Everything you ever wanted to know about the classic horror franchise,… MoreEverything you ever wanted to know about the classic horror franchise, but were afraid to ask? errmm...well kinda. Back in 1978 a young John Carpenter directed and scored a horror slasher named after a yearly Christian celebration. This movie would star a young Jamie Lee Curtis in her movie debut and the British stalwart Donald Pleasence. As I'm sure everyone knows, the basis of the simple story surrounded the bogeyman named Michael Myers who comes back to his hometown of Haddonfield (after 15 years in a psychiatric hospital) to stalk and kill Laurie Strode. Thus began the massive horror slasher franchise of 'Halloween', or maybe as it should be known as, the franchise of Michael Myers.
This documentary goes back and delves into every movie of the franchise from 1978 up to 2002 with 'Halloween: Resurrection'. The two reboots directed by Rob Zombie are not covered here simply because they came along in 2007 and 2009, after this doc was made. The whole thing is narrated by franchise actress P.J. Soles, but unfortunately she tries way too hard with this simple task trying to make it come across like some kind of real crime/cop programme. Not really sure if she was trying to be scary or not but its kinda lame.
Anyway as you would expect each movie is looked into one by one with the original classic getting much more attention than the others, this simply being its the best of the bunch. Naturally this entails interviews with important people like John Carpenter and Debra Hill, both of whom offer the usual tit bits you've probably read about or seen before elsewhere. Nothing wrong with that of course but even for me not being a Halloween fanboy, none of it really amazed me. What I did find more interesting were the interview and convention snippets featuring Moustapha Akkad, a Syrian producer who virtually came outta nowhere to help with the original movie. To me this was all new information, I had never heard of the man before (not being a fanboy), and he is quite frank and honest about mistakes being made with the series. But still, most of what you get is cut from other older interviews, panel discussions or conventions, there is nothing fresh here.
What is cool are the numerous interview snippets/convention snippets/behind the scenes snippets from almost all the cast, from the first film right through to 'Halloween Resurrection'. This includes all the actors who have played Myers which is neat. You also have all the other main stars plus all the smaller roles, people who died early on, the slasher fodder, the cameos, the extras, people who are generally unimportant, but hey its great to see them. Funny how they all see themselves as big stars when really...they're not, had to chuckle. There are also various pop up bits from the die hard fans at conventions, of no real importance but there you go. Strangely enough, or unsurprisingly, this documentary obviously wasn't big enough for Jamie Lee Curtis to bother with as she doesn't really crop up much. Of course being an iconic horror franchise there are also small contributions from other big names such as Clive Barker (sounding rather ill or is that normal for him?), Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright etc...But again I must reiterate, much of what you get here are cut from other interviews, there is very little in this doc that appears to have been specially made.
Everyone of course knows that after the first movie the franchise went down hill, no one ever intended there to be sequels. Thusly most of the content for those sequels isn't overly thrilling. Its like, yeah we know 'Halloween III' wasn't a hit, they tried something new and it flopped, but had it been a stand alone movie without the 'Halloween' brand name, it might have been a different story. The actual horror tale in the movie was quite good. Then six years later Myers was brought back in to spark the franchises resurgence in 'Halloween 4'. Blood and gore levels went up due to the 80's factor, the rushed out 'Halloween 5', the loyalty of Donald Pleasence, the return of Curtis and the eventual drop into modern cyber based shite with people like Busta Rhymes.
The things that grabbed me were, the problems of Myers mask in 'Halloween: H20' which was pretty amusing. But even this I think I recall hearing about when the movie came out, so again nothing new. The fact the mask they used was basically crap and had to CGI a mask into the movie because they couldn't reshoot, and boy was it obvious. The massive reshoots and alternate cuts for 'Halloween 6' was new to me, that got me interested in seeing the film again. The original 'Halloween' house in California is still standing and is now a landmark, as is the surrounding area where tours are conducted showing off certain locations where the original was shot. The mention of a Myers vs Pinhead movie is brought up which peaked my interest plus the odd stories of crew members not getting on, how they shot nude scenes for 'Halloween II' and the way Myers and Loomis are compared to Moby-Dick and Captain Ahab or Dracula and Van Helsing, or Frankenstein and his monstrous creation. I never thought of it that way yet it makes perfect sense.
The run time is just short of a regular movie so this did feel slightly underwhelming truth be told. As said, much of this isn't new material, I'm not entirely sure which bits, if any, are actually new for the doc so don't get too over excited. I get the impression that if you're a fanboy of the franchise then most of this (if not all) will possibly be old hat. Certainly reasonably interesting for me, but not stunned by it, I've seen better docs I think, and better constructed ones too, this felt lowkey. I think a 'reboot' with more content on the originals (after the 78 original), including the newer Rob Zombie versions should be done.
We British are good at offending people with our humour, the Monty… MoreWe British are good at offending people with our humour, the Monty Python team managed it perfectly in the past and over the same issue, religion. Ah religion, the bane of the human race and its history, just looking at what has happened since the dawn of time purely from people's beliefs in religion is depressing. Its of no real surprise that the writer and director of this controversial film was Peter Richardson, the creator of 'The Comic Strip' during the 80's, a band of alternative/anarchic comedians that revolutionised British television.
Its also funny how this film is almost identical to the American movie 'King Ralph' in terms of plot. Both share the exact storyline and both were released in the same year, six months apart. Here, a simple priest in Italy (Robbie Coltrane) is mistakenly (a spelling mistake) promoted to the top job of Pope. Of course this comes as a shock to most, especially the mafia who were trying to get their own man on the throne so to speak. What follows is a predictable farce of a comedy as Pope Albinizi tries his best to fulfil his role as leader of the Catholic Church whilst avoiding assassination attempts from the mafia and looking into the Vatican's dodgy accounts. In 'King Ralph' virtually the same thing occurs accept Ralph gets his gig by being the last descendant in the Royal bloodline.
One solid positive about this film is the casting and character performances, all are perfect. The main character of Albinizi is played by Robbie Coltrane, who was a part of The Comic Strip days but more of a cameo performer. Much like John Goodman in 'King Ralph' Coltrane offers laughs merely from his rather large proportions, the difference being Coltrane's razor sharp Scottish wit. Although the idea that Coltrane's priest being slightly rebellious, liking women, fast cars and rock and roll...but having a heart of gold, is corny and cliched, it does work. Coltrane has always had the look of a Teddy boy with his thick wavy black hair and the thought of greasy Scottish dandy in Brothel Creepers as Pope is enough to make anyone smile. Indeed Coltrane is very likeable here offering plenty of sweet mushy moments with kids, his old flame (Beverly D'Angelo) and the predictable attractive nun he meets.
