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I am a big fan of the graphic novels The Death Of Superman, World Without A Superman and The Return Of Superman and eagerly anticipated the DVD release of SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY ($20). OK, first of all, SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY doesnít offer an animated translation of these graphic novels, nor does this direct-to-DVD release offer a paired down version of the story contained therein. In one respect, this is a good thing, as a seventy-five minute film would never do justice to the complexities of the story offered in these three graphic novels- for that, Warner would need to produce a multi-hour miniseries, which isnít a bad idea unto itself, but I digressÖ What SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY does, is to lift the very most basic premise of these graphic novels and then takes the story in its own very different direction.

Once separated from oneís expectations of the graphic novels, SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY offers its own very entertaining spin of the death and resurrection of The Man of Steel. The plot of SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY finds the last son of Krypton at the beginning of a romantic relationship with reporter Lois Lane, while his secret identity remains the last secret between them. At the same time, one of Lex Luthorís illegal business ventures unearths an imprisoned alien dubbed Doomsday, who is as powerful, if not more so than Superman. With Doomsday on a nonstop killing rampage, it falls Superman to put an end to this juggernaut by the only available method- lethal brute force. Unfortunately, to save Metropolis (not to mention the rest of the planet) from Doomsday, Superman is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. The vocal talent behind SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY features Adam Baldwin, Anne Heche, James Marsters, John Di Maggio, Tom Kenny, Swoosie Kurtz, Cree Summer, Ray Wise and Adam Wylie.

Warner Home Video has made SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY is provided with a really good-looking presentation. Image quality is excellent for this type of 2D animation, with everything appearing sharp, crisp and brightly colored. As this direct-to-DVD program was not produced on film, SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY is free from grain and print flaws. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed.

SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY comes with a fairly impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. Sure, this isnít a theatrical caliber soundtrack, as the forward soundstage is fairly dominant, but the sound design still makes pretty good use of the outlying channels. Fidelity is pretty darn strong, with the track producing a nice bottom end. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English subtitles are present.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice extra features. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary featuring producer Bruce Timm, writer Duane Capizzi, casting/voice director Andrea Romano, and executive producer Gregory Noveck. Requiem And Rebirth: Superman Lives! Is a sixty minute dramatized documentary on the DC decision to kill Superman and the media frenzy that it initiated. Behind The Voice is a five-minute featurette on the vocal talent. Justice League: New Frontier Teaser Reel and a Supermanís Last Stand challenge closes out the supplements.

While itís not the graphic novels, SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY is enjoyable condensed reinterpretation of the death of Superman. As expected, Warnerís DVD is first rate. If you are a superhero fan, the disc is definitely worth checking out.



Superman - Doomsday (DC Universe Animated Original Movie) (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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