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Topic: Superman: The Movie returns for 40th Anniversary Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Rich Marzullo
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Posted: 27 November 2018 at 10:45pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Saw it tonight. So much magic that I remember. Teared up a few times, at the end when Reeve smiled at the camera I was just openly crying. I miss that man so much.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 November 2018 at 11:05pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Saw it, tonight. Took a young friend who’d never seen it. He wasn’t aware of the films’ production history, or Reeve’s accident. 

There have been reports of some theaters not showing the Fleischer short, but mine did. Looked great on the big screen, and served as a perfect warm-up for the feature. There were barely a dozen people at the screening, but it was nice to see a few kids in the crowd.

The 4K restoration looks marvelous. Almost makes me want to invest in a 4K TV. And, yeah, the 2000 sound mix was the one they presented, but I found myself not minding all that much. The surround sound effects worked really well, and the score sounded great. 

I’d never seen this movie on the big screen. You have to understand—Superman is the foundation of who I am as a nerd. It was the 1985 SUPER POWERS action figure that started it all, with viewings of this movie on HBO being a close second. This movie is, in some ways, a foundational part of who I am as a person. It grabbed me at a very young age, and has never let go.

Seeing it on the big screen is really the ONLY way to see it. I’ve seen the movie countless times on TV, VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray, but seeing it on a giant screen with surround sound is just magic. The opening credits alone are amazing to see on the big screen. The performances, the score, the scope, the humor, the charm, the earnestness. They all still work magnificently. Some of the miniature work is really creaky, but the energy and fun of the film more than makes up for such superficial flaws.

I just wish I could have been there to see it and be impacted by it when it was originally released. I almost can’t imagine what a transcendent experience that must’ve been for genre fans. There will never be another film quite like this one, and Superman will arguably never again be done so well in live-action. Serials aside, this film got there first, in terms of a big-budget, live-action, big-screen presentation of the character. And it won’t be topped.

And my friend has good taste. He understands that modern fare like BATMAN v. SUPERMAN is garbage by comparison. As the screening ended, he turned to me and said, “That was a pretty amazing movie!”, and that it was the best movie he’s seen in the theater in quite some time. He understood and accepted the dated elements as part of the historical context of when and where the film was released, and appreciated the film for its story, characters, and aesthetics. He agreed with me that the payoff to nearly an hour of buildup—Clark ripping open his shirt as John Williams’s score explodes into action along with Superman—is immensely satisfying. He wasn’t bored or groaning or put off by the dated elements.

Maybe there IS some hope for the future!
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 28 November 2018 at 6:15am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Hey Greg, did he get the phone booth reference?
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 28 November 2018 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

It's definitely hard to imagine anyone topping Reeve in the role of Superman. And Margot Kidder, well, just terrific.

I saw it when it came out and, yes, it was transcendent.

But... even though I still think it's the best superhero/comicbook movie yet made... more and more over the years I've been irked by the non-Reeve/non-Kidder aspects. I can re-watch it, any time, and easily get caught up in the sheer magic, yet so much was not-right that I would be open to any new Superman movie... that actually could get key stuff right.

Still waiting...!!!!
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 28 November 2018 at 8:10am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Any quibbles I have with these anniversary presentations, it was again with the pre-show stuff...

The onscreen trivia game and hosted intro that assumes everyone has already seen this movie (complete with clips), the Bendis Superman comic and edgy DC animated film commercials (the former got some groans from the audience) that seemed so out of synch with the actual film...

I also noticed a lot more film grain with the blue screen process shots (Superman is flying Lois around the Statue of Liberty, and we cut to a Blu-Ray crystal-clear close-up of Liberty's face, then back to grainy footage). It didn't detract from the actual moment, but just something that stood out more with this viewing.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 November 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Hey Greg, did he get the phone booth reference?
++++++

I heard him chuckle at that moment, so, yeah. 

It probably helped that the Fleischer short shown before the movie featured a scene where Clark changes into Superman in a phone booth!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 November 2018 at 11:15am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The onscreen trivia game and hosted intro that assumes everyone has already seen this movie (complete with clips), the Bendis Superman comic and edgy DC animated film commercials (the former got some groans from the audience) that seemed so out of synch with the actual film...
+++++++

Yeah, that’s really annoying. When I took a friend to see THE WRATH OF KHAN, last year, the pre-show interview with William Shatner spoiled Spock’s death, a plot plot which my friend didn’t know about. And the SUPERMAN pre-show segment pretty much spoiled the entire movie.

