First I was on a Batman movie kick (more on that later), then I got on a Superman movie kick. So here’s the rundown on all of the live-action movies and my not-so-quick thoughts…Superman: The Movie (1978)
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980)
Superman Returns (2006)
Warner Bros. Pictures
I’d never owned the first two Christopher Reeve movies and had Superman Returns on DVD. When I decided I wanted to re-watch all of the live-action Superman movies, I couldn’t pass up getting this Blu-ray triple feature for only $10 on Amazon.
It had been an extremely long time since I’d seen Superman: The Movie and Superman II. I don’t think I’ve watched either in full in over 20 years. I remembered bits and pieces of them (mostly from the sequel) though. I think the first two Reeve movies had a great style to them. It really felt like a comic book come to life and the movies seemed to take a lot of inspiration from Superman’s 1950’s and 1960’s comic book appearances.
Though a bit on the slim side, Reeve was a great Superman/Clark Kent, Gene Hackman was a great Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder was surprisingly hot at times playing Lois Lane.
The Blu-ray I bought featured Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II, or as close as Warner Bros. could get to using the rest of the Donner footage that was cut from the film. Some of Donner’s shooting script was unfilmed. He was replaced by another director during shooting and alterations were made to the story.
I don’t think either of these movies are great, but they are worth watching at least once to see how superhero movies used to be. Looking back on them now, they feel more like campy made-for-TV movies because it doesn’t feel like a whole lot actually happens and Luthor’s plans in the first movie seem so ridiculous and flimsy.
Superman Returns was the much awaited return to the big screen for the Man of Steel. I remember being very excited to see this movie when it came out and walking away mildly disappointed after seeing it. I was never a fan of Bryan Singer trying to make this movie a pseudo-sequel to the first two Christopher Reeve movies and didn’t like the fact that the movie begins with Superman returning after a five year absence from earth. It never made sense to me that Superman would leave Lois behind for that long.
I didn’t care for the casting of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane but Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor were great choices. But, this is third movie in a row (since Singer’s take on Superman does not acknowledge Superman III or Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) where Superman loses his powers and gets beat up for awhile. They really couldn’t have come up with something else? At least Man of Steel gave us a Superman movie with some real knockdown dragout fully-powered fights. Yes, Superman II had some fight scenes but they were done at a slow pace.
For some reason, I have this need to comment on virtually every superhero cartoon or movie I watch. Actually, I could’ve sworn I wrote up (and possibly posted) reviews for Son of Batman and JLA Adventures but I can’t find any proof of that. None of these movies are fresh in my mind anymore but I’ll briefly give my thoughts on these animated Marvel & DC movies for the record books. :)
Son of Batman
2014, Warner Home Video
Instead of randomly releasing direct-to-video movies set in their own universes in order to adapt certain stories from the comic books, it looks like DC is finally having many of their recent animated movies set in the same ‘New 52’-inspired universe. Son of Batman shares its world with Justice League: War (which itself will have its own sequel in the form of Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis).
Son of Batman is still based on a storyline from the Batman comics called “Batman and Son”. This was during the Grant Morrison era of writing the Batman comics and I think he’s one of the worst and most overrated comic book writers of all time. That probably explains why I wasn’t that big of a fan of this movie.
I was supposed to go to Disney World right after Christmas with my family (my parents’ gift to us), but I’ve been having anxiety issues lately and at the last minute I canceled because I didn’t want to take the 14 hour drive (7 hours each way) in the car.
But, I ended up having a nice quiet week to myself. I had already requested off at work so I kept those days and enjoyed doing NOTHING for an entire week. No work, no school, no P90-whatever workouts. I ate what I wanted, watched whatever I wanted and bought whatever I wanted! I basically told myself it was okay to blow some money to A) make me feel better for chickening out and B) because I had money I had been saving for Disney anyway.
Other than junk food and meals, here’s a few things I picked up last week:
Well, one of the first things I did was check Yankee Candle’s website for post-holiday clearance sales. No, the pic above is not what I bought, but it is my entire candle collection. I’m sure it pales in comparison to many others, and if so, I want what they have, too.
I ended up buying five large jar candles at half off: Apple Cider, Bavarian Pretzel, Fireside, Pinecone & Tassel and Yuletide Spice.
I was only familiar with Apple Cider. It’s one of my favorite candles. Unfortunately, it was not packaged very well and arrived broken. I emailed the company and they quickly responded and have shipped a new one out to me free of charge. After dealing that, I hated to throw a perfectly good candle away. Upon closer inspection, the big broken chunk of glass still fit perfectly with the rest of the jar. I used some quick bond glue and it seems to be working.
I finally wrapped up Amando de Ossorio’s “Blind Dead” series last night, so here are my thoughts on the series’ final two entries:
The Ghost Galleon
1974, Ancla Century Films
This is the third movie in Amando de Ossorio’s “Blind Dead” series and was released in the United States as Horror of the Zombies. While Return of the Blind Dead was a bit hokey, well, um… The Ghost Galleon still has some of that. Luckily, most of the awful dialogue and extremely-dated fashion is at the beginning of the movie. Although I have to say that the revealing clothes being worn by the women is just fine by me.
The Undying Monster
DVD Release: 2007, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Theatrical Release: 1942, 20th Century Fox
Buy the DVD
I first heard of this movie a year or two ago and put it on my Netflix list but never got around to watching it until recently. Based on the 1922 novel of the same name, The Undying Monster is an early 1940s 20th Century Fox horror film that, at times, plays like a Universal horror film from the 1930s. It’s also obvious that the studio was looking to cash-in on the popularity of 1941’s The Wolf Man, a trend that even the cover art for the DVD continued by making it look like some long-lost sequel to that movie. This movie has a great vibe to it in the beginning and final moments: spooky atmosphere, a wonderful heart-pounding score and fantastic set pieces. The cinematography is top-notch as well to help set the mood. I don’t usually notice stuff like that, so if I’m taking note of the cinematography, it has to be good. Other reviews I read confirmed for me that I was right!