Special Edition Podcast

07.30.2009 – ‘Green Lantern: First Flight’

Show Notes

07.30.2009 – Conor Kilpatrick, Ron Richards, and iFanboy staff writer Paul Montgomery gather together to discuss the first movie starring Hal Jordan — Green Lantern: First Flight!

TRT: 23:32

Music:
See the Light
Green Day

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Comments

  1. I want to see this film. as I am so fired up for anything Green Lantern lately.

    But judging from this podcast….I don’t wanna see it. You guys did say as a whole, you should watch it and gave it a good score/review. But there seemed to be more negatives then positives about the whole film. Not a good sign.

  2. standardman standardman says:

    I feel like my problems with this movie were hightened by the fact that I’ve been reading Geoff John’s terrific run – it’s like going from a great remix to a bad cover version.

  3. Jim Jim says:

    Haven’t watched the podcast, yet, but I wasn’t completely blown away by the movie when I watched it last week with my wife.  We enjoyed how they built up Sinestro, but the ending was far from stellar, and didn’t really capitalize on anything set up in the movie itself, much less in Geoff Johns’ run. 

    In all, the movie was certainly not as good as the Wonder Woman movie, or New Frontier, or even Superman-Doomsday, I would say.  I’d put it about even with Marve’s recent animated efforts, Hulk v. Thor and Wolverine — both of which were big steps up for Marvel from their terrible Ultimate Avengers movies.

  4. chrislatray chrislatray says:

    I almost bought this but rented it instead . . . haven’t watched it, though. I was leaning toward buying because of the special features which are on disc 2 of the limited edition version, which weren’t discussed at all in the podcast. Anyone have any comments on that aspect of the DVD?

  5. Heroville Heroville says:

    Wow a Total Justice/Fraticle Tech-gear reference; never thought I’d hear that brought up again

  6. Hey! I love Sailor Moon! =) 

  7. Reboot? Dragon Ball Z? You are so appealing to my child hood nostalgia, =D! I intend to watch the film itself soon! 

  8. dcicirelli says:

    Its hard to have character moments when you have no history or relationships with any of the other characters. Further, the movie didn’t build any relationships either.  The whole movie Hal was the guy at the party that doesn’t really know anyone and keeps to himself. His whole presence felt awkward.

  9. jackietam jackietam says:

    For the so-called Guardians of the Universe, they sure are willing enough to easily surrender to Sinestro.

  10. stuclach stuclach says:

    No offense to Ron, Conor, and Paul, but where the hell is Josh (and his awesome GL tattoo)? Was he busy styling his mustache?

  11. First half put me to sleep. But I did enjoy the action of the second half. There was just no character work done on Hal, which is weird since it’s only a 70 minute film.

  12. RyanHoyt RyanHoyt says:

    I feel like they may have left out the Hal Jordan on Earth stuff because it was already explored more in "New Frontier" and it would feel like rehashing that movie.  But it was definitely lacking because of that.  Definitely my least favorite of the DC Animated releases, but I really enjoyed the 4 Justice League/JLU episodes on Disc 2 (the Target exclusive version had 4, but I think the other versions only had 2), as well as the Duck Dogers/Green Loontern episode, and the other short documentaries about Green Lantern and the other DC animated releases. 

    I’m hoping that Batman/Superman: Public Enemies will be much better.

  13. Aquaman Aquaman says:

    I totally remember that Kyle action figure! There was a flash one to I think.

  14. Ilash Ilash says:

    Man, I know that this wasn’t your intention but you guys totally put me off this. It really sounds awful.

    It was kind of like Ron trying to be positive about the Wolverine movie but failing entirely to make it sound like anything other than a dud. Which it so totally was.

  15. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I still think it’s worth a rental. There’s fun to be had. 

  16. s1lentslayer s1lentslayer says:

    I thought it was okay. The way they chose the Green Lanterns was different, at least from what I think is in the comics. The movie made it seem like the Guardians chose those who were worthy and could take a ring away, whereas I thought the ring decided solely in the comics.

  17. Gabe Gabe says:

    RON!!!! IT IS EXPLAINED IN COMICS WHY ABIN SUR IS IN A SHIP.  ALAN MOORE EXPLAINED IT!!!!  ALAN MOORE!!!!

