Superman: The Movie (1978) Throwback Review

Distant planet called Krypton… Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…..

It’s Superman

Director: Richard Donner Writers: Mario PuzoDavid NewmanLeslie NewmanRobert Benton Run Time: 143

Jor-El… Marlon Brando
Lex Luthor Gene Hackman
Superman-Clark Kent… Christopher Reeve
Jonathan Kent… Glenn Ford
Lois Lane… Margot Kidder
Perry White… Jackie Cooper
Jimmy Olsen… Marc McClure
Otis… Ned Beatty
Eve Tessmacher… Valerie Perrine

superman 1978

Some of the best things about the movie are how it is shot, the props, the sets and of course having audiences believing a man could fly. From the opening scene, to the trial of Zod, to Clark racing a train right up to the Superman movie send off, it’s all kind of majestic in its delivery. As kids, most of us have seen this film and we probably thought this was real. As I re-watched this movie I couldn’t help but feel like the four-year old me again singing the songs. Honestly, John Williams deserves all the awards in the world. His influence in cinema may be underappreciated but the truth (proof) is in his work.

This movie is a classic.

superman the movieNow you may have wondered why I didn’t say a “timeless classic”, that’s because it is dated. Superman these days isn’t dating Lois. He’s shagging Wonder Woman, has armor, has two confusing comics and is currently being played by Henry Cavalli In Man Of Steel. The sets, style of cinematography and even how Mr. Reeves portrayed Clark is a bit out dated. It’s not the worst, but now it sort of doesn’t hold up. I understand the exact reason why, and it’s clear when one gets to the part where Superman is interviewed by Lois Lane at her apartment. To that point you should understand the importance of Clark’s mannerisms versus when he’s Superman. There’s even a nice contrast between Margot Kidder’s choices of character mannerisms when dealing with clark and dealing with Superman. That is probably the best acting for those two together. The best acted scene however is when Lois dies.superman--the-movie

It’s actually my all time favourite movie moment of all time. The noticeable silence, the cinematography, the greatest reaction to a death (I’ve ever seen) in a movie. The entire movie’s cast kind of has a theatrical feel to it. Even Chris Reeves has a strong theatre background. So when he got pissed that he couldn’t save Lois, and he says the “no’s” without any sound, only to have him yell at the heavens.

Yeah that’s epic (with today’s effects we may have seen him accidentally cause a shockwave of some sort). Add the fact that while he was still living on the farm, he couldn’t save his father it just has a nice added weight to it by the time that scene comes. Then the reversal of time via reverse globe spinning and all that confusion happens.

Honestly as far as origin stories go, this may have been one of the best – especially with the passing of time to the point where Clark goes to train with Jor-El (Smallville fans, Season 5). From early infant, to man, we don’t see Superman for the first hour. And then, when see Superman in action it’s pretty accurate to almost every origin of Superman I’ve seen, outside of “Earth One”. Superman is always first seen saving a plane or some kind of air craft.

The reason to fault this movie is in its own greatness. This story would basically be a Superman Earth 2 story from before “Crisis on Infinite Earths” got rid of that realm to smooth out their continuity. What that means to everyone else is that, the world of this Superman is yes, set in New York City, but it’s not a realistic NYC. It’s a world where he’s loved with no reason. He only saved Lois because well, it’s Lois. Towards the end, it does make sense but it’s hard to entirely accept.

Christopher_Reeve_TributeBottom line: this is one of those movies all kids should see or anyone really. But I know not everyone will. The movie is very light and kid friendly but still has a lot that adults can take from it, cinema students included.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Superman Earth One: Vol.Two

Power.

000

003-004Everyone has some. Some more than others. To a degree, everyone wants it. Be it the power to run the world, a country, state/province/territory, a city, or power to conquer their enemies, or even will power to simply stand up in the face of any form of adversity. It’s something the human condition strives to have. Some of us find power in controlling our “loved” ones, others, in more financial conditions. So what happens when a being short of being a God, decides to use his unlimited power to help humanity? Well, you get Superman, and you get this story.002

Power is clearly the theme for the second volume, which very much feels like it’s going to be a 3 volume part story (hopefully). A lot of the ideas introduced in Vol. 1 are brought back to carry the story. It’s done in such a grounded way, yet again, J.M.S. continues to question the moral code of Superman. I don’t know if it was initially introduced through the original movie (“Superman: The Movie” with Chris Reeves), but one of the things instilled in Clark is that he shouldn’t impose his will on to the people. He should walk among them, and seem like them, even though he clearly isn’t. There’s actually 2 great moments to reflect that and you get into Clark’s mind and you see that he thinks just like us. You know when you see something stupid or “unjust” and you just want to slap them? Well, the difference is Superman has heat vision.

