Guilty Pleasures

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Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:24 pm

All the talk of SUPERMAN III in the other thread, I figure I'd start a thread instead of continuing it on a news thread for MOS.

But I won't really. I thought of something else SUPERMAN III related. Guilty pleasures. I'm not crazy about the flick, but there are bits and pieces I love in a sort of twisted way. Here's one of the things I like of it.


Such as the song by Roger Miller that was produced for SUPERMAN III. Why? I don't see how Miller fucking random chicks left and right then bailing out is supposed to be related. Laughing



But I dig the song. If I were ever to make a movie I'd include this, maybe even use it at the very end as the last thing audiences will hear before they leave the theater. Because I'm twisted.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  thecolorsblend on Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:45 am

Is it the greatest Superman film ever? No. That honor still goes to STM. For my money, Superman III's main strengths are (1) Christopher Reeve (c'mon, what/who else would be #1?) (2) the flying effects (still the benchmark in big screen live action; yet to be surpassed) (3) the disconnection from the previous two films.

I don't think I have to defend #1 and #2 around here. But #3? It's just how I feel. There's nothing really "wrong" with STM and S2, I just think Superman III benefits for being more of a stand alone. You could still half ass extrapolate a character arc for Superman though. By the beginning of the film, he'd spent the past couple years avoiding any level of intimacy with Lois that he'd started to become just a bit emotionally stunted. When he reconnects with Lana, he comes to realize, whatever his higher responsibilities, he's still human at least in the sense that he has emotional needs that will torment him if they're neglected. Exhibit A- Gorman's faux Kryptonite; would it have affected him quite as badly had he been involved with someone? The movie doesn't say either way but it's something I've always wondered about.

As for Pryor, he has more screen time than either Clark or Superman... but not more than Reeve. I forget where I found it but a real Superman III apologist (if you think I'm bad, this dude makes me look like a piker) formulated a chart that depicted the levels of screen time each actor got. The movie actually has better balance than people may think.

The beef is that the movie opens on and then follows Gus. It's damned near ten minutes before we finally cut to the Daily Planet... and when we do, it's a quick scene mostly to explain why we're not going back any time soon... after which it's back to Gus. It's almost fifteen fucking minutes before we see Superman in a real action sequence. From there on in, I think Superman III's goose is cooked in some ways.

But this is partly why Superman III works for me. Particularly in Bronze Age comics, it was common for a guest star to come along for Superman to essentially be reactive to the guest star's plot. That's what happens here. Now, this approach doesn't work for everyone. And to be fair, I wouldn't have wanted this in every Superman movie. But we'd already had two movies where Superman is pretty much front and center where he drives the plot so I didn't mind him taking a bit of a back seat to it.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:33 pm

The junkyard scene is probably my second favorite scene from the "Donnerverse" films. The helicopter rescue scene has yet to be rivaled by ANY comic book film as the characters "reveal". Not one. But the junkyard scene is very powerful, with some pretty decent, for their time, special effects.

Oh, and his "fire-walk" to rescue Jimmy? Flawless.



It also doesn't hurt that Chris Reeve was his absolute BIGGEST in this film, either:






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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  webhead2006 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:14 pm

that is a good scene from that film. I haven't watch 3rrd one that many times compared to one and two. But the two clark fight was one of the better moments from the film.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  non_amos on Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:08 pm

And look! THE SUIT! Trunks included! Smile

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:45 am

III definitely did plenty of things right.

Putting him back in Smallville and reuniting with Lana was the way to go. Having Lois' memory wiped in II (either version) was a serious mistake, so it would have soured III if they had Lois in a bigger role. Putting her aside in that context was the right thing to do, plus there ARE other women in Clark's life so he's not gonna just pine for one. Putting Clark back in Smallville was helpful so that we could get away from the clumsy dork act and see him more at ease, which is something we never got much of in the first two. Besides the brief time he was powerless with Lois, he was always either playing the role of Superman or playing the role of Dorky Clark. Heck even in the office scenes Reeve toned it down. He's still a dork but he's not overt. Plus the dynamic with Lana works better as she's really going for Clark, not Superman. Plus, Annette O'Toole was hot 30 years ago and is still hot today.


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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  thecolorsblend on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:11 am

In Superman III and IV, Reeve mostly played Clark as a mild mannered nice guy. You could believe a guy like that would forgettably drop away into the background. Lana would be attracted to a guy like that, who doesn't throw his balls around every time he walks into the room.

Anyway. Allz I'm trying to do here is mitigate some of the negativity a lot of people have for Superman III. Perfect? Nah, but (A) it's better than it gets credit for and (B) I'd take it any day over friggin Singerman.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:04 am

Gonna throw a shout out to composer Giorgio Moroder (MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, CAT PEOPLE, SCARFACE), who did some work for SUPERMAN III though he wasn't the main composer (that was Ken Thorne, and I actually liked his work in III better than II). Here's his love theme for Clark and Lana, like many of his tracks he recorded for III, this sadly never made it in the final cut.




