All-Star Superman (Single-Disc Edition)

Actors: Christina Hendricks, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Gray Gubler, Anthony LaPaglia, Arnold Vosloo
Directors: Sam Liu
Writers: Dwayne McDuffie, Grant Morrison
Producers: Alan Burnett, Bobbie Page, Bruce W. Timm, Sam Register
Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
Run Time: 75 minutes



“Everything our parents said was good is bad: sun, milk, red meat, college!” Woody Allen once famously said.

One day Superman discovers this for himself when Lex Luthor dupes him into absorbing too much of the sun’s rays. Superman may derive his power from Earth’s yellow sun, but he discovers that - like with vodka, for instance - too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Now he has literally skin cancer and is slowly dying of it . . .

The latest DC Universe made-for-DVD full-length animated flick is a remarkably faithful adaptation of the 2007 All-Star Superman series of comic books by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely.

It is perhaps too faithful. Structurally the movie’s midsection feels like filler because the movie inherited the comics’ episodic narrative. (What’s the deal with the two time travelers he arm wrestles? It doesn’t serve the main plot at all. And neither does a segment featuring two super-powered Kryptonians.)

Also, Superman purists will balk at author Grant Morrison’s idiosyncratic take on the Man of the Steel. On the one hand Morrison lovingly homages some of the more OTT aspects of the Superman comic book mythos throughout the years - Superman keeps a pet that eats suns in his Fortress of Solitude! On the other hand he cannot resist injecting the Superman universe with his own weirdo revisionism. Turns out Jimmy Olson is a drag queen - who could have thought?

Morrison’s take on Superman is however 100% his own and when you think about it, it was quite brave of the DC Animation team to tackle a title that takes so many liberties with a beloved character.

WORTH IT? Your mileage may vary, but we found All-Star Superman to be beautifully animated and well-acted. The DC animation team also does a splendid job at replicating artist Frank Quitely’s 1920s pulpy costume and character designs. Plus, while Morrison’s take on Superman may irk traditionalists, his intelligent and witty take on the character more than makes up for the shallow slugfest that was Superman / Batman: Apocalypse.

RECOMMENDATION: Old-timer Superman fans with an open mind will probably enjoy it the most, but it is recommended to anyone with a taste for comics and the off-beat.



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