58 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2007
There's good stuff to recommend in this DVD, but there are some awfully big caveats I feel one should know before buying:
1.) Straight-to-video titles rarely have the production values of theatrical animated releases, so know going in that the animation is no great shakes - a notch above the latest Superman and Justice League shows on Kids WB!, but not a huge step up by any means. There are some inspired moments of animation, but they are few and far between.
2.) Don't be taken in by the "PG-13" rating. I suppose slapping "PG-13" on it works to WB/DC's advantage, suggesting the movie is a "hard" Superman story that attracts the fanboys. But while it does contain some language, violence and themes that you'd never see on the Animated Series on TV, in relation to what you see in theatrical films, this is squarely "PG" all the way.
3.) There is no way they could cram in everything from the Death/Rebirth of Superman storylines into a 90-minute film. I doubt they could effectively squeeze it all into a 3-hour film. So there's no Justice League getting whupped by Doomsday, no Supergirl or "heroic" Lex Luthor II, no Steel or Superboy, no Cyborg and Mongul colluding to destroy Coast City. No Kryptonian War-Suit.
If you go in with all that in mind, the film isn't so bad. IMHO, they did a good job of condensing the essentials of the storyline into a single digestible story. Those who strive for continuity with the comic books need not apply. They did manage to include things like the Eradicator (kinda), how Metropolis deals with the absence of Superman, the pain of Lois and Martha not being able to grieve openly, Clark being resusicated in the Fortress, the black suit and long hair, and the issue of whether Metropolis would be better served by boy-scout Superman, or a darker, more violent protector. So it's not a total break with the comic storyline.
Some of the dialogue is cringe-inducing, and I really didn't like Anne Heche as Lois. I've always found her voice to be a bit grating. But I really enjoyed Adam Baldwin as Clark/Supes. There's a great scene with the film's version of the Eradicator, where he rescues a cat from a tree and talks about "sweating the small stuff". Watch for it - one of the best parts of the film.
The animation was really a bit of a let-down - given how far in advance they'd been hyping this release, I really was hoping for something a good bit better than an episode of the TV show. So I couldn't give this four stars. Still, I would have given it 3.5 if I could have, as the overall narrative is pretty solid.
If you really like the Animated Series, and/or really want to see a movie-like translation of the Death of Superman storyline, pick this up. All others might be advised to rent and watch before buying.
55 of 68 people found the following review helpful
The first in a line of straight to DVD animated features adapted from classic DC stories, Superman: Doomsday re-tells the much maligned Death of Superman saga from the early 90's in animated form, and despite what many of the negative reviews here say otherwise, it works. The Man of Steel (voiced by Serenity's Adam Baldwin) is in love with Lois Lane (voiced quite stiffly by Anne Heche) and both are enjoying their relationship, until his world is rocked by the arrival of the murderous creature Doomsday, who is inadvertantly let loose by Lex Luthor (Buffy the Vampire Slayer's James "Spike" Marsters). If you've read the comics, you know what happens next, but the animated feature wisely ignores the Reign of the Supermen part of the arc, in place of an imposter created by Luthor, which results in an apocalyptic showdown. Being the first in a line of newly animated features, don't go into this expecting something among the lines of the DC animated series' that had come before it. The animation itself looks similar to what we've seen before (veteran animator Bruce Timm is heavily involved here), but the tone is noticibly different. The voice acting is solid (Marsters is magnificent as Luthor, while Baldwin is servicable as Superman) and the action is nicely orchestrated as well, all of which makes Superman: Doomsday an animated treat. This new two-disc edition has a few new features, including episodes from the underrated 90's Superman animated series, but there isn't anything else here that really warrants getting double-dipped for.
33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2007
I read the book/graphic novel over ten years ago, if I remember. This isn't much like that at all. Superman fights something called Doomsday and dies, then comes back to life. That's about all that remains of the original story.
Gone are the side stories about Superboy and Steel, which were very cool IMHO. Gone also is the interesting story about how Superman came back to life. The mechanics behind how he does so in this DVD are completely different, from what I recall.
Not bad for a fun hour's watching, but don't expect this to be like the original story.
I wish they'd have made the movie of it like they'd planned :(
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I'm not a huge Superman fan by any means, but I loved the Superman Animated series and was looking forward to the Superman: Doomsday movie, even though I knew it technically wasn't part of the same continuity.
I know a lot of people seem to hate the fact that this movie is not a panel-by-panel adaptation of the Death and Return of Superman comics, but that may be for the best. The Return of Superman storyline got a bit convoluted, and this adaptation does a great job of streamlining things for casual fans. The return of "Superman" was presented quite differently, and I think this was an improvement over the original stories.
The highlight of the movie was the fighting. The Superman/Doomsday battle was flat out epic, and was choreographed brilliantly. It was highly reminiscent of Japanese anime fighting, and the devastation was incredible. The Superman/Superman battle was almost as impressive, but "bad" Superman lacked Doomsday's menace. The only wonder is how there were any buildings in Metropolis left standing. I also loved the fact that Lex Luthor and the Toyman were far more sinister than before. The Toyman in particular was downright creepy.