The only other members of The Comic Strip in the film were Ade Edmonson who plays a deaf secretary (yet coming off like his previous character incarnations) and Richardson himself who plays a priest in charge of security. Its funny how Richardson's priest actually comes across as (and looks like) an aged Clint Eastwood, him being a tough ex-security coordinator for rock bands, so not your typical priest.
Other well performed characters would be the mafioso boss played Herbert Lom, an over protective father of his rebellious teenage daughter with a short temper. John Sessions and Steven O'Donnell pop up as a pair of bungling assassins for Lom's mafia boss, very much going down the route of 'The Pink Panther'. But the best character must be the sleazy Cardinal Rocco played by Alex Rocco. You want a stereotypical, loud mouthed, Italian-American, Nu Yawker type sleazeball? then who better than Rocco, I love how they use his real name to make it sound even more lowbrow. This guy is a Cardinal by name/rank only, he is the main reason the Vatican's account are all messed up, he gambles, he drinks, he womanises, he swears, he wears gaudy jewellery, all by taking full advantage of rank and role. He's basically like a low ranking mafioso bookie or a slimeball car salesman or maybe an 80's British yuppie wannabe type. I adored how he always wore those 80's aviator shades, had his shirts unbuttoned to show his chest and carried a mobile around (in the shape of a crucifix). Brilliant how he would stop or interrupt the Pope to take a call, flipping the speaker bit out, he really came across as a real Del Boy type, British folk will get me.
The whole story is an easy dose of comedy with cliches and predictable twists and turns, no doubt about that. What I personally liked was the fact it was aimed at adults and it went for the jugular, the premise was very risky yet they still went ahead with it and didn't hold back. The film has balls and I think it works because of that. Combined with that the film also looks terrific! The locations were filmed in and around Yugoslavia but you'd never guess, it looked thoroughly like local Italian countryside to me. I especially liked the various costumes and sets on display, the Catholic attire was very authentic looking (probably not hard to achieve) from the bottom ranking local priests to the upper echelons of Vatican City (again Coltrane looked great in Pope garb). At the same time I must give big kudos to the sets and props. Painfully recreating various locations from within the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel and all being highly decorated with great detail. It really does look like they filmed within the Vatican, I think. Loved the quiet, peaceful, green and idyllic countryside where Albinizi is located at the start of the film, so beautiful.
Upon release this film pretty much bombed, which is a shame and obviously down to its religious content. In America they pretty much tried to ignore and virtually ban the film, even changing its title to 'The Pope Must Die(t)', which made no sense. Even in the UK the film came up against backlash and pathetic whining about being offensive. Its a huge shame because this is a classic bit of black comedy from the UK, showcasing some great talents who really pile on the ham and revel in the dark, morbid, farcical, taboo humour. I only wish they had cast other UK talents from the Strip like Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle or Nigel Planner.
In the middle of the 'Cannonball Run' franchise (between 1 and 2),… MoreIn the middle of the 'Cannonball Run' franchise (between 1 and 2), after 'Hooper', and towards the end of the 'Smokey and the Bandit' franchise (before the third), Needham and Reynolds teamed up again with this effort. Easily the weirdest movie title I've come across for some time, it sounds like a porn flick, funny thing is its actually the main characters name.
So the fact this is a Hal Needham movie, you can guess its gonna be about fast cars. Yep, fast cars, Burt Reynolds, some blonde eye candy and crashes, business as usual. This time Reynolds is actually a genuine race car driver on the NASCAR circuit...instead of the regular dashing cowboy. But this being a Reynolds character, this race car driver is of course arrogant, flashy and carefree of virtually everything around him, your basic narcissistic Reynolds character.
Sounds good huh, well let me ice your balls down a tad. So Ace loses his sponsor by generally being an asshole, so he has to find another. Along comes Torkel (Ned Beatty) who runs a fast food chicken franchise offering Ace a deal, did I forget to mention Torkel's director of marketing and public relations is the blonde bombshell Loni Anderson? Well that pretty much explains why Ace accepts the deal without reading shit. He then spends the entire movie (along with his mechanic Jim Nabors) trying to get out of this bad deal which sees him opening fast food joints and dressing up in a chicken suit.
Yes that is in fact the whole plot in a nutshell, and yes you're right, it is extremely thin on the ground. This really does come across as a lame attempt to squeeze another fast car flick out of Reynolds by either Needham or Warner Bros. I mean seriously, the aim of the movie is for Ace and co the try and get fired by Torkel, so they don't have to do the stupid things they agreed to do by the contract. At times this does include some racing which is filmed at the famous locations of...Charlotte Motor Speedway, Talladega Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Now this might sound impressive but it isn't really as much of what we see is stock footage (clearly), and the sequences filmed for the movie are obviously done so in front of sets and small crowds.
The racing segments are too damn obvious, clearly racing at a slow speed and clearly not in any real danger of anything despite what the plot wants you to think. Sure Reynolds does appear to be behind the wheel of a real moving car as we've seen in his other car flicks, but there is zero tension or thrills here, nothing to engage you at all. To top that you don't really see much racing either, a few minutes of car footage, some refueling, some wheel spins, some cars grouping bumper to bumper (at slow speeds), that's it. Its then a quick cut to the finish where Reynolds generally wins if he hasn't been beaten by his incredibly cliched young, good looking, blonde, male rival. Every racing flick protagonist has to have an arch rival antagonist who's usually blonde and younger, or the same age.
When Ace isn't racing he's doing these promotions for Torkel's chicken franchise. Obviously these things aren't suppose to be genuinely funny or of high quality, they are suppose to be hokey and embarrassing for Ace, but its embarrassing to watch! There is literately nothing remotely interesting to see in these scenes, its not funny, its not clever, Loni Anderson in skimpy attire doesn't make it any better (well...) and Jim Nabors ISN'T funny dagnabbit!! At the same time Beatty as Torkel is a quite disgustingly stereotypical southern hick type who really made me not want to visit the American south. His chauffeur is played by Bubba Smith...but I don't know why because he does nothing accept lift a car up when a jack breaks. That's the sole reason why they cast the guy, for that one visual strength gag, good grief!
