Superman II Movie Minute #20 – Wow, Home Run


Fire and Water Network All-Stars Chris Franklin and Rob Kelly bring you SUPERMAN II MOVIE MINUTE, where they analyze, scrutinize, and you'll-believe-a-man-can-fly-ize the classic 1980 film starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, and Terence Stamp, five minutes at a time!

In minutes 9500 - 10000, Superman dukes it out with the Phantom Zone villains in the skies of Metropolis. Special Guest: Dan Greenfield!

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Opening theme and closing theme by John Williams

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9 responses to “Superman II Movie Minute #20 – Wow, Home Run

  1. I still remember what a thrill watching this scene was when I was 10. I think I’ll always enjoy it. I don’t think an action scene like this had ever been attempted. Even today, I really don’t see the “seems” as you mention. I go back to being 10 whenever I watch the movie.

    My mom was looking forward to Superman 2 as well. She took me to see the first one and we both enjoyed it. The main difference….I had to sit on her hard wicker purse at Superman : The Movie. It was always my booster seat back then. I was always a tiny kid, but I was big enough to sit in the seat at Superman 2.

    Oh, if I were a podcaster, I think I would want the shark scene or the “can’t get rid of a bomb” scene on Batman : The Movie minute. Don’t worry about me stealing your idea. I’m never going to start the Gotham City Hillbillies podcast.

  2. Coming to the defense of the mother pushing the stroller, if you look carefully, you’ll see that the stroller clearly has a flat tire, and cannot be pushed out of the way. In addition, is she shielding the stroller with her body in a vain attempt to protect her child, or is she actually reaching for the spare tire and stroller jack? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

    Seriously though, I really enjoyed your coverage of all the action in these five minutes. I haven’t watched Superman II in ages, but, as you discuss the different beats in the battle, my memories of them come bubbling right back up to the surface of my mind. I’m particularly glad to hear that some of those effects have managed to weather the test of time. Thanks for another superb episode.

  3. I remember seeing the movie, but little of the details.
    Except the manhole cover.
    Why doesn’t it shatter on Superman? I can’t be sure that bugged me instantly, but it certainly bugged me very soon after, and ever since.
    Until yesterday, when I was listening, and no-prized myself an answer. Ursa (I really wanted to type Faora Hu-ul) hurled the manhole cover SO FAST that it was approaching the speed of light and it’s mass increased! Increased at least to beyond Kryptonian density.
    So, that’s one little piece of annoyance from this movie I can put to rest!

    1. Wow! That’s some good no-prizin’, Ward Hill Terry! Let me try a little:

      You gentlemen obliquely referenced what I have dubbed the Law of Kryptonian Origin. To wit, If it’s Kryptonian, an item or material can hurt a Kryptonian to the same degree and in the same way that its Earth analog would hurt a human. Ergo, regarding durability and strength, Ursa is to Superman as Sarah Douglas is to Christopher Reeve. Consequently, the delicate (but lethally poisonous) flower that is Ursa cannot simply punch any of the bonier parts of Superman — like his super-noggin — without risking a broken hand. Hence, the need for a metal flagpole as a bludgeon. Too bad for her that Earth metals are so surprisingly flimsy!

      And a quick internet search confirms what we all learned from the science documentary Real Genius: Mirrors will reflect lasers in the visible light portion of the spectrum (and maybe some others) in the same way they reflect noncoherent visible light. That said, in both cases, some energy is wasted (see that pesky 2nd Law of Thermodynamics again), and the unreflected portion of a powerful laser beam would eventually burn through the glass, or whatever the mirror was made of.

      Superman II…it’s about the science!

      1. Wait, if the manhole cover was really moving at relativistic speeds, the shock wave from the resulting impact would ha—speed force aura! That’s right! I said it! The ultimate trump card! How do ya like me now, laws of physics?!?

  4. Rob and Chris (and Dan!): As usual, this was a very enjoyable episode, despite the fact (prepare for heresy) that I DON’T LIKE THESE MOVIES AS MUCH AS Y’ALL DO! The performances and many of the moments are brilliant, and the special effects were truly ahead of their time. Nevertheless, I don’t think Christopher Reeve was ever as menacing as I wanted him to be when he was Angry Superman or as Resolute Superman, and his Clark was far too awkward. (I know that’s really the work of Mankiewicz and Donner, not Reeve, and that doesn’t change the fact that they did outstanding, pioneering work overall.) And all those complaints pale next to the incredible plot holes and failures of logic that, to your credit, you never fail to address. I’m enjoying this podcast, though, because your keen and studied observations make me appreciate the good parts of these movies more than ever. But they also make the low spots a little more irritating.

    A few other thoughts: Chris, super-freeze breath is a DUMB power. I’ve hated it for decades. It is somehow far sillier than heat vision, despite the fact that heat vision is no less scientifically absurd. Despite my feelings, I recognize that the ridiculousness of super-freeze breath may be exactly what you love about it, and I respect your choice.

    Finally, as men, we cannot in good conscience deride Leueen for her attraction to the bad boy, Non. Ursa makes hypocrites of us all.

    1. Well, I would say those comments are a one way ticket to the Phantom Zone, but since you were so nice about it, and you are entitled to your opinions, I will let it slide. 😉

      Super Freeze Breath doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but neither does being able to just fly, so I just roll with it. As long as the powers are presented FAIRLY consistently (and they often aren’t) I’m okay with them. If you say Superman can defy gravity and propel himself just by will, then why not just buy he can expel large amounts of nitrogen from his lungs? And don’t give me that John Byrne “telekinesis” reasoning. Ugh.

      Good point on Luween, although while I can admire Ursa’s beauty and black sense of humor, I don’t want her to actually win.


  5. Oh my gosh, this fight scene! It was so amazing when I first saw it, and I do feel it holds up when you allow for the time. Not just the special effects, but the kind of movies they made then. FIght scenes have gotten tons more graphic in all kinds of movies, not just superhero ones, and by the 70s standards, this fight was epic!

    The underground fight was no problem for 10-year-old me, I gladly filled in the blanks for myself on the action, making it even more effective of a scene. Crazy to think I was actively enjoying NOT seeing the punches.

    Dang, Ursa and the manhole cover was such a badass move, and Reeve was excellent at selling how much it hurt. Oh so good.

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