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Superman: Unbound - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Superman: Unbound


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2 stars

DC’s animated movie onslaught continues with another adventure from the Man of Steel. This time out, fan favourite Brainiac is headed to earth to procure a city for his shrunken city collection, and then will torpedo the Sun and destroy the Earth.

These movies are still more miss than hit, but this one makes some headway in characterization and an attempt at some depth. In this one, Clark/Supes is having relationship issues with his girl, Lois, and his newly arrived super cousin, Kara, is also having trouble adjusting to her new home world. There are real attempts to make them people in this one, with problems going on in their personal lives that pale into insignificance when the threat of Brainiac arrives.

Some of it works, but there are some shortcomings to these projects that they don’t seem to ever get over, and I don’t think they can. For the uninitiated, most of these projects are based on popular comic runs—usually celebrated throughout the comic loving world for bringing some inspired or new element to a long running series—and unlike in the comics, where you have all the time in the world to build these things up over the year(s), in a movie, especially one with a truncated running time of around 80 minutes, you’re never going to be able to match the depth these stories achieve.

They remind me of the abridged notes you used to read in high school when you didn’t read the novel for class. They cover the meat of the story, but the essence of what makes them great is almost always missing.

The effectiveness of trying to establish what version of Superman this is, what his relationship is to Lois, etc. is always something a non-comic reader is going to have trouble with, coming in cold so to speak. IE: “Wait, Lois didn’t know he was Superman in the last one? Now she’s his girlfriend?”

The Dark Knight Returns Parts 1 & 2 are a step down the right track. The running time is allowing the filmmakers to establish things at a pace that can resonate and give things time to build.

Despite all their fine attempts and excellent voice cast, Unbound delivers truncated story arcs from characters in a version we don’t know yet, followed by Saturday morning level carnage that becomes repetitive all too quickly, and an ultimately cheap and low key showdown between Superman and Brainiac.

It’s a good looking, but ultimately soulless animated movie. If they want these things to be event movies, then more money and more time needs to be thrown at them. Until that happens, Unbound and its ilk will never truly represent the greatness from which they’re adapted. Mini-series might be a better way to go.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Superman: Unbound - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: No rating.
75 mins
: James Tucker
Writer: Bob Goodman
Matt Bomer, Stana Katic, John Noble
Genre: Animated | Fantasy | Sci-fi
The Machine is coming
Memorable Movie Quote: "Thanks. If I knew I was gonna be abducted, I might have skipped the heels."
Warner Home Video
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 7, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 7, 2013

Synopsis: Based on the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank 2008 release "Superman: Brainiac," Superman: Unbound finds the horrific force responsible for the destruction of Krypton – Brainiac – descending upon Earth. Brainiac has crossed the universe, collecting cities from interesting planets – Kandor, included – and now the all-knowing, ever-evolving android has his sights fixed on Metropolis. Superman must summon all of his physical and intellectual resources to protect his city, the love of his life, and his newly-arrived cousin, Supergirl.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Superman: Unbound

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
2 stars

4 stars

Blu-ray Experience
3 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 7, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region encoding: A, B

Videophiles have a real dislike of Warner’s transfers for most of these animated releases. I must be going blind, because they never look bad to me. The MPEG-4 AVC transfer is bright, clean, crisp, consistent to my eyes, and although it’s not in the league of a pristine Disney restoration or a Pixar movie, it ain’t half bad. Sound is better: the lossless 5.1 DTS-HD audio mix give an immersion and gravitas to the film beyond its visuals. Rears will get a heft workout and the effects are impressive. Special features explore the history of Brainiac and the comics this film was based on. Decent package, as usual.



  • Feature-length audio commentary with director/producer James Tucker, screenwriter Bob Goodman and comic industry writer Mike Carlin

Special Features:

  • Brainiac: Technology and Terror
  • Kandor: History of the Bottle City
  • From the DC Comics Vault
  • Digital Comic Excerpt

{2jtab: Trailer}


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