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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just wow.
Finally, the original Superman series hits Blu ray. I still don't get why this didn't happen way back in 2006 when the dvd set came out. All we got were a poor transfer of the extended version of the first film, a great transfer of the Donner Cut of part 2, and a fairly poor transfer of Superman Returns. Here we get 'em all, plus they are all new transfers from the...
Published on June 7, 2011 by David J. Brown

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars excelent classic movies but not very nice re-mastered
The Classic Superman movies are so great, excelent and very good made. However, the re-adaptation of the movies from one source to a brand new one (blu-ray) are not very nice. What I mean is that these movies have to be re-mastered with more detail and with more hours invested in order to get an excelent work. The high definition quality is not as one expected to have. If...
Published on March 12, 2012 by O. Coronado


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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just wow., June 7, 2011
Finally, the original Superman series hits Blu ray. I still don't get why this didn't happen way back in 2006 when the dvd set came out. All we got were a poor transfer of the extended version of the first film, a great transfer of the Donner Cut of part 2, and a fairly poor transfer of Superman Returns. Here we get 'em all, plus they are all new transfers from the previous releases making it beyond worth picking up.

All, and I mean ALL, the special features from the previous dvd set is included in this eight blu ray disc box set. Now maybe someone out there can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall, on the box set dvd or the blu ray, the previous releases of Superman Returns having the deleted scene of Superman returning the barron and destroyed planet Krypton searching for life in his crystal spaceship. I've never seen this five minutes sequence before in my life. I've only seen snippets of it on the theatrical trailers for the film. Well, I got to see it for the first time today. While Returns is no great film, this scene should have been left in. It would've opened the film up more. Even weirder is this scene is completely finished. All the effects are GREAT and finished and polished. I can't believe they cut this scene. Hell, there were even action figures made of Superman's space suit and his ship back in 2006 for a sequence that was never even seen by mainstream film goers. Whatever. All the other deleted scenes and extended cuts are here too. All the films have their commentaries included, except Returns which never had one unfortunately.

Of course some of the special features are repetitive. The commentaries repeat some of the info give in the featurettes and documentaries. Back in 2001 a box set for the first four films was released on dvd. Only the first film had special features and an extended cut. The documentary, cut into three parts, is included. While this doc repeats a lot of what is on the eighth disc's featurettes regarding the whole series' history, it does skim over the on set tensions and the firing of Richard Donner from the directing duties of part 2. So, essentially, if you're a hardcore fan like me, you will have to view both. We get the first feature film of Superman starring George Reeves called Superman and the Mole Men, not really in HD unfortunately. Even better is we the classic animated shorts from Fleischer studios. They're not cleaned up but they look pretty good in a low grade version of hi def. The audio of all movies has been upgraded and it reall shows.

Shockingly to me, is that the AWFUL Superman IV: The Quest for Peace looks really good in hi def. I mean, it never looked that good, and all the edges of the effects always showed, but the blu ray transfer doesn't make them MORE apparent, but the colors look good. Go figure. My favorite part of the part IV disc is the deleted scenes. Now these scenes make the film seem more whole and help it make a ton more sense, especially towards the third act, but the movie stilled would've been just as awful. It just would've been a comprehensible mess as opposed to what it is. I also appreciate co-screenwriter Mark Rosenthal committing a commentary to this disc, as well as an interview for the 8th disc docs. He is frank and never once tries to polish this turd that he worked on. He's the only one from this film that even bothered to comment, so I more than appreciate it. Something about filmmakers talking about movies that didn't work always intrigues me more than the ones that do, just see the Joel Schumacher commentary for Batman and Robin. Superman Returns FINALLY looks the way it should. The colors pop and the sound booms. All previous dvd and blu ray versions of this film were terrible, and even more so when you see the new disc, which kept all the previous releases special features and included the video diaries which were an exclusive to the Superman tin from 2006.

Finally, the last thing I'll mention, is Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. This is the best special feature ever made for any movie ever made in the history of movies. I'm super happy that Warner Brothers paid to have this experiment made, that Donner cared enough to give it a whirl, and that it was worth watching. Most people who initially reviewed this movie just DIDN'T GET IT. It wasn't a complete representation of Donner's vision for Superman II. Most people complained that it had the same ending as the first film. Well, if you bothered to listen to the commentary or watch the doc that accompanies the disc you would know that they were behind while shooting both films back to back, and decided to hedge their bets and not assume that Superman: The Movie would be an instant hit. They stole the ending from part II and stuck it on the first film. Since Donner never got to make part II he has no ending to put but the one that was scripted when he was making the film over thirty years ago. So this is more of an experiment than a competition for the theatrical Lester version. This is as close to Donner's movie as we'll ever get. Personally, I loved it. The screen test footage sticks out like a sore thumb, the acting and writing is GREAT, and Superman's reveal to Lois is clever and fun, as opposed to the dumb Lester version of Clark tripping into a fire. If you watch the doc or listen to the commentary you will understand what shots were all Donner stuff. If you have a keen eye for film you'll now anyway. The effects work and photography and choreography for Donner's footage is sooooo much more graceful and classy. While his films have goofy humor, the villains from Krypton are played straight and malevolent, unlike the Lester version. Now I don't hate the Lester version. It's enjoyable, but an obvious step down in tone and quality from the first film. It will forever be the offical sequel due to Donner never having filmed or even been give the opportunity to come up with a third act. Now the only annoyance of the Donner cut for me, beyond the reused end of the first film, is that the middle section is very choppy. The scenes that cut between the alien invasion and Superman and Lois falling further in love are harshly edited and don't always breath enough. That's it. Donner reveals much bitterness regarding not having stayed on board for all the Superman movies, but he seems jovial all the time. I'm happy he was able to get some closure, and really happy that fans like me could have such a neat gift. It's also bittersweet in the sense that the Donner cut shows so much potential it makes you feel slighted regarding what he eventually got with the series and the downward spiral it took.

