All-Star Superman [4K Ultra HD]
Director: Sam Liu
Cast: James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Anthony LaPaglia (VOICES)
Release Date: April 18, 2023
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Lex Luthor’s elaborate plot to kill the Man of Steel works! Poisoned by solar radiation, Superman is dying. With weeks to live, he fulfills his life’s dreams – especially revealing his true identity to Lois Lane – until Luthor proclaims his ultimate plan to control the world with no alien hero to stop him. His powers fading, Superman engages in a spectacular deadly battle that could truly trigger the end of Earth’s greatest protector.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘All-Star Superman’ brings Grant Morrison’s beloved and Award-Winning tale of Superman to animated life and follows Earth’s greatest protector after he is poisoned by solar radiation as part of a complex plot by his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor to kill him. After realizing that his chance of escaping a fate he never contemplated is minimal, Superman decides to fulfill his dreams and correct any regrets including telling his true love Lois Lane the truth about his identity. But as the reality of Lex’s diabolic plans come to light, Superman will have to embark on one last journey to save humanity and ensure the Earth’s safety in his potential absence.
Initially released in 2011, the animated adaptation of ‘All-Star Superman’ delivers a beautiful, emotional and thrilling ride that explores the choices Superman would be forced to make if he knew his time on Earth might be limited. Beautifully capturing all of the heart, struggle and exciting action that the story has to offer, it delivers a moving look at our hero in a somewhat different light that only further cements just how much the planet and the people living on it truly mean to him, regardless of what it might cost him to keep them safe. Boosted by some gorgeous animation that brings the film to life splendidly, it’s an unforgettable tale featuring the Man of Steel that will have your emotions running while keeping you effortlessly glued to the screen with all of the heart and thrilling action it serves up along its pleasantly compact 75 minute runtime. If you’re a DC Comics or Superman fan that’s never had the pleasure of this one, I’d strongly encourage making a point of rectifying that whenever possible as it’s easily up there with some of the finest DC Animated Movie offerings over the years.
Guided along by frequent DC animation director Sam Liu from a script by praised animation and comics writer Dwayne McDuffie who both bring their own rewarding touch to this film adaptation of ‘All-Star Superman’. Their work behind the scenes is only further complemented by a notable voice cast that includes James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Anthony LaPaglia, Ed Asner, Frances Conroy, Matthew Gray Gubler, Linda Cardellini and more, with each helping in their own right to make this animated adaptation work so well.
Twelve years after its initial release, Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment brings ‘All-Star Superman’ home on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever. Featuring a quite gorgeous and rewarding new Ultra High-Definition video presentation with HDR-10 that shows noticeable improvement over the Blu-ray release, with the usual DTS-HD MA multichannel soundtrack serving as a satisfying complement, the new release brings the fan-favorite DC Animated Movie home looking better than ever with improved coloring and detail. The new release also features a couple of brand new extras in addition to all of the previously released bonus material as well as a copy of the original Blu-ray release included in the combo pack. It makes for a pretty solid upgrade of the animated feature and many diehard DC fans may want to consider a purchase, although it will be up to each of you to determine whether the new video presentation and extras justify spending the money on a double dip. If you never got around to purchasing the Blu-ray over the years though, then this is definitely the version to pick up whenever you do decide to add it to your collection.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘All-Star Superman’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with HDR-10, presented in its original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks solid as a whole and delivers a clean, sharp and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish that’s absent of any unexpected troubles or faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up well and shows noticeable improvement over the Blu-ray release from 2011 that displays an uptick in clarity, detail and sharpness visible in everything from character faces and clothing to the backgrounds and landscapes which is all boosted by the HDR addition which itself contributes a gorgeous color palette and deeper darks. The HEVC encoding and substantially improved bitrate also offer noticeable improvement that eradicates much of the banding and other artifacts (at least those that aren’t part of the source material). Overall, this is a generally great new Ultra High Definition video presentation that should have fans of this beloved DC Animated Movie quite pleased.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack appears to be identical to that which was included on the film’s initial Blu-ray release, yet it still provides a clean, crisp and fairly hard hitting audio presentation throughout that shouldn’t disappoint. It repeatedly takes advantage of all five available channels at its disposal in order to send action effects and our hero swooping throughout the various speakers along with plenty of other fitting moments that utilize the surround channels; all while always keeping any dialogue and other audio elements that might be occurring along the way sounding clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that may not be anything new, but still holds up quite capably.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘All-Star Superman’ features some entertaining bonus content including a couple of brand new extras along with those which were included on the film’s initial 2011 Blu-ray release (the 2011 Blu-ray release is also included in the combo pack). Included on the 4K UHD disc are the new Featurettes ‘An All-Star Adaptation’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length) and ‘An All-Star Salute to the Silver Age’ (running approximately 7 minutes). Previously released extras included on both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs include an ‘Audio Commentary by Producer Bruce Timm and Writer Grant Morrison’, along with an ‘All-Star Superman Digital Comic’. Also included is the Featurettes ‘The Creative Flow: Incubating the Idea with Grant Morrison’ (running approximately 9 minutes) and a look at the evolution of Superman in ‘Superman Now’ (approximately 34 minutes). A few additional, previously released extras can also be found solely on the Blu-ray disc including ‘2 Bonus Cartoons’ (labeled as Bruce Timm’s Picks’ which are both parts of the ‘Superman, The Animated Series’ two-parter ‘Blast From the Past’ (approximately 20-21 minutes each), along with Sneak Peek previews of ‘Green Lantern: Emerald Knights’ (11 minutes) and ‘Superman/Batman: Apocalypse’ (12 minutes). A trailer for ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’ (1 minute) is also included on the Blu-ray.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray disc included in the 4K UHD Combo Pack and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘All-Star Superman’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD from DC Comics & Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment
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