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DVD Shopping Bag: All Star Superman Blu-ray

Snyders will not be as good as this

By Robert T. Trate     February 22, 2011
Source: Mania.com


All-Star Superman now on Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack
© Warner Home Video/ Robert Trate

 

All-Star Superman is the tenth entry in the DC Universe Animated Features. It may also be their greatest achievement in the series. Last week Warner Brothers premiered All-Star Superman in both New York and Los Angeles to packed houses. Over 12,000 people tried to attend and witness Grant Morrison’s and Frank Quitely’s comic book series brought to life. If you don’t travel in geek circles or read comic books here is the low down on All-Star Superman. “In All-Star Superman, the Man of Steel (James Denton) rescues an ill-fated mission to the Sun (sabotaged by Lex Luthor (Anthony LaPaglia)) and, in the process, is oversaturated by radiation – which accelerates his cell degeneration. Sensing even he will be unable to cheat death, Superman ventures into new realms – finally revealing his secret to Lois (Christina Hendricks), confronting Lex Luthor’s perspective of humanity, and attempting to ensure Earth’s safety before his own impending end with one final, selfless act.” (Warner Brothers)
 
The hardest thing with translating any medium from one (comic book) to another (animated film) is time. Anything from a few minutes to the change of an entire century can happen from one panel to the next in a comic. In a film there needs to be a transition as to not lose the viewer. Another time peril is that 12 issues in a comic book stretch out the story for an entire year. Here, in this new animated film, director Sam Liu (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) and writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League) have to translate all that into 75 minutes. When it was all over I honestly believed I saw the best Superman film since Superman 2. Whatever Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder have brewing for the next live action Superman they should take note of this animated story.
 
In a mere 75 minutes Liu and McDuffie did right by Morrison’s work. McDuffie, who did a Q&A afterward, said the hardest part was picking and choosing what baby to kill. Thankfully, he said, they weren’t his babies. It isn’t the complete “All-Star Superman” story. They found a vein in Morrison’s work and continued that thread to tell their own interpretation of the written work. Noticeable differences are a scene with Ma Kent (Frances Conroy) and an ending in which McDuffie thought was more fitting for Lex. Sadly the Bizzaro part of the story is not present. Though it had been such a long time since I read it I had completely forgotten about it.
 
With all Superman stories we have to face the fact that nothing is going to hurt the man of steel. He’ll always rise to the occasion and save the day. With All-Star Superman Morrison took us to a very different place and not only made the man of steel vulnerable but made us care about him again. Much like Christopher Reeve did and continues to do whenever we see him on screen. That emotional tie was felt all the more sitting in a theater in New York City with an audience. The scene with Ma Kent should choke up anyone with half a heart and Christopher Drake’s score really brings it all home. The bar has been set really high by All-Star Superman. Not only does Warner Home Video have to deliver other DCU projects of this caliber, but their live action Superman film can only hope to be half this good. Let us not forget that other comic book company out there, Marvel. Perhaps something other than origin stories and tales that happen in some distant future. How about something a little more recent? All-Star Superman is your template, now deliver.
 
Check out Robert’s interview with Lois Lane, Christine Hendricks, about All-Star Superman here on Mania.com.
 
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All-Star Superman Trailer
 

 
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
1 
littlemikey979 2/22/2011 8:52:30 AM

I can't wait to pick up All Star Sups. I am sure it will be excellent just like the past animations DC has put out. I hope they have plans to make Blackest Night video as well.

irockdiesel 2/22/2011 12:04:28 PM

Wow... Now that I see the preview again, I see they are showing portions of the end of the movie which kind of spoiled it for me.  They (DCUA) should do a better job at keeping critical scenes like that out of the previews.  But I will go on to say it was an excellent movie and is way better than any other lone Superman animated movie that they've produced.  My favorite is still Justice League: Crisis, but this does give that title a run for it's money.

themovielord 2/22/2011 12:45:36 PM

(Robert here) Hey Maniacs, we just got word that the screenwriter of All-Star Superman passed away today. I met Dwayne McDuffie last week at the screening and he was a gentle giant of a man. He will be missed.

Wyldstaar 2/22/2011 6:46:25 PM

I just finished watching All-Star Superman, and thanks to the caffine in the Dr. Pepper I had with dinner, I managed to stay awake throughout the entire movie. Maybe this was a good graphic novel (never read it), but it clearly didn't lend itself well to a movie adaptation. This was so incredibly boring that I don't see how Warner Premiere let it get past the storyboard stage. I will probably end up watching it one more time with the commentary track on, so I can find out what the hell the filmmakers were thinking when they made this cinematic sopository.

I was very surprised.  I've liked every DC direct-to-dvd movie until now, and fully expected to enjoy this one as well.  It just didn't happen for me this time.

kalkent 2/23/2011 12:47:38 PM

I saw this movie on monday for free and i still wanted my money back... This is by far the weakest animated superman movie...

Tevii 2/24/2011 6:51:30 AM

@littlemikey979 - They arent doing a Blackest Night movie, but they are planning to make Blackest Night part of the new Green Lantern animated series.

BUT they were talking about doing a Sinestro Corps War animated movie

1 

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