Superman II Movie Minute #22 – Home Field Advantage

SUPERMAN II MOVIE MINUTE #22 - Home Field Advantage

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 10500 - 11000, Superman lures the Phantom Zone villains back to the Fortress of Solitude.

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Opening theme and closing theme by John Williams

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11 responses to “Superman II Movie Minute #22 – Home Field Advantage

  1. Yes. I’m one of those who is just confounded by the expanding cellophane S. It’s just weird. Even in the context of all the other weirdness going on.
    As far as two of those duplicate Supermans. Perhaps the duplicate Superman robots? It is the Fortress if Solitude. Maybe in the universe of the movie, the robots are ice/crystal formations like much of Krypton? Just a theory.

  2. Oh boy. Now this was the scene that confounded me even as a child. While I thought it was weird the baddies developed different powers than Superman, as they demonstrated with those levitation beams, I always thought this went a bit too far. Maybe it was because the Superman I knew wasn’t the wacky one that could create mini-duplicates of himself by rubbing his fingers together or that managed to have a never-before-mentioned power that happened to fit whatever situation called for it in his comic. But this..the weird power beams, the multiple Superman trick…it was a bit much. I could buy the cellophane “S”. Clark’s in his castle. He has his bag o’ tricks. I get that. But then he can be everywhere at once? It wasn’t until I figured maybe the fortress had some alien tech that: 1) NONE of the Kryptonians recognized for whatever reason even though they were military and had a greater understanding of all things Krypton than Clark; 2) it’s just a movie.

    Honestly, this was the part that keeps S2 from beating out S1. I’m with Cfranks on the rankings for this pair of Supes films.

    Also, did Rob grow up with a life-size replica of the fortress in the southern wing of the mansion? I remember he had a custom batcave built, so I wondered if this was constructed, too. I know his backyard had the protoype of the Supermanland rollercoaster that was going to be built in Metropolis, Ill.

  3. Do you guys find it notable that Superman takes off apparently to take the battle somewhere out of the city, and the villains do not follow him? There’s the “he fled; he is a coward after all” reaction, and I have to scratch my head a little at this.

    (1) I didn’t think Zod should feel like he achieved something by just driving the son of Jor-El out of the city in shame and then reporting this news back to the Planet office. Mere minutes ago he wanted to exact revenge on the son of their jailer, right? Luthor is right to call him out on his apparently deciding to put that off until “next time”.

    (2) Because they don’t immediately follow, Superman’s taking an awfully big chance that the villains won’t just wreck the city while our hero goes rig up a special playroom. I know it’s in the script that everyone including Lois will remain unharmed, but Superman can’t have read the script. But I’m unsure how else he could have known that the Kryptonians would, a minute after he departs, be persuaded by Lex to meet him at the Fortress and go play Kal-El’s games, instead of staying put and murdering Earthies. That’s an awfully risky assumption even if Superman knew about Lex’s previous Fortress visit, which there’s no evidence he learned about.

    1. Some good points Doug. Maybe Superman hoped they WOULD follow him out of town, and when he realized they didn’t, he had time to go set up the Fortress. To come back and re-engage them in Metropolis would have put him right back where they started.

      Or…this could be another case where in my mind this movie’s sins are “grandfathered in” and I just never even think of such things, because it just…is.


  4. 1. The weird super powers. Even though the easy take on old Superman stories is “developing new power as needed,” I bet you that almost every time, there was a set-up for it. Even the episode of the TV show Chris referenced, Superman had previously been “instructed”in how to pass through a solid wall. Even in this movie, the “super-power taker-away” device has been established. Maybe I can buy he rigged up a super-saran wrap and holograms, but finger-lasers? No.
    2. Convenience. As I’ve stated on an earlier message, these movies rely a lot on cultural knowledge of Superman and Lois Lane. How does Ursa know that Lois is his favorite?
    3. Listening to you, and thinking about how could “real” Superman deal with these villains; at super-speed, come up behind Non, grab him by his ankles, fly a thousand miles in a couple of seconds and put him at the bottom of an ocean. He’s already not too bright, and that would certainly disorient him. As we have no gold K, or PZ projector, what other ideas do you all have?

    1. Well, Lex did tell Zod, Ursa and Non about how Superman gave Lois “Every exclusive” and that they were “the best of friends”, so that’s baked in for Ursa to know when she decides to take Lois hostage.

      I can totally see the Earth 1 Superman taking the Zoners powers away like he did here. He would then gather them up and send them back into the Phantom Zone with the wok-like PZ Projector. Maybe if they behave they can get a work release into Kandor centuries later.

  5. I really need to break out my DVDs of the TV show and give them another watch. Didn’t Superman fail to pass through the indestructible wall in that episode and he had to trick the villain into coming out by moving his clock ahead? Or am I confusing two different episodes?

    I could have taken the disappearing Superman as a Fortress trick, if the villains weren’t doing it to. I like Chris’s retcon that they were using super-speed and leaving images behind. Thanks for helping me keep my enjoyment of the film, Chris.

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree about the cellophane S. That looked cheesy even when I was 10.

    My biggest gripe at the time was the finger lasers. Why not just use heat vision? I didn’t realize at the time that finger lasers were comic book cannon. Maybe this was one of the issues that Mario Puzo or Tom Mankiewicz read?

    That issue is from 1958 and Mankiewicz also may have been inspired by a 1959 issue of Wonder Woman when writing Live & Let Die. Just a thought.

    1. What I meant is maybe he had a vague memory of the cover and not the story itself and didn’t realize it wasn’t one of Superman’s regular powers.

      1. It’s possible someone (Puzo, Mankiewicz) saw that cover and thought finger lasers were part of the usual super repertoire. I just re-watched Live and Let Die a few weeks ago. Good call on that WW cover!


  6. Dang, Sarah Douglas was just viciously awesome in these 5 minutes. “Let the general go, or we’ll tear her apart!” That was legit scary and intimidating. Just wow!

    Interesting comments above, especially the question of “if this is Kryptonian tech, why did it surprise the villains?” One thought is this is not standard Kryp-tech, but Jor-El’s personal arsenal, and maybe with some modifications by Superman making something wholly unfamiliar to other Kryptonians. But by and large, I honestly haven’t thought too much about it, as it’s awesome to see Supes using smarts too take out the villains. We had the big powerful slugfest in Metropolis, now we get him using his brains. So good!

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