  18. Gabe Gabe says:

    I liked this a lot more before someone told me to compare it to the first superman show episode.  And yes, the CGI looked like something I could do on my mac.  I also hated the design and characterisations of the guardians.  

    Also, IMO the best moment was on OA when all the rings started raining down. 

  19. i liked it more than most of the Marvel animated features, but I think it’s the weakest of the DC ones. The voices of the Guardians didn’t seem right at all to me.

  20. daccampo daccampo says:

    I saw this at SDCC. Paul’s right, there’s fun to be had, but there are also certainly problems.

    As the guys mentioned, the first act is rough. We needed to know Hal before the ring. Why is Hal chosen? In the comics is what because he was fearless and had a strong will. We need to know that before he gets the ring. And I think we need to know a little of what he does with the ring before the Corps arrives. 

    I liked the second act. The whole Training Day vibe was maybe a little too on the nose, but it was still a lot of fun.

    The final act was a real crowd-pleaser, judging by the SDCC audience, but I had some problems with it. It basically comes down to the fact that the film makes the mistake of using the concept of the "magic ring" as a crutch. By that I mean that there are no rules except what is convenient. I don’t want to spoil this too much, but… when the battery is destroyed, Hal is able to crack it open and… well, there’s stll power. And he can apparently use it to power himself up so much that the yellow weakness apparently doesn’t matter anymore. No rhyme or reason, it just happens. There were a few bits like that at the end. Because they don’t explain the ring or the battery, they can have the ring be weaker or stronger whenever it needs to be so. You’ve gotta be careful when using fantastic elements like this. If you don’t create the "rules," these elements can easily become a crutch for convenience.

  21. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @daccampo – I don’t know that you need to lay a whole lot of pipe in the beginning to prove Hal’s worth. That could’ve come in in the training period. The ring sees the potential first and then through his actions both Hal and the audience see that the ring was right all along.  

    I agree about the logic problems with the power battery and the final scene. That said, it’s gotta be extremely difficult to make any kind of sense out of cosmic powers. They needed a few more rules  to govern the logic of it all, but they also could’ve gone too far. It’s that whole double edged sword of exposition. Not enough rules set forth and you have chaos, go too far with the explanations and plot holes start opening up. In this case, energy levels from the rings would’ve helped a lot, as would more emphasis on human decision making.  

     

  22. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    RE: The dvd extras

    Nothing to write home about really. Fluffy stuff. Johns, Tomasi, and DiDio talk Blackest Night, but it’s not new information. The bonus JLU episodes are always fun to revisit though.   

    No commentary track, which I thought was unusual. Also, the digital copy is not OSX compatible, which is more than a little lame.   

  23. Chris Rohling Anson17 says:

    @Paul. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was a little miffed about the compatibility issue. Any idea why it’s only Windows compatible.

  24. Chris Rohling Anson17 says:

    Heh. Rebooty.

    Yeah. The CGI sucked. I enjoyed the movie for the most part. 

  25. charlesp1138 charlesp1138 says:

    I watched it this evening. Felt like half a movie to me.

  26. daccampo daccampo says:

    @Paul — sure, it could have come during the training scenes. Thing is, it needed to come somewhere. Personally, I would have spent more time with him beforehand. Like Neo in the Matrix… we have a little time with him, just enough to show that he’s smart and has some skills but he’s unhappy and searching for meaning in his life. If it was Kyle in this, I would have liked to have seen that he’s an artist with a great imagination, but he doesn’t fit in here on earth. But among the green lanterns, he is capable of using his imagination for great things. With Hal, I would have liked to have seen that he has trouble on earth and his ways are problematic but they also get things done. It never quite comes across as well as it could in the film. I would have liked ot have seen why he’s the only one who would think to do that to the power battery, y’know? Why would he do that and not any of the others. They captured a bit of that, but not enough to really sell me on it. There just needed to be a few more links in the chain.

    With the ring/battery stuff — yeah, that’s what I’m getting at. It’s HARDER than you think when you start using fantastic elements like that. I didn’t really feel like the final scenes "could only have gone that way" because there was nothing there guiding me to think "oh this can’t work, but that can! Brilliant!" We just kinda sit back and say, "OK, so now he’s reallllly green. And that means… Oh, OK. I guess so." It’s not easy, and I don’t want a bunch of exposition, but I think there are bits where the plot was wrapped conveniently, rather than… craft…fully…? Y’know?

