Saturday, February 22, 2014

Superman with Christopher Reeves Franchise 1-4 plus Superman Returns 2006

Superman: The Movie (1978)
I was not even six years old when I saw this movie. I left wanting to fly and a life long obsession with the boy scout in blue tights. So much so every time I hear John Williams score, everything is right in the world. The price of a symphonic single is a whole lot cheaper than therapists LOL

This movie did what no one else could. We believed a man could really fly. And fly fast. And in 1978 that was extremely difficult. The only other two franchises that achieved this to me - Star Wars and Battlestar Gallactica (TV).

But so much more, we cried hard when Clarks adopted father dies of heart attack. We cry happy tears the first time Clark flies away from Fortress of Solitude. We laugh hard when Lois say "You've got me? Who's got you?". We laugh harder at Ned Beatty's Otis. And we are amazed to see the amazing
acting of Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando in a superhero movie...

For all this this will be my definitive superhero movie for all ages. All the CGI in the world cannot replace the writing and acting. MUST SEE.

Superman II
The only thing I did not like about this film is that I had to wait 2 years to see it after THE MOVIE. The fight scene in Metropolis with Zod and company will be unmatched action until Man of Steel, but still unmatched for its mix of action and comedy. The whole blowing of the city streets - did I just say that - almost feels like the Blues Brothers movie where the bigger the destruction the bigger the laugh. The guy on the phone is right out of Zucker, Abraham and Zucker (Airplane, Kentucky Fried Movie).

The only thing with this movie is the additional powers created. When did heat vision become telekinesis - Zod heats up shotgun then brings it to him all with heat vision. When did the fingers of krypton shoot power beams. When did Supe's S become a thermal blanket that can trap other Kryptonians. And when did Superman's Kiss become a memory eraser. That all being said, these are questions I made years later. Not 8 years old, I was still just happy to see red & blue fly.

Once again the acting of the new cast is superb. Why is it Brits do bad guy so well? I think the amazing Terence Stamp performance as General Zod is why the 1990s animated series made focused on Jax-Ur as the bad Kryptonian from Phantom Zone. Sarah Douglas is the ultimate Villainess of all time. Jack O'Hallaran is as comical as he is menacing as the Super Mongo known as Non.

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
I have been waiting to see this for years. I finally watched just last night. Any true fan needs to see this, however, the original is far better. Donner takes out a lot of the crap we question in Sup 2. But does not replace it. There fore we get no action. I hate not having the opening action scene with terrorists at the Eiffel Tower. Instead the missile from THE MOVIE originally headed for Iowa, collides with Phantom Zone glass imprint (Oh yeah, this is another element of the 2nd movie that seems strange - probably the worst example of the Phantom Zone - the only thing I think Smallville did well). The Eiffel tower scene from Sup 2 was one of the best opening action scenes from any of the movies that show Clark dealing with regular Earth bound disasters.

By skipping the OJ scene at the beginning of the movie, the OJ joke at Niagra makes no sense. And the alternate scenes - of Lois discovering Clark is Superman - are terrible. The changes made by Lester obviously save this movie. And then bringing back the same ending form MOVIE ONE - super flying speed to roll back time - may be more believable, but the kiss of forgetfulness is better story telling.

True fans should see this. Others will not like.

Superman III (1983)
OK, this movie -in my opinion - is one of the most underrated of all Superman showings. Richard Pryor obviously changes the game. Any other actor in that role would have been a total failure, but some how - for me at least, being a big RP fan - makes this a memorable movie. I love it. I wonder how much of teh script is saved by Pryor's ad libs. For using tar to formulate kryptoonite, the general presenting kryptonite to Superman, to all the dealings with the MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (I am not old enough to remember that TV show but that is how every one refers to Robert Vaughn. I thought Annette O'Toole was the perfect Lana Lang.

The best part of this film is the Darker Superman, corrupted by tainted / imperfect factory made kryptonite. The battle of Superman vs Clark is the super hero fight club. And the battle with the Supercomputer is an Earth-Made Brainiac of sorts.

