Superman Films

Discussion in 'Film & TV' started by Boreas, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    So, I recently re-watched four Superman films: Superman (1978) directed by Richard Donner, Superman II (1980) directed by Richard Lester (the 2006 Donner Cut), Superman Returns (2006) directed by Bryan Singer, and Man of Steel (2014) directed by Zack Snyder.

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    I hadn't seen the original two Superman films in a long time, and I must say that it was a lot of nostalgic fun. I particularly like the first 45 minutes of the original film, which starts out with the back-story on Krypton and then transitions to the monotonous beauty of Kansas. The second Superman film is also great fun, and the one I remember liking most in my early memory. The 2006 Donner cut of the second film was supposed to make the film less comedic, but I didn't remember much of the detail from the theatrical cut to notice any substantial difference.

    The real revelation came on my re-watch of Superman Returns, which is now my favourite of the Superman films. Yes, Brandon Routh doesn't quite have that boyish charm that Christopher Reeve exudes, and Reeve is still the best at doing Clark Kent although Routh does an admirable job. Yet, I found the film to be both a loving homage to the original Superman persona, and at the same time a more serious, melancholy albeit gentle personification of the grace and goodness that Superman is supposed to represent. The film had very little action and was more concerned with presenting the character's duality as human and alien through a series of very iconic images that are lifted straight from the comics. It was a much more personal and mature Superman compared to the Reeve films, and I liked it very much.

    As for Man of Steel, I disliked it the first time I watched it, and on second vieweing I dislike it a little less. I did appreciate aspects of the film, especially during the beginning, but overall it still feels much too cliché of an action film with too much CGI, overly dramatic sequences and questionable plot choices. Henry Cavill looks like what we might expect Superman to be, but doesn't embody his persona well at all. He's much too wooden in his role. And the film follows in the somewhat angst-ridden super-protagonists' coming-of-age mode that is so au courant at the moment. Plus, those huge fight scenes were pretty insipid.

    No, I think Routh in Superman Returns was the best iteration of the character on the silver screen. Reeve will likely remain the favourite for most people, and I see the appeal, but those original two films were on the verge of slapstick comedy on many occasions, and I preferred the gentle yet serious nature of Singer's film.

    What is your impression of these films and which one did you like most?
  2. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Kneel before Zod!

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