Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman (Extras Disc) (2006)

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Released 5-Dec-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary None
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 110:27
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kevin Burns
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring James Grant Goldin
Steven Smith
Forrest J Ackerman
Gilbert Adler
Anne Archer
Stephan Bender
Kate Bosworth
Dean Cain
Mike Carlin
Stockard Channing
Gerard Christopher
Jackie Cooper
Dan Didio
Case ?
RPI Box Music John Williams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Outtakes and archival footage

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Look Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman is the first bonus disc in the Superman The Ultimate Collector's Edition.

    Having close ties to Superman's latest big screen incarnation, this excellent documentary is produced by Bryan Singer and is narrated by Kevin Spacey. Spanning almost two hours, Look Up In The Sky covers the history of Superman right from the early beginnings of Siegal and Shuster. Interestingly enough, their first story entitled Reign of the Superman was about an evil, bald mad man who used his telepathic abilities to take over the world. It wasn't until they tweaked the premise and got a lucky break that Superman became a success.

    The commentary progresses through the evolution of the character from the comic book, to radio dramas, the Fleischer studio animated shorts, movie serials, the TV show, the musical (what a low point), to the films and back again to television (Superboy, Lois & Clark as well as Smallville).

    What could potentially be a relatively dry historical rehash becomes an extremely interesting look at the 20th century birth, evolution, decline and re-emergence of one of pop culture's most important icons. I had never realised how the radio show had affected the character development, key characteristics like flying and vulnerability to Kryptonite were introduced not by DC Comics, but by the early radio dramatisation. Viewers are treated with rare behind the scenes footage of the classics as well as a look at the weirdest Superman spin-offs history should forget (The Adventures of SuperPup and Superman: The Musical).

    The documentary draws comments from an impressively diverse number of Superman universe alumni as well as fans of the Last Son of Krypton.

    Superman related participants include Dean Cain, Jackie Cooper, Richard Donner, Annette O'Toole, Ilya Salkind, Lesley Ann Warren, Brandon Routh, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Jack Larson and Noel Neill.

    Non-Superman related interviewees include Stan Lee, Mark Hamill, Gene Simmons, Adam West and a few DC staffers and historians.

    This disc is definitely one of the jewels in the crown of The Ultimate Superman Collection. It is up there as one of the best (and enjoyable) special feature discs that I have ever watched (perhaps not surprisingly, it was directed by Kevin Burns the force behind the excellent Empire of Dreams doc in the Star Wars DVD set.)

    In the US, this disc went on sale prior to the theatrical release of Superman Returns and is available for sale separately. In Australia, this disc is only available as part of the collection.

    Thoroughly enjoyable and an absolute delight for both hardcore and casual fans.

    Highly recommended and a valuable addition to any self-respecting DVD fan's collection.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video is presented at the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and the disc is 16x9 enhanced.

    Considering the age and diverse sources of the archival footage, I couldn't help but be impressed with the overall picture.

    Colours tend to be strong and vivid, but can be a little washed out in some older footage.

    Interview footage and clips from the recent TV shows and films looks excellent.

    Some of the older TV footage suffers from dirt and fading, but that's natural given the age.

    There were no digital or video artefacts.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio for the doco was a solid Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack (448 Kb/s).

    The dialogue tended to be clear, but in a few spots the booming soundtrack did drown out the commentary.

    The show used the Superman theme to its advantage and when that John Williams theme got going, it sounded fantastic.

    Surrounds were used for the music tracks, but when it came to the older TV shows their original sound mix was kept intact.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no special features on the disc, but make sure you watch the doco to the end as there is some great archival footage in the closing credits.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 disc seems to be identical to our Region 4 disc. As stated above, in Australia this disc is only available in the Ultimate Collection. However, in the US this is currently available as a single disc release and in the Ultimate set. In the US, there was a limited edition 2 disc release that had additional content but the single disc is the same as what we have.

Summary

    A fantastic doco that celebrates the legacy of Superman. Highly recommended.

    The video is very good.

    The audio is good.

    No special features on the disc, but the disc is part of the excellent special features of the set.

    Definitely worth seeing, but it's a shame R4 consumers don't have the freedom to buy this on its own.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews NONE
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