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Is it a bird? Is it A Plane? .no it's the Superman ultimate Collection!
Now call me a 'big kid' if you like, but I have remained a fan of the Superman stories ever since I could crawl.
As a child I have watched all the Superman cartoons, brought all the comics and action figures, and owned all the movies and cartoons on tape.
Even from my early teens to the present date I still enjoy the Superman series that are shown on TV:- The New Adventures Of Superman with Dean Kane, and the Smallville series.
Ultimately it were always the Superman movies I had always enjoyed the most with Christopher Reeve bringing the character to life on our big screens.
There were four movies in total, but after the dire disappointment of Superman IV: Quest For Peace, the Superman franchise faded fast, and the news of Superman's main star, Christopher Reeve, being in a terrible horse riding accident which paralysed him and eventually led to his death, the Superman movie franchise almost completely died with him.
That was until Bryan Singer brought Superman back to the big screen with the new movie 'Superman Returns', and not only does it seemed to have revived the character, but also its revived the previous movies and all its history.
It's here I bring you the Superman Ultimate Collection 14 disc DVD Box Set!
Although I owned all the previous movies on tape before, and the Superman movies 1&2 on DVD, this was a 'must purchase' for me because not only did it have all 4 movies on DVD which was almost unheard of until now, and not only because it also came with the new Superman Returns movie by Bryan Singer, but the fact that it included so much bonus material and different theatrical cuts, especially Richard Donner's directors cut of the Superman II movie which is almost an entirely different movie of that cut of the director Richard Lester's release of the same movie.
The box set comes in a silver metallic looking tin with the Superman shield embossed on the front. However the casing tin is not as strong looking as it is depicted on the pictures and is quite easily dented due to being quite thin.
A further disappointment is that its contents within the tin casing, rattle around a little, due to the tin being nearly a ¼ the size larger than it needed to be, therefore its contents being in risk of unnecessary damage.
However I personally would say that they were the only flaws with the box sets presentation as it does overall look quite stylish.
Upon opening the tin you get yet another sleeve presenting the Superman character flying into the silver 'S' shield which house all the 14 DVD's.
Also housed within the tin is a reproduction of the Superman comic book issue 7, and a Superman Overview booklet presented in a 'Daily Planet' newspaper fashion. Furthermore you also get some mail-in-offer leaflets for various Superman movie posters.
The presentation of the DVD box set isn't bad, certainly looks stylish on the pictures and in a display cabinet, however considering it's open retail price I would have expected it not to only look stylish but have more of an authentic look and feel to it instead of it looking rather cheap and delicate to handle.
So my overall rating for the box sets presentation would be 6 out of 10.
The 14 Disks Included in the Box Set:
Superman The Movie- Theatrical Cut (1978)
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackmen, Margot Kidder and Marlon Brando
Jor El (Marlon Brando) sends his only son (Kal El) through time and space before their home planet, Krypton, explodes.
Kal El's final destination: Planet Earth. Kal El is brought up by a childless couple Martha and John Kent, donning the new identity of Clark Kent.
Over the years he is being brought up it becomes very apparent that he possesses unbelievable super-powers and decides to use them to protect people and fight against evil.
However, in the city of Metropolis, a known villain, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackmen), plans to cause devastation by using missiles to clear way for his own 'beach front property'.
Luthor discovers Superman's weaknesses including Kryptonite which is deadly to him, and he soon becomes a formidable opponent to the super-hero.
It soon becomes a battle against time to save thousands of people, including his love interest Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) who falls victim to Luthor's evil plan.
My thoughts on the movie and cast:
The original movie is a superb rendition of bringing this iconic super-hero to the big screen.
I would think the main interest in anyone watching a movie like this is too see the impossible happen and living it, which brings the tagline to this movie, 'You will believe a man can fly', in quiet nicely.
I think the special effects in this movie were brilliant for its day, the character certainly did look like he was flying through the sky with no strings attached.
