action, adventure, animation, movie, movie review, sci-fi

December 17th, 2017 Movie – Superman/Batman: Apokalypse

superman batman apocalypse

You can’t keep a good idea down, especially when it comes to comic books, and with the ongoing run of the Batman/Superman comic, it only made sense that another movie would be made. When I heard about this movie, I was curious about it because it’s focus is on a character with an interesting history; Supergirl. There have been several heroes to use this moniker, from the original one, who died saving Superman from the Anti-Monitor during “Crisis On Infinite Earths”, to the artifical lifeform Matrix, who assumed the name in her role of guardian of a pocket universe before she joined the normal universe. And let’s not even get started with Power Girl. Anyways, a new Supergirl was introduced during the recent Batman/Superman comics and DC made an animated movie based on those comics. So let’s see how they did with today’s movie, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.

The plot: Weeks after the destruction of the Kryptonite meteor, debris and small meteorites are still falling through the skies on Earth. In Gotham, a large object falls from the sky into the harbor and Batman heads out to investigate. Diving underwater, Batman finds several chunks of Kryptonite and a small Kryptonian craft but as he investigates the ship, a strange woman has swam up to his boat and starts climbing inside. The woman accidentally activates the boat, which takes off, and Batman, alerted to what is happening, fires a grapple at the boat and is drug along but lets go when the boat crashes into a nearby pier. Nearby, the woman, who is naked, approaches some dock workers, who start to harass her but she shoves one of them into some crates prompting another man to quickly offer her his coat before running away. The woman dons the coat and continues running, eventually being pursued by the police when she causes an accident. During the course of the chase, the woman reveals that she has powers, including super strength, invulnerability, heat vision, and flight. When Batman confronts her, she shoves him and takes off again but can’t control her flight and ends up taking out one of Gotham’s automated police blimps. Superman shows up and stops the blimp from crashing in the city while Batman subdues the frightened woman with a chunk of Kryptonite. Later, Batman is scanning the woman in the Batcave when she regains consciousness and destroys the computer. As she starts to fly off, Superman stops her and speaks to her in Kryptonian, learning that she is his cousin Kara. Superman takes her to the Fortress of Solitude in order to better learn how to act like a human but his dog Krypto doesn’t like Kara, constantly growling and attacking her, while Batman also has his suspicions, as Kara has no memories of what happened to her after Krypton exploded and very few memories of her life before that. Meanwhile, on Apokolips, Granny Goodness is testing a warrior named Treasure to see if she will be able to lead the Female Furies but when Treasure battles against the Furies (Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina, and Stompa), they end up killing her. Darkseid informs Granny of the new arrival on Earth and orders her to bring Kara back to Apokolips, threatening to sic the Furies on her if she fails. Back on Earth, Clark takes Kara out to Metropolis so she can get used to being an Earth girl. As they walk through the park that night, she sees the statue of him and tells him she her powers scare her and she doesn’t want to be a hero like he is. Suddenly, Superman is attacked by a group of figures while another figure ensnares Kara with a rope and drags her away. Kara tries to use her heat vision to attack the figure, who easily blocks it while Kara loses control of her heat vision and destroys parts of the park. Superman subdues his attacker and goes to help Kara only to discover that her attacker is Wonder Woman, while Lyla (Harbinger) was the one attacking him. Wonder Woman tells Superman that she is taking Kara with her to train, pointing out the damage she caused in the park and asking what would have happened if it had been daytime when the park was full. Superman starts to object but Batman appears and tells him to trust them, as there are other reasons for them doing this. Kara is taken to Themyscira, where Diana works on training her to fight while controlling her powers but Superman, who was invited to watch a training seminar with Batman, feels it is a waste of time. As Superman and Wonder Woman argue over how best to proceed with Kara, Kara gets upset with them and leaves with Lyla, who has become her friend. Alone with Lyla, Kara vents about how controlling Superman and Wonder Woman are, even though she knows they both mean well, then suggest they go for a swim to cool off but Lyla hesitates, as she has been having continuous visions of a blonde woman lying dead in the water and worries it might be Kara. Meanwhile, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are discussing Lyla’s visions and the implications of them when a boom tube opens and an army of cloned Doomsdays appears through it. Wonder Woman summons her army of Amazons and, along with Superman and Batman, they proceed to fight the army of monsters. As the fight rages on, Batman realizes something isn’t right and runs off while Superman, seeing several Amazons dying during the fight, tells Wonder Woman to call them back as he uses his heat vision to disintegrate the army of Doomsdays. After catching his breath, Superman and Wonder Woman head off to look for Batman and finding him standing at the water’s edge on another side of the island. He tells them the army was a distraction and that a second boom tube opened there and as Superman approaches the body in front of Batman, he sees it is Lyla, not Kara, who had died. A glowing orb appears, showing Lyla’s last vision and they realize that Darkseid took Kara with him so Superman vows to avenge Lyla’s death and get Kara back. The three heroes go to see Big Barda, the former leader of the Furies who had defected to Earth, and enlist her help to rescue Kara and she agrees under the condition that she goes along as well. The four heroes arrive on Apokolips and after dispatching with a pair of tanks that attack them, they split up to go on their specific assignments. Barda and Wonder Woman make their way to the fight arena, where they confront Granny and the Furies and the two heroes are forced to fight with the Furies. Meanwhile, Batman heads towards Darkseid’s armory but he encounters some guard riding on giant hell hounds and is forced to deal with them first. He manages to bury them in some debris but when he reaches the armory, one of the hounds breaks through the wall and swallows him. As the guards go to check on the hound, it collapses and Batman pries open it’s jaws, then orders the guards to remove their armor. Back in the arena, Barda kills Stompa to save Wonder Woman, who moves to kill Mad Harriet but Granny orders her to surrender, as Gilotina and Lashina have captured Barda. Wonder Woman refuses, rescuing Barda, who knocks out Lashina, while Wonder Woman deals with Mad Harriet and Gilotina, then the two heroes turn their attention to Granny. Elsewhere, Superman approaches Darkseid’s throne room and demands that he release Kara and Darkseid says she is free to go if she chooses. Kara appears and when Superman tries to get her to leave, she refuses, then begins to attack him. Superman is hesitant to fight his cousin but when she continues to attack and try to kill him, he is forced to defend himself. As Darkseid watches the battle, Batman arrives and informs Darkseid that he armed all of his Hellspore bombs and threatens to blow up Apokolips unless Darkseid releases his hold on Kara. When Batman refuses to give up his demand after Darkseid beats him, Darkseids reluctantly concedes defeat, though acknowledges his respect for Batman, just as Superman defeats Kara. Returning to Earth, Kara apologizes for what happens, saying it was like being in a bad dream, and Superman says he will take her somewhere where she can just be herself. Kara pays her respects to Lyla, then thanks Diana for what she has taught her and approaches Batman and tells him her mother’s name, which she had finally remembered. Superman takes Kara to Smallville to stay with his parents but as they approach the door, Darkseid attacks them. Darkseid prepares to blast Superman with his omega beams but Kara pushes him out of the way and takes the hit. Superman then attacks Darkseid but Darkseid easily overpowers him, then blasts him into orbit with his omega beams. Believing Darkseid killed Superman, Kara begins to fight him, using what she learned on Themyscira and Apokolips to hold her own but Darkseid eventually overpowers her and knocks her unconscious. As he prepares to leave, Superman returns to face him but is distracted on seeing Kara’s motionless form. When Darkseid grabs his cape to turn him around, Superman punches him, then proceed to renew their battle. Superman injures Darkseid but Darkseid gets the upper hand and starts blasting him with his omega beams. Kara recovers and, grabbing Darkseid’s discarded Mother Box, opens a boom tube behind him and Superman uses his heat vision to blast him through it. As the two Kryptonians embrace, Kara tells him she had reprogrammed the Mother Box, sending Darkseid to freeze as he drifts aimlessly in space. Kara then tells him she knows what she wants to be but before she can tell him, the Kents arrive at the farm and look at the damage as Superman hastily introduces them to Kara and then says he will fix the damage done to the farm and home. Some time later, Superman is on Themyscira and introduces Batman, Barda, Wonder Woman, and the other Amazons to Kara, who has chosen to call herself Supergirl. She tells the assembled group that she doesn’t know if she is worthy of wearing the outfit but she will work hard to earn it. The Amazons all cheer and Supergirl smiles when she sees Batman grin in approval as he claps along with Wonder Woman and Barda as the two Kryptonians leave the island and fly back to Metropolis.

