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Superman I (Blu-Ray) (Import) (2013) Gene Hackman; Christopher Reeve; Glenn
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As a child I originally saw this in 1978 in the cinema and was completely blown away from start to finish! and easily became one of my favourite films of all time along side the original 1977 Star Wars film. Wasn't it brilliant back then in the 1970s of people of a certain age, boy just fantastic! Special Effects may be dated in places, but are more organic and solid, than the over the top CGI of today's age.
I won't go into the storyline, but theatrical version is well paced, with drama, action and adventure through Space to Farm to City. Christopher Reeve performance as the Man of Steel/Clark Kent is the definitive in my eyes. All the nolstalgic Actors/Actresses all excell.
I remember collecting the full set of Superman Trading Cards and always wonder why certain pictures did not featured in the Cinema version. It wasn't until the early 1980s I read a review in Leonard Martins Film Book that he mentions there was a two night TV Version with around 40mins of deleted footage added to the then 1982 ABC TV Network in the US that featured those pictures in the Trading cards.(Back then there was no Internet! you found info in books and widely published magazines like Starburst) As far as I know the Extended Cut was shown only in the US in the early 1980s, and a even longer cut to 188mins in 1994 and subsequently in Australia and Ireland.
Fans out there who recorded various versions on VHS or obtained 16mm film did put together an available 188mins cut for sale or download free over the years. I managed to obtain this years ago on DVD/ VHS quality. I thought the extended cut was absolutely brilliant with the expanded scenes and deleted cuts especially when Superman flies at different angles and wonder why they were cut from the theatrical version. I can understand for time constraints and pacing that alot of scenes were not used in the cinema version and suitable for TV as to why the original Producers made the TV Versions for Viewing/Financial reasons, but I'm glad they did made these versions or we would have never seen or heard about them (General public/Fans) over the decades, until maybe the DVD/Blu ray AGE as extras!!!
Historically The original film source TV Version Cut seemed lost forever and patching up to match them from scratch I imagined would have required locating original film negatives and restoration as Richard Donnor did in his Expanded 2000 release. But out of the blue as I recently read prior to this Blu Ray release, the WIDESCREEN! full length TV VERSION was found in some Warner Archive Vault. And now we can fully enjoy the actual Extended Cut in HD Blu ray! albeit restored sound/visuals where necessary. I understand unknown to a majority of people/fans but probally die-hard fans of Superman a certain TAKE involving Lex and Ottis clammering around when the ambulance van doors are flung open seems shorter which was actually the edit used in the 1982 TV ABC version and a longer one in an international TV Broadcast. A downloaded version made by a fan called Restored International Cut included the longer one with Lex and Ottis as opposed to the original TV Broadcast in 1982 which also didn't include Christopher Reeve/Marlon Brando scene in the fortress of Solitude after Superfeats. I guess Pan & Scan and edit cut downs were used to form from the 188mins Widescreen recentley discovered were used in the original 1982 TV Network broadcast. Interesting stuff, though I personally think this Blu ray release is as good as it gets.
For most of us the TV Extended cut is virtually new and discovered or even unheard of until now it's availability on Blu Ray Disc.
From my own experience I thought I saw everyithing having been used to the Pan & Scan TV Average quality, but was blown away like being a child again by this fantastic WIDESCREEN VERSION with scenes I obviously haven't seen in my life. Overall brilliant. 3 hours or so flew by.
The picture quality is unique to it's own compared to the theatrical/expanded release in a positive way. I'm glad they kept the original sound, with enhanced spacial mono where dialogue music ques/special effects are clear and in my oppinon done well. The opening/end credits include true stereo that blends in well into the film.
The only quarm I have with this release is that like so many of the Superman DVD/Blu ray cover design they are too generic. They should have used the original UK 1978 UK art poster! buy hey! i'm probally being picky!
Note: Though this is a WARNER ARCHIVES release only available ON DEMAND via Online/Sellers and not in shops, this is a geniune Blu ray manufactured DISC like any other commercial/chart busting film release quality disc and not a B D- R. It is also Region Free and should play on worldwide players.
Thankyou to you guys at Warner BrosArchives for this TV Version on Blu Ray.
A BRILLIANT MUST BUY!!!!!
Overall amazing. If you love Superman the Movie, it's a must see. Watch and see how a superhero origin story should be told...
Firstly, it's presented here in 2.40:1 aspect ratio just like in cinemas, not the 1.33:1 it would have gotten on TV when it was televised. However, the sound is only mixed in a rather disappointing 2.0. I think this is a deliberate move on behalf of the producers and perhaps Richard Donner himself, to ensure you don't take this longest cut as the ultimate version of the film. And with good reason. This cut of the film feels like a rough cut assembly. It's full of flab and scenes that take too long or are just immaterial. There a few nice additions, but they are too few to mention and I've already forgotten what they were. It is worth seeing this version of the film if you are a Superman fan, but don't expect to be wowed by a revelation because there isn't one. This is padded out with stuff that was ultimately cut from the Theatrical edition, and rightly so. This TV version was shown over 2 nights and I can imagine being quite the event in its day. But all together it can be agonizing to watch, especially if you know the theatrical version so you are ahead of the film, waiting for things to happen. This is one for the purists and die hard fans only, but as a curio I thank Warner Brothers for not only making it available, but partnering it with the Special Edition.
The Special Edition is Richard Donner's restored - Director's Cut - he did in 2000, which runs 151 mins. It is mixed in a lovely 5.1 audio and looks and feels like the original version, only better. There are slight changes in audio cues and some added scenes not in the Theatrical version.
Special Edition also features Commentary by Director Richard Donner & Creative Consultant Tom Mankiewicz, Screen Tests, Restored Scenes, Additional Music Cues, Music Only Track & 3 Documentaries: The Development of Superman; Making Superman:Filming the Legend; & The Magic Behind The Cape. Also worth noting is this is a Region Free Bluray set.