As for the movie's plot itself, I think it was in a very well put together way in telling the complete story of Superman from how he got to earth right up until his love interest with Lois Lane and his encounters with his arch nemesis Lex Luthor.
The scene that most sticks out in my mind and that being one of my favourite ones like many others I would imagine, is the scene where Superman first makes an appearance to the world where he saves Lois Lane in mid air after the helicopter she was flying in crashed on top of a building, then whilst Superman has Lois in his arms, the helicopter decides too fall of the edge of the building as well, and Superman catches that with his other hand (what a show off!) while on lookers look in amazement, just like I was when I first watched it at 5 years old at home on my sofa. From watching that amazing scene you know that 'this guy is the dude', and he becomes the most amazing superhero ever witnessed (Spider-Man .who are ya?!).
The movie itself has a well handpicked cast for each role.
Right from the outset, Cinematic legend Marlon Brando appears on our screens and gives us a brief but pleasing performance as Superman's farther Jor El.
As for the rest of the cast, and lets start with the movies main star Christopher Reeve who played Superman. He suited the part down to a 'T', ok in this case lets say he suited it down to a 'S'. He not only looked like the spitting image of Superman in every comic book I had ever seen and read, but this guy was playing two different characters, Clark Kent and his alter ego Superman, who couldn't be more different, that being Clark Kent being incredibly stupid and 'geek-ish' and Superman having more powers than a god and every women's dream.
Christopher is the actor credited for putting Superman on the big screen map, and will no doubt be remembered as playing 'the best Superman' to many fans, including myself.
As for Gene Hackmen, the Lex Luthor Role was made for him. Funny, mischievous, greedy minded and self arrogance are all personalities Hackmen can bring to the 'acting table' well. He brought the character of Superman's arch enemy to life in such a 'un-cool' and annoying way that it actually worked.
And then there is Lois Lane played by Margot Kidder. Not as feisty and intelligent than that I prefer of how she's portrayed in the TV series by Teri Hatcher and of Kate Bosworth's portrayal of her in the new Superman Returns movie, however Margot Kidders portrayal of Lois Lane does have a certain shine, and overall does compliment everyone else's roles well.
Approximate running time for this disk is 143 minutes and overall this movie is a fun watch with some great acting and good effects for its time. I would give it a rating of 8 out of 10.
Superman The Movie- Directors Cut (2000)
Many will have seen the original Superman movie, lets face it, if you don't own it or have seen it on video or DVD it appears quite frequently on our TV channels these days.
However the most recent directors cut provides us with footage of the movie never seen before and very seldom does this cut ever appear on our TV channels.
Richard Donner's Directors cut of this release shoes footage of the movie that hadn't been released previously, and although the extra footage only amounts to an extra 10 minutes approximately, they a worthwhile viewing for any Superman fans.
It can be quite amazing how some restored footage can bring more depth and meaning to the characters in the movie, and although I don't want to spoil the extras for you there is one perfect example of such footage in this cut, that being the 'Fortress Of Solitude Scene' that was edited out of the original cut.
In this scene, Superman returns to his self made fortress after his first night of revealing himself and his superpowers to the world. He is chuffed with his achievements and wants to gloat and speak to his now almost symbolic farther about it. It is here that you not only see more of Marlon Brando acting in the movie, but also where his alter ego Clark Kent is enforced, which in the original movie may have seemed like Superman's idea to portray himself as the Clark Kent he does, but this scene makes it so that it is more the wisdom he gets from his farther to never show off and reveal his true self.
I think this scene, like others that they cut out of the original movie really works well on complimenting the movie and its character on the whole, and certainly a worthwhile contribution to both movie and box set itself.
Approximate running time for this disk is 157 minuets and I would give it an overall rating 9 out of 10
Superman The Movie- Bonus Disc 1
The first bonus disc of the original Superman movie focuses on the scenes they deleted and reasons for why.
