Archive for Abin Sur

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The sun of the Green Lantern homeworld, Oa, is becoming a gateway for Krona, an evil anti-matter alien tyrant that once sought to destroy all life. As precaution the Guardians of the Universe decide to evacuate Oa of all valuables, such as the Central Battery. While in line to charge their rings before the Battery is taken away, Green Lantern Corps rookie Arisia Rrab converses with Hal Jordan and expresses her selfdoubts as the newest Green Lantern. In response, Hal tells her the story of the first Green Lantern:

In “The First Lantern”, Avra, a scribe to the Guardians, is chosen by one of the first four power rings despite having no skill as a warrior. Avra and the other three original Green Lanterns are sent to stop a nation of warring aliens. One of the four Lanterns is killed and, with defeat at hand, Avra uses his willpower and imagination as a writer to continue the battle. He creates the first construct from his ring, a sword, that is used to decimate the alien war crafts. Taking Avra’s lead the other two Lanterns also create shapes from their power rings to win the fight. Thanks to Avra the war is won and the power to shape constructs from the power rings is discovered. Avra rises in prestige among the growing Green Lantern Corps, and after his death his ring is passed down until it eventually becomes Abin Sur’s and then Hal Jordan’s.

Back in line at the Central Battery, Hal and Arisia meet Kilowog, the head trainer of the Green Lantern Corps. He antagonizes Arisia as a rookie and reminds her that she still has boot camp. Hal tells Arisia not to fear Kilowog and relates the story of Kilowog’s own trainer.

In “Kilowog”, Sgt. Deegan trains a rookie Kilowog and others by removing their power rings and putting them in deadly settings. Kilowog confronts Deegan and accuses him of a reckless training method and having no value for the lives of his trainees. Sgt. Deegan is then called to act with his recruits when a nearby planet comes under attack. Deegan purposefully drops Kilowog’s ring before departing with the other recruits. In the battle Sgt. Deegan orders the rookies to protect the refugees as he deals with the invaders. As Kilowog catches up, Sgt. Deegan is mortally wounded. Kilowog destroys the army and goes to Deegan’s side. Deegan tells Kilowog he never would have let his rookies die and that he did what was best for their training. He passes superiority to Kilowog who then takes up completing the mission.

Hal and Arisia arrive at a border patrol of the sun and await Krona’s return. Arisia meets a Lantern named Laira and Hal shares her story:

In “Laira”, a princess, Laira is sent on her first solo mission to her homeworld to deal with charges that her people are attacking other nations unprovoked. Standing in her way, Laira quickly defeats her father’s mistress and her belittling brother. But when she faces her father she is saddened to learn that the recent war crimes were his own decision. He has been driven into rage by the loss of honor that Laira’s ring choose her and not him. Laira is ultimately able to defeat her father who admits she has truly earned her adulthood. He then commits ritual suicide to maintain his honor.

Back at the border patrol of Oa’s sun, every Lantern has been called to await Krona’s return. The only absent Lantern noted is Mogo. Hal explains who Mogo is and why he is not present:

In “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize”, Bolphunga the Unrelenting seeks to fight and destroy all the most powerful warriors in the universe and is told he will never defeat the Green Lantern Mogo. Bolphunga’s computer contains no information on Mogo but tracks his whereabouts to a mysterious green planet. There Bolphunga spends weeks tracking Mogo’s power signatures but never finds the elusive Lantern. Bolphunga sets explosives all over the planet to flush Mogo out but is horrified when the planet extinguishes all the bombs and Mogo is revealed to be the entire planet.

