February 23, 2014
Movie Night: Superman (1978).
Review #547: Superman.
Marlon Brando (Jor-El), Gene Hackman (Lex Luthor), Christopher Reeve (Clark Kent/Superman), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), Ned Beatty (Otis), Jackie Cooper (Perry White), Glenn Ford (Jonathan Kent), Valerie Perrine (Eve Teschmacher), Phyllis Thaxter (Martha Kent), Trevor Howard (First Elder), Maria Schell (Vond-Ah), and Terence Stamp (General Zod) Directed by Richard Donner (#075 - Scrooged, #355 - Lethal Weapon, and #356 - Lethal Weapon 2)
Of all the comic book movies I've done on this...show, I suppose, the one glaring omission has been the Superman franchise. Superman was the first major superhero feature movie made (Side note here: There had been three serials made before this movie, such as Superman (1948), Atom Man vs. Superman (1950), and Superman and the Mole Men (1951), along with animated shorts made by Fleischer Studios, a radio and television series), and the movie's success would lead to more superhero films. But anyway, how is the film itself? Let's start with the actors. Brando does well for the small amount of time he has, and his speech to his newborn son is effective, but also powerful. Hackman is a decent villain, he does pair well with Beatty, who isn't half bad in a supporting role. Christopher Reeve is just perfect in both roles, managing to act well enough to make these two personalities stand out effectively. Kidder is good, she pairs off well with Reeve, and the scene where Superman takes Lane on a flight is a really good scene that only shows the emotion the movie has. The movie has excellent effects and manages to tell a good story with only a few bumps along the way. The ending either makes Superman's character fully defined...or a cop out that is actually more confusing in how it works then infuriating. I think it's more of both, it defines that Clark/Superman is here for a reason, a point mentioned by Kent's adoptive father, in contrast to Jor-El's warning about changing history. Superman finds his destiny, and it does make sense, though the time traveling part boggles my mind. Endings aside, the movie is a fine epic that succeeds in nearly everyway possible.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.