Blu-ray Review: Superman: Unbound

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Superman UnboundWhile Warner Brothers is well known for its movies, it’s also got a stock of animated fare thanks to its DC connections. That means plenty of Batman and the like to go around, especially when the Man of Steel himself gets involved. And our friends out at Warner Brothers sent out a copy of “Superman: Unbound” for us to review. This one hits stores today, so for those interested, your shot has arrived.

“Superman: Unbound” follows the favorite hero of millions, Superman, as he finds himself once again embroiled in some seriously super-sized trouble. There’s a giant fireball headed for Earth. There’s an android on a mission of destruction. Lois Lane is out to get her story again by any means necessary. Oh, and then Superman finds out that an entire city from his destroyed home planet of Krypton, Kandor, isn’t nearly as destroyed as the rest of the planet was. But where Kandor is right now–and the dangers both it and Earth are facing–is going to be more than even Superman bargained for.

Fair warning on this one; “Superman: Unbound” is clearly geared for the older fan. The rating alone–a surprising PG-13–is proof enough of this, but there will be a substantial amount of gunplay, blood–yes, blood!–and the like to go around. There are also some fairly critical differences in art styles and voice acting, but these are merely differences, small flaws or comparative bonuses. I’m actually rather pleased with this; John Noble was a spectacular choice for Brainiac’s voice, especially after all the time he spent as Walter Bishop on “Fringe”. Those wanting action, meanwhile, will certainly not go away unsatisfied.

Purists may be a little unsettled by the overall state of things here, but for those looking for another slice of Superman ahead of the “Man of Steel” release coming up, there should be plenty to like right here. Even the purists may not be terribly unsettled by things, as this is a nicely put together piece of work, with plenty of action and a good laugh or two tossed in for the sake of variety.

Special features, meanwhile, include your choice of several language tracks, including English, French, and both Castellan and Latino Spanish, as well as the same for subtitles, though Castellan subtitles are only on the special features. There’s also a featurette on Kandor, a short feature about Brainiac, a set of episodes from “Superman: The Animated Series” from the late nineties, a commentary track, a preview for “Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox,” and a digital comic excerpt for “Superman: Brainiac”. Plus, there are trailers for “Man of Steel,”Lego Batman the Movie: DC Super Heroes Unite,” “The Hobbit Part 1,” “Before Watchmen,” and “Injustice: Gods Among Us.” Admittedly, the trailers are a bit all over the place, but for DC property fans, it’s going to be a wealth of great information.

“Superman: Unbound” has plenty to offer even for a title with a bit of a short runtime. It’s hard not to enjoy a Superman adventure on at least some level, and thankfully, this is a level that most can at least sympathize with.

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