It also shows three documentaries on making the movie including the development and filming of it which gives you an excellent idea of exactly what they wanted to put into the movie keeping faithful to the Superman that had always been portrayed on screen and in comics previously. And also how they made it look like Superman was flying through the sky which in them days was a lot harder now that you consider we have CGI.
There are also screen shot of Christopher Reeve and Lois Lane within this bonus material.
Disk ones bonus material is certainly another worthwhile addition to the box set. I found it very interesting why they decided to go with the cast that they did, and also why they choose to cut some good scenes out of the movie.
Approximate viewing time for this disk is 54 minutes and I would give this disk an overall rating of 7 out of ten.
Superman The Movie- Bonus Disc 2
This disk shows a vintage TV special of the making of Superman the movie, but I felt a lot of the information was repeated in the first bonus disk, but still, it did have some things missed from the first bonus disk so it did have some relevance, after all this is supposed to be the 'Ultimate Box Set', and anything missed out would surely rob it of its 'Ultimate' title.
The most pleasing attribute to this bonus disk is that it shows nine Fleischer cartoons of Superman from the early days, which gives you a more understanding of how Superman has developed over the years , and just how many decades the Superman character has been entertaining audiences.
I would conclude this disk by saying it is a complimentary attribute to the box set itself and give it a rating of 5 out of 10.
Running time approximately 52 minutes
Superman II - Theatrical Cut (1980)
Staring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackmen, Margot Kidder and Terrence Stamp
The sequel to the original Superman movie follows the ever-growing relationship of Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane.
Lois Lane is convinced Clark Kent is Superman, and her constant hounding to get the fact confirmed proves her right in the finish. They are both in love with each other, but for Superman to have a relationship with a mortal, he must live as a mortal. Finally thinking that the world can do without Superman, he gives his powers up for the love of his life Lois, only to find that he has left the world in great danger from three Super-Villains previously jailed by Superman's farther from his own home planet, Krypton.
The three villains descend onto the earth, each with the same power Superman has, and with a lust to take over the world. General Zod (Terrance Stamp) stops at nothing to get what he wants, and with no Superman, and with the help of Lex Luthor, it seems that they are a force truly unstoppable.
Can Superman come back and save the day again?
My thoughts on the movie and cast:
This sequel certainly had a lot to live up to its original, but yet again delivers a good viewing. It was good to see a character who is as strong as Superman be presented with such a task which is seemingly impossible to overcome, at the end of the day, we don't want our beloved muscle-bound superhero to find everything too easy do we? What fun would that be?
The movie has a strong opening with a terrorist threat to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A bomb placed on the lift could wipe out most of Paris, and snoopy reporter and Superman's love interest, Lois Lane, is right under it, that said it isn't long before Superman fly's in.
However, the movie does seem to go a little slow in the middle where the movie concentrates on Lois's and Clarks now mortal life together having given up all his superpowers. The chemistry is a little boring between them both and felt it could have been done a lot better. The movie soon picks up again when Superman's powers return and he finally confronts the three Super villains, with great scenes of mid air combat and special effects for its time.
It was also great to see all of the cast re-unite from the original movie, and see how there characters are developing. Gene Hackmen's Lex Luthor, although still a canny performance, got overshadowed a little by Terrence Stamp's performance of General Zod (the leader of the three villains), who played the most threatening but corny villain in the movie.
Approximate running time for this disk is 127 minutes. Overall, a good sequel, I would give it a rating of 7 out of 10
Superman II- The Richard Donner Cut (2006)
This disk for me is probably the main attraction to the whole box set. Now to explain this DVD to you properly I should probably go back to the beginning.
Richard Donner who directed the original Superman movie, shot this sequel at the same time to be released almost back to back. He completed almost 75% of this movie, but through various disputes between the production team and Warner Brothers, Donner was fired and Richard Lester was brought on bored to do the sequel. Lester had to abandon most of Donner's work to be credited as director of this movie. and went with his own cut of the Superman II movie which is the theatrical cut released in 1980.
