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|Index||31 reviews in total|
Media seems obsessed with the Death of Superman. He had a death in
Superman Returns, a death in "Superman Doomsday" and now another death
in the animated adaptation of Grant Morrison's "All Star Superman"
comic book. A seemingly successful rescue of a Dr Quintum's mission to
the Sun has saturated Superman's cells with too much solar energy. This
is causing rapid cellular deterioration which would eventually lead to
his death. With time running out for the man of steel, Superman sets
about to put all his affairs in order before he goes while continuing
to defend the earth against threats from within and without.
From the get go, All Star Superman feels like a multi episode TV series compressed into a single movie. But really, that is more the fault of the original source material which in fact was meant to be 12 seemingly standalone stories with some of the plot points finally "coming together" in the final issues. While this worked for a bi-monthly comic book series, it does not have the similar effect as an animated movie. Here the film just feels unfocused and rushed, cramming what is supposed to be a year's worth of events into 70 odd minutes. For example, a single fade out later and superman returns to earth after a couple of months to find it take over by a bunch of long lost Kryptonians. An episodic miniseries would have been a better medium to convey the full feel of the original story.
Thankfully The production team's faithfulness to the source material is not entirely a shortcoming. The animated movie not only sticks to the "self-contained stories" format but also the well developed personalities and timeless characterization. Everyone is perfectly cast, bringing the characters to live in a very natural way. James Denton's Superman/Clark Kent is possibly the most lovable incarnation second only to Christopher Reeves's live action portrayal. The loyal script and top notch acting imbues Superman with just the right level of noble superhuman grandeur mixed with a down to earth homely touch. He is the hero, and the farm boy at the same time. Similarly, Clark Kent's oafish demeanor is comedic yet sincere; his interview with Lex Luthor and subsequent escape from the prison riot caused by a supervillian's escape is possibly the most fun part of the entire movie.
Here is another strength of All Star Superman. It is not a brainless hero brawl like Superman/Batman nor is it as dark and edgy as Batman: Under The Red Hood. The story plays out more like a character centered drama that is not afraid to tickle the audience with a few lighthearted moments. The main cast is given great depth and development as we get to know their reasons for doing what they do. Even Luthor gets a heart wrenching moment once you find out that the reason behind his hatred of Superman goes much deeper than just "because he foiled my plans".
Special mention goes to Christopher Drake's soundtrack which is by far his best work. His music covers a great range, bringing out the best in the scenes it complements; it is grand, emotional and magical. One might go so far as to say that his score here is actually better than Shirley Walker's stuff from the 90s Superman Animated series, just slightly behind John Williams. (In what is possibly a nod to "The Mummy", the music takes on a very Egyptian Gothic style with the appearance of antagonist Bar-El played by Arnold Vosloo, who also played the main antagonist of "The Mummy".)
There is action, not to worry, a good deal of it. Moi Studios once again perform animation duties, maintaining the smooth character movements seen in their previous productions; smoother than Japanese anime at least and without animation short-cuts. While some backgrounds appear lackluster, The production team's faithfulness to the source material is seen in the character designs which is a slightly streamlined version of Frank Quintley's artwork. Too bad the painted colors by Jamie Grant have been replaced with a very "standard" color palate. The colors here look exactly the same as........as every single DC animated production featuring Superman.
It seems like a farce that the movie stuck so closely to the comic going to great lengths to even replicate whole scenes perfectly yet cut out and streamline a fair bit of material. Perhaps Warner Premiere and Bruce Timm might consider a "directors cut" in which they go back and animate the rest of those scenes like the Bizzaro world, or the visit by Superman from the future. At least the plot threads established throughout the movie are woven together nicely in the end.
There are two ways to see this movie. One is that this movie is a "All Star Superman lite": a bite sized version of the great graphic novel for the uninitiated which will hopefully entice them to pick up the miniseries (now available in trade paperback form and an "Absolute" collectors edition). The other way is that it is meant to cheese off the long time fans so that the fans will go around saying "the comic is better" and in the end help to drive up publicity for the comic. Both ways, a perfect win-win situation for DC.
