Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green Lantern: First Flight -- a real-time review


All right, all right, I have my copy of the new animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight, and I've done my best to avoid all the sneak previews, Comic-Con reviews, etc. I'm firing it up RIGHT NOW ...

- Trailer for the animated Wonder Woman movie? Good movie, but, man, this is SO March 2009.

- Smallville! Smallville? Haven't all these actors moved on to reality shows by now?

- So Carol can really put away the sangria. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.

- Hal doesn't look the least bit scared. Perfectly in character, but it's gonna confuse the newbies.

- Abin Sur looks like a Star Trek alien.

- I think that's the longest transformation scene I've ever seen!

- Are they competing with the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie to see who can get away with having the longest opening credits?

- Wow, Sinestro looks very, er, HEALTHY. The boy's been eating his Wheaties.

- The big green ship -- a more "Earthly construct" for Hal. I love the way Hal looks out the window: But I'd rather be OUT THERE!

- The Guardians are just like they first appeared in the comics -- more like a bunch of somewhat kindly (but misguided) little old men.

- "And then there's the smell." Ha! I could SWEAR that sounded like Kevin (Batman) Conroy's voice!

- Kilowog is ticked about Sinestro doing HIS job. Hee, hee.

- "I own your ass!" Oh, Sinestro, we've ALWAYS known that about you.

- The Book of Oa and the main power battery have been combined for this movie. Interesting.

- "Earth boy!"

- I like Labella's. It's kind of a weird cross between the Star Wars cantina and the bar/saloon from Green Lantern: Willworld.

- "How come these suits got no zippers?" BEST PICK-UP LINE EVER from a super-hero tale.

- Sinestro is a ruthless bastard.

- Hal getting blasted by the fragger/bazooka. Ooooh, I'm thinkin' there are gonna be some good fights in this thing.

- Hal has a Bobby Knight moment with a green folding chair. Priceless.

- GOOD sewer fight! Ya can't have a real super-hero movie without a sewer fight!

- Boodika -- looks like Boodika, but acts like Katma Tui.

- Kanjar Ro? Really?

- So, instead of Ion and Parallax, there are "green" and "yellow" elements? Waaaah!

- Ch'p. Ch'p is WONDERFUL.

- Hal is a yo-yo man!

- Oh, geez -- the LONG string of "bug" gags: "Hold it, bug boy!" Heh, heh.

- Hal gets a tank thrown at him. Awesome.

- Explosive decompression! SUCH a bad way to die.

- Hal's framed for manslaughter. AGAIN.

- Hal says "Geez!" an awful lot in this movie. Didn't know he was from the Midwest.

- I like the running gag (almost literally) involving Oan food.

- Sinestro is SUCH a ruthless bastard.

- Okay, Boodika is definitely NOT Katma Tui.

- Damn, there's a heck of a body count in this movie. And I thought the Wonder Woman animated movie was violent!

- I like the redesign of the Weaponers.

- Woo hoo! First film appearance of a Sinestro Corps uniform!

- Hal doesn't need his ring to fight a good fight. So true to character.

- OH. MY. GOD. A Guardian just yelled, "Like Hell!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAaaaaaaHAAAAAA!!!!

- Lots of good cameos of Green Lantern Corps members.

- It's the battle of the main power batteries!

- There's no way the Guardians would REALLY bow to Sinestro.

- I want my OWN pet main power battery!

- Have I already said Sinestro is a ruthless bastard?

- Wow. Hal is having a SERIOUS Emerald Dawn moment. Gotta admit, the man kicks butt!

- FORE!

- HOME RUN!

- Awwwww ...!

- Some planet's tidal system is gonna get seriously out of whack.

- Hal beats yellow. A LOT.

- Green and yellow shock waves! Pretty!

- DAMN, Kilowog! "'Scuze ME, poozer!"

- "Forgot my chute." Cute.

- The Green Lantern oath: "I just learned the thing this morning."

... and that's that.

Hey, Hal didn't get whacked in the head ONCE! I want a refund!

Nah, just kidding.

First impression: I LIKED it. I liked it better than Superman: Doomsday, but I thought Wonder Woman was a teensy bit better. There were a lot of really good super-hero-type battles in this film -- and, really, don't we primarily read super-hero stories for the FIGHTS?