This was a bit dark but a pretty good movie none-the-less. The voice acting was really good, with Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Susan Eisenberg doing a great job reprising their voice roles of DC’s famed Trinity (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman respectively). The one actor that surprised me was Ed Asner, as I honestly didn’t realize he voiced the character of Granny Goodness in the 90’s Superman cartoons and Justice League cartoons. The story was good, doing a decent job in showcasing the confusion that Kara faced as she was forced to deal with being on a strange new world and trying to find her own place in it. The animation was pretty good and lost a lot of the more angular designs that were in the previous movie. A good movie that is definitely entertaining to watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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December 16th, 2017 Movie – Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

superman batman public enemies

While I have always been more of a Marvel Comics guy as opposed to DC, I have read some DC comics over the years. I remember reading several comics as a kid featuring 2/3 of DC’s famed trinity, Batman and Superman. The two have teamed up in the comics numerous times and had their own series once or twice, with a recent one starting up in 2003. Today’s movie is actually based on that series, taking the first 6 issues and turning them into a new animated movie. While it takes place during DC’s new animated universe of movies, it is technically not a part of the DCAU but that isn’t going to stop me from enjoying today’s movie, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. 

The plot: As the country finds itself in the grips of a crippling economic depression, Lex Luthor runs for president under a 3rd party bid and ends up winning the election. During his inauguration speech, Luthor comments on the aliens and superheroes who act above the law and says he has formed his own official task force, consisting of Captain Atom, Power Girl, Black Lightning, Katana, and Major Force, to deal with any problems and if the other superheroes don’t fall in line, they will be punished. Some time later, Superman is dealing with a high speed car chase when he is confronted by Captain Atom, Power Girl, and Major Force. Captain Atom wants Superman to admit that he was wrong about Luthor but Superman says Luthor is up to something and refuses to trust him. Meanwhile, Luthor is in the war room with his Chief of Staff, Amanda Waller, watching telemetry on an approaching Kyptonite meteor, which is the size of a small continent and heading straight towards Earth. Luthor plans to blow the meteor up with missiles before it reaches Earth but Amanda suggests using some of the Superheroes to deal with it. Luthor admits that he only created the task force so that the heroes wouldn’t be working against him but Amanda persists, saying he only wants to do it himself to get all the credit. Luthor holds a press conference about the approaching meteor and asks Superman to meet with him so they can discuss the situation. Batman and Superman are watching the press conference in the Batcave and Batman tells Superman that Luthor isn’t lying about the meteor but he is working on his own way to deal with it along with an associate. Superman decides to meet with Luthor in Gotham but as they talk, Superman starts to feel weak and he grabs Luthor, only to discover that one of Luthor’s Secret Service Agents is Metallo, whose Kryptonite power source is the reason Superman is feeling weak. Luthor leaves as Superman and Metallo begin fighting, with the fight taking them to the local cemetery. When Metallo appears to have the upper hand, Batman shows up to rescue Superman but Metallo takes a shard of the Kryptonite that Batman had broken off of him and uses it as a bullet to shoot Superman. Superman falls into an open grave and as Batman jumps in to help him, Metallo buries them both alive. Batman uses an explosive charge to blow a hole underneath them into the sewers and when Metallo, who heard the blast, goes to investigate only to find the empty grave, then turns when he sees someone standing behind him. In the sewers, the wounded Superman and Batman make their way through the sewers to the Batcave, where they are met by Alfred and Alfred proceeds to tend to their injuries, including removing the Kryptonite from Superman. Superman and Batman watch a news report where Luthor says Metallo is dead and blames Superman for the murder. Showing edited footage from his meeting with Superman to serve as proof about his claim, Luthor places a $1 billion bounty on Superman’s head before ending his speech. As the press leave, Luthor starts to open his drawer to reveal a hypodermic gun filled with Kryptonite but before he can use it, he is interrupted by Power Girl, who pleads Superman’s innocence. Batman and Superman head to Star Labs so Batman can access their data on the meteor when Superman smells something and discovers Metallo’s body in the morgue. Batman discovers that the Metallo was killed by a radioactive blast but before they can inspect any further, they are confronted by some guards. Superman flies them out of there but they are attacked by Silver Banshee. As Superman deals with her, Batman is confronted by Killer Frost, Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold, and Icicle but he is saved by Superman. The two heroes then contend with Mongul, Solomon Grundy, Lady Shiva, Nightshade, and Gorilla Grodd before they find themselves surrounded by more villains out to collect on the bounty. They are eventually saved by Captain Atom but as Superman goes to thank him, Captain Atom, accompanied by Power Girl, Major Force, Katana, Black Lightning, and Starfire, says he has a warrant for Superman’s arrest. Meanwhile, Luthor flies out to a military base to oversee the launch of the missiles but along the way, he starts getting a headache and Waller starts to get worried about him. Back at Star Labs, Superman and Batman fend off the attacks of Captain Atom and his team, with Power Girl, whose loyalties are divided, shouting out a warning to Superman when Captain Atom is about to blast him. Superman eventually flies around at super speed to create a whirlwind to disorient the heroes while he grabs Power Girl and makes his escape with Batman. Arriving at the Daily Planet, Superman asks Power Girl why she helped them and she says it felt right and she doesn’t believe he killed Metallo. Batman asks her about Luthor and she admits her unease around him but before the can talk anymore, they are confronted by Captain Atom and his task force again. During the fight, Batman realizes that Major Force was the one who killed Metallo and goads him into admitting it. Power Girl, angry over being used, attacks Major Force and punches him hard enough to rupture his containment suit. Black Lightning creates a force field around him to contain the energy and Captain Atom, having heard everything, absorbs it, with the resulting explosion rendering Captain Atom injured, but alive, while Major Force is no more. Back at the military base, Luthor, Waller, and the generals watch as the missiles head towards the meteor only for the meteor’s high radiation levels to destroy the missiles before they impact with it. Batman, Superman, and Power Girl reach the base and then they have Power Girl head off to another location while Batman and Superman make their way to the base, only to be attacked by Captain Marvel and Hawkman. Meanwhile, Luthor gives  a speech to try and calm the people, claiming the missiles were a research mission and the true rescue effort will be commencing shortly. When Waller goes into his office to confront him, she discovers Luthor injecting himself with a mixture of steroids and Kryptonite, which has affected his mind. Luthor plans to let the meteor hit the Earth, then rule over the surviving people, with Waller playing a role in that new society. Luthor is called away to meet with Captain Marvel and Hawkman, only to discover it is Batman and Sueprman in disguise, as they were able to beat the two heroes with Power Girl’s help. The confront Luthor about the data on the meteor but Luthor wipes his computer hard drives, preventing them from getting the needed data. Waller shows up and hands Batman a flash drive with the data, begging him to save them, and Superman and Batman quickly leave and head for Tokyo. Waller orders the general to arrest Luthor but he quickly runs back into his office, where he injects himself with more Kryptonite before donning a power suit and fighting his way out of the base and taking off after the two heroes. Superman and Batman arrive at the factory/home of Hiro Okamura, the Japanese Toyman, and find Power Girl waiting for them in an outer chamber, as Toyman’s teenage hormones had gotten on her nerves. Batman and Superman head inside and give Toyman the data, who starts to load it into his computer so he can program his giant rocket, which is fashioned as a combination of Batman and Superman, to take out the meteor. Luthor arrives at Toyman’s base and quickly takes out Power Girl, then begins fighting Superman, knocking Batman away when he tries to help. Luthor then confronts Toyman and destroys the computer, stopping Toyman from programming his rocket. Batman heads to the rocket and prepares to fly it himself to destroy the meteor, saying goodbye to Superman as he prepares the rocket to launch. Luthor tries to stop Batman but Superman stops him, then attacks him in a rage due to Luthor’s part in Batman’s suicide mission. The two take to the skies in their fight, eventually making it back to the US before Superman is finally able to bring Luthor down. Out in space, Batman pilots the rocket towards the meteor and it detonates, with the explosion being seen back on Earth. As the people all cheer the meteor’s destruction, Superman punches Luthor into a building as Captain Atom and Power Girl arrive at the scene. Power Girl tells Superman that Toyman says there might be a chance Batman survived and he Quickly flies off, while Captain Atom grabs Luthor and has him locked up for his crimes. Flying up to the rocket’s debris, Superman finds Batman within the rocket’s escape pod, which is shaped like a combination of both their logos. Superman flies the escape pod back to Earth and lands in Metropolis, and as the two heroes see a helicopter carrying Lois Lane flying towards them, Superman invites Batman to come eat with him and Lois but Batman heads back to Gotham and disappears as the helicopter lands and Lois heads towards Superman and the two embrace.