He also made his own rendition of Williams' Superman theme entirely with his trademark synthesizers. While I'm a big fan of his work, that rendition is HORRIBLE. Can't find it on youtube though, but it's pretty awful.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:59 pm



Easy as pie to find, my son.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:49 am

That's not it. That's Ken Thorne's music credits, which is actually my favorite rendition of his work on Superman. I'll just have to upload it myself I guess.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  Apologist Puncher on Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:56 am

Stockslivevan wrote:That's not it. That's Ken Thorne's music credits, which is actually my favorite rendition of his work on Superman. I'll just have to upload it myself I guess.

Then I have absolutely NO IDEA what you are talking about....

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:27 am

Not a lot would, the producers rejected the cue from being used in the film so it's only been heard on the original soundtrack release and the recent limited edition Superman Music box set by Film Score Monthly.

Anyways, I just uploaded it. Here it is, and I complimented it with the most suitable screencap that this track deserves.


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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  thecolorsblend on Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:33 am

Stockslivevan wrote:Not a lot would, the producers rejected the cue from being used in the film so it's only been heard on the original soundtrack release and the recent limited edition Superman Music box set by Film Score Monthly.

Anyways, I just uploaded it. Here it is, and I complimented it with the most suitable screencap that this track deserves.

Oy, if I'd known that's what you were talking about, I'd have posted it myself. Sounds like a fucking Nintendo game. I guess you could argue the computerized thing makes sense given some of the movie's plotline... but I wouldn't. Yeesh, talk about horrible...

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:08 am

That's probably why he was hired in the first place, because right around that point he had been making some really excellent work and was the only successful composer that worked entirely with synthesizers. So with a Superman flick that largely carried the theme of computers and technology, it sounded like a great idea to get him to get a crack at a Superman flick and do his own spin. Listening to the stuff that came out right before SUPERMAN III, you can see the potential the Salkinds saw in him.








But boy, it seems they caught him at a REALLY bad time. Still, I do like the love theme he recorded (which I posted earlier). It's too bad. So after that it looks like the Salkinds went straight back to Ken Thorne who stuck with the traditional themes but added some electronics for the Evil Supes sequences to give it an unsettling feel. The synths really add to the scenes.






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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  thecolorsblend on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:51 pm

Yep. Thorne doesn't get much love for his scores from the fans (understandably so, in some ways, given who he's being compared to) but I really dug them. He found a way to make the various Williams themes his own without totally destroying them. No easy trick, that one.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:26 pm

Would have been interesting to see how Williams might have approached the II and III had he returned. Reusing the established themes or making new ones? He did the latter for IV, which I thought was well handled by his frequent conductor Alexander Courage.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  Apologist Puncher on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:08 pm

Stockslivevan wrote:Not a lot would, the producers rejected the cue from being used in the film so it's only been heard on the original soundtrack release and the recent limited edition Superman Music box set by Film Score Monthly.

Anyways, I just uploaded it. Here it is, and I complimented it with the most suitable screencap that this track deserves.


Wow, so THAT'S what the Superman March would sound like in an 8-bit NES game!

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  thecolorsblend on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:06 am

Stockslivevan wrote:Would have been interesting to see how Williams might have approached the II and III had he returned.
I'm of two minds. I seriously dig the S2 and S3 scores by Thorne. I watched all the Superman movies nonstop when I was a kid so to me everything is of a piece with everything else in terms of nostalgia. And as I say, the quality of the Thorne scores is pretty damn high in most cases.

But on the other hand... dude... Williams. I mean, you're never going to convince me he wouldn't have developed new themes and new concepts for those scores. Good as the Thorne and Courage stuff is, Williams was the gold standard of movie scores in the 80's; there's a reason for that. Who's to say that Superman II wouldn't have been Empire to STM's ANH as far as scores are concerned? I love the ANH score but, man, that Empire score is just something else...

And bear in mind, I don't know but "jack" and "shit" about movie scores. But even I know how much ass those Star Wars scores kicked then and now.

Stockslivevan wrote:Reusing the established themes or making new ones? He did the latter for IV, which I thought was well handled by his frequent conductor Alexander Courage.
You'd be amazed how many folks don't understand that Williams worked on the S4 score. Not everything but what I heard for sure what that Lacy's theme was his... which, when you play it back, sounds about like something Williams would come up with. I'd imagine he did other stuff too (Nuclear Man's theme?) but the Lacy thing is the only one I ever heard about with any certainty.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:30 am

Yup, Williams specifically wrote three new themes for IV. The Superman music box set that was released by Film Score Monthly included the complete score for SUPERMAN IV (which never got its own release until then). While the complete score that was heard in the film was intact (including tracks meant to be heard in the scenes that ended up deleted), there are also three additional tracks that Williams composed himself, which Courage used as the basis before crafting his whole score.



The other two tracks are "Jeremy's Theme" and "Lucy's Theme". Naturally because a major bulk of Jeremy's scenes in the film got cut, so did all of the music that were part of his scenes. YouTube doesn't have a whole lot of the score available, so I'll try posting the other Williams themes.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:01 am

Here's "Jeremy's Theme"


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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  thecolorsblend on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:05 am

Yep. They all have that Williams flair to them. Not a big surprise to find out he composed them.

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Re: Guilty Pleasures

Post  James Stocks on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:10 am

And "Someone Like You (Lacy's Theme)"


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