Yeah so spoiler alert (who cares!), in the end they manage to trick their way out of Torkel's dastardly contract, with the help of Feeny (Anderson) who of course falls for Ace during the run time. Did anyone really NOT see Loni Anderson's character failing to fall for Reynolds slimy charms? You know what's gonna happen in this movie from watching the first five minutes, and no I can't overlook that. Thing is, what Ace and co do to break the contract, isn't that deception and kinda illegal? pretty sure you can't pretend to be a big company and pretend to offer to buy someone out.
Yeah so if you like Needham's rollicking stunt flicks then look elsewhere, there is none of that here. This is a weak entry and offers no excitement at all from either the racing or the characters. The only plus points I can think of, that some folks might like here, is the historic car porn on display and the casting of various famous NASCAR drivers (none of whom I have any clue about).
At a certain point, many of these Burt Reynolds movies tend to blur… MoreAt a certain point, many of these Burt Reynolds movies tend to blur into one. The constant use of Pontiac Firebird Trans Am's and the fact he's actually wearing another Firebird jacket (silver this time), just like in 'Smokey 2'. Yeah I get the fact the Firebird was a top American muscle car back then but with Reynolds behind the wheel, you could be watching any number of movies!
The plot revolves around Reynolds as the titular Hooper, supposedly the greatest Hollywood stuntman alive. Alas old Hooper is getting old, too many crashes and too many painkillers are taking their toll on Hooper. His girlfriend (played by real time girlfriend Sally Field, probably why she's in the movie) is also fed up with Hooper's dangerous career and wants him to quit. Then along comes a much younger, fitter stuntman (Jan-Michael Vincent) who kinda challenges Hooper's position, naturally a friendly yet intense rivalry grows between them as they try to out perform each other. This eventually culminates in the chance to pull off the greatest stunt ever on the movie they are working on. Its extremely dangerous but the pay is huge, thing is, no one thinks they can do it. Hooper's bird doesn't want him to, the doc doesn't want him to, but the movies director is demanding they do it. Is it worth risking their lives for?
This movie is directed by none other than Hal Needham, a good friend of Reynolds (if you couldn't tell). The story is actually loosely based around Needham's early career as a stuntman in Hollywood. 'Hollywood's greatest stuntman'? that's the films tagline on the poster, so did Needham kinda have a rather overinflated opinion of himself? or was he really that good?
So if we're really honest here, the movie is just an excuse for lots and lots of stunts utilising many stuntmen in the biz. It is a comedy in case you were wondering, its not a heavy drama or anything. Its your usual slapstick affair with Reynolds doing what he does best...drive Trans Am's (did he have a sponsorship deal or something?). As you can imagine the tomfoolery on display in this movie is predictable and hokey. Pretty much every basic stunt you can think of is thrown on the screen, by real stuntmen, not Burt, although he does do the odd bit and was quite athletic back then. You got guys being thrown through windows, bar fights, horse riding, falling off horses, swinging from buildings, falling from heights, flipping cars, jumping cars, explosions, toppling buildings etc...
The grand finale is a whopping sequence featuring Hooper and Ski's car trying to escape a small town set whilst it crumbles down around it. The guys must navigate a gauntlet of destruction evading explosions, falling buildings, other cars, people running around etc...and make it to a bridge which ultimately collapses. There they both attempt the huge dangerous stunt of jumping the car over the collapsed bridge (335 feet). This sequence is worth the wait as it shows many solid stunts, nothing that will blow you away these days mind you, but still dangerous well timed stunts. The best being a huge factory chimney falling down with the car just racing past underneath before it hits the ground. The actual final big leap does look good for the most part but it cuts before we see it reach the other side, so I have no idea if that stunt was actually completely successfully.
The movie is ultimately about the camaraderie between Hooper and his band of stunt mates (Reynolds realtime coworkers). Its uplifting and cute for sure, but hammy as hell, as is Reynolds ladies man image which is always a part of his characters and kinda cringeworthy. Never really sure if he is just playing that image up or he genuinely thinks he's a charmer. Reynolds also manages to break the forth wall here yet again, as he has done on many of his car comedy movies.
Its like a massive overlong episode of 'The Dukes of Hazzard' (James Best is here after all), or just more hijinks from The Bandit. Or, more accurately, a movie about how Hal Needham and co go about making their proper stunt filled extravaganzas, almost like a sly behind the scenes. However you look at it, it is a fun ride at times, Reynolds is clearly having a blast with his car obsessed team of Hollywood regulars, but that doesn't disguise the fact it is completely unoriginal. Yes the tale of a stuntman based on a real person is relatively fresh, but what we actually see is just more of what Reynolds has done before, with the same people (in the same cars!). Oh and the movies title/wording on the poster looks like an actual beer companies logo.
30 years after the release of 'Thunderdome' Mad Max is finally back.… More30 years after the release of 'Thunderdome' Mad Max is finally back. The lone wolf, the single warrior, the loner, the lone soldier, the outcast, the outsider, the man with no name...errr...named Max. The hype has been stratospheric for this one, I have gone into this expecting truly mind blowing things, the greatest action movie ever made? lets see, I will be brutally honest in every aspect.
So the bottom line, this is virtually based around one sequence from 'Mad Max 2' and made into an entire movie. We all know which sequence, the one with that bloody great gas tanker covered in gun turrets and spikes. That sequence was epic on so many levels, a truly award winning vision of distopian science fiction...where all the goodies get killed, awesome. Now, in this tale Max has been captured by the War boys who are all led by Immortan Joe. Your standard gang of barbaric lunatics, only this time not kitted out in S&M gear, no this time they are all painted up in a tribal sort of way. Long story short, Max has gotta reluctantly help out Charlize Theron's character of Furiosa (with the help of Nicholas Hoult's ill War Boy character, Nux) in saving some damsels in distress from Joe whilst trying to reach some fabled lush green lands. This of course equals a whole load of vehicle chases across the outback which basically never stop.
The first sequence we see is Max's classic and gorgeous black pursuit special (the now famous 1973 Ford XB Falcon GT) getting trashed, wait what??!! I heard about this before hand and I have to say I don't like it one bit, I wanted to see that fucking car in action once again, damn it Miller! Not quite sure how Max's super fast special manages to get wiped out by the collection of clown cars chasing him but never mind, it bloody happened didn't it, ugh!