Try to enjoy this movie as it is. Of the scenes that were not cut out in production, revel in its loyalty to the original comic. It covers the full range of comedy to tragedy, heroic to humble, life to death.
Let me start by saying, what they did right. The whole tone of the movie is spot on. I think whoever read the comic book series will agree. The animation is great, the story is a great one. But it is all way too rushed. If you have read the comics you will get this movie, but everyone else - I imagine - will have a hard time following the whole story. They should have made this a 2 part movie or a 90 minutes feature to get a little more of a developing story. The events from the comics are all cramped into just 75 minutes. Take away the credits and it is even less. Not much room to tell the story. Still, it is quite good, but i have to judge it like a viewer who has never read the comics, that are basis to this films, So I can only reward 6 stars. Too rushed, too much left out. Sorry, could have been a fantastic - probably one of the best - superman animations, but it fell (literally) short. Missed out on the chance of making the best Superman movie ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Many of the reviewers seemed to have missed the point that this was an adaptation of the 12-part Morrison story to an animated form. Maybe they hadn't read the maxi-series first. In any case, when you consider that the DVD dealing with the death of the mythic Superman was released the day after the death of the video author, the sad irony is magnified greater. As the final project of Dwayne McDuffie's strong career, you have to take some consolation that at least he left us on a very high note. I've seen almost all of the DC video releases and this one is definitely one of the strongest entries in the series. Not only is the adaptation of the original Grant Morrison well-written but the art-style and the music are also pure and rich.
I can honestly say that this take on the superman story is the best
iv'e ever seen. both emotionally and suspense wise the movie fully
delivers on all fronts. Iv'e been away from superman the comic for
quiet some time - but have seen all of the DC movie material that have
been available, but non of the other renditions of Supermans story
comes close to this one - This knowing that most of the material is
from Morrison's: All Star Superman Comic series - the movies overall
style is true to the Comic version with bright colors, light humor and
The Drawing are fabulous reminding me of the Japanese Anime style, at some points but still with a strong American pen style, voice overs are very good and believable, poses etc. are just wow - there's simple so many good moments in this Movie that its hard not to get surprised on every new picture frame. At one point i was thinking: " all this goodness must end soon" but no the movie kept going on with some new cool stuff to marvel over. i guess this movie has all the trademarks of good old solid craftsmanship, teamwork and love towards the superman legacy - witch are very visible when handling old classic elements from other alternative superman comic stories that have been weaved nicely into the story.
end note: i felt a closure to the superman epos, witch was nice.
This is the superman i want to remember..
thank you DC for making this possible
I have to say this is the best Superman portrayal I've ever seen and a very emotional one too. Really. I was left speechless at the end. This is how Superman is and should be. Towards the end, I was getting emotional. Just for that alone, I'm giving it a 5 out of 5. Now, some may complain that there were too many characters, but THAT'S HOW IT SHOULD BE! Were there beings like this in the world, that's probably how things would go. Also a really great portrayal of Superman as Clark Kent, and fun to see how he switches between the two in some scenes. The animation is well, done, though at times, I felt like the detail was a bit off, and if we were really to hit it home, the animation might've had more of an impact, but that's not taking away anything from the movie for me. Voices were also really well done, especially Superman's, because it makes him seem a lot more like a hero with the gentle, calm voice, and Luthor a vain intelligent evil man (as well as other characters who the read should find out for himself). The dialogue is EXCELLENTLY done! Very smart dialogue. Very characteristic of the character saying the dialogue. Absolutely great. The interaction between Superman and Lex Luthor when they did happen were also really well done and intriguing. Part of the emotional impact this movie had was the real feeling of heroism you felt from Superman - like I said, how Superman should be. And of course, the ending, which had so many things to it that were emotional, from pretty much every single character in the movie (like seriously! even one of the robots!) So yeah, definite 5/5 from me and the best Superman movie I've ever seen so far.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I can see why some viewers that read the comic book this movie is based
could be disappointed. I never read that actual comic book this movie
is based on, but I could tell it's missing quite a bit from the comic
book. Some parts felt like it was missing and seemed rushed at times.