Now in 2006, for the first time ever, Richard Donner was finally able to release his version of the Superman II movie which only uses about 25 % of the movie shot by Lester, making it a very different movie to the movie we all saw or may have saw in 1980.
The Donner cut of this move is significantly different. The two main differences are scenes which involved Louis discovering Clarks identity as Superman, and the fact Marlon Brando played another very significant part in this movie.
In Lester's 1980 cut version, Lois discovers Clark is Superman when he burns his hand in a hotel room without a mark on him, in the Donner cut, Lois actually shoots Clark (she uses a blank to trick him) to make him reveal his true self. Most of the scenes with Clark/Superman and Lois are very much extended with a lot more dialogue.
Marlon Brando's character was hardly ever seen in Lester's cut, but in the Donner cut he plays Superman's father yet again, and not only appears as a symbolic head projection of the past but also appears in true form standing and talking to Clark.
And without spoiling too much of this alternative take on the Superman II movie, even from the opening you can tell this is a very different movie. In the Lester cut we see Superman tackling the terrorists at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Donner cut concentrates on Lois beginning to think Clark is Superman, and there are scenes of her jumping out of the daily planet office top floor window to prove the fact, however Clark uses his super breath and laser eyes to break her fall keeping his true identity intact.
It is incredible just how different this movie is compared to what we did see in Lester's cut, and I for one think it is much better.
However there are a few flaws concerning continuity between the first Superman man movie and the Richard Donner Cut of the sequel. As these movies were shot back to back by Donner, and intended to be released not so far apart, the ending in the original Superman movie where he turns back time to save Lois's death was actually meant for the sequel, where he turns back the time to wipe out all the destruction the three super villains caused, and due to Donner's untimely departure during the making of both movies, a new ending was never re-written for the original movie, thus it being used in the original movie. So technically with this cut of the Superman II movie, both Superman & the Superman II movies have similar endings.
What I liked most about the cut was just how Donner envisioned his Superman being portrayed, which was a far less camper one of the Lester's portrayal. The extra scenes where Marlon Brando appears yet again are a welcoming addition to the movie by any fan of the series of films.
But I suppose the most interesting fact of all, which is hardly heard of, is the fact that the director can go back almost 25 years and make a brand new movie from footage that was left in storage and deemed never to be used again.
Brilliant never before seen footage and I would give this disk and overall rating of 9 out of 10.
Approximate running time of 116 minutes
Superman II- Bonus Material
Another interesting bonus DVD which will explain all about the Richard Donner and Lester cuts that I have already explained.
Also there are deleted scenes from both the different cuts and commentary on why they did not use them.
New commentary by Richard Donner on his cut of the Superman II movie in 'restoring the vision' which is also very interesting and gives you an insight to why he abandoned the project in the first place.
I liked this bonus disk most out of all the bonus disk because of the explanation between the two different cuts of the movie, it runs on for about 35 minuets in total and is a worthwhile watch. An overall rating of 9 out of 10
Approximate running time of 18 minutes.
Superman III- Theatrical Cut (1983) & Bonus Material
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Annette O'Toole and Robert Vaughn
Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) is a newly computer whiz. He starts working for a firm run by the corporate greedy nemesis Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn), who's intent on world domination. Gorman is sent to Superman's hometown of Smallville to wipe out Columbia's coffee crop by fiddling with the computer side of a weather satellite. Clark Kent is in town for his class reunion, where he pursues his new love interest for an old friend Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole), leading Superman to clash with Gorman, which in turn, leads Gorman to develop a batch of Kryptonite which unwittingly causes Superman to turn bad. Now Superman is out of the 'good guy' game,
Webster's plan on world domination with all exports of coffee and oil are in full swing, while Superman struggles with his duel personalities.
The fallen Superhero begins his 'bad boy' act causing havoc with oil tankers, and the Leaning tower of Pisa, until finally becoming a drunk and literally splitting into two different people, the 'bad' Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent who both have an ultimate showdown at a steel works.
