Sunday Afternoon Movie: Superman

$T2eC16dHJFoE9nh6piyIBP7sf+Tce!~~60_35Last Sunday I was still suffering with flu, not man flu this was real full blown flu and when you’re ill your movie choices are sometimes left vulnerable. There has been the occasional time whilst ill, I have watched a shameless rom-com.

I’ll admit it to you (as it’s just us friends here), Disney is my usual go to genre when I’m sick. There’s just something warm and comforting about a Disney movie tucked up in bed , or in a heap on the sofa. All Disney films are happy, their plots are not challenging, the animation is beautiful and there’s singing, all the goodness you need to nurse you back to health.

This flu required something else, something stronger, something classic, something super. Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman was a global phenomenon, it may not of aged gracefully but it still stands the test of time as the best Superman film to date. Christopher Reeve is spot on as Clark Kent/Superman and Gene Hackman is a joy as a Lex Luthor, he plays Luthor for laughs but he plays the hell out of him.

Despite being 33 years old it does look stunning on Blu Ray, the extended edition has a handful of new scenes integrated into the film. There’s a wealth of great documentaries and behind the scenes, all of them are fascinating and are a must for any fan.

The box set also includes the Richard Donner cut of Superman 2, this version reinstates Marlon Brando’s scenes for the first time. These scenes went on to be the basis for Bryan Singer’s Brando footage for Superman Returns, which is in itself a sequel to Superman 2.

2011_5_4_234059Richard Donner was hired to direct two Sperman films back to back, he was fired from the project with more than 75% of the sequel finished. Richard Lester was brought in to finish the film and reshoot some of the scenes, not all the cast agreed to the reshoots so stand in and doubles were used. The production of Superman and Superman 2 is very interesting and I’m sure I will revisit the subject in a longer post.

I first watched Superman when I was about 5 years old, and it’s a film that I always enjoy at least once a year. It might not be perfect but it paved the way for other superhero movies and can stand proud as a great piece of entertainment that has earned it’s place in cinema history. The Blu Ray box set is well worth the investment, even if Superman 3 and 4 are very poor, the first 2 movies and Superman Returns more than make up for it and the extras are immense.

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