All discs are upgraded in audio and visuals so for any Superman fan it's a no brainer. This is an upgrade. Now I understand if you don't care to own the later films, but you will have to wait as I'm sure they will all be released individually just like the Batman films. This will probably happen to coincide with the release of Zach Snyder's upcoming Superman film next year. I'm hoping the next Superman film is truly just a tale of Superman and NOT another origin story. It's been done in the comics, movies, cartoons, and tv shows. NO MORE. Who doesn't know Superman's origins at this point. I will be very bored if that's the case. We'll see. Fingers crossed.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still missing deleted scenes from films..., June 12, 2011
By 
I was really excited to see the never-before-released "Return to Krypton" sequence from "Superman Returns," but I know there are still several deleted scenes from "Superman: The Movie," Superman II," and "Superman III" which have NEVER been released anywhere that I know of. What's the reasoning behind this? In "The Movie," from what I've heard there was a scene from a TV version where Jonathan and Martha Kent are talking in the truck about their lives right before the meteor lands. There was also an extended scene between young Clark Kent and Lana Lang with Jeff East's original voice not dubbed (this one can be seen on Youtube). In "Superman II," there's a cut scene where the young boy from the town the villains invade jumps on a white pony and tries to escape, then General Zod said "I said NO ONE LEAVES!" and Non throws a police car siren at the boy, killing him. Part of this scene appeared in the documentary "You Will Believe" included on the set, but not all of it. There are also several other scenes that were shown in previous TV versions, such as two pilots on an airplane seeing Superman fly by. In "Superman III," it would have been nice to include the original opening title sequence which took place in outer space (this is also viewable on Youtube). From "Superman Returns," we're still missing the scene where young Clark discovers the crystals in the barn (a clip was seen in the trailer), Clark Kent hiding his Superman outfit in a janitor's closet at the Daily Planet, and a meeting between Perry White and Superman on the street (this was shown in a TV version). I guess we'll never be able to have any of these scenes on an actual disc to enjoy over and over again. :-(
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Import version that appears to be the same as the US version. Great price!, January 2, 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (Warner Robins, Ga United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Superman Motion Picture Anthology 1978-2006 (Superman / Superman II / Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut / Superman III / Superman IV: The Quest for Peace / Superman Returns) (Blu-ray)
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.

Special Features

Over 20 Hours of Bonus Features
Featuring the full length You will believe: The cinematic saga of superman ~ Look, up in the sky! The amazing story of superman
Informative Documentaries
TV Specials
George Reeve in Superman and the mole-men
The complete fleischer/famous studios 1940s superman cartoons
Film Maker commentaries
Rare TV Pilot
Featurettes

Disc 1 - Superman the Movie: Original theatrical release. Commentary by the producers, Tv special Making of documentary, 1651 theatrical feature Superman and the Mole men starring George Reeves, classic cartoons Suepr-Rabbit, Snafuperman and Stupor duck, TV spot and theatrical trailers

Disc 2 - Superman the Movie : Expanded Edition, commentary by Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz, Restored scenes, additional deleted scenes, screen tests, music only audio track, audio only bonus : additional music cues, 3 documentaries :Taking Flight(developing Superman), Filming the Legend and the Magic Behind the Cape.

Disc 3 Superman II: Original Theatrical release, commentary by the producers, tv special Making of documentary, additional scenes, featurette First Flight :The Fleischer Superman series, 9 Fleischer Superman cartoons, Theatrical trailer

Disc 4 Superman II : 2006 Richard Donner Cut, commentary by the director, introduction by Richard Donner, featurette Superman II Restoring the Vision, additional scenes, 8 1940's cartoons

Disc 5 Superman III , commentary by the producers, tv special Making of, Additional scenes, theatrical trailer

Disc 6 Superman IV The Quest for Peace, commentary by co-screenwriter, vintage tv special Supermans 50th Anniversary, additional scenes, theatrical trailer.

Disc 7 Superman Returns, 9 documentaries on how the film was developed, and evolved, Resurrecting Jor-El (as played originally by Marlon Brando), additional scenes (including the previously unseen opening of Superman's return to Krypton), theatrical trailers, Bryan Singers video journals.