Superman must wear off the affects of the bad Kryptonite if he is ever to save the world from a new super computer that has a mind of its own, foil Webster's plans and re-kindle his relationship with Lana Lang.
My thoughts on the movie:
It seems now director Richard Lester has departed from the tone of the first two movies and placed more of an emphasis on comedy in this sequel.
Right from the beginning there is a dire slapstick comedy sequence involving Christopher Reeve and Richard Pryor playing dumb and causing several daft mishaps towards the general public.
The new villain played by Robert Vaughn isn't very threatening but more like a spoilt kid who is being backed up by his big sister, they don't demand much screen presence at all, making the movie cry out for the return of the characters former villain Lex Luthor who was abandoned in this script.
Even more shocking is the lack of Lois Lane, after all, her and Superman go hand in hand. However Margot Kidder's appearance as the snoopy reporter is rather limited, playing a brief performance at the beginning and towards the end. Instead, Superman's new love interest is focused on Lana Lang played by Annette O' Toole, who interestedly enough plays Martha Kent (Clark's adoptive mother) in the Superman Smallville series. The Lana Lang and Superman love affair is interesting at times but leaves a lot to be desired and can get rather boring at certain parts of the movie.
That leaves the movies two main stars, Christopher Reeve and Richard Pryor. Christopher again puts in a good performance as the man of steel, and interestingly enough gives a solid performance as a bad Superman. Richard Pryor, the movies comic relief, almost steals 'the star of the show' from Christopher. Unlike many of the movies other cast excluding Christopher, his character did demand screen presence and at times was genuinely funny even if it did spoil the tone of the first two movies.
The storyline itself was 'O.K' but a bit disappointing from the previous two movies. The whole 'Superman turning bad' idea did work, and was probably the best scenes within the movie, especially the showdown at the steal works with him splitting into two and Clark Kent trying to fight off the bad Superman. There is also a good scene where he saves his hometown from a huge chemical plant explosion where he freezes a lake with his 'super breath' and drops it over the plant to wash out the fire.
However the whole slapstick comedy emphasis on the movie didn't really work at all, Richard Pryor did give some genuine funny comic relief on the movie, but even that was a little too much at times. The final showdown with Superman vs. the supercomputer was a bit 'tacky' and again at time a bit slapstick and to sum up the movie as a whole left a lot to be desired.
Bring back Lois and Lex and drop the slapstick comedy!
As for the bonus material in the special features of this DVD we are treated to the original theatrical trailer, which in turn actually give most of the plot away.
We also get some additional scenes which have never been shown before which is a complimenting treat to Superman fans.
Commentary by the producers Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler
is also a feature on this disk and gives their vision on what they wanted to achieve with this movie, which is interesting considering why they wanted to change the tone from the first two movies.
Give this movie an overall rating of 5 out of 10.
Approximate running time of 123 minutes.
Superman IV: Quest For Peace - Theatrical Cut (1987) & Bonus Material
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackmen, Margot Kidder
The Daily Planet is being taken over by a well known sleazy tabloid journalist David Warfield, and converts the popular newspaper into a more exaggerating trashy tabloid. He puts his only daughter Lacy in charge as main publisher to whom soon falls in love with Clark Kent, much to Lois Lanes disgust.
However diplomatic relations between the United States and the Soviet Union is what's on everyone's mind and something that is troubling Superman/Clark Kent's very morals of standing as both a inhabitant of the world, but also knowing he has the powers to change all that but has always been forbidden to interfere with War and Human history by the spirits of his family and ancestors from his home and real planet Krypton. However after receiving a desperate plea from a young boy to rid the world of all nuclear weapons, Superman can no long stand ideally by and begins to relieve planet earth of all nuclear weapons by hurling them into space, much to the disgust of his arch enemy Lex Luthor, who plans on making his fortunes through a new world war.
