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DVD REVIEW: Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

A column article, Shot For Shot by: The DVD Squad
Karyn Pinter: What did you think of it overall? I thought it was good, but it was no Under the Red Hood.

Jason Sacks: I enjoyed it a lot. I thought the stories were a lot of fun, and there are certain scenes in the movie that I thought were just awesome.

Karyn: I found some of the stories entertaining, but a few others where loosing my interest. The flashback about Mogo was great, sort of the highlight for me.

Jason: "Mogo Doesn't Socialize", one of the great Alan Moore stories. I did get bored during the first story and I was wondering if I was just distracted or plain bored by it.

Karyn: I felt the same way, the first story - Kilowog's - didn't do much for me. Same with Sinestro's. I thought they were both a bit bland.

Jason: The animation was gorgeous in the first story, though. The scenes with the invading spaceships were awesomely cool - perfect widescreen action scenes that looked absolutely fantastic on Blu-ray. I just felt that story especially dragged a bit - there was too much myth and not quite enough action. Did you like how the scribe ended up being the ring-bearer and despite his small size and stature ended up being heroic?

Karyn: The animation was fantastic, and you're right, that battle was pretty epic. I'll have to go watch the DVD version to compare to the BluRay. It was nice to have some back story, but I felt that the flashback over dominated the movie. I know the moive is about the Emerald Knights but there is another story that's being told, and sadly was mostly forgotten until the last minute. I did like the scribe being the "first lantern" and that leads into some of my thoughts on the extra features.

Jason: You're right that the real story of the movie was kind of shoved off for the last few minutes. It's a shame because that section was pretty dang spectacular. The image of whatsisname emerging from the sun was really awesome, and the climactic battle was spectacular.

Karyn: I wish they would have spent more time on that. Instead they wrapped it up in about six minutes like a simple math problem. It was supposed to be Arisia Rrab's grand story for the history books but i feel it was too under played to be her great story.

Jason: It seems to me the problem was a lack of balance in the DVD -too much on the early stories and not enough on the grand conclusion. It didn't work well as a framing story because the threat was too big and too interesting to be shoved off to the end.

Karyn: Yeah, they destroy Oa and it comes off as not as important as Laira's father killing himself.

Jason: Laira. Not my favorite character. I'd never heard of her before the DVD and wasn't surprised from the bonus features that she was an early '90s action femme, complete with Liefeld-influenced artwork, thong and crotch-shots in her debut story. She's a bit of a stereotypical character from that era.

Karyn: I'm indifferent towards her. Oh and not enough Hal Jordan in the moive.

Jason: Johns and DiDio keep talking in the bonus features about how Hal is the heart of the Corps, but don't have him do much in the movie.

Karyn: Exactly. He's the Green Lantern. I know it's the Corps but when someone say Green Lantern you think Hal Jordan.

Jason: So where was he in the movie?

Karyn: leading Arisia Rrab around by the hand

Jason: He was a plot device, not the greatest of the Lanterns. Did you like Nathan Fillion as his voice?

Karyn: No. I love Nathan Fillion but he's too recogniazble now and it ruins it for me.

Jason: Exactly. I always think of him as Malcolm or as Castle. It was distracting - I wanted to see his face.

Karyn: I liked him as Steve in Wonder Woman but that was before I watched him every Monday night. I couldn't picture Hal, I saw Nathan.

Jason: I wonder who would have been a better choice... I did like Henry Rollins as Killowog, that was a cool bit of stunt casting. He was surprisingly good in the role.

Karyn: I felt he could have been a little more gruff in voice. I just picture Kilowog as have a deep, gravel like voice. I really liked Jason Issacs as Sinestro, then again I just really like Jason Issacs.

Jason: I'm still not used to Sinestro being a Lantern but you're right, I thought his portrayal was just perfect.

Karyn: Going back to Mogo, I must give props to Roddy Piper as Bolphunga.