So the plot is about Superman is in a state where he is slowly dying
and what he does during his last days on Earth as Superman. By trying
to cram a lot of things into a short animated movie form, makes this
one appear all over the place at times. And I could even say, a bit
inconsistent. The animation is solid though and the movement to the
design, was something I really liked seeing in this movie. I especially
liked how Superman disguises himself as Clark Kent in this and how he
does his best to disguise himself as this weak and clumsy reporter that
people look down on. Because it gives you more into the depth of
Superman's heart and what he represents. Which actually made me respect
this fictitious hero even more. This movie had the potential to be
great, but falls short because of the poor development and missing
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When you sit down to a movie, children or adult, live action or animated - you expect it to follow a logical sequence. This movie does not do that. It is bits and pieces of different stories thrown together hoping you'll follow along. Sort of like many McCartney songs. Now that I know the movie is following a multi-comic book story arc then the format is understandable but still does not make any sense as a stand-alone movie. From the basic premise that somehow Luthor could engineer some human into a fusion bomb, send a ship to the sun, know that Superman would rescue it thus get too much radiation is just silly. Some pieces are those with Samson are foolish and a little embarrassing to sit through. Others like the jail piece with Parasite while a little silly, especially how they stop him, is a little more serious as Parasite is seen killing police and criminals alike. Some pieces like the 2 from Krypton make no sense in the time frame of the movie. So let you youngest kids watch this but if you or your older children want a good storyline - there are better Superman and DC movies out there.
You can think that the death of Superman should be surrounded by extremely epic celebrations and (as the title lets think) a meeting of all possible other superheroes. This is not so. It is a more slow paced (although not actionless and not boring at all), "sensitive", human, emotional and romantic Superman. Somehow poetic. It is a much better film than MANY super expensive Hollywood productions which bore after few minutes. After browsing internet for hours searching for a decent movie to see, I have only found thousand of the same, things i have seen over and over again. All seems meaningless and empty (no, I am not depressed, i am just saturated by the lack of imagination and creativity of modern cinematography). This movie was the best I have seen in a while. So, respect.
My favorite DC animated movie to date, based off of one of the better Superman comic book stories from the last decade. Dwayne McDuffie does a great job of translating Morrison's work to the screen. A few things are changed and some parts omitted for time. One of the complaints I've seen from other reviewers is that it feels too rushed. I can understand that criticism. Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns was four issues yet was given a two-part animated adaptation, clocking in at about two and a half hours combined. All-Star Superman was twelve issues yet this adaptation only clocks in at seventy-six minutes. It would have been nice had they given it more time, but I think they did good with the time they had. It moves at a brisk pace and, while there are a few small parts from the series I would have liked to see included, they did capture all of the big moments well. I watched it recently with a friend who has never read the comics. She enjoyed the movie a lot and had no complaints, so perhaps this is simply a problem among fans. Anyway, I would recommend you check out the comic series also, if you haven't already. Even if you're not a comic book reader you should enjoy it.
I love animation and superhero movies, and thought that All-Star Superman would be a good combination. Sadly for me All-Star was a real disappointment. It is not completely irredeemable, the animation is great, full of detail and atmosphere and the music is a contender for being the best asset of the film being powerfully orchestrated and emotionally resonant. There are two good voice actors, Anthony LaPaglia who does a superb job as Luthor giving the character a certain menace and intelligence and Ed Asner whose Perry is every bit as effective. But the story is a huge let down. The telling of the story feels rushed and disjointed in trying to cram in lots of situations and characters and sadly not giving any depth to them. The Kryptonians just pop out of nowhere and their story is far too brief. Lois is also written in a very stereotypical high-school-girl sort of manner. The pacing on top of that feels lethargic due to lack of any real excitement, the action sequences just don't have any sort of momentum. The script completely lacks the sharp and incisive quality that make the best DC movies, instead coming across as bland. Likewise with the characters. Of the voice work only LaPaglia and Asner stand out, James Denton is too monotone and also too sly and stern for Superman, and Christina Hendricks can't or doesn't do anything with Lois. Overall, a huge disappointment, could and should have been much more. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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