Superman: (Superman / Superman II / Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut / Superman III / Superman IV: The Quest for Peace / Superman Returns)
Ultimate Collector's Edition, Collector's Edition
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Disc 1: SUPERMAN THE MOVIE 1978 Theatrical Version Disc 2: SUPERMAN THE MOVIE 2000 Expanded Edition Disc 3: SUPERMAN THE MOVIE Archive Disc 4: SUPERMAN Bonus Vault Materials Disc 5: SUPERMAN II 1980/81 Theatrical Version Disc 6: SUPERMAN II 2006 Version You've Never Seen Disc 7: SUPERMAN II Archive/Bonus Vault Materials Disc 8: SUPERMAN III Disc 9: SUPERMAN IV THE QUEST FOR PEACE Disc 10: SUPERMAN RETURNS Disc 11: SUPERMAN RETURNS Special Features Disc 12: LOOK, UP INTO THE SKY! THE AMAZING STORY OF SUPERMAN Disc 13: YOU WILL BELIEVE: THE CINEMATIC SAGA OF SUPERMAN New Documentaries/Bonus Vault Materials Disc 14: BRYAN SINGER'S VIDEO JOURNALS Making Superman Returns
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The second film is in two versions, one the Richard Lester version and the other, the Richard Donner version. They are both good but the Lester version is smaller and overlooks Superman's comic book lore at times. The Donner version was intended to in 70mm film just as the first film was, the Lester film is grainier and has less scope. To get the Donner version there is some of the Lester version in the film and some scenes are actually screen tests done before the film started. I liked the Donner version best and I'm not sure why the Salkinds did what they did but the way they conducted themselves later shows that they weren't the best producers. Supergirl is another movie they did. The Fleischer cartoons continue and the commentary is great.
The third film is a big disappointment and continued the Salkind/Superman slide. Hearing the Richard Pryor wanted to be in a Superman movie on the Tonight Show, the producers proceeded to create a Superman movie around him without regard the character, comic book or fans. Lois Lane was dropped except for a brief showing leading fans to believe she'd be back for another Superman and Lana Lang arrived. While the story is so bad for the Smallville story, it is so disappointing to have Lois Lane missing that it doesn't matter. There is also a good Superman/bad Superman episode right out of a TV show to keep interest. The movie is really a loud Richard Pryor movie with a little bit of Superman. Salkind says it was never intended to be more than an "mid-season" episode like you would have on TV.
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was made by a low budget film company and the special effects are exactly like the B movie movie industry. Not interesting and silly, but for me, the reuniting of Superman and Lois Lane made the movie better and more important than Superman III. It also has Mariel Hemingway in a nice spot as a love interest for Clark Kent and Jackie Cooper gets more exposure. So despite the "action" I liked some parts of the film. The commentary is very nice for the film too, explaining the difficulties in making the film with a B movie company.
The fifth film is Superman Returns which was made in 2006 and directed by Bryan Singer. He apparently got approval after turning in a proposal that Warner Bros. liked. I liked some of the ideas too, but this is definitely the worst of the Superman movies. I don't even remember the name of the Superman actor's name and he doesn't stand out at all in the movie. The colors are dark and oppressive, the emphasis is on special effects and the Lois Lane chosen is so unLois I'm not sure what they were thinking of. After watching the movie and the commentary, I watched a documentary of the Making of Superman Returns which turned out to be 3 hours long! The whole documentary was about Bryan Singer and the Superman actor was seen in the background like a puppet doing what Bryan said. Bryan tends to hang out with the guys and women are "so extra" in this movie. They barely exist, actually very few people exist except for Bryan Singer and the others are all in his service any way. Awful. There is another DvD that is called Bryan Singer's Diary where he created a video diary of his daily life on the set. One worker stands next to him in one scene and says that Bryan is the greatest director of all time and he is always right and we are always wrong. Terrible.
A documentary on Superman from his inception in the minds of two high school boys to comic books, radio, film and TV is a great documentary, I highly recommend. It is narrated by Kevin Spacey and very well done.
So with all that I loved this box set and its' contents were valuable to me except for the 2006 movie which was a revelation in itself without being good. Still I love Superman!
As for the set itself, "marvelous" does not do it justice. Whoever designed this thought of everything, right down to inserting a strip of foam to keep the fourteen (count them...14) discs full of superb contents from rattling around and potencially being damaged. The case has a great design and a safe place to keep every disc. As for the set's contents, everything from the aforementioned products is included plus so much more. I haven't even gone through all of it yet and I'm already very happy. Just wait for the right price like I did and you'll be just as happy. A must-have for Superman fans of all ages, and I mean "all ages". Enjoy.
Warner once again puts a collection into one of the worst storage cases, cheap plastic that makes it hard to remove a DVD without a lot of flexing of the DVD.
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