All-Star Superman [Blu-Ray] Sam Liu

All-Star Superman [Blu-Ray] Sam Liu
Adapting a seminal, self-contained, myth-building tale from the mind of Grant Morrison is a sure-fire way of getting wildly creative ideas on the screen. As in the case of Zack Synder's Watchmen, albeit on the much smaller scale of direct to video animation, the revered material makes the filmmaker's core job minimizing the muddle in medium translation. For its purpose of re-introducing the concept of Superman as a standard of coolness for his intelligence and unwavering good nature, you couldn't select a more inspiring story. Lex Luthor finally succeeds in plotting the demise of his arch-nemesis by engineering an event to over-expose the Man of Steel to solar radiation. Cells mutating, Superman is stamped with an expiration date. Yes, Lex Luthor gives Superman cancer. But super-cancer, which comes with the manifestation of new, increased powers, kind of like when John Travolta went all ESP from a brain tumour in Phenomenon. Everything in All-Star Superman is a Herculean, cosmic-scale version of events that correlate to relatable human trials. Saying goodbye to loved ones, competing for a lady's attention, owning up to secrets (after all his subterfuge, Superman has a hell of a time convincing Lois he's really Clark Kent) fighting a tyrant sun-eater ― okay, so not everything is obvious, but author Grant Morrison assures and explains himself to the viewer in a lucid, informative commentary track with producer Bruce Timm. As good as the movie is, with a consistent voice cast, featuring the talents of Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) as Lois Lane, and a strong score, it's almost more interesting to hear Morrison wax philosophical on the purpose and place of superheroes in the cultural consciousness. The ideas on screen will blow your mind if you haven't read the comics, but those who have, and are interested in the process of medium adaptation, will find a lot of worth in Morrison and Timm's discussion. Comic fans, and anyone interested in the craft of storytelling (or those with a thing for thick, Scottish accents) should enjoy "Superman Now" and "The Creative Flow: Incubating the Idea," which are features with Morrison on the inception and execution of this take on mankind's most iconic modern myth. The rest of the features are a mixed bag. "Bruce Timm's Picks" are a couple of episodes of old Superman cartoons, there's a "Virtual Comic" (lacking zoom) of the first issue of the original comic and sneak peeks at a couple upcoming animated titles, including a few words with Summer Glau. By virtue of the sheer imaginative force of its source material, All-Star is the best Superman story you'll ever see outside of a comic book page, so give it a view if you're adverse to reading, or want a version with slightly less weirdness to explain to the kiddies. (Warner)