Tag Archives: Christopher Meloni

Green Lantern: First Flight (2009) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Green Lantern First Flight

Director: Lauren Montgomery
Writer: Alan Burnett
Stars: Christopher Meloni, Victor Garber, Tricia Helfer

The most noticeable part of the opening pre credit scenes to Green Lantern: First Flight is how Director Lauren Montgomery, breezes by the origin story before the opening credits. My initial reaction was, “Wow, they are not hanging about here.” According to Montgomery the Hal Jordan’s origin story had been previously covered in Justice League: The New Frontier (2008) and she didn’t want to spend too much time regurgitating the story once more. I’m already won over at this point as watching these in release order it makes sense not to repeat the same story over and over again, even if the previous film has nothing to do with the next film or any relation to it.

For those who aren’t familiar with Green Latern (and I include myself in this to a point) First Flight is about a test pilot who goes by the name of Hal Jordan who finds himself recruited as the newest member of the intergalactic police force, The Green Lantern Corps after coming across a dying alien who possesses a green ring on his finger which he entrusts to Hal. From this point on he becomes The Green Lantern and is met by Sinestro (part of The Green Lantern Corps) who fills him in on his role and introduces him to the Council who guide the Lanterns in their quests.

The plot is pretty simple in which they have to discover the “Yellow Element”, which is the one weakness of the Green Lanterns (basically this colour is the one thing that can block their power, and in the wrong hands it can be devastating to the whole universe.) Think Kryptonite to Superman. As I said, it’s a pretty run of the mill story. It’s the subplot involving Sinestro who is manoeuvring behind the scenes and in pursuit of Kanjar Ro that interested me more as I suspected there was more to Sinestro than first thought. Kanjar Ro played by the brilliant Kurtwood Smith was more a cardboard gangster to the more mysterious phantom menace that was Sinestro, who was more a conflicted and complex character.

I actually appreciate Alan Burnett’s (Writer) intentions here for a storyline. Anyone coming into this movie who isn’t familiar with the character will enjoy this and perhaps delve more into the characters arc in other formats having watched this. I have to admit, my exposure to the character was though the live action Green Lantern (2011) staring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard and that particular film left a bad taste in my mouth. There is none of the generic cheesy cinema feel from that film here. It’s grim, gritty and pretty violent at times for an animated movie. I particularly enjoyed the pursuit of Kanjar Ro, it had almost a Blade Runner / Star Wars feel to it (particularly the interrogation scene that did look like a Cantina scene rip off but I didn’t mind.

The look and feel to the animation and the surroundings to the storyline perhaps took a little bit of time to get used to, it did however have that other world feel to it. Most of the animation team have previously worked or went on to animate more DC Animated films as well as having a strong Japanese Anime background. I liked their style and felt it was relevant for this character and this story. An impressive ensemble of talented Actors contributing their energy into bringing the characters to life. Christopher Meloni (Hal Jordan / Green Lantern), Victor Garber (Sinestro), Tricia Helfer (Boodikka), Michael Madsen (Kilowog), John Larroquette (Tomar-Re), Kurtwood Smith (Kanjar Ro) and Larry Drake (Ganthet) all made valid contributions to the characters and to the story.

Overall, i thoroughly enjoyed Green Lantern: First Flight as a proper introduction to the character and his world. Justice League: The New Frontier may have given us the origin story strung out over the 75 minute duration of that particular animated film but I felt it was in First Flight I got to understand what motivated Jordan and where he is at. Green Lantern: First Flight delivers us interesting and fleshed out characters and is has some really intense action scenes in storytelling and in animation. Highly Recommended.

I Am Wrath‬ (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

I AM WRATH.png

Director: Chuck Russell
Writers: Yvan Gauthier (story), Paul Sloan
Stars: John Travolta, Christopher Meloni, Amanda Schull

Plot: A man is out for justice after a group of corrupt police officers are unable to catch his wife’s killer.
Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
IMDB Score: 5.3

Why I watched it: I was a little nervous, but I read some good reviews from genre sites and it’s a good cast and a good director.

