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Sam Liu
James Denton, Anthony LaPaglia, Christina Hendricks
Writing Credits:
Dwayne McDuffie

After being poisoned by sun radiation, a dying Superman decides to fulfill his lifelong dreams while Lex Luthor has his own agenda.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 77 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 2/22/2011

• Audio Commentary with Graphic Novel Author Grant Morrison and Producer Bruce Timm
• “Superman Now” Featurette
• “The Creative Flow” Featurette
• 2 Sneak Peeks
All-Star Superman Virtual Comic
• 2 “Bruce Timm’s Picks” Cartoons
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


All-Star Superman [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 27, 2023)

From fall 2005 to fall 2008, the 12-issue All-Star Superman comic ran as a chance to develop the Man of Steel outside of the standard “set in stone” DC mythology. This 2011 direct-to-video film adapts that series.

When a crew stages the first manned mission to the sun, they encounter unforeseen danger. Superman (voiced by James Denton) zooms to the rescue, but not without a cost.

Superman suffers from overexposure to solar radiation, a condition that nudges him toward death while conversely boosting his powers. As his own demise approaches, Superman tries to use his remaining abilities one last time to stop the newest monomaniacal plot from long-time nemesis Lex Luthor (Anthony LaPaglia).

When adapted into film, most sources suffer from abbreviation along the way. When a movie takes on a comic that ran 12 issues, this trend becomes more pronounced.

And when the final product runs under 77 minutes, expect a whole lot of the original material to get the boot. That becomes a serious concern with the choppy and superficial All-Star.

The decision to cram so much content into one brief movie feels like a mistake, though one that seems somewhat understandable given All-Star’s place in the DC Animated Universe (DCAU) chronology. The film arrived about four years after the series launched with 2007’s Superman/Doomsday and became the tenth in the burgeoning franchise.

A year after All-Star, the DCAU would produce its first two-segment adaptation via parts one and two of The Dark Knight Returns. However, that reduced four issues of the legendary graphic novel to 152 minutes of film.

As such, the cumulative Dark Knight Returns ran nearly twice as long as All-Star even though it came from a shorter source. Even so, Returns felt a bit rushed, and that turns into a considerably bigger concern with All-Star.

Because the comics came with so much material, it seems logical that the filmmakers would’ve focused almost entirely on the Superman/Luthor elements. After all, the brief running time simply lacks the breathing room for much more.

Instead, the cinematic All-Star crams in a whole bunch of bits and pieces that feel extraneous in the greater picture. The movie rushes through the different elements and becomes less than satisfying as a result.

I get that the filmmakers felt beholden to the source and didn’t want to chuck all the different subdomains out the window. However, 77 minutes simply doesn’t allow the movie to explore all these components in a satisfying manner.

As a result, the end product feels choppy. The movie never generates much flow, as the detours mean a lack of consistency and narrative fluidity.

All-Star also feels awfully episodic. As we jump from one ultimately irrelevant subplot to another, the movie doesn’t come together in a smooth or coherent manner.

Granted, this stems from the source, as the comics didn’t really attempt a pure single overarching narrative. Still, the film should’ve concentrated on one plot and not tried to pack in so much.

I suspect a longer All-Star would’ve worked much better. The source provides some intriguing concepts and shows the potential to deliver a compelling tale.

Unfortunately, this 77-minute All-Star simply feels like the ultra-condensed adaptation it brings. A few decent moments emerge but the spotty narrative development makes it a disappointment.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B

All-Star Superman appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. No problems emerged during this strong presentation.

Across the board, sharpness looked strong. The movie boasted consistently terrific delineation and never suffered from any obvious soft spots.

Issues with jagged edges or moiré effects failed to materialize, and the image lacked edge haloes. In addition, no signs of source defects appeared.

All-Star boasted solid colors. The film used a natural palette that favored primary hues, all of which exhibited excellent vivacity and life.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows showed nice clarity. I found nothing about which to complain in this terrific transfer.

I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of All-Star opened up the comic book material well. This wasn’t a particularly ambitious piece, but it added pizzazz to the program.

The forward channels brought out the majority of the material. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.

The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material.

Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B”, as it fell just short of “B+” level.

As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from graphic novel writer Grant Morrison and producer Bruce Timm. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the source comics and their adaptation, cast and performances, animation, and music.

The vast majority of the track looks at Morrison’s work and how Timm and others translated it. This means a fairly limited focus.

I like that we find these insights, but I’d prefer a track with a broader view of the entire production. Add to that a lot of happy talk and this becomes a decent but erratic conversation.

Superman Now runs 33 minutes, 48 seconds. It brings notes from Morrison and DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio.

“Now” looks at the “All-Star” line of comics and the development of All-Star Superman as well as specifics related to that series. “Now” gives us a pretty solid view of the source books behind this disc’s movie.

Next comes The Creative Flow, a nine-minute, 36-second reel that features Morrison as he looks at his processes through parts of All-Star Superman. Expect another informative piece.

A virtual comic presents the original All-Star Superman - or parts of it, as this series of still images just teases the books. It feels like an ad more than an actual bonus feature.

Two Sneak Peeks follow. We get these for Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (11:40) and Superman/Batman Apocalypse (12:12).

Across these, we hear from a mix of personnel. Knight provides notes from Timm, co-producer Alan Burnett, director Lauren Montgomery, voice director Andrea Romano, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, animation director Jay Oliva, and actors Nathan Fillion an Henry Rollins. Apocalypse features Montgomery, Timm, Romano, DC SVP Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck, writer Jeph Loeb, and actors Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Andre Braugher, and Summer Glau.

Both exist as little more than promotion, and they’re fairly effective in that regard. Nonetheless, they remain long ads, so don’t expect more from them.

Under Bruce Timm’s Picks, we find two episodes from Superman: The Animated Series "Blast from the Past, Part 1"(19:53) and "Blast from the Past, Part 2" (21:26).

In these, Superman releases a Kryptonian from the Phantom Zone and deals with the consequences. The concept offers a twist on the Superman II plot but freed Kryptonian Mala proves predictable, as does the overall narrative, so the double-episode lacks spark.

The disc opens with ads for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. We also get a trailer for Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Because it condenses a 12-issue comic series into a 77-minute animated film, All-Star Superman becomes awfully rushed and jerky. It attempts to pack too much into its brief running time and fails to deliver a satisfying end product. The Blu-ray boasts positive picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. A much longer version of the story might work, but this abbreviate one seems spotty.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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