|Green Lantern (Extended Edition) (3D/2D) (2011)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Thursday, 06 October 2011|
Don’t get me wrong. I think there are some nice moments in this film, but it ultimately fails to deliver action for action-junkies, and it fails to capture the essence of the Green Lantern saga for comic book fans. This really isn’t surprising given the turnout rate of these blockbuster comic book adaptations. Still, I think we can all agree that we want some substance.
“Green Lantern” is plagued with mediocre and at many times over the top performances, weak scripting, often times cheesy CGI, and just overall bad representation of Green Lantern (according to comic book fans).
I found the film to be entertaining during portions. I am always a sucker for the romance in action films, despite how trashy or poorly written it may be in the story. In “Green Lantern,” Ryan Reynolds portrays Hal Jordan, the earthling chosen to represent his sector of the Green Lantern Core. Jordan is a pilot struggling to come to terms with fear and the death of his father. Of course, the Green Lantern needs to be fearless, or so everything thinks. The whole story comes down to one simple word, courage.
Jordan is cocky to say the least, but the Lantern chose him because of something that he himself cannot see inside him. Probably that courage thing again. The middle of the film is filled with brief moments of training on another planet, a save here a battle there, etc. The film is quite lengthy for what it develops. This very well could have been a one-hour TV special if the fluff was cut out.
In the film Jordan is battling Hector, a childhood acquaintance who has been infected with the power of fear from Parallax. Parallax is an ex-guardian of the Lantern Core and stills the essence of species through their fear. It grows larger and more powerful. Due to the obstinacy of the Lantern Core, Jordan is left to fight Parallax himself and save his planet. Hector is a just a Parallax pawn. The screenwriters didn’t seem to know whom to focus on as the true enemy. Parallax is the true evil but the entirety of film is spent on Hector and his evolvement into an evil spawn.
The film shines in a few brief moments during the end battle, but it is larger anti-climatic. Comic book fans will be peeved to find out that the true villain of Green Lantern doesn’t come to fruition until half way through the credits, stipulating a sequel. After the initial film’s performance a sequel is very questionable. While it is listed as “in development for 2013” I doubt that will come to pass.
“Green Lantern” is being released in two editions, a Blu-ray 3D combo pack and the Blu-ray 2D normal pack. Both packages contain the Extended Edition and the Theatrical Cut. I will say that the extended edition does have noticeably different material than the theatrical release. When all is said and done I actually prefer the extended edition in some ways. The extended version has a different opening after the initial Ryut planet sequence. We are introduced to Hal Jordan as a kid, with his father explaining fear and then the entirety of the test plane crash sequence. What I didn’t understand until I saw the theatrical version after the extended version, is why the filmmakers left both the entire planes crash sequence in, in addition to the entirety of the flashback sequence as Hal Jordan is about to crash his own plane. Watching the extended version I was annoyed with the duplication of the same sequence all over again that we just watched a few minutes before. Of course, when I saw the theatrical version and there was no full childhood sequence I understood. Too bad they couldn’t work around that problem, because I liked the full childhood sequence. Also in the extended version is an extended talk between Hal Jordan and his nephew at the birthday party. In that sequence Hal Jordan is struck with the power of the Lantern while talking with his nephew.
The Blu-ray release of this film is quite the disaster when it comes to the video quality. Much of has to do with the production of the film, but the transfer isn’t the hottest either. The 2D video is bad enough, but he 3D quality suffers from all that is 2D and more.
The 2D version (available in both theatrical and extended versions) has one of the darkest and most inconsistent images I have seen on Blu-ray. The cinematographer and lighting crew went way overboard with the shadows. The entirety of the film is surround by darkness to the point where you may as well just listen to what is going on and no watch. There is virtually no detail or texture in the image. Shadows swallow objects whole. The contrast is boosted so high that the deepest parts of the black levels take on an oil shine and turn toward gray, created uneven dark objects (the whole film). Colors are roasted to say the least. Fleshtones fluctuate constantly. The green and yellow powers of will and fear are the best things about this image. The green and yellow colors pop from the screen. There are some nice image quality moments, particularly the final battle sequence in the city and then in space. But everything up to that point is a giant mess.
The 3D version (available on as the theatrical cut) is disastrous as well. However, I have to say that I think I prefer the 3D over the 2D version. The 3D version at least masks some of the 2D issues such as contrast levels. This is because the 3D version is even darker than the 2D version. Depth is only so-so. It is very inconsistent. There are sequences that are near jaw-dropping, but they are so few and far between that you don’t even remember them. However, again, the final battle in the city and in space presents some of the best 3D in the film. The end credits remain the best 3D overall for this release. Despite the countless times that stuff flies at the screen nothing have appears to leave the glass boundary of the TV screen. It comes close but always falls short. You can thank the post-conversion of 2D to 3D for this. The extremely dark nature of the original image quality just doesn’t lend itself to 3D conversion. I didn’t try, but I would bet that playing the 2D version back over the 2D>3D conversion process available in your 3D HDTV would provide similar results as the ones found on the Blu-ray 3D disc. Crosstalk issues are more noticeable in this transfer thanks to the post-conversion process. The worst offending sequence is when Hal Jordan goes to the guardian’s temple to talk with them. Yikes! This just isn’t representative of what Blu-ray 3D has to offer. I love post-conversion, especially with ones such as “Lion King” and “Beauty & The Beast,” but this is just ridiculous.
Thankfully, there is one thing to enjoy with this Blu-ray release, and that is the audio quality. I desperately wanted to give this lossless audio track five stars, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The reason? Well, there are just a few too many dialogue lines that get lost in the mix or were simply in need of ADR. While all the missed lines can be deduced, we audiences do like to have dialogue crystal clear. Aside from that, the audio track is perfect. Right from the opening sequence you know you are in for a treat. The voice over narration of the introduction is fully weighted and the reverb is perfectly spread through the channels to provide a completely immersive opening sequence. While the audio is only two-dimensional, it sure comes across a lot more three-dimensional than the video quality. The LFE channel is weighty and does the job nicely. The surround channels are filled with effects and ambience. I never felt left out of the experience for a moment. Dynamic range and frequency response is full. If only the video quality could have been this great.
As already mentioned, bonus materials include the theatrical and extended versions. In addition that is a Maximum Movie Mode. View this track for information on the production, but you will find it to more of a video commentary and Warner’s typical MMM presentations. There are roughly 50 minutes of Focus Points. These featurettes are accessed from either the MMM or the bonus features menu. “Ryan Reynolds Becomes Green Lantern” is essentially a costume piece. “The Universe According To Green Lantern” examines the fundamentals of the Green Lantern character. There are five deleted scenes. “Justice League #1 Digital Comic” is the first issue of the reborn DC Comics. There is also a preview of the Green Lantern animated series. The package also includes codes for PS3’s Arkham City Character and Warner’s new Ultraviolet Digital Copy (which doesn’t seem all that impressive to me). The package also contains a DVD copy of the film.
“Green Lantern” is pretty much a flop. I wanted to really like it, but the story and action just wasn’t there. What’s worse is that the video quality was nearly unwatchable. Thankfully, I had my audio track to fall back on. Get the 3D version for the few extra dollars, but really just listen to this great audio.