I say any Super fan has to see this film. I think today it stands up better than some of the others as the comedy is timeless, even if the special effects seem dated.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
OK This is the one movie I just don't like. I try to. I want to. But this movie seems more like a 1940/50s style WAR BOND propaganda movie. Christopher Reeves basically makes this movie as an anti-nuclear protest. One makes a movie of a superhero - beyond financial gain - because there is a story to tell to big for TV or cartoon. This feels more like an animated short/TV made movie drawn out to long by second rate story telling (New Girlfriend for Clark etc). Even Gene Hackman seems old hack with this incarnation. He is ready to move on...

I suppose Mark Pillow was such a bad actor as Nuclear Man they had Gene Hackman provide the voice. Maybe that was the plan all along. ???

Two and a Half Men fans might enjoy a young Jon Cryer as Lenny Luthor.

Even the Double Date with Superman / Lois & Clark / Lucy is the makings of a bad sit com. We have enough of that on TV we don't need to waste money on a movie.

If you have never seen the movie find a cheap or free way to knock it off the DC Comics list. I ouwl still take this over Superman Returns 2006.

SUPERMAN RETURNS 2006 Superman Returns

OK. Like Richard Donnor cut I waited - like so many - WAY TOO LONG for this movie. But after 20 years I suppose expecting another Supermen THE MOVIE (Please scream THE MOVIE in your head to match my all caps please LOL) when we got another Quest For Peace (Superman 4). After so many Superhero films, reinventing the genre, this was the best they could do. I think this cast is better suited to Reopen Superman on Broadway. (Which would actually be interesting to see). This is too soft. You are playing right into the hands of all the people that have fled the franchise because Superman is too unbelievable. And because of this weak showing we had to wait 7 more years for MAN OF STEEL. TGFMOS!!!

All that beings said, this movie is far better than the last two from 1980s in regards to the non super-stuff. The writing is not too shabby. I think it gets a bad name - from me included - simply because we were expecting to be wowed and we got just OK.

