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GustavoLeao

Happy 30th Anniversary to SUPERMAN IV

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Just watched this morning one of my "guily pleasures" regarding super hero movies, SUPERMAN IV THE QUEST FOR PEACE, starring the great Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was meant to be a return of the series to greatness from the disappointing Superman III, but as many people know, the budget was cut severely in pre-production by Cannon Films when it started to scale back it’s large-budget productions that had been put into the pipeline when they tried to leap from smaller independent films to blockbusters. Harrison Ellenshaw, the veteran visual effects supervisor who worked on the movie and was forced by the tiny budget to deliver very bad FX shots, said “I practically wept at the end. It was tragic. There were so many people devoting so much. But that’s movies, no one sets out to make a bad one.” Anyway, if you are looking for a fun Silver Age SUPERMAN story this one could be fun. In the light of Henry Cavill brooding and awful portrayal of Superman, Chris Reeve's Superman movies just getting better and better with age,

Long live the true Superman ! Thank you, Chris !

 

 

 

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Superman IV was one painful birth... :laugh:

It's also the first (and last) Superman movie that I didn't see in a theatre.   I remember friends of mine all saying how bad it was, so I timidly rented it on laserdisc one day, and I realized how right they were.   The whole thing just felt so... cheap.   And the plot holes & gaffes were just enormous.   Superman rebuilding the Great Wall of China with his heat vision (!?), for example.   It was like something concocted by an 11 year old.    Weird...

Still... there were one or two moments that weren't so bad; I loved the 'double date' sequence, as well as Superman rescuing the Russian space station.   Little bits like that almost made it feel like a real Superman movie.  It's too bad there weren't more of those...

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Man, you can put the late Chris Reeve as Superman reading the phone book and it still would be awesome.

Reeve nailed the characters of Superman and Clark Kent from SUPERMAN THE MOVIE to SUPERMAN IV with so dignity and honesty, like no actor before or since.

Thats why I love.,....and mean LOVE.....the four SUPERMAN movies with Reeve and thats why I miss such a  great actor so much. RIP Christopher Reeve.

Gus

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7 hours ago, GustavoLeao said:

Man, you can put the late Chris Reeve as Superman reading the phone book and it still would be awesome.

Reeve nailed the characters of Superman and Clark Kent from SUPERMAN THE MOVIE to SUPERMAN IV with so dignity and honesty, like no actor before or since.

Thats why I love.,....and mean LOVE.....the four SUPERMAN movies with Reeve and thats why I miss such a  great actor so much. RIP Christopher Reeve.

Gus

I miss Reeve... I don't miss Superman IV. :giggle:

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11 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I miss Reeve... I don't miss Superman IV. 

Superman 3 was a masterpiece by comparison. I do honestly like the whole thread of the film with Superman figuratively, then literally confronting his desire to be evil. Richard Pryor was simply a horrible mistake.

No such redemption for Superman IV, though I do give it credit for being better than the F4 reboot.

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Posted (edited)

I treasure anything that Chris Reeve has ever done in his career - from the classic SOMEWHERE IN TIME to the thriller STREET SMART. And yeah, SUPERMAN III and SUPERMAN IV are up there in my list too. For several years I have been in contact with people who loved those movies, and I have all the extended TV versions of the Superman movies (including the 4-hour SUPERMAN THE MOVIE which aired in 2 nights on ABC in the early 1980s and the Japanese extended version of SUPERMAN IV - see the Japanese laserdisc below) I always been  a huge fan of Reeve more than any other actor when I was a kid and a teenager watching those movies on the big screen, more than STAR TREK or anu other franchise.

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If you are a Chris Reeve SUPERMAN fan, this rare Japanese LD of SUPERMAN IV THE QUEST FOR PEACE, released by King Video, is the best way to watch the movie, because of an awesome widescreen transfer, and the fact that it features the rare Cannon Films international 93-minute version of the movie featuring 2 new scenes - Nuclear Man attacks on Smallville and Moscow, in their widescreen glory for the fits and only time. I always wanted to see the deleted bits of the first Nuclear Man footage and others scenes like the original ending, but after the a workprint of the deleted footage was found and presented in the 2006 Deluxe DVD of SUPERMAN IV, I think its the best that they remain deleted LOL

Nuclear Man attacks Smallville from the Japanese Laserdisc extended cut -

 

 

Edited by GustavoLeao

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2 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

Superman 3 was a masterpiece by comparison. I do honestly like the whole thread of the film with Superman figuratively, then literally confronting his desire to be evil. Richard Pryor was simply a horrible mistake.

