Adventure Running In The Family…

Love it or loathe it, The Maid Of Might‘s 1984 feature is nothing if not a product of its time. Originally conceived as as the first Movie Superhero team-up, the script was hastily re-written when Christopher Reeve declined last minute to participate and it shows. What remains is a curious and somewhat humorless fairytale resplendent with pantomime villainy. Helen Slater’s sensitive and vulnerable performance earned greater material while Peter O’ Toole and Faye Dunaway managed to chew up the scenery regardless.
Though their choice of Director (Jeannot Szwarc) was ill-advised, the Salkind’s were prudent enough to retain their effects team from the Superman series and the wirework (especially the ‘Flying Ballet’ sequence) has yet to be surpassed. Beleaguered by poor reviews and a bemused audience expecting another Superman Supergirl has nonetheless gained a steady cult following over the years thanks in no small part to Jerry Goldsmith’s stirring score.
Shown above is the definitive collectable from the movie in the form of the Anchor Bay limited Edition DVD release from 2000. Years ahead of its time in terms of content, transfer and presentation, this rare 2-disc set contained the never-before-seen directors cut of the film with all-new commentary and the vintage ‘Making Of’ special.
Given the existence of such excellent material and its genuine place in the Superman cinematic canon, its omission from the upcoming Blu-Ray set is mystifying but like everything else associated with this picture, it deserved better…

SuperFanCuts & Bootlegs…

In continuation of my last post regarding the passion and efforts of SuperFans to bring you material otherwise unseen, shown above are what I consider to be the most defining works. ‘Fan edits’ are a relatively new concept where software exists to simply re-edit a favorite movie to your taste & specifications. Due to their personal vision they are at best hit & miss and found more often than not taking up bandwidth on torrent sites. Very occasionally, however, some projects not only revolutionize and rejuvenate certain properties but can generate such enthusiasm and buzz that major studios themselves respond and capitalise on them. The best example of this is the Superman II: Restored International Cut (RIC) that I credit with no less than being the catalyst for WB to invest in the abandoned Richard Donner Cut Of Superman II. From the top; selection of unofficial DVD’s starting with the longest existing cut (often referred to as the KCOP cut) of Superman; The Movie, Superman II, The RIC and fan edit Superman Redeemed – a bizarre fusion of Superman III and IV in an experiment to make one cohesive picture…

The Ultimate…

Now that the Superman Motion Picture Anthology On Blu-Ray details have been released it seems more than appropriate to revisit the hitherto definitive version on DVD. Elegantly presented in its unique ‘Steel’ tin, The Limited Ultimate Collectors Edition was an impressive 14 disc set that for once, really lived up to its name. Region 2 was offered similarly, although spared the comic-book and (mercifully) the 14th disc of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns journals. Enclosed in a fantastic lenticular slipcase (with art by Jim Bowers and Ramon Casares) the remaining packaging nonetheless exhibited a higher percentage of stills & art from Superman Returns than was really warranted. Content-wise was nothing short of a dream come true for SuperFans with the inclusion of the never-before-seen reworking of Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, brand-new documentary You Will Believe, The Cinematic Saga Of Superman, all the extras from the previous release and notably, finally, the presentation of the deleted scenes from Superman IV; The Quest For Peace. While the excitement of seeing the supposedly ‘lost footage’ was paralleled only by its awfulness, The Donner Cut was sprinkled with moments of pure magic and inspiration not felt since 1978. Not only was it a great time to be a Superman fan but for SUPERMANIA, it represented the end of a very long journey peppered with campaigns and the ceaseless badgering of WB by fellow SuperFans to get these Movies the love and attention they truly deserved. Will there ever be an official 100% complete set of all Superman material in the future? Who knows?  All I do know is while its out there, you’ll believe the dedication of the SuperFan will endeavor to bring it to you.
From the top; Original stills of the set and Bottom; Promo from Capedwonder.com…