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All-Star Superman (V) More at IMDbPro »

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30 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Its faithfulness to the original is its pride and its downfall

Author: xamtaro from
18 February 2011

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 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.

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27 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Way too rushed!

Author: popinc from Germany
22 February 2011

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.

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A fitting ending for both the character and a creator

Author: janarrah1 from United States
27 February 2011

*** 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.

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43 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

All Star Superman - finally a worthy movie to watch

Author: c_hohlmann from Denmark
12 February 2011

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 great scenes.

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

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Best Superman movie ever. Seriously.

Author: Abdullah Almosalami from Saudi Arabia
31 March 2015

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.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Solid animation, but not really consistent

Author: KineticSeoul from United States
13 February 2015

*** 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 bits.


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13 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst Superman movies !

Author: kumarharsh from India
16 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ill-planned, Poorly Written, Disjoint, Doomed.

That is all I have to say about this animation movie. I have so many Superman movies, some better than others, while some failed on one front or another, but this one has to take the proverbial "CAKE" of being the worst one ever.

Okay, It is based on a comic which has a different continuity than the main one, and maybe Superman version 1 does die in this comic book, but the movie is pure ****.

The story is absolute rubbish, taking 3 or 4 or 5 or ? disjointed stories and pushing them all together without even a simple 1-line explanation. Why do the Kryptonians come? why do Samson and the other guy come? How they come? why does Solaris (or whatever its name was) started eating the sun on making a deal with Lex? This all seems just too retarded to be woven into a single movie...

If you are planning on watching this movie because you are a Supes fan, or even if you want to watch all the Supes-movies, I'd advise you to stay away... Even the lure of watching the Man of Steel die will pale in comparison to the disappointment you will face 5 minutes into the movie...

You have been warned !

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All Star: Superman

Author: adonis98-743-186503 from Greece
28 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After being poisoned by sun radiation, a dying Superman decides to fulfill his lifelong dreams while Lex Luthor has his own agenda. This movie had a pretty good opening but also the story works Superman dying and he tries to do some of his dreams but also he and Lois spend some time together while Lex tries to think his next master plan. Then Lex gets he exact super powers and they have they're big climatic final battle but also Superman says goodbye to Lois and sacrifices himself which means that Clark Kent a.k.a Superman is dead or isn't? It depends on your fantasy some might think he's dead but some other's that he don't. All Star Superman is a great movie that tries to show Superman why he's such a great character and cares about everyone and succeeds on that 100% level.

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Poor if you don't know the comics

Author: herpetologistkevin from Saskatchewan
22 June 2016

*** 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.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pretty darn good

Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
19 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Luthor finds a way to subject Superman to a lingering death and, as his resources start to dwindle, Superman starts to put his affairs in order.

Based on a 12-issue series written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely, in which silver age sensibilities were given a contemporary update, this adaptation (the final work of the late and much missed Dwayne McDuffie) is necessarily episodic. It's good, though - the half dozen or so subplots are all entertaining, and the overriding story of Superman's apparent imminent demise holds everything together as the film moves to an unexpected conclusion.

Voice talent is good and the script only occasionally dips into Morrison's sometimes lamentable propensity to lapse into verbal excess. Design captures the essence of Quitely's quirky faces, and animation is solid.

An enjoyable animated feature.

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