erik lundegaard

Superman Screenshot of the Day

Superman (Christopher Reeve) takes off for the first time in Metropolis in "Superman: The Movie" (1978)

In the March 2013 Empire Magazine, with new Superman Henry Cavill on the cover, Mark Dinning, in his Editor-in-Chief letter, writes about the Christopher Reeve “Superman” movies in less-than-complimentary fashion:

I never did believe a man could fly. ... Even I, as an undiscerning kid, could see the fat black lines that clung to Christopher Reeve in flight against an obviously fake front projection. The trailer promised us the gift of flight. What a swizz! Who knew that trailers could tell you porkies?

Then he goes on to kiss the ass of the new movie.

Allow me a rebuttal.

First, I know what he's talking about. Some of the flying shots, yes, had a bit of a black line around Supes, and that line, sadly, got thicker as the movies progressed, until in the Golan and Globus version in 1987 it was like something out of1974's “Shazam!” or “Adventures of Superman” from the 1950s. It looked awful. A swizz. But in “Superman: The Movie” it wasn't bad.

More importantly, for many of the shots, he did fly. Christopher Reeve didn't just run and bounce through a window (George Reeves) or run and bounce over the camera (Kirk Alyn), to be replaced by the thick black line (Reeves) or an actual cartoon (Alyn). No, Christopher Reeve, via harness and crane, flew, as in the shot above, when he takes off for the first time in Metropolis to save Lois Lane hanging from a helicopter. That's no rear-screen projection there. Reeve is in New York, being pulled into the air, and seeming to fly.

Of course the new “Man of Steel” movie will make this look like child's play. But it's good to keep in mind that whatever Henry Cavill does is just green screen. It's CGI. In a way, we're back to the cartoon. A very sophisticated cartoon, yes, but a cartoon nonetheless. It's not real the way the above was real.

So if you want to see a man fly, you have one option. Everything else is porkies.

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Posted at 04:49 PM on Wed. May 29, 2013 in category Superman Screenshot of the Day  
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