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Superman: Unbound (2013)

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Superman and Supergirl take on the cybernetic Brainiac, who boasts that he possesses "the knowledge and strength of 10,000 worlds."

Director:

James Tucker

Writers:

Bob Goodman, Geoff Johns (graphic novel: "Superman: Brainiac") | 5 more credits »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Bomer ... Superman / Clark Kent (voice)
Stana Katic ... Lois Lane (voice)
John Noble ... Brainiac (voice)
Molly C. Quinn ... Supergirl (voice) (as Molly Quinn)
Diedrich Bader ... Steve Lombard (voice)
Jason Beghe ... Terrorist Leader (voice)
Frances Conroy ... Ma Kent (voice)
Ian James Corlett ... Kryptonian #1 (voice)
Melissa Disney ... Thara (voice)
Alexander Gould ... Jimmy Olsen (voice)
Sirena Irwin ... Alura (voice)
Will Yun Lee ... Parasoldier Leader (voice)
Andrea Romano ... News Anchor #2 / Superman's Ship (voice)
Stephen Root ... Zor-El (voice)
Wade Williams ... Perry White (voice)
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Storyline

Offering herself as a hostage, Lois Lane is caught in an aerial confrontation between her terrorist captors and the unpredictable Supergirl before Superman arrives to save the day. Soon after, knowing Superman's civilian identity, Lois attempts to get Clark Kent to make their relationship public despite his fear of the consequences, but their argument is halted by a Daily Planet staff meeting before Kent leaves when they are being alerted to a meteor. Intercepting it, Superman learns the meteor to be a robot and that he promptly defeats before activating its beacon and taking it to the Fortress of Solitude. With help from a fear-filled Supergirl, Superman learns the robot is actually a drone controlled by a being named Brainiac, a cyborg who was originally a Coluan scientist who subjected himself to extensive cybernetic and genetic enhancements. As Supergirl reveals from her experience with the monster, Brainiac seized and miniaturized Krypton's capital city of Kandor prior to the ... Written by Lord_Kratos

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The machine is coming


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and a rude gesture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 2013 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Superman: Unbound See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lois informs Clark that he missed Perry White's big announcement that his son, Keith, had a baby, possibly referring to Keith Robert White, a young black orphan who appeared in the comics during the 90s, and was eventually adopted by Perry White and his wife. See more »

Goofs

The size of the section of Metropolis Brainiac takes, is much smaller than the one Superman saves at the end. See more »

Quotes

Clark Kent: Lois, I have to go away for a while.
Lois Lane: "Away" as in spend some time with your folks in Kansas or as in somewhere just past the Crab Nebula?
Clark Kent: More like the latter. Can we deal with this when I get back?
Lois Lane: Men. Always finding an excuse to leave when things get scary. Of course, you're the only one who literally disappears off the face of the earth.
See more »

Crazy Credits

If you stay past the credits at the end of the movie, you will be treated to a special treat: You will see the "real" fate of Brainiac. See more »

Connections

Version of Superboy: Son of Tomorrow (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
DC's apology for "Brainiac Attacks"
13 May 2013 | by xamtaroSee all my reviews

Kal-El aka Superman has spent a lifetime defending his adopted homeworld of Earth. For years, he had thought of himself as the last son of Krypton. Only his fortress of solitude and his cousin Supergirl serves as a reminder of the world Superman was born on. But now, Superman will be faced with a dark figure from his planet's past. What seems like another typical day of foiling heavily armed kidnappers turns into a fight for Earth's survival as a dangerous robot probe from outer space is identified as a drone of "Brainiac". Brainiac, as Supergirl recalls, was responsible for the disappearance of Krypton's capital city, Kandor, along with Supergirl's parents. Superman leaves to confront Brainiac while Supergirl dishes out her own brand of justice on earth.

What follows is possibly the most epic of all Superman battles ever put to screen. We have Superman taking on hordes of advanced machines strong enough to hurt the man of steel. We have Superman facing down the cybernetic enhanced Brainiac who is smarter, faster and more powerful that he is. The movie earns its PG-13 rating with blood and violence. After all, Brainiac seeks to hoard all knowledge in the universe. What better repository of knowledge than the brains of living creatures? Ouch!

The conflict against Brainiac truly pushes Superman to his physical limits. Staggering action, epic in scale, is beautifully animated by Moi Animation who bring graceful fluidity to the movements of the characters.They manage to blend the 3D CGI vehicles seamlessly with the traditional 2D characters while giving everything a slightly more "Japanese anime" touch.

Our characters are, once again, voiced by a wholly different cast as is the case for each DC animated movie production. What stands out is how witty the humor is in the script. The humor works and it fits perfectly without feeling forced. Delivering a near perfect performance are the voice cast directed by the impeccable Andrea Romano. Special mention goes to John Noble as brainiac, Stana Katic as a very Margot Kidder-ish Lois Lane and Matt Bomer as Superman/Clark Kent. Bomer especially takes great pains to have different accents when playing the dual personality of Superman and Kent, helping to highlight Kent's Kansas upbringing. The story devotes a good amount of time in developing the relationships Superman has with Lois and Supergirl, which in the end makes for a very human look at the Man of Steel.

Central to our narrative is the theme of one being protecting others to the point of intruding into and controlling their personal lives. The way Superman is constantly looking over Lois' shoulder even in peacetime, the way Supergirl intervenes in international conflicts, how are they different from the way Brainiac keeps his captured subjects in line by policing their actions under the excuse of protecting them? That parallel is drawn more than once, along with the constant question of whether Superman's loyalties lie with Earth or other Krypton survivors.

For all its good points, Superman Unbound is one of the more visually inconsistent DC animated projects to date. The character designs are angular, somewhat skinny and rather similar to the designs seen in 2005's "The Batman" TV series. It does take some getting used to, particularly for those who did like Gary Frank's art in the original "Superman: brainiac" graphic novel. The least they could do was to keep the art consistent though. Just take a good look at Superman's chest-to-head size ratio which expands and shrinks from scene to scene.

Then you have some obvious animation mistakes that just look weird, especially this one scene where Superman seems to have a hilariously long arm. The level of detail in the artwork is good for the most part, with metallic reflections in metal surfaces on the robots, folds in Superman's costume and cape and a good light/darkness contrast in the colours. But then you have a good number of scenes where the level of detail drops to the level of a low budget TV series. Oh and remember that bit about trying to give the show a more "Japanese anime" touch? You have scenes just like Japanese anime; a still frame with minimal motion tween movements, complete with exaggerated anatomy, weird angles and action lines.

If one can look past some of the visual shortcomings, there is much to enjoy about this animated film. The music by newcomer Kevin Kliesch takes cues from both Hans Zimmer and classic Jerry Goldsmith while still paying due respects to the timeless John Williams style. The way Clark Kent and Lois Lane play off each other is cutely reminiscent of the Christopher Reeves Superman movies, and the humor is truly funny without being corny. Overall, this would have been truly awesome in live action. Hopefully July 2013's "Man of Steel" would be able to top this in all aspects of storytelling and characterization.


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