Tag Archives: Warner Bros.

iReview :: SUPERMAN THE MOVIE: Extended Cut

Still the “Gold Standard” by which all superhero blockbusters should be measured, director Richard Donner’s SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE gets a new Blu-ray release of the very rarely seen “3-Hour Long” TV Version!

 

In 1978 director Richard Donner did more than just prove that a man could fly — he made moviegoers believe in a super hero, and it made their hearts soar! Superman The Movie has since become one of the cinema’s most beloved adaptations of the DC Comics icon. The film inspired a franchise that has endured for decades, would incite the studios to seek out their own big screen counterparts, and that’s not to mention how many industry creatives, including DC Comics own Geoff Johns, who were indelibly impacted by the success of the film.

The feature length film was huge at the box office and would be followed by an equally successful sequel; Superman II would itself be well received by critics and audiences alike, though the film would be highly scrutinized and years later fans would learn of the conflicting personalities behind-the-scenes. When the original Superman The Movie made its way to primetime television, the film would receive a “Special Edition” redux and not long after, in a very special televised event, it would be exhibited in a re-edited 3-hour-long TV Version.

Though the Special Edition release has been commercially available on Blu-ray ever since the turn of the new millennium, it’s 3-hour-long cut has only just been given the same attention. For nearly 3 decades this version of Superman The Movie has gone unseen by many, and although it’s being hailed as the “definite” version of the film, it doesn’t diminish the greatness of Richard Donner’s vision. In an era of filmmaking that has become jaded to or expectant of “director’s cuts” or “extended versions” of theatricals Superman The Movie was way ahead of the curve.

A Man Could Fly

I’m reminded of the exhilaration I felt that first time sitting in a darkened movie theater whenever I see that curtain opening at the beginning of Superman The Movie and the opening notes to John Williams’ score. Donner’s movie intro harkens back to the origins of the Man of Steel, who was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster during the Great Depression. The character became a beacon of hope for many who felt powerless and stifled by the threat of war and poverty. Superman inspired a purpose; his incredulous deeds and powers made possible the impossible!

More than 75 years later, Superman is still DC Comics most iconic character and is as relevant a part of the motion picture franchise. The hero will be among the line-up that makes up part of the most anticipated cast of heroes to headline a full-length blockbuster when Justice League launches worldwide in November. In the heroes most recent big-screen incarnation, he is played by Henry Cavill (who will reprise his role in JL) who embodied the Lost Son of Krypton first in Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel released in 2013.

When Cavill returned to the world of DC Comics it was for 2016s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice also directed by Snyder, the film would mark the first time in contemporary cinema that both Batman and Superman, along with Wonder Woman would be appearing on film together. The event would also set the stage for what fans had long hoped would be the case, the inauguration of the expanded cinematic universe that would include a linked-up continuity that would match the pace established by the Marvel Films.

Though the feature-length film received very mixed reviews, it’s the Extended Cut released for home exhibition that truly fully incapsulated the story that should have been played for audiences in theaters. Through the reedit, Snyder was able to flesh out more character nuances and add some filler to scenes that felt stunted in the theatrical release. BvS The Extended Cut benefitted from its release and undoubtedly rallied the troops especially after the successful reception that its follow-up film Wonder Woman got.

3-Hours More Super!

Before the advent and popularization of the now very common post-theatrical release of the “Director’s Cut” of a film, Superman The Movie: Extended Cut was way ahead of its time in delivering a more full-bodied narrative to its audience. The film just released on Blu-ray finally puts into the hands of fans a 188 minute cut of the film, that is a touch different from the “Special Edition” version that was released in 2000, and is touted as the director Richard Donner’s definitive version of the film.

The pace of the film is much more deliberate; the added scenes allow for more story to evolve for example, for the film opens on the planet of Krypton, Jor-El (portrayed by the legendary Marlon Brandon) has just sentenced three criminals to the Phantom Zone (who will infamously return in the sequel to spell doom for Superman). The following scene has Jor-El confronting the Kryptonian council on the theory that their planet will soon face its own destruction, and unless they do something quick, their race will become extinct.

Although Jor-El promises that neither he or his wife Lara will leave the planet, the council detect an energy signature coming from his lab that would suggest they are likely preparing to evacuate and send a sentry to capture Jor-El. Unfortunately, Jor-El’s prediction comes true and the planet begins to crumble, but not before he sends his infant son Kal-El into space. The destruction of Krypton is much longer as its citizens make haste to try to escape, a futile attempt, and as Kal-El’s rocket soars into deep space along its trajectory to Earth, it passes the Phantom Zone prisoners.

