Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Green Lantern: Emerald Knights" Good Space Opera

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 91 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011) – straight-to-video
Running minutes: 84 minutes (1 hour, 24 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for sci-fi action violence throughout, and for some language
DIRECTORS: Lauren Montgomery, Chris Berkeley, and Jay Oliva
WRITERS: Alan Burnett, Eddie Berganza, Todd Casey, Dave Gibbons, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Geoff Johns, and Peter Tomasi
PRODUCERS: Greg Berlanti, Donald De Line, and Lauren Montgomery
EDITOR: Margaret Hou
COMPOSER: Christopher Drake


Starring: (voices) Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss, Henry Rollins, Arnold Vosloo, Grey DeLisle, Kelly Hu, Michael Jackson, Bruce Thomas, and Roddy Piper

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a 2011 direct-to-video superhero animated film from Warner Bros. Animation. Starring DC Comics characters, Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps, this is also the eleventh feature in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies (DCU AOM) line. Executive produced by Bruce Timm, this film is adapted from DC Comics’ Green Lantern mythology.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is not a direct sequel to an earlier DCU AOM film Green Lantern: First Flight, but both films use the same character designs. Emerald Knights is, like Batman: Gotham Knights, an anthology film, and it tells six stories (about various Green Lanterns) structured inside a larger, framing story. That framing story focuses on the Green Lantern Corps and their battle with an ancient enemy. While the Corps awaits that enemy, a new recruit hears stories about various Green Lanterns, including a story about the unlikely very first Green Lantern.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is set on and around the Green Lantern home world, Oa. The planet’s sun is about to become the gateway for Krona, an anti-matter, alien evil that the Guardians of the Universe (essentially the creators of the Green Lanterns) banished ages ago. While they wait for the epic battle to begin, Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Earth (Nathan Fillion), helps a Green Lantern rookie, a young woman named Arisia Rrab (Elisabeth Moss), by telling her stories about legendary Green Lanterns and about pivotal moments in the history of the Green Lantern Corps.

Some of the stories include “The First Green Lantern,” which tells the story of Avra, an unlikely Green Lantern who actually was not the first person to get a Green Lantern ring. “Kilowog” tells the story of the Green Lantern drill sergeant, Kilowog (Henry Rollins), and Sgt. Deegan (Wade Williams), who was Kilowog’s drill instructor. In “Abin Sur,” Hal Jordan’s predecessor, Abin Sur (Arnold Vosloo), hears a dark prophecy from Atrocitus (Bruce Thomas), an alien criminal he captured.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights has excellent visuals. I would describe this movie as the hand-drawn animation equivalent of the computer-animated series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” In fact, the action is on par with the Star Wars animated series, and the voice acting here has range, quality, and emotional resonance.

However, some of the action is laughable, ridiculous, and way too over-the-top even for superhero/space opera fantasy. The framing sequence has a paper-thin plot and story. I’d say that the writers should be embarrassed about this, but I bet they didn’t even notice. Still, the anthology part of this is pretty good, so I’d recommend Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.

7 of 10

Sunday, September 16, 2012

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