So one of the first things we see as the real story kicks in is Immortan Joe's citadel which appears to built into a fecking massive cliff. How the hell did they manage to do that? there's like some sprawling catacombs in this rock by the looks of it, I wouldn't of thought anyone had any time in between killing each other and building ridiculous killer automobiles. This is actually one aspect that didn't sit well with me, this whole idea felt way too grand and over the top for a Mad Max movie, it looked like something from the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy...only with cars instead of orcs. Then if I really wanted to be picky I would ask how everyone is so muscular in this dead post-apocalyptic world, meh don't question it. Its here we start to see the strange freakish array of characters that inhabit this new Earth, gotta say I loved what I saw here for the most part. Miller has always been good at creating these bizarre characters for this franchise and he nails it again here.
Most of the bad guys are just big rippling baldies covered in white paint for some reason (the War Boys), not much background given but they look intimidating for sure. Other citadel dwellers and bad guys come in various shapes and sizes such as the creepy looking Corpus Colossus, a physically disabled child of Joe with exceptional intelligence (a real person with a real disability). Rictus Erectus (Nathan Jones), a huge muscular mammoth of a man, dim-witted and another son of Joe. The Bullet Farmer who is some ugly aging bloke in a suit of bullets and...is a farmer?, hence is name. The People Eater is a big fat bald guy (everyone is bald in the distopian future) who I guess eats people? Again hence is name and the reason he's so fat, he also looks to have lost his nose because he wears some kind of metal plate there. The Doof Warrior who is some crazy blind bloke that rides a war rig (the Doof Wagon) into battle strapped to some huge speakers and playing a fire spouting guitar. This guy seems to have become the new Boba Fett of the movie world but he doesn't actually do anything, in fact I fail to see the point of him or the drummers other than simply to look cool. Admittedly he does look cool, certainly unique with his mothers face for a mask (oh yes), but basically pointless.
Lastly we have Immortan Joe who is easily the most effective looking character I've seen in years. His mask appears to be some kind of breathing apparatus that is attached to some kind of bellows around his neck. The mask is slightly reminiscent of an old WWII pilots oxygen mask but with a terrifying line of big teeth like a skeleton. Not too sure about his ending though, was his mask like...attached to has face and skull? He also seems to wear some kind of transparent body armour with medals and whatnot attached, obviously he suffers from some kind of affliction or disease. Visually this guy looks fucking amazing, the makeup really tops it off with his pale ghostly complexion and silver balding, widows peak hair line. All in all the selection of characters gave off a very 'Dune-esque' (1984) vibe in my opinion.
The action is virtually constant here, its the trademark of the movie (and franchise), non-stop. The main bulk of the action centres around Max and co trying to escape on the tanker under a barrage of gunfire and explosions. Now yeah, we've seen this before in 'Mad Max 2' but this has been ramped up to maximum overdrive, its insane! There are vehicles being torn up and flipped all over, metal mechanical shrapnel shattering all over the desert, bodies are flying everywhere, War Boys are leaping around on pole vault type things hurling explosives, gunfire, stabbings, fisticuffs...all happening on and off various extreme vehicle creations. It all looks completely real (because all the stunts were real), its highly impressive and shows great achievement in both eruptive action and practical effects. On top of that the location work, scenery shots, panoramas and the crisp, bold colour palette really look nothing short of gorgeous, it almost looks too good for this type of movie. Gives you faith in movies again it really does.
That's not to say the action saves it completely, in my view. Amongst all this grade A action you do have to wonder how Max, Joe and others manage to survive some of the horrific fender benders they get into. The good guys battle their way away from the citadel, all that way, only to come back again and do it all again? wut?! The canyon sequence stuck out as a very daft cheesy notion. This biker gang that hides out there, living in and around the canyon walls, which they ride about on...with motorbikes? bit risky isn't it. Also, where did they all get their matching costumes? When the good guys come back through the canyon, do they go a different way? didn't it get blocked off. And it does all seem nuts that all this happens purely because Joe wants his girls back. He unleashes his entire armada and risks everything just for some ass? can't you find more girls in your citadel? Oh and in the end the citadel bad guys just let Max and co into their city and take over? huh? he just killed your leader.
The greatest action flick ever? hmmm not too sure about that, its certainly up there but I still find myself preferring the gritty cult classic 'Mad Max 2' with Gibson. I think Hardy does a reasonable job but he is no Mad Max if you ask me. One thing I hated actually was the deliberate lack of dialog from Max, it worked well in the older films (MM2) simply because there was less to explain, 'MM2' was like a bloody 80's videogame it was so straight forward. Here there are things that could use background information plus the amount of times Max gets into a situation (mainly at the start) where I really wanted him to just speak! say something!! Explain your situation to Furiosa then she might not try to kill you...ugh! I found that actually frustrating and it didn't need to be like that.
Still, the fact that the goodies went back on themselves towards the end really made me groan frankly. Its like Miller didn't know how to end it so he just made them go back and run the same gauntlet all over again, easy option for more of the same. I won't lie and say I didn't like it, but I won't lie and say I thought it was a stunning movie, the action is monumental at first but after the initial hardcore, automobile, carnage sequence, things felt a little tamer. The initial visual shock and awe that hit my eyeballs, making them swell, started to ease off. So awe-inspiring visuals all round and some great characters...visually at least. Is this a good flick? yes, yes is it, its a very engaging solid action movie, buts lets not get too carried away. Its really a one trick pony if you're honest about it, big gas tanker with goodies fights off hordes of baddies, rinse, wash and repeat until credits. The only real difference is its Furiosa's story, and to a degree, Nux too, unfortunately Max is just along for the ride in his 30 year old reboot.
There have been many many film versions of this classic tale by French… MoreThere have been many many film versions of this classic tale by French author Alexandre Dumas, the earliest dating back as far as 1903. This MGM production is probably one of the most remembered adaptations alongside the Doug Fairbanks 1921, black and white silent film.
As I'm sure you all know, the tale follows a young D'Artagnan (Gene Kelly) as he travels to Paris so he can attempt to become a Musketeer for the King, the King's elite guard or soldier. On his journeys in Paris he bumps into the famous trio of Musketeers one by one and ends up challenging them. Of course after some swordplay and fisticuffs with Cardinal Richelieu's men they all become firm friends. What follows are the various missions and scrapes the foursome get into trying to stop Richelieu tricking the King of France into war with Great Britain. This involves racing to England to retrieve some precious jewels the Queen of France gave away to the English Prime Minister, the Duke of Buckingham. D'Artagnan avoiding Richelieu's temptations of becoming one of his guards whilst trying to find his love Constance, who has been abducted by Richelieu in order to bribe him into his service. All the while trying to also avoid the temptations of Milady de Winter who eventually tries to assassinate the young cocky Musketeer.
