‘Phil’s Quick Capsule Review’ (a nod to legendary comedian Bill Hicks who coined the phrase when he reviewed ‘Piece Of Shit’ movie Basic Instinct)… where a perfect 10 is rarer than a rain free British summer!
Written by Phil Hobden – UK based podcaster, writer and former filmmaker. Part of the All Things Film network…
As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.
This time out: My Favourite…. Margot Kidder (1948-2018) Film
SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (1979)
Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young Clark (Christopher Reeve) discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).
Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie broke ground and set the stall out for ever modern Superhero movie ever made. In fact it’s so good few, if any, superhero movies have ever come close. It also made a star out of it’s cast, the late Christopher Reeve (Superman) and a young Margot Kidder who made a generation of fans fall in love with her portrayal of reporter Lane. Long before girl power was a thing, Kidder gave Lane a soul beyond the pages of the comic book. She remains the best on screen Lois Lane to date. Sadly her career never lived up to it’s promise but if you are going to be remembered for one thing you could do much worse.
In our continuing regular feature, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review) along with podcaster Josh Morris, Writer Mike Parkin, Grosse Point Geek’s Will Strong and Motion Picture Manic Jamie Robinson breakdown the 25 Best Films Of a particular genre…
This time out: The Best Superhero Films of All Time
The close but no cigar Films: Batman Vs Superman, Thor Ragnarok, Mystery Men
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: DC’s Live Action Superhero Films
Close but no cigar:Batman The Movie, Batman, Wonder Woman
5 – Superman It’s aged badly for sure but Christopher Reeve is just the quintessential superhero in an age where superhero didn’t exist. And don’t undersell how much Reeve MAKES this film.
4 – Batman Begins Another Batman, but unlike any other origin movie Batman Begins takes the character right back to the start in a brilliant way.
3 – Superman 2 Superman 2 is great. It mostly holds up well, it’s got greta villains and the central relationship between Clark and Lois holds the film together well.
2 – Batman Returns Controversial maybe but for me the second best Batman film and the BEST of the two Tim Burton films. Its dark, brutal and unlike any other film produced in that era. Mainstream comic book films will NEVER be like this again.
1 – The Dark Knight The best film of the 2000’s with an iconic performance by Ledger, a cracking story and a “real world” fee that recent DC films have lacked. In short: The Dark Knight Rises is near perfect
Listed in reserve order (From Worst to Best) Phil, of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, breaks down a film related subject in order of his own personal enjoyment. This time out: Live action Superman Films!
BEST: Superman: The Movie
The original and still the best, thanks in part of the combination of an excellent director in Donner and one of the best pieces of Superhero casting in Christopher Reeve until Downey Jnr stepped into Iron man’s boots. This film is just superb. The cast sparkles, the effects were ahead of their time and the coming of age story timeless. Superhero films still don’t get much better than this.
2. Superman 2
Whilst Superman is the better film, Superman 2 is the more enjoyable one pitching the Man Of Steel against General Zod and his cronies. Lots of fun action, the blossoming relationship between Superman and Lois Lane and Terrance Stamp camping it up… what’s not to like!
3. Batman Vs Superman Dawn Of Justice
I liked it. I even liked it the second time. It has issues for sure and sadly Superman is one of them, with Zack Snider’s modern vision of Superman not connecting with audiences the way Donner’s did all those years ago BUT when it hits it hits and, for better or worse, few do massive spectacle better than Snider. This all said I probably like this more as a Batman film than a Superman movie…
4. Superman 3
Hell it’s got Richard Prior in it. Yup Superman 3 was often considered the weaker of the original films and rightly so… it is. It’s also goofy, fun and terrible all at the same time. With Hackman out by choice due to the way Donner was treated on Superman/Superman 2 and Kidder reduced to a walk on cameo, it left holes that the new cast struggled to fill. It has it’s moments however but it’s broader tone didn’t sit well with the previous films and the effects look horribly dated now.
5. The Man Of Steel
Sad Superman mopes around the world. Sad Superman destroys Metropolis whilst trying to defeat Zod. Sad Superman makes everyone else sad when he accidentally kills thousands of innocent people. Sad Superman then takes on a CGI laser thing. Audiences checked out. No one cared anymore. It’s a shame as it started with promise but sadly in the end it doesn’t deliver.
6. Superman Returns
If you like ‘Best Of’ clip shows and remakes then Superman Returns is the film for you. It’s not terrible but it just lacks any creativity as it shamelessly homage’s/rips off Richard Donner’s far superior Superman: The Movie whilst resolutely refusing to tread it’s own path. Until it’s introduces Superboy. No. Really.
Supergirl is terrible. Yet I watched it loads growing up. To be honest that was probably due to Helen Slater in her Supergirl outfit as I hit being a teenager but it had a great cast, is cheesy as hell (in a good way) and had a certain charm. It’s also still MUCH better than Superman 4.
WORST: Superman 4: The Quest For Peace
No surprise here. Cannon’s Superman 4 was an abortion of a movie with no budget, a stupid story and terrible effects. It was also shot in Milton Keynes, doubling for Metropolis. It’s a curiosity for sure but little more.