I agree, and I say that with a heavy heart, since I'm a HUGE Pryor fan (more of his standup than his movies).  But he fit into a Superman movie about as well as Jello into my car's gas tank. 

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Again, I disagree, Pryor was great and very underrated in III. And Reeve was great as the evil Superman. The Salkinds were just trying with III to make something diferrent from I and II, and it worked in some areas and it didnt worked in other areas. But it was still, a fun, funny, good Superman  / Chris Reeve movie. Lets not forget that after III, Chris Reeve  said he would never played Superman again and turned  down a cameo in the SUPERGIRL movie produced by the Salkinds in 1984. And after IV turned to be  a box office disaster, the Salkinds didnt gave up and produced four seasons of the Superboy TV Series with the good and charming Gerard Christopher as Superboy. Cannon announced a SUPERMAN V written and directed by Reeve, but the studio collapsed after so much failures.

10857263_10205887322481403_5899094877146

Gus

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I think Pryor gave his best effort. I don't think he phoned it in or otherwise didn't take it seriously. And I liked most of his acting efforts, but he was woefully miscast here.

 

And this: 

MPW-76986

 

...is not a direction that Superman should have ever gone. Admittedly, the film i NOT quite as bad as this poster implies, but this poster is ludicrous and slapstick-y and the film shouldn't have even attempted this sort of nonsense, much less use Pryor to do it.

The fact that the likes of Superman 3 exists makes me so happy that the Eddie Murphy/Star Trek merger never happened.

Superman 3 could have been much better than it was and, in hindsight, it seems Reeve was correct and should have never done "The Quest for Mediocrity"

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

I think Pryor gave his best effort. I don't think he phoned it in or otherwise didn't take it seriously. And I liked most of his acting efforts, but he was woefully miscast here.

 

And this: 

MPW-76986

 

...is not a direction that Superman should have ever gone. Admittedly, the film i NOT quite as bad as this poster implies, but this poster is ludicrous and slapstick-y and the film shouldn't have even attempted this sort of nonsense, much less use Pryor to do it.

The fact that the likes of Superman 3 exists makes me so happy that the Eddie Murphy/Star Trek merger never happened.

Superman 3 could have been much better than it was and, in hindsight, it seems Reeve was correct and should have never done "The Quest for Mediocrity"

^
This.

The first Superman was epic and inspiring; it was a true revolution in superhero movies.  The second was more of an action movie, which lost some of the awe and grandeur of the first movie, but was still enjoyable (esp. the Donner cut; my preferred version).  

But the 3rd movie felt like a comedy directed by Benny Hill.   It just took a weird left turn into silliness and off-the-charts camp.  It lost ALL of the awe, wonder and seriousness of the two previous movies and turned the franchise into a joke.   And as much as I love Pryor (one of the most groundbreaking and gifted comedians of the 20th century), I would've preferred that he wasn't in the movie.   I felt similarly about Robin Williams in "Toys"; a comic genius wasted in a bad movie.  

The 4th Superman tried to steer the ship back into port, but it was too small-scale feeling and cheap to make much of a difference.   And Nuclear Man (or Nukyulir Man, as he was mispronounced) was just laughably bad; he looked like the missing 'superhero' who missed the Village People audition.  I've felt more genuine threat and menace from the villains in reruns of "Gilligan's Island."

But Reeve wasn't to blame, and neither was Pryor.  They were not responsible for the ship veering off course like that.   Reeve at least had the integrity to tell the Salkinds to bite it when they tried to lure him back for their misfired Supergirl movie.  And Pryor was recovering from a nearly fatal drug problem and was having many domestic issues, so I can forgive him taking a quick paycheck considering the demons he was battling at the time. 

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Well, the international poster we got here in Brazil was so much better -  I have this one and the Cannon QUEST FOR PEACE poster too. Give it up, guys, I love the Reeve movies.......yay !