When the baby finally arrives on Earth, he is rescued and raised by The Kents in Smallville, Kansas. As an adolescent the young Clark Kent (Kal-El’s new adopted name) must keep his powers a secret from everyone around him. Inevitably Clark must leave home, and after his father dies, he is determined to uncover his true nature. There are extended moments from Clark’s moments on the field in Smallville, and after his dad passes away, his journey North is much more perilous, as we get a better idea of the terrain he crossed before finding the Fortress of Solitude.

The extended scenes runout plenty of the film’s quieter moments, giving breath to scenes like Clark’s first day at the Daily Planet and when he first meets Lois Lane. Christopher Reeve perfectly captures the moment as he sits across from Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane for the first time and takes her in — for Clark it’s love at first sight. The scenes that don’t work all that well are the ones that are applied to Lex Luthor’s backstory. Although the criminal mastermind is expertly played by Gene Hackman, the additional buffoonery doesn’t do him any favors.

Superman The Movie: Extended Cut is worth the experience, and will appease the die-hard fan, but for the definite extended experience the “Special Edition” release is just as eloquent and charming as is the Theatrical Version equally well executed.

Superman The Movie: Extended Cut 2-Film Collection is now available on Blu-ray and can be purchased through the WB Shop www.shopdcentertainment.com.

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Tickets Go On Sale for JUSTICE LEAGUE!

Get ready to join the Justice League when the DC Comics heroes finally arrive on the big screen, you can be among the first to see them in action. Tickets are now available via Fandango!

The time is drawing nearer and with tickets for Justice League finally going on sale, fans will have an opportunity to be among the first to see the team come together. Gal Gadot returns as the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman joining Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader! When a threat too big for either of them to handle alone threatens the earth, Batman decides to recruit a team of adventures to prove they can’t save the world alone!

Buy your tickets in advance from Fandango and get this exclusive Justice League poster art!

Check out the exclusive Teaser Trailer appearing on Fandango and visit the site here to purchase advance tickets. Fandango VIP ticket-buyers will also be given the opportunity to receive an exclusive and complimentary Justice League movie poster that won’t be available anywhere else! Perfectly capturing the members of the super powered epic that is already getting some brilliantly positive buzz.

The Justice League will unite on the big screen Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and introduce Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg who will join forces to prevent an apocalypse!

On November 17 Justice League will be released and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures! Get ready to POWER UP!

 

First Images reveal a Spectacular “Wonder Woman”

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After significant starts-and-stops “Wonder Woman” goes into production and gets a sensational reception by fans!

Although she first had a significant impact in primetime when Lynda Carter portrayed the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman has had a perilous journey making it to the big-screen, but it looks like Warner Bros. the studio that has had a string of successes with franchises platformed off of Princess Diana’s male counterparts, has finally focused its energies and the third part of the DC Comics trinity is about to go big time.

Fans were highly encouraged when at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con the first images of Gal Gadot were released with the Fast and Furious actress in full battle armor set to spar amidst titans in 2016’s summer tentpole Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film follows director Zack Snyder’s redux of the Superman mythology, and after much hesitation the filmmaker has admitted the film is a proper sequel to his hit Man of Steel.

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After the winning the role of DC Comic’s most powerfully iconic female lead, Gal Gadot went about to win fans over when the trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered at SDCC.

 

And from the “first look” images revealing a sensually mysterious Diana Prince stealthily hidden beneath a cloak, Wonder Woman is ready for the big screen…in a big way. The character will come between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in there upcoming blockbuster brawl that will also help to launch the connective franchise series Justice League.

Early glimpses at the Woman Wonder film suggest that the film will be a period piece set during the events of World War II with Star Trek’s Chris Pine in the role of Steve Trevor, Diana’s paramour and ambassador into Man’s World. The story revolves around Diana’s pursuit of the dangerous mad god Ares and a secret weapon that the God of War plans on using to lead down the path to Armageddon.

The behind-the-scene story of bringing Wonder Woman to life is almost as legendary as the origins of the character itself. Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon was initially tasked with writing the script which realized a contemporary imagining of the heroine. That story was soon scrapped for something a little more inline with the comic book origins which set Diana in the middle of the second World War.

The film has already passed hands several times. Michelle MacLaren was originally set to direct until she decided to leave the project over creative differences, until handing the reigns to Patty Jenkins who is currently helming the project for a theatrical release in 2017.

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In full color and full armor, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman!