Directed by Chris Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery, and Jay Oliva
Starring the voices of Nathan Fillion, Elisabeth Moss, Kelly Hu, Henry Rollins,
Wade Williams, Arnold Vosloo, and Roddy Piper
Elwood Says: 5 Rookie Poozers of 5
After a very busy and tiring week full of news about DC Comics utilizing their nuclear option, you have no idea how grateful I was to sit down and spend a few hours with the characters I know and love from the EXISTING Green Lantern Corps.
Emerald Knights takes the format of the “Secret Origins” special issues and makes a wonderful film focusing on the beginnings of fan favorite Lanterns. The overall arc has Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion) giving a tour of OA to new recruit and trainee Arisia (Elisabeth Moss). Along the way, Hal tells Arisia the stories of The First Lantern, Kilowog, Laira, Mogo, and about the last mission of Abin Sur and Sinestro. All of these stories are taken from the comics, and from writers like Ron Marz, Marc Guggenheim, Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, and others.
The movie culminates in the Corps fighting a well known enemy, and Arisia finally learning what she’s a part of. It’s really more Arisia’s movie than Hal’s, and that makes it great. We’ve seen Hal’s origins in First Flight, and now we need to see the Corps from another newbie’s point-of-view. It’s a great perspective, and Arisia’s always been a favorite of mine.
The voice casting, as per Andrea Romano and DC Animated’s usual, is spot on. Nathan Fillion is someone who IS Hal Jordan, Moss blends courage with anxiety very well as Arisia, Jason Isaacs and Arnold Vosloo have great chemistry as Abin Sur and Sinestro. You can tell these two old friends are beginning down wildly divergent paths, and even without the benefit of seeing the actor’s faces, you can hear everything they aren’t saying. That’s good voice acting there.
This film is rated PG-13, mostly for violence. I’d recommend parents screen it first, as the opening scene might be a little traumatic to the younger viewers.
The Blu-Ray of this movie is beautiful to look at, and the sound quality is astounding. I was surprised that I didn’t find scorch marks on my walls after the final battle. The extras are great, including two long featurettes involving Dan DiDio, Geoff Johns and professors of Mythology and Psychology breaking down the concepts of bravery and belonging. I cannot rave enough about the quality DC Comics puts into their animated products*.
[* - If only they put as much effort into their live-action films. The trailers on this disc included High-Definition clips for the Harry Potter series of films, as well as the already released All-Star Superman, but the trailer for the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern is shown in non-anamorphic standard definition. Something tells me that DC and Warner Brothers have very little faith in their summer tent-pole film.]