Re-watched the 1978 Superman film for the first time in years. A few things occurred to me.
The first ten minutes on Krypton are even better than I remembered. Brando earned his truckload of cash, really setting up the whole film. The music is as good as I remember too.
Superman Returns (a whole other can of worms) was a sequel to Superman I and II way more than I realized. After seeing super-capable Lex Luthor on the Justice League cartoons it was jarring to watch Kevin Spacey’s Luthor use Krypton technology for a real estate scheme but Gene Hackman’s goofy Luthor set that all up with his speech about real estate and his nuclear missile/San Andreas Fault real estate scheme in in this first movie.
Christopher Reeve is supernaturally good looking and he’s the only real looker in the movie. It really makes it seem like Superman is from another planet because he’s just so handsome.
The big conflict of the movie is the only thing Jor El tells his son not to do. “Do not meddle in human history.” Naturally, Lois Lane dies and Superman freaks out and disobeys his father but there aren’t really any consequences. I would have wanted General Zod and his posse to get free of the Phantom Zone directly because of Superman disobeying his father but that wasn’t how it shook out.
His father told him not to do one thing, Superman broke his father’s only rule and nothing at all happened. Other than Lex Luthor’s kryptonite necklace, the movie is without any real threat and his father’s warning turned out to be meaningless.
The score and the first ten minutes are solid super heroic movie-making and the rest was weak.