A collection of Superman films old and new. In 'Superman - The Movie' (1978), a baby from the planet Krypton develops superhuman powers under Earth's yellow sun. As an adult (Christopher Reeve) he dons red cape and pants, and flies across the world doing good deeds, whilst also hiding behind the alias of mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. Fellow journalist Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) falls for the muscleman in tights without realising he and her bumbling colleague are one and the same. This special-effects laden adaptation of the DC Comics series also features Marlon Brando in a highly-paid cameo and Gene Hackman as evil mastermind criminal Lex Luthor. Director Richard Lester provides a slightly tongue-in-cheek sequel with 'Superman 2' (1980), in which our hero continues to outstrip speeding bullets and leap tall buildings in a single bound, this time while preventing three arch-enemies from space from achieving world domination. In 'Superman 3' (1983), synthetic Kryptonite turns the normally upstanding Superman into a low-grade Supersleaze, clearing the path for a megalomaniac tycoon (Robert Vaughn) and a computer whiz (Richard Pryor) to take over the world. In 'Superman 4: The Quest for Peace' (1987), Superman, moved by a schoolboy's request, determines to rid the world of nuclear weapons. However, his arch enemy Lex Luthor, now a nuclear arms entrepreneur, clones Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow) from a strand of the hero's hair and the two mighty men battle it out in space. Finally, 'Superman Returns' (2006) is a sequel set after the events of 'Superman 2'. After eliminating General Zod and the other Kryptonian arch-villains, Ursa and Non, Superman (Brandon Routh) leaves Earth to search for his former home planet, Krypton. When he arrives he finds nothing but remnants and returns to Earth. Upon his return, he finds a Metropolis that doesn't need him anymore. Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is engaged to a relative of his boss (James Marsden), and to make matters worse, his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) has contrived a plot to build a continent using the crystals of Krypton that will wipe out most of North America. Superman must again race against time to stop the psychopathic Luthor before it's too late.
Now this is just the kind of set that the dedicated Blu-ray collector doesn’t want to be without. The Complete Superman Collection
brings to Blu-ray for the first time a definitive collection of the man in the blue tights’ cinematic adventures. We’ve previously had Superman
, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
and Superman Returns
on HD disc. But we’ve never had Superman III
, the theatrical cut of Superman
, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
and the original release of Superman II
. All of that has been rectified here.
But there’s far more to the collection than just filling in blanks. For this is an exhaustive set for the Superman fan, with a packed bonus disc going behind the scenes of the story of the cinematic franchise.
The gold here, though, is in seeing such a well-loved cinematic saga given some proper high definition love. Even appreciating that Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest For Peace are few people’s of ideas of classics, even they are given a quality makeover. And having the assorted cuts of the first two films in one place is very welcome indeed.
It’s a fascinating collection of films, that goes through some very pronounced highs and lows. But, with terrific HD upgrade work, The Complete Superman Collection is an essential Blu-ray boxset, warts and all. --Jon Foster
--This text refers to an alternate