At Oa’s sun Hal and Arisia are attacked by Krona’s Shadow Demons and rescued by Sinestro. Sinestro then speaks of the prophecy that Oa will be destroyed and relates a story of Abin Sur and the Lantern view on destiny:

In “Abin Sur”, Hal Jordan’s predecessor Abin Sur fights Atrocitus, an alien criminal speaking dark prophecies. Abin Sur is assisted by Sinestro in capturing the alien. Sinestro and Abin Sur then have a conversation relating to the warnings that Atrocitus spoke and Sinestro insists that he does not believe in destiny. Parting ways, Abin Sur takes the criminal to a prison planet where Atrocitus again speaks on Abin Sur’s imminent death. He also warns Abin that Sinestro will rise against the Green Lantern Corps and create his own lantern corps built on the power of fear. Abin Sur however refuses to believe his friend would betray his Green Lantern duties.

In “Emerald Knights”, Krona finally arrives from the Oa Sun. All the Green Lanterns fight swarms of Shadow Demons as Krona, an enormous figure, rises from the sun. Many Green Lanterns are killed and all others fall back. It is Arisia who devises a plan: if Krona is made of anti-matter then an equal or greater amount of matter will destroy him on contact. The Green Lanterns fall behind the planet Oa and push it at Krona. Krona uses Shadow Demons to push back and the Corps finds itself stymied while taking casualties. However, Mogo the Living Planet arrives and uses its own mass and Lantern Power to assist his comrades. Oa and Krona are forced into the sun and both are annihilated. The prophecy of Oa’s destruction is fulfilled, but Krona is destroyed and the Corps is saved.

Mogo volunteers to be the Corps’ temporary base as they build a new Oa. Arisia is honored with an official entry into the Book of Oa for her heroic ingenuity, although she still has to report for Kilowog’s training.

REVIEW:

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a collection of tales told by Green Lantern Hal Jordan to fellow Lantern Arisia Rrab as the Green Lantern Corps is facing a major battle with Krona and his shadow demons who seek to destroy their homeworld/base of Oa.

Each of these tales is impressively told, animated, and voiced. I found myself more than impressed by each of them. My favorite, though, had to have been the climactic end involving Mogo, the living planet, and largest Green Lantern.

The most interesting of the tales must have been the introduction of Avra, the first lantern. We all know that the lanterns can do pretty much anything they can think of, but it all had to start somewhere, and it was great to see where it all began.

I also really liked how they gave Abin Sur his own moment to shine. Let’s face it, everytime we see Abin Sur, he shows up for a brief amount of time, long enough to get his ass kicked and send his ring out to search for Hal Jordan. However, it is always aid that he was a great lantern and this shows his greatness.

The voice casting is one of the real selling points of this film. Whenever there is talk about anything Green Lantern, Nathan Fillion is always mentioned. I happen to believe that if not for his age, he may very well have had a role in this summer’s feature film.

Jason Isaacs plays a great Sinestro, but then his entire career is based on his ability to portray villains, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Arnold Vosloo, Kelly Hu, and Rowdy Roddy Piper also ignite the cast with their impressive voicing.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is quite enjoyable. Some may even say it is better than this summer’s Green Lantern. For me, I have to see them both again before I can make that decision, but I can say that I did enjoy Green Lantern: First Flight a bit more. Now, that’s my personal opinion. Some may agree and some may think I’ve lost my mind, but that’s just how I see it. If you’re a GL fan, then you can’t go wrong with either. If you’re not, then this is a good start for you, in terms of seeing what the corps can really do. I hope you check this out soon!

4 out of 5 stars

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Green Lantern

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Millions of years before the Earth was formed, a group of beings called the Guardians of the Universe used the green essence of Willpower to create an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. They split the universe into 3,600 sectors, with one Green Lantern per sector. The strongest of all the Green Lanterns was Abin Sur of Sector 2814, who defeated the ultimate being of fear called Parallax and imprisoned him in the Lost Sector (Sector 666) on the ruined planet Ryut. However, in the present day, Parallax (at the form of a Guardian of the universe) escapes from his prison after consuming the lives of three aliens stranded in the sector. Six months later, after killing four Green Lanterns and destroying two planets, Parallax attacks Sector 2814 and mortally wounds Abin Sur, who escapes and crash-lands on Earth. With his life reaching its end, Abin Sur commands his ring to find a worthy successor on the planet.

