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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
James Tucker
Cast:
Matt Bomer, Stana Katic, John Noble
Writing Credits:
Bob Gooodman

Synopsis:
Superman battles Brainiac in order to save his home planet’s city of Kandor

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Castillian Spanish Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
German
Latin Spanish
Castillian Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
German
Latin Spanish
Castillian Spanish

Runtime: 75 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 5/7/2013

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director James Tucker, Writer Bob Goodman and DC Entertainment Creative Director Mike Carlin
• “History of the Bottle City” Featurette
• “Technology and Terror” Featurette
• Digital Comic Excerpt
• 4 Animated Episodes
• Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Superman: Unbound [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 13, 2020)

Based on a 2008 comic written by Geoff Johns, 2013’s Superman: Unbound brings us a new adventure with the Man of Steel. This time our hero faces off against the alien villain Brainiac.

Superman (voiced by Matt Bomer) deals with conflicts that involve the women in their lives. Girlfriend Lois Lane (Stana Katic) wants to take their secret relationship public, while cousin Supergirl (Molly Quinn) acts out in unpredictable ways.

While these matters preoccupy Supes, a more pressing issue arises when an alien android comes to Metropolis and creates havoc. After Superman defeats this robot, he learns it acted as a beacon for an extraterrestrial intelligence.

Called Brainiac (John Noble), this being literally steals and shrinks cities from planets it then destroys. As he assimilates these cultures, Brainiac becomes nearly all-powerful, and a massive challenge for Superman to handle.

It’s been so long since I actively read comics that I don’t recall much about Brainiac from the magazines. I sense that I never embraced the character, but that’s at least partly due to my disaffection for sci-fi elements in my superhero stories.

This left my expectations for Unbound tempered. I’ve changed a lot since I was a teen, but I still don’t take a lot of pleasure out of sci-fi oriented superhero material.

Unbound starts well. The opening use of Lois and Supergirl creates an exciting scenario, and the development of various character areas works pretty nicely, too.

After this solid launch to the film, though, matters tend to sag. Admittedly, at least some of this comes back to my persistent lack of genuine interest in Brainiac.

I get why Brainiac should create a thrilling villain, but in my view, he doesn’t. Maybe it’s the role’s inherent coldness, but while Brainiac forms a formidable foe, his adventures simply leave me less than enthralled.

Other scenes fail to get off the ground either. Visits to the captured Kryptonian city of Kandor should seem engaging, but they lack real drama, and other stabs at emotion fail as well.

The inevitable battle royale works a bit better, but only a bit, at it mostly follows the expected route. Not that I anticipated the movie would reinvent the wheel – spoiler: Brainiac loses – but a few interesting curveballs would’ve been nice.

I don’t think Unbound ever turns into a bad animated effort, but it lacks consistency. Parts of it prove exciting but too much of it comes across as mediocre.


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

Superman: Unbound 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 positive. 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.

Unbound 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.

When I examined the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Unbound, it created a fine sense of action. The movie packed a lot of battles and involving material, and it used the five channels to impart that information in a lively manner. Explosions and fights filled the channels to create a full spectrum, and quieter elements fleshed out the room as well.

Across the board, the material sounded good. Speech remained distinctive and concise, without edginess, and music seemed vivid and full.

Effects appeared accurate and tight, with clear highs and some powerful lows. All in all, the mix worked nicely.

We find an array of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director James Tucker, writer Bob Goodman and DC Entertainment Creative Director Mike Carlin. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, the source and its adaptation, animation, cast and performances, and related domains.

This becomes a decent commentary. While it never gets into as much detail as I might like, it provides enough useful material to merit a listen.

Two featurettes follow, and Kandor: History of the Bottle City runs 16 minutes, 54 seconds. It includes notes from Carlin, Goodman, DC comics writer Marv Wolfman, writer Heath Corson, and DC co-publisher Dan DiDio.

As implied, we learn about the comics’ use of Kandor over the year. This becomes a solid summary.

With Technology and Terror, we locate a 24-minute, 42-second piece that includes comments from Goodman, Carlin, Wolfman, Corson, and writer Geoff Johns.

In “Terror”, we look at the origins of Brainiac and his development over the years. Like “Bottle”, “Terror” covers its subject matter well, though I’m surprised no one points out that Original Brainiac looked just like a green Lex Luthor!

Four DC Animated Episodes appear here. All from Superman: The Animated Series, we get “Last Son of Krypton” (21:07), “New Kids In Town” (21:22), “Little Girl Lost, Part 1” (21:16) and “Little Girl Lost, Part 2” (21:30).

“Son” gives another version of the destruction of Krypton, with the twist that Brainiac acts as scientific consultant. It’s a shame we don’t get the second and third chapters of this three-part episode, but since only “Part 1” deals with Brainiac, I get this choice.

During “Kids”, the Legion of Superheroes travels back from the 30th century to visit Smallville. Brainiac attempts to kill a teen Clark and they intervene.

Finally, “Lost” shows how Superman found Supergirl and brought her to Earth. All three offer good entertainment and they add value to the disc.

Next comes a Digital Comic Excerpt. This gives us a teaser for Superman: Brainiac, the source on which Unbound was based. Given how little we find, it’s a waste.

The disc opens with ads for Man of Steel and Lego Batman the Movie: DC Superheroes Unite.

As a superhero adventure, Superman: Unbound scores a few points. However, the movie wobbles too often and lacks consistent impact. The Blu-ray brings excellent visuals as well as good audio and a useful array of bonus materials. This feels like an average comic book adaptation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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