Superman: The Movie
The film that defined the super hero genre as we know it today
"Superman: The Movie" is truly a marvelous film. The movie is based on the popular D.C. comic's character, Superman (Christopher Reeves), who was sent to Earth, as a baby, to escape the fate of exploding along with his home world, Krypton. On Earth, (Superman's alter-ego) Clark Kent, grows up in a small town, Smallville, where he soon discovers his past and decides to use his powers to help protect the Earth after witnessing the death of his Earth father. However, he soon faces a cunning lunatic, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), that tries to blow up California for financial gain, and it's up to Superman to save the day. I'll admit this is bit dated by today's standards of super hero films, but its' storyline and direction is what makes this film a time less classic. Richard Donner's upbeat direction of this really captures the Man of Steel's impact that he's made on American culture. Presenting him as being the symbol of which we all aspire to be like. Much like the comic book version, the movie version serves as the blueprint for which all other super hero films are made.
The storyline plays a key to why this film was hit. The way most of the story is centered around Clark/Superman's relationship with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) throughout the film, so when Lois is dying, the audience is able to understand Superman's pain. The same can even be said when Clark sees his father die. Clark reminisces about how he had all his powers, yet there was nothing he could do to save him. This is a very powerful moment in the film because it shows the character as a human being, and how we all wish we could've saved our loved ones when they died. However, that's not to say that this film didn't have its flaws story wise.
The only flaws this film has would be that the pacing of the film seems more like a three hour film (as opposed to being a two hour film), and Lex Luthor was a bit of a clown in this. With scenes, when Lex is acting more like Moe, from the Three Stooges, by hitting his would be assistant, Ottis. Not that it wasn't funny, of course. However, it does make it seem a bit more like a cartoon in those scenes. Fortunately, though, these flaws never ruin the film.
However, the pacing, as slow as it was, actually works towards this films favor because unlike films like "Daredevil" or "X-2: X-Men United" that seemed to rush through character development and story in favor of action sequences, "Superman: The Movie" actually allows for the director and writers to tell a story in which the audience feels involved in.
Richard Donner and Coppola both did a great job recreating a character that inspired so many readers for generations and took it to another level. Making the characters themselves seem like human beings.
If you're Superman fan or not, this is truly a great film. Richard Donner is able to capture the essence of which has caused Superman to be a part of American pop culture for decades. Overall, this film still serves as the blueprint for all super hero films.