This is a really fun movie to watch. The voice acting was great, especially since they had Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Clancy Brown all reprising their roles from as Superman, Batman, and Luthor from the original Batman/Superman/Justice League cartoons from the 90’s/2000’s. I also liked that they brought back CCH Pounder to reprise her role of Amanda Waller, while Xander Berkley and Allison Mack did good jobs in their roles of Captain Atom and Power Girl. The story was pretty good, though I can’t say for certain how closely it matches with the comics as I haven’t read them yet. I liked that they kept the friendly, semi-combative banter between Superman and Batman, showcasing the mutual respect they have for each other. I also liked how Luthor accuses Superman of being driven mad by the Kryptonite while he himself is actually the one going mad. The animation was really good, though some of the characters, like Power Girl, looked a little too angular in their design. Minor flaws aside, this is a good movie and definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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December 15th, 2017 Movie – Superman: Doomsday

superman doomsday

In 1992, an announcement was made that rocked the comic book industry, and the world itself; DC comics was going to kill Superman. The event would become one of the most talked about events worldwide, with Superman (vol. 2) #75

superman 75(the actual comic where he died) becoming the highest selling comic of all time. As popular as the story was, it only makes sense that they would make a movie based on it. So to jump start their new line of animated films, DC decided to do just that. So let’s see how the animated version lives up to the hype from the comics as I watch today’s movie, Superman: Doomsday.

The plot: At the Daily Planet, Lois Lane and Perry White are arguing about her article on a LexCorp charity being a front, with Perry refusing to print it to avoid being sued for libel. As Lois storms out of his office, Perry says goodbye to Clark Kent, who is getting ready to travel to Afghanistan as a foreign correspondent, and Clark says goodbye to Lois before he leaves. Elsewhere, a secret LexCorp project is digging deep underground to tap into the Earth’s core as a new power source when the uncover an alien spaceship. As Lex Luthor watches from a video uplink, the workers accidentally pierce the spaceship, causing an inert gas to escape as a hologram of an alien being warns them about what is inside. When the gas is dispersed, a massive figure inside the ship suddenly breaks free and proceeds to kill everyone in the tunnel, as well as back up on the surface. Elsewhere, Superman and Lois are having a romantic getaway at the Fortress of Solitude but Lois’ thoughts drift back to Clark. She comments to Superman about how Clark seems to become more distant, physically and emotionally, the closer she gets to him and, getting suspicious, starts trying to find out more about Superman and gets upset that he won’t admit who he really is. Meanwhile, Doomsday continues making his way through the woods, killing everyone and everything he encounters, until he finally reaches Metropolis. At the same time, Luthor tells his assistant to make sure there is no sign his company was ever at the dig site, as he doesn’t want to be held responsible for unleashing Doomsday on the city. Back at the Fortress, Superman apologizes to Lois and starts to tell her who he really is when his robot servant informs him of the events in Metropolis. As Superman prepares to leave, the robot says it found mention of Doomsday in his father’s records and that it was created to be the perfect killing machine while being practically unkillable itself. Superman carries Lois back to Metropolis with him, setting her down on the roof of the Daily Planet while he flies off to face Doomsday. When he arrives at where the military is trying to stop Doomsday, Superman attempts to freeze the creature but it breaks free from the ice and begins to attack Superman. Lois and Jimmy use the Daily Planet’s helicopter to report on the story but Doomsday spots them and attacks the helicopter. Superman rescues them, knocking Doomsday into a building, then sets the helicopter down and tells Lois and Jimmy to run while he continues to battle Doomsday. Doomsday appears to get the upper hand, battering Superman to the point he is coughing up blood, but when Doomsday turns his attention onto a little girl who is crying nearby, Superman grabs Doomsday and flies up into space, then turns around and speeds back to Earth, pummeling Doomsday as they fall. The two crash into the street and Doomsday is finally killed while Superman staggers out of the crater they left before collapsing on the ground as Lois rushes to him. Superman asks if everyone is ok and when Lois tells him he saved everyone, Superman dies, with Lois and Jimmy both crying over him while in Smallville, Martha Kent breaks into tears as she watches the footage on TV. A funeral is held for Superman and as Perry walks Lois away, she notices Martha leaving as well. Meanwhile, Jimmy is approached by the head of a tabloid, who offers Jimmy a job which Jimmy accepts. As Perry tells Lois to take some time off and go be with family, Lois decides to travel to Smallville to see Martha. Unsure of how much she might know about her, Lois stammers her way through an introduction but Martha, suspicious at first, takes pity on her and invites her in to talk. Meanwhile, Mercy tells Luthor that everything was taken care of so there is no sign of their involvement at the dig site and Luthor kills her so she won’t become a loose end. When the Toyman kidnaps a bus full of kids, Lois heads to the rooftop he is holding them on and tries to get them to safety. She is spotted as she is saving the last girl and Toyman throws the bus off the roof but Lois, and the rest of the onlookers, are surprised when she is rescued by Superman. Superman sets the bus down and goes after Toyman, defeating his giant mechanical spider and dropping him in front of the police before flying off with Lois. Lois asks how he is back and he says he isn’t sure, just that he woke up in darkness. When he drops her off at her apartment, Lois kisses Superman but he doesn’t kiss her back and Lois gets concerned. Meanwhile, Superman heads LexCorp to confront Luthor, who tricks him into entering a room lit by red sunlight and proceeds to beat him up with Kryptonite laced gauntlets. After rendering Superman unconscious, Luthor tells him that he is doing a good job in pretending to be Superman. Luthor then heads to another room, where he has the Superman’s body kept in a stasis chamber, and reveals that he cloned Superman so that he can take the glory for his accomplishments. As time passes, Lois and Martha both get suspicious about Superman as there has been no sign or contact from Clark to either of them. At LexCorp, Luthor goes to mock Superman’s body again only to discover that it is missing. At the Fortress of Solitude, Superman awakens and finds the robot tending to him, explaining that his biology had slowed his metabolism to a crawl in order to heal. He then explains about the clone but says it is best to leave it be for now, as it is helping the people of Metropolis, and instead he should focus on healing. Back in Metropolis, the clone sees a news broadcast of the Toyman having escaped custody and killing a kid before he is recaptured. Superman heads to the police station and grabs the captured Toyman, then flies him up into the air before letting him go, where he falls to his death. As the clone starts behaving more totalitarian in his dispensing of justice, Luthor hands him a list of people that might have stolen Superman’s body and tells him to find it discreetly, warning the clone he can kill him if he gets out of line. The clone leaves LexCorp and heads to a beauty salon, where he uses a mirror to examine himself and discovers a small, lead sphere in his brain. Realizing that it must contain Kryptonite inside, the clone uses his heat vision to burn a hole in his head, then removes the sphere. Back at the Fortress, Superman is in a chamber that is accelerating his solar absorbtion as he continues to heal and regain his strength. Lois heads to LexCorp to ask Luthor how he got Superman to be his puppet and when Luthor attempts to seduce her and kisses her, she drugs him and knocks him unconscious. Lois and Jimmy then find the files and secret room, where Luthor has created dozens of clones. Luthor regains consciousness and admits he is making the clones as his own personal police force, then prepares to kill them when the clone arrives. Luthor attempts to kill the clone but when the detonator doesn’t work, he notices the scar on the clone’s forehead and realizes that he removed the safeguard. The clone proceeds to destroy all of the other clones and computers in the room, then tells Lois and Jimmy to evacuate while he goes after Luthor. Luthor heads into his red sun room and challenges the clone but the clone simply seals Luthor into the room, then pulls it free from the building before throwing it down to the ground, seemingly killing Luthor. Back at the Fortress, the robot informs Superman about what is happening and Superman says he has to go back. The robot warns that he is not at full strength and the clone could kill him again, then hands him Luthor’s Kryptonite gun to use as a way to even the playing field. Back in Metropolis, the military is called in to deal with the clone but he easily destroys all of their vehicles. Superman arrives, wearing a black solar suit to help him recharge, and he speaks with the clone first before they start fighting. Superman tries to shoot the clone with the Kryptonite gun but the clone quickly knocks it away and they begin fighting. Lois and Jimmy start to cover the action but when it seems like the clone is getting the upper hand, Lois heads off to get the Kryptonite gun. As the clone goes to kill Superman, Lois shoots the clone with the gun but before she can fire another shot, the clone destroys the gun, sending the Kryptonite cell falling into some tar. Superman renews his fight with the clone but the clone overpowers him. As the clone grabs the Superman memorial to crush Superman with, Superman sees the Kryptonite cell stuck to the clone’s chest and uses his heat vision to cause it to explode, sending a cloud of Kryptonite smoke to surround the clone. The clone falls to the ground with the memorial falling on top of him and as the clone staggers away from the smoke, he collapses in front of Superman, begging him to protect the people. Lois approaches Superman, wanting to know if he is the real Superman, and when Superman kisses her, she accepts he is the real Superman. Superman is worried that the people of Metropolis won’t be so accepting of him but when a kid approaches him and asks if he will go back to wearing his normal uniform, Lois says she isn’t worried as more people approach Superman. Back at Lois’s apartment, Superman emerges from her shower as she is writing an article. When he corrects a spelling mistake in her article, he comments about being the Smallville Elementary spelling bee champ and when she turns to face him, she sees he has put on his glasses to reveal to her that he is Clark. Lois kisses him, then tells him to call his mother as they embrace while back at LexCorp, Luthor is shown to have survived and is recuperating from his injuries while thinking of his next plan to destroy Superman.

