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on March 31, 2013
This review is not on the blu-ray, but on the movie itself. I was lucky enough to see a screening of this at WonderCon along with a panel discussion with some cast and creators.

I wouldn't consider myself a diehard Superman fan, but as a fan of comics and pop culture in general, I really enjoyed this movie. Not much (if any) background is needed to enjoy it. Superman and his cousin Kara (Supergirl) are attacked by a android that turns out to be a scout searching for worlds to collect as specimens. Kara recalls how before she escaped Krypton, a villain known only as Brainiac sent similar androids to attack her hometown and literally "stole" it off the face of the planet. Now that these androids have appeared again, they fear that Metropolis may be Brainiac's next victim. Determined to prevent the past from repeating itself, Superman plans to find Brainiac and stop him before he is able to steal any more worlds.

What follows afterward is an interesting look at the characters Clark, Kara, and Lois and how they each deal with fears associated with protecting the people they love, and how these choices effect those they care for. Some pretty deep character development, as well as some witty dialog, humor, an interesting villain, and a gesture that the panel claimed gave this a PG-13 rating (done in a humorous fashion) makes this a great film for Superman fans and comic fans alike.

The cast is also a great one with Superman played by actor Matt Bomer of "White Collar", as well as "Castle" cast members Molly Quinn and Stana Katic as Supergirl and Lois Lane respectively.

My recommendation: Give this one a shot!
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on May 12, 2013
I've been a fan of most of the Superman animated movies previously released. I liked All-Star Superman and the Batman team-ups, Apocalypse & Public Enemies. I especially liked Superman vs the Elite and the Captain Marvel short. Even the Justice League movies portrayed Superman in an enjoyable manner. Superman Unbound, however, didn't really impress. It's a movie I enjoyed enough once through, but will not likely watch again any time soon.

Based on the comic book story appearing in Action Comics #866-870 by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank, this movie tells the tale of Brainiac and the bottle city of Kandor. We learn little about Brainiac's background. His motivation is simply the acquisition of knowledge, which is a sensible goal for a man who is essentially a walking computer. The strength of the film is how Brainiac's mission intersects with Supergirl's back story, which in turn impacts and motivates Superman.

There is solid character development between Superman & Supergirl. It really is a movie about both characters, so the title is a little misrepresentation. I might even say Supergirl really is the star of this movie. She is the one who is connected to Brainiac, Kandor, and Kryptonians in general.

On the subject of the title, I'm not even sure how Superman is "unbound." When I think of the word "unbound" I think of the ending of Superman vs the Elite, which is epic. Never in the story is he really bound by anything.

There are some good action sequences in the movie, though the battles at different points in the story seem unbalanced. First, Brainiac whoops Superman. Then Superman whoops Brainiac. It's a complete 180. It's not until the final battle that any logic is applied to why one would be victorious over the other. Still the logic works and leads to a believable ending.

I'm not sure the romance subplot needed to be there. Haven't we seen enough Lois & Clark relationship woes in a million other places? Plus, superheroes denying themselves a proper relationship in order to protect the ones they love is a cliche of the genre at this point. To wrap up this subplot, Johns jumped into a big old vat of cheesy cheese that seemed a cheap way to create last-moment emotional drama.

I didn't really care for the animation style, but it didn't really impact my enjoyment of the movie. Personal preference there. It's clearly anime-inspired. At one point Superman's arm looks a mile long due to some weird perspective.

Voice acting was solid. Lois may have been a little too stiff, though that could be due to poor scripting. I'm all for Lois being the tough-as-nails reporter who will do anything to get a story, but she makes a lot of dry jokes that don't really work. With the attitude she has on the helicopter in the opening scene, you'd swear SHE was the one with superpowers. It also can come off a little annoying, because it comes off that she doesn't care what she does, because Superman will always come to the rescue. It's a little irresponsible and selfish and he seems wishy-washy in his anger over it. This is another factor that tainted the romance elements for me. Why would Superman want a woman who deliberately abuses his abilities and time to take unnecessary risks for personal gain in her career.