Lex Luthor hatches a plan to destroy Superman, and keep the threat of war alive. He steals stands of Superman's genetic make-up, and with Superman's unknowingly help creates a new Super villain, Nuclear Man, who can kill Superman once and for all.
It soon become a battle of brain vs. Braun as Superman not only tries to keep the quest for peace, but also tries to overcome his biggest challenge yet, and defeat the ever powerful Nuclear man.
My Thoughts on the movie:
This would be the last in the theatrical releases to star Christopher Reeve as the man of steel, and while I feel that Christopher's acting as Superman never faltered, there is only one word to describe this fourth instalment, and that is DESPERATE.
Let starts with the special affects that were notably very poor in this movie, in terms to flying scenes battles in the air and with various other scenes. The original Superman movie in terms of special effects, which was almost 10 years before this instalment of the movie series were far more superior. This was due to a very low budget after the third instalment didn't do so well at the box office.
The entire movie's actions scenes looked like it had been shot with a blue screen, and landscapes added later, completely ghastly.
The movie does try and give us a noble plot of ridding the world of all Nuclear weapons, exploring the fact that it doesn't matter how powerful you are, even if you have the powers of a 'Superman', countries and its people must want peace for it to ever happen, sadly this message gets a little lost with some bizarre and at times quite daft scenes.
Not all is lost though, the movie as always is still has its fun element. The sub plot of keeping Clark Kent's identity as Superman is back, but this time he tries to manage duel dates, one as Clark Kent dating Lucy Warfield, and the other as Superman with Lois Lane at the same time. Although this sub plot has been used before, it did have some comic relief which worked. However I couldn't help but think the producers and the script writers were running out of ideas for Superman's character with this movie. They throw in a Nuclear Man, a character that very much resembles that of the three super villains in the second movie, with that and the subplot of Clark Kent revealing once again he is Superman to Lois Lane it seemed a lot of the plot you had seen before.
It was nice to see both Margot Kidder and Gene Hackmen reprise their roles as Lois Lane and Lex Luthor. Lois Lane played a brief appearance in the third instalment, and Lex Luthor was cut out altogether.
The bonus material does surprise us with half hours worth of deleted scenes where you learn that although there was only one Nuclear man in the theatrical release, but that was actually the second Nuclear man created by Lex Luthor. It's predecessor was a failed attempt, and was quickly defeated by Superman at a Metro club. Other deleted scenes show much more dialogue that would have actually give the movie a better perspective if they were actually cut into the movie, especially the entrapment of Lacy Warfield and Superman on defeating Nuclear Man.
Also with the bonus material you get commentary by screenwriter Mark Rosenthal, and the theatrical trailer to the movie.
Sadly overall this movie seemed a last ditch attempt to cash in on a once valuable franchise and ended up a disappointing finale to a much loved movie series.
Overall I would give this movie a 5 out of ten rating.
Running time approximately 90 minutes.
Disk 10: Superman Returns (2006)
Starring: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, James Marsden
Continuing from the events of the original two films, Superman (Brandon Routh) has mysteriously disappeared for several years, and the world has moved on and forgot about it, as with Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth), Superman's love, who has since received a Pulitzer for an article titled 'Why the world doesn't need Superman', and also now married with a child.
Superman returns to the earth after years of trying to discover the remains of his home planet Krypton. On his return he is saddened to learn that everyone has moved on and forgot about him. However the worlds memory of him are soon restored when a plane come crashing towards the earth after a shuttle experiment goes drastically wrong and Superman is once again on hand to save the day.
And whilst the world seems overjoyed of his return there are some who are not, including his old arch rival Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey).
Lex Luthor, obsessed with Superman's powers, has found a way of replicating Krytponic land here on earth, and creates his own land mass which will destroy any land mass already in its path. Lex is very aware of Superman's weaknesses and uses his knowledge to his full advantage.
Superman is once again tested to his very limits to save the world again from Lex Luthors evil plans, and also try and rekindle the love Lois Lane once had for him.
