New on DVD/Blu-ray: Green Lantern

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Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern (2011) Movie Image

Warner Bros.’ “Green Lantern” didn’t exactly light the box office on fire, or leave the competition green with envy. (See what I did there?) In fact, it performed so poorly that any idea of a sequel seemed ludicrous. You can now judge for yourself whether the film deserves a sequel (or two) when the film arrives on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group on October 14, 2011. Just in time for Halloween. Wait, maybe going as the Green Lantern won’t scare anyone. Unless, of course, you’re a Warner Bros. accountant. Ahem.

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite force of protectors for peace and justice has existed for centuries. They are the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of the Corps’ newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Bringing the popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, Green Lantern also stars Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins.

THE MOVIE:

The biggest issue with “Green Lantern”? I’ll probably end up using the phrase, “Well, it wasn’t THAT bad” more often than I’d like. And therein lies the problem — “Green Lantern” isn’t such a great movie that you can wholeheartedly recommend it, but, well, it’s not that bad. The film certainly doesn’t make the greatest use of its cast, but honestly, I always thought that was more the fault of the film being based on a comic book guy that can generate wacky items like big hammers or fists using willpower. I mean, what exactly can you do with that and not make it come across as silly? The Dark Knight this guy ain’t.

Ryan Reynolds, who has been primed to front a comic book franchise for a while now (the guy basically has the physique of a comic book character, for God’s sake) takes the lead as Hal Jordan, a hotshot test pilot and womanizer who ends up in the possession of a dead alien’s power ring. Said dead alien was a part of an intergalactic law-enforcement group called the Green Lantern Corp. (basically, space beat cops), made up of various aliens from around the universe. The dead alien happens to patrol the sector that includes Earth when he is taken out by a giant floating yellow cloud called Parallax.

Tomar-Re and Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern (2011) Movie Image

Hal, now christened the new Green Lantern, finds himself being taken to Oa, the home planet of the Guardians, supervisors of the Green Lantern Corp. There, he’s put through a rigorous training, but all of that won’t prepare our hero for the biggest challenge of all — defeating his own doubts. Of course, he’ll quickly have to get over that little tidbit because Parallax is moving towards Earth, where another villain, this one a human name Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), has found himself infected by Parallax’s, for lack of a better word, essence, grown a giant head, and is slowly but surely becoming evil. Green Lantern has to beat both of these guys and, uh, romance his childhood sweetheart Blake Lively all at the same time. Or thereabouts.

Don’t worry, though, “Green Lantern” isn’t nearly as convoluted as it sounds. In fact, it’s a pretty simple movie, a by-the-numbers Origins Story in comic book movie parlance. Reynolds is certainly game as hotshot Hal Jordan, and like I said, you’re not going to need to CGI off any fat from that physique of his. So yeah, he makes a pretty damn great looking superhero. The problem, of course, is that Green Lantern isn’t really a great superhero to warrant a big-budget studio Hollywood film. It’s Green Lantern. He makes things using his willpower and generated out of his ring. I honestly have no idea why anyone thought this would appeal to a wide audience. Even kids might see Reynolds creating twin supersonic jets and think, “Huh. Why doesn’t he just, you know, fly? Wouldn’t he still have to control those jets with his mind?” Okay, so maybe kids wouldn’t think that, but I did, and therein lies Green Lantern’s problems. One of many, alas.

Green Lantern (2011) Movie Image

The thing about “Green Lantern” is? It’s not that bad. (See? There it is again.) It’s a decently entertaining movie, just so long as you don’t demand too much from it. There is a nice, fun vibe to the whole movie, and Reynolds certainly seems to be enjoying himself throughout. It’s really not his fault that the script is so lacking, or that director Martin Campbell seems over his head with the heavy green screen special effects. Speaking of which, the special effects are pretty good throughout, and Green Lantern’s costume is nicely rendered. The film certainly looks as expensive as it obviously cost to produced, so it has that going for it. Alas, eye candy may not be enough to save this one.

3-DISC BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO PACK:

As the box art (below) proclaims, “Green Lantern’s” Extended Cut DVD/Blu-ray Combo pack comes with the theatrical version of the movie you saw in theaters, and an extended cut that is 9 minutes longer, much of it in the beginning. You get more background on Hal’s childhood, as well as more on the trio of Hal, Carol, and Hammond as kids. Whereas in the theatrical cut the most you ever get in terms of a “love triangle” is Hammond bringing it up at the party scene. There may be additional scenes added back in later on in the film, but nothing overly important for me to really notice.

The disc’s biggest special feature is the Maximum Movie Mode (with theatrical version only), which allows you to watch the film while behind-the-scenes featurettes pop up in PIP throughout. For “Green Lantern”, D.C. comic book writer Geoff Johns is your host, which is a new one, since it’s usually the director who takes center stage for this. I’ve always found this feature to be a pretty interesting way to watch a film, especially ones that I’ve liked and really want to get more into the movie from every angle. Unfortunately Johns, while probably an affable enough chap, is more of a “guy with a camera who goes around interviewing people”, so what you get out of this Maximum Movie Mode is somewhat limited, at least in comparison to other Maximum Movie Modes I’ve sat through.

Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern (2011) Movie Image

Other special features include 46 minutes worth of “Focal Points”, behind-the-scenes featurettes that explore every aspect of the movie. The one thing I got out of this? The artwork they put into this movie looks really, really good. Other notable features include 20 minutes of “The Universe According to Green Lantern”, which traces the character’s comic book origins, and 8 minutes of Reynolds “becoming” the Green Lantern in the aptly titled “Ryan Reynolds Becomes Green Lantern”.

You also get 7 minutes worth of deleted scenes, including more time with Peter Sarsgaard and his beloved hamster, and unfinished scenes featuring Reynolds acting without CGI. This might be worth it just to see Reynolds all covered up in motion-capture doohickeys acting all serious. Man, it just looks silly, to say the least. And for you really big GL fans, a digital version of the rebooted “Justice League” #1 comic book (because, duh, who doesn’t like “reading” comic books on a TV?) and a six-minute preview of the upcoming “Green Lantern” animated CG TV series. If the preview is any indication, the TV series will look a lot like “The Incredibles” in terms of animation — minus all the details and, uh, budget. They shouldn’t have bothered.

Buy “Green Lantern” on DVD or Blu-ray October 14, 2011 from Warner Bros.

Green Lantern (2011) Movie 3-Disc Blu-ray DVD Combo

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    I would say this had some nice visuals but was handled all wrong. Each COM should be written to best suit the characters. Batman, Iron Man, and even X-men can be set in a more realistic world. Green Lantern works best in space and they definitely dropped the ball on this one. The animated “GL: First Flight” did a great job of telling the origin, and because they kept it in space it was more entertaining and exciting. It was “Training Day” in space! How could they ignore that idea and go with the crap they wrote? Maybe its cause I’m an artist but the idea of me creating ANYTHING out of pure energy is just awesome, and though they did a great job visualizing that, they really let me down storywise. I’ll own it because I’m a completionist but they need to rePly get a better story if they’re gonna compete with Marvel’s films.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. There was so much potential there, First Flight had the right idea. While you really don’t want to rehash a storyline, in my opinion, the dynamic between Hal and Sinestro is the most compelling part of GL. Sinestro was totally ignored. Mark Strong was by far the best thing about this film and had almost no screen time. Another mistep by WB and DC was the use of Angela Bassett as Amanda Waller. If done correctly she could have been a similar character to Marvel’s Nick Fury. Used as the tie that binds their Universe together. Unfortunately her role was an afterthought. Even the other members of the corp were just exaggerated cameos. There was no character developement for Hal, Carol or Hector let alone Kilowog and Tomar-Re. All in all just a very big missed opportunity. This could have brought DC to the next level as far as their films go. Instead it is lumped in with other half hearted failures such as Superman Returns and Catwoman. I’ll just say it, the best scene was the after credits stinger! That is not a good thing. While it was much better thatn I was expecting, it was still a sub par movie. I’d say it is on par with Marvel’s Fantastic Four movies. Not terrible but far from good.
      As for the Blu Ray release, I was expecting a few featurettes about the comic to film aspect, creati ng the corp or even something about the CGI suit technology employed. I was also looking forward to the much rumored deleted scene of John Stewart. Oh well. Looks like the Blu Ray will be about as enthralling as the movie was.

      • Anonymous

        WTF! edwardzarnawski?! I’m the Juggernaut bitch!!!

  • Anonymous

    It was grotesquely bad. I want the time back I wasted watching it.

  • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

    Someone mentioned before in another post that the boss fight was underwhelming. I was totally expecting the corps to come to the rescue at the end and get into the fight as well. C’mon, this thing was suppose to be this huge all powerful being, instead it was just the gravitational pull of the sun?

    Capt America is due on blu-ray soon. That hopefully won’t disappoint.

    • Juggernaut

      There were many problems with the movie but that was one of the biggest. The GL Corp are the police of the galaxy. Hal needs help and just because Parralax was threatening to destroy Earth they don’t step in?! Had they showed a scene where Tomar-Re and Kilowog afre about to head out to help and are stopped by Sinestro, either for a nefarious reason to prelude his innevitable turn or as a way to see what Hal is made of, that would have explained their nonchalance and made for a better movie.

      • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

        I didn’t read GL comics. Always stuck to marvel and some others later on so i dont know the how background.

        So Sinestro turns into a villain later? That’s cool. There was something sinister going on about hit

        But yes, if Parallax was so powerful, you’d think they would throw the entire Corps him, regardless of which planet he was after. All we got was a race to the sun.

      • Jarping11

        you guys are stupid they didnt help cause they thought they’d lose without mastering the yellow power themselves hal was the only one who thought he could do something