Disc 8 All Documentaries and Featurettes :Look, Up in the Sky! the Amazing Story of Superman, feature length documentary in 5 parts : Origin (Superman in the Media and the challenges the Salkinds faced), Vision (creating the script, choosing the right direct and the right cast), Ascent(production and launch of a new kind of a fantasy film), Crisis (complications and conflicts between the creative forces of Superman II) and Redemption (criticisms and burnout of Superman III and Superman IV).TV documentary Science of Superman, Mythology of Superman: Legend, folklore and cultural influences that shaped Superman, Heart of a Hero: tribute to Christopher Reeve, Adventures of Superpup 1958 TV pilot

Languages on the Discs

Extended Superman I
Spoken - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian

Theatrical Superman I
Spoken - English 5.1, English 2.0 (original theatrical), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Superman II Richard Donner Cut
Spoken - English
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish

Superman II Theatrical
Spoken - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish

Superman III
Spoken - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Polish
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Polish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Sweden, Turkish

Superman IV
Spoken - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Polish
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish

Superman Returns
Spoken - English, French (Quebec), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish

Bonus Disc
Spoken - English
Subtitles - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars excelent classic movies but not very nice re-mastered, March 12, 2012
The Classic Superman movies are so great, excelent and very good made. However, the re-adaptation of the movies from one source to a brand new one (blu-ray) are not very nice. What I mean is that these movies have to be re-mastered with more detail and with more hours invested in order to get an excelent work. The high definition quality is not as one expected to have. If you compare these movies with Back to the future movies or Star Wars Blu-rays, you could problably say that Superman movies have the poorest qualtity of them. I was expecting a better quality when we talk about high definition picture, may be I am so demanding but I like movies and I like the classic the most. Superman has been always one my favorites characters and so the movies. Blu-ray means that the movie per se has to offer you the highest qualtiy possible compared with other sources like the DVD, so the studios have to invest a lot of hours, work and huge budget in order to make an excelent job not just a good job. Old movies are more complicated to re-mastered because the original source could be damaged or lost, but technicians know how to solve this issue. In conclution, I would say, that if you allready have the movies from the DVD collection, keep them and take in mind that probably in the near future, there is going to be a better release of Superman anthology.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS SET HAS IT ALL!!, July 4, 2011
By 
Superb. Comprehensive. All any fan will ever need.

Extras are fabulous. Multiple documentaries and commentaries with plenty of terrific, fascinating retrospective info that digs deep into what a monumental achievement getting the original 1978 "Superman" to screen was, followed by the bizarre downward slide of the series.

And, once and for all, we get the lowdown on how Director Richard Donner and the Producers parted company in such poisonous fashion. Amazing considering they'd just released one of the most popular movies of all time, the progenitor and benchmark for all superhero films to follow.

The mostly diabolical "Superman IV" looks nice and crisp on Blu. The commentary by writer Mark Rosenthal dishes on the troubled production - you can tell he's struggling to be gracious. And his bitterness manifests in amusing ways like his utter contempt for poor Mark Pillow as Nuclear Man (or more specifically his haircut..) wow, did Pillow beat up Rosenthal for his lunch money or something?

As dreadful as the fourth movie is, 'Superman III' comes off as the most misbegotten of the series. Trashing the spirit and integrity of the character for cheap, flat slapstick humour - humour that had began to seep into Lester's 'Superman II' sequences.

What the Hell was Superman ever doing playing second banana to Richard Pryor? Worst of all, he and the movie simply aren't funny. Apart from the ever reliable Reeve, virtually EVERYTHING that made I & II so memorable is missing.

Ironically, Bryan Singer was so reverential to the Donner original, it became a millstone round his neck that makes 'Superman Returns' a suprisingly dull retread. And it really doesn't pop on Blu-ray like it should.

Here's hoping new director Zack Snyder can make Superman fly high again. The Man of Steel deserves it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Import version - at least one physical difference; take note!, April 10, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Superman Motion Picture Anthology 1978-2006 (Superman / Superman II / Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut / Superman III / Superman IV: The Quest for Peace / Superman Returns) (Blu-ray)
This set appears to be feature-identical to the US release and works on US players, so the actual content between the two should be the same. More or less a five-star product in general.

This import version, however, is missing the movie labels from each disc. Despite being clearly shown (on the packaging) as having large white titles on each disc, the actual discs are ~missing~ the movie titles (and have blank, red fields instead). As another reviewer noted, you can see the names of the movies in tiny copyright notices along the edges--not easy to read, but better than absolutely nothing.

I actually went through 3 product returns and from a couple different vendors before I've concluded they must all be like that. If you're a collector, this may be a sticking point or annoyance. But for the price, it's still a great deal for the content!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big "Blu" Boy Scout, August 22, 2013
***NOTE: This massive review was originally posted in 2012 on another version of this product (pre-Man of Steel). Due to a Amazon glitch, that page was deleted and all helpful votes lost. Here is the original review in its entirety.***

Amazon really needs to stop blending all of the disparate reviews for one movie together. It's very easy to get confused as to which set has what features, etc. In this case, however, it worked out rather well for me, price-wise.

This Blu Ray set is NOT the four-film "Complete Superman Collection" which was released on DVD and contained bare-bones editions of "Superman" I through IV, nor is it the "Christopher Reeve Superman Collection" which contained special editions of the original four films. No, this is the "Superman Motion Picture Anthology" (which was known as "The Ultimate Superman Collection" on DVD), the massive eight-disc deluxe set which contains "Superman" I (expanded and original theatrical versions) through IV, the Donner Cut of "Superman II", and "Superman Returns" complete with the original opening, a newer transfer and a slew of bonus features. This version of the product (the version I received, anyway) was from the UK, but that doesn't really matter since Warner Bros. does not region lock their Blu Ray releases (hence the "Region Free" in the item's description) and this set is identical to the US version. Amazon lists this set for sale under the correct title of the Anthology as well as under the incorrect moniker of "The Complete Superman Collection". Buying this set under this incorrect name saved me about thirty dollars over the properly titled one, so budget hunters take advantage! Now, let's go through these one at a time:

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE - The first big-budget superhero film and, in many ways, still the best of them. Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz set the template for every other superhero origin movie that has come since. And Christopher Reeve, of course, is still the ultimate film superhero. "Superman: The Movie" proved that comic books could be translated to a different medium and be taken seriously, if treated seriously.

