ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, 2011
Starring: James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Anthony LaPaglia, Edward Asner, Frances Conroy, Obba Babatundé, Steve Blum
When saving the crew of the first manned mission to the sun, Superman is poisoned with solar radiation. It makes him far more powerful than usual (even granting him new abilities), but is also killing him as his body starts to break down on an atomic level. He decides to live life to the fullest and accomplish all he's ever wanted to, while fending off Lex Luthor and other villainous obstacles. REVIEW:
“All-Star Superman” is possibly my favorite storyline ever in the Superman comics. It has so many twists and turns throughout and is truly a showcase for the raw talent of comic book writer Grant Morrison. When I heard they were making an animated feature film version of the comics, I was absolutely geeked! When I watched the straight to video release, my geekdom turned to disappointment.
Dr. Leo Quintum leads an expedition to the sun. Their plans are sabotaged, however, by booby-trapped remote-controlled creature being operated by Lex Luthor back on Earth. Superman arrives to save the day and rescues the scientific team by displaying a new and unusual power by which he extends his bio-electric field to act as a force field to shield the damaged space craft from solar radiation. It is discovered that along with this new power, Superman's strength has increased almost immeasurably, but at the same time his cells are literally exploding from all the energy he's absorbed from the sun.
It's discovered that Lex Luthor caused the incident to kill Superman, and his is jailed for his wicked deeds.
Deciding to keep his impending death a secret from the world, Superman springs into action to accomplish everything he's ever wanted to do, while still saving the world as it's number 1 hero. He goes to work on a secret project, and goes to Lois Lane to reveal his secret identity: that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person. Lois refuses to believe Superman even after he brings her to the Fortress of Solitude and changing from Clark Kent to Superman. While in the Fortress, Lois begins to become suspicious of Superman when she sees him messing around in a secret room with chemicals and information about her DNA. She finally gets paranoid to the point that she shoots Superman with a Kryptonite gun... and they find out together that with his new enhanced powers he's become immune to Kryptonite. He tells her of his coming death, and reveals his secret project: he's created a serum which will grant Lois super powers for 24 hours.
Together, Superman and Lois (going as Superwoman with her new chemically induced powers) fight off Krull and are met by Atlas and Samson who both believe Lois should be with one of them rather than Superman and challenge the man of steel when they show him proof of his future death. Things go awry when Samson gives Lois a gift of jewels that he stole from the Ultra-Sphinx. To save Lois, Superman answers the Ulta-Sphinx's unanswerable question and then defeats both Atlass and Samson in an arm wrestling match.
Later, Superman goes into space to bring the miniaturized Kryptonian city Kandor on a new planet when they may thrive, only to return and find two new Kryptonians taking control of Earth. After a battle, it's revealed that the two Kryptonians are dying of Kryptonite poisoning after passing through the remains of their home planet. Superman saves them by sending them into the Phantom Zone.
Clark Kent goes to interview Lex Luthor. After a run-in with Parasite (who becomes engorged with power just by being near Clark/Superman, Lex admits that a) he has a huge amount of respect for Clark both as a reporter and a man, and b) Lex is dying. He helps Clark escape, and when Clark offers for Lex to come with him, the billionaire refuses saying he doesn't care if he dies so long as Superman dies first.
Superman is nearing death when he suddenly has to fend off a double threat- a super-powered Lex Luthor and the tyrant sun Solaris.
“All-Star Superman” feels like a series of comics rather than a single movie. This is actually a good thing, in my opinion, because it's sort of an homage to the mini-series it's based on. Sadly, there was a lot of side plots in the comics that made them so fantastic that aren't even touched upon in this animated film. So it's kindof a double-edged sword: one one hand it's a good thing that they got in as much as they did, but on the other hand they missed some great things that could have made the film even better. But I understand they had to take just the aspects that fit the main storyline to give the film more singular direction so as not to confuse the general film-goer.
The animation used here is also something that's both good and bad. The animation style is very similar to the artwork in the series, but I wasn't that fond of the art from the series. It was infact the only thing about the comics I didn't like (although I did like that while Superman has a muscular physique, Clark Kent is a heavy-set bumbling country boy which shows off one of Superman's lesser advertised powers- complete muscle control... of COURSE Superman can alter his appearance by making his muscles more lax... something no other version of Superman has bothered to do to make the Clark Kent disguise more believable).
The voice talent is so-so. I think that Lex Luthor is brilliantly voiced by Anthony LaPaglia. But where he succeeds, James Denton falls short as Clark Kent/Superman. Lois Lane also felt just shy of believable.
So really, “All-Star Superman” is very good for what it is, and would be amazing for someone who's just becoming a Superman fan... but for a fanboy of the comic series by Grant Morrison, I was very disappointed by the omissions the filmmakers made.
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