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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Movie Talk - Direct to DVD Superman Movies Part 2

Man, I still can't stop talking about that Superman fellow, can't I? "Oh well!"

Today's post is going to talk about the other direct-to-DVD movies that primarily involve Superman. It's basically all of the ones I didn't talk about in the last post. I saw Superman/Batman: Apocalypse a while back, but I hadn't seen the first movie, Public Enemies, till now. I also rented Superman Unbound and watched it over the long weekend. With all of that said, let's see if these movies are worth it.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
This movie  is based off of the storyline "Public Enemies" from the Superman/Batman series. Unfortunately, I've never read this story, so I can't really compare it to the movie. The overall story is that Superman is framed by President Lex Luthor for the murder of a supervillain. Batman is the only one who knows something's wrong. Luthor places a bounty on Superman which causes all sorts of villains and heroes to come after him. There's also the threat of a big asteroid heading towards Earth. In the end, Luthor is defeated and the "World's Finest" save the day.

After this, they bust into their rendition of "Guy Love" from Scrubs.

I do like this one, but it has its flaws. The biggest thing I like about this movie was the voice acting. We had Tim Daly back as Superman, Kevin Conroy back as Batman, and the "Kurgan" himself, Clancy Brown, back as Lex Luthor. It was literally these three who carried the movie for me. The rest of the voice acting was pretty solid as well. We even had Allison Mack (Chloe from Smallville) voicing Power Girl. The overall story was pretty decent. It's basically Superman and Batman versus everyone and the action really sold that. I especially loved the banter between Batman and Superman. 

Unfortunately, there were some flaws. While I thought the designs for the characters were okay, some of the women looked off especially Power Girl. What was up with her eyes? They looked too far apart or something. I also thought Power Girl's character was a little too wishy-washy in this. This wasn't the strong, brave Kara I've read about. If anything, she kinda had a "Supergirl" feel to her. The only character whose voice sounded bad was Captain Marvel which is weird because he was voiced by Corey Burton. Overall, while it does have some flaws, I did like it. It's definitely one to check out. 

Quotes:
Superman: Why is it that good villains never die?
Batman: Clark, what the hell are good villains?
...
Alfred Pennyworth: I took the liberty of washing and repairing your shirt and cape. The souvenirs of Gotham City sewers are best left under the streets.
...
Lex Luthor: You can't touch me. We're on American soil now. And I am the president.
Superman: Consider yourself impeached.
...
Batman: The kryptonite is near your heart. I don't know if I'll get it before the wound closes.
Superman: Where's The Flash when you need him?
Batman: Do me a favor and lose the sense of humor.
Superman: Do us both a favor and buy one.

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
This movie adapts the "Supergirl" storyline from the the same Superman/Batman series. I also haven't read this one. One of these days, I've got to read Jeph Loeb's run on that book. The basic plot is that Kara Zor-El crashes to Earth in her ship and the "World's Finest" (including Wonder Woman) try to get her adapted to this world. When Darkseid kidnaps her to make her one of his Furies, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Big Barda head to Apokalips to get her back. We then get an epic fight between Superman, Kara, and Darkseid at the Kents' Farm. The movie ends with Kara becoming Supergirl.

 Superman: All right guys! Suck them guts in! We're professionals, remember?

This movie may be one of my favorites from this line of DVDs in general. There's a lot of stuff about it that's good. First, the story is well told. It's a good introduction for Supergirl. I also like that all of the heroes get to have some major moments. Even Big Barda, who I know little about, has some BMS moments in this film. The voice acting is pretty good. Conroy and Daly are back and they even brought Susan Eisenburg  back to voice Wonder Woman. Summer Glau (from Firefly and Serenity) voiced Supergirl and I thought she was awesome... and I'm not just saying that because she's cute either.

While I missed Michael Ironside's Darkseid, I thought Andre Braugher did a good job as the character. The animation as a whole was pretty good. They adapted Michael Turner's style well. I don't have any major issues with the movie, but I did think that Batman felt a little too overpowered in this. Just look at him going up against Darkseid. He doesn't beat him physically, but it seems like Batman should look worse when getting knocked around by Darkseid. All in all, it's a pretty awesome film.

Quotes:
Batman: You're cousin just torched $50,000 worth of custom hardware.
Superman: Send me the bill.
Batman: On a reporter's salary, right.
...
Big Barda: Diana. You didn't leave, like, an invisible plane in the driveway, right?
...
Batman: You still owe me a computer.
Superman: Might take a while. Reporter's salary.
...
Kara: Kal, I've been chased, shot at, kidnapped, beaten up, had my mind controlled and I broke a nail. I'm ready for a little quiet.


Superman Unbound
This last and latest movie is an adaptation of the storyline "Superman: Brainiac" by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. This was actually the second Superman storyline I talked about here, so you can already tell that I might like this.The basic plot is the same from the storyline. Superman finds out that Brainiac is out there and decides to take the fight to him. He gets captured and finds out that Kandor, Krypton's capital, is a part of Brainiac's collection of bottled cities. Eventually, Brainiac comes to Earth and it's up to Superman and Supergirl to save the Earth. While the basic plot is still the same, there is a lot more story thrown in here.

We end up getting a lot more of Supergirl getting used to being a superhero. We also get an interesting subplot revolving around Lois's and Clark's relationship which I really liked. It's rare that we get to see them bicker a bit. Unfortunately, a couple of other big plot points that involve Johnathan Kent and Kandor from the original storyline don't show up here. I understand why they didn't want to go down that route since this was just one film. Still, it would have been interesting if they did have Kandor re-materialized on Earth and Johnathan Kent's death.

Hey! They're ripping off Matrix Reloaded... which probably ripped off Superman at one point or another.

The voice acting was pretty good for the most part. The only people I really know of in the cast are Matt Bomer and John Noble. Bomer played a good Superman and Noble kicked some butt as Brainiac. I did think some voices sounded a bit off when compared to everything else. Instead of adapting Gary Frank's style to the animation, the animation looked really influenced by anime. In my opinion, it was alright. I did like the way Superman looked, but Lois looked a little weird.

I did think the action was a little dull for the most part (I know, right?). This is kinda weird since I thought the action in the storyline was cool. It may have just been that anime influence though, I don't know. I actually kinda felt that the last half of the movie wasn't that good. It may have been because they did change a lot from the original story. Overall, I liked the film, but I felt a little empty when I first saw it. It could be that I'm just wishing they had completely adapted the storyline, I don't know. I still say you should go out and see it.

Quotes:
Superman: Uh-uh. No phoning home!
...
Lois Lane: You don't know teenage girls, do you? Rebellious, angry at the world, doesn't know her own strength? You're in deep trouble.
...
Superman: Welcome to Earth!
...
Lois Lane: So what do you want?
Clark Kent: ...Marry me.


Well, that's all I got on these movies. I definitely recommend them and they should seen at least once. Peace and God Bless.

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