With the Green Lantern movie about to hit theaters, Warner Bros. has released the latest in its direct to DVD (or Blu-Ray combo pack) movie from DC Comics. Like Batman: Gotham Knight, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (see what they did there), presents and anthology of tales focusing on the intergalactic police force.
GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS
Produced by: Greg Berlanti, Alan Burnett, Donald De Line, Lauren Montgomery, Sam Register, and Bruce W. Timm
Directed by: Chris Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery, and Jay Oliva
Written by: Eddie Berganza, Alan Burnett, Todd Casey, Dave Gibbons, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Geoff Johns, and Peter Tomasi
Nathan Fillion – Hal Jordan
Jason Isaacs – Sinestro
Elisabeth Moss – Arisia
Kelly Hu – Laira
Arnold Vosloo – Abin Sur
Steve Blum – Guardian of OA
Roddy Piper – Bolphunga
Henry Rollins – Kilowog
Wage Williams – Deegan
Bruce Thomas – Atrocitus
David Kaufman – Ruben
Sunil Malhotra – Ship
STORIES ADAPTED WELL
The nice thing about anthology animated movies like Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is they present plenty of stories that are going to rank high on someone’s list. Emerald Knights is no exception to this general theory as it contains a plethora of stories collected from the Tales of the Green Lantern series – and are adapted by a virtual Who’s Who of Green Lantern writers.
Atrocitus and the death of Abin Sur tale appears in this collection, as does the tale of Mogo, The First Lantern, Kilowog, and Laria taken from the source materials, with a few changes here and there. Wrapped around the stories of these heroes is the Krona invasion story that appeared in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Volume 1 from 1981.
Each of the stories is adapted from the source, and getting writers who know the material, and “get it” when it comes to making necessary changes to the narrative so it plays well on the screen is evident here. There is plenty of action in this movie, and if you want to see the entire Green Lantern Corps move a planet to try and stop Krona, it’s here. Heck, seeing the first Green Lanterns learn to build constructs, become heavy duty trainers, and suffer great loss at the family level makes for great story telling throughout the entire feature.
The biggest problem with this movie is once the action is over, the movie kind of stalls. While my son was all over this movie since it arrived a couple of weeks ago, I found my mind wandering several times when the pace slowed to tell a moral lesson or when Hal Jordan explained the next lead in to the history of the Corps to new member Arisia.
I loved all the voice work in this movie. Nathan Fillion does an excellent job as Hal Jordon, even though he isn’t the star of the show. Elisabeth Moss plays a convincing newbie from 2815, and I got a kick out of hearing Roddy Piper appear as Bolphunga. There wasn’t a time during my viewing where I thought the voices got in the way of the story, or took me out of the story when I realized a character was being voiced by a well known actor. Andrea Romano once again proves she knows what she is doing when it comes to finding the right voice for the right role.
THAT SINESTRO PROBELM
Probably the biggest area of concern is the inclusion of Sinestro in the Corps. When Sinestro first appeared, it was thought his inclusion would be during the flashback sequences, but it seems like the live action movie is putting its spoon into the pot and keeping Sinestro a good guy – even though this contradicts the events in Green Lantern: First Flight. It’s a minor bugaboo, and one that most viewers will look over.
Yes, there are extras in this collection:
Special features include:
- Feature film commentary with Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns
- Only the Bravest: Tales of The Green Lantern Corps
- Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns
- Sneak peeks:
- Upcoming DC Universe animated movie
- All-Star Superman
- From Comic Book to Screen: Abin Sur
- From Comic Book to Screen: Laira Omoto
- Bruce Timm’s Picks:
- “The Siege of Starro! Part One” from Batman: The Brave and The Bold
- “Revenge of The Reach!” from Batman: The Brave and The Bold
While I appreciate the extra content – especially the commentary with DiDio and Johns, most of the rest of the extras seem thrown in to fill up the disc. They’re a nice addition, but they don’t replace the main feature.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT
Say what you will about the DC Comics animated movies – love ‘em or hate ‘em they are consistent in their delivery, ability to tell an engaging story (or in this case, adapt stories), that draw audiences in. Sure, those who know the original source material are going to probably find fault in every scene, but when it comes to viewers who know nothing about the Green Lantern Corps, this movie does make the mythos that much more engaging. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is certainly worth picking up and earns 4 out of 5 Stars.