Hal was very much Hal -- handsome, cocky, arrogant, resourceful, kinda dumb, but fearless and heroic to a fault. However, I have to say the real star of this film is not Hal but SINESTRO. This movie isn't really about Hal -- it's really about how Sinestro orchestrates the events that bring about his own downfall. Sinestro is completely ruthless, and I think this film does an excellent job of explaining what drives him to act the way he does. This is one of the best film interpretations of a major comic book villain's origin (outside of a Batman villain) that I think I've ever seen.

Wish I could say similar for Hal. Originally, when I first heard about this movie, I griped about DC doing yet another super-hero origin movie. However, now that I've seen the movie, I don't think they spent enough time explaining who Hal is, or why he acts the way he does. Of course, readers of Silver Age-era comics really weren't given much in the way of explanation, either -- but in film, you have to at least let the audience know what motivates a character. The filmmakers in this case did a great job of doing that for Sinestro, but not for the supposed star of the film. Even with this film added to the existing roster of super-hero cartoons, viewers who don't read the comics STILL know more about John Stewart than about any other Green Lantern. It's doubtful that this film will generate any new Hal Jordan fans.

Still, I did enjoy it. I now wanna see DC/Warner Bros. do an entire Green Lantern series, complete with Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, Emerald Twilight, Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night ... the whole shebang! You listening, DC?

Okay, time to toss in some illustrations and post this thing ...

UPDATE, 7/29/09: Mr. Sea (who is primarily a Marvel fan, especially for Spider-Man) watched the movie last night and said he liked it a lot. He said he went into it with the attitude that it would be like an "Elseworlds" story, and he thought it was quite good.

Oh, and here's the BEST part of the movie: When all is said and done, at the end, the only person who manages to get Hal Jordan into bed is KILOWOG.

No, I'm not kidding. ;-)

9 comments:

Saranga said...

Sounds good. The animation style looks good too.

SallyP said...

I really should hie myself to the DVD store and pick this up. I was a bit ambivalent, but if you liked it, then I'm pretty darned sure that I'll like it.

That Face! said...

I wish I could love Green Lantern like you folks...

but then again I haven't really given him a try.

Ditto what Saranga said, anyway. LOVE the live review :-)

Carnivac said...

Watched it last night and I thought it was excellent. Love the art style too. The details on the faces sorta reminded me of 80's cartoons but with better animation. I thought even the Guardians looked cool and I never usually think that. I'm glad they had Sinestro using his Sinestro Corps uniform and skipped the old black and blue (wasn't it?) one he had before. Even his GL uniform looked cool here whereas usually I find him looking very odd in a standard GL outfit. I still find it odd seeing Hal without the white gloves though. Great action sequences too and good voice acting from everyone.

I'd like a sequel.

SpaceBooger said...

The wife and I watched it last night and I liked it, and more importantly my wife was able to follow it all without any explanation from me. That my friends defines a good comic book movie.

Finlay said...

"Some planet's tidal system is gonna get seriously out of whack."

I had the exact same thought.

Duskdog said...

Ha, I watched this Tuesday night and just got around to reading your review now, and it was like reliving my every thought all over again. :)

I am also very impressed with the way they portrayed Sinestro here. Ruthless bastard, yes, but you can definitely see where he's coming from. He's not just evil for the sake of evil -- he's a workaholic and perfectionist who's frustrated that he isn't really making a difference. It's easy to see how he probably got more and more ruthless as he went on, until eventually taking over everything seemed the only option left.

But Hal, yeah. It portrayed a pretty good Hal, but didn't give us any reason to sympathize with him other than that he was the "good guy".

My favorite thing about Hal? The number of times that he sees pain coming, and DOESN'T MOVE. Like when that grenade thing gets shot at him in the bar... he just looks at it and lets it explode. It happens half a dozen times. What the hell, Hal? Grow a brain!

As to Sinestro owning Hal's ass... well, at least I'm not the only one who thinks that the very idea thrills Sinestro all the way to his toes. In the worst way possible.

Sea-of-Green said...

But if Hal were as smart as, say, John Stewart, he wouldn't be NEARLY as much fun. ;-)

Rustytiger said...

Hehe, I like your take on the movie. Very entertaining and spot on. I myself loved it; granted some of the changes took me a bit to swallow (yes, damn, sinestro has been eating wheaties lmao).

I love your committment to comics as well. It's great to meet other comic book fans out there, especialy with Green Lantern. I've been a fan for close to three years , right after i read Green Lantern; Rebirth. In one sitting!!

Keep up the good work and I'm glad you liked the movie as much as I did :)