The first two discs in this set are devoted to the expanded and original theatrical editions of "Superman: The Movie". I like the expanded version of the film just fine, but I grew up on the original version, so I prefer that one. It just seems to move better, and doesn't introduce a lot of head-scratchers like Lois Lane being the little girl on the train in Smallville who witnesses a young Clark running along at super speed (how old are her parents, anyway?). The transfer on this version is a fair bit better than the old Blu Ray release, which I also owned and did not include the theatrical version. There seems to have been more work done on the expanded version's transfer than the theatrical version; there's not so much excessive grain and the colors really "pop" on my 51-inch. However, there's not a huge difference overall (the picture on a 30+ year-old film that was a bit soft in parts to begin with is only going to look so good), not enough to make me stop watching the version I love. Sound has been redone in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and it really makes a difference to my ears over the old disc, which was given a plain Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track. Just listen to that subwoofer rumble in the opening scenes flying over Krypton. Whoo!! Bonus features are all ported over from the four-disc DVD edition, including the early George Reeves feature, "Superman Vs. The Mole Men"; none are in hi-def.

SUPERMAN II (theatrical)/SUPERMAN II: THE DONNER CUT - Boy, the comments one could make about this debacle. In the interest of saving time, I'll just cut right to it: neither one of these movies is truly on the level of the first film. I love them (both versions), but it's a fact. With the first movie, you got to see Richard Donner's vision of the character completely realized. But then, of course, the Salkinds got cold feet and dumped Donner (after he had already completed most of the shooting on "Superman II", including Marlon Brando's and Gene Hackman's scenes) and brought in Richard Lester to reshape and complete the film. The theatrical version of "Superman II" still works well, expanding on the character and mythology of Superman while keeping the action quotient high. The cast is still great and Terence Stamp creates one of the all-time great villains in General Zod. Richard Lester just added a little too much goofy humor for my taste (dude blowing backwards on roller skates, etc.), something that would run rampant in "Superman III". Also, there's a certain affection for the characters that is missing from the final product; it all seems a bit workmanlike. And don't get me started on the producers eliminating Brando's footage just to save a few bucks after the first film had already made millions of dollars at the box office. Everything that was good about "Superman II" seems to have been sourced from what Donner and Mankiewicz had already planned beforehand.

In 2006, after years and years of fan petitions and requests (a few of which I signed, I will admit), the missing footage from Donner's planned version of "Superman II" (including the Brando scenes, which help this version improve immeasurably on the theatrical cut) was found, restored, re-edited and released using John Williams' original music from the first movie. Watching the Donner Cut, you immediately notice how much more he loves these characters, how the movie just feels right in a way that the theatrical version did not. The replacement of the theatrical version's opening action setpiece at the Eiffel Tower is a prime example. Donner's opener, in which Lois jumps out of a window at the Daily Planet in hopes of forcing Clark to reveal himself as Superman and save her, immediately shows the big differences between the two versions: the plot does not drive the characters in the Donner Cut, the characters drive the plot. The Kryptonian villains are treated more seriously and possess real menace (see the scene where they storm the White House). The Donner Cut also benefits from the restoration of the luminous footage shot by the late, great Geoffrey Unsworth, whose work on the sequel was mostly lost to Lester's harshly lit reshoots. There were certain scenes between Lois and Clark where she confronts him over his dual identity that Richard Donner planned to shoot but did not have the chance, so screen test footage was substituted. And that's where it hit me. Therein lay the problem with the Donner Cut: it's not actually Richard Donner's "Superman II." It's as close as one can actually get to what could have been the best superhero film of all time in "Superman II", but that film does not exist, will never exist. All we have, thanks to the producers' greed and shortsightedness, is a reasonable facsimile with substituted footage and a rehashed ending (Donner and company never got to think up a new ending for "Superman II" after using its big turning-back-time climax for the first movie). Lest anybody think I'm just piling the blame on the Salkinds (though they totally deserve most of it), Donner and the driving force behind the project, filmmaker Michael Thau, shoot themselves in the feet by refusing to touch ANY of the Lester footage except where absolutely necessary, which gives rise to some mediocre line readings and bad dubs which were actually improved upon in Lester's theatrical cut (the scene where Superman challenges Zod to a fight at the Daily Planet springs to mind). I can understand Donner's feelings about the project, but a little compromise in this case might have gone a long way. As it is, the Donner Cut is now my preferred version of Superman II, but not by as huge a margin as I might have thought.

