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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? no! Its the Superman Ultimate Edition DVD Box Set!!

14 discs....!!!! 14 DISCS!!!! I mean! What the hell guys?? 14!!!???

Ok, now I've gotten that out of the way... The new 14 disc Superman: Ultimate Collector's Edition DVD is bound to contain everything a Superman fan could ever want! But what would that be?? Well, to put it mildly, a lot! Lets take a look at what you get for your 100 bucks...

Lets take a look...

Disc 1: The Theatrical non extended version of the original Superman. Its perfect, and waaaay better than the extended version which was the only one available until now on DVD. It runs 143 minutes, and has commentaries from producers Pierre Spengler and Ilya Salkind. One problem though, this version of the movie does not contain the original 1978 audio track. It has a remastered track mixed from the 2000 remix. This is something that WB had overlooked and they are issuing replacement DVD's with the original 1978 audio. Kudos WB!

Disc 2: This is the extended Donner cut of Superman and includes a commentary from Donner. This disc is the same as the release in 2000. The disc also contains the soundtrack for fans of the King of the March, John Williams.

Disc 3: This is the first of two bonus discs for the first film, and features a trio of docs that, again, were first seen on the 2000 disc. The screen tests and restored scenes also are from the 2000 edition.

Disc 4: Here's where it starts to get smoochy! We got a vintage TV special of "The Making of Superman". This disc also includes the 1951 feature film “Superman and the Mole Men,” starring George Reeves, who was recently portrayed ont he screen by Ben Affleck in Hollywoodland
his was in an odd way a kind of pilot for the popular TV series. And finally on this uber cool disc of loveliness... nine Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons from the 1940s. omg... I need this so bad...

Disc 5: The "official" version of Superman II directed by Richard Lester. Everyone knows the story about Supe 1 and Supe II being shot at the same time and that Donner due to a dispute with Salkind walked out on the second movie. Lester came in to finish the film, which is indeed a lot from Donner's movie. Theres a Deleted scene here though thats new and the same spengler/Salkind commentary team as from the first disc.

Disc 6: The Donner Version of the movie. Oh yes! Donner also provides a commentary here, and there are a few deleted scenes also.

Disc 7: More treasures from the vault, including “The Making of Superman II” TV special, the rather goofy “Superman 50th Anniversary” TV special hosted by Dana Carvey (and featuring a very brief interview with Superman’s then-chronicler John Byrne), and the remaining 1940s Superman cartoons — this set made by Famous Studios. There also is a new featurette on the Fleischer toons that’s definitely worth a look.

Disc 8: this one has some dodgy things going on. Its the 2000 DVD release of Superman III, BUT... there's been another mistake at WB. It doesn't contain any commentaryies from Salkind and Spengler, no making of, no deleted scenes, basically nothing. This was a mistake (again) and you can complain and get the full DVD with all the trimmings, though I'm not sure how you complain about it, you'll have to do some digging yourself there.

Disc 9: Desperation may set in with “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.” This was the end of the franchise for a while and it’s hard not to see why. The Salkinds were not involved in this film, which pales in comparison to the first two films. Commentary comes from co-writer Mark Rosenthal. There’s a handful of mildly interesting deleted scenes, including an interesting recap of Superman’s origin.

Disc 10: This disc is Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns,” which looks very good in this DVD transfer. The disc is just the film, as all the bonus features on this one are kicked over to …

Disc 11: The centerpiece of this disc is a nearly three-hour documentary (and at this point, you may be punchy enough to want to call it a three-hour tour) on the making of “Superman Returns.” There also is a short featurette on how Brando footage shot for the original film was adapted into the new film, as well as the usual deleted scenes and trailers. What’s disappointing about the two “Superman Returns” discs is the obvious omission of a commentary from Singer and the highly anticipated return to Krypton scene that reportedly cost $10 million to shoot and was cut from the film. Those items surely will turn up on a later edition, much to the annoyance of anyone who’s bought this one.

Disc 12: “Look, Up in the Sky!” If you want to know anything about Superman’s comic book history, this is the one place on this set you’ll see it dealt with in any way. There are interviews here with DC talent such as Denny O’Neil, Elliot S! Maggin, Mike Carlin, Paul Levitz, Dan Didio and Gail Simone. But this also is where comics fans (and anyone with an interest in an accurate and truthful record of the history of Superman) should have a big beef: Siegel and Shuster are barely mentioned as part of the story after the publication of Action Comics #1.

Disc 13: “You Will Believe: The Cinematic Story of Superman” once again recounts the history of the Christopher Reeve films. also 2 featurettes “The Mythology of Superman” and a tribute to Reeve. There's also a rare 1958 TV Pilot, "The Adventures of Superpup". What the...? There's also some cartoons on here too. Sounds a little strange, more of a gap filler disc than the rest perhaps.

Disc 14: The set is wrapped up with a disc of Bryan Singer’s Video Journals, which originally were posted online, including one about Singer’s 2005 visit to Comic-Con, for which he flew 20 hours from Sydney.

Basically, this is the Superman Bible. You get everything (save a few mis-released DVD's included in the pack. I can't imagine doing everything in one sitting, in fact, I should think you'd die if you tried, and if you didn't you'd probably just get really bored with Superman stuff... I'll be purcahsing my copy sooner rather than later!

Smoochy indeed!

Info courtesy of Tom McLean over at Variety


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