There is obviously a little more to it than that but I really don't think I need to explain this well known story. Would it be a bit bold of me to claim this is the Gene Kelly version of the tale? that Kelly is the only reason to watch this movie? Well ya of course, because he isn't the sole driving force here, although I will admit I thought he would be. But there is no doubt Kelly is the main attraction with this movie, star power wise. Knowing how athletic and likable the guy is its hard not to think this. On this front you are not disappointed, Kelly leaps and bounds around the fake sets like a grasshopper on a sugar rush. Even today its still impressive how awesome and daring he was when it came to stunts. I presume he did the stunts anyway, hard to tell but I'm pretty sure he did. Of course all this might come across as a tad quaint these days but remember everything you see is real, the balancing acts, the leaps, the rolls, the rope swinging and of course the frenetic sword fighting.
There is one long shot where D'Artagnan arrives at a small house, jumps onto a stone wall, then jumps onto the water-wheel, rides it until he is able to jump onto a tree branch with a bit of acrobatics, and finally swings into the house through the top window. OK there is a small cut before he jumps through the window so we can see a reaction shot from Kelly, but its still a perfect example of how fit, fearless and audacious these guys were. Admittedly I'm not sure it was all Kelly, but still impressive, as he swung through the window the camera followed right behind him, great shot.
To this degree everybody is impressive, the stunt guys take their hits well and thrown themselves across tables like pros. All the main cast do join in on the fights but the focus is often clearly on Kelly who revels in the danger. Most of the cast I am unaware of I will be honest but the inclusion of Vincent Price as Richelieu was genius casting, I don't even have to tell you how good he is in this evil sinister role. In all honesty the only other cast member I knew of was Angela Lansbury as Queen Anne (a smallish role), one of the first times I've actually seen her as a young woman!
Talking about the action, it was very clear to me how much this movie influenced following adaptations. Watching the sword fighting sequences, it dawned on me how similar these sequences appeared to Richard Lester's 1973/1974 movies. I thought to myself, have I seen this before? this style all looks very familiar. Watching the direction, pace and general visual appearance of these sequences at every turn, I am sure Lester copied this movie. I realise both movies are covering the same story so similarities are bound to happen but seriously, I was really shocked at how similar this movie and Lester's movies are when it came to the fight scenes. The actors even seem to move in the same way, as though they had been trained by the same guy.
What I did find slightly amusing was something I actually found out whilst watching a Bluray extra about another classic movie (an Errol Flynn one). Apparently, back in those days they used to paint the scenery so it looked perfect, in other words if the grass wasn't green enough, or the trees weren't red enough, they would spray paint them to get the desired effect. This is so so obvious watching this movie, most of the limited use of actual real outdoor locations (California) are so vividly coloured, overly so. They even, clearly, coloured the water for one small scene, it looks quite toxic actually, not right at all.
As for the sets, well they are undeniably lavish and gorgeous looking as were all sets back then. Whether or not everything is period accurate I don't know, but it sure as hell looks good and authentic to me. Most royal rooms look suitably regal and exquisite, dripping in bold colours and coats of arms. The regular peasant abodes are your standard Tudor-esque/olde worlde English pub look with timber frames, interior timber beams, lots of used candles and cozy open fires galore. Exterior sets are quite realistic looking to a degree, you can tell they are sets but they are charming without a doubt, everything looks so whimsical and angelic. Naturally the costumes and props are all just as glorious as everything else, bright, bold, colourful, and with a hint of pantomime about it all. I should also add that the Musketeer attire (the blue sash) looks almost identical to the Musketeer attire in Lester's movies.
Visually its very pleasing to the eye, I think most would agree with that and would have guessed that from the start. The issue I had was the pacing, it tended to become rather dull when there wasn't any sword fighting going on, a bit smoochy in places, lots of exposition. Then at times things whizz by very quickly, one minute we're in France, then at sea, then England, then back in France, characters zoom about the countryside quicker than you can say fromage. The sequences showing us France at war with Great Britain are basically a few shots of a small group of soldiers on a dark, rainy set which lasts less than a minute.
This is a hard one to judge really, I did enjoy it, but not as much as I had hoped for. I'll be honest, the light-hearted comedy actually let it down for me, it was too stupid, too slapsticky, and seeing Kelly mug for the camera was kinda lame. To be frank I don't think Kelly was the best choice for the leading role, sure he's got the athletic ability, but he hasn't quite got the acting chops, and his comic timing is hokey. The other three Musketeer actors were much better than Kelly, in fact everyone was much better than Kelly, Kelly was too much of a clown (forgive me!). I just didn't get a real rush from anything on screen, I didn't really feel emotionally engaged or intrigued because the movie is a bit too lovey dovey and fanciful. I had a feeling it would be of course, seeing as Kelly was in the lead role. Thusly my favourite Musketeer movie/s must still remain the two Richard Lester epics (not counting the third).
Not to be confused with the 1981 movie 'The Incredible Shrinking… MoreNot to be confused with the 1981 movie 'The Incredible Shrinking Woman' which was a spin on the original novel 'The Shrinking Man' by Richard Matheson. Or the horror movie 'The Incredible Melting Man' (1977), which is completely different and umm...sounds kinda the same, never mind.
Jack Arnold does it again with his fourth classic fantasy movie, this guy was like the Spielberg of the 50's...kinda. Now the plot here may sound ridiculous, like some corny TV series, hell look at that title. And to a degree you'd be right, this is a totally daft premise, who in their right mind would watch a movie about some guy becoming the size of a small insect, like...say an ant...oh wait.
Whilst out sailing on the seas with his wife, Scott Carey (Grant Williams) is unfortunately hit in the face by a mysterious white cloud that leaves his body covered in some shiny substance. Naturally this cloud and substance was radioactive being a 1950's American sci-fi movie, but we never find out where it came from and what caused it. To make matters worse, the seriously unlucky Carey also gets accidentally covered in insecticide months later which apparently sets of a reaction in his body (with the radiation) where by his molecular structure is rearranged causing his cells to shrink his body? Beats the snot outta me but its sounds scientific doesn't it, in other words he starts to shrink and it can't be stopped.