17861690_10212822834184861_4920082849913

Gus

 

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7 minutes ago, GustavoLeao said:

Well, the international poster we got here in Brazil was so much better -  I have this one and the Cannon QUEST FOR PEACE poster too. Give it up, guys, I love the Reeve movies.......yay !

17861690_10212822834184861_4920082849913

Gus

 

^
Now there's a poster for a movie I would've liked to have seen... but didn't.  :P

And I love the first two Reeve movies; on that we agree, at least. :thumbup:

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ANd of course we both loved the Richard Donner cut of SUPERMAN II, so we have actually 5 Reeve Superman movies to praise or criticize.,

Gus

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18 minutes ago, GustavoLeao said:

ANd of course we both loved the Richard Donner cut of SUPERMAN II, so we have actually 5 Reeve Superman movies to praise or criticize.,

Gus

Well, I prefer the Donner cut over the theatrical cut of Superman II, so... :P

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31 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Well, I prefer the Donner cut over the theatrical cut of Superman II, so... :P

Same here ! I love what Donner did to Superman !

Gus

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17 minutes ago, GustavoLeao said:

Same here ! I love what Donner did to Superman !

Gus

I still remember back in 2006 at San Diego Comic Con; they had a big Superman panel.  Noel Neill, Richarrd Donner, Marc McClure and a few others were there.  They screened the first 15 minutes of the Donner cut.  I was sold.  I bought it the very day it was released.  Even the incomplete parts are still better than the final edit, IMO.  And the time travel resolution (used prematurely in part I, in case II wasn't finished) works better at the end of II; it also better explains Lois' amnesia...

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Posted (edited)

I still think Lester is underrated thought. He did staged good action sequences  in his II and III

Yep, I am actually defending Richard Lester.

If one day I defend Zach Snyder you can call me nuts LOL

Gus

Edited by GustavoLeao

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1 hour ago, GustavoLeao said:

I still think Lester is underrated thought. He did staged good action sequences  in his II and III

Yep, I am actually defending Richard Lester.

If one day I defend Zach Snyder you can call me nuts LOL

Gus

Yeah, Lester's love of slapstick was the beginning of the end for me; those scenes in S2 where the guy in roller-skates is blowing backward, or the guy one the collapsing phone booth who's still laughing after his booth blows over, etc.   Donner wouldn't have done those things.  And Superman 3 was like Richard Lester unchained.    Superman 3 was more comedy than action-adventure, and frankly, as a comedy it wasn't terribly effective or funny.  The crosswalk symbols fighting was the movies' jump-the-shark for me. 

And yes, I will indeed slap your wrists the day you defend Snyder...:laugh: :P

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Posted (edited)

I highly recommnd the documentary YOU WILL BELIEVE THE CINEMATIC SAGA OF SUPERMAN - on the chapter below (REDEMPTION) they cover the production of SUPERMAN III, SUPERGIRL and SUPERMAN IV THE QUEST FOR PEACE with very candid and honest interviews with the controversial producer Ilya Salkind, the writers and the cast and even Menahem Golam. The full 5-Part documentary is available only on the box set SUPERMAN ULTIMATE COLLECTION, available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Enjoy, this on eis the true story told by the people involved in making those movies, like them or not !

 

Edited by GustavoLeao

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I don't have that set (and am unlikely to get it; since I already own the two Donner Superman movies I like... hehe), but I also enjoyed Richard Donner's very colorful commentary on the 2001 extended cut DVD of Superman: The Movie (1978).  Donner is very open about his dislike of the Salkinds and verbally trashes them at every opportunity.   I've read many similar accounts of the Salkinds from other sources (including Margot Kidder), so I tend to find Donner's commentary very credible. 

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Posted (edited)

A lot of Warner Bros and DC Comics executives hated Ilya Salkind. I was surprised when Warner Home Video decided to release Salkinds' SUPERBOY TV Series because it was revelaed in the book AGE OF TV HEROES  that Salkind didnt wanna to give the rights back to Warner and sabotaged every attempt Warner took to release the series on DVD and on syndication. Finally SUPERBOY was releasedby Warner Archives on DVD in 2011. Go figure.

17795903_10212674650000349_2924605360493

Gus

Edited by GustavoLeao

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