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Superman Movies Thread


Max

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I thought it would be interesting to start a thread about the four Christopher Reeve Superman movies. To begin, I am going to list the four movies (and the year that they were released in parentheses), as well as the grades I think that each of them deserves.

Superman: The Movie (1978): Grade A+

Superman II (1980): Grade A+

Superman III (1983): Grade C-

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987): Grade F

Below are some of my thoughts on each of these movies (Please note that some spoilers are mentioned below):

Superman: The Movie:

If you think that this is a kid's movie, then I suggest that you see it again. This is a movie that is truly epic in scope, and a movie that appeals to people of all ages. As a matter of fact, one is taken away by the true grandeur of this film simply by viewing the opening title sequence.

There are essentially three parts to this movie: the roughly twenty-five minutes spent in Krypton, the roughly twenty minutes spent in Smallville, and the rest of the film, which is set in Metropolis. The part about Krypton (and its destruction) is dominated by Marlon Brando, who played Superman's father, Jor-El. Memorable scenes in this part of the movie include the following: (1) Jor-El sentencing three Kryptonian criminals to eternal imprisonment, (2) Jor-El sending his infant son to Earth, and (3) the destruction of Krypton. When the Smallville scenes begin, the movie's focus shifts to young Clark Kent. The scenes involving Pa Kent's death and Clark's farewell to his mother are especially touching.

As mentioned before, the Metropolis scenes comprise the bulk of the movie. Clark Kent's first day at the Daily Planet is always a fun scene to watch. All of the cast in these scenes (especially Jackie Cooper and Margot Kidder) do well in their roles. The villians of this film are extremely funny: Gene Hackman plays the arch-villian Lex Luthor, Ned Beatty plays his bumbling sidekick Otis, and Valerie Perrine plays Luthor's mistress, Miss Tessmacher.

In my opinion, the best scene in the entire movie is the helicopter rescue scene involving Superman and Lois. Both the drama and the music of this scene make it so memorable. Another memorable Metropolis scene is when Lex Luthor--by using his trickery--puts a chain around Superman's neck that contains Kryptonite.

The special effects for this movie were truly groundbreaking for their time. This, combined with the great story, acting, and music, makes Superman a great movie.

Superman II:

This movie centers on two major plots: (1) Superman's love affair with Lois, and (2) the three Kryptonian villians who come to Earth and attempt to rule everyone and everything.

In this movie, the puppy love that Lois had in the first film escalates into somethng much more serious. After she finds out that Superman's true identity, Lois and Superman proclaim their mutual devotion and love for each other. Superman chooses to lose his powers for Lois, which is something that he will regret (and have to get back) later in the film.

The three villians are brillantly portrayed. (Please note that these are the same three villians that are sentenced to imprisonment by Jor-El in the first film.) First of all, there is their viscious leader, General Zod, who wants to be the supreme ruler of the world. Second, there is Ursa, a woman warrior who hates all men. Finally, there is Non, a bumbling villian who is unable to talk.

One great scene in this movie occurs when a mortal Clark Kent gets beaten into a bloody pulp at a diner. Another good scene involves Lex Luthor, who finds the three villians at the White House and tells them where to find Superman. However, without a doubt, the best scene in the movie is when Superman and the villians clash in Metropolis. These three villians, of course, hold a special grudge against Superman, since it was his father who imprisoned them. Consequently, in an attempt to kill Superman, the much of the city of Metropolis is torn apart. The conflict between Superman and the villians is not resoved until the three villians send Superman fleeing to his home in the north pole (aka, the Fortress of Solitude). When the villians come to the Fortress of Solitude, Superman manages to out-wit them and then proceeds to kill them.

Cinematically, Superman II is probably not as good of a movie as the original. However, because of the exciting action and interesting love story, I enjoy this film as much as the first. In my opinion, Superman II is probably the greatest sequel ever made.

Superman III:

This movie is extremely disappointing, especially when compared with the first two epic films. Much of the movie is not even about Superman at all, but instead is centered on a character played by Richard Pryor. Much of this film--including just about all of Pryor's dialogue--consists of boring slapstick humor. Pryor's character, Gus Gorman, builds a supercomputer and serves as an aid to a wealthy businessman. Essentially, at the end of the film, Superman has to destroy the supercomputer.

