Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Movie Talk - Superman: Brainiac Attacks

Well, I had to change plans a little bit. I was originally going to look at a somewhat forgotten Superman animated series from the 1980’s. Maybe it’ll be something for next year. Today’s post will be about the direct-to-DVD movie known as Superman: Brainiac Attacks. The movie came out in 2006. I’m guessing it was to help promote the fact that Superman Returns was being released that year. I rented this back in 2006. Recently, someone got this at Wal-Mart a while back. All I know is that it wasn’t me.

Now, I sort of talked about this a long time ago when I talked about Superman in the DCAU (DC Animated Universe). I now realize that I may have been too harsh on it. It turns out that it doesn’t tie into the DCAU. The creators of the movie only used the designs from Superman: the Animated Series. We even have some voice actors (including Tim Daly) from that series as well. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini didn’t work on it, so I really didn’t consider this in continuity anyway. So, how does this movie stand on its own two feet? I can safely say that it needs a cane, crutches, and some prayer. This was… yeah.

Lex Luthor (who’s on Prozac or some drug during the whole movie) has created a new satellite that will stop alien threats from coming to Earth. It all goes downhill as Brainiac (voiced by Lance Henrickson?) crashes on Earth to steal data. Superman shows up and the two throw down. After Superman kick’s Brainiac’s metallic butt, Luthor finds Brainiac’s processor in the rubble. After he reactivates it, the two villains team up in order to finally destroy Superman. Meanwhile, Clark is wondering if he should tell Lois about his secret and Jimmy is being a bit of a misogynist.
At least these two come out of it okay... sort of anyway.

Brainiac, equipped with a new body and kryptonite, heads out to find Superman while Clark and Lois are on a work date. A battle breaks out and Lois is severely injured by Brainiac. Superman, who’s not looking well after the battle, uses the computer in the Fortress of Solitude to find a cure in the Phantom Zone. He heads into the Zone as Brainiac tries to attack him again. He finds the cure and brings it back to the real world. Brainiac turns on Luthor and tries to destroy Metropolis. Superman faces down with Brainiac for the last time and saves Lois from dying. In the end, he doesn’t tell her his secret and almost leaves Metropolis until he’s reminded that Lois’s middle name is “Danger.” He decides to say and the movie ends.

Well, that was something. When re-watching this, I now realize that I didn’t harshly judge it. It’s not good and it's pretty bland and forgettable. There are really only two good things in the movie: the animation and some of the voice acting. The animation was pretty good. Everyone looked on model for the most part. The action was pretty good even if it does get pretty repetitive towards the end. This movie was definitely made for the little ones who just want to see Superman kick butt. I will say that this movie was at least more action-packed than Superman Returns was.

The voice acting was mixed for the most part. The voices of Lois, Jimmy, and Perry White (from Superman: TAS) were fine. Tim Daly was fine in the movie. It was the first time he’s played the part since Superman: TAS ended. I will say he sounded a little weird though that could have been some of the hokey dialogue he had to say. The voices of Luthor and Brainiac were done by other actors and it definitely showed. I will say that the actors themselves were fine even if their character were written horribly.
Oh Lex, what did they do to you?

Now, I get to the “good” stuff. First off, Lex was played to be a campy and pretty over-the-top bad guy. It’s like someone placed the Joker’s personality in Luthor. It’s a weird mix that really doesn’t work and it really isn’t that funny. Even Luthor from the Donner films wasn’t this weirdly portrayed. Brainiac was also a little off. If he was supposed to be an emotionless robot, the writers or voice director apparently forgot that. Brainiac was cackling like a madman or something.

The dialogue was also pretty hokey for the most part. I can stand that type of dialogue if it’s actually funny, but it wasn’t even that good. The story itself was also not that good. It just felt empty for the most part. I get that this was a straight-up kids’ movie, but even those movies have stories that are well developed. Heck, the series where this animation came from was geared toward all ages and had good stories. This just didn’t have that and it sucks.

Overall, I say skip this one. It’s just not a good movie. It’s pretty forgettable and makes one want to watch better Superman material. If you have little kids and need to waste 75 minutes, then go for it. It was meant for those little ones anyway. Well, I’m outta here. Peace and God Bless. 

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