At first we spend a lot of time following Carey around as he gets tested by a typical professor type in a white lab coat. There is a lot of dialog and discussion between the characters about what's going on, what may happen and how they can try to stop it, sounds dull but its quite interesting and all very charming. The fun starts as we slowly start to see Carey get smaller bit by bit. This is where the brilliant use of oversized props is used to give the illusion Carey is actually getting smaller.
Now this being a black and white movie from the 50's you could be forgiven for thinking this movie would be extremely hokey. But guess what? this movie isn't hokey at all, well...not as bad as you would think, its still cheesy of course. First up the effects, the movie is of course all about the effects, and they look fantastic. Arnold and co use all the old tricks in the book with the use of rear projection, props, split screen and models. The striking thing is the oversized props for everyday common objects (large and small) are fabulously recreated. Initial things like a chair, phone, sofa, even windows, skirting boards and sockets, everything has been resized to give the illusion Carey is around the height of a small child (3ft-ish). Funny thing is, this simple illusion really works and its actually hard to visualise the character as a fully grown man, the resized props really sell the trick.
As Carey gets smaller things become even more exciting, I found myself really looking forward to what might happen next, what we will see and how small he gets. Of course when he starts living out of a dolls house, well that's when the hokey looking rear projection pops up, the cat attacks him, people walking past him, the spider in the basement, water etc...Speaking of the spider, that has to be the biggest and most eagerly awaited fear, I've never seen this movie before, but I just knew there would be a spider confrontation in the basement, what else would there be? Strangely enough it turns out to be a tarantula again, where exactly in America do these people live that tarantulas are commonly found in and around the house? Of course its obviously because tarantulas can be relatively easily controlled, probably much harder or nigh on impossible with an actual house spider (or black widow as in the original novel, bit dangerous probably).
Once Carey is trapped within the basement (after fleeing the cat), the movie virtually becomes a silent picture. As there is no one for Carey to communicate with, there is no dialog, apart from the odd bit of narration. What you see is the eternal struggle for survival by a regular human being, as if he was lost in the wilderness or a distant barren planet. Arnold conveys this idea perfectly through simple visuals, simple (but wonderfully detailed) props, and mundane simple tasks for the main character (acted out very well by Williams I might add). Basically he needs to eat, drink and sleep, so he finds an old matchbox to sleep in, he drinks from drips of water coming from the water heater, and he finds food from a mouse trap and an old piece of cake (I think it was). He's only in his own basement, but to Carey, at his size, its an inhospitable and dangerous world.
This movie was extremely ambitious for its day and it shows in almost every scene with an effect. Even by today's high levels of special effects this movie still stands up well, incredibly well. The models are all purely awesome in every way, I was stunned at how good they all looked, especially the large mousetrap and scissors. The optical illusions to make Williams look shorter are simple yet highly effective even today, the large props work so perfectly. Yet despite the outlandish nature of the plot the film never seems dumb, sure its cheesy and hokey but that's down to the era the movie was made in. The whole thing comes across in an intelligent and pleasant manner whilst dealing with themes like exploitation, gender role reversal and morality (loved the sombre yet intriguing ending).
Technical limitations of the day? you wouldn't think it, a fantastic piece of science fiction fantasy that has every element to engage you from start to finish. A classy B-movie adventure of epic proportions.
'All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!'
Back in the 1950's there was a new type of horror science fiction… MoreBack in the 1950's there was a new type of horror science fiction genre created, giant bug movies. This pretty much came to the forefront with the giant ant thriller 'Them!', a movie about ants affected by radiation, nuclear mutants, and 50's America just loved nuclear stuff. A year later this aptly titled movie came along...and it pretty much speaks for itself really doesn't it.
Yep, so this movie is about a tarantula, and umm...it becomes giant and stuff. Well there is a little bit more to it than that, just a bit. A scientist is working on a super nutrient food, a replacement for actual food when the world eventually becomes overcrowded and food sources run out. Bare in mind this was the 50's! if people thought the world was overcrowded then...do I need to finish that sentence? sheesh! So this super nutrient is tested on various animals, some die, but some survive and live on, sometimes growing to huge proportions. Alas this nutrient does not work on humans so far, it results in death via acromegaly, gigantism. So guess what, this scientist happened to be testing this nutrient on a tarantula, not sure why, odd choice of creature for this experiment, but nevertheless he was and it escapes, unsurprisingly.
I think we all know how these type of movies play out. The main smartly dressed male hero travels around trying to work out what's going on, pretty much a detective movie for the most part. There are various local characters, usually farmers, that report unusual happenings or deaths on their land. The local police are usually baffled, often a few outsider experts are brought in, usually military or some foreign scientists, and here and there the odd faceless hillbilly is eaten alive by the giant creature. One thing is for sure, everyone is smartly dressed in the proper attire and well spoken.
Lets face it though, the plot is meaningless here, in most of these creature features the plot is redundant. Bottom line, everyone is waiting for the giant bug to eat people and the big finale showdown. This movie doesn't disappoint, sure it starts off slow as they all do, the plodding plot must introduce the various stereotypical characters, backstory and the incredible reasons why someone is trying some ludicrously dangerous experiment involving atomic power/energy. Once the eight legged monster is on the loose things do become enjoyable, you don't see anything nasty of course, its the atmosphere generated that's thrilling. The constant eerie chirping/humming sound that the tarantula makes for example, like its calling card as it approaches, highly effective and creepy.
Its the special effects that stand out in this flick, believe it or not they actually still hold up today. The use of a real tarantula is the reason it works so well, they actually had miniature landscapes which a real tarantula would creep across, controlling it with air jets. For the most part footage of the real tarantula was matted against live action footage of the actors, occasionally a real object would be knocked over in real time to simulate the tarantula brushing against it (nice touch). This effect is pretty crude of course but it works wonders here, helped largely by the fact the film is black and white so you can't really see the joins or matte lines. At other points when people were attacked at close quarters, large models were used. One of the most effective and eerie moments has to be when Stephanie (Mara Corday) is being watched by the huge arachnid through a window in true 'King Kong' style. Those massive eyes surrounded by hundreds of coarse bristles, peering in, its actually quite scary.
This movie also displayed some highly effective makeup and prosthetic work for some character suffering from gigantism. Back in the day these effects were pretty shocking and very impressive, and honestly, they still are. Admittedly not all of what we see is brilliant, but the close up shots of Leo G. Carroll as the professor with a bad case of gigantism in the face, is really solid. If you think along the lines of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (1939), then you get a good idea...but this is much better.