Discs 3 and 4 are devoted to the two "Superman II"s. The transfer on the Donner Cut seems to be the same as the original Blu Ray release, which was pretty good. The theatrical cut of "Superman II" (which I've never seen on Blu Ray) fares pretty well and, like the Donner Cut, seems sharper than the first film. Again, the main difference is in the DTS-HD MA sound, which is fuller and more robust than the previously available Dolby Digital 5.1 track. All bonus features were ported over from the two-disc DVD of the theatrical cut and the previously released Donner Cut, respectively. All of the Fleischer/Famous Studios cartoons can be found on these two discs, with the first nine 'toons on Disc 3 and the second batch on Disc 4.

SUPERMAN III/SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE - And here come the sad parts. "Superman III" was the first film where Richard Lester had control of the production from beginning to end, and boy can you tell. Overly slapstick-y, negligent of the main characters (poor Margot Kidder is on and off screen in two minutes flat), and worst of all, BORING. How do you make a Superman film BORING?! The only person who comes out of the thing with any dignity at all is, again, Christopher Reeve, who really sells the duality of Superman's character here (including a scene where "dark" Superman literally fights Clark Kent in a junkyard). About Richard Pryor, whom I have admired since I was a little kid, I can only say this: as a film actor, he was a terrific stand-up comedian. The only other useful thing to come out of this movie was the computer fraud plot device later referenced in "Office Space".

Full disclosure: when I was a kid, the only Superman movie we had on VHS was "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" (God, I know, I know). I heard my dad talking about how terrible it was, but I was a kid and I figured what the heck, it's Superman! So, for a number of years, I had a hard time thinking that it's as bad as everyone says it is. Well, it is, it's terrible. But not as terrible as how Warner Brothers treated Christopher Reeve and the film. "Superman IV" was originally supposed to be a big-budget return to form for the franchise. Christopher Reeve came up with an engaging original story (the wisdom of Superman interfering in real-world nuclear politics notwithstanding) and the original cast, including Gene Hackman, would reunite to erase the lingering bad memory of "Superman III". Then Warner Brothers slashed the budget and script and shifted the property over to Golan-Globus/Cannon, purveyors of countless '80s cheesefests such as Chuck Norris' "Missing in Action" series and "American Ninja", and the rest is ignominious film history. Sadly, this would be Reeve's final take on the iconic character of Superman and, needless to say, it's not how his portrayal should be remembered.

Discs 5 and 6 are devoted to these two masterpieces, and they receive better audio/visual treatment than they probably deserve. "Superman IV" in particular looks crisp on Blu, all the better to see the cheesy matte lines and wires. Both have DTS-HD MA tracks; "Superman III" receives a 5.1 track while "Superman IV" is relegated to plain 2.0 stereo. Bonus features of interest include a commentary by co-writer Mark Rosenthal and a bunch of deleted scenes on "Superman IV" (ported over from the Deluxe Edition DVD released a few years ago). They're not great, but at least they help to make sense of and flesh out the plot, such as it is.

SUPERMAN RETURNS - Everybody seems to have a different take on this installment, Bryan Singer's homage to/continuation of the original Donner films. Some thought it was too reverent of the original, that Superman was too "emo" and that there was not enough action. I personally liked the film, although I think there is probably some validity to those criticisms. I still feel that Brandon Routh was a bit too young to properly portray a more seasoned Superman who has gone through the events of the first two Donner films, but he was pretty engaging in the role, handled the emotional aspects of the role with skill (which, to answer the "too emo" critics, OF COURSE Superman is going to be emotional with everything going on in this film, he's not some soulless robot) and generally acquitted himself very well in inevitable comparisons with Christopher Reeve. Kevin Spacey almost makes you forget Gene Hackman's version of Lex Luthor, edging closer to the malice and insanity of the original character in the comics. James Marsden (who jumped ship on the "X-Men" franchise with Singer for "Returns") does a good job as Lois' boyfriend, a guy who could believably rival Superman for Lois' affections. Probably the only weak link was Kate Bosworth as a bland, rail-thin Lois Lane who fails in every way to measure up to Margot Kidder's take on the character.

Disc 7 is solely devoted to "Superman Returns", and it improves on the original Blu Ray in nearly every way. The transfer on the original disc (one of Warner Bros.' earliest forays into Blu Ray) was, to put it mildly, a little drab. Well, not so on this new transfer! We're talking reference quality here, it's that good. Every color pops and every detail shows; you can see the weave of Lex Luthor's crisp white suits, you can see the fine mesh of Superman's costume and the crinkles in the leather of his boots (and you can also see just how suspect the CGI Superman is during the shuttle rescue). But for once, the DTS-HD MA sound falls a bit short of what was already available on the previous "Superman Returns" Blu Ray: a lossless 5.1 PCM audio track. Audiophiles and collectors might want to hold on to their copies for that. Bonus features have been ported over from the original Special Edition DVD release, including a feature length documentary on all aspects of the making of the film. But even better (and probably one of the major reasons I bought this set), we get to see the original fully produced five-minute opener of "Superman Returns" in which Superman searches the remains of Krypton for survivors. I don't know why Singer felt the need to cut this opening, especially when it was already shot, scored, edited, the effects completed, and (God, I hate when films do this) some of it was included in the theatrical trailer. It was a terrific opening! I do remember reading an interview some years ago in which Singer spoke of his idea to include the opening in a future theatrical re-release; I guess he overestimated the public's interest in the film, as did Warner Bros., which gave "Superman Returns" a $175-million budget. In any case, I'm glad the people who liked the film finally get to see it.

