movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Why would they do this? Oh yeah, I forgot: Every time DC or Marvel make a live-action comic-based movie, they do an animated one a year or two in advance — to drum up interest. This is the Silver Age revival Green Lantern (sci-fi), not the original kitschy Golden Age Green Lantern (magic).

PEOPLE: From the director of the recent animated movies Superman Doomsday and Wonder Woman, comes another feature-length superhero slugfest.

Starring Christopher Meloni (in 38 episodes of Oz, 12 Monkeys, was the KKK leader in Harold & Kumar 1, and had onetime appearances in Wonder Showzen, Michael & Michael Have Issues) as The Green Lantern/Hal Jordan. Victor Garber (Milk, Legally Blonde, Titanic) as Sinestro.

Also with Kurtwood Smith (Red Foreman from That 70’s Show, Deep Impact, Star Trek 6, 24, Eek!Stravaganza‘s The Terrible ThunderLizards [he was the dinosaur military commander], the Grim Reaper’s Dad in the 2 episodes he appeared in Grim & Evil, Agent Bennet from The Zeta Project and Batman Beyond), John Larroquette (Night Court, Star Trek 3), Michael Madsen (Scary Movie 4, Sin City, Kill Bill, Choke, Donnie Brasco, Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs, Thelma & Louise, The Doors, WarGames). Tricia Helfer (Number Six in Battlestar Galactica, The Black Cat in The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon). Olivia d’Abo (the Wonder Years older sister Karen Arnold, TAK from Invader Zim, Star Sapphire from Justice League, Melanie from Batman Beyond, and also in Wayne’s World 2 and Conan The Destroyer). William Schallert.

QUIRKS: Based on a comic book. Space and aliens. Seedy alien bars. Abuse of authority. Liberal vs conservative politics. Betrayal. Sacrifice. Superhero origin. They managed to pack a lot into a relatively short movie, with room to spare. They didn’t dwell on things too much, leaving plenty of room for hot pursuit and epic moon-shattering battles. Nothing less than the fate of the whole universe hangs in the balance of the plot of this movie.

This is also the only time I’ve ever been exposed to The Green Lantern‘s origin! A lifetime of superhero cartoons, and none that I had ever watched had really touched on that!

VISUALS: Great animation, as to be expected from any modern BluRay big budget animated film. NOT cgi.

MORALS: Sometimes questioning authority is good. Sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes the bad guy is the good guy, and the good guy is the bad guy. Beware of complacency.

BAD STUFF: People are put off by cartoons. (This “bad stuff” applies more to the human race than to this movie, heh heh.)

CONCLUSION: DC (and Marvel) both keep releasing solid feature-length superhero-based animated movies (and series) — and they’re more polished than ever. Even though I considered them both to be the leader of cool 1990’s superhero-based animation, they’ve been at a consistently better level of quality in the 2000s. And this movie was no exception. I never really knew the whole background of the Green Lantern, despite being familiar with the black Green Lantern in the most recent (and most awesome) post-2000 Justice League cartoon. Seeing this will definitely enhance the forthcoming live-action movie.

RATINGS: IMDB: 8/10 (Carolyn says 8, I was thinking more like 7.5). Netflix: 4/5 stars.

RECOMMENDATION: A live-action movie starring Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins:Wolverine, Just Friends, The Amityville Horror 2005, Van Wilder 1, Dick) is slated for 2011 release. It might be a good idea to brush up on the myth with this movie before proceeding into the live-action adaptation. Contrary to some of my philosophy with other movies, I think it’s generally a good idea to get as much background as possible with comic book-based characters. The Green Lantern is no motherfucking Flash, but he’s still pretty damn cool.

MOVIE QUOTE: Hal Jordan: Listen, buddy, I didn’t ask for this ring. You want it back, because I’ve had just enough of this crap.

Mood: anxious
Music: KMFDM – D.I.Y.