DVD Review: All Star Superman

Thanks for checking out our All Star Superman DVD Review

Genre: Animated Superhero Action
Directed by: Sam Liu
Staring: James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Matthew Gray Gubler and Linda Cardellini
Released: February 22, 2010


Based on Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s 12-issue “All-Star Superman” series, the animated movie will feature “Desperate Housewives” actor James Denton as the voice of the Man of Steel, “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks as Lois Lane, and “Without a Trace” leading man Anthony LaPaglia as Lex Luthor. In the story, Superman is faced with mortality and has to decide what is truly important to the last survivor of Krypton.


This is a faithful adaptation of the 12 issue stand alone story arc written by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Many scenes are ripped right from the pages right down to the unique style and framing. It is a unique contained Superman story which on the pages became an instant classic for its depth of character and storytelling despite picking up after decades of storyline, but with an obvious end in place.

The way they present the difference between Clark and Superman is genius, and I really enjoyed the Clark Kent moments in the movie. It is done rather well, and reminded me a lot of how Reeve looked so different as Kent and as Superman in those films. They don’t cheat when he is animated here, but he certainly has a different presence. This was a defining factor on how they wanted to present the secret identity in the comic arc, and its played out well in the movie.

There is a great featurette about the Original comic book source material from which this is all based on that is very insightful and well put together. Which leads me to…


Much like people worried if the incredible story on the pages of Watchmen could ever translate well to a feature film, this is an example of one that does not. While interesting to see Superman explore these familiar things from his past, and while it does sit very closely to much of the storylines presented in the 12 issue presentation, this does NOT translate well to a feature film.

Much of the story feels rushed, heartless and random. There is a whole bridge about Superman revealing his identity to Lois that jumps randomly into him creating a serum that grants her his powers for 24 hours. He even makes her a costume so she can fly in his tights for a day. So random.

And then the film attempts to hit on many of the contained stories presented in the 12 issues, and it feels like we hopped into another episode of a tv show without seeing credits roll. Its jarring and again, removes any of the depth of story presented from the comics.

The story drags and jumps, and their choices on which of the bits in the series to leave out in the adaptation leave you curious as well. The presence of Luthor’s Niece Nasthalthia Luthor might be adorably voiced by Linda Cardellini, but she is pointless in the movie.


All in all, I would give them an A for effort, as this unique non-canon storyline was very well recieved in print. It just doesn’t work well as a movie. Much of the depth and nuances of the Morrison/Quietly series is completely lost on this 75 minute feature, which is a shame.

I give All Star Superman a 3 out of 10

On a side note, in the special features, there is a sneak peek at an upcoming Green Lantern release called Green Lantern: Emerald Knights that will offer an anthology of vignette shorts featuring different characters across the Green Lantern franchise that looks AMAZING. Fans will get to see Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern at last… or at least hear him as he will be providing the voice of Hal Jordan.

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5 thoughts on “DVD Review: All Star Superman

  1. for what it’s worth I also enjoyed this movie a lot. I try not to compare a movie to its literary source and would rather give an impression on the movie alone, which is a debate I have with people over Harry Potter and LOTR.


    I didn’t think the movie jumped around until I read the comments and I’m still indifferent on the whole thing. IMO Bumbling Clark Kent was straight outta Christopher Reeve’s interpretation of the character. Superman revealing his identity reminded me of the first superman movie and then they had their super-date. Lois’ costume was similar to the outfit worn by Supergirl’s mom in the ‘New Krypton’ story from the comics. The super baddies seemed like they were based on a mix of the Ace of Spades gang and Ursa and Zod from the movies, complete with a 1 way trip to the phantom zone.

    I really think that the movie took a lot of inspiration from the movies complete with a Lex luthor that was contemporary but seemed eerily familiar to the Gene Hackman interpretation of the character complete with idiot nephew/niece.

    If any of those familiar scenes/feelings were intentional then I think the movie did very well as it brought some comfortable resolution to the character with Lois’ optimism at the end. 70 mins is a short window of time, and I didn’t even question the pacing until reading some comments. I haven’t read the mini-series yet, but I will very soon.

    Just me 2c

  2. I enjoyed it immensely but I never read the original. While I somewhat agree that the film jumps from story to story randomly, I enjoyed the overall arc so much that I totally forgave it.

    Also, I didn’t even like the Superman Animated Series much at all.

  3. I enjoyed the movie but thought your point on things just jumping around randomly seemed off. The two Kryptonians just appearing threw me way off. As an animated movie I thought it was great, you go into those types of movies with a different mentality. It isn’t Red Hood but it is entertaining. I just looked to how each character was portrayed and loved this look at Lex he was the best thing going for me.

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