OK, here goes.
Part 2 of How Times Have Changed will feature Spiderman and Superman.
Starting with Spiderman.
I’ve never been a huge Spiderman fan but the first Spiderman I can remember watching was the Amazing Spiderman from the 1970’s with Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker.
I remember enjoying the show back then, but let’s face it, I wasn’t even 10 years old so what did I really know?!
Looking back at pictures now I feel slightly embarrassed about admitting that I watched it.
That costume looks like something that you can now buy at a fancy dress store!
I remember some of the ‘special effects’ where they were trying to get him to walk like a spider up and down walls. They simply built a set on the floor and filmed at an angle while he crawled on all fours!
Oh yes, I remember the Kenny Everett comedy sketch based on the series where Spiderman desperately needs to go to the loo. He finally gets to a toilet and realises he doesn’t have a zipper….. one wet Spiderman.
Anyway, that was my only experience with Spiderman until 2002 when Director Sam Raimi gave us a new Spiderman in the form of Toby Maguire.
A bright red and royal blue outfit is not an easy one to update and make look cool but I think he did a good job.
The colours were a lot deeper and the rubberised webbing effect gave the costume some real depth.
Although at the time I felt that Toby Maguire was a bit of an odd choice for the role, I think he pulled it off quite nicely.
Toby had three outings as Spiderman between 2002 and 2007 and faced adversaries in the form of The Green Goblin, Dr Octopus, The Sandman and Venom.
The film also had one of the sexiest screen kisses in film history!.
In 2012 the Director Marc Webb gave us a complete re-boot of the franchise with Andrew Garfield in the lead role.
It has taken me a little while to warm up to this one.
This Spiderman is leaner and cockier than the Toby Maguire version.
The costume is a lot more streamlined and they’ve lost the heavy rubberised webbing effect but it still works.
However, I wasn’t overly impressed with the choice of villain in the form of ‘The Lizard’
At the minute I am going to say my favourite Spiderman to date has been Toby Maguire.
I loved that costume, liked the choice of villains, loved ‘That Kiss’!!
However, I am seeing the potential in the Andrew Garfield Spiderman and I’m looking forward to seeing the next one later this year.
Right, onto Superman.
I love superhero movies but Superman is quite possibly my favourite.
Unfortunatley for various reasons, after Christopher Reeve, the Superman franchise has always struggled at the movies.
Anyway, I know Superman has had lots of incarnations prior to Christopher Reeve but I am only reviewing the incarnations I know and love so I am starting with Christopher Reeve.
I will also only be doing my movie favourites!! The TV ones are another can of worms altogether.
1978 saw Christopher Reeve don the cape and boots for the first time.
The influence of this film eventually helped establish the superhero concept as a respected film genre.
Christopher Reeve was a virtually unknown actor when he took on the role and beat quite a lot of Holly wood royalty for the role.
Warren Beatty,James Caan, Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, Nick Nolte, Robert Redford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ryan O’Neal, Jeff Bridges, Jan-Michael Vincent, David Soul, Robert Wagner and Jon Voight were all considered for the role with the front-runners being Nolte and Voight!
Christopher is widely thought to be the difinitive incarnation. He certainly looked the part. He was beautiful!
Christopher’s villains were predominantly Lex Luthor and General Zod with a later appearance of Nuclear Man but the least said about that one the better.
The first two movies were the best. The third one took a bit of a dip and concentrated more on the comedy than the action and villains and the fourth one is best forgotten about altogether!! It was abysmal!
After the abysmal Superman 4 in 1987 we had a long break before Superman’s next outing.
There were a few attempts to get the franchise going again but there were also legal wranglings to get through and of course the all important question, ‘who’ would take on the role?
Eventually, 19 years later in 2006 we were given ‘Superman Returns’
Again, it was decided to cast a virtual unknown in the role in the form of Brandon Routh.
In my opinion he was brilliant.
However, he did not go down well with the die hard fans who couldn’t get past the fact that he ‘wasn’t’ Christopher Reeve.
Brandon’s portrayal of Clark Kent was very reminicent of Christopher Reeve.
He did a fantastic job.
The costume itself was very similar to Christopher’s. The only real difference was the deepening of the colours and the more 3D chest logo and leather cape.
The film suffered because it was ‘too’ similar to the Christopher Reeve movies and people didn’t accept it.
Brandon’s villain was Lex Luthor who was played brilliantly by Kevin Spacey.
Brandon only made one Superman appearance.
Although Brandon was signed up for at least one more movie, the legal wranglings were still ongoing and his contract ran out.
In 2013, Zack Snyder took hold of the reigns for a complete re-boot of the franchise and was brave enough to say that what was past was past.
He successfully re-envisioned the whole look and feel of Superman.
He started right back at the beginning and told the story from Clarks birth right through to becoming Superman and eventually taking his place as a reporter at the Daily Planet.
The film no longer had the word ‘Superman’ in the title. It was now called ‘Man of Steel’
One of the biggest changes made was to the costume.
To get around some of the legal bits, the red underwear (overwear?) was dropped from the costume.
The colours were deepened yet again and made more metalic.
The suit was now more of an armour and made for some very sexy imagery!!
Of course the one thing that made the movie was the actor chosen to play Superman.
A Brit no less and playing the part of an American icon!!
Snyder has also taken some much needed liberties with the Superman mythos.
The biggest decision was letting Lois Lane know who his alter ego is from day one.
She is the only one at the daily planet at the end of the film that knows who he is.
I’ve said it before, this Lois Lane is feisty and intelligent. She was never going to fall for the glasses as a disguise!!
As much as I loved Christopher Reeve in the role, Henry Cavill is fast becoming my ultimate Superman.
I just hope he doesn’t get lost in the sea of big names and villains being brought into his next outing.
Roll on 2016!!
End of part 2.
Part 3 will probably be James Bond and Star Trek.