My thoughts on this movie:
Finally, talented director Bryan Singer brings back and revives the Superman character back to our big screens in such a way that any Superman fan would be proud of.
Not only does Singer make the character as believable as he can do, but also Superman's powers have a realistic impact on anything he may use them on.
Also a big achievement of Singer's is the fact he stayed true to the original movies, not discarding the work that director Richard Donner and Christopher Reeve's Superman done in the first two movies, but rather carry it on and stay true to the character we all loved, even reliving the famous Superman theme tune music.
The special effects were amazing in this movie, and most costly to date in cinematic CGI history. You really will believe a man can fly!
There are scenes which are completely breathtaking, including the one which is shown on most adverts of the plane falling to earth and Superman trying to regain control of it. .
The storyline is far from weak, every angle of Superman's history has been carefully backtracked and tidied up to the present day within the movie.
The cast was also very well picked in my opinion. I never thought anybody else would be able to play Superman and do it justice like Christopher Reeve did, but the movie proved me wrong. Brandon Routh, not only does he very much resemble Reeve, especially as the Clark Kent persona, but also makes a very credible Superman. The characters mannerisms of Christopher Reeves Superman was very much revived in Brandon Routh Superman, which for me was a joy to see as I would imagine anyone else's who were fans of the original movie.
Kevin Spacey played a much darker Lex Luthor than that of Gene Hackmen's portrayal in the original movies, but worked so well with the movie over all. And as for a new Louis Lane, Kate Bosworth's performance was exceptional, giving us a more feisty Lois than previously characterised.
The Superman revamp to the big screen had been a long time coming, many directors had attached there selves to the project and abandoned it, as did many actors assumed to fill in the late Christopher Reeves boots.
They have even give Superman's costume a revamp making it look a lot more retro but still close to the same design as the comics and movies.
This movie had been a long time coming for me, and was always hoping it would deliver justice to the original movies with Christopher Reeve's and Richard Donner's Superman, and I was delighted to think it did. It exceeded my expectations and I really enjoyed the movie. The plot, the acting of each of the characters and the special effects were all fantastic for this movie. Bryan Singer's approach and directorial skills with this movie never faltered once and certainly pleased many Superman fans including myself.
Overall I would give this movie 9 out of 10.
Running time approximately 154 minutes.
Superman Returns- Bonus Material
The bonus material of Superman Returns is fantastic and very insightful.
It has a 7 part documentary of the making of Superman Returns, showing just how complicated the CGI graphics used in this movie actually were.
There are outtakes of Kevin Spacey fluffing up a line many times which are quite funny. The theatrical and teaser trailers are included, and also 11 different additional scenes that weren't in the movie cut all with commentary if you require them.
The most interesting part of this DVD for me was how they brought Jor El, Superman's farther, played by Marlon Brando back for this movie in the 'resurrecting Jor El featurette'.
It really is amazing what CGI can do and this particular featurette showed it off for me. Marlon Brando's estate had actually given permission for the now deceased actors footage to be shown in this new movie, and how they bring him to life with CGI is amazing and well welcomed from Superman movie goers.
Very interesting disk which I would also rate 9 out of 10
Running time approximately 172 minutes.
Look Up In The Sky - The Amazing Story Of Superman
This disk is a two hour documentary detailing the history of the Superman franchise, looking into all the cartoons, series and movies that have appeared on our screens, and all the characters that have played the man of steel, including Christopher Reeve, Dean Kane, and Brandon Routh.
There are also many interesting interviews by cast members that have had any involvement with the Superman screen appearances, including Margot Kidder who played Lois Lane in the Superman movies, Jackie Cooper (Perry White in the Superman movies), Bill Mumy who played Superboy in the TV series, and many other interviews by cast of the screen franchise.
All interviews are a very interesting insight to the history of Superman and why the cast wanted to be involved and how they got approached.
