Thursday, March 6, 2014

Infamous Sequels: Superman III

It is pretty much as bad as they say.  Some films are known as Classics.  Movies like Citizen Kane sell themselves at this point.  You should still see them, but you get alot of the same effect just from hearing about it.  On the flip-side, there are films that are so famously-bad that they sell themselves (as shit) at this point.  If you haven't seen Plan 9 From Outer Space, you probably already know that it is bad and full of Continuity Errors.  On that note, I present you with Superman III.  If you don't know why it is so bad, let me lay it out for you.  Superman is practically the secondary Lead, it is chock full of stupid Comedy, it has about three actual Plots and is chock full of Filler.  Is that enough for you?  Let us get down to the 'brass tax' (or whatever out-dated expression that you prefer) now.  This film is bad.  I knew that it would be bad.  Even going in expecting bad though, I still found a way to be disappointed.  Yeah, it's that bad.  You see, there are more problems than just the obvious one.  Watching Superman III is kind of like digging through your Christmas presents, but only finding socks...that aren't even the right size.  You keep going, thinking that a great gift- like a Castle Grayskull playset - is hiding in there.  What you get is just more and more socks.  That is not to say that NOTHING in the film is good.  There are a few hidden gems in this movie, which is why I don't feel bad for having watched it.  You want to find out the good and the bad?  If so, read on...
The film begins with Richard Pryor as a schmuck named Gus.  He has no job and no money.  Naturally, he's perfectly-suited to become...a Computer Programmer?  Fuck you, College!

Oh and is this subtle racism to have the black Comedian playing a jobless loser on Welfare (especially in the 1980s)?  Maybe...
Following that, we get the Intro scene that sums up the film quite well.  It is a long series of bad slapstick scenes with no rhyme or reason.  It is just...wow.

For those of you who wonder what Richard Lester added to Superman II, you can see it now: stupid, stupid comedy.
Here's a part that is often forgotten: Margot Kidder is barely in the film.  She has one scene near the beginning, leaves and reappears at the End.  Bye!

If you want to know why, she didn't like how the Salkinds (the Producers) treated Richard Donner, so this was her 'punishment.'  Um...damn you?
In a nearly-pointless diversion, Superman stops a chemical fire and Jimmy Olsen breaks his leg, cutting his screen time down as well.

Instead of focusing on that, let's focus on how he freezes THE TOP of a Lake and drops it on the fire, causing it to turn into rain during the descent.  Oh Mythbusters...
In Plot #13, Clark/Superman returns to Smallville for a story and meets Lana Lang.  He befriends her and her son Ricky.  The name choice is all just to set up an I Love Lucy reference for all five of you that remember that Episode.

Seriously, Richard Lester is old and only cares about old-timey jokes.  Please don't die anytime soon, Mr. Lester, or else I will feel like a real asshole (more than usual).
In the actual Plot, Not Lex Luthor (since Gene Hackman also was mad at the Salkinds) hires Gus to help with his plan to conquer the world...by way of forcing control of Coffee and Oil Reserves.  Yeah, the land ownership plots are better.
The only good part here involves Gus and Company making Kryptonite that acts like Red Kryptonite and makes Superman turn into a dick.  Highlights include adjusting the Tower of Pissa and blowing out the Olympic Torch.

Kudos to Reeve for his two performances (three if you count him as Clark) here.  Not Kudos to just about everything else.
I should mention that an early Draft of the Script- Written by Mrs. Salkind- included Mr. Mxyzpztlk and Braniac.  I say that since the finale- involving a Super Computer, Drones and a Kryptonite Beam- has the villain's sister turning into this...
Since Gus helped save Superman- after poisoning him with Kryptonite, stealing money, working for the villain and just generally being annoying- he gets off scot-free.  He doesn't take the job offered to him though, since...funny?

So we end with Superman flying into Space...in a shot from the first film.  Leave it to the Salykynds to end their involvement in the Film Franchise with Stock Footage.  The End.
Wow.  Just wow.  This is bad.  You already knew that though, right?  I will say that the film's bigger problem is the pacing.  I mean, just wow.  They waste so much damn time just to get to around two hours.  The chemical fire is long and drawn out.  What is the point of it?  Just to introduce the Acid at the Plant for Superman to use later.  That's it?  The numerous Sub-Plots- like Clark and Lana, the Contest at the Daily Planet, the Drunk Football Star- just pad the Run-Time out like crazy.  If you can get past this, the film is just not funny.  I rarely laughed.  I like to think that I have a broad sense of Humor, enjoying quirky jokes, dark humor, some slapstick and word-play.  This film was just dumb Slapstick with almost no logic.  The 'Worst Street In America' Opening bit is a great example of this.  Random Phone Booths that fall over, penguin dolls set on fire (foreshadowing Batman Returns) and Superman changing in a Photo Booth (since I guess all of the Phone Booths were no on their sides?) are just some of the 'wacky' moments here.  As a side note, I need to get Bob to review the Paperback Book Version that I bought for 50 cents.  Get on that, won't you?  In summary, this film is terrible.  I wonder if I should make Bob watch this next Round of Project Terrible.  In the mean-time, enjoy this weird and off-putting 3-D effect on the Credits (despite the Film not being in 3-D)...
Up next, I switch gears completely to review a Dario Argento film that I bought a while ago.  I'm kind of sticking to my New Year's Resolution...sort of.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Man, so if I had just become a software engineer WITHOUT getting a degree I could have met Superman?

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