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Watch Superman: Unbound - Alternative Versions.
Kal-El aka Superman has spent a lifetime defending his adopted
homeworld of Earth. For years, he had thought of himself as the last
son of Krypton. Only his fortress of solitude and his cousin Supergirl
serves as a reminder of the world Superman was born on. But now,
Superman will be faced with a dark figure from his planet's past. What
seems like another typical day of foiling heavily armed kidnappers
turns into a fight for Earth's survival as a dangerous robot probe from
outer space is identified as a drone of "Brainiac". Brainiac, as
Supergirl recalls, was responsible for the disappearance of Krypton's
capital city, Kandor, along with Supergirl's parents. Superman leaves
to confront Brainiac while Supergirl dishes out her own brand of
justice on earth.
What follows is possibly the most epic of all Superman battles ever put
to screen. We have Superman taking on hordes of advanced machines
strong enough to hurt the man of steel. We have Superman facing down
the cybernetic enhanced Brainiac who is smarter, faster and more
powerful that he is. The movie earns its PG-13 rating with blood and
violence. After all, Brainiac seeks to hoard all knowledge in the
universe. What better repository of knowledge than the brains of living
The conflict against Brainiac truly pushes Superman to his physical
limits. Staggering action, epic in scale, is beautifully animated by
Moi Animation who bring graceful fluidity to the movements of the
characters.They manage to blend the 3D CGI vehicles seamlessly with the
traditional 2D characters while giving everything a slightly more
"Japanese anime" touch.
Our characters are, once again, voiced by a wholly different cast as is
the case for each DC animated movie production. What stands out is how
witty the humor is in the script. The humor works and it fits perfectly
without feeling forced. Delivering a near perfect performance are the
voice cast directed by the impeccable Andrea Romano. Special mention
goes to John Noble as brainiac, Stana Katic as a very Margot Kidder-ish
Lois Lane and Matt Bomer as Superman/Clark Kent. Bomer especially takes
great pains to have different accents when playing the dual personality
of Superman and Kent, helping to highlight Kent's Kansas upbringing.
The story devotes a good amount of time in developing the relationships
Superman has with Lois and Supergirl, which in the end makes for a very
human look at the Man of Steel.
Central to our narrative is the theme of one being protecting others to
the point of intruding into and controlling their personal lives. The
way Superman is constantly looking over Lois' shoulder even in
peacetime, the way Supergirl intervenes in international conflicts, how
are they different from the way Brainiac keeps his captured subjects in
line by policing their actions under the excuse of protecting them?
That parallel is drawn more than once, along with the constant question
of whether Superman's loyalties lie with Earth or other Krypton
For all its good points, Superman Unbound is one of the more visually
inconsistent DC animated projects to date. The character designs are
angular, somewhat skinny and rather similar to the designs seen in
2005's "The Batman" TV series. It does take some getting used to,
particularly for those who did like Gary Frank's art in the original
"Superman: brainiac" graphic novel. The least they could do was to keep
the art consistent though. Just take a good look at Superman's
chest-to-head size ratio which expands and shrinks from scene to scene.
Then you have some obvious animation mistakes that just look weird,
especially this one scene where Superman seems to have a hilariously
long arm. The level of detail in the artwork is good for the most part,
with metallic reflections in metal surfaces on the robots, folds in
Superman's costume and cape and a good light/darkness contrast in the
colours. But then you have a good number of scenes where the level of
detail drops to the level of a low budget TV series. Oh and remember
that bit about trying to give the show a more "Japanese anime" touch?
You have scenes just like Japanese anime; a still frame with minimal
motion tween movements, complete with exaggerated anatomy, weird angles
and action lines.
If one can look past some of the visual shortcomings, there is much to
enjoy about this animated film. The music by newcomer Kevin Kliesch
takes cues from both Hans Zimmer and classic Jerry Goldsmith while
still paying due respects to the timeless John Williams style. The way
Clark Kent and Lois Lane play off each other is cutely reminiscent of
the Christopher Reeves Superman movies, and the humor is truly funny
without being corny. Overall, this would have been truly awesome in
live action. Hopefully July 2013's "Man of Steel" would be able to top
this in all aspects of storytelling and characterization.
Tags for Superman: Unbound Full Movie
, Matt Bomer
, Molly C. Quinn
, Stana Katic
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