It is very enjoyable if you're a fan of the franchise and I would give it an overall rating of 8 out of 10.
Running time two hours.
You Will Believe - The Cinematic Saga of Superman and Featurettes
This disk is exclusive to the Ultimate edition box set and focuses on the Christopher Reeve Superman movie Saga.
I have covered parts of this DVD in my reviews already. But this disk was one of my main interests in exactly what went wrong with the series after the first original Superman that many people didn't know about.
This DVD explains the dispute that the original Superman movie director Richard Donner had with the Salkind producers, thus being fired and most of the work he had done for the sequel being abandoned.
It then follows on from the Donner/Lester cuts and the success of the first two movies, to the disappointment and heavy burnout of the third and fourth instalments.
It is here you learn that it were not only the producers and directors falling out, but many of the cast falling out also over the Lester and Donner dispute, one of the reasons Gene Hackmen decided not to take part in the third instalment was the sheer bad treatment previous director Donner had with the producers and wanted to stay loyal to Donner, although that is stated to be rumoured.
There is also a very touching tribute to Christopher Reeve which I found most appealing to this box set.
This disk, like many of the bonus material found within the box set is most interesting and enjoyable to watch.
Overall rating 8 out of 10
Running time approximately 152 minutes.
Bryan Singer's Video Journals of the Superman Returns movie
This is another bonus disk and focus's on the new Superman movie, and how Bryan Singer approached the new movie. Again it is insightful but felt a lot had already been covered in the previous bonus disks. But still some interesting thoughts that he does share with us.
My overall rating for this disk is 5 out of 10.
I brought the ultimate collection brand new on Amazon for £62.50 in January 2007. Since then I have seen it constantly drifting between prices of £58-£78 to buy the purchase brand new.
There are also damaged and second-hand purchases of this box set on Amazon starting from £45 (this amount is liable to change).
Some big chain DVD stores do also sell this box set like HMV and Virgin, but I have yet to see it fall in price under the £70 mark.
I am very happy with this purchase, and have no problem giving it a top rating.
The box set really is an ultimate edition to all fans, not only because it contains all theatrical movies that have ever been released, but the fact that the bonus material is so great.
The bonus material is definitely what makes this box set what it is and is just as interesting as the movies themselves. There is a whole history behind the Superman franchise I never knew about before viewing this. The extra footage you get along with each movie is superb, especially with the Richard Donner cut of Superman II which resembles a completely different movie than that of the theatrical release of Lester's cut.
The interviews, journals and the 'making of' diaries are all insightful features to the box set.
The Superman Ultimate Collection box set has hours of viewing pleasure and I would certainly recommend anyone interested in purchasing it.
It also might be useful for you to know that some sites display this as a 13 disc box set, yet it has 14 discs. I have noticed it displayed correctly on Amazon however.
Thanks for reading. Dempsey
*Please note: I am the former author of Dempsey_Review on Ciao*
For the Superman completist, a bumper collection of all five films in the SUPERMAN saga. SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE SPECIAL EDITION sees the birth of a legend as we are introduced to the titular superhero and his Kryptonian origins. Also included is the expanded edition, which features an additional eight minutes of screen time. This is followed by SUPERMAN II SPECIAL EDITION in which our boy in blue must do battle with three escaped super criminals bent on destroying the earth. Presented here in both its theatrical and director's cut versions, the latter is expanded by an alternate beginning and ending, as well as 15 minutes of restored footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El. In the third instalment in the franchise, SUPERMAN III DELUXE EDITION, Superman learns of his Achilles heel when he is exposed to kryptonite. The penultimate SUPERMAN IV THE QUEST FOR PEACE sees the Man of Steel take on Nuclear Man, culminating in an explosive showdown of epic proportions. When the Super One returns to Earth in SUPERMAN RETURNS SPECIAL EDITION, he discovers that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life, and must figure out how to protect a world that has learned to survive without him. The ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION comes housed in a collectible keepsake tin, bursting with extra features.