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Superman (1978)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Superman (1978) The tagline said: "You'll believe a man can fly!" And I still do, all these decades later. SUPERMAN-THE MOVIE is smart, imaginative, action-packed, sexy, humorous, and just plain fun. It's my favorite adaptation of all the SUPERMAN movies and holds up so perfect. The special effects still hold up today and are like a mish-mash of my favorite disaster films of the '70's: AIRPORT, EARTHQUAKE, FLOOD, FIRE!, and so forth. There's even a nice ode to '70's cops films like THE FRENCH CONNECTION in here. I probably have seen this movie 200 times or more and after seeing the new MAN OF STEEL flick, I wanted to see if this one still held up---and it does. I think what binds it together is the great, epic screenplay by Mario Puzo and the incredible acting by Christopher Reeve, along with Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. Also, Valerie Perrine as Lex's honey, dressed in scantily-clad outfits like that doozy of a number with black strips that barely trail over her nipples...WHO in their right mind could forget that? Ned Beatty as the bumbling Otis, another Luthor henchman, is most excellent comic relief. Margot Kidder as Lois Lane is perfect too, and the sexual banter between her and Superman is priceless (ahhhhh, "Do you LIKE pink panties, Superstud?!?!"). The story, tracing Superman all the way from his home planet (destroyed, he's sent away by his parents beforehand) to earth, where he has special powers...just WORKS. Marlon Brando is awesome and powerful as Jo-rel, commanding the screen with his presence as Superman's alien dad. The scenes of young Clark growing up (seeds for Smallville, of course) are epic and engrossing, and everything about this movie just WORKS. Gene Hackman as Luthor, again, he has so much fun with his part and has so many good lines that it just begs for repeat viewing, THIS is the Superman of my generation. Luthor and his zany plans, the sexual bantering between Clark/Lois/Superman, Luthor and Valerie, the 70's cameos of all your fave TV actors, including Larry Hagman...come on, what's NOT to love in this movie? Once the action begins, it just never stops, and seriously, it's like a best-of hits of my favorite '70's Irwin Allen disaster movies, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, well, you're too damn young! There's bombs, explosions, earthquakes, dams breaking, and nonstop cat-and-mouse games with Superman vs. Luthor. I think the one sequence that holds up so incredibly today is the one where Lois Lane dies, and Superman could NOT save here, realizing that he does NOT have power over death. His solution, moving time backwards...doesn't really "fix" the problems because in one of the timelines, Lois has died. This moral decision that Superman had to make is still debated today and adds an extra element of energy to the movie on whether or not this was the "right" thing to do. Brilliant, captivating, and epic entertainment, SUPERMAN-THE MOVIE still stands tall on my list of ALL TIME favorite movies. Maybe you had to be there and grow up with it, or maybe you can appreciate it now...one more time. Either way, give it another view. You surely won't be sorry! And how about that John Williams score?!?! PITCH PERFECT!!!!!

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