As with all movies of this genre there is of course much hilarity to be had, acting ability aside. I just love the sequences where the characters are driving around in cars (obviously a prop car with footage playing in the background), yet their hair remains motionless. Everyone refers to Corday's character of Stephanie as Steve, which is weird. When our hero Matt Hastings (John Agar) discovers the large pools of arachnid venom, he tastes it! like yeah...that's what you do. Plus wouldn't it kill him? seeing as its venom. Its bizarre that no one sees or hears this humongous tarantula runnin' around the countryside, its not something you tend to miss really, a mega sized black tarantula the size of sports stadium. Why don't missiles from fighter jets harm it? sure its a big spider...but those are fighter jet missiles! Why are these giant mutant bug occurrences always in a desert?
To add to that, the movies poster...oh boy. What was it with these posters back then, who designed them and more importantly, who allowed them to go ahead?? Once again the poster is completely inaccurate, at no point does the tarantula carry a helpless female in its pincers, and the tarantula doesn't have two eyes likes a regular mammal. I understand it was to generate excitement for the movie but come on!
I like me some old cheese, and this movie wins, it wins big. If you're after one of the best examples of the big bug genre from the 1950's, then this is it. This flick has everything you would expect and want from such a movie, plus it actually has really good effects to boot. Hell its probably the best big bug flick around if you ask me, science fiction legend Jack Arnold does it again. Oh and look out for the Clint Eastwood cameo towards the...ah everyone knows about that.
Not to be confused with other movies entitled 'The Lost Continent',… MoreNot to be confused with other movies entitled 'The Lost Continent', this black and white B-movie borrows heavily from other classic stories, mainly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Lost World', lots of lost areas back then. A low budget affair that was pretty much jumping on the coattails of these other fantasy fables with the ever popular dinosaur element. The only real shining star in this production was Cesar Romero, but even he can't really save this.
The plot is exactly as you would expect it, the Americans are doing some major new weapons testing with a big missile (a regular thing back then), when it inevitably crashes. So the upper echelons send a crack team of military personnel to find this missile and retrieve its vital data. Low and behold the missile has crashed on a remote unknown island in the South Pacific, an island that harbours dinosaurs, a prehistoric jungle and natives...presumably an undiscovered race of humans. Its up to this crack team of military personnel to venture deep within the island and complete their mission. The fact they have discovered a new race of people, dinosaurs, prehistoric flora and fauna and a whole load of uranium, all on this new undiscovered island doesn't matter, no time for that, we've gotta find our big dangerous weapon.
So naturally I can't dissect and tear this movie apart too much, its a movie from 50's America, obviously a completely different era. We all know what to expect in American B-movies from that era, big military presence, lots of weapons testing...usually atomic, the fear of Communism and the USSR, women knowing their place and the chaps looking spick and span with solid facial hair. All of these points are present and correct here with the military team looking very well groomed, Romero has his trademark tash of course and the scientists along for the ride are of course foreigners (usually German, Russian or Eastern European)...in this case Russian. The big shock here is there is no female character in the team, no damsel in distress element for Romero to save. I think anyone who knows these types of movies will agree that's quite unusual.
That last fact does lead me to the films poster, its completely bullshit! Talk about false advertising, for a start it shows what appears to be a kind of Tyrannosaurus-Rex dinosaur, but there is no such dinosaur in the film. The island appears to be inhabited purely by Triceratops, Brontosaurus and Pterosaurs, although we all know that's down to budgetary reasons. The poster also shows Romero and his team with a female being attacked by this T-Rex, obviously this never happens, and as I already said, there is no female character on the team. The female the poster refers to is a native woman who helps the team in one scene at the start of their expedition.
Of course this type of thing isn't new with these old movies, I'm just pointing it out because its blatant. What's also to be expected are the hilarious plot holes and things that are just plain silly, most of these oldies are stuffed full of these issues. This small team have been flying on this plane, apparently, for many hours, a long haul flight checking equipment for this lost missile. Yet notice the planes interior has literately nothing inside it, no proper seats, nowhere to rest, seemingly no food or drink provided and what looks like no toilets either! How long were you guys expected to sit hunched up like that?! I guess men were men back then grrr.
After the plane crashes and team get themselves together, one guy asks Romero if they should radio for help, Romero replies sternly with a no, the team is under orders not to break radio silence until they find the missile. But dude you just crashed landed on an unknown island! surely first priority is to call for help, let HQ know you're OK, arrange evac and then maybe continue with your mission?
One of the biggest and most unintentionally funniest things about this film is the fact that at least a third of the film shows the team climbing this mountain. The missile crashes on top of this plateau that dominates the island, so the guys have to climb to its peak, what follows is many many minutes of seeing these guys climbing around a fake rock surface over and over again, at various angles. At first you don't realise, but eventually I started to think to myself...this is going on a bit isn't it? What's more, all the men are wearing posh shoes! not boots or anything but the type of shoe that accompanies a suit, oh and they're only using rope...and nothing else. When things got too tough, well then it was time for a good healthy cigarette break, yes Sir, I always feel stronger and fitter after a good solid cigarette, now lets climb this fucker! Like I said, men were men back then...grrr.
The stop-motion animated dinosaurs are reasonable but nowhere near as good as other movies or Harryhausen's work. Plus you don't get that much of it either, again probably down to budgetary reasons. When the team reach the jungles on top of the plateau, the film was tinted with a green hue to give the impression of a mysterious other-worldly environment. So basically you're not watching a black and white film anymore, you're watching a green film. And lastly the characters are of course massively predictable. The stoic, humourless Russian scientist, the good looking guy without a tash, Romero as the good looking guy with a tash, errr...some other guy without a tash, and the goofy, short guy for comedic relief.
I enjoyed the movie don't get me wrong, but mainly because it was quite average, a bit underwhelming really. I expected more, or at least more dinosaur action, unfortunately you don't get much of that, but you do get lots of footage of rock climbing both going up and going down. The whole thing is pretty slow paced but watchable down to the ever charming dialog and performances, although I still don't quite get why the entire island decided to crumble and sink beneath the waves at the exact moment are heroes are trying to evac. Meh...its a staple diet of these movies, right at the end, the good guys are trying to escape, so the whole island or mountain or whatever decides to explode, sink or fall down, don't question it.
