Death of Superman – Blu-ray Review

Starring: Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Shemar Moore, Nathan Fillion, Matt Lanter, Christopher Gorham, Nyambi Nyambi
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi 
Directed by: Sam Liu
Studio: Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment
Original Year of Release: 2018
Rated: PG-13
Run Time: 82 minutes

There is a lot to digest here about the latest DC Universe Movie, The Death of Superman. It will probably be best to tackle it in threefold. The film itself. The property it was based on, the comic's story. Finally, the DC animated universe vs. the live action one.

This film is directly connected to the past several years of animated Justice League, Batman, and Teen Titans films (which have all had, generally, the same cast of actors providing their voices. I would say the Justice League and Teen Titans films have been interwoven with Batman and Robin's storyline, which provides the glue to the animated New 52. With that being said, never have I really felt as if I needed to watch two or three other films to appreciate the latest one. In short, missing one or two will not hurt your enjoyment of the latest release. The Death of Superman does have references to obvious moments for this new incarnation of stories featuring Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, The Flash, and Batman. These references did have the proper lead-in or retort that filled the viewer in on what they might have missed. They also brought the viewer up to speed quickly and keep the story moving. Yes, Wonder Woman and Superman had a relationship in this timeline. Yes, it is now over. This establishes the crux and emotional turmoil in The Death of Superman that Clark Kent is on the verge of telling Lois that he and Superman are one in the same. FYI, this is a great scene when it does happen in the film. That scene alone was worth watching, yet it is one of just many that make The Death of Superman one of the better (if not best) DC animated films. There is a Justice League board meeting scene that rocks anything Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon ever came up with. We'll get to that in a minute. I can hear fanboys screaming and complaining that this is different than the now legendary comic book story. It has to be as we have only so much time to tell this animated tale. We also already have an animated stand-alone film which just featured "The Death of Superman", Superman/ Doomsday (2007), this film is different, more modern, and working with the animated stories that have happened before. With all the movies, TV shows, and comics out there, by now fanboys should be used to not getting exactly what they want. It's time to enjoy what you have. If you don't care for this film, move on. If you ignore it based on past prejudices, you really are missing out.

Obviously, the film is going to be different from the story that DC Comics published in 1993. Using the New 52 incarnations of the Justice League made me feel as if I was more connected to the characters. Let's be honest, how much of the 1990's Justice League (from the comics) do you remember? I've spent more time with these animated characters than the previous ones. In short, I knew where this Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg were coming from. Yes, the comic book is worth reading. In fact, the special feature "The Death of Superman: The Brawl That Topped Them All" made me want to go back and read it all again. See, the bones were good and now it is time for writer Peter J. Tomasi and director Sam Liu to bring that story to a modern audience. And boy do they ever.

Why can't the live-action DC films be this good? There, I said it, and I am sure I am not the only who will say it after watching this film. These are classic characters. They are mythic in their standing, so they should be treated as such. When you shlep them out there like cash cows, audiences are going to be wise to that. I know you can do anything with animated films, however, today that is a piss poor excuse when you look at the likes of the what worlds we can create in a digital platform. They made me believe a man could fly back in 1978. How did they do that? With heart, good writing, a great director, and casting the right actors. Notice I didn't mention the special effects. The minds behind the animated DC Universe are still using all these good things. When one casts the likes of Raiin Wilson as Lex Luthor, you think, "what?" After 5 minutes on screen, you wonder why the hell this didn't happen sooner. Having the real-life married couple of Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn as Superman and Lois Lane was another stroke of genius. Why? The familiarity with one another lends itself to the characters on screen. This doesn't always work in cinema, but here it's gangbusters. The final Deathstroke (pun intended) as to why these DC guys are better than the live-action DC guys is in the post-credit scenes. They're enticing enough to give you those goosebumps, especially if you know what's coming next. Let's face it, it is a comic book movie, what fan doesn't know what's coming next?

After watching The Death of Superman I was completely ready to sit through it again. I watched the all the special features, especially the Reign of the Supermen preview, and started spreading the word on social media that this is a DC film you have to see. I'm not trolling those involved with the live-action films, honestly, I am not. It has just been a long time since I was this pleased with a product that featured the likes of the Justice League. Get the film now, however you watch movies. You will not be disappointed.

The Death of Superman Enhanced Content

Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Deluxe Gift Set, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and Digital

The Death of Superman: The Brawl That Topped Them All (Featurette) – Experience the battle between Superman and Doomsday like never before as creators of the iconic comic and the new film explore the nuances of “The Greatest Fight” with the help of a martial arts expert.

A Sneak Peek at DC Universe's Next Animated Movie, Reign of the Supermen – An exciting look at the next film in the two-part saga that brings the epic and emotional story of a world without the Man of Steel to life.

From the DC Comics Vault: Legion of Superheroes, “Dark Victory: Part 1” – After eliminating Imperiex, Brainiac 5 takes over his army and plans to take over the universe. With Superman thought to be dead, the other Legionnaires must stop him before it is too late!

From the DC Comics Vault: Legion of Superheroes, “Dark Victory: Part 2” – The Legion faces Imperiex in a final battle, while a traitor lurks in their midst.

DVD

A Sneak Peek at DC Universe's Next Animated Movie, Reign of the Supermen – An exciting look at the next film in the two-part saga that brings the epic and emotional story of a world without the Man of Steel to life.


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