It's not a bad movie that does provide a solid history of Brainiac, Kandor, Supergirl, and Krypton that we don't see elsewhere in animation (that I recall). It's also a nice team-up between Superman and Supergirl. Seeing them team-up as family over a story about their origins is great. Ultimately, however, the story isn't that impressive or memorable. It lacks fun, humor, or epic storytelling. It's a rental for sure.
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on May 11, 2013
As usual, while Time Warner seems unable to make a great superhero movie that doesn't involve Batman (although Man of Steel looks to be a game changer), DC Animated never fails the audience. Superman Unbound is another unparallelled success, with Superman dealing with his relationship with Lois, his relationship with Kara and a new and implacable enemy - Brainiac. A brilliant adaptation (warning Fanboys - it's not a literal adaptation there are some changes) of the comic by Geoff Johns and Gary Franks (the Curt Swan of this era), it is quite satisfying. Best voice: John Noble "Fringe" as Brainiac. Don't delay - if you're a Superman fan - get this today!
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on May 11, 2013
For the past eight years, Batman received all the love at the movies when it comes to DC Comics' characters. That's all about to change on June 14 when "Man of Steel" hits theaters. DC and Warner Premiere aren't going to settle for TV commercials and trailers to get people pumped up. Two new comic books and a DC Universe Animated Original Movie entitled "Superman Unbound" are keeping the super hero fresh on everyone's minds as well.

"Superman Unbound" serves as a tasty appetizer for the main meal coming up. The Man of Steel joins forces with his cousin, Supergirl, to battle Brainiac after the super villain shrinks down Metropolis and adds it to his collection of cities from different planets he's destroyed. Superman must find a way to keep Braniac from destroying the Earth and save all the captured cities of the universe, including Krypton's capitol Kandor.

As is usual with the DC animated movies, "Superman Unbound" is loaded with action from the beginning to the end. Director James Tucker and writer Bob Goodman know how to keep the pace moving at a breakneck speed and demand the audience's attention. You take a 128 page graphic novel and shove it into a 75 minute film. There's no time for the viewer to get distracted or for the movie to lose steam.

The animation for "Superman Unbound" differs from what we've come to expect from the DC animated features. It varies in style greatly from "Superman vs. The Elite." One example is the Man of Steel's facial features. The other characters look different as well.

"Superman Unbound" is definitely a PG-13 movie. There are scenes of Braniac changing himself into a cyborg that would freak out little kids. His robots drill into the heads of their victims, which splashes a lot of blood around onscreen. Lois Lane also flips Braniac the double birds in one scene. Superman even says a bad word at one point. There are also some light sexual references most kids won't pick up on, but they're still present.

The high definition presentation of "Superman Unbound" is clean and sounds good. There's a little banding in the backgrounds, but nothing too distracting visually. The 5.1 surround sound will ensure that you're home theater setup will tremble and shake from the explosions and other sonic treats.

Warner treats fans to a hefty batch of special features for "Superman Unbound." Audio commentary is provided by Director / Producer James Tucker, Screenwriter Bob Goodman, and comic industry writer Mike Carlin. Two featurettes entitled "Brainiac: Technology and Terror" and "Kandor: History of the Bottle City" are included. Four episodes from "Superman: The Animated Series" are featured as well. There's a sneak preview of the next DC Animated feature, "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox." In addition, a few pages of the graphic novel the movie is based on ("Superman: Braniac") are highlighted.

The Blu-ray version of "Superman Unbound" is a worthy purchase for any fan of the Man of Steel. It's packed with entertaining bonus material and an action-packed feature that's a step above last year's "Superman vs. The Elite." What we get here is a super tag team smack down with none of the heavy-handed social commentary or politically correct propaganda we experienced last time around.
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on April 13, 2015
I like it alright and what's not to like? It's a rhetorical question! The animation took a while to get used to: Lois Lane and Kara Zor-el have the too big "deer-in-the-headlights" thing that so many Asian-influenced cartoons do which is no big deal but was the deal breaker for five stars. Otherwise, it was a ripping yarn with top-notch acting by Matt Bomer, et al and I'll be sure to eagerly await subsequent offerings by DC Comics/Warner Bros. Animation.
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on April 7, 2016
This might be my new favorite DC animated film. It's an excellent science fiction story centering on Superman, Supergirl and Brainiac. As is often the case, the title 'Superman: Unbound' and the cover art fail miserably to hint at the charms of the film itself, leaving the viewer to furnish the benefit of the doubt. There have been several subpar-to-bad films in this series, but this is one of the very best, so I'd highly recommend giving it a chance.