110

The villain chosen for this volume, is none other than Parasite, and let me just say, he’s by far the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in this medium.061Everything about his look just freaks you out. I think I even read a bit faster so I could turn the page a bit faster when he was on. His back story is a bit intriguing. Sadly it did sort of come off a bit typical, but it does play a part that I will comment on later. If I’m not mistaken, there are two alternate identities to the character “Parasite” and do believe this to be the “original” one, Raymond Jensen, who gets his powers almost the same way, minus a few details from the original source. He teaches Clark that if even for a moment he forgets how strong he is, there can be dire consequences.

Which brings me to probably the highlight of this book. For a moment he *SPOILER * loses his powers and goes on this whole “rant”, for lack of a better term, and he just realizes how strong as a race we really are when you boil down how dangerous our everyday life is. I think in that moment, which is beautifully crafted, you could really see how and why he is Earth’s greatest champion. Then, there’s a part later when he takes the accident of him losing powers and Parasite’s strength. How fragile he has to be when dealing with “us”, and the overall sacrifice of him being so strong. How being intimate with someone else is really risky for him… well, her when a her is relevant. In addition to that, there is a moment that really defines the character, if not, then the character J.M.S has chosen to write/create. Superman is an immigrant who, at the end of the day, doesn’t judge people for their life choices. He saves all, good and bad, and is willing to befriend the same way. On the surface, he doesn’t care. Internally, he may have formed an opinion, but that’s only assuming. It’s a good way to live… Accept those for who they are, and read the actions directed to you in the favour of your well being and or, against.

Parasite finds himself

Love seeing these in books. Minus the first choice, all of these still creep me out.
Love seeing these in books. Minus the first choice, all of these still creep me out.

Bottom Line: Fantastic, easy read with more things that should be in a Superman book now with todays way of life. I’d love to see this be the sequel to Man Of steel but I’m sure most, if not all, of the concepts in this book will be brought up in the Man Of Steel film. Definitely worth picking up.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 8 out of 10,
  • Art:  8.8 out of 10,
  • layout*: 10 out of 10,
  • True to character dialogue: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Story: 8 out of 10,
  • Continuity? Well its out of normal continuity, so it works, but in general, from panel to panel, it is pretty solid.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2

The second chapter to the “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” saga concludes with this story and it’s all kinds of amazing (see what I did there?) Loaded with great themes and even a poster to Christopher Reeves Superman.

Dark Knight Returns

Batman sure can take a beating at the old age of 55. Starting out right where the last left off with the Joker now becoming aware of his surroundings, he gets the Batman to lose control in the eyes of the public… To which point Superman is brought in to stop him.

The themes from the last one are reintroduced, and then put into practice. One being the story of Pearl Harbour as told by Jim Gordon to Ellen Yindel of how that event sparked a nation to get behind sending troops to World War 2. That’s probably the most paramount theme in this half story. It has the most weight to it aside from the propaganda that may be in the book/movie.

This one, I remembered more, and loved that I either registered more scenes from the comic or the animators used more. The joker scenes were the best, (see above) whereas the ones that seemed to be flat were the Superman scenes right after the nuke explosion. I think that scene was better in the comic whereas you get to read it versus seeing it without the narration.

One thing I didn’t mention in my part 1 review was the actors. Peter Weller as Batman for 99% of this movie is incredible. The breakthrough performance however was the Joker. Just for the way that he was drawn in the book and how he is known to act was superbly presented through the work of Michael Emerson. Andrea Romano, the voice director, is way past “infinity and beyond” in terms of greatness (if I’m ever so lucky to work with her, I will have to first not act like a crazed fan) the only one I felt could have used more, was Oliver Queen’s actor: Robin Atkin Downes.

Another thing I didn’t mention in part was the use of music. In the Nolan directed Batman saga, Hans Zimmer was the man who made everything seem even more epic in those films, notably the best batman movie, T.D.K. Here, the work of Christopher Drake captures a great essence to carry you through the hour 15min motion picture. It’s very close to T.D.K. in terms of how to explain it, especially with the Joker scenes. A lot of the reasons why I like this one, is because of the music.

The rating system is as follows. The 1st rating is what you really want, the rest is just what I thought of each other category as it’s listed (art/animation is how the movie translates the art from the book in animation).

  • Overall: 4.5
  • Art/Animation: 4.8
  • Voiceover Work: 5
  • True to the Source Material: 4.8

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW