SuperPod: SuperMan (1978) The Year (2016)

superheroes

Richard Drumm and Paul Farren join forces to bring you a look back at the year in superhero films employing their newfound powers of finger rating, plus they discuss Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman and together unlock the secrets of the universe.

There’s also a look into the future to see what 2017’s superheroes have to offer us mere mortals…

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We Love… Superheroes: Superman

batman signalcopy(1)

  Illustration: Adeline Pericart

Bam! Pow! Thwack! From masked avengers to caped crusaders, what would we do without spandex-wearing superheroes fighting crime and righting wrongs? While we mere mortals go about our daily business and sleep soundly in our beds at night, an army of superheroes are working tirelessly around the globe – but mostly in America – fighting to bring peace, justice and outside-underpants to the world.

And so, in honour of their efforts, our own band of Film Ireland superheroes assemble to dish out their own critical form of justice and wreak havok on those villians who long for a world without heroes.

Eat dust evil! Superheroes are here to stay.

We Love…

Superheroes:

 

Superman

‘… what makes him so interesting is the combination of this godlike power with a human conscience that is committed to doing good …’

Glenn Caldecott

Superman_logo

Unnoticed by most, the recent success of a certain Christopher Nolan trilogy has caused an important shift in Irish street fashion. The films have seen a rise in those taking to the streets wearing black Ts depicting a flying rodent, silhouetted against a yellow oval.

Once reserved for spotty nerds, now rockers, ravers and Topshop-shoppers alike don comic-book apparel in support of their super of choice. But despite the increase in numbers of black t-shirts, peaked caps and bras with the yellow symbol, there are still more blue ones, proudly displaying a red and yellow S, the insignia of the most iconic superhero of all time!

Let’s get one thing out the way, I don’t think there have been any truly great Superman films. Between some weak storytelling and some dodgy outfits they haven’t got much going for them. (Except that epic theme music, you know the one. The one that sounds like the Indiana Jones theme. Although I might be thinking of the music from Jurassic Park. Or Star Wars. Who cares, they’re all good).

Perhaps my favourite appearance of Superman in a film comes from one he’s not even in. At the end of Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol 2, David Carradine performs a monologue in which he explains why Superman is his favourite superhero. You can read the full speech here but, to summarise, the mythology of Superman is unique because, unlike other supers, he was born as Superman and his alter-ego is Clark Kent. Now if you are a pedantic geek (like me) you will realise that Bill is wrong in both his assumptions that this is unique to Superman and that he was born as Superman in the first place (he was born Kal-El and had to become Superman)

But regardless, while the morality of superheroes can often get a little sketchy (i.e. you can only truly make a difference in this world if you acquire powers, are one of the elite few who are born magical, or you inherit a small fortune – I shake my fist at you dirty capitalists), Carradine’s speech hints at the moral considerations that, I think, make Superman the most interesting superhero.

Our Man of Steel is indeed an outsider, but is committed to helping the people of earth in spite of this. What often makes the alien in red underpants seem boring, and is a concept that I think the Superman films have struggled with, is that it is hard for an individual of near limitless power to be in any real danger. But I think what makes him so interesting is the combination of this godlike power with a human conscience that is committed to doing good – the ‘man’ half of his name.

I mean, imagine having these powers for a day and the psychological headache it would cause. Should I save the OAPs in the falling coach or the landmine-destined toddler? Should I interfere in geopolitical conflicts? Should I look through Lois Lane’s clothing? All difficult ethical questions. These are questions relevant to all superheroes, but are heightened by both Superman’s powers and his strong commitment to righteousness.

For whatever reason, these deeper considerations, that are present in the comics, have failed to translate into films. But this only helps my argument that Superman is the best superhero. Despite the lack of a quality on screen appearance, he has still become one of the most iconic figures of the past century, something that the prevalence of Superman apparel will attest to.

The battle for superhero supremacy will not be waged on the pages of the interwebs or on cinema screens. It is being fought out there on the streets, so take up your blue, red and yellow flip-flops and join me brothers and sisters!

Glenn Caldecott

Stay tuned. Next time on ‘We Love… Superheroes’ – Daire Walsh on Spiderman

 

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We Love… Superheroes

batman-signalcopy1

 Illustration: Adeline Pericart

Bam! Pow! Thwack! From masked avengers to caped crusaders, what would we do without spandex-wearing superheroes fighting crime and righting wrongs? While we mere mortals go about our daily business and sleep soundly in our beds, an army of superheroes are working tirelessly around the globe – but mostly in America – fighting to bring peace, justice and outside-underpants to the world.

And so, in honour of their efforts, our own band of Film Ireland superheroes assemble to dish out their own critical form of justice and wreak havok on those villians who long for a world without them.

Eat dust evil! Superheroes are here to stay.

 

We Love…

Superheroes

 

 

Batman – Ciara O’Brien

Darkman – Darragh John McCabe

The Hulk – David Neary

Spider-Man – Daire Walsh

Superman – Glenn Caldecott

Thor – Rory Cashin

Watchmen – Anthony Assad

Wolverine – Tony McViker

Wonder Woman – Carmen Bryce

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Midday Movies

Bill Murray may star as Roosevelt as spirit of The King’s Speech lives on

The legacy of The King’s Speech lives on: King George VI and his wife are to make a return to the big screen in Hyde Park on the Hudson, an adaptation of a BBC radio play, directed by Roger Michell. The main focus of the story is the love affair between US president Franklin D Roosevelt and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley, which comes to a head in June 1939, when the American leader was visited at his upstate New York cottage by Bertie and Elizabeth. Michell is reportedly courting Bill Murray to star as FDR.

Read more at: www.guardian.co.uk


Lucas: 3D is the new colour

Star Wars creator George Lucas says 3D film-making will eventually take over at the cinema in the way colour replaced black and white. Lucas and fellow technology pioneers James Cameron, the maker of ‘Avatar’, and DreamWorks Animation boss Jeffrey Katzenberg pointed out that digital film-making was only in its infancy but would bring vast improvements to how movies were made and seen.

Read more at www.irishexaminer.com

BFC to run under Film London

As Film London, the U.K. capital’s film and media agency, gears up to take on the shuttered U.K. Film Council’s role of encouraging investment in the British film biz, it has unveiled a new strategy to manage the duty. The British Film Commission, which worked under the UKFC to bring foreign industryites and studios to shoot in the U.K., will now operate under Film London.

Read more at www.variety.com

‘The Governator’ is back

With his years as California governor behind him, Arnold Schwarzenegger could return to his acting career with a new animated TV series. The planned action-comedy cartoon is called The Governator, according to A Squared Entertainment, a partner in the venture. It will focus on a superhero living a double life as an ordinary family man and Terminator star Schwarzenegger will provide the voice of the title character.

Read more at www.irishexaminer.com

Parallel Supermen In The Works?

Hot on the heels of the Batman Rebooted story, and the news that DC honcho Jeff Robinov plans to have a Justice League movie up and running for a 2013 release, comes this intriguing nugget from new Superman director Zack Snyder. Heyuguys scooped the scoop from the red carpet at the UK Sucker Punch premier. Asking Snyder how his and Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent would fit in the JLA, the simple response was ‘He doesn’t. What I’m doing with Superman is like what Chris Nolan did with Batman,’ quoth Snyder, ‘and what they’ll do with Justice League will be its own thing, with its own Batman and its own Superman. We’ll be over here with our movie, and they’ll kinda get to do it twice, which is kinda cool…’

Read more at www.empireonline.com

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