All-Star Superman appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this 4K UHD 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. HDR added range and impact to the tones.
Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows showed nice clarity. HDR brought power to whites and contrast. 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.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both came with identical 5.1 audio.
The 4K’s visuals got a moderate boost, mainly via the extra oomph we see in colors and blacks from HDR. Don’t expect a major upgrade, though, as the two looked fairly similar.
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.
The next two features come new to the 4K. An All-Star Adaptation spans seven minutes, 57 seconds and brings remarks from Timm, composer Christopher Drake, director Sam Liu, and character designer Dusty Abell.
The program discusses how they translated the 12-issue, non-serialized comic into a 77-minute movie as well as visual style and music. This turns into a pretty solid examination.
An All-Star Salute to the Silver Age goes for seven minutes, 16 seconds. It offers notes from Timm, Drake, Liu, and Abell.
Here we get thoughts about the Superman of the 1950s and how this influenced All-Star. Expect a fun take on this domain.
Except for those last two features, all the above also appears on the included Blu-ray copy. This disc brings additional components as well.
Two Sneak Peeks arrive on the Blu-ray. 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 4K UHD 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.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of ALL-STAR SUPERMAN