Disc 8 is strictly bonus material and contains "Look! Up in the Sky!", the previously released feature-length documentary produced by Bryan Singer on the history of the character, and a brand-new documentary--yet again feature length-- called "You Will Believe" which concerns the rise and fall (and future rise?) of the Superman franchise. Both documentaries are in hi-def. Also included are featurettes exploring the scientific basis behind Superman, the comic's mythology, a tribute to Christopher Reeve, and a terrible, terrible old TV pilot, "The Adventures of Superpup".

Superman was the first superhero (and if you can't tell by now, my personal favorite--sorry, Batman) in comics, and the first superhero to make the leap to a big-budget, non-camp film. Richard Donner, Tom Mankiewicz, Christopher Reeve and others pushed the boundaries of the character and paved the way for every other comic book property in Hollywood to be taken seriously. It remains to be seen where the character goes next in movies (I have more than a few reservations about the new Zack Snyder film due out next year) but based on where he's been, Superman deserves much cinematic respect. And with this Blu Ray set, he gets it in a BIG way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big "Blu" Boy Scout, March 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Amazon really needs to stop blending all of the disparate reviews for one movie together. It's very easy to get confused as to which set has what features, etc. In this case, however, it worked out rather well for me, price-wise.

This Blu Ray set is NOT the four-film "Complete Superman Collection" which was released on DVD and contained bare-bones editions of "Superman" I through IV, nor is it the "Christopher Reeve Superman Collection" which contained special editions of the original four films. No, this is the "Superman Motion Picture Anthology" (which was known as "The Ultimate Superman Collection" on DVD), the massive eight-disc deluxe set which contains "Superman" I (expanded and original theatrical versions) through IV, the Donner Cut of "Superman II", and "Superman Returns" complete with the original opening, a newer transfer and a slew of bonus features. This version of the product (the version I received, anyway) was from the UK, but that doesn't really matter since Warner Bros. does not region lock their Blu Ray releases (hence the "Region Free" in the item's description) and this set is identical to the US version. Amazon lists this set for sale under the correct title of the Anthology as well as under the incorrect moniker of "The Complete Superman Collection". Buying this set under this incorrect name saved me about thirty dollars over the properly titled one, so budget hunters take advantage! Now, let's go through these one at a time:

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE - The first big-budget superhero film and, in many ways, still the best of them. Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz set the template for every other superhero origin movie that has come since. And Christopher Reeve, of course, is still the ultimate film superhero. "Superman: The Movie" proved that comic books could be translated to a different medium and be taken seriously, if treated seriously.

The first two discs in this set are devoted to the expanded and original theatrical editions of "Superman: The Movie". I like the expanded version of the film just fine, but I grew up on the original version, so I prefer that one. It just seems to move better, and doesn't introduce a lot of head-scratchers like Lois Lane being the little girl on the train in Smallville who witnesses a young Clark running along at super speed (how old are her parents, anyway?). The transfer on this version is a fair bit better than the old Blu Ray release, which I also owned and did not include the theatrical version. There seems to have been more work done on the expanded version's transfer than the theatrical version; there's not so much excessive grain and the colors really "pop" on my 51-inch. However, there's not a huge difference overall (the picture on a 30+ year-old film that was a bit soft in parts to begin with is only going to look so good), not enough to make me stop watching the version I love. Sound has been redone in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and it really makes a difference to my ears over the old disc, which was given a plain Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track. Just listen to that subwoofer rumble in the opening scenes flying over Krypton. Whoo!! Bonus features are all ported over from the four-disc DVD edition, including the early George Reeves feature, "Superman Vs. The Mole Men"; none are in hi-def.

SUPERMAN II (theatrical)/SUPERMAN II: THE DONNER CUT - Boy, the comments one could make about this debacle. In the interest of saving time, I'll just cut right to it: neither one of these movies is truly on the level of the first film. I love them (both versions), but it's a fact. With the first movie, you got to see Richard Donner's vision of the character completely realized. But then, of course, the Salkinds got cold feet and dumped Donner (after he had already completed most of the shooting on "Superman II", including Marlon Brando's and Gene Hackman's scenes) and brought in Richard Lester to reshape and complete the film. The theatrical version of "Superman II" still works well, expanding on the character and mythology of Superman while keeping the action quotient high. The cast is still great and Terence Stamp creates one of the all-time great villains in General Zod. Richard Lester just added a little too much goofy humor for my taste (dude blowing backwards on roller skates, etc.), something that would run rampant in "Superman III". Also, there's a certain affection for the characters that is missing from the final product; it all seems a bit workmanlike. And don't get me started on the producers eliminating Brando's footage just to save a few bucks after the first film had already made millions of dollars at the box office. Everything that was good about "Superman II" seems to have been sourced from what Donner and Mankiewicz had already planned beforehand.

