material. Featurettes and other programs include the following: The Universe According To Green Lantern (twenty minutes), Ryan Reynolds Becomes The Green Lantern (nine minutes) and a Preview Of Green Lantern: The Animated Series (seven minutes). A Digital Comic of Justice League #1 from The New 52 is also provided, as are Deleted Scenes and PS3 Arkham City Character Skin Code. GREEN LANTERN is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film, which is just a stream away.

GREEN LANTERN is a big, loud, eye-candy bloated spectacle that offers genre fans some mindless superhero action fun. The Blu-ray looks very good, but sounds even better.


Green Lantern (Three-Disc 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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