Test pilot Hal Jordan is whisked away to the crash site, where he is appointed Green Lantern by a dying Abin Sur. He travels to the Green Lantern Corps home base of Oa and meets Tomar-Re and Kilowog before encountering Sinestro, who is not pleased that a human – which is primitive compared to other species – has become a Green Lantern. Seeing himself unfit and fearful by Sinestro, Hal quits and returns to Earth. Meanwhile, after being summoned by a secret government organization, scientist Hector Hammond performs an autopsy on Abin Sur’s body, but a piece of Parallax’s DNA inside the corpse injects itself inside him, mutating the scientist and giving him telepathy and telekinetic powers, at the cost of his sanity. When he realizes that his own father, U.S. Senator Robert Hammond, had manipulated him to do the alien autopsy, he attempts to kill him by telekinetically sabotaging his helicopter at a party. But Hal uses his Green Lantern powers to save the senator and all of the party guests – including his girlfriend Carol Ferris, who later on recognizes him under the suit and mask. Shortly after, Hal encounters Hector, who succeeds in his second attempt to kill his father by burning him, and realizes that Parallax is on his way to Earth.

Back on Oa, the Guardians reveal to Sinestro that Parallax was originally one of them, until he desired to control the yellow essence of Fear against the wishes of his peers, ultimately becoming the embodiment of fear itself. Seeing that the only means to fight fear is fear itself, Sinestro requests for the Guardians to forge a ring of the same yellow power. However, Hal appears and tells Sinestro not to use the ring and asks the Corps to help him protect Earth from Parallax’s imminent invasion. His request, however, is denied and Hal himself must protect his home planet.

Upon returning to Earth, Hal saves Carol from being injected with Parallax’s DNA by Hector, but Parallax arrives – consuming Hector’s life force for failing to kill Hal before wreaking havoc on Coast City. Hal wards Parallax away from Earth and towards the Sun – using the Sun’s gravity to pull and disintegrate the entity. He loses consciousness after the battle, but is saved by Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar-Re before the entire Green Lantern Corps congratulate him for his bravery. Hal tells Carol he now bears the responsibility of protecting his sector as a Green Lantern.

During the end credits, Sinestro, who is drawn by the power of fear, takes the yellow ring and puts it on.

REVIEW:

When I started this blog, one of the things I set out to do was to give the view and opinion of someone who didn’t go to school to be a movie critic or anything like that, but just likes movies. If ever there was a time to show that the critics have forgotten how to watch a film and enjoy it, Green Lantern is it.

I’m sure by now you’ve read/heard the scathing review of this film. I’ve heard it all from boring, cluttered, too much CGI, dull performances, etc. I could not be further from the critics on this one.

Before I get too far in on this, I have to mention that when the initial trailer was released back in November, critics, fanboys, etc. ripped it apart and haven’t stopped since then, even in their review of the finished project. Isn’t that a shame?

If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews, then you know that I don’t support 3D. I think it is nothing more than a gimmick, but I made a rare exception for this film. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t take advantage of the technology they way they could, except in the final credits. Not quite sure why they didn’t do a better job than that. One would expect more from such a high-profile film.

So, what is this film about?

Well, as with any good comic book film, especially those that aren’t Superman, Batman, or Spider Man, we have to get the origin. The film opens with some sweeping sci-fi visuals and narration by Tomar-Re that sets up the story, much in the way the scrolling story does in the Star Wars films. After the setup, we are introduced to our main villain, Parallax, as sucks the power of fear from some alien astronauts that accidentally happen upon him in his prison, giving him the power to escape and set out for revenge.

On his way, he encounters Abin Sur, and mortally wounds him. sur is forced to set down on the nearest inhabited planet. As he is not long for the land of the living, he sends his ring to find a worthy successor. Enter, Hal Jordan, cocky test pilot who would be anything but worthy to anyone that knows him. Heck, he even cost the company he works for a big government contract and crashed a jet!

