‘Superman Unbound’ thrills

Superman will finally return to the big screen in less than a month after a seven-year absence.

In preparation for “The Man of Steel’s” arrival, I decided to revisit my favorite direct-to-DVD/Blu-Ray animation company, DC Animated. There is no comic film studio in both theatrical release and home video release that matches the supreme power of DC Animated. They beautifully transform comics into living, breathing action/adventure animated films such as past endeavors “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” and “Justice League: New Frontier.”

Both Marvel and DC theatrical studios need to take a page out of the DC Animated book. They both create thrilling films, but have made few films that are direct adaptations of original comic stories. While those studios would prefer to tell new stories based on comics, DC Animated retells classic comic book stories through animation. DC Animated is obviously well aware that there are already hundreds, even thousands, of great superhero stories that can be told with a more constantly moving visual medium.

Enter Geoff Johns’ “Brainiac” story arc, the inspiration for DC Animated’s latest feature “Superman Unbound.” Matt Bomer plays Superman in this thrilling superhero tale that takes audiences to iconic locations such as Metropolis, the Fortress of Solitude, and the bottle city of Kandor among others. Brainiac, one of Superman’s greatest foes, has come to Metropolis to steal all of its knowledge and power, but two powers stand in his way, Superman and Supergirl. Superman is informed of the destructive nature of the mechanistic villain by his cousin Supergirl and is forced to face the robotic mastermind in combat, both mentally and physically.

The film is one of the better features from DC Animated, but suffers, unfortunately, because of wooden voice acting and awkward pacing. The emotional moments between Superman and Supergirl are stifled by overly dramatic emotional connection and lack of speed in dialogue.

Additionally, this film is not for everyone, because it is surprisingly violent for an animated film. “Superman Unbound” is just as violent as “The Dark Knight” or “Iron Man 3” so parents be wary before setting your children down in front of the TV for this Superman story. Any children under the age of 13 should take caution when viewing this film, because it features moments of bloody violence and torturous methods by Brainiac.

Overall it’s quite an entertaining film and climaxes with a theme that will surprise even the most devout Superman fans. If you’re looking for a cheaper form of Superman entertainment before “Man of Steel” then I highly suggest you check out “Superman Unbound.”

Patrick White

Movie fan Patrick White doesn't spare anyone's feelings when deciding if the latest Hollywood offering is trash or treasure. Catch his reviews on the latest theater and DVD releases in Saturday's paper.

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