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All-Star Superman (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) by Directed by Sam Liu
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Home Video Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B004EE30C8
Date: 26 February 2011 List Price $24.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB.com / Wikipedia - All Star Superman - Comic Book Series / Show Official Info /

Based upon All Star Superman, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's epic 12-part comic book series that ran from November 2005 to October 2008, All Star Superman is a DC Universe Animated Original Movie.

Directed by: Sam Liu

Writing credits (in alphabetical order):
Dwayne McDuffie ... written by
Grant Morrison ... original story
Frank Quitely ... story
Joe Shuster ... characters
Jerry Siegel ... characters

Cast (in alphabetical order):
Christina Hendricks ... Lois Lane (voice)
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Jimmy Olsen (voice)
Linda Cardellini ... Nasthalthia Luthor (voice)
Anthony LaPaglia ... Lex Luthor (voice)
James Denton ... Superman / Clark Kent (voice)
Edward Asner ... Perry White (voice)
Alexis Denisof ... Dr. Leo Quintum (voice)
Arnold Vosloo ... Bar-El (voice)
Frances Conroy ... Martha Kent (voice)
John Di Maggio ... Bizarro (voice)

Having never read All Star Superman, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's 12-part comic book series that ran from November 2005 to October 2008, I was eager to get my hands on All-Star Superman (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy).

My first viewing of All-Star Superman left me convinced that Dwayne McDuffie who wrote the adaptation had made the mistake of trying to cram way too much content into 75 minutes of screen time. It seemed that every time Superman and the people he was trying to protect were in dire peril, a deus ex machina would occur and miraculously save the situation, a pattern that recurred every few minutes during the film. Granted, the film was enjoyable on the whole, and while I am willing to suspend my disbelief, just not till the death.

It was while watching the Superman Now featurette with Grant Morrison and Dan Didio that I finally understood just how much material was missing from the 76 minute long version scripted by Dwayne McDuffie. Given the epic nature of the 12-part comic book series, I think that it should have been made into a 2 hour long animated feature. Perhaps it was - in another universe. In any case, this fantastic featurette and The Creative Flow: Incubating the Idea with Grant Morrison which followed immediately was so awesome that I watched All-Star Superman immediately afterward. And following that I watched it again, this time with the commentary of Bruce Timm and Grant Morrison. This was one of the best commentaries I've seen/heard in quite a while.

In Green Lantern: First Flight, Hal Jordan was the rookie being mentored by Sinestro - now in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights Hal is mentor to Aresia, a young female rookie Green Lantern. This upcoming animated film is a collection of Green Lantern origin stories connected by an underlying central theme and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on Green Lantern: Emerald Knights on Blu-ray.

Virtual Comic All-Star Superman showcases a sample of Frank Quitely's awesome artwork taken from the comic book series.

If you haven't already bought and watched Superman/Batman Apocalypse, this trailer should convince you to do so.

Looking at 'Bruce Timm's Picks' of "Blasts From The Past, Part 1" and "Blasts From The Past, Part 2", this is the first time I have not enjoyed his picks.

I confess to being surprised that all the bonus material in this combo pack was Blu-ray Exclusive.

While All-Star Superman is the only content on the DVD other than the digital copy, it certainly looks gorgeous when upconverted on a Blu-ray player.

When it comes to the All-Star Superman (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy), I have to give it a conditional recommendation. This is because to someone unfamiliar with All Star Superman, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's 12-part comic book series, it seems to be too much content squeezed into 76 minutes to the detriment of the story. Do what I did and watch the first two featurettes, followed by the movie with commentary, and finish off by watching the movie again without commentary -- things will make much more sense after this. And I suspect that diehard fans of this series will be disappointed because so much is missing or else upset for the same reasons as newcomers. All in all, I still think this is a worthwhile purchase.

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