Once Hal gets transported to where Abin Sur is, he is given the ring and somewhat told what to do with it. Of course, anytime aliens crash on Earth, the government immediately sends out some sort of task force to retrieve/confront them. Hal does his best to bury the body and takes off to figure out what exactly just happened.

After playing around with the ring for a while, he stumbles upon the secret to making it work and is transported to Oa, the homebase of the Green Lantern Corps. Here, he meets Tomar-Re, who tells him that he is the first human to ever be chosen, as well as inform him of the humongous responsibility on his shoulders now.

After a quick flying lesson, Hal in thrust into combat training with Kilowog, a brutish beast of a Lantern, and then a session with Sinestro which causes him to “quit”.

Then we meet the film’s other villain, Dr. Hector Hammond, who is summoned by an unknown organization to do an autopsy on the alien. Hammond is so fascinated by it, that he doesn’t realize that he touches and is infected by the yellow energy that is Parallax. This infection leads to his gaining psychic powers, and eventually mutating his head.

Realizing that the Corps may not be able to defeat Parallax, Sinestro persuades the Guardians to commission a yellow ring and start the Yellow Lantern Corps in an effort to defeat the menace, especially after revealing that Parallax was once a Guardian who was corrupted by the power.

Hal eventually returns to Oa in an effort to sway some members of the Corps to help him defend his planet, but to no avail. He then returns to fight  Hammond and then we get the film’s climactic confrontation with Parallax.

One of the few things I didn’t like about this film was how it suffered from “origin-itis”. Many initial superhero films suffer from it…and I do mean suffer. Hopefully, if they make a sequel, they can rebound from this. I understand the need to tell the origin, but it just seemed as if they were just hell-bent on giving us every angle about Hal Jordan’s character, including a random scene with his nephew and some brief family drama with his brother, that is bogged down the first half of the movie and made it nearly unwatchable.

The other thing I didn’t care for about this film was how it spent so much time on Earth. I think I said this with Thor, too. With a character like this, who is more or less an intergalactic space cop, why in hell would you spend so much time on Earth? It just made no sense to me!

One more thing that irked me was how they didn’t really use major character the way they should have. Sinestro is a major force in the Green Lantern lexicon, going from his mentor of sorts, to his arch-nemesis. They didn’t really capitalize on that they way the could have, but they did capture his contempt for Hal.

The rest of the corps was nothing more than cameos. It was sort of like Soundwave in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. We looked forward to seeing what was going to come of them, and there was no big payoff. It really was a letdown.

The action scenes here were fantastic, especially the training sequence and the climactic battle. I would’ve liked for there to have been more, though, but was more than happy with what was in here.

Normally, I’m no fan of CGI, but in this case, it works. After all, the Green Lantern suit is actually made of pure energy, as are the constructs. These are the true selling points of the character Green Lantern. If they didn’t get those right, they might as well have not made the film. Some people have said that these were overdone. These are also the same people who judge a film based on the teaser trailer or rumors they hear on the internet. Chances are they’re probably some pimply faced 40 something year old living in their parent’s basement eating hot pockets!

I don’t think anyone could have captured Hal Jordan more perfectly than Ryan Reynolds, although you could probably make the case for Nathan Fillion. With his charm, looks, and physique, Reynolds owns the character and I look forward to seeing more.

**for my female readers…there is a scene with him in nothing but his boxer briefs that you are sure to enjoy**

When Blake Lively was cast as Carol Ferris, I had my doubts, especially when you factor in the fact that she becomes the villanous Star Sapphire. I wondered why they didn’t go with someone else like Jennifer Garner, Ali Larter, or some other actress with action and acting chops. My initial skepticism was right, as Lively is hands down one of the worst actresses I”ve seen since Megan Fox or those Twilight brats! I’ve seen stronger performances from porn stars.

Peter Sarsgard and Mark Strong give exceptionally strong performances, especially, um…Strong. Sarsgard really plays up the angle of a disturbed mad scientist who has been driven insane by the power of fear that has infected him.