The absence of other superheroes both during the fight and at the funeral was decidedly unusual, especially given the sheer volume of DCU characters that rotate in and out of the Justice League series, but then again, none of the live action Superman movies had any guest stars (Richard Pryor doesn't count).
I should also mention the fact that this is rated PG-13. The fighting is intense, there's a fair amount of blood spilling and neck snapping, and there's some scattered profanity as well. I'd recommend parents watch it before exposing it to kids. I don't understand the outrage from parents who couldn't be bothered to look at the rating and explanation on the back of the box before popping this into little Billy's DVD player.
Overall I was very impressed with Superman: Doomsday. It was a solid adaptation of the original story, but was still accessible to non comic book fans, and is a worthy addition to the DCU animated movie library.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2008
If you spent a good bit of money keeping track of this Superman storyline when it appeared over the multiple Superman titles... I'd advise you to run far from this. As a fan of the animated Superman tv shows not to mention the comic books, I couldn't help but wince a bit while watching this. I can well appreciate "creative license" but this came off more like creative hatchet job. This is about as far from the Death of Superman story as they could conceivably get and the changes made make it a weak and pathetic substitute for the original material.
On that basis I think it's good that they went out and found different voice talent from that used on the tv show. No need to mar the fine work done by the tv show's voice actors by tying them in to this. So much of the true story is missing from Superman: Doomsday that I'm forced to wonder why they even bothered. Most books turned film lose a bit in translation but those done well at least retain their core, their soul. This however only superficially retains the obvious (because they had no choice) but the heart of what the original story told is nowhere to be found.
So, with all that you're probably wondering how I came to give it 3 stars. Simple, the special features! As an aspiring comic book artist I was completely engrossed by the videos of the actual artists and writers of the original comic book story arc. It's quite surprising that such would be included on this dvd because it just underscores rather bluntly how good the original story was/is vs. the film made from it.
The special features alone make this dvd worth buying even though I got it free via subscription elsewhere. It's really interesting to learn the story behind the story and how it affected the writers and artists alike in creating the Death of Superman. There is a video of the actors who did the voice work for Doomsday but other than that the only commentary about the film is provided via narration by its creators as the film plays. It's a rather stark contrast to everything else including a rather nice behind-the-scenes look at Justice League: New Frontiers and perhaps just points up just how bad this take on Death of Superman turned out to be.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2010
The Death of Superman storyline is what got me back into the Superman comics in the early 90's, and I remained a fan until the early 00's when the change of art direction and the insane plotting pretty much killed it for me again. Still, I was quite interested in seeing what they would do with this and the result is a mixed blessing.
First, I wasn't a fan that Lois was hooking up with Superman, but not Clark (even though she strongly suspects they are the same anyway). What made the comics so great in the Byrne era was the Superman was CLark's alternate identity and not vice versa.
I also wasn't too crazy about the resolution of the storyline where they essentially mixed the Eradicator part of the Reign of Supermen with the KnightsEnd story from the Batman.
What did work in the movie? I liked Jimmy Olsen's character, who was pretty much following the same arc of the comics in the mid 90's. I also liked Marster's portrayal of Luthor. Although a bit cliched, the fake Superman was done pretty well also. But what really made the movie itself worth watching were the two major fight sequences, both of which were suitably epic.
Finally, the DVD itself is worth getting for the 45 minute documentary of the original Death of Superman, which was a great reminder of just how good that storyline was, and how much it helped rebuild DC comics in the early 90's. There was also a passable, but brief, segment with the voice actors, although Marsters' portrayal of Luthor was left off for some reason.
All in all, a pretty decent portrayal, even if it couldn't come anywhere near what they did in the comics.
37 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2007
I can't even express how impressed i was with this movie.
Is it the comic? not really. does that matter? hell no. this movie is based on "The Death of Superman," yes, but they never said it would be exactly the same. did they follow the basic premise and capture the essence of the story? hell yes, they did. and they translated all the most important parts of the story while still making it their own.
denying the pure quality of the movie itself is just a practice in bad taste. keep in mind that most of the people who will bash this movie for not being an exact adaptation of the three graphic novels it pulls inspiration from are probably the same people who own all box-sets of S:TAS and consider them to be bar-setting quality in Superhero television. was S:TAS exactly like the comics? hell no. in fact, to compare them on those grounds is just rediculous... they're about as different as they can possibly be, without S:TAS destroying the superman comic mythos. the key is that they kept the important parts the same, and delivered high quality writing, animation, etc. while still being allowed to add their own flavor to the stories.
the route they took with this movie was, i think, perfect for what they were aiming to do. they wanted to bring the classic story to the screen without bogging it down with all of the unnecessary plot tangents that drag the focus off of Superman himself. because that's what's important. Superman's death is what sold those comics, not the inclusion of the JLA. and then, subsequently, Superman's return from death after much mourning is done by the Man of Steel's loved (and not so loved) ones. all of this was captured flawlessly in the film and i think it deserves the highest of ratings for what it accomplishes in it's relatively short running time (even though the sheer scope of it makes it feel far more substancial than any other 70-80 minute movie i've seen).
basically, to wrap up, this movie exceeded my already high expectations and as far as i'm concerned, they already have my money when the Dvd is released.
i highly recommend it and suggest that you, at the very least, rent it regardless of any doubts.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
Firstly, one of these days, the guys at Warner Premiere, DC Comics & Warner Home Video, will appease the fan-base by doing a complete adaptation of these Graphic novels or the storyline(s) depicted in the comic books the way it was published!
I know it would take alot of time, money & effort, but I'm sure the die-hard fans would greatly appreciate the final product, provided it was completed truthfully with the source material.
Secondly, the most recent reviewer stated that this is not for young children! That is quite correct & is aimed at the higher age bracket &deserves the MPAA rating of PG-13! Touted to be the first animated PG-13 Superman adventure & deservingly it should be! This was a violent & graphic storyline when it was initially published. I should know since I have the entire run of that storyline, Doomsday, The Death of Superman, Funeral For A Friend & then ultimately, The Reign of the Supermen! Great gripping reading & the artwork fantastic & graphic! Definitely not for young children!
This dvd is a condensed version of the above-mentioned story arcs with the ultimate return of the Man of Steel!
I will say that I sorely diappointed with the runtime & abbreviated connected storylines to this great DC Comics event, which took it's place in the Media when it was announced to the world with a banner healine "Superman Is Dead"! Did that get coverage not since the JFK assassination according to many persons.
So due to the fact of the abbreviated storyline, which causes it to lose one star, the violence & some adult content, I will recommend it to teenagers & adults & not for young children! Enjoy!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
In Metropolis, Lex Luthor (Voiced by James Marsters) has an obsession with destroying the man of steel known as Superman (Voiced by Adam Baldwin) but when his corporation accidently unleashes a powerful alien brute named Doomsaday it becomes a force of destruction. However Superman does battle with the monstrocity as he wins with the creature down but the man of steel dead leaving the nation to mourn including his true love Lois Lane (Voiced by Anne Hech) but soon as crime is spreading in the city somehow Superman has been brought back from the grave as soon a chain of unsual events occur.
Co-starring the voices of Cree Summer, Tom Kenny, Kevin Smith and Swoosie Kurtz this is a very good and entertaining Superman animated feature. The film is well animated and nicely voiced but not very faithful to the legendary "Death and Return of Superman" comics cause there's no DC characters at Superman's funeral or his Cyborg clone or Superboy or Steel. The movie is quite violent for a PG-13 animated feature with some salty language and some innuendos which maybe inappropriate for younger kids but older kids with teens and adult DC fans would enjoy watching this somewhat very good animated feature.
This Blu-Ray special edition offers fantastic crystal picture and perfect sound quality that could rock the boat and some nifty extras like audio commentary, featurettes, interviews and trailers.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2007
For those of you who aren't hardcore comics geeks, please don't be put off by the bad reviews given by people lamenting that this movie isn't a strict recreation of the "Death of Superman" comic book storyline. Those people need to get out a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word, "Adaptation." The epic comic book tale, featuring four (rather than one) surrogate Supermen, Supergirl, a somewhat different Lex Luthor and guest appearances by the Justice League as well as the additional villain Mongul would be impossible to do in a 75 minute movie.
Different media have different needs and what Bruce Timm and his team have done is create a great story that captures the spirit of the comics while bringing some entirely new twists. Some of the changes (such as sending Clark to Afghanistan at the beginning of the story, thus making his unexplained silence after Superman dies easier to explain) are improvements on the original. Other alterations offer some really surprising twists to the fans who do know the story (one, including a terrifyingly redesigned Toyman will have true Superman fans gasping). And most of all, the relationship between Superman and Lois has never been handled with such depth and complexity... it offers some genuine emotion at a number of points in the film.
The action is great, the voices are mostly excellent (although Anne Heche's gruff Lois takes a while to get used to) and it's fun to see how the animators have integrated elements from many sources, including SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (there's a shot of Supes taking off that's lifted directly from the film), SMALLVILLE and SUPERMAN RETURNS (Jonathan Kent isn't alive in this and Martha seems to have the same kind of melancholic disconnect to her son as in that film). Of course, small nods to comics creators are in evidence and there's even an inside dig at producer Jon Peters' infamous edict to have Superman battle a giant spider (voiced by an animated Kevin Smith).
The film's not perfect... one wishes that the Doomsday portion of the film would've had just a tad more heft to it, and a subplot involving Jimmy Olsen being wooed by a Tabloid feels forced, but those are minor quibbles.
The plethora of added bonus features, including an in-depth look at the hysteria that the original "Death of Superman" comics wraught, make this a must-have for even a casual Superman fan. Pay the One and Two Star Reviewers no mind! They're too wrapped up in their myopic fanboy worlds to appreciate this project for what it is: An exciting, adult Superman adventure that easily stands on its own.