There are only a few interesting scenes in this movie. One of these scenes is when Superman has to put out a chemcial plant fire. Another intersting storyline occurs as Clark visits his home town of Smallville and engages in a romance with Lana Lang, his high school sweethart. Perhaps the most original scene in the movie is when Superman engages in a junkyard battle with an evil clone of himself.

As I said before, the movie for the most part focuses on Pryor, as opposed to the more interesting storylines of Clark and Lana and Superman vs. Evil Superman.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Although Superman III was a bad movie, one positive thing can be said about it: it was a professionally produced film with good special effects. The same cannot be said about Superman IV. In this movie, all of the backgounds look fake, as there is not one single convincing flying sequence. Also, the acting in this film is very poor, especially the acting by Nuclear Man, who is the film's main villian. Sadly, Lex Luthor serves as little more than a comic book character in this film. Two of the absolute worst scenes in this film are when (1) Superman attempts to restore the Great Wall of China, and (2) when Nuclear Man takes Lacy into space (and Superman has to save her).

Superman IV is just a child's film, with no appeal whatsoever to those over the age of ten. The premise of this movie--Superman wanting to rid the Earth of Nuclear Weapons--goes absolutely nowhere. Furthermore, the horrible acting, dialogue, and special effects make this one of the worst films that I have ever seen.

In summary I suggest that you avoid Superman IV at all costs and only see Superman III if you are a diehard fan of the first two movies. However, I do not think that you will be disappointed if you take a look at Superman and Superman II.

Thanks for reading this thread. Feel free to respond by stating your feelings --both negative and positive--towards the Superman movies.

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Nope. I can email to you if you like. I go to Cinema Confidential and Cinescape, and they had it there over a month ago. :)

I don't go there.

I go to Superherohype, Moviehole, IGN, Aint-It-Cool, and ComingSoon for my movie news. I'm surprised none of these site had the teaser up. :mellow:

You don' thave to email it to me. I'll just wait for it. :)

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I don't go there.

I go to Superherohype, Moviehole, IGN, Aint-It-Cool, and ComingSoon for my movie news. I'm surprised none of these site had the trailer up. :mellow:

It's a great trailer. With some very good music. If you want it, let me know.

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The new Superman movie (just from what I saw from the teaser) looks like it will suck.
I thought the teaser was really good. Loved hearing Brando's voice.

Of course I've been following all of Singer's video diaries and I cannot wait to see the movie.

Also, I like the story Singer/Harris/Dougherty created for Clark/Lois/Richard triangle.

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I just saw the teaser before coming to this thread and I'm *really* impressed. One of the things that I've read is that Returns functions not as a retelling of the Superman story, but as a direct continuation of the Superman franchise from S2 on (ignoring 3 & 4), hence the v.o. of Marlon Brando as Jor-El and the classic Superman Movie theme over the trailer. I was skeptical of Routh as Superman at first, but to see him in costume as Clark Kent and as Superman, it's eerie. He *looks* like Christopher Reeve did in the movies (especially as Clark Kent). I'm suddenly very psyched about this flick!

Another superhero flick I'm starting to get psyched about (even though it's a ways off yet), even though it's been talked about for *years* is the big screen version of Wonder Woman (last I heard, it was being officially planned for a summer '07 release). Josh Wedon is doing the script with Joel Silver & Leonard Goldberg producing. They don't have a cast, yet, but at least they've got the important production & story people in place and, from what I've read, Wedon is *psyched* about the project. A good sign that this is actually going to happen is that there's a teaser poster for the film online (a partial profile of WW with the tag line "Prepare for the Wonder" or something like that). IMO, *that's* a good sign. There's been some talk that Kate Beckensale (sp?) is in talks to play WW (which I think might be good casting), but there's also discussion that they want to go with an unknown much as the original Superman did with Christopher Reeve, Returns does with Routh, and the WW tv series did with Lynda Carter (who still looks *fabulous* btw).

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