I am of mixed opinions about this movie. I mean, the death, and return, of Superman was a months long affair in the comics and to condense it down to 77 minutes definitely means a lot of stuff out. That being said, this wasn’t that bad of a movie. The voice acting was good, with Adam Baldwin (Superman), Anne Heche (Lois) and James Marsters (Luthor) doing good jobs voicing their characters. Obviously, the story is not going to be like the comics but it wasn’t too bad. I did like that they included a brief scene of the tattered cape hanging from a pole (as seen in the cover above). I also liked that they included the clone aspect from the comics, though in this case it was a full grown copy while in the comics, it was a half Superman, half Luthor hybrid that became Superboy. My favorite part was the brief voice cameo that Kevin Smith had, where he commented about the giant mechanical spider as this was a nod to when he was working on a Superman movie in the late 90’s and the producer kept insisting that he add a giant spider to it. The animation in this was pretty good and the lighting kept the movie pretty dark and gritty, which helped keep with the rather somber tone of the movie. It is not as good as the comics, but it is a decent movie and worth watching.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 14th, 2017 Movie – Superman Returns

superman returns

Ahh, another time where I had an opportunity to go see today’s movie and didn’t. This time, there wasn’t another movie that kept me from seeing it, but a whole lot of personal crap going on. Anyways, when this movie was first announced, I was actually a little bit excited to see it, as it had been a while since a Superman was in theaters and the recently rebooted Batman movie was really good. Unfortunately, I honestly never saw it in theaters and even when it came out on DVD, I never rented it. I would occasionally catch parts of it on TV every now and then but I didn’t get to see it completely until I got it for Christmas with the box set of the original movies. So let’s see how the new movie holds up as I watch Superman Returns.

