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Superman: Red Son 4K UHD Review

Superman

“Superman: Red Son” is a quality DC animated film.

Based on the popular Elseworlds comic book mini-series written by Mark Millar, “Superman: Red Son” proposes what would happen if Superman landed in the Soviet Union and not Kansas. So as to not spoil the surprises of the story for those not familiar, I will just say that Superman becomes a Russian Dictator and looks to reshape the world in his own image. In the U.S. meanwhile, Lex Luthor rises to power and plays a not so subtle metaphorical chess match with Superman as the Cold War lingers on.

In the past, the DC animated film adaptations of classic comic book stories have been wildly uneven. Thankfully, “Superman: Red Son” is one of the better ones. While some may take issues with the altered ending, this is generally a well paced story scripted by J.M. DeMatteis that not only succeeds in showing an alternate timeline that explores concepts of peace, freedom, political ideologies, nationalism, dictatorship, and a different sort of Cold War, but it also does some serious world building. Obviously, Superman and Lex are the focal points here, but characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lanterns, Lois Lane (who is married to Lex), and Brainiac also make appearances. I won’t say how they play into the story, but suffice it to say, it’s worth the price of admission to see how they factor into this world and how these mythologies mix into this universe. 

As has unfortunately  been the case lately, the animation continues to falter with these DC animated films. It’s clear the budgets are being slashed and, as a result, the films themselves just aren’t as visually engaging as they once were. 

Bad Russian accents aside, the cast is strong. Jason Isaacs gives Superman a great deal of nuance while Diedrich Bader (who has been doing voice work in the DC universe for years now) provides a fresh take on Lex.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? Animation quality aside, expect a crisp 4K transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A lively 5.1 track that really comes alive during action sequences. 

Extras:
* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* “Cold Red War”- A featurette on the real life Cold War and how it plays into “Superman: Red Son.”
* “Superman: Red Son: Motion Comics”- 6 minutes of the motion comic
* Trailers for other DC titles
* 2 episodes of the “Justice League” animated series (“A Better World Parts 1 and 2”).
* A sneak peek at the upcoming DC animated movie”Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.”
* “DC Showcase: Phantom Stranger”- A 15 minute DC animated short based on The Phantom Stranger comic series. In this short, the Phantom Stranger battles the evil Seth who preys on others. It’s a bit strange tonally as it plays like a cross between Scooby-Doo and Constantine. 

March 9, 2020 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , ,

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