1940's, 1950's, 1970's, 1980's, 2000's, 2010's, 3D, Article, Christopher Nolan, Superman


downloadToday we celebrate the release of Man Of Steel, in which Henry Cavill will be donning the red cape but no red underpants, as Superman. The review will be up next Friday but for now, let’s take a look at some of what we’ve had so far, in the cinema anyway…

  • superman-fleischer-poster1SUPERMAN (MAX FLEISCHER CARTOONS (SHORTS) 1941 – 1943 Max Fleischer (9/10) was a man more famous for Popeye than Superman, but these shorts were integral part in the evolution of the Man of Steel. Here, he didn’t fly, he leaped buildings in a single bound and was yet to be affected by Kryptonite. In 1941, Superman was barely three years old and was established in comics, hitting cinema screens for the first time and also on the air waves with his radio serials, all of which added something to story would be included in the other. The cartoons are good, simple and short, just a colourful and entertaining animated effects real, portraying Superman in ways which would be beyond the live action incarnations for over 70 years.
  • MPW-58069SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE-MEN 1951 Lee Sholem (4/10)The pilot for the 1950’s TV series led by George Reeves. The series was what you would expect but this is still important and without “films” and TV shows such as this,  Superman may well have been consigned to the printed page forever.

  • MPW-17445SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE 1978 Richard Donner (9/10) Bold, brash and epic. This was where Superman as we know him today began, with an all-star cast, new look,  ground-breaking special effects and it was penned by the writer of The Godfather, Mario Puzo! And what about John Williams’ theme… Brilliant!

  • superman_ii_ver1_xlgSUPERMAN II 1980 Richard Lester & Richard Donner (7/10) Considered to be the best, but either way it was the most enjoyable. Shot back to back with Superman (1978) this is part 2 of the Superman revival. Kneel to Zod!

  • RICHARD_DONNER_DIR_CUTSUPERMAN II (THE RICHARD DONNER CUT) (1980)/2006 Richard Donner & Richard Lester (7/10) A brilliant and insightful concept of completing what was effectively a lost film, but it was never going to be fully realised so many years on. Still good and enjoyable but lacking the cohesion needed to flat-out beat the Lester version. Both are equally as enjoyable as they are flawed.

  • superman_iii_xlgSUPERMAN III 1983 Richard Lester (7/10) More humourous and the beginning of the end for Christopher Reeve’s Man Of Steel, Superman III was more slapstick than epic.

  • superman_ivSUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE 1987 Sidney J. Furie (6/10) Often dismissed as ludicrous, but it’s much better than it looks. This looks at Superman’s acceptance as  citizen of earth and his choice to intervene in it’s future, in this case, the Nuclear arms race. The Film is poor though on almost every technical level but entertaining enough and with a message or two wedged in.

  • SupermanReturns2006SUPERMAN RETURNS 2006 Bryan Singer (8/10) A much better version than many think, this is a serious take on the last son of Krypton (Brandon Routh). It’s not perfect but it’s scale is epic and it’s focus is mature. But the action may have been sacrificed in it’s favour. Still My second favourite movie after Superman: The Movie (1978).

  • man_of_steel_ver3_xlgMAN OF STEEL 2013 Zack Snyder (9/10) Superman is reborn, or rebooted, take your pick. Henry Cavill is taking on the mantle and the responsibility of bringing the Man Of Steel to life once more. With Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder producing, writing and directing, there’s a lot going for it. But there’s also a whole heap of hype to contend with too…

Between 1987 and 2006, there were several attempts to revive the franchise, with many names coming to fore including the prospects of Nicolas Cage and Tim Burton! And even after the lukewarm reception of Superman Returns (2006), Singer was planning his sequel, which I would have very much liked to have seen, even holding back a few deleted scenes for it, such as Kal-El’s return to Krypton.

So, today’s the day, will Superman actually return for good or is this just going be another failed effort. But with the Marvel universe leading the way, this is certainly the best time to succeed so good luck Supes!

Man Of Steel is out in Cinemas today!

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