Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a good addition to the DC Universe line and while it isn’t anything special, I did like how they laid the story out in a different way (compared with what they did with Batman: Gotham Knight) and the voice talent was also good with fans getting to at least hear what Nathan Fillion would sound like in the lead role.
Genre(s): Animation, Action, Adventure, Science Fiction
Warner Bros. | PG – 84 min. – $24.98 | June 7, 2011
Directed by: Christopher Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery, Jay Oliva
Writer(s): “The First Lantern” – Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim (written by); “Kilowag” – Peter J. Tomasi & Dave Gibbons (characters), Peter J. Tomasi (written by); “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” – Dave Gibbons (written by); “Abin Sur” – Geoff Johns (written by); “Emerald Knights” – Alan Burnett & Geoff Johns (story), Alan Burnett & Todd Casey (screenplay); “Laira” – Ruben Diaz & Travis Charest (characters), Eddie Berganza (written by)
Cast: Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss, Henry Rollins, Arnold Vosloo
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Virtual Comic, 2 Bonus Cartoons, DVD/Digital Copy Combo Disc
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
The DC Universe Animated Original Movie line continues with Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, released in conjunction or preparation for the Green Lantern live action feature film.
The first go-around with this character in animated form was a couple years back in Green Lantern: First Flight, an origin story for Hal Jordan. This time in Emerald Knights, it tells the story of the Green Lantern Corp. going up against Krona, a former scientist who is bent on taking over the universe, and leading up to the battle various members tell their newest rookie, Arisia (ELISABETH MOSS) stories. The first in “The First Lantern” tells how the Corp. initially began with four rings forged by the elders one of which went to an average record keeper; the second, “Kilowag” tells how the tough beast (HENRY ROLLINS) began his time; in “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” we get to know who, or what, Mogo is in one of the funnier tales of the bunch; “Abin Sur” tells the story of Hal Jordan’s predecessor (ARNOLD VOSLOO) and his friendship with Sinestro (JASON ISAACS); and in “Laira” we follow the Green tragedy as the character (KELLY HU) returns to her home planet which has been ruled by her family with an iron fist for which Laira has to confront her brother, mother and ultimately her father. All of these are told by different members of the Corp. including Hal Jordan (NATHAN FILLION) who is Arisia’s mentor.
Emerald Knights isn’t the best animated feature I’ve come across though compared with the others in the DCU line, it’s one of the better outings. I liked the format the writers went with telling these five stories within a larger one as a way to introduce us to other characters and, especially, how the Corp. originally started. It was a better format than what was tried in Batman: Gotham Knight with separate storylines in different styles which never quite came together well enough, but with Emerald Knights it was more cohesive and thus more interesting to watch.
The animation style itself isn’t much different than what I’ve seen before in Wonder Woman, Batman: Under the Red Hood or the last outing, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, but those all looked great so why mess with something good. Having not read a single “Green Lantern” comic book, I don’t know how it compares with those or what influences there was on the feature film but I thought it all looked really good.
In terms of the voice acting, the people in DCU once again put together a fine line-up. Here we get some solid talent in Jason Isaacs, Kelly Hu (who is voicing the same character in an upcoming “Green Lantern: The Animated Series”… um… series), Arnold Vosloo and at the head of the cast, Nathan Fillion who has stated is a big fan of the character and who many fans petition to play the live action character.
All in all, Emerald Knights is a fine addition to the DCU line and although it might not match up with some of their better outings like Under the Hood or Wonder Woman (not to mention the Superman/Batman films which I liked), this is still a good film worth checking out.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.25/5
As with the other DCU releases, this comes with a glossy, reflective slip cover.
Feature Commentary – DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Co-Publisher Dan DiDio offer up a decent commentary track about various topics like the characters (both in the film and the comic book), story and animation. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Only the Bravest: Tales of the Green Lanterns Corps (31:51; HD) – Extensive featurette documenting the origins of the comic book and characters, in a introspective way and has interviews with those within DC Comics (like the aforementioned Johns and DiDio), people who worked on this feature as well as those in other fields such as psychology. This is a well made featurette that for those who don’t know much about the characters will get a crash course.
Why Green Lantern Matters: The Talent of Geoff Johns (18:11; HD) – Here we get a profile on Johns and what he brought back to the “Green Lantern” comic book which had lost its way and going back to its roots with the Corp, the ring, etc. This is an interesting featurette even for somebody who has never read a single issue of “GL”. This also briefly (VERY briefly) delves into the live action feature film. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Batman: Year One Sneak Peek (10:47; HD) is a cool look at the next release in the DCU line. It’s the same format as the other sneak peeks we’ve seen before from the animation design to the introductions with the voice talents working on it.
All-Star Superman Sneak Peek (10:47; HD) was already available on the Batman/Superman: Apocalypse release.
Bruce Timm’s Picks are two episodes from the animated series “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” episodes ‘The Siege of Starro!, Part 1’ and ‘Revenge of the Reach’.
From Comic Book to Screen: Abin Sur (3:11; HD) takes a basic look at the Abin Sur character. It’s just a voice over accompanied with comic book panels. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Beautiful… But Deadly – From Comic Book to Screen: Laira Omoto (3:52; HD) is similar to the previous one but focuses on the Laira character. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Virtual Comic Book allows you to read a comic book on your television screen. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
VIDEO – 4/5
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights comes to Blu-ray in 1080p HD and with a 1.78 aspect ratio. As with the other DC Universe Blu-ray releases, this one looks good if not unremarkable, although I have to say that this time I didn’t notice any major issues regarding banding which had been the case in a few of the other releases. As it stands, this transfer has a nice mixture of colors and a clean palette.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
Although the back cover says it’s a Dolby Digital mix, we actually get a DTS-HD MA lossless audio track. It’s not entirely impressive but there are plenty of action sequences that does give this track a workout. There isn’t a whole lot of depth to the track but it still sounds fairly good where dialogue is crisp and easy to hear.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a good addition to the DC Universe line and while it isn’t anything special, I did like how they laid the story out in a different way (compared with what they did with Batman: Gotham Knight) and the voice talent was also good with fans getting to at least hear what Nathan Fillion would sound like in the lead role. As far as the Blu-ray is concerned, the audio and video transfers are fine if unremarkable and the features are all great and are worthwhile.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2.