  • Marlon Brando as Jor-El: Superman's biological father on Krypton. He has a theory about the planet exploding, though the Council refuses to listen. Jor-El dies as the planet explodes but successfully sends his infant son to Earth as a means to help the innocent. Brando sued the Salkinds and Warner Bros. for $50 million because he felt cheated out of his share of the box office profits.[7] This stopped Brando's footage from being used in Richard Lester's version ofSuperman II.[8]
  • Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor: An evil scientific genius armed with vast resources who would prove to be Superman's nemesis. It is he who discovers Superman's weakness and hatches an evil plan that puts millions of people in danger.
  • Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman: Born on Krypton as Kal-El and raised on Earth, Superman is a being of immense power, strength and invulnerability who after realizing his destiny to serve mankind uses his powers to protect and save others. As a means to protect his identity, he works in Metropolis at the Daily Planet as mild-mannered newspaper reporter Clark Kent. Reeve was picked from over 200 actors who auditioned for the role.
  • Ned Beatty as Otis: Lex Luthor's bumbling henchman.
  • Jackie Cooper as Perry White: Clark Kent's hot-tempered boss at the Daily Planet. He assigns Lois to uncover the news of an unknown businessman purchasing a large amount of property in California. Keenan Wynn was originally cast, but dropped out shortly before filming because of heart disease. Cooper, who originally auditioned for Otis, was subsequently cast.[9]
  • Glenn Ford as Jonathan Kent: Clark Kent's adoptive father in Smallville during his youth. Jonathan is a farmer who teaches Clark ideal skills that will help him in the future. He later suffers a fatal heart attack that changes Clark's outlook on his duty to others.
  • Trevor Howard as the First Elder: Head of the Kryptonian Council, who does not believe Jor-El's claim that Krypton is doomed to its own destruction. He threatens Jor-El, "Any attempt by you to create a climate of fear and panic amongst the populace must be deemed by us an act of insurrection."
  • Jack O'Halloran as Non: Large and mute, the third of the Kryptonian villains who are sentenced to be isolated in the Phantom Zone.
  • Valerie Perrine as Eve Teschmacher: Lex Luthor's girlfriend and accomplice. Already cynical of Luthor's increasing grandiosity and disturbed by his cruelty, she saves Superman's life after learning that Luthor has launched a nuclear missile toward her mother's hometown ofHackensackNew Jersey. She shows a romantic interest in Superman, implied by her fixing her hair before she makes her presence known to him, and then by kissing him before she saves his life.
  • Maria Schell as Vond-Ah: Like Jor-El, a top Kryptonian scientist; but she too is not swayed by Jor-El's theories.
  • Phyllis Thaxter as Martha Kent (née Clark): Clark Kent's faithful adoptive mother. A kindly woman who dotes on her adoptive son and is fiercely devoted to her husband Jonathan. She is her son's emotional support after Clark is devastated by Jonathan's death. Thaxter was producer Ilya Salkind's mother-in-law.[12]
  • Susannah York as Lara: Superman's biological mother on Krypton. Lara, after learning of Krypton's fate, has apprehensions about sending her infant son to a strange planet alone.
  • Jeff East as the teenage Clark Kent: As a teenager, Clark is forced to hide his superhuman abilities, making him unpopular among his classmates and frustrating his efforts to gain the attention of classmate Lana Lang (Diane Sherry). Following the death of his adoptive father, he travels to the Arctic to discover his Kryptonian heritage (All of East's dialogue in the film is dubbed over by Christopher Reeve).[13]
  • Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen: A teenage photographer at the Daily Planet. Jeff East, who portrayed the teenage Clark Kent, originally auditioned for this role.[13]
  • Sarah Douglas as Ursa: General Zod's second in command and consort, sentenced to the Phantom Zone for her unethical scientific experiments.
  • Harry Andrews as the Second Elder: Council member, who compels Jor-El to be reasonable about plans to save Krypton.
Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill have cameo appearances as Lois Lane's father and mother. Alyn and Neill portrayed Superman and Lois Lane in the film serials Superman (1948) and Atom Man vs. Superman (1950), and were the first actors to portray the characters onscreen in a live-action format. Neill reprised her role in the 1950s Adventures of Superman TV series, and also appeared as Lex Luthor's elderly wife in the opening scene of the film Superman Returns (2006).
Larry Hagman and Rex Reed also cameo; Hagman plays an army major in charge of a convoy that is transporting one of the missiles, while Reed plays himself as he meets Lois and Clark outside the Daily Planet headquarters. A then unknown John Ratzenberger briefly appears as a missile control technician. Two unknowns also have cameos, Edward Finneran and Tim Hussey, who were the teenage boys who won "The Great Superman Movie Contest", appearing as football players (in gray) during the scene with Clark as the equipment manager of the Smallville football team. David Petrou, the author of the making-of book about the film also appears briefly in that scene. 


  • Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman: Born on Krypton and raised on Earth, Superman is a being of immense strength, speed and power. Morally upstanding and instilled with a strong sense of duty, Superman tirelessly uses his formidable powers, which he gets from the Earth's yellow sun, to protect the people of his adoptive homeworld. His alter ego is mild-mannered Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent. Superman's abilities include: X-ray and heat vision, vast strength, speed and invulnerability, super-intelligence, flight and the hitherto unknown ability to throw the 'S' symbol from his costume as a plastic trapping device of some description.[6]
  • Margot Kidder as Lois Lane: The beautiful, sexy, feisty, and intelligent ace reporter for theDaily Planet and Superman's love interest. Lois, is a driven career journalist, who lets nothing stand in the way of breaking the next big story and scooping rival reporters. While ignoring the potential consequences that sometimes put her in peril. She finds out that Clark is Superman, but her memory is erased when Clark kisses her.
  • Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor: Evil criminal genius and Superman's nemesis. Armed with vast resources and scientific brilliance, Luthor's contempt for mankind is only surpassed by his hatred for Superman. Luthor strikes a bargain with the three Kryptonian criminals in an effort to destroy Superman.[6]
  • Ned Beatty as Otis: Luthor's incompetent henchman.
  • Jackie Cooper as Perry White: Mercurial editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet newspaper and Lois and Clark's boss.
  • Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen: Teenaged photographer at the Daily Planet.
  • Terence Stamp as General Zod: The ruthless, arrogant and megalomaniacal leader of three Kryptonian criminals banished to thePhantom Zone and unwittingly set free by Superman. Zod, upon landing on Earth and gaining the same super powers as Superman, immediately views humans as a weak and insignificant sub-species and imposes his evil will for world dominance. However, his arrogance causes him to quickly become bored with his powers and he is almost disappointed at how little of a challenge humans are. His insatiable lust for power is replaced however by revenge when he learns that the son of Jor-El stands in the way of his absolute rule of the planet.
  • Sarah Douglas as Ursa: Zod's second-in-command and consort. Ursa's evil will and power-lust are equal to and sometimes surpass those of General Zod's. Her contempt and utter disregard for humans and all life form as well as her twisted taste for destruction make her a very deadly adversary. She has an inclination to collect insignia and heraldry from people she defeats or dominates, such as the NASA patch from the EVA suit of an astronaut she kills.
  • Jack O'Halloran as Non: The third of the Kryptonian criminals, Non is "as without thought as he is without voice." At 7 ft (2.1 m) tall, Non is a formidable hulking mute, who easily matches Superman's strength but has the intelligence and sometimes curiosity of a child and communicates only with guttural grunts and growls. Though he lacks the mental ability to use his powers effectively, he does however possess the same taste for destruction as his Kryptonian companions.
  • Valerie Perrine as Eve Teschmacher: Lex Luthor's beautiful assistant and girlfriend who helps Lex Luthor escape from prison.
  • Susannah York as Lara: Jor-El's wife and Superman's biological mother.
  • E. G. Marshall as the President of the United States.
Gene HackmanValerie PerrineNed BeattyE. G. Marshall, and Marlon Brando are the only actors who did not participate in the film's reshoots. Their scenes in Lester's version (with the exception of Brando) were sourced from Richard Donner's original shoot. Where additional shots were needed for continuity, Lester used body doubles in place of the original actors. Marlon Brando's scenes were excised entirely, due to the high fee the actor had demanded for the use of his footage in the film.
In the 2006 documentary You Will Believe: The Cinematic Saga of Superman (included in the DVD set Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition), Sarah Douglas says she was the only cast member to do extensive around-the-world press tours in support of the movie, as she was one of the few actors who held a neutral point of view in the Donner-Lester controversy.


