TV Party Tonight! #131

TV Party Tonight! #131

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Tuesday, 12 September 2023
4K/Blu-Ray

Superman I-IV
5-Film Collection
[4K/Blu-ray]

Boy did we forget the giant favor the Superman movies did for us in the 70s. The 70s! Can you believe that? Superhero movies had a life before they became the unstoppable monster they are now (even though they are showing signs of weakness as of late). Sure, you can say Mask of Zorro or movies like that were superhero movies, but not as we know them today. Superman was the grand daddy of them all. At least as far as comic book superhero movies are concerned.

It’s great that the first four (five?) Superman movies have now been collected in a box set, because these movies truly need to be studied. This box set even collects the coveted Richard Donner cut of Superman II, which is arguably superior, more focused and coherent. It’s also appearing on 4K for the first time in this box set, so that’s very noteworthy. I remember all the Superman movies as a kid and having an uncomfortable feeling, and now after a rewatch so many years later, I understand why. These movies get pretty dark and pretty disturbing at times. I remember clearly feeling unwell when I saw Superman lose his powers and try to come to terms with living a human life. Also, the sheer madness of the bad guys was confounding to say the least.

But if there’s one thread that keeps these movies together, it’s the wonderful casting. Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder have a chemistry that’s absolutely electric on screen and compelling to wagtch. Part of this is due to how smart the character of Lois Lane is written. And then there is the supporting cast, like Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, and later Richard Pryor. They all add a certain element of the unexpected and help make the stories more interesting, like the wisdom of Jor-el, the campiness of Lex Luthor, and slapstick of Gus Gorman. Even though the movies never seem to overcome the looseness of the script (motivations and resolutions are never explained: things just happen because they do), there is an element of fun that never gets lost.

This set comes loaded with extras like commentary tracks, featurettes, behind the scenes footage, making-of features and TV spots. It’s a plethora of material to supplement our enjoyment of the man of steel.

The Superman 5 Disc set is a wonderful collector’s item and for fans of superhero movies, it helps put the current trajectory they’re taking into perspective. You’ll have a lot of feelings revisiting them, but you’ll be sure to have fun doing so as well.

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