I think the first Superman film is overrated and has too much nostalgia love. What it has going for was it's was a very majestic, momentous atmosphere(through the memorial score, and some inspirational moments) and Reeve's and Brando is great and carry their roles with extraodinary gravitas.... but man, the film's later half is overtly campy and weakly plotted. Some cringeworthy dialouge( Sample the inner-monolouge Lois has when she is first flying with Superman --it's awful). Let's not forget the stupidty of the "turn back time by spinning the world around by flying so fast" scene. Not to mention, Lex's annnoying sidekicks. The Donnor films are classic's but it's time to make room for a fresh intepretation of this character that will be in the mainstream's conscious when they think of Superman rather then relics which are the Reeve's film's.
Agree that it's very much overrated. I enjoyed the film in '79, but did not believe for a moment that "a man can fly". Aside from the occasional crane work, it was just the same technique used to make George fly, albeit slightly better looking.
Plus, I never really bought Christopher Reeve as Superman. Too skinny. Cavil's got the physique, the jaw and if had the spit curl, he'd be the closest screen incarnation to look like Superman.
I'm ready for someone to obliterate the inane notion that Reeve was somehow the definitive Superman, instead of just the Superman for a specific generation. I'm happy to finally be getting a new Superman for a new generation.
While I figure it's just some weird machine or weapon, my first thought actually went to Solaris.