It would be wrong of me to start this review without a little bit of history. Mostly because it has become a habit of mine over the course of these Superman film reviews. So here it is. Man of Steel was originally the title for the sequel to Superman Returns. Right, that’s out the way, now onto the review. Click the link to find out what I thought of Man of Steel!
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Superman Returns gets a lot of crap. Around 84.6% of this crap is unwarranted nitpicking. The remaining 15.6% ignore that we could have gotten a much worse film instead. For example, in the years between Superman 4 we nearly had: A Tim Burton directed Superman starring Nic Cage, a fight with Polar Bears and a giant mechanical Spider. A film directed by McG. A film directed by Brett Ratner. Ashton Kutcher as Superman squaring off with Jay Baruchel. For some reason the cancelled Superman films always seem to involve really odd stuff. Thank God for Bryan Singer and his respect for the work of Richard Donner, because instead of Superman wearing an electric suit we got something that treated the source material with respect, could serve as a better sequel than the previous 2 films, and had zero mechanical fecking spiders. Click the link to read how I try to validate the existence of Superman Returns despite overwhelming internet raging fanboy opposition.
Oh man… here it is. Superman 4: The Quest For Peace. Words cannot describe just… well… everything. Which probably isn’t the best basis for a written review. But dammit, I’m gonna try my best. Superman 4 is the only one in the Christopher Reeve series to not be produced by the Salkinds. Unfortunately, for us, this film is produced by Cannon films. The studio that brought us Cyborg, the MIA series and Masters of the Universe. There’s a certain tone and style present in those films that isn’t quite in keeping with the scope and scale needed for a Superman film. That said, they did also make Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo so I guess all can be forgiven. Now, let’s see if I can describe just what it is about Superman 4 that makes it so… I’m gonna say special, but it’s special like that kid in school that ate the erasers. Click the link for the review.
So Richard Donner has difficulty working with the producers of Superman The Movie but makes a very successful film. As a rewards he is fired and the sequel he had mostly shot gets chopped apart and butchered into something else. Richard Lest shoots his version of Superman 2, gets on really well with the producers because they’re all best friends but makes a film that makes half of what the first made. His reward is getting to make another Superman film. Proof if ever it was needed that being best chums with those in charge is more important than actually being good at your job. SO, what kind of film did this partnership create this time? Click the link to find out.
Well this is the first time I’ve reviewed the same film twice. Although if ever do my planned Blade Runner season I may end up reviewing the same film 5 times. Anyway, The Richard Donner cut of Superman 2 is essentially the closest we’ll ever get to seeing the film he intended to make. During the 19 month long filming of Superman 1 and 2 Donner shot around 75% of the second film. When he was unceremoniously dropped from the sequels production Richard Lester took over and had to re-shoot a large portion of the film in order to take the sole directors credit. Around 20% of Donner’s work survived in the final film, the rest stored away never to be seen again. That was until a few websites and a lot of fans banded together to get that footage recovered by Warner Bros. It worked and eventually Richard Donner was invited to work on finally making his cut of the film. So, how is this original director’s vision of the film that was nearly 30 years in the making? Click the link to find out.
History time! Man there’s going to be a lot of this over the next few reviews. After Richard Donner had hastily wrapped up the first Superman film he was under the assumption that he would be returning to do the sequel. This wasn’t some misguided belief brought on by the fact he had done such a good job with the first though. This was because he had already shot around 75% of the sequel already whilst shooting Superman The Movie. There had been a lot of tension on the set of Superman between Donner and the film’s producers Alexander & Ilya Salkind and their producing partner Pierre Spengler. So much so that the producer’s had brought in their friend, and established director, Richard Lester to act as a intermediary between the two parties. It seemed, though, that the Salkinds had decided that the success of Superman The Movie wouldn’t be worth working with Donner again and so he was fired and plans were put into motion to film a (mostly) new Superman 2 with Richard Lester at the helm. Sounds like it’ll probably be a mess right? Well… kinda is… sorta.. maybe… Click the link for my less vague opinion!!!
When I reviewed Tim Burton’s Batman I made mention that, prior to that film, no-one had taken the superhero genre seriously… except for in the case of Superman The Movie. For most cult genres there comes a point in the history of film where they suddenly get treated seriously enough and, more importantly, are successful enough to swing the general perception of that genre towards something more mainstream. For science fiction, barring a few examples, it was 2001: A Space Odyssey. For horror, a genre that had become more comedy after years of Universal monster movies, its return to credibility came with films such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. For superheroes it was Richard Donner’s Superman. There’s a few examples of the superhero genre before this film but most were confined to B-Movie grade, throw away silliness. Superman The Movie had a huge budget, a huge scope and, like many great films, a huge amount of internal conflict. How did Richard Donner, who had most recently given the world The Omen, make you believe a man could fly when so many before couldn’t? By treating the source material with respect and spending an incredible amount of money. But how good a film is Superman The Movie? Click the link to hear me say stuff you probably already know!
Well I missed a chance to do a review season here didn’t I? In my defence, my new job doesn’t allow much chance for me to do a season without some planning ahead. The work shifts are too all over the place to be able to commit my evenings enough days in a row to watching a whole series of films. I will cover the Star Trek films someday though, likely split into original crew and Next Generation crew films, but I will get to them. Now, Star Trek Into Darkness eh? What’s it like? It’s… like… pretty damn decent. Click the link for the full review!!!
Many years ago I got myself coerced into watching a number of Bollywood films by some Asian work friends who, as far as I could tell, thought it was funny that I’d actually watch them. To them Bollywood films was entirely a product of their culture and, by proxy, should make no sense to a silly Englishman such as myself. Over some time I sat and watched Baazigar, Daag: The Fire and Gharwali Baharwali. All of which are damn enjoyable films and quite a good crash course in modern Bollywood movies. None of those movie hold a candle to the film I’m reviewing today though. Sholay goes beyond being a big deal in India. It played solidly in cinemas for 5 years and it still wouldn’t be too hard to find a cinema showing it today some 38 years later. When adjusted for inflation it is the highest grossing Indian film of all time. It also proves that Bollywood films aren’t just for the people of their homeland. I say this because Sholay is one of the greatest Westerns of all time. Click the link for my review.
Happy Birthday to Dump! Happy Birthday to Dump! We wish you a merry Christmas! And a happy new year!!
Yes that’s right folks! The Film Dump is 2 years old today!. Back on April 25th I published my first film review on this here blog. For some reason on April 24th I decided to listen to friends of mine that had told me to write film reviews seeing as I apparently knew so much about films. A put my words where my internet is type bet I guess. Wasn’t money where my mouth is because I had (and still have) no money to speak of. Anyway, that night I watched Mortal Kombat… for some reason… and came to the conclusion that I had enough to say about that film to write possibly the worst written review ever created. A while back I went over the few of my earliest reviews to “fix” them. Spelling and grammar being my main priorities as one Paul Acevedo of Windows Phone Central and Co-Optimus would love emailing me about my grammatical errors. Cunt. So… It’s two years later and I spent the last week trying to decide what film should be my 2 year anniversary review. Why the feck did I choose Street Fighter?