In 2006, after years and years of fan petitions and requests (a few of which I signed, I will admit), the missing footage from Donner's planned version of "Superman II" (including the Brando scenes, which help this version improve immeasurably on the theatrical cut) was found, restored, re-edited and released using John Williams' original music from the first movie. Watching the Donner Cut, you immediately notice how much more he loves these characters, how the movie just feels right in a way that the theatrical version did not. The replacement of the theatrical version's opening action setpiece at the Eiffel Tower is a prime example. Donner's opener, in which Lois jumps out of a window at the Daily Planet in hopes of forcing Clark to reveal himself as Superman and save her, immediately shows the big differences between the two versions: the plot does not drive the characters in the Donner Cut, the characters drive the plot. The Kryptonian villains are treated more seriously and possess real menace (see the scene where they storm the White House). The Donner Cut also benefits from the restoration of the luminous footage shot by the late, great Geoffrey Unsworth, whose work on the sequel was mostly lost to Lester's harshly lit reshoots. There were certain scenes between Lois and Clark where she confronts him over his dual identity that Richard Donner planned to shoot but did not have the chance, so screen test footage was substituted. And that's where it hit me. Therein lay the problem with the Donner Cut: it's not actually Richard Donner's "Superman II." It's as close as one can actually get to what could have been the best superhero film of all time in "Superman II", but that film does not exist, will never exist. All we have, thanks to the producers' greed and shortsightedness, is a reasonable facsimile with substituted footage and a rehashed ending (Donner and company never got to think up a new ending for "Superman II" after using its big turning-back-time climax for the first movie). Lest anybody think I'm just piling the blame on the Salkinds (though they totally deserve most of it), Donner and the driving force behind the project, filmmaker Michael Thau, shoot themselves in the feet by refusing to touch ANY of the Lester footage except where absolutely necessary, which gives rise to some mediocre line readings and bad dubs which were actually improved upon in Lester's theatrical cut (the scene where Superman challenges Zod to a fight at the Daily Planet springs to mind). I can understand Donner's feelings about the project, but a little compromise in this case might have gone a long way. As it is, the Donner Cut is now my preferred version of Superman II, but not by as huge a margin as I might have thought.

Discs 3 and 4 are devoted to the two "Superman II"s. The transfer on the Donner Cut seems to be the same as the original Blu Ray release, which was pretty good. The theatrical cut of "Superman II" (which I've never seen on Blu Ray) fares pretty well and, like the Donner Cut, seems sharper than the first film. Again, the main difference is in the DTS-HD MA sound, which is fuller and more robust than the previously available Dolby Digital 5.1 track. All bonus features were ported over from the two-disc DVD of the theatrical cut and the previously released Donner Cut, respectively. All of the Fleischer/Famous Studios cartoons can be found on these two discs, with the first nine 'toons on Disc 3 and the second batch on Disc 4.

SUPERMAN III/SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE - And here come the sad parts. "Superman III" was the first film where Richard Lester had control of the production from beginning to end, and boy can you tell. Overly slapstick-y, negligent of the main characters (poor Margot Kidder is on and off screen in two minutes flat), and worst of all, BORING. How do you make a Superman film BORING?! The only person who comes out of the thing with any dignity at all is, again, Christopher Reeve, who really sells the duality of Superman's character here (including a scene where "dark" Superman literally fights Clark Kent in a junkyard). About Richard Pryor, whom I have admired since I was a little kid, I can only say this: as a film actor, he was a terrific stand-up comedian. The only other useful thing to come out of this movie was the computer fraud plot device later referenced in "Office Space".

Full disclosure: when I was a kid, the only Superman movie we had on VHS was "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" (God, I know, I know). I heard my dad talking about how terrible it was, but I was a kid and I figured what the heck, it's Superman! So, for a number of years, I had a hard time thinking that it's as bad as everyone says it is. Well, it is, it's terrible. But not as terrible as how Warner Brothers treated Christopher Reeve and the film. "Superman IV" was originally supposed to be a big-budget return to form for the franchise. Christopher Reeve came up with an engaging original story (the wisdom of Superman interfering in real-world nuclear politics notwithstanding) and the original cast, including Gene Hackman, would reunite to erase the lingering bad memory of "Superman III". Then Warner Brothers slashed the budget and script and shifted the property over to Golan-Globus/Cannon, purveyors of countless '80s cheesefests such as Chuck Norris' "Missing in Action" series and "American Ninja", and the rest is ignominious film history. Sadly, this would be Reeve's final take on the iconic character of Superman and, needless to say, it's not how his portrayal should be remembered.

Discs 5 and 6 are devoted to these two masterpieces, and they receive better audio/visual treatment than they probably deserve. "Superman IV" in particular looks crisp on Blu, all the better to see the cheesy matte lines and wires. Both have DTS-HD MA tracks; "Superman III" receives a 5.1 track while "Superman IV" is relegated to plain 2.0 stereo. Bonus features of interest include a commentary by co-writer Mark Rosenthal and a bunch of deleted scenes on "Superman IV" (ported over from the Deluxe Edition DVD released a few years ago). They're not great, but at least they help to make sense of and flesh out the plot, such as it is.

SUPERMAN RETURNS - Everybody seems to have a different take on this installment, Bryan Singer's homage to/continuation of the original Donner films. Some thought it was too reverent of the original, that Superman was too "emo" and that there was not enough action. I personally liked the film, although I think there is probably some validity to those criticisms. I still feel that Brandon Routh was a bit too young to properly portray a more seasoned Superman who has gone through the events of the first two Donner films, but he was pretty engaging in the role, handled the emotional aspects of the role with skill (which, to answer the "too emo" critics, OF COURSE Superman is going to be emotional with everything going on in this film, he's not some soulless robot) and generally acquitted himself very well in inevitable comparisons with Christopher Reeve. Kevin Spacey almost makes you forget Gene Hackman's version of Lex Luthor, edging closer to the malice and insanity of the original character in the comics. James Marsden (who jumped ship on the "X-Men" franchise with Singer for "Returns") does a good job as Lois' boyfriend, a guy who could believably rival Superman for Lois' affections. Probably the only weak link was Kate Bosworth as a bland, rail-thin Lois Lane who fails in every way to measure up to Margot Kidder's take on the character.

