Okay everybody, time to light up. This week, I’m talking about the big Metropolis battle sequence, and I have to take a minute today to appreciate the staggering amount of product placement strewn around the set.
This battle is the main action sequence in the movie, the one scene that everyone remembers as the showdown between Superman and the Kryptonian villains, and that made it ground zero for advertising firms trying to get their clients’ logo onto the screen.
Now, the original intention was that the producers would film both Superman and the sequel at the same time, so I assume that the main advertising space was booked by the time they started shooting in 1977. But then there was a break in the production, and during that time, Superman became a huge hit at the box office, so I expect more companies started lining up to buy placement in the film.
I think that’s why this scene ended up so chock full of brand logos, because this was the big sequence still to be filmed, and the Salkinds could just keep making deals all the way until production started up again. I mean, there’s always more wall space, somewhere.
Continue reading Superman II 2.43: Marlboro
Intrepid reporter Lois Lane finally has that big scoop she’s been looking for, all these years: the true identity of Superman, high-flying space angel and secret king of the sky. I’d like to say that she uncovered it through smarts, determination and a keen insight into the human condition, but the fact is, it just kind of fell on top of her while she was thinking about hair care products.
But never mind that indignity; this is one of the great discoveries in human history. There’s nothing that even the most scattershot of directors could do, to take this moment away from her.
Continue reading Superman II 2.24: Kneel Before Clark
If the Superman movies have taught me anything so far, it’s that people fall out of stuff way more often than you would imagine. We’ve seen Lois fall out of a helicopter, and get herself strapped to a plunging elevator, and if you watch the Donner Cut, she even throws herself out of a Daily Planet window on purpose.
There’s also a cat burglar falling down a skyscraper, Air Force One about to crash, and Lex Luthor hanging from a high shelf in his library, and at the moment, the Phantom Zoners are gently drifting down through the upper atmosphere. In the end, it’s all about altitude.
Continue reading Superman II 2.16: The Fall of Man
Martha wakes up, and remembers.
In that first moment just after dawn, her head still clearing from sleep, there’s a fraction of a second when nothing has changed.
She opens her eyes and Jonathan isn’t there, because he couldn’t sleep — worried about the taxes again — and he ended up dozing in the armchair in the living room, a magazine in his lap.
She opens her eyes and Jonathan isn’t there, because his leg is bothering him again, and he went downstairs to do those funny exercises the doctor told him to try.
She opens her eyes and Jonathan isn’t there, because
Because he isn’t there.
And Martha remembers.
There’s work to do. It’s a farm, there’s always work to do, and now there’s even more. She’ll get up, and get dressed, and she’ll make breakfast for Clark — a complete breakfast, the best way to start the day, with two eggs, a slice of buttered toast, a glass of orange juice and the delicious whole-grain oats crunch of General Mills’ Cheerios.
Continue reading Superman 1.24: A Balanced Breakfast