The plot: On a stormy night, Lex Luthoris at the death bed of his wife, a wealthy old woman who helped get him out of prison. As soon as she finishes signing her will, leaving him everything, she dies and Luthor leaves the house with his associate Kitty Kowalski, who was acting as the maid. Travelling to the Arctic, Luthor, Kitty, and some of Luthor’s underlings travel to the Fortress of Solitude, where Luthor begins activating the crystals inside. Meanwhile, Martha Kent is at her home when she sees a meteor crash to the ground on her farm. Riding her truck out to investigate, she finds the burnt remains of a rocket and is surprised to see Clark there, who had been gone for 5 years since defeating General Zod, Ursa, and Non. In the morning, Martha asks Clark if he found what he was looking for but he says there was no sign of Krypton, which he had left Earth to find, and he feels more alone than before. Clark returns to Metropolis and Perry White is able to give him his job back due to another reporter having recently died. Clark tries to get himself situated and sees that Lois is on the launch of a space shuttle. Heading over to her desk, he sees that she won a Pulitzer Prize for her article entitled “Why The World Doesn’t Need Superman.”. He also sees that she has a son named Jason and is engaged to Richard White, Perry’s nephew. Luthor returns to his home with a crystal from the Fortress and has one of his underlings, Stanford, cut a sliver from the crystal, which he accidentally drops into the lake in Luthor’s model city. The crystal activates, and causes a blackout in the entire city, also affecting the 747 and the shuttle attached to it. The power comes quickly comes back on but it affected the clamps attaching the shuttle to the plane, causing them to malfunction so when the shuttle’s rockets ignite, the plane is still attached and is taken up into the upper atmosphere. Seeing the trouble occurring on TV, Clark quickly changes into Superman and flies off to help; severing the locks and helping guide the shuttle into orbit before heading down and preventing the plane from crashing, depositing it inside a baseball stadium. Ripping open the plane’s door, Superman asks if everyone is ok, then focuses his attention on Lois, who is staring at him in shock, before flying off. The world is abuzz with Superman’s return and Perry has all of his reporters focus on writing about him, upsetting Lois, who wants to focus on the mysterious blackout but Perry overrides her. As Perry and Lois argue, Clark is at his desk listening in when he is surprised by Jason, Lois’ son. Lois exits Perry’s office and speaks with Clark, then introduces him to Jason and Richard before they all head out. That night, Superman flies to Lois’ house and uses his X-ray vision to see her and Richard talking about him and her past relationship with him. The next day, Superman ends up stopping several crimes and saving some people, including Kitty in a runaway car, but Kitty’s rescue was meant as a distraction while Lex and his men rob the museum of a meteorite containing shards of Kryptonite. As Lois and Clark work on their stories through the night, Richard, Jason, and Jimmy Olsen go to get some food for them all. Lois takes the opportunity to go sneak a smoke on the roof when she is surprised to see Superman appear. Superman says he is there to answer any questions she might have and explains that he had left to go research rumors that Krypton had survived. He comments about her article and she said she wrote it as a way to move on from him and he takes her flying with him, explaining how he hears all the people’s cries for help and even though the world may not need him, he can’t help but try to help people. After taking Lois back to the Daily Planet and Lois heads downstairs to find Clark joining Richard, Jason, and Jimmy in eating the food that Richard had brought. The next day, Superman flies up to the Fortress of Solitude but discovers that several crystals were taken from the control matrix and he flies off to look for them. The next day, Perry congratulates Lois on her article and tells her to keep working on the Superman angle but Lois chooses to keep working on the blackout, tracking power grid surges to a house. Lois heads there with Jason and not getting any answer at the house, investigates the grounds and decides to head onto the yacht anchored in the back. As she looks around, she notices several toupees on stands and, realizing who owns the boat, tries to leave but runs into Luthor just as the boat leaves the harbor. As they head out to sea, Lois asks Luthor to let her go but Luthor refuses, then proceeds to explain his plan to Lois. Showing her the crystal, Luthor shows her a map of how the crystal will form a new continental mass in the ocean, which will proceed to wipe out the Eastern seaboard of the US due to the water displacement, with almost the entire US being destroyed before the continent finishes growing. Lois tells him that Superman will stip him but Luthor laughs, then shows her a tube of Kryptonite he has as a precaution against Superman. Suddenly, Luthor stares at Jason and asks Lois who his father is, thinking it might be Superman, but Lois tells him it is Richard and Jason has no reaction to the Kryptonite so Luthor leaves the room with Kitty, leaving one of his men to guard Lois and Jason. Back at the Daily Planet, Richard has no luck reaching Lois and he and Clark try using her computer to figure out where she might be. Back on the boat, Lois has Jason play the piano to distract the guard while she tries to send a fax to the Planet for help. On deck, Luthor places the crystal inside the tube of Kryptonite then launches it into the water, where the crystals begin growing and forming an island laced with Kryptonite. As the crystals cause another blackout and Lois tries to resend the fax when the power comes back on only to see the guard has pulled the plug on the fax machine. As the guard attacks Lois, Jason starts to hyperventilate and pushes away from the piano, which causes the piano to slam into the guard and crush him. As Lois stares in shock at Jason, two other guards enter the room and, seeing what happened, lock Lois and Jason in the pantry. They then tell Lex what happened, who asks about Jason before quickly boarding his helicopter and heading for the island. Back in Metropolis, the power comes back on and Jimmy notices the fax from Lois and shows it to Richard and Clark. Richard goes to get his seaplane so he can head out to rescue Lois while Clark quickly changes into Superman and flies off. As he heads to Lois, he notices the seabed breaking open and quickly flies back to Metropolis to deal with the the disasters that suddenly strike the city. As the new continent begins breaking through the surface of the water, Richard arrives on the boat and rescues Lois and Jason but the boat is suddenly pierced by one of the rock crystals and is lifted into the air before breaking apart and falling into the sea. As the three struggle to stay above water in the sinking ship, the pantry door slams into Lois, knocking her unconscious while sealing them in the pantry as the boat sinks. Superman arrives and lifts the damaged ship out of the water, then opens the door and rescues them. Taking them back to their plane, Superman helps them to take off, then heads to the continent to confront Luthor. As Superman approaches Luthor, Luthor suddenly punches him and knocks him down the rock formation. In the plane, Lois comes too and when she learns that Superman saved them before heading to the continent, she tells Richard to turn back as they have to save him. Back on the continent, Luthor mocks Superman about lacing the place with Kryptonite, then proceeds to beat him before letting his men proceed to beat him up. After a while, Luthor grabs a shard of pure Kryptonite and stabs Superman in the back with it, then snaps it off inside him. Superman staggers to his feet but eventually falls off the cliff into the ocean below. Richard’s plane shows up and Jason spots Superman in the water and points him out to Lois and they quickly land the plane, with Lois jumping into the water to save Superman. Richard helps Lois get him in the plane and as he works on taking off, Lois removes the Kryptonite from Superman’s body and quickly throws it out of the plane. Superman regains consciousness and after thanking them, he opens the door and says goodbye to Lois before leaving. Superman flies up into the sky, recharging his powers from the sunlight, and then flies down, using his heat vision to burrow down into the earth beneath the continent, then starts lifting it up. On the continent, Luthor feels the tremors and tells Kitty and his men to quickly get to the chopper (I couldn’t resist). As the continent starts crumbling around them, Luthor’s men are killed but Luthor and Kitty manage to get into the helicopter and start the engines. Before they take off, Kitty quickly drops the remaining crystals onto the island and Luthor tries to grab them but sees the ground splitting open and quickly leaves. Superman proceeds to lift the land mass out of the ocean and flies it into space but, weakened from the Kryptonite exposure, he loses consciousness and plummets back to earth, crashing into a park in Metropolis. Superman is taken to a hospital, where the doctors try to revive him but he falls into a coma. As Perry and Richard debate on what headline to use for the paper, they notice Lois sitting at her desk and Richard approaches her and offers to drive her to the hospital. Unable to park due to the crowd of people standing in vigil outside the hospital, Lois gets out and walks, with Jason accompanying her. They are escorted to Superman’s room and Lois goes up to Superman and, after staring at him for a bit, says she meant to tell him something, then proceeds to whisper in his ear. As Lois and Jason leave the hospital, they don’t notice Martha Kent standing among the crowd watching the hospital. Meanwhile, Luthor and Kitty find themselves stranded on a small, deserted island as their helicopter has run out of gas. That night, a nurse goes to check on Superman and quickly sounds an alarm when she finds his bed is empty. At her house, Lois is working on writing a new article titled “Why The World Needs Superman.” Meanwhile, Superman is up in Jason’s room, staring at the sleeping boy, and says the same words to him that Jor-El said to him years ago, as the secret Lois whispered is that Jason is his son. As he leaves, Jason wakes up and says goodbye, just as Lois had gone outside to smoke. Lois asks Superman if they will see him around and Superman says he will always be around, then says good night before flying up into the sky.

Superman Returns met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, though several critics have since commented negatively regarding the length of the film. The critical consensus on the site is, “Bryan Singer’s reverent and visually decadent adaptation gives the Man of Steel welcome emotional complexity. The result: a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs adaptation.” Years before this movie came out, Warner Bros. made another attempt at a Superman film, with Tim Burton directing and Nicolas Cage playing Superman, but three weeks before they started filming, Warner Bros. forced the film into cancellation due to the poor performance of Batman & Robin. The movie was a box office success, earning $391.1 million off of a $$223 million budget, and a sequel was planned but Warner Bros., not happy with the poor worldwide gross, cancelled it and the franchise would later be rebooted as part of the new DCEU series with Man Of Steel.

You know, I like Bryan Singer as he has made a lot of good movies, but I will never forgive him for making this movie, as he ended up breaking his deal with Fox to make this, allowing Brett Ratner to absolutely ruin the Dark Phoenix story line in X-Men: The Last Stand. But that is a story for another day. As for Superman Returns, this was a decent movie but it really dragged out for way too long. The acting was good, with Brandon Routh doing a really good job as Clark/Superman, making a good enough difference between the two characters while giving each one their own personality. The story was pretty good, basically ignoring the last two movies (which is what most people try to do), and following after the events of the 2nd movie, but also helping keep it someone more modern. The only bad thing though is that they put so much into the story that it ended up being longer than really necessary. They could have cut a few of the non essential scenes without losing anything from the story and it would have been a lot shorter. The special effects were pretty good, with one or two over-the-top scenes but overall, they did the job in making the movie exciting to watch. It is long but still a good movie to watch and a worthy successor to Richard Donner’s original entries into the franchise.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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December 13th, 2017 Movie – Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

superman 4

We have come to the last movie in the original series and boy, what a way to go out. Now I admit that I did have a chance to see this movie in theaters when it came out. However, when I was presented with the choice of a 4th movie in a franchise, I decided to go watch Jaws: The Revenge instead, and I honestly don’t feel the slightest regret in my choice. Well, I might as well get this over with and watch today’s movie, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.