This documentary is now widely known because of the fact that some (or… MoreThis documentary is now widely known because of the fact that some (or most?) of the funding was raised through a Kickstarter campaign, which many fans contributed. So even though Jon Schnepp wrote, directed and edited this project (it was his baby), you could also say, the fans that contributed have rights over this project too, seeing as they backed the film with their own money. Technically its a fan made film, without the fans support, Schnepp might not have been able to complete it. I'm not sure how this all works actually, but wouldn't all the people that contributed towards the film have a claim to royalties? does it work like that? probably not.
Anywho, this project is all about the movie that was never made called 'Superman Lives'. The movie was going to be a different take on the Superman universe, or from what audiences knew to expect from a Superman movie. The main force behind this drastic new vision was none other than Mr goth, Tim Burton. Fresh of success with his dark exploration into Batman's world, Burton was gearing up to do exactly the same thing to Superman...with Nic Cage as his Superman. This documentary delves deep into that failed project, the ideas, concepts, the people involved and basically how far they got. See this as another 'Lost in La Mancha' type documentary film.
At first the doc mainly revolves around Kevin Smith and his early draft for the movie, nothing amazingly unique though as much of this information has been around for years and easily found online. Personally I found it interesting as I have never looked any of this info up (not being a Superman fanboy), so the idea of having a crossover with other characters such as Deadshot and Batman seemed pretty sweet (naturally). We also get a tonne of input from Jon Peters who, dare I say it, is a typical looking over tanned Hollywood slimeball with an effeminate hairdo that looks like a wig. This guy purchased the rights to Superman back in the early 90's and literately set about trying to create a monster, pretty much tried to destroy the Superman franchise with his stupid ideas.
This guy Peters is clearly the type of Hollywood schmuck that just doesn't get it, he doesn't get what popular comicbook characters are about, he's why we often get terrible adaptations with daft alterations. Just watching this guy here, I didn't like him, I didn't like his attitude, he seemed fake, a possible liar, thinks he's a tough guy, the kinda guy that might take credit for other people's work. This is confirmed with the varying comments from both Peters and Smith, Smith says one thing, Peters says another, who is telling the truth is of course not known but I got a real sense of distrust from Peters. It also shows how Peters comes across as a bit of a bully, getting what he wants in the end with the fact he produced the movie 'Wild Wild West' and many ideas he wanted for this Superman project ended up in that bomb of a flick (giant mechanical spider finale).
So all that was a solid insight despite the fact it comes across in a negative light. What is the real highlight here (for me at least), was the concept art from various skilled artists (Sylvain Despretz, Jack Johnson, Jim Carson, Harold Belker, Michael Anthony Jackson etc...). These images really show what could of been, what an amazing visual feast of ideas could have been displayed with Burton's dark mindset. Honesty most of it, if not all of it, is truly stunning to look at, the various ideas for Krypton (loved the neon lights and shifting tectonic plates ideas), action sequences, locations, Superman's little pod from Krypton and of course his suit. All of this being a combination of the various artistic styles provided by the various concept artists and Burton's own uniquely gothic tastes. The best of which easily being Burton's take on Brainiac which basically looked like something from 'Mars Attacks', but still good! loved the creepy spindly spider legs idea. Whether or not any of this stuff would have worked on film is another matter, the million Dollar question, but the artwork sells it brilliantly, you can't help but love it.
The suit is another big focus of the film, probably the biggest as that's what everybody has seen online with Cage looking dreadful. Again there is some gorgeous artwork showing how the finished product would have looked, his final new black suit, his healing suit and various other stages that were looked at. These images are really helpful to see what the aim was and I gotta be honest...I liked what I saw! The exciting stuff comes from actually seeing the partial creation of one suit, the now famous rainbow suit. We see various people trying on the initial designs and how the neon lights would have worked etc...it looked great in my humble opinion, really fresh and visually appealing. Having Supes big 'S' in bold silver adorned across the chest plate, with all these neon rainbow lights flashing in a synchronised pattern was awesome to see. Think the aliens in the movie 'Abyss' and how their bodies glowed and lit up for a comparison.
Another idea they were going with which I believe was totally new, was the little robotic character that would have accompanied Supes from Krypton from the get go. This little guy would have looked after Supes and helped him, not exactly original these days of course, but it was the idea that it transformed into a sort of mechanical exoskeleton for Supes when he was recovering from whatever happened to him. This sounds crazy but again the artwork totally sold me, seeing Superman encased by some robotic suit of armour that enabled him to fly was really unique, and it looked so damn cool!
As for Cage, the big bad Cage, I'm still not so sure about that. According to Burton there was a lot of conflict on casting and its easy to see why. Cage would never have been my first choice, apart from his over acting and lack of chiseled features, for me its that hairline, come on seriously, a balding Superman?! even with that wig he still looked balding.
Me being new to all this, I will admit I loved the fresh new angles and the big gambles they were aiming for, or willing to take. Of course we will never know if they would have paid off, but I think doing something brave and original with such an epic franchise deserves some kudos. I mean really, killing off Supes?...ballsy move right there, having him come back bigger and badder with that black suit, all in the one movie?! the first movie! gotta give kudos on that plot, that blows most origins stories out of the water. I do think these changes were kinda needed for Supes though, because his formula and look can be become stale, especially after the classic Reeve's movies ('Superman Returns'). Just look at 'Man of Steel', that had many new visual elements to it which looked great and did work, unfortunately that movie didn't gel entirely, but it shows this Burton vision could of worked on some levels.
It does appear that this production did get pretty far before it was cancelled, I think it was merely weeks before shooting Warner Bros shut it down. That all being down to the epic failure of Joel Schumacher's 'Batman and Robin' which gave Warner Bros the jitters, so Schumacher did indeed screw up both the Batman franchise and the Superman franchise on one fell swoop. It is a shame because I would have liked to see this movie made, I think it would have been decent, a definitely unique stand alone flick if anything. This doc does give plenty of info about the various stages, if like me you haven't really looked into all this then it will be quite interesting. For others, more dedicated Superman fanboys, I'm not sure this really gives you anything you didn't already know, what's more you can find a lot of this online if you search.
Still, its a solid documentary, well made, well researched, plenty of old stock footage, lots of artwork and lots of little interviews from almost all involved. The fact many fans got to help out is also great (apparently the Bluray has loads of extras). Well worth your time if you like any of these categories...Superman, comics, superhero flicks or just plain n simple science fiction and fantasy.