Saturday, May 23, 2009
On a lark I decided to re-watch Richard Donner's 1978 version of the DC Comics' superhero Superman. I can't imagine a person out there who has not heard of Superman and I believe I read somewhere that Superman is one of the most recognized words throughout the world along with Mickey Mouse and Coca-Cola. I had a cynical point of view about older films earlier in my life. I had this belief that filmmaking had progressed so much in the present that past films would become unwatchable and unenjoyable because the more advanced (read: better) filmmaking techniques of today had fundamentally altered our perception of what a movie should look like, sound like and feel like. It turned out that this hypothesis was incorrect. I actually found that films in general haven't changed all that much and older films are still very effective and capable of reaching us in the same way, no matter what the age or what techniques utilized. Superman is one such movie that you could, with a very few exceptions, release in the present day and it be as successful as it was when it was first in theatres 31 years ago. The jokes are still funny, the special effects are still stunning and the characters and the actors portraying them , especially Christopher Reeve, are still wonderfully convincing and loveable. The only parts that fell a little flat were some logical questions I had about the plot towards the end of the movie but that I will leave out here to prevent spoilers. Superhero films are ubiquitous in Hollywood today but it's good to know that they got that way because of well made and genuinely superb films like Superman. If you'd like to see how Superman's contemporary persona and what made Superman a household name all over the world look no further than the Salkind's original 1978 production.
Honestly: 8.25 out of 10
Genre: Superhero, Action, Supervillain, Good Guys vs Bad Guys
In the Same Ballpark: The 5 Batman films, Spiderman, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk,
Somewhat Related: Blade, Wolverine: Origins, The X-Men Films, The Punisher, Unbreakable