The plot: On a Soviet space station orbiting the Earth, a cosmonaut is singing while doing maintenance on the outside of the station while his fellow cosmonauts joke with him about is singing. Suddenly, some space debris hits the station, causing the station to spin while knocking the cosmonaut off the station and sending him into space. Superman shows up and stabilizes the station, then retries the floating cosmonaut and takes him back to the station and helps him inside before flying back down to Earth. In Smallville, Clark is wandering around his family’s farm getting ready to sell it as his mom , Martha Kent, had recently died. Heading into the barn, he sees his old spaceship and sees a glowing crystal and hears his birth mother Lara’s voice, telling him that it is an energy module and it’s power can only be used once. After Clark grabs the crystal, the spaceship dissolves just as Mr. Hornsby, the real estate agent, shows up. Clark meets with him but tells him he refuses to sell the farm to a developer, as he wants to sell it to someone who wants to have a farm. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is working at a prison rock quarry when his nephew Lenny shows up and helps him escape. Back in Metropolis, Clark heads down to the subway but just misses the train that Lois is on. As the train heads down the track, the engineer suffers a heart attack, causing the train to go out of control, and Clark, hearing the trouble, quickly changes into Superman and stops the train, saving everyone aboard. When Clark arrives at the Daily Planet, he learns that the Planet has been taken over by David Warfield, a tabloid tycoon, and his daughter Lacy. During the course of the day as David starts making his changes to the Planet, they see a televised speech from the President, saying that he was going to be increasing the country’s nuclear arsenal in response to Soviet’s activities. When a classroom hears the speech, the teacher suggests writing to their congressman to tell them how they feel but one kid, Jeremy, writes a letter to Superman instead. Elsewhere, Luthor and Lenny head to the Metropolis museum and steal a strand of Superman’s hair that he had donated. After grabbing it, Luthor tells Lenny that he plans on using it to make a being that is stronger than Superman. Back at the Daily Planet, Lacy has taken a liking to Clark and attempts to seduce him and convinces him to help her with some stories about various clubs in the city. Lois interrupts them and brings the letter Jeremy wrote to Superman and gives it to Clark to read. Lacy gets excited about the idea of using the kids letter to boost their circulation, and David brings Jeremy to Metropolis to show him around the city while printing a front page story about Superman saying “Drop Dead” to the kid. After seeing the headline, Superman heads to the Fortress of Solitude to consult with the Kryptonian Elders about the situation, and they tell him to not interfere and he can always go to a new world where there are no wars. After Clark returns to Metropolis, Lois meets him at his apartment, as they were supposed to go to a press dinner together, and he reveals that he is Superman to her again. They fly off for a while and after returning to his apartment, he discusses Jeremy’s letter with her before wiping her memory again. The next day, Jimmy Olsen is taking pictures of Jeremy around the city when Superman shows up and they head to the U.N., joined by Lois and Lacy along the way. Inside, Superman speaks to the delegates and tells them he plans on ridding the world of every nuclear weapon, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. As Superman collects the various nuclear weapons and throws them into the sun, Luthor meets with an American and Soviet general and makes plans to attach his device onto one of their missiles so that when it is thrown into the sun, it will create a being that will kill Superman and allow them to renew their arms race. The generals agree and once the missile is thrown into the sun, the Nuclear Man is born and flies back to Earth. Arriving at Luthor’s hideout, Nuclear Man starts to turn on Luthor but Luthor has him walk out of the sunlight, causing the Nuclear Man to depower and Luthor tells Lenny that he derives his strength from the sun and that the lack of sunlight is his only weakness. Meanwhile, Lacy is still having Clark join her at various clubs and while they are working out in her gym, she says they should tag along with Lois while she interviews Superman and make it a double date. Clark arrives at Lacy’s apartment and constantly manufactures situations to disappear so that he can change into Superman and vice versa. Suddenly, Clark hears a piercing noise and sees Luthor appear on a view screen downtown, telling Superman that only he can hear or see him and tells him that he has a bomb placed on a nearby building. Superman leaves Lacy’s apartment, and flies to the building to find Luthor and Lenny waiting for him. Luthor then introduces Superman to the Nuclear Man, telling Superman that after Nuclear Man kills him, he plans to use Nuclear Man to help restart the arms race, where he will make millions. The Nuclear Man and Superman start to battle across the world, with the Nuclear Man causing several disasters during the course of their fight. When the Nuclear Man grabs the Statue of Liberty and drops it from the sky, Superman grabs it and flies it back to Liberty Island, but Nuclear Man scratches him and infects Superman with radiation sickness. As the weakened Superman falls to the ground, Nuclear Man kicks him into the sky, while Superman’s cape falls to the ground. Later, David makes Lacy the new publisher of the Daily Planet and shows her Superman’s cape, which he had bought from the person that grabbed it, laying on her desk. Lois enters the office upset over the paper’s headline, “Superman Dead?” and quits, then grabs the cape off of Lacy’s desk. Lacy apologizes to Lois, saying she knew nothing about it, and asks if Lois has heard from Clark, as he hasn’t called in and she is worried about him. Lois heads to Clark’s apartment and breaks in to find Clark still sick from the radiation sickness, though he passes it off as the flu. Lois talks with Clark about her feelings towards Superman and leaves Superman’s cape with him. After she leaves, Clark takes the energy module and uses it to heal himself. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Man sees a picture of Lacy and becomes attracted to her so he flies off to grab her but finds Superman standing in front of the Daily Planet. When Superman refuses to tell him where Lacy is, Nuclear Man begins attacking the nearby people until Superman relents and agrees to take him to her. Superman manages to trick Nuclear Man into an elevator, where he loses his powers, then grabs the elevator and takes it up to the moon. As Superman leaves, a crack in the elevator door allows sunlight in, powering up Nuclear Man and he renews his attack on Superman, eventually pounding him down into the ground on the moon. Nuclear Man then flies back to Metropolis, grabs Lacy, and flies off with her. Superman digs himself out of the moon’s surface, then pushes the moon in front of the sun to cause an eclipse, then rescues Lacy from the depowered Nuclear Man. Superman then grabs Nuclear Man and drops him into a nuclear reactor, causing the reactor to power up to super levels. Later, Perry White gets a loan from the banks to buy the majority shares of the Daily Planet, forcing David out as owner. Later, Superman gives a speech in front of the U.N., saying that he could not be the one to stop the wars on Earth and that they needed to make sure to do that themselves. Superman then captures Luthor and Lenny, placing Lenny in a boys home while taking Luthor back to prison before flying off to new adventures.

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace was completely panned by the critics, holding a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot’s going.” The failure of this movie at the box office caused The Cannon Group Inc., who had produced the movie, to put their plans for a Spider-Man movie on hold. Technically, the movie was a box office success, as it earned $36.7 million off of a $17 million budget, but it was considered a critical and commercial failure and it would be almost 20 years before another Superman movie would hit the big screen.

Good lord, this movie was terrible. I honestly feel bad for DC comics to have to be associated with this one. The acting was ok but honestly, several of the actors just didn’t seem to have their hearts into this one. The story was a mess and felt like they just kind of threw a bunch of ideas together and see what sticks. The special effects were really the worst aspect of this movie. I know this movie suffered from a lack of budget compared to the other movies but there was still issues with these. The green screen effects, even something as benign as Superman flying around, were simply awful. I also still didn’t like the additional powers that Superman was given, such as telekinesis and special eye beams that were able to restore the Great Wall of China after Nuclear Man destoryed parts of it. Anyways, this is one of those movies that always winds up on a “Worst Movie Ever” lists and definitely earns it’s place there.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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December 12th, 2017 Movie – Superman III

superman 3

Continuing with the exploits of the Last Son of Krypton, we come to today’s somewhat infamous entry into the franchise. Now this is a movie that honestly left a lasting memory in me back when I was a kid, mainly because one scene really creeped me out. To date, this has been the only Superman movie I have seen in theaters, not that I haven’t had opportunities to see any of the more recent movies in theaters. Anyways, let’s get on with today’s movie, Superman III.

