Saturday, October 19, 2013

75 years of Superman in 2 minutes

Cool animated video that celebrates Superman through his many looks and reboots. What more can I say other than, "Great Caesar's Ghost!"?


Hamid said...

Talking of Superman, I looked up your review of Man of Steel not long ago to see what you thought of it and you pretty much summed up my reaction. On the plus side, Henry Cavill was excellent, as was Amy Adams, and many of the action scenes were spectacular. It was good to see Superman actually fight, after Superman Returns was 2 hours of the character just catching falling objects.

On the downside, the real world approach that worked for The Dark Knight doesn't suit Superman. The grainy, bleached out look isn't the right fit. Superman is about color, comic book escapism and fun. Man of Steel had great action and special effects, but no humor, color or sense of fun.

But beyond all of that, the film's biggest failing was the totally leaden characterization and unmemorable dialogue. Michael Shannon is one of the finest actors working today and I couldn't wait to see him as General Zod, but all he was given were standard villain lines. When you think of Terrence Stamp as Zod, you recall great lines like "Come to me, Superman. Kneel before Zod", "This 'Super' man is nothing of the sort" and "Why do you say these things when you know I will kill you for it?" Great, memorable dialogue that made him a three dimensional villain. There was nothing like that in Man of Steel.

By the way, Ken, you've said before your favorite Superman was the one I like to call the tubby Superman, George Reeves. Did you see Hollywoodland? It's an excellent film about his mysterious death. It captures the period beautifully, and ironically stars Diane Lane, who's also in MOS.

Rockgolf said...

Y'know, 75 years after a fictional character is created, it should damn well be public domain. Lord knows Siegel & Shuster's families aren't benefiting from the continued copyright.

D. McEwan said...

Actually, Siegel & Shuster's familes DO still benefit from the continued copyright. Quite frankly, I totally disagree that Superman should be in the public domain. Do you hold any copyrights? I suspect not. As a holder of a few copyrights myself, boo to public domain. Fine for Shakespeare and Dickens, but given that Superman is in the hands of his legitimate owners, that's where he belongs.

I saw this video a couple days ago. I had had trepidations since it was co-credited to the director of Murderer of Steel, but I loved it.

charlotte said...

"Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple. Superman."

Johnny Walker said...

75 years and they've still only managed to make one decent movie. Two if you include the original Donner cut of Superman II.

Re: Copyright. These usually expire 75 years after the death of the author, not after it's original creation.

Matt said...

I loved the Activision shot. I loved that game.

Mike said...

I don't begin to understand the legal battles over Superman but, mostly from the Wiki, Time Warner owns the copyright.
1) Siegel & Shuster sold the rights to DC in '38. Normally, creators never own rights to their characters since their creations are "work for hire", but Siegel & Shuster created Superman before working for DC.
2) The copyright was renewed by DC in '67.
3) The Siegel estate sued for copyright termination in '99. Presumably, the rights would then return to the creators. In 2008, half the copyright was awarded to the estate for work published after '99. This was overturned in January. The battle continues.
4) After much fighting, the rights to Superboy are with Time Warner.
Alan Moore: Given that Superman had been rebranded as exemplifying Truth, Justice and the American Way, it seems ironic that the first two of these qualities had been so casually dispensed with, while to judge from the behaviour of the nascent comics industry it would appear that their interpretation of ‘the American Way’ had little to distinguish it from any other forms of spineless underhand deception, larceny or bullying.
All hope rests with the Crimson Comrade.

Mark Patterson said...

This short is a delight.

I give Superman Returns credit for one thing they did really well: that sequence with the jetliner/shuttle. When he grabbed the jet by the wing and it pulled to pieces, I cheered. I know that funnybooks aren't physics texts, but I was very glad to see at least a nod towards it that time around.

Jeffro said...

Nice, but it would have been better if they depicted the epic battle between him and Batman, which was the climax to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Without that book, along with Alan Moore's The Watchmen, superhero comics and all their movie/TV franchises would all be dead today.

Covarr said...

1:22 - Because DCAU Superman is best Superman.

Anonymous said...

Copyrights don't usually expire 75 years after the death of the author. That was passed at the request of Disney when Bill Clinton was president. For the previous 200 years, copyrights lasted not so long.