Strong is every bit the perfect Sinestro. He has the look, mannerisms, condescending tone…the total package. Someone said that as good as he is, Jason Isaacs would have been better. I’m not so sure about that, but it would be interesting to see. As a matter of fact, I think Isaacs voices him in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.

Parallax is voiced by Clancy Brown, a voice that rivals that of James Earl Jones and Patrick Stewart, if you ask me. He’s a big cloud. Apparently, the filmmakers didn’t learn anything from the mistake of Galactus in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Having said that, Parallax, unlike Galactus, has no real form, so this is sort of acceptable.

Michael Clarke Duncan and Geoffrey Rush voice Kilowog and Tomar-Re, respectively. As I mentioned earlier, though, they were sort of underutilized. Come to think of it, I don’t recall hearing they had been cast until a couple of months ago.

I have to mention the music, briefly. Maybe it was just me, but I kept hearing inflection of the them to Superman here and there. Nothing wrong with that, it was just something my ears picked up. Perhaps that is what the composer wanted, so that people would be talking about his score.

In my post, “2010 Movie Awards“, Green Lantern earned the prestigious award of “Most Anticipated film of 2011”, a distinction that many have echoed. Did it live up to the hype? Well, for me, it could have been better, but yes, it did. I particularly liked the light-hearted tone of the picture.

I loved the direction Martin Campbell, who also directed some of my favorite films such as both Zorro flicks, takes with this film. The light-hearted tone is perfect for Green Lantern. It is important to remember that not every superhero is as dark and brooding as Batman.

Having said that, I’ve read some people call for Christopher Nolan to take over and make this a much darker film. WTF?!? Nolan is not God! The Dark Knight was good, admittedly, but it was not the best thing since sliced bread the way some people seem to think it is, so stop using it as a benchmark pice of cinema!

Every film stands on its own, as does each character. In a summer filled with superhero films, Green Lantern is sure to stand on its own two legs as something fun and different. In terms of filmmaking, it isn’t as good as X-Men: First Class, but it was more fun to watch, especially once it got going. This is a character that is a mixture of everything we love about sci-fi and the chivalry of the bygone days of the 40s. What isn’t there to love about this film? So, I guess the ultimate question is, should you go ignore what the critics have been saying and actually go see it? Hell yes! This picture, despite its flaws, is awesome! I’d gladly go see it over and over and over again! As you’ll be able to see from a post-credits scene, the sequel (if they make one) is on its way! Let the countdown begin!!!!

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!

5 out of 5 stars

Green Lantern: First Flight

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Mystery Man

 

PLOT:

Before any other sentient beings existed in the universe, a race of beings calling themselves the Guardians of the Universe harnessed the power of the “green element” (Ion), the greatest power in the universe, to create the Green Lantern battery. However, the battery has a flaw: the color yellow, the one part of the light spectrum that can resist green. The most concentrated source of yellow energy, the “yellow element” (Parallax), was hidden by the Guardians to prevent others from using it against them.

Test pilot Hal Jordan (Christopher Meloni) is recruited to join the Green Lantern Corps after the death of Abin Sur. He is placed under the supervision of respected senior officer Sinestro (Victor Garber), who is investigating Abin’s murder. Abin was killed while doing an undercover investigation of Kanjar Ro (Kurtwood Smith), who managed to locate and steal the yellow element. What no one realizes is that Sinestro provided Kanjar with the location of the element, in order to have it fashioned into a weapon of comparable power to the Green Lantern battery.

Jordan quickly comes to understand that Sinestro’s beliefs are not in line with those of the Guardians: Sinestro believes that the Guardians have reduced the Corps to the role of “trash collectors,” merely picking up the messes criminals create as opposed to proactively dealing with the problem. During a mission to capture Kanjar Ro, Jordan is knocked unconscious by Kanjar’s energy staff. Sinestro comes in and kills Kanjar, pinning the blame on Jordan. Jordan is stripped of his ring as punishment.

