Thoughts: Superman, the first comic book superhero ever created and until the 21st Century, the most popular hero as well. Superman: The Movie, the first mostly serious take on comic book and the movie that made such films as The Avengers and The Dark Knight possible. Before re-watching Superman, he was never my favorite character. I have always thought of him as being far too perfect, however watching the film again changed that. While he is certainly not the best comic book hero by any means, he would rank near the Top 10 because it was the first. Also after watching the film, I got into his comics a little more and other adaptations. Easily the best part of Superman: The Movie is Superman. His character really well done and as I will explain later in the review; Christopher Reeve is the definitive Superman.
As for being compared to the upcoming Man of Steel. I do believe Man of Steel will be a better and more entertaining movie. Even though Henry Cavill will not be a better Superman, I am sure the movie should be better, or I at least hope that it will be.
Superman: The Movie is both slightly overrated and underrated at the same time. Many modern audiences dislike it for its corniness, yet others rank it above some of the modern comic book films, which are superior, mostly because Superman was the first real comic book film. I enjoy the film a lot, it is fun and captures Superman perfectly for the most part, however it does not hold a candle to The Avengers or Thor due to its age.
Directed by: Richard Donner
Genre: Comic Book, Sci-Fi
Release Date: 10 December 1978 (1978-12-10)
Running Time: 143 minutes
MMPA rating: PG
The Good: Christopher Reeve was casted perfectly as Superman, Excellent telling of Superman's classic story, Great ending, Revolutionized comic book films and made it a true genre, Reeve and Kidder have great chemistry together, Captured the character perfectly,
The Bad: Scenes with the villains were painfully goofy and corny, Illogical plot hole, Lex Luther is a weak villain,
Plot: The following plot summery is copied from Wikipedia.com.
On the planet Krypton, using evidence provided by scientist Jor-El, the Ruling Council sentences three attempted insurrectionists, General Zod, Ursa and Non, to "eternal living death" in the Phantom Zone. Despite his eminence, Jor-El is unable to convince the Council of his belief that Krypton will soon explode. To save his infant son Kal-El, Jor-El launches a spacecraft containing the child towards Earth, a distant planet with a suitable atmosphere, and where Kal-El's dense molecular structure will give him superhuman powers. Shortly after the launch, Krypton is destroyed.
Three years later the ship lands near an American farming town, Smallville, where Kal-El is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent and raised as their own son, Clark. Eighteen years later, after the death of Jonathan, Clark hears a psychic "call", discovering a glowing green crystal in the ship. It compels him to travel to the Arctic, where the crystal builds the Fortress of Solitude, resembling the architecture of Krypton. Inside, a vision of Jor-El explains Clark's origins, educating him in powers and responsibilities. After 12 years, with his powers fully developed, Clark leaves the Fortress with a colorful costume and becomes a reporter at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. He meets and develops a romantic attraction to coworker Lois Lane, but she sees him as awkward and unsophisticated. Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Plot: 8.3/10- Superman is a deliberately paced film, which may bore many modern viewers. The first hour take its time to tell Superman's origin, almost in an epic biopic type fashion; the audience does not even see Christopher Reeve during that time. Clark and Lois' characters are very well developed and their scenes are some of the best aspects of the film. Almost everything about Superman's character is near perfectly executed and compared to other parts of the film are rarely corny and played straight. The first two acts of the film are great, until Lex Luthor is introduced. Most scenes with his character are ridiculously corny and overacted.
Action: 6.2/10- Superman is not an action-pack film by any means. There were no real fight scenes with an equal adversary in the film. All of the action scenes are Superman saving people and stopping disasters.
Acting: 8.1/10- Christopher Reeve is the unquestionable and definitive Superman. Until Robert Downey Jr. portrayed Iron Man, no actor has portrayed a superhero better than Reeve. Most versions of Superman made after this film were at least partially inspired by Reeve. Not only does Reeve play the Superman part perfectly, he plays Superman's alter-ego, Clark Kent, like an entirely different character and makes it almost believable that Lois or anyone else would ever think that Superman and Clark Kent are one in the same. Margot Kidder as Lois Lane was great in her role. She brought a nice tough edge to the character. Normally Gene Hackman is a great actor, he even won an Oscar but he really overacted in as Lex Luthor. This is due to the time the film was made more than Hackman himself because that was similar to how the comics portrayed Lex during the 60s and 70s. Also any of Lex's henchmen were annoying, their scenes were sometimes painful to watch.
Special effects: 7.5/10- Even though they do not hold up near as well as its contemporaries like Star Wars, they are effective enough for the most part.
Soundtrack: 10/10- Undoubtedly one of John Williams' best and most iconic film scores. It perfectly compliments the film.
Comedy: 7.0/10- Some comedy was quite good like the banter between Lois and Superman, however all of the attempts at humor in the Lex Luthor scenes do not work at all.
Overall: 7.9/10- Overall Superman is a great, fun film, even if it is dated. I would rate it around a 7.2/10 for most readers since many will dislike the dated feel.
Closing comments: Despite its corniness, Superman: The Movie was first mostly serious comic book adaptation and paved the way for future comic book films.
Recommended for: Comic Book fans, Sci-Fi fans,
For another opinion on the film, watch this review by a few of my favorite film critics, the Schmoes and Chris Stuckmann.
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