‘SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE’
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Superman Arrives with Lois Lane and Lex Luthor
The caped flying wonder has arrived!
I purchased ‘The Superman 5 Film Collection’ during the Christmas holidays in 2016. I wanted to purchase this box set as I hadn’t see ‘Superman III’ and ‘Superman IV: The Quest For Peace’ and wanted to know what they were like. I was really excited about getting into this movie box set series.
‘The Superman 5 Film Collection’ contains the original four movies of ‘Superman’ with Christopher Reeve as well as the 2006 film ‘Superman Returns’ with Brandon Routh. The Christopher Reeve era of ‘Superman’ is my favourite as my Dad introduced ‘Superman: The Movie’ and ‘Superman II’ to me.
Having seen many superhero franchises in movies and TV shows, I would consider Spider-Man, Superman and Batman as three of the most iconic and popular superheroes ever created. Spider-Man will always be my favourite, but I have this fondness for Superman as he was the first one I saw.
I saw ‘Superman II’ first before ‘Superman: The Movie’. But the first ‘Superman’ is a great introduction to the Man of Steel from the planet Krypton. I was so intrigued to find out who he was.
‘Superman’ begins on the planet Krypton where Marlon Brando as Jor-El sentences three criminals, General Zod, Ursa and Non for crimes against their battle. These three will return in the next movie.
Meanwhile Krypton is about to be burned up by its own red son. Jor-El sends his son Kal-El in a spaceship to escape Krypton’s planet. The spaceship escapes Krypton and heads off to planet Earth.
Eventually the spaceship crash-lands onto the planet Earth and Jor-El’s son is found by a married couple who become his parents. They name him Clark Kent and he grows up to be so extraordinary.
Once grown up at 18, Clark soon discovers a green crystal that was taken with him in his own spaceship. He heads for the north and uses the crystal to create the Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic.
There, Clark meets his father Jor-El in dead-form and learns who he is and why he has come to Earth. Clark soon develops his super-powers within him and becomes the red-blue superhero Superman.
I find ‘Superman: The Movie’ to be an epic beginning for the Man of Steel. I was impressed by the talents of everyone involved as they make a superhero movie with impressive effects made in 1978.
The film was directed by Richard Donner, who directed ‘The Omen’ beforehand. Donner was meant to direct two ‘Superman’ movies, but sadly due to tensions with producers he was unable to do this.
Christopher Reeve stars as Superman/Clark Kent in this movie. Reeve will always be my Superman as he captured the dual performances of Clark and Superman superbly and he manages to keep heroic.
I found it interesting how Clark Kent interacted with society with being a bumbling new reporter for ‘The Daily Planet’, wearing glasses. It is all a disguise as Superman is hiding from society as Clark Kent.
Gene Hackman stars as the villainous Lex Luthor in this movie. I enjoyed Hackman’s performance as Lex in bringing both the comedic and menacing aspects to the character when doing terrible things.
Margot Kidder stars as Lois Lane, the love interest for Superman. Lois is a news reporter for ‘The Daily Planet’. It was fun to see the relationship between Lois and Superman as well as Lois and Clark.
The cast also includes Ned Beatty as Otis and Valerie Perrine as Miss Teschmacher. They work for Lex Luthor during the movie and they also provide the comic relief here as they get on Lex’s nerves a lot.
There’s also Jackie Cooper as Perry White, the editor of ‘The Daily Planet’ and Marc McClure as photographer Jimmy Olsen. There’s also Glenn Ford and Phyllis Thaxter as the Kents, Clark’s parents.
The visual effects of Superman flying are superb for 1978. They use optical technology to achieve the special effects for Superman and it’s especially wonderful when he and Lois Lane are flying together.
I mustn’t forget to mention the wonderful Superman theme music composed by John Williams for this movie. I love humming and singing to the Superman theme when I watch those opening credits.
‘Superman: The Movie’ is a landmark and wonderful superhero movie introducing the Man of Steel. Christopher Reeve stands out for me as Superman and I will remember him as the man who can fly.
The DVD special features are as follows. On the original 2-sided DVD of ‘Superman: The Movie’, released in 2001, there is some previously unseen footage added into the movie by director Richard Donner. There is also a commentary by director Richard Donner and creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz; audio outtakes which are alternative music cues and a music-only audio track.
There are also some theatrical trailers and TV spots of the movie as well as three behind-the-scenes documentaries including ‘Taking Flight: The Development of Superman’; ‘Making Superman: Filming the Legend’ and ‘The Magic Behind The Cape’. There are also some Superman; Lois Lane and Ursa screen tests and two deleted scenes.
On the 4-disc DVD of ‘Superman: The Movie’, released in 2006, the special features are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s the original theatrical version of the movie from 1978. There’s also a commentary by producer Pierre Spengler and executive producer Ilya Salkind. There are also theatrical trailers and TV spots of the movie.
On Disc 2, there is the 2000 extended edition of the movie with a commentary by director Richard Donner and creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz. There is also a music-only audio track.
On Disc 3, there are the three behind-the-scenes documentaries including ‘Taking Flight: The Development of Superman’; ‘Making Superman: Filming the Legend’ and ‘The Magic Behind The Cape’. There are also restored scenes; some Superman; Lois Lane and Ursa screen tests and the audio outtakes, which are alternative music cues.
On Disc 4, there’s the vintage TV special, ‘The Making of Superman: The Movie’. There’s also the 1951 movie ‘Superman and the Mole-Men’, starring George Reeves and nine ‘Superman’ cartoons including ‘Superman’, ‘The Mechanical Monsters’, ‘Billion Dollar Limited’, ‘The Arctic Giant’, ‘The Bulleteers’, ‘The Magnetic Telescope’, ‘Electric Earthquake’, ‘Volcano’ and ‘Terror on the Midway’.
‘Superman: The Movie’ rating – 9/10
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