While Jordan waits to be taken home, Sinestro uses his ring to temporarily animate Kanjar’s corpse in order to access the data in Kanjar’s energy staff, allowing him to learn the location of Qward, where the yellow element weapon is being fashioned. Jordan convinces fellow Lanterns Boodikka (Tricia Helfer) and Kilowog (Michael Madsen) that Sinestro is not what he seems. They catch Sinestro red-handed, but Boodikka turns out to be in league with Sinestro and attacks Jordan and Kilowog. Sinestro escapes, and Boodikka is killed when Jordan tricks her into destroying Kanjar’s unstable energy staff.

On Qward, the Weaponers bestow Sinestro with the yellow ring and battery. Using its power, he lays waste to Oa, the yellow light easily overcoming the Green Lantern rings. The yellow battery (which in practice functions like a giant yellow ring) even destroys the green battery, killing countless Green Lanterns who were in space at the time. Jordan, having recovered his ring moments too late, pounds on the inert green element, breaking it and absorbing the whole of its power. Imbued with the full might of the green energy, he destroys the yellow battery by smashing two moons into it.

However, having exhausted most of his power to destroy the yellow battery, Jordan is left weakened against Sinestro, whose ring still holds a significant charge. After a pitched battle, Jordan uses the last of his power to knock Sinestro to the surface of Oa, where Kilowog crushes the yellow ring. Kilowog, his ring having regained some of its power, then saves Jordan from free fall.

Once Oa is rebuilt and the Green Lantern battery restored, Jordan is asked by the Guardians to lead the Corps in reciting the Green Lantern oath. Jordan then leaves for Earth to check in with his other boss, Carol Ferris (Olivia D’Abo), remarking on the long “commute.”

REVIEW:

It was announced this summer that Ryan Reynolds would be playing Green Lantern in a long overdue live action film. I must say I can’t wait, it’s about time DC let some of their characters on the screen besides Superman and Batman (and Flash, if you count that short lives TV show in the late 80s).

A while back, I was extremely impressed with Wonder Woman. One of the special features on that DVD was a first-look at Green Lantern: First Flight. Since then, I’ve been counting down the days until I got to see this….I won’t go into the fact that Netflix was playing around with my emotions the past couple weeks and teasing that it was available. On this one, there is a first look at the next DC direct-to-DVD film, Batman and Superman: Public Enemies (don’t quote me on the title).  The next countdown can begin!

We’ve all seen superhero films that spend the majority of the time dwelling on the origin. Thank goodness this is not the case here. Yes, they do go into the origin, but its more of a footnote version of it. No complaints from me about that. The reason they give for choosing to not go into the origin is that it is covered in-depth in Justice League: The New Frontier.

This is what I wish superhero movies on the big screen would be. It is faithful to the source material, not too dark, filled with action, and is just a joy to watch, just like reading the comic.

The voice cast here in top notch. Christopher Meloni, of Law & Order fame, is the voice of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Nothing to really brag about with him, but considering the character, he really works.

Victor Garber’s voice as Sinestro gave me chills. not because he’s scary or anything, but rather the fact that he is the perfect fit. The timbre of his voice is the perfect mix of maniacal villainy and sophisticated contempt.

Michael Madsen and Tricia Helfer work in their roles, as well. both are said to be stars of the film, but thir roles aren’t that big, yet they are enough to make mention of, especially Madsen, whose gruff voice seems perfect for Killowog.

The action and animation in the film are the main draw. The big climax at the end isn’t a surprise for any Green Lantern fan, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. The animation impressed me because it appears that about 90% hand drawn. CGI has its place, and its not mixing animation styles, at least in my opinion.

Should you rush out and see this? Well, I’m not going to say that. If you not a fan of the character, or at least have a decent background in the Green Lantern lore, you will get a bit lost, but if you can get past that, then by all means rush out and enjoy. It is definitely worth the time!

5 out of 5 stars