Posts Tagged ‘Superman’

Ok so after absolutely hating Superman 3 with a passion, its fair to say that I was expecting to hate this film. How surprised I was then to find that although it has its flaws it’s nowhere near as bad as S3. In fact this film was even hated by Christopher Reeves! Anyway the story is quite basic this time around as it sees the return of Lex Luthor as he and his nephew steal a strand of Superman’s hair. They use the hair to make a genetic matrix and attach it to a nuclear missile that Superman throws into the sun. This causes the creation of the most ridiculous super villain ever, Nuclear Man.


This guy is so damn cheesy! He has Luthors voice and a really weird costume, and also has cat-like claws that he uses to scratch. I mean he’s awful but there’s something quite fun about him as well. One other aspect I liked about this film is the whole nuclear weapons disarmament. Superman basically decides that he will rid the earth of its nuclear weapons after reading a letter from a young kid who asks him to do so. It was quite an interesting factor and it was played nicely by Reeves.


So on the whole then, although this is no masterpiece it was watchable enough to still be fun. I only have to watch the Lester cut of S2 now to finish my box set and then that’s Superman wrapped up until I get the Man of Steel movie on dvd.



So Superman Returns is directed by Bryan Singer and is an alternative sequel to Superman 2. Superman has been gone for 5 years from the planet. He has been searching for the remains of his home planet Krypton. When he gets back he finds that life has moved on quite a bit. Lois has got married and has a child. He also discovered that she won a Pulitzer prize for her article “Why the world doesn’t need Superman.” Also he learns that Lex Luthor was freed from prison because Superman was not there to give evidence at his trial.


He soon goes about saving lives again as the superhero, as Lex goes about his own plans of world dominance again. Lex steals some Kryptonite from the fortress of solitude in an attempt to recreate his own land mass, which would kill billions. This is a very entertaining film with a good story and great direction. The special effects are top-notch and there are some really great sequences. Particularly the plane rescue scene. The actors all do a good job, especially Kevin Spacey as Lex, he was surprisingly great.


One of the things that is a little strange in this movie is that it definitely changes its tone. This is a darker tale and to be honest, it takes some getting used to. Brandon Routh does a pretty good job as Clark/Superman but at times is just a little too sad-looking. I always loved Christopher Reeves’s take on the character and Brandon, although looks a lot like Reeves, doesn’t quite get it to match. That being said it doesn’t spoil the over all film. This is still a very well made film and is definitely a much superior sequel to the dreadful “Superman 3.”

Now this is a film that suffered production nightmares as the producers fired Richard Donner before he could finish shooting this movie. It is said that Donner had completed 80% before being fired. The producers hired Richard Lester to finish, and re-shoot nearly the whole movie, removing most of Donner’s material. Except about 20% ish. This Richard Lester version became the theatrical cut released world-wide. Now I will say that I saw the theatrical cut many years ago and don’t remember a lot of it at all. So I decided that when watching this franchise that I would watch the Donner cut first, seeing as he was the original director and was basically filming Superman 1 and 2 simultaneously. Now I wont go into too many details about the differences and story behind the Donner cut, other than what I have already said, but will do my best to watch both versions and then decide which version I prefer. Now seeing as there were so many issues with this movie I was surprised by just how much I like it. However there are a few continuity errors!


The story sets out with the missile from the first film flying into space and freeing the 3 Kryptonian prisoners from the phantom zone. They soon realise they are free and now have super powers, so they fly towards the earth. Clark and Lois are working in the daily planet as usual, but Lois has a strong hunch that Clark is in fact the man of steel. She tests him a couple of times, putting even herself at extreme danger. She eventually proves that he is Superman, using a very crafty trick while they are in Niagara Falls. They are really in love with each other and this eventually leads Kal-el to expose himself to the red rays of the Kryptonian sun, in the fortress of solitude.  He becomes human instantly and no longer has his powers.


This of course leads to the 3 Kryptonian villains being free to wreak havoc on Earth and enslave the people with no protector. Superman realises what a mistake he has made and then goes back to try to reverse the process and get his powers back so he can defeat general Zod and his 2 cronies. This is a really good film but you can tell that it feels a little unfinished in places. It seems that some scenes would be so much better if Donner had been able to do 100%. There are a few plot errors that I wont go into in case of spoiling the experience. My biggest problem with this movie is the reused deus ex machina from the first movie. I know that if Donner had got his way, then it would only have been used in this film, but seeing as he couldn’t do the whole movie, it feels out-of-place and a little silly. On the whole though this is still a very enjoyable film but leaves you feeling a little “If only Donner could have finished it” feeling.


Now I will be the first to admit that I never would have imagined myself liking anything tied to Superman. I used to take one look at the character and think “NAH!” I have no idea why I used to be like that, whether I thought that he was some sort of patriotic douche bag. I think it may have had something to do with the suit maybe, I don’t know. Now I have made this mistake before. I did it with captain America and was proven wrong when I watched the movie and really liked it. I decided to give Superman a try seeing as I have been enjoying the character a lot in the Justice League cartoons lately. I was in Morrisons the other day and saw the Superman film box set on offer which had like 5 films in it. Superman 1,2,3,4 and Superman returns. The only thing missing was “Superman 2: The Richard Donner cut.” I will talk about that when I review it after this one. Now this movie here is absolutely fantastic, I am so glad that I decided to pick this box set up because this is without a doubt one of the best superhero films I have seen.

Superman-movie-1978 (1)

I think everything in this movie is just perfect, the direction, the acting, the story and the music. Man the music score is simply one of the best scores I have ever come across. Its absolutely amazing one of John Williams best. The story starts off on the planet Krypton where we first meet Jor-El, who is sentencing 3 Kryptonian prisoners to eternal imprisonment in the phantom zone. He also is trying to warn the other members of the council that Krypton is facing certain doom. They are unbelieving and warn Jor-El to give up his notions. However Jor-El is completely right and Krypton becomes unstable and starts to quake and explode. Jor-El decided to send his son away from the planet as its only survivor. He sends him to earth, where his molecular structure will give him superpowers from earths yellow sun.


Krypton explodes and  Kal-El lands on earth and is discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent. They raise him as their own son in the small town of Smallville. However after Jonathan dies of a heart attack, Clark/Kal-El receives a psychic call from a crystal that was sent to earth with him. He tells his earth mother Martha that he must leave and soon travels to the north pole, where the crystal builds his fortress of solitude, which resembles the architecture of the planet Krypton.  In here he meets a vision of his true father Jor-El. He then spends 12 years being educated by Jor-El about his origins and his powers and responsibilities.  After 12 years he travels to Metropolis to start a new life. Here he meets Lois Lane, who he becomes attracted to when he becomes a reporter for the daily planet. It’s not long before events lead him to show of his powers in public in the service of others., and after taking Lois for a fly across Metropolis, she names him “Superman.”


Theres so many elements going on in this film and it all works so wonderfully. I even enjoyed the romance between Lois and Superman quite a lot. I’m not usually one for romance in movies, but here it works wonderfully. Christopher Reeve is the perfect choice for this role. He plays the character perfectly, as he switches between Superman and Superman pretending to be Clark Kent. He was amazing in this movie, as were all the actors. Margot Kidder is perfect as Lois Lane and Gene Hackman is a great Lex Luthor. I can’t praise this movie enough, yes I know that some of the special effects are dated, but the story and execution make this a true masterpiece. I can’t believe I have been so blind. This is fantastic stuff that never feels boring and balances out all its elements perfectly. I am excited about watching “Man Of Steel” but am now worried, because if this is the benchmark then that film better pull off something spectacular to live up to this masterpiece.