Also very odd to have a number of Batman comic advertisements at a Superman movie screening. 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 November 2018 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I also noticed a lot more film grain with the blue screen process shots (Superman is flying Lois around the Statue of Liberty, and we cut to a Blu-Ray crystal-clear close-up of Liberty's face, then back to grainy footage). It didn't detract from the actual moment, but just something that stood out more with this viewing.
++++++++++

I was pleased with the new transfer. Nice to see actual film grain instead of it all being digitally scrubbed out. And, of course, the bluescreen composite shots are inherently grainer because they went through several generations of optical printing. 

No complaints about the color timing, although I am a bit annoyed that the turquoise flying costume has still been tweaked in some shots. Sure, it makes the shots mesh better with the rest of the movie, but that’s not historically accurate in terms of how the movie was originally presented.

Also, the contrast and black levels seem slightly off. Even on the big screen, I could barely make out the Cheerios box that Ma Kent sets on the kitchen table, whereas it was clearly visible in prior home video releases. Since the product placement was the whole point of that shot, I highly doubt that the theatrical version of the scene was so dark.
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 28 November 2018 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Even on the big screen, I could barely make out the Cheerios box that Ma Kent sets on the kitchen table, whereas it was clearly visible in prior home video releases.

***

Cheerios box ended up being a blink-or-miss-it moment with my showing, even after the pre-show trivia game included the credit reference for it as one of the questions...

Edited by Bill Mimbu on 28 November 2018 at 1:02pm
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 29 November 2018 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It probably helped that the Fleischer short shown before the movie featured a scene where Clark changes into Superman in a phone booth!

I thought that was a nice touch for younger audience members. Not only did the Fleischer short show what phone booths were actually used for, it showed what Superman used them for. The moment in the film then serves as a call back (pun intended). 

I saw SUPERMAN when it first hit theaters in 1978. If anything, it may be "my STAR WARS", as I didn't see that in its first run. It serves a hallmark of what not only superhero movies can be, but probably should be, in terms of costume, casting, and tone. 

It was really great to see it on the big screen again, as well as seeing a Fleischer Superman short in that format for the first time. I might go to see more DC/Warner movies if they did that for each one. At least there'd be something I know I could look forward to. 


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 29 November 2018 at 11:41am
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 01 December 2018 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 11 post reply


So I'm watching all of the various extras and behind-the-scenes documentaries on my SUPERMAN DVDs and Blu-rays, in anticipation of finally seeing this in the theaters on Monday...

It still kind of boggles my mind that Christopher Reeve was only 24 years old when he appeared in the first film... he seems so much wiser and more mature beyond such a young age, like he could have been at least 34.

Yet another minor miracle he helped bring to the role.



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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 01 December 2018 at 6:34pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply


Urgh... how Cinemark/Fathom Events continue to botch this just boggles my mind...

My local Cinemark theater, which is NOT having any SUPERMAN showings at all, is instead hosting about seven different showings of something called SHANKAR'S 2.0... in three different languages!

I'm all for highlighting foreign films whenever possible, but they couldn't even participate and have one showing of SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE???





Edited by Shaun Barry on 01 December 2018 at 6:36pm
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 03 December 2018 at 11:17pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply


Finally saw it on the big screen (it only took me 40 years--good grief!!)... more final thoughts tomorrow, but I will say I got surprisingly emotional during the "Can You Read My Mind" sequence... not so much because of the admittedly silly lyrics and line-reading, but just being hit with the realization (in the middle of the scene) that both leads are now no longer with us.

Big ol' lump in the throat during that one.  Film is forever, as they say...



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Mario Ribeiro
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Posted: 04 December 2018 at 7:27pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Took my girlfriend to see it, she had never seen it. She didn't love it, but liked it. Best part was when Superman went back in time and she said: "But that's forbidden!"
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 15 December 2018 at 2:43pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply


Official 40th anniversary today... released to the masses on December 15, 1978.

Plus:  A nice little write-up over at BirthMoviesDeath, including a comments section that doesn't want to make you pull your hair out, for once!







Edited by Shaun Barry on 15 December 2018 at 4:17pm
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