What I liked: First off I thought this was a very good Nic Cage movie without Nic Cage then I read he was offered it and it makes sense and he might have made it better.  This is a pure B-Movie with some good actors and a decent plot.  Travolta is fine here but for me it’s Chris Meloni who steals the movie, he’s a lot of fun and knows what kind of movie he’s in and he goes for it.

I like the back and forth with him and Travolta it gives the film some energy. Meloni also has a really cool fist fight that for me was the hi-light of the action.  The cast was good for a film like this Sam Trammell plays a sleazy cop pretty well.  I was surprised to see Rebecca De Mornay as I didn’t recognize her at first.  She plays the wife and sadly she doesn’t last long.  I like the couple of twists in the film, who Travolta is and was is good cause it starts like it’s going to be a Death Wish clone but it goes in a different direction.

What I didn’t like: They had a tone problem cause at times it plays like a buddy cop movie with banter between Travolta and Meloni and the action takes a back seat but then at times it goes heavy with Travolta battling his demons and of course going to a church to talk to a Priest, don’t think we needed that here.  It is slight and of course full of action cliches.  Also didn’t care for the finale has it pulls out the oldest cliched of going after the hero’s family.  The ending does go over the top and it would have been better if it went meaner and gritty.

Final thoughts: I liked the film, it was a fun time waster I’d like to see Meloni in his own film like this and I do wish Travolta went over the top Cage style it would have made it more fun.

Rating: ‪6/10‬

Marauders (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

MARAUDERS

Director: Steven C. Miller
Writers: Michael Cody, Chris Sivertson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista

Plot:  When a bank is hit by a brutal heist, all evidence points to the owner and his high-powered clients. But as a group of FBI agents dig deeper into the case – and the deadly heists continue – it becomes clear that a larger conspiracy is at play.

Running Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 22%     Audience 31%

Why I watched It: It’s a pretty good cast for a direct to DVD action movie and the trailer actually showed some promise.

Random Thoughts: Bruce Willis seems to be in the “If they money is there I do not care” part of his career, he’s still a name and he also will attract other actors who respect him or just plain what to work with him to be in his movie, the thing his he doesn’t have that spark he once had and he seems to be playing bad guys who have little screen time but the part gets him top billing.  I will say this about this cast it lets some of the other actors do things they don’t do that often, Meloni is the lead here, Grenier gets to play an FBI agent and not play off his looks and Bautista plays a character that’s not solely based on his size he’s not playing a killing machine he’s just an FBI agent.

What I liked: I’ll give Marauders this the plot and the story is more layered than I was suspecting.  We get some decent fleshed out characters and some decent back story.  I really like Christopher Meloni, I like when a good character actor gets to play a lead, I know he’s done it on TV but he’s very good here, he has that rare gift to play tough, smart and vulnerable all at the same time.  This turns out to be more of a mystery, who’s robbing the banks and why it’s not so much a straight up action film, there’s some shot outs but there’s more drama than fights and gun play here.  The one thing I enjoyed is that almost every character is carrying around guilt, haunted it’s a cliche but it’s nice to see this kind of movie at least try.  This film goes deep on it’s roster as even Johnathon Schaech’s character has a sub-plot and it has a payoff.  Director Steven C Miller does a decent balancing act here as you can tell he’s trying to do a different kind of action film one with a little more soul and consequences.

What I didn’t like: I watch a lot of B-Movies and genre stuff and one of my big beefs is how cliched these movies are that it doesn’t seem that the people involved are even trying to do something different in the case of Marauders they might have tried to do too much, there’s twists and there’s so much backstory that it kind of bogs the film down.

I was really into the first third of the film, the bank heist scenes worked and it set up the tension and I liked some of the characters but it started to get itself up it’s own rear end, they went a little too deep and too really lost the story, by the end it seemed like a mess, some of it worked but it didn’t hang together, they tired too much in terms of story and it paid the price, it ended up different but it didn’t work and by the time we get to the finish he seemed way too forced.

Also it didn’t help that Willis doesn’t do much and really just phones it in, Grenier does try and it kind of worked but at the end he was miscast, he didn’t have the weight or the age for the role.

Final Thoughts: Not a great film but it was different and there was some things to like, I do think if you’re a genre fan or a fan of any of the leads it’s worth a watch.

Rating: 5/10