  27. Now I am even less excited after reading these posts. Sounds like a really disappointing film.

    @llash is right with Ron, but the other guys are in on this too. You guys really sounded like you were grasping for straws on this one. Not saying you didn’t like it, just that when you finally got down to talk about it….you had little to say that was good.

  28. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    It’s not so much disappointing as it’s just not as good as the others. The last act is really fun. The fight scenes and action sequences are great.

  29. @conor: I’m sure the action is good, DCAU films always have great action in them. But it sounds like they butchered Hal’s origins and other aspects of the GLC. Then there seems to be little story outside of Sinestro’s plans (no B or C plot in this I guess?) and this seems pretty light all around.

  30. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TNC – You’re arguing about the quality of a movie you haven’t seen with people who have seen it. 

  31. BettyWhite BettyWhite says:

    I will say, for the record, that I did not enjoy it.  There was TOO MUCH action!  After watching this movie, I felt like I had to put in my vhs copy of steamboat willie.  There’s just something about the spirit of a whistling mouse driving a steamboat that I don’t think has ever been matched in these modern cartoons.

  32. daccampo daccampo says:

    Yeah, my criticisms with the movie are not to be misconstrued as hatred. There were lots of fun, crowd-pleasing moments. I loved all the “mos eisley” stuff. Victor Garber alone is worth the rental. As is Michael Madsen. It’s just unfortunate that they didn’t tighten up a few things to make it fun and seamlessly crafted.

  33. @Paul: How can I enjoy the film when all of your attitudes were like:

    ‘Yeah….it was good….Yeah I guess I’ll watch it again, but maybe not’

    With a tone like that, why would I think this is a good film?

  34. When I compare this movie to other animation abominations, this movie was quite good. Of course it has flaws, but not every cartoon can be a Cowboy Bebop or Batman: TAS. It’s by all means not a bad movie.

  35. Crucio Crucio says:

    I liked it alot.

  36. I’m a GL fanatic. And though it had it’s moments, this felt like an episode of Mighty Morphin Green Lanterns. Especially with that "sailor moon" transformation.

  37. Though I loved Victor Garber as sinestro and I want him to be in the Live film.

  38. Jeff Reid JeffR (@JeffRReid) says:

    @Paul: Was that "Hey gang" in the beginning your new sign-on or was it just a hold over from the third video you did? :)

    I’m looking forward to seeing this flick whenever my reserve gets filled at the library.  It sounds like a great lazy summer afternoon movie to watch.

  39. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @JeffR – I’m trying to establish countless catch phrases. 

  40. Kenzaburo Kenzaburo says:

    Liked the movie in general. Since I saw New Frontier last week and First Flight this week, I didn’t really need the origin story, but because this is more of a stand alone version, it might have been better to expand the origin a bit.

    What actually confused me was something in the final battle.

    Spoilers ahead!!!!!

     So, Hal destroys the yellow power battery, by smashing it with two moons, right? And we learned only moments before, that as soon as the battery stops working, the rings won’t work either right? Hence the rain of GL rings on Oa. Why is it, that Sinestro’s Yellow Lantern ring doesn’t stop working, his force field fails and he suffocates in space? Am I missing something here?

     

    And on another note: I am not 100% sure, but isn’t Booddika supposed to look, uhm, more alien? She seemed like the hot purple chick (voiced by the very real and hot Tricia Helfer) and not the purple weird looking alien chick I thought she was. 

  41. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I’m only a recent GL fan, so I could be wrong, but I’m assuming that Boodikka used to look more human, but when she became an Alpha Lantern, that changed her appearance. 

  42. valo valo says:

    I’ve said it on twitter, this movie is stiff. It’s good but the voice acting and animation wasn’t all that fluid or as natural as it has been in the other DC movies. Hal Jordon wasn’t as fun in this story as he was in New Frontier.

     I felt it was the weakest of the movies so far, but its not bad.

  43. Kenzaburo Kenzaburo says:

    weakest? hell no, those batman flicks leading into dark knight were worse.

    podcast is right, this is on par with superman: doomsday. and that one wasn’t too shabby. :)  

  44. valo valo says:

    Gotham Knight has an interesting take on it and took risks, some paid off others didn’t but I had more fun watching that than I did this this one.

  45. I didn’t watch Gotham Knight, but I’ve only heard good things of it.

    As for Doomsday being "not too shabby" I stand on a different plank.

