Listening to: The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack
Reading: Durarara, Vol 2
Watching: Superman: Unbound
No fancy title this time. This is my review of Superman: Unbound.
WARNING: The review contains spoilers. You've been warned.
When a meteor comes to Earth, Superman arrived to stop it, only to discover the "meteor" is really a robot and fights it. When his cousin, Supergirl, is haunted by something that happened on Krypton before they were sent to Earth. He soon discovered a connection when Supergirl freaks out upon discovering the robot and gets her to tell him about what happened.
Near the end of Krypton, an alien cyborg known as Brainiac invaded the planet and attacked the city of Kandor just as Kara and her parents, Zor-El and Alura In-Ze, were visiting friends. Vowing not to let what happened to Kandor happen on Earth, Superman goes off into space to head off Brainiac before he can send more probes, but his actions may very well do the opposite of what he intended.
Watching this, I felt something I never really felt watching these movies before: underwhelmed. Honestly, I was bored at times watching this movie. Maybe it's because it's based on Geoff Johns's work and I don't really care of Geoff Johns, so maybe that's coloring my perception of the movie. I had typed a rant about him, but I decided to cut that out and maybe save it for Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. However, I haven't read the arc, "Brainiac", which this is based on, so I don't know the quality about that particular arc, though I'm aware it killed off Jonathan Kent and led to the New Krypton stuff.
As for the movie itself, like I said, it felt... just okay. It just felt paint by the numbers. It did have some good things about it. It did change some things, like sparing Jonathan Kent (as his death is a symptom of one of the problems I have with Johns, but then again, Jonathan was only in one scene, anyway). I liked the Lois and Clark relationship and how it was handled in the movie (another change, as they were married in the comics) and how it tied into the themes of keeping people bottled up. Another change was to make this the first time Superman has ever fought Brainiac, whereas the comic retconned that all the Brainiac appearances before the story were merely drones, which I'm on the fence about, but I'm reviewing the move, not the comic. I also liked them keeping in the City of Kandor and the reveal that Zor-El and Alura were still alive. I also liked the idea that Brainiac had a supped-up version of OCD and that being used to beat him.
Supergirl in the movie, though, I'm on the fence about. I get she's scared and avoiding Metropolis, but if she does know about what her parents found out about Brainiac taking cities and (usually) destroying planets (something he didn't do to Krypton as it was near its end, anyway), you'd think she'd tell Lois to stay in Metropolis instead of leaving. I suppose one could say that she didn't think that Brainiac kept the people in the cities after taking them or even that her parents didn't tell her about Brainiac destroying the planets, but the only hint to the former was being surprised. Also, I'm torn on Superman taking Kandor to another planet with a red sun, but I suppose one of justify it by Superman wanting the people in Kandor to live in conditions close to Krypton than on a completely alien world.
I will admit, I am amused by Lois flipping off Brainiac, even if I do condece it could feel tacked on. Overall, like I said, it was okay.
One of the highlights of this movie is the voice cast. I was hesitant about Matt Bomer as Superman from what I've heard in the trailers, but after actually seeing the movie, he was really good in the role. Castle Stana Katic and Molly C. Quinn were good in the respective roles of Lois Lane and Supergirl and John Noble was sublime as Brainiac (second only to Corey Burton). Diedrich Bader was also pretty good as Steve Lombar, as were Stephen Root and Sirena Irwin were also good as Zor-El and Alura. Overall, I enjoyed the voice acting.
I liked the designs for the movie, as they captured the essence on the characters even if they're not a line for line adaptation, which is good as despite what Johns seems to think--or at least several of the artists he works with, anyway--Superman doesn't always have to look like Christopher Reeve. I also found the idea of Superman and Supergirl's costumes being different shades a nice touch.
Is it worth a buy? I think it depends on personal tastes, as it's likely not to everyone's tastes; but between the featurettes and commentary, I'm glad I bought it.