Jason: Man that section was just awesome, wasn't it? It was definitely my favorite on the cartoon. From the beginning battle, wiith the awesomely designed pumpkin-like alien, to the great reveal at the end, that story worked just perfectly. And it was just long eenough - not too short or too long. Piper was great with that character - confident, then terrified but always himself.

Karyn: I would have just watch that for an hour and half and been perfectly happy.

Jason: LOL I'd watch a whole DVD of Alan Moore adaptations... I even liked the Tales of the Black Freighter DVD. What were you going to say about the bonus features?

Karyn: Oh, well I've only watch two so far but the one entitled "Only the Bravest" was really good. Did you get to watch that one?

Jason: The one with the psychologist who talked about why soldiers throw themselves onto grenades and such?

Karyn: Yes that one. They go into fighting as a single warrior while still fighting as a whole and for something greater than yourself and your pride and honor. They realte the Coprs to King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and how they were each their own man like Bors and Galahad but they were also party of this much bigger force.

Jason: That was cool and very insightful for the Corps. It definitely reinforces the idea that a group is greater than the sum of its parts.

Karyn: For simple funny books there's a lot of deep, psycholgical meaning to them.

Jason: The rest of the bonus features are fun, though the best is definitely the bonus episode of Batman the Brave and the Bold. I was hoping they'd run that Daffy Duck cartoon where he's a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Bummer that it wasn't included.

Karyn: Brave and the Bold? Or Year One?

Jason: They have 1½ episodes of B&B along with the Year One preview.

Karyn: I must have missed the Brave and the Bold piece. I'm excited for Year One though. Probably most excited about Bryan Cranston play Jim Gordon.

Jason: I almost jumped out of my seat when I saw him! He's perfect for Jim Gordon!

Karyn: He is. Out of the annouced voice cast I think he's the best. Ben McKenzie as Bruce Wayne... ehh.

Jason: Eliza Dushku as Selina could be cool.

Karyn: Oh that's a can of worms with me, haha. Maybe since I don't know her voice too well I won't be driven insane.

Jason: LOL. And they obviously have deep reverance for that story. I'm introgued by it being a very close adaptation of the original Frank Miller. I guess that's pretty typical for the DCU cartoons, though. All the stories in the GL DVD follow the original stories closely.

Karyn: From what I know of them, yeah. I'm not a follower of the Lantern Corps. I like Green Lantern but he's never been a favorite of mine. So I'm approcing this movie from and outsider's view.

Jason: I tell ya, DiDio and Johns sure love the Corps. Wait till you listen to the commentary track. So overall I think I liked this one a little better than you did. Despite its flaws with pacing, I liked the grand space opera feel of it, and the ending was pretty dang awesome to me. I also liked the Killowog story more than you, I think.

Karyn: The Sam Liu/Lauren Montgomery team up seems to be a little hit and miss, at least to me. Both did All-Star Superman which I thought was fairly awful but Lauren Montgomery did Wonder Woman which was great - and I'm not being biased, I swear. They'll also be reteaming for Batman: Year One. Emerald Knights was certainly better that All-Star Superman. In my mind that's a hands down fact. However there could have been more done with the story and ploting.

Jason: Yeah All-Star was a real case where you had to love the comic to get much out of the DVD. At least this one stood on its own feet.

Karyn: Agreed. I think seasoned fans of the comic will enjoy elements of Emerald Knights, and newer fans might be intrigued by the backstories for some of the key Lanterns.

Jason: So what's your rating for this one?

Karyn: I'd give it an honest It was good but I've seen better

Jason: is exactly the number I was thinking of. It's fun and worth buying, with good character work. But it has pacing problems and could have been cooler.

Karyn: Obviously with the big Green Lantern moive coming out soon there was a push to release this, but I feel it's going to get over looked because of that. Maybe if it were released in the wake of it would do better, after all the kids have seen the movie and are now forcing their parents to buy anything with Green Lantern on it.

Jason: Yeah it does seem a little early - but you can also see it as part of the hype machine.

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