Superman Movie Minute #2 – Villains on Trial

SUPERMAN MOVIE MINUTE #2 - Villains on Trial

Fire and Water Network All-Stars Chris Franklin and Rob Kelly bring you SUPERMAN MOVIE MINUTE, where they analyze, scrutinize, and you'll-believe-a-man-can-fly-ize the classic 1978 film starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, and Marlon Brando, five minutes at a time!

In minutes 5:00 - 10:00, Chris and Rob finish up the credits, we are introduced to Jor-El, and General Zod, Non, and Ursa are put on trial.

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8 responses to “Superman Movie Minute #2 – Villains on Trial

  1. I was one of those kids that thought Stamp said “ass” instead of “heirs”. I know I’m not alone but it’s still a funny memory.

    As I was really young when I first saw this film (four or five) on HBO and mainly exposed to Superman through the Super Friends, the movie Krypton was my first exposure to the planet. So it never seemed weird to me. Eventually I would discover the comic book version but by then I was hip to the fact that there were differences between the comics and the movies.

    Even though you usually love the first version of something you experience this is far from my favorite version of Krypton. I like it for the films but that’s where I want it to stay. I was highly annoyed when Johns brought it to the comics in 2006. If they were going to reboot Superman again give us a new Krypton, not a reheated casserole of the past. It seems here to stay for the time being and I’m not mad or anything. It just bothers me.

    Rob kept chiding himself for calling Zod, Ursa and Non the Phantom Zone villains. I didn’t see this as necessary. It’s true that at this point in the film they aren’t Phantom Zone prisoners but I think the audience for this show would have given him a pass for calling them that. It’s how we know them.

    Chris brought up the sound of the credits on the current theatrical version of the film. It’s certainly possible that they emphasized it in the current theatrical version and I know they definitely did for the Special Edition (which is somewhat of a touchy subject for some fans) but I also wonder if sound on televisions is simply better today than it was when we were growing up. A 5:1 sound mix is definitely heftier than the mono or two channel mix we had as kids. So it might have always been there but our televisions weren’t good enough on an audio level to hear it.

    Great job, guys. This certainly made getting up at six in the morning more bearable today.

    1. I don’t mind the comics mixing media elements in over time. After all, that’s how we got Jimmy Olsen, for instance. When there’s an opportunity for a reboot, why not mix in bits from the more popular version? The bad part about Johns’ Secret Origin is that it came after several half-reboots and restarts. And yeah, maybe he leaned in a bit too much to the Donner version…but I enjoyed it, because really, THIS is my favorite version of Superman.

      As for the sounds, it may just be the clean-up in a lot of ways, and modern technology keeping catching up to the fidelity of the sound. Those swooshes are certainly more pronounced than I recall.

      Glad we could help out on a Monday Michael!


  2. Great discussion, gentlemen. I would like to take a stab at no-prizing Brando’s pronunciation of the word Krypton. I propose that the El family comes from a region of Krypton with a distinct dialect, which is looked down upon by upper class Kryptonians. A self-conscious, young Jor-El learned to hide his accent, with the exception of one word, Krypton. His failure to completely lose his accent led to him being mocked by his upper class peers. His repressed feelings of childhood anger and humiliation now manifest themselves in his rebellion against Kryptonian society.

  3. Great episode guys. Loved it.

    I also thought he said ‘You and your ass!’ which as a kid certainly made me giggle. I used to wonder what he meant. Is there a way to kneel why leaving your ass behind?

    I had been reading comics for a couple of years when this came out (I was 8) so this Krypton certainly seemed foreign. I grew up with Fire Falls, Thought Beasts, and Jor-El in a green outfit with a sun. So this cold, ice planet where people wore silver ponchos seemed off. But, as you said, it is an economical scene giving us all we need to know about Krypton to move forward.

    I’ll leave my comment about Kal’s ‘rocket’ for the proper episode.

  4. One of the first miniseries I ever purchased when I just started reading comics was “Superman: Phantom Zone” (1982) by Steve Gerber and Gene Colan. It’s a much darker and moodier version of Superman’s world than anything else that was being published at that point. I would also recommend “Superman: Last Son of Krypton” written by Geoff Johns and Donner. It was the series that officially included Non and Ursa into the DCU.

    Movie fans may want to check out Terrance Stamp in “Billy Budd” (1962) which was based on Herman Melville’s classic novel. Stamp plays the nearly Christ-like title character to perfection. It’s about as far from Zod as one can get.

    FYI: I am assigning Superman: Secret Origin to the undergrad students in my “Superheroes, Comics, & Culture” course this semester. I chose it because it’s self-contained and touches on most of the key elements of the Superman mythos. Finally, here’s my favorite homage to Zod’s famous phrase:

  5. Okay – on the whole crypt-ton vs crypt-tun, I always thought it was the same as row-bot vs some people saying row-but. Or may-lay vs may-lee combat. Neither is right or wrong.

    Is it lay-uh or lee-uh? Tan-ta-vee, as I heard it on the radio drama years ago, or tan-tiv as I’ve people more recently say it?

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