    Doomdsday had about the same issues this movie had, it was PG-13 just to be PG-13. They didn’t need the blood and the cursing and the innuendo. I’d still put GL FF on the same par as Doomsday, but mainly because Doomsday was so bad and this had too drastic of character changes that really piss me off. I mean if you don’t tug on superman’s cape, then why the fraq would you fraq up Hal’s costume. I don’t mind if they change the shoulders or if they have him wear the green One Piece or have it look like a smock like they have now, but the mother fraqing white gloves stay.

  46. Jim Mroczkowski Jimski (@jimski) says:

    If you’ve only heard good things about Gotham Knight, listening to the podcast we did about it would be a pretty quick remedy for that. There were good things about it, but I would not call it my particular cup of tea.

  47. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @Caleb: I wouldn’t mind the comics doing away with the white gloves.

  48. @conor: But it’s not labor day yet!

  49. Kenzaburo Kenzaburo says:

    But if you do away with the white gloves, isn’t Starbucks gonna be pissed? …oh, wait, GL is not associated with Starbucks, right? j/k

    I don’t mind the white gloves, really. 

  50. @ Connor: To be honest, the white gloves aren’t nearly as sacred as Supes cape. But what Hal looked like in this was a Bad 90s Armor costume. Hell every Power Rangr er… Green lantern did. Now I don’t think the white gloves look silly or stupid, I think it’s just something nice, I don’t mind them there, I don’t mind if they’re gone. But I would prefer the white gloves.

    But I would do a Trade with DiDio. I’d give up the White Gloves and the onesie if we can get a Wonder Woman Costume that isn’t sexist. Or at least isn’t like an all day swim suit.

  51. Kenzaburo Kenzaburo says:

    funny thing tho, girls around here have taken to wearing hot pants and quite skimpy tank tops all summer. not all of them, but quite a lot. 

    but honestly, yes, wonder woman’s costume does have a stripper vibe. but maybe that is due to the fact that i have seen an actual stripper dressed as wonder woman? :D  

  52. I have too. Her "real" name was Diana too. I say "real" because a stripper never uses her real name and often uses a fake name that is obviously fake and another fake name that is more realistic, but still fake.

    Anyway, beyond the point.

    I’m just bitter because they didn’t mess with Wonder Woman’s costume yet they messed with GLs. Even though in the movie they make fun of it alot.

    I guess I just want to see something on Wonder Woman that has legings. I mean even when she’s in her Eagle/Knight/Kindgom Come armour, she still shows miles of legs.

  53. KickAss KickAss says:

    Ya, why wasn’t Josh on this podcast?  With the GL tatoo?  Did he not want to criticize the Lantern?

    @ Betty White – HAHAHAHAHA!!  You and your Steamboat Willie memories!  You think Clark Gable is available to play Hal in the Green Lantern movie?

  54. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    I liked it for what it was.  I had many of the same problems with it that you guys did.  I haven’t seen Wonderwoman yet, but I’ll be checking it out soon.

  55. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    I didn’t have time to watch it because I was editing the first SDCC show.

    Always with the conspiracy theories.

    It was OK.  By the time I saw it, I’d heard how awful it was from everyone.  But in general, I’m not so into the animated movies.  I haven’t loved any of them.

  56. Jeff Reid JeffR (@JeffRReid) says:

    Finally saw this over the weekend. I actually really enjoyed it, then went back and re-listened to this podcast.

    You ask just who this movie is for and, I’ve gotta say, it seems like it was made for me. I’m a casual Green Lantern fan who used to read the series regularly but now only occasionally reads GL in trades. I know Hal and Kilowog well enough that I didn’t need to have their characters spelled out in detail. From an objective point of view, should they have spent more time developing up these characters with moments to make it easier for the lay-person to follow? Yes. But, I’m not a lay-person and I really enjoyed myself. Thanks for creating a movie just for me, DC!

    There was a moment that I found particularly interesting. In this film, the Guardians seem to be disgusted by the idea of a human being a Green Lantern. While they never came out and said this, I implied that there had never been a human GL before Hal. Does anyone know if this part of the current comics continuity? I recall there being stories published in the ’90s of past GLs working in sector 2814 who had been humans. Most of these stories came from the anthology series GREEN LANTERN CORPS QUARTERLY. Has Johns done anything with this idea in his current run?

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