The plot: Gus Gorman, a chronically unemployed man, is at the unemployment office and learns that his benefits have run out after his being out of work for 36 months. When he asks a man in line for a light, he sees an ad for a computer programming school and decides to enroll, where he discovers he has a knack for computer programming. Meanwhile, Clark Kent arrives at the Daily Planet and as he speaks with Perry about going to his high school reunion and doing a story on it, he learns that Lois is going to Bermuda for a story. Meanwhile, after finishing the programming school, Gus gets employment at Webscoe but when he is disappointed in all of the taxes that are taken out of his paycheck, he decides to embezzle from the company by rerouting the fractions of cents from all transactions into his account. Elsewhere, Clark is on a bus to Smallville with Jimmy Olsen when the bus is stopped due to a nearby fire at a chemical plant. As Jimmy sneaks in to take pictures of what is going on, Clark changes into Superman and asks the fire fighters how he can help. After rescuing some workers from the roof, Superman heads inside to ensure everyone is out and finds one man staying behind to look after the canisters of Beltric acid, saying if they heat up they will release an acidic cloud that could eat through anything. As the fire continues to rage, Superman rescues Jimmy, who had broken his leg when the ladder he was on broke. When the water runs out from the fire trucks, Superman heads to a nearby lake, freezes it, then carries it back to the fire, where the heat from the fire melts the ice and turns it into rain, which puts out the fires. At the reunion, Clark sees his high school crush Lana Lang and goes to talk with her, and she takes him out to the dance floor to avoid dealing with her drunken ex-boyfriend Brad Wilson. Clark stays in Smallville for a few more days, continuing to hang out with Lana and her son Ricky. Meanwhile, Gus’ actions are discovered by company owner Ross Webster, who blackmails Gus into helping him destroy the coffee crops in Colombia, as the Colombian government refuses to do business with him in his bid to control the coffee market. Ross and his sister Vera want Gus to use the Vulcan weather satellite to create a storm that will take out the crops and when Gus suggests they access Vulcan through a low level computer so it won’t be traced back to them, Ross sends him to Smallville, where a Webscoe subsidiary Wheatking is based. When Gus gets there, he convinces Brad, who is the night security guard, to let him in by bribing him with liquor. After Brad passes out drunk, Gus heads to the main computer room and after a couple of attempts, accesses the Vulcan satellite and has it create a hurricane to attack Columbia. Ross, Vera, and Lorelei Ambrosia, Ross’s psychic nutritionist, see the news about the hurricane and Ross starts celebrating but Gus shows up and tells him that Superman had stopped the hurricane and saved Colombia. Ross is upset that Superman might interfere with his oil plan but Lorelei mentions Kryptonite and he comes up with a plan. Ross has Gus use the Vulcan satellite to analyze the remains of Krypton so he can discover what Kryptonite is made of so that their labs can manufacture some to use against Superman. When Gus analyzes Krypton, he finds one of the elements is an unknown substance so he substitutes tar as the substance in the report. Superman agrees to show up at Ricky’s birthday party but the town of Smallville decides to hold a festival in his honor. During the festival, Gus, disguised as an Army officer, shows up and awards Superman for saving the town from the chemical fire and hands him the synthetic Kryptonite but Superman suffers no effects from it. Later, at Lana’s house, Superman starts acting strangely, choosing to flirt with Lana and delaying going to help with a traffic accident. Superman then straightens out the Leaning Tower of Pisa and blows out the Olympic Flame, causing the nations of the world to censure his actions. With Superman no longer being complete good guy, Ross feels that he will no longer be a hindrance to his plan. Ross has Gus order all of the oil pumps to start working and reroute all of the oil tankers to a spot in the middle of the ocean. Gus refuses at first unless Ross agrees to build him a supercomputer based on his own designs. When Ross agrees to build it, Gus uses the computers to do as Ross asks but one of the tankers refuses to follow the new orders. Realizing this, Ross has Lorelei seduce Superman and convince him to turn the tanker around but when he stops the tanker from continuing towards Metropolis, he ends up causing an oil spill. Meanwhile, Lana gets tired of dealing with Brad and realizing she needs a change, decides to move to Metropolis with Ricky. When they get into town, they see Superman getting drunk at a bar and causing a commotion and Ricky pleads with Superman to go back to being a hero as he flies off. Superman ends up heading to a junkyard and screaming in frustration, scaring off the workers. Suddenly, Superman separates into his good self, in the form of Clark, and his current evil self. The two personas begin fighting in the junkyard, with Clark eventually winning as he strangles the evil self until it disappears. Clark then changes into Superman and flies off towards the ocean, where he returns the oil to the tanker and repairs it. Superman than heads to Lorelei’s apartment, where he sees a video message from Vera inviting him to come get them. Superman flies to Glen Canyon, where Ross had the super computer built, but comes under fire from the computer’s defenses. As Superman heads inside the cave where the computer is, the computer analyzes him and is able to create a Kryptonite beam to use against him. Not wanting to be known as the man who killed Superman, Gus manages to cut the power to the computer but the computer becomes self aware and begins absorbing power from the nearby power lines to continue attacking Superman. Gus uses a fire axe to disable the beam projector but the computer blasts him away, knocking him unconscious. Superman recovers and flies away while Ross, Lorelei, and Vera try to escape the computer but Vera is captured and transformed into a cyborg. Vera attacks Loelei and Ross when Superman returns, carrying a container of Butric acid, and saves them. The computer doesn’t register the acid as a threat as it attacks Superman but as it drags Superman inside it’s core to try and turn him into a cyborg, the heat from the super computer heats up the acid and it ends up destroying the computer. Superman frees Gus and takes him out of there to a nearby coal plant. Superman grabs a piece of coal and crushes it into a diamond, then tells the workers that Gus would be a good hire but Gus opts not to work there and decides to walk to the nearest bus stop. In Metropolis, Clark heads to Lana’s apartment, telling her Superman can’t meet her for dinner but asks if she would like to go to dinner with him instead, to which Lana happily agrees. Clark then gives Lana the new diamond ring, which he had made to replace the one she was forced to pawn, when Brad shows up, having followed Lana to Metropolis. Brad attacks Clark in a drunken, jealous rage but Clark is able to dodge him and Brad ends up falling onto a room service cart and rolling into the elevator. The next day, Perry is congratulating Lois on the story she wrote while on vacation and as Lois is talking with Clark about his story and offers to take him to lunch, Clark tells her he is going to lunch with Perry’s new secretary, Lana. Later, Superman flies back to Pisa and restores the Leaning Tower back to it’s original position then flies off to orbit the Earth to look for new adventures.

Superman III was panned by most of the critics, holding a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.” Both Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder expressed their disgust over the firing of Richard Donner, with Reeves considering not returning for the movie, but he was eventually convinced to return when he was offered the ability to make some rewrites to the script while Kidder’s role was reduced to only a few minutes of screen time. Despite the bad reviews, the movie was a mild hit at the box office, earning $80.2 million off of a $39 million budget.

I am 50/50 on my feelings towards this movie. On the one hand, there are a couple of good scenes that are in this movie but overall, it’s kind of a let down. The acting was ok, with Christopher Reeve (Clark), Annette O’Toole (Lana) and Richard Pryor (Gus) doing great jobs in their roles. The story was a bit of a mess, and I think part of that was that they tried to put too much slap stick elements in it in an attempt to lighten the mood some, but it hurt the overall story. That being said, there were some good elements in this movie. The synthetic Kryptonite angle, which mimicked aspects of Red and Black Kryptonite, and the fight between Superman’s good and evil personas was definitely the best part of the movie. Meanwhile, the scene where Vera was turned into a cyborg is still a little unnerving but I felt like childlike memories might have made it more vivid than it really was. The special effects actually seemed better than in the second one but there were a few aspects that could have been better. All in all, it has a bit of a bad rep but this can be entertaining to watch.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 11th, 2017 Movie – Superman II

superman 2

As successful as Superman was, I don’t think there was any doubt that a sequel would be made. The funny thing is, the sequel was actually being filmed at the same time as the first movie but was put on hold before it was finished, as the studio wanted to get the first movie finished and see how it did before they completed work on the sequel. Now I don’t remember if I saw this in theaters but I do remember watching it on TV with my dad years ago and the kid in me thought it was awesome to see Superman fighting some other Kryptonians who were just as strong as him. So let’s see if this feeling still holds up with today’s movie, Superman II.

