Re-watched the 1978 Superman film for the first time in years. A few things occurred to me.
The first ten minutes on Krypton are even better than I remembered. Brando earned his truckload of cash, really setting up the whole film. The music is as good as I remember too.
Superman Returns (a whole other can of worms) was a sequel to Superman I and II way more than I realized. After seeing super-capable Lex Luthor on the Justice League cartoons it was jarring to watch Kevin Spacey’s Luthor use Krypton technology for a real estate scheme but Gene Hackman’s goofy Luthor set that all up with his speech about real estate and his nuclear missile/San Andreas Fault real estate scheme in in this first movie.
Christopher Reeve is supernaturally good looking and he’s the only real looker in the movie. It really makes it seem like Superman is from another planet because he’s just so handsome.
The big conflict of the movie is the only thing Jor El tells his son not to do. “Do not meddle in human history.” Naturally, Lois Lane dies and Superman freaks out and disobeys his father but there aren’t really any consequences. I would have wanted General Zod and his posse to get free of the Phantom Zone directly because of Superman disobeying his father but that wasn’t how it shook out.
His father told him not to do one thing, Superman broke his father’s only rule and nothing at all happened. Other than Lex Luthor’s kryptonite necklace, the movie is without any real threat and his father’s warning turned out to be meaningless.
The score and the first ten minutes are solid super heroic movie-making and the rest was weak.
When Superman is forced to decide whether he’s to help the mortal woman he loves, or obey the alien edicts of his birth father – he chooses humanity. He follows the guidance of Johnathan Kent, his mortal father, and does what he can to make the world a better place, “the gods” be damned.
It would have been nice if we had flashes of Glenn Ford dying in Clark’s hands as Superman is hearing the voice of Jor-el, soaring into the heavens intent on breaking his birth-father’s one rule, if only to honor his earth-father’s one request.
THAT’S ART, SON! 🙂
(reposting: had to dig around for my wordpress login)
I love this movie.
The plot is pretty bad. I hate the time-travel cop-out — especially with no consequences. Having that decision crack open the Phantom Zone is a brilliant idea.
The fact that Superman can’t stop two different missiles, but CAN fly faster than light is just horrible.
I love this movie because the cast is so goddamn charming. Reeve is SO good as Clark and Kal-El it’s kind of breathtaking. Gene Hackman is outrageously fun to watch. I also consider Superman I and II to be a single film, so I’ll lump in Terence Stamp among the stellar cast.
For Supes done really well, definitely check out the Superman Animated Series. It makes a hundred good choices. The 2-part introduction starting on Krypton is especially great.
On the G+ thread someone mentions all of the problems that went into the making of this film and how I and II were filmed as one big movie. Interesting.
I agree, John, the cast really make great choices and give great performances.