Green Lantern 3D Blu-ray Review
The disc presents a theatrically correct widescreen 2.35:1 1080p 3D transfer and is Region free.
Once again we have a 2D to 3D conversion and once again it is poorly done and very inconsistent which means any immersion that the makers hoped to achieved is sorely lost when you are pulled out of the 3D experience by either looking for depth, or having sudden ‘in your face’ moments, not that either are particularly effective in this film. Much like Thor, the majority of the CG rendered elements of this film were native in 3D, but unlike Thor, it is neither accomplished nor engaging and the 2D converted material that surrounds them is very flat indeed, meaning that the overall experience is sadly lacking. The Warner Bros. logo at the very beginning is very well seen, and the opening monologue’s visuals capture some nice effects with swirling mists flowing into and out of the screen. However, as soon as we zero in on the Earth bound portions, the frame considerably flattens and, worse still, the individual layers themselves have no solidity which shortens the frame even more so. Simple two shots have little distance between the characters and they are not set apart in 3D space; sets have no discernable fore, middle or background and objects within that space have no solidity – don’t get me wrong if this were a 2D film, it would look great, but in 3D it is a major disappointment. Individual scenes do show glimpses of greatness, Hal and Harold’s stand-off in the underground lab has a decent setting with reasonable depth, as does the climactic battle in front of the sun that has decent and tangible distance between the layers. But landscape establishing shots have virtually no depth into the frame, objects are not ‘round’, and when they are you see it and are pulled out of the effect. Take a look at the scene when Hal discovers Abin Sur’s craft on the beach; the landscape has little or no effect, framing does not take into account the fore, middle or background to give a depth effect, but the close up looks through the cockpit, which is a very accomplished 3D effect. Other simple shots, such as when Hal is surrounded by the green and pulled to Oa, should be very effective as a green mass set way apart from his surrounding and even more so when seen from space against the Earth – sadly it is way too flat. Then the very next shot has Hal shooting through the portal to Oa, again, very accomplished. And this inconsistency takes the brain out of the effect and the overall 3D experience collapses. Even the 3D rendered landscapes on Oa lack the requisite depth to be fully engaging, though individual scenes, such as the Guardians against their background, or the training battles, maintain decent enough effects.
As to the rest of the picture, well it’s pretty good. Detail can be extremely well seen, from skin to clothing weaves as well as distance objects such as cityscapes or the surreal landscape of Oa – each holding a tight edge. However, it’s not all plain sailing, there are instances of softening happening to both near and far scenes, as if a little digital manipulation is being used to gel the edges; though this is not a print defect, rather a product of the source material.
Colours are, for the most part, bold and strong, with no hint of wash or bleed, and, obviously, dominated by green, which is suitably luminescent, but, sadly, to the detriment of other primaries, with the exception of yellow. Blue and red are somewhat muted, again an artistic choice, but this doesn’t help the vibrancy of the picture, explosions do not have that ‘heat’ or urgency, skies are lacking depth and skin tones are a tad orange.
Brightness and contrast are set to give deep and impenetrable blacks (with the usual 3D caveat) which is great, except that it does have a tendency to obscure shadow detail in the darkest regions of Oa, space or the Lost Sector. Again, an artistic choice and not a print defect.
Digitally there were no compression problems, artifacting or edge enhancement to content with, though some might object to the occasional softening of the image as detailed above, posterization and banding were also absent. Using passive technology I spotted no crosstalk and only a hint of aliasing. As a 2D picture, it’s very decent, as a 3D picture it is sadly lacking, and since that is what we are here to see, a generous 6 is my mark.
I concentrate on the English dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Thankfully there is little to worry about when it comes to the sound mix, which is absorbing, bombastic and effective. Right from the off, travelling through the mists of space in the opening prologue to the domain of Parallax and the unfortunates that discover him, there is a power and urgency to the aural activity – surrounds are used to open up the soundscape , piping in with ambient noises as well as bolstering the effects which are pin point accurate as they mirror the on screen action. Hal’s dog fight with the unmanned drones sees plenty of flybys that utilise all the speakers with myriad effects from front to back and left to right. Bass is superbly deep, Parallax’s voice reverberating around the foundations, and, as you might expect from a superhero film, there are plenty of LF effects to keep the sub on its toes, even if they don’t quite sink to the depths of the very best out there. Dialogues is clear and coherent, sounds very natural and given directionality when needed. James Newton Howard’s nondescript score is also given full reign over the speakers adding to the total immersion from this exciting surround mix. Top notch.
- Maximum Movie Mode: Green Lantern's Light – Warner Bros take on the picture in picture track is an expansive behind the scenes look at the making of the film. Geoff Johns takes the lead in describing how the film came about, the origins of the character, the differing incarnations and other production information, casting, green screen, scripting, lighting, along with plenty of cast and crew interviews and branching focus point featurettes, pop up trivia, character biographies, design and production drawnings of sets and props that make up as comprehensive a making of feature as you will probably ever get.
- Focus Points (44.55, HD) – the featurettes from the MMM are accessible as play all or individual features from here; their specific titles describe what they are all about and include, The Art of Green Lantern, Weapons Hot: The U.C.A.V. Dog Fight, Reinventing the Superhero Costume, Ring Slinging 101, We Are the Corps, Acting Under 10 Pounds of Silicone, Guardians Revealed and When Parallax Attacks.
- The Universe According to Green Lantern (20.12, HD) – is a brief look at the comic-book incarnation of the Green Lantern, how he came about and how he developed through time with contributions from some of his most famous writers and artist – very helpful if you know little about the character and his adventures.
- Ryan Reynolds Becomes the Green Lantern (08.48, HD) – is a look at how Reynolds approached the titular main character, what drew him and how he developed while working with the motion capture and green screen elements of the film.
- Deleted Scenes (07.16, HD) – five scenes that add nothing to the final film and were wisely left out.
- Justice League #1 Digital Comic (09.13, HD) – The first issue of the ‘Justice League’, plays by the camera swooping in and around the artwork in a faux animation, I think I’d have preferred a static picture and more control over the pages.
- Preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series (06.32, HD) – a short look at the computer generated animated series; quite simplistically stylised, but not without its charm, piqued my interest at least.
- 2D Version – actually two versions of the film, the Theatrical cut and the Extended version that adds in a further nine minutes of footage, mostly at the beginning regarding Hal’s early childhood.
- DVD & Digital Copy – the film on DVD and in a digital format.
- PS3 Arkham City Character Skin Code
All the extras, including the Extended version of the film, are found on the 2D Blu-ray, which are very comprehensive and detail just about all you need to know about the making of the film.
The Green Lantern is DC’s latest entrant into the ever burgeoning superhero film genre. Whilst the comic-book incarnation has legions of fans and is based on the solid premise of a standard ‘hero’ type that inherits a great Ring of power that enables him to construct anything he can imagine provided he has a strong enough will, while maintaining the responsibility of a galactic sector and all the sentient beings that live within it; the film has to go back to the basics with an origin story but makes several fundamental flaws, including the miscasting of the lead character and giving him a severe lack of hero quality, a poorly designed antagonist that is not frightening and a story that fails to engage on an emotional level. All of which means the film is somewhat tedious to sit through, even the effects fail to inspire and the entire thing comes off as a turgid mess. With such a wealth of back-story to call upon, there is little excuse, save poor scripting and direction and this film has both.
As a Region free 3D Blu-ray the picture is unremarkable and a little too flat, even for a poor conversion, though it is bolstered by an excellent sound track and an extensive extras package; so along with the 2D Blu-ray, digital and DVD copy, this is at least a future proof buy.
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