Disc 7 is solely devoted to "Superman Returns", and it improves on the original Blu Ray in nearly every way. The transfer on the original disc (one of Warner Bros.' earliest forays into Blu Ray) was, to put it mildly, a little drab. Well, not so on this new transfer! We're talking reference quality here, it's that good. Every color pops and every detail shows; you can see the weave of Lex Luthor's crisp white suits, you can see the fine mesh of Superman's costume and the crinkles in the leather of his boots (and you can also see just how suspect the CGI Superman is during the shuttle rescue). But for once, the DTS-HD MA sound falls a bit short of what was already available on the previous "Superman Returns" Blu Ray: a lossless 5.1 PCM audio track. Audiophiles and collectors might want to hold on to their copies for that. Bonus features have been ported over from the original Special Edition DVD release, including a feature length documentary on all aspects of the making of the film. But even better (and probably one of the major reasons I bought this set), we get to see the original fully produced five-minute opener of "Superman Returns" in which Superman searches the remains of Krypton for survivors. I don't know why Singer felt the need to cut this opening, especially when it was already shot, scored, edited, the effects completed, and (God, I hate when films do this) some of it was included in the theatrical trailer. It was a terrific opening! I do remember reading an interview some years ago in which Singer spoke of his idea to include the opening in a future theatrical re-release; I guess he overestimated the public's interest in the film, as did Warner Bros., which gave "Superman Returns" a $175-million budget. In any case, I'm glad the people who liked the film finally get to see it.

Disc 8 is strictly bonus material and contains "Look! Up in the Sky!", the previously released feature-length documentary produced by Bryan Singer on the history of the character, and a brand-new documentary--yet again feature length-- called "You Will Believe" which concerns the rise and fall (and future rise?) of the Superman franchise. Both documentaries are in hi-def. Also included are featurettes exploring the scientific basis behind Superman, the comic's mythology, a tribute to Christopher Reeve, and a terrible, terrible old TV pilot, "The Adventures of Superpup".

Superman was the first superhero (and if you can't tell by now, my personal favorite--sorry, Batman) in comics, and the first superhero to make the leap to a big-budget, non-camp film. Richard Donner, Tom Mankiewicz, Christopher Reeve and others pushed the boundaries of the character and paved the way for every other comic book property in Hollywood to be taken seriously. It remains to be seen where the character goes next in movies (I have more than a few reservations about the new Zack Snyder film due out next year) but based on where he's been, Superman deserves much cinematic respect. And with this Blu Ray set, he gets it in a BIG way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let me clear this up. This is not a US set. This is a UK set with Spanish disc covers. But still the same set., October 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Let me clear this up. I rarely write reviews for Amazon. In fact, check my stats, I only have a few. Only when I feel strongly enough about something. However, I always 100% of the time, read reviews before I purchase a product. The other reviewers are absolutely correct. This is not the original US released Blu Ray set. This in fact on the outside of the box when you receive it has UK ratings all over the cover and back. The discs are labeled with just pictures of Superman and you would have no idea which is which unless you read a tiny writing print on the edge. The rest is in Spanish all over the rest of the disc. However, this all being said, this plays perfectly, and is 100% the Blu Ray Warner Brothers releases and extended releases of each movie and the quality is exceptional. I see no difference in quality and in fact the Blu Ray is great. The title menus are not glamorous and I would be curious to see if the US version has the boring menus this version has. I played each movie quickly from start to finish and they play perfectly and are not in Spanish. Not sure if anyone cares if the disc labels are not titled, but I don't care and I have decided rather than return this, I am keeping it. Who cares if the box is in a UK rating and the labels are in Spanish?

The only thing I have to say is shame on Amazon for not noticing this and shipping a faulty product like this and listing this as US. Get the description straight and stop being deceitful about the content of your products.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I received US set, November 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is not a review. I just wanted to let people know that I ordered this directly from Amazon and not a 3rd party seller and received the US version. Some people are saying they are receiving the UK version, and perhaps it's because they bought from a 3rd party seller and not from Amazon directly. I really don't know. I suppose it's possible they received the UK version directly from Amazon because of some mistake, but it just doesn't make since that the US Amazon would be sending UK versions of this set. The pictures for this show the US version and that is what I received. You will know you have the US version if top of the box splits open from the bottom to pull out discs. The UK version requires you to slide discs out from side of box. Also the US version has the names of the movies clearly printed in big letters on the middle of the discs, whereas the UK version has the names of the movies in tiny print on the edge of the disc. It's so tiny you can barely read it. There are also some Spanish words on disc art of UK version.

I know this really isn't the place to mention something like this, but didn't want anyone to hesitate buying this if they've been thinking of it, since there is a great sale on it right now. I was a little hesitant myself because of previous reviewers saying they had received UK set, but again if you buy directly from Amazon you should have no problems. If you do, Amazon is always great about accepting returns, especially since they are advertising the US set in the pictures.
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