As students of the cinema will readily appreciate, the difference, auteur-wise, between the Donner-directed Superman movies and the Lester-directed Superman movies is that Richard Donner gave a shit and Richard Lester clearly did not.
That’s why the flying scenes in Superman III are so disappointing. In the original movie, Donner was willing to spend untold months and millions perfecting the technology, while Lester figured you could just put a shot of Christopher Reeve holding his arms out on top of a picture of the landscape, problem solved.
But if you really want to see the full extent of Lester’s that’ll-do pragmatism, just look at the pathetic little patch of weeds that he chose as the location of the film’s picnic scene.
Continue reading Superman III 4.23: Sure, the Picnic →
For almost one minute of screen time, the Superman III soundtrack is Roger Miller singing “They Won’t Get Me.” Why?
Continue reading Superman III 4.22: The No Comprendo →
And besides, what is Ricky supposed to get out of this incident? What lesson has he learned? What lasting advantage has been bestowed upon him?
The problem that Clark Kent, alias Superman, is supposedly trying to deal with is that young Ricky here is being bullied by his classmates. They don’t want him on their bowling team, for a very good reason: the kid has no skills, and brings nothing to the organization.
If the miraculous intervention on Ricky’s behalf makes it appear as if he has suddenly and temporarily acquired an inhumanly destructive right hook which blows bowling pins to fragments, then what? Even if this moment of triumph, which he did not earn and does not deserve, imbues him with masterful confidence heading into his next time at-bat, he still sucks at bowling and that deficit has not been corrected.
And as for the bullying, if you think that the only problem the other kids have with him is his bowling skills, then you need to take another close look at Ricky.
Continue reading Superman III 4.19: Still About Bowling →