As far as specifics go, again the story is really good, well written and full of emotion and suspense. The character designs are simply beautiful--I can't emphasize that enough; this has many of the best looking frames that I've seen in a DC film--and the animation in general is very good. This also features one of my favorite depictions of Lois Lane. I enjoy the mythology of Krypton and prefer these types of stories (i.e. just focusing on Superman and his related characters) to the big Justice League ensemble pieces. Not only is Unbound a bit more unified and self-contained in terms of plot, but it's really good, period.
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on April 3, 2016
I choose this rating because the movie is good. What I like about the movie is that millions in peril only one superman to save them. An unstoppable android on the horizon. A mysterious fireball hurtling toward Earth. A fearless and beautiful reporter who'll stop at nothing to get her story. It's just another day for the heroic Men of Steel... only this time, for better or for worse, he has his unpredictable cousin, Supergirl, by his side. The gritty adventure begins as Superman learns about the ruthless force known as Brainiac, who has seized and miniaturized Krypton's capital city of Kandor. Determined to liberate the captured metropolis and protect his home planet from Brainiac's increasing power, Superman takes on his most menacing enemy yet in this DC Universe animated original movie based on the gripping comic book miniseries. What I dislike about the movie is that I wanted to see more of it. I would recommend this movie to other people.
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on September 9, 2013
Most of the titles that come from the DC animated movies have been hits out of the park, truly fantastic. This one, however, while good, seems to lack something, I'm not sure what it was, but unlike some of the previous movies they've made and the movie that came afterword (the Flashpoint Paradox which is fantastic!) it just lacked something of a spark that makes the movie truly something special. Did I like it, yes very much, but it just didn't have the same power as some of the other films. Perhaps it could have been slightly longer or had more action, really I don't know what it was missing but something was definitely missing, just can't put my finger on it. Still I do like the movie and I'm glad it's part of my collection. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!
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on October 1, 2014
This movie is not completely terrible, but compared to many of the other DC animated movies, it falls far short. I read the Superman comics that this story was based on, and I thought they were pretty good. Unfortunately, this movie wasn't nearly as good. There were three things that I disliked about this movie:

1. The animation. The style of art used in this movie was not to my liking. The characters (especially Superman and Supergirl) looked too tall and lean and not powerful enough. I know the movies that DC has been making tend to try to mimic the artwork from the comics they are based on, but I don't recall the characters looking so stretched. Also, why are the blue hues on the two main characters' costumes so different? It would have made much more sense if they had been the same shade of blue.

2. The profanity. It seems like every new DC animated movie has two or three swear words in it. This adds no value to the movie. It only serves to make it less appealing for parents to share with their kids. Why do they keep on doing this? One hair in my sandwich isn't really going to ruin the whole thing, but I'd sure prefer it not be there in the first place! There were also a few references to sexual orientation that were thrown in for no good reason and only polluted the movie, further. Poor directing decisions!

3. Nonsensical action sequences. As I watched this movie with my 12-year-old son, we just couldn't help ourselves but laugh. We openly criticized the stupid fight scenes in the movie. We were continually asking things like "Why did Superman just let Brainiac run across the room and punch him in the face when he could have dodged that?" or "If Superman can destroy all of these robots with a single blast of his heat vision, why would he choose to fight them one by one with his hands?" or "Why is Superman stronger than Brainiac, now, when he was weaker than Brainiac just a little while ago?" or "Why would a super-smart artificial intelligence not be able to think about mud and bugs with frying his circuits?" There were far too many things that didn't make sense. Superman looked clumsy (or just stupid) at several points, and that's just not fun for me to watch. Above all else, the poor directing and execution of the action scenes really ruined the experience for me.

I know I'll never watch this one again, so I'm glad it was a copy from the library rather than a purchased item. Every other DC animated movie was at least decent. This was one I just did not like, though. There were far too many blunders in the movie that I completely blame on the director. Hopefully he won't be allowed to make any other movies for DC. I would strongly recommend AGAINST purchasing this movie. You will almost certainly regret it. Just find it at your library and watch it that way, if you must.
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on June 4, 2015
I enjoyed it. It was a different take on an old story, a few actually regarding the Candorians, but I enjoyed this new take. It gave me a new appreciation for the Man of Steel, but Kudos to Supergirl, it was definitely her story and I wish they would have elaborated a lot more on her personal experience because she actually had an interesting role in this movie. Superman was great, I do get extremely tired with the Superman, Boy scout routine, it is becoming tiresome. I appreciate the newer Superman from Justice Leagues Wars and Throne of Atlantis, I think that character has a lot more potential than the old water down boy scout version of the Last Son of Krypton. This story was entertaining and the action continued from the beginning until the end, it just never stopped. Great animation, different from what I am used to, but none the less just as good. I would definitely recommend this movie to Superman fans.
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