  • Richard Pryor as August "Gus" Gorman: A bumbling computer genius who works for Ross Webster to destroy Superman.
  • Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman: After discovering his origins in the earlier films, he sets himself to helping those on Earth. After beating arch enemy Lex Luthor twice, Superman meets a new villain: Ross Webster, who is determined to control the world's coffee and oil supplies. Superman also battles personal demons after an exposure to a synthetic form of kryptonite that corrupts him.
  • Jackie Cooper as Perry White: The editor of the Daily Planet.
  • Margot Kidder as Lois Lane: A reporter at the Daily Planet who has a history with both Clark Kent and Superman. She is away from Metropolis on vacation to Bermuda, which put her in the middle of a front-page story.
  • Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen: A photographer for the Daily Planet.
  • Annette O'Toole as Lana Lang: Clark's high school friend who reconciles with Clark after seeing him during their high school reunion. O'Toole later portrayed Martha Kent on the Superman prequel television series Smallville.
  • Annie Ross as Vera Webster: Ross' sister and partner in his corporation and villainous plans.
  • Pamela Stephenson as Lorelei Ambrosia: Ross' assistant and girlfriend. Lorelei, a voluptuous blonde bombshell, is well-read, articulate and skilled in computers, but conceals her intelligence from Ross and Vera, to whom she adopts the appearance of an superficial fool. As part of Ross' plan, she seduces Superman.
  • Robert Vaughn as Ross Webster: A villainous multimillionaire. After Superman prevents him from taking over the world's coffee supply, Ross is determined to destroy Superman before he can stop his plan to control the world's oil supply. He is an original character created for the movie.
  • Gavan O'Herlihy as Brad Wilson: Lana's former boyfriend.
  • Brandon Routh as Clark Kent / Superman: The Kryptonian superhero who disguises himself as a journalist. Stephan Bender portrays the teenage Clark Kent in a flashback scene. James Caviezel expressed interest in the role.[6] However, Singer believed only an unknown actor would be suitable for the part.[7] Routh was chosen from thousands of candidates interviewed at casting calls in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.[8] He had coincidentally auditioned for Clark Kent in the television seriesSmallville, but lost to Tom Welling. Routh had also met director Joseph "McG" Nichol for the role during pre-production of Superman: FlybyDana Reeve, wife of Christopher Reeve, believed Routh's physical resemblance to her late husband was striking.[9] To obtain the muscular physique to convincingly play Superman, Routh underwent a strict bodybuilding exercise regimen.[10]
  • Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor: An evil sociopath armed with vast resources and an extensive knowledge of science who is Superman's nemesis. Because of his Academy Award-winning performance in Singer's film The Usual Suspects (1995), and friendship with the director, Spacey was the only actor considered for Lex Luthor. The writers specifically had Spacey in mind for the part when writing the script.[11] Spacey's version of Luthor has the same comically exaggerated vanity and pompous arrogance of the earlier Gene Hackman version as well as the same strong interest in real estate, but Spacey's version is far less campy and more serious. Spacey later said that director Singer told him to play the character as "darker and more bitter" compared to Hackman and not to use the earlier portrayal as an inspiration.[14]
  • James Marsden as Richard White: The nephew of the Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White and fiancé to Lois Lane. Marsden said Richard acts as an emotional challenge for Superman, since the hero comes back to find that "Lois Lane picks somebody who's very Supermanesque".[15]
  • Parker Posey as Kitty Kowalski: Lex Luthor's henchwoman. She served as a prison nurse and would give Lex his examinations.[16]The character is based on Eve Teschmacher from the 1978 film, portrayed by Valerie Perrine.[17] Posey was the only actress considered for the role.[2]
  • Marlon Brando as Jor-El: Superman's biological father. Brando (who died in 2004) reprises his role from the 1978 film through the use of previous footage combined with computer-generated imagery. This required negotiations with Brando's estate for permission to have his footage used. Singer explained, "we had access to all of the Brando footage that was shot. There was unused footage that had Brando reciting poems, trailing off subject and swearing like a sailor."[18]
  • Tristan Lake Leabu as Jason Kent: The son of Lois Lane and Superman. The question of whether Superman or Richard is Jason's father is initially unclear. He suffers from asthma and other ailments, but it is later revealed that he is the son of Superman, when he displays superhuman strength and discomfort around Kryptonite.
Other cast members include Frank Langella who plays Daily Planet editor Perry White, a role originally attached to Hugh Laurie;[19] Sam Huntington as Daily Planet photographer Jimmy OlsenEva Marie Saint as Clark Kent's adoptive mother Martha Kent, and Kal Penn as one of Luthor's henchmen, Stanford. Jack Larson, who portrayed Jimmy Olsen in the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman, makes a cameo appearance as a bartenderNoel Neill—who portrayed Lois Lane in the television series and the film serials Superman(1948) and Atom Man vs. Superman (1950) -- appears as Luthor's elderly wife Gertrude Vanderworth. Richard Branson cameos as the pilot of the space shuttle. Another of Luthor's henchmen (Riley) is played by former Australian Rugby League player Ian Roberts.[20]

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