June 7th, 2011 – Review
Not sure if you know this or not, but I am a fan of The Green Lantern. I have been since i was a kid. I remember watching Super Friends on television and liking Green Lantern the most. I am not exactly sure why, but I thought he was the coolest. In 1990 when I was thirteen years old I purchased my first Green Lantern comic book. It was Green Lantern #1 (vol.3) and I still own it to this day.
Ever since 1994, after seeing The Mask starring Jim Carrey, I thought that a Green Lantern film would be possible. I mean, if this guy can create CGI guns and make his green face stretch in all kinds of directions, why couldn’t they do a Green Lantern power ring? Unfortunately, thoughts of a Green Lantern movie based on seeing The Mask was something that Hollywood noticed as well. On July 16th 2004, news started circulating around the internet about Jack Black getting the roll of Green Lantern.
After almost exactly seven years after that Jack Black story hit Aint it Cool News, we will get a Green Lantern movie. It will not be played as a comedy, it will not be played as a pure drama. The Green Lantern movie they are planning on releasing is a blend of both. From the looks of it, it will play out like the recent Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern (vol.4). I am very excited about this film, especially the merchandising aspect of it. Last Tuesday a bunch of Green Lantern merchandise hit the shelves and I went to town. Here are some of my thoughts.
CONSTRUCTING GREEN LANTERN FROM PAGE TO SCREEN
More than just a mere “art of” book. Constructing Green Lantern from Page to Screen takes you through the entire production process from a story standpoint. From the origins of the Green Lantern comics, to the making of the film, this book takes you on the same journey as Hal Jordan. From is youth and seeing his fathers’ death all the way to the film’s final battle with the fear entity known as Parallax, this book shows off some amazing set photographs, production artwork and has terrific insight from the filmmakers and artists that made this story come to life. It is an interesting read and the pictures are really pretty!
★ ★ ★ ★½
GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS
Straight to Bluray comes the latest DC Animated Adventure, Green Lantern Emerald Knights! This movie is an anthology that plays out like an hour and a half history lesson of the Green Lantern Corps. As you know, there are many Green Lanterns and they all have a story. In this movie you will learn more about The Beginning of the Corps, the rise of Kilowog, the tormented warrior Laira, the biggest Green Lantern of them all: Mogo and Hal Jordan’s predecessor, Abin Sur. Four of the stories are written by GL comic alumni Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, Dave Gibbons, Eddie Berganza as well as Green Lantern film writers Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green. As i mentioned above, it does play out like a history lesson, but all the stories are fascinating. I found that some of the voice casting was a bit off. I understand why you would have Henry Rollins as Kilowog, but his personality does not come through in his voice acting. On the other hand i thought that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was absolutely perfect as the arrogant warrior known as Bolphunga!! Over all this movie is a great introduction to just a few of the many Green Lantern corps members of all 3,600 space sectors.
★ ★ ★ ★
GREEN LANTERN: RISE OF THE MANHUNTERS (PS3)
Green Lantern gets his first video game all to himself and it is based on the upcoming film. A lot of times movie tie in games are complete crap, but after a few glowing reviews based on the demo, I was really excited for this game. The game is along the lines of a God of War or Ninja Gaiden style of combat button masher. Using different constructs, you can create amazing Manhunter smashing combos! In between the relentless action, you get a couple of really fun Star Fox type of space shooter. On these levels, Hal Jordan flies on a predetermined path and within the area on screen you can fly around and shoot targets with the aid of a reticle. These levels are a lot of fun, but wish that they showed up more often. This game is a lot of fun, but i have been playing it by myself and it gets really tedious. The enemies are pretty much the same throughout the game and they come at you non-stop. I think this would be more fun to play with a partner, who can join in as Sinestro. Speaking of Sinestro, he is one of only 3 green lanterns that show up in the game. This is a main problem for me. If you are going to make a game in which the Green Lantern’s home planet of Oa is under attack you would think that there would be more GLs in the mix than Hal, Sinestro and Kilowog. There is one point in the game where the Guardians tell you that there are a bunch of Lantern Corps members that are being attacked by Manhunters. As soon as you go to help them out, they die and their rings fly up into the air before you get to see a single one. Another thing that bugs me a bit is that you only get to visit three planets, Oa and Zamaron. In a universe so vast, you would think that GL would do more traveling. This game is a lot of fun but sort of feels like a giant demo. The first trailer opens up the game and then the game starts. There is no training with Kilowog, you are just kind of thrust into this battle. There are very little cut scenes. With all of the mythology over the last 50 years of GL, i hoped for a game that had a bit more scope. It is fun, but i just wanted more than just non-stop mindless action.
★ ★ ★
GREEN LANTERN: RISE OF THE MANHUNTERS (3DS)
It wasn’t until i played this game that i noticed the shortcomings of the PS3 game of the same name. After a quick comic book art style cut scene, you are thrust into a battle with Sinestro! Wow, okay. After Sinestro is done berating you, he takes off! So right off the bat i feel like i require training and get a great tutorial courtesy of Green Lantern Corps Trainer, Kilowog. Already, this version of the game feels more like a Green Lantern game as opposed to the PS3 version which feels like mindless fun. Right after i get trained i get to meet Tomar Re, Arisia, Ch’p and Sallaak. WOW, i just started playing this game and there are already four more Green Lanterns than the PS3 version which i have played for like 4 hours. Not only that, i have already met all of these Green Lanterns, but Sallaak gives me the option to travel to seven different planets! The gameplay is much like a Metroid or Castlevania game. It is a side-scroller and you can move freely throughout any map. You will come up to secret areas that will only let you pass if you have the right construct to get through, so i can see the replay value being high for those of us that like to complete games at 100%. The controls are a little sluggish, but not too bad. I do like that you can fly at any moment and when you do all of your punching and shooting controls act the same if you are on the ground. In addition to fighting off Manhunters and exploring worlds (including Coast City), there are the same type of Star Fox flight levels like in the PS3 version. If you are a Green Lantern fan i think you will enjoy the story and character interactions on the DS version more than the big console versions. Also, the 3D looks awesome!!
★ ★ ★ ★
So, that is all i have right now. I am going to be playing that Nintendo 3DS game in line while i wait for the movie on Thursday. To all you GL fans out there, i hope that you are enjoying all of the attention this character is getting and i hope for more awesome Green Lantern entertainment to come in the future!