The plot: On Krypton, General Zod, Ursa, and Non break into a facility, killing the guard and breaking one of the crystals inside, but they are quickly captured, where a trial is held and they are banished to the Phantom Zone. Years later, Clark Kent arrives at the Daily Planet only to learn that a terrorist group has taken hostages at the Eiffel Tower and threaten to blow up Paris with a hydrogen bomb if their demands aren’t met. When he learns that Lois Lane has been sent there to cover the story, Clark quickly leaves the building before changing into Superman and flies off towards Paris. In Paris, Lois arrives at the Eiffel Tower but when she hears about the bomb, she sneaks into the Eiffel Tower and climbs underneath one of the elevators so she can get closer to the terrorists for a better story but her purse strap gets snagged on one of the struts, trapping her underneath. The terrorists release the hostages and send them down in one of the elevators while sending the bomb up on one of the others, which happens to be the one Lois is trapped underneath. When the terrorists leave the elevator, the police detonate explosives the placed in the junction box, sending the elevator crashing down but accidentally causing the bomb to be activated. Superman arrives in Paris and quickly flies down and stops the elevator from crashing, rescuing Lois, then flies the elevator car up into space to let it explode safely. When the bomb explodes, it sends shockwaves out that knock Superman back but he quickly recovers and flies back to Earth. However, the shockwaves also strike the Phantom Zone prism as it flies by Earth, freeing Zod, Ursa, and Non. The three Kryptonian fly to the moon, where they proceed to attack and kill three astronauts before flying down to Earth. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor and his henchman Otis, make plans to break out of prison, with Eve Teschmacher’s help by piloting a hot air balloon, but Otis’ weight is too much for the balloon so Luthor kicks the ladder off, leaving Otis behind as he and Teschmacher fly off. Clark and Lois are sent on assignment to Niagara Falls, posing as newlyweds to expose a honeymoon scam. While they are walking by the falls, Lois starts to get suspicious about Clark when Superman shows up to save a boy who fell off the railing and Clark is nowhere to be seen. At the same time, Luthor and Teschmacher head north and eventually reach the Fortress of Solitude, where Luthor learns of the existence of Zod, Ursa, and Non. Learning that there was a chance the three could escape the Phantom Zone, Luthor realizes that the strange alpha waves he had been detecting were the criminals and makes plans to contact them. Back at Niagara Falls, Lois voices her suspicions to Clark about his being Superman and decides to jump in the falls to prove her theory. As she makes her way down the river, Clark rushes along the bank and tries to save Lois without revealing his secret identity, eventually using his heat vision to sever a tree branch for her to use to stay afloat before she is able to get to shore. As she is chastising herself back in their hotel room, Lois asks Clark to hand her a brush and as he moves towards her, he trips over a bear-skin rug and his hand falls into the nearby fire. When Lois checks his hand and realizes it is unharmed, Clark finally comes clean and Lois says that he probably did so subconsciously. Realizing that they need to talk, especially after Lois says that she loves him, so he takes her to the Fortress of Solitude so he can explain everything. Meanwhile, Zod, Ursa, and Non arrive in the small town of East Houston, Idaho and quickly take over the town. When the military arrives to deal with them, the three Kryptonians easily defeat the military and then head to Washington to force the President to surrender. Back in the Fortress, Superman speaks with the image of his mother and learns there is a way to remove his powers and make him mortal, so he can live his life with Lois, but she cautions him that the process is irreversible. Clark agrees to go with it and enters a chamber that is filled with red solar radiation, removing his powers from him. Lois is shocked that he gave up his powers for her as the two end up sleeping together before making the journey back to Metropolis. When they stop at a diner to eat, Clark gets into a fight with a man harassing Lois and ends up getting beat up. As Lois helps him to his feet and tends to him, they see a televised broadcast of the President surrendering to Zod before pleading for Superman to help them. As Zod comes on camera and calls out Superman, Clark realizes the danger that he has placed on the Earth by surrendering his powers and decides to head back to the Fortress to see if there is anyway to get them back. Making his way up North, he finds the Fortress apparently destroyed by the process that removed his powers and calls out to his father, only to notice the green crystal that built the Fortress glowing on the ground. Meanwhile, Luthor arrives at the White House and informs Zod that Superman is the son of Jor-El, which angers Zod and the three Kryptonians head to Metropolis and attack the Daily Planet to draw him out. As they threaten Lois and Perry, Superman, having regained his powers, appears outside and draws the three villains outside to fight. The three Kryptonians battle with Superman throughout the city, and Zod takes advantage of Superman’s weakness by constantly attacking the people in the city. Realizing the battle couldn’t continue without hurting someone, Superman flies away, drawing reproach from the crowd below. Zod returns to the Daily Planet to declare his victory and tells Non to kill Luthor but Luthor says he knows where Superman is going and so Zod tells Non to stop and they take Luthor and Lois to follow after Superman. When they arrive at the Fortress, they renew their attack on Superman, who manages to use several tricks in order to grab Zod but Non and Ursa grab Lois and threaten to rip her in half unless Superman releases Zod. Superman reluctantly does so and Luthor approaches the group, only for Zod to say that he has outlived his usefulness. Luthor approaches Superman to ask for his help and Superman tells him to get the Kryptonian into the chamber so they can steal their powers. Luthor immediately warns Zod of the trap and Zod forces Superman to go into the chamber and then tells Luthor to activate the chamber. The room is bathed in light and when Superman exits the chamber, Zod orders Superman to kneel before him and swear fealty to him. Superman kneels but when he grabs Zod’s hand, Superman easily crushes it before picking him up and tossing him into a wall, where Zod falls into a crevice. Non tries to attack Superman but when he tries to fly, he fails and falls into another crevice while Lois knocks Ursa into a third crevice. Luthor realizes that Superman had switched things so that he was protected in the chamber while Zod and the others were exposed outside and Superman admits he knew that Luthor would try to double cross him which is why he didn’t tell him the truth. Superman flies Lois back home, and supposedly takes Luthor back to prison, and the next day, Clark goes to talk with Lois at work. Lois admits how hard it is knowing that he will always be flying off to save people and she can’t react any differently to him at work or outside without accidentally revealing who he is or how she feels about him. Clark kisses her and uses the kiss to wipe her memory of the last few days so that she doesn’t remember that he is Superman. Clark then leaves to go get Lois a hamburger and ends up running into the man who beat him up, where he easily beats the man this time. Superman then flies an American flag back to the top of the White House, apologizing to the President for being late and promising he will be there they next time they need help, then flies off to orbit the Earth.

Superman II met with high praise from the critics, holding an 87% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.” The movie was about 75% filmed at the same time that Superman was filmed but when the studio went to finish the movie, director Richard Donner was no longer directing it as he was fired over disagreements with the studio. However, there were roughly 24 minutes of unused footage that Donner shot which were incorporated into an alternate DVD release titled the Richard Donner cut. While not as successful as it’s predecessor, the movie was still a box office success, earning $190.4 million off of a $50 million budget.

Ok, child me kind of died a little inside because this didn’t really hold up over time. Still, it wasn’t that bad of a movie. The acting was good, with Christopher Reeve (Clark), Margot Kidder (Lois), and Gene Hackman (Luthor) doing great jobs reprising their roles. I also liked Terrence Stamp (Zod) and Sarah Douglas (Ursa) but my favorite was Jack O’Halloran (Non), as his child-like innocence mixed with the Kryptonian powers made for some great, and sometimes funny, scenes. The story was pretty good though, as I haven’t seen the Donner cut, I am curious to see how the two versions compare and differ. However, one thing I didn’t like is the additional powers they seemed to give Zod and the others, such as the finger beams or the somewhat telekinetic powers they had. Also, and I apologize if this upsets anyone, but what was up with the stupid expanding chest shield thing that Superman threw at Non? The special effects honestly didn’t stand up to the test of time, as they truly look dated when watching it now. Still, this is a fun movie to watch and honestly better than some of the more recent efforts.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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