Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lanterns Green and Other Four Color Features


Green Lantern underperformed its opening weekend, but I don’t think that should dissuade anyone who enjoys superhero films from seeing it. It may not be the best of the bunch, and it’s a bit formulaic (why is it that since Iron Man the hero’s journey only ever starts from irresponsible jackass? Aren’t there some other stock lessons to learn?) Anyway, my point is: if you thought Thor was great, you’ll probably think Green Lantern is at least “good.”

A bit better though is the latest DC animated effort Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. This is an anthology like the previous Batman: Gotham Knight, but instead of giving alternate takes on the same character, it gives glimpses of lantern’s besides Hal Jordan. The framing sequence involves Arisia arriving on Oa as a rookie just as Krona is trying to bust out of the antimatter universe. More seasoned lanterns tell her stories as they prepare--and wait--for Krona to strike. Three of the four stories are based on ones from the comic book (one, “Abin Sur,” really only loosely borrows from Alan Moore’s “Tygers”--adding in Geoff Johnsian elements like Atrocitus). These include the wuxia-infused “Laira” (inspired by “What Price Honor?”) and another Moore tale, “Mogo Don’t Socialize.”

For what I think is the best of DC Animated’s recent films we’ve got to go outside the Corps. All-Star Superman a very faithful adaptation of Morrision and Quitley’s eponymous limited series. Both are veritable love letters to the Silver Age and ring from those tropes a tale at once postmodern and mythic.

If you got the time from only one superhero dramatization, skip all the recent live action films and see All-Star Superman.

9 comments:

Risus Monkey said...

I suppose I'll see GL eventually. I've been really into the character lately and recently read Blackest Night and watched the first animated GL movie. But the reviews and CG-heavy trailers have left me less than enthused about the new movie. Especially with all the other films I want to see this summer (Captain America is #1 on the list).

Meowlissa said...

I agree with Monkey...definitely left me less than enthused as well. I'm sure I will still see it though. It will eat my brain if I don't :P

Martin R. Thomas said...

Nice reviews, Trey. Your views align with mine almost to a "T."

If you are a fan of comic books, and of DC Comics in particular, then you should go see Green Lantern if only to see one of the quintessential DC heroes finally come to the big screen. We need the movie to do well in order for them to hopefully take other DC Heroes and get them movies. Personally, I'd love to see a Flash, Captain Marvel, and Justice League feature film.

For the animated Emerald Knights movie, I thought it was pretty good, but I was surprised that my wife really loved it. As I mentioned on my blog, she is a geek, but still... I didn't expect her to enjoy it as much as she did.

And, I couldn't agree more about the animated All Star Superman. It was one of my favorite animated DC movies in a quite a while. I think I might even like it better than New Frontier, and I enjoyed that one a lot.

Glad to see someone else watches the animated movies!

Trey said...

@Risus - Captain America is the one I've really being looking forward to as well.

@Meowlissa - Best to avoid the brain-eating!

@Martin - I always suspected you were a man of discerning tastes. ;)

JimShelley said...

Good review - I'm looking forward to seeing this!

Martin R. Thomas said...

Trey!!!! I just saw on MTV Geek that Cartoon Network is coming out with a Green Lantern series later this year!

http://geek-news.mtv.com/2011/06/21/watch-the-green-lantern-animated-series-trailer/

How totally cool is that?!?!

Um.. ahem. I mean, "I'm quite looking forward to this animated adventure series, being a man of discerning tastes."

Haha! :)

Beedo said...

Just chiming in that I appreciate these mini reviews you put out there from time to time on the animated super's stuff - I popped Emerald Knights into the netflix queue.

Trey said...

@Martin - I hadn't heard about that. Looks promising.

@Beedo - Thanks. Glad you find them useful.

Sarah said...

I don't know what everyone's complaining about - it's not a bad movie, if abit one-dimensional.

BTW, for hero's journey / screenwriting, go see Kal Bashir's excellent 510+ stage Hero's Journey at http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html