Admiral Buzzkill wrote:
In any event, the Donner movie was a mediocre Hollywood attempt at an "epic" that's redeemed mainly by Reeve's performance - very shakily supported by a script that takes nothing seriously.
Reeve's performance is memorable, but for me the main thing that redeems the movie is John Williams' score, which, to be fair, doesn't take everything seriously, either, but the main title is grand.
I think you guys are being way too hard on the Donner films. Putting aside that it was the late 70s/early 80s, those movies still do a great job making a character as difficult as Superman actually WORK on the big screen. And making the superhero world more credible and believable than it had ever been before-- especially compared to the cartoons and TV series that came before.
And yeah there might have been some campy humor, but the movies themselves never become a complete joke or farce on the level of the 1960s Batman or anything. In fact even while delivering jokes, you still clearly sense the underlying menace in Hackman's Lex (whether in the brilliant kryptonite scene or in his desire to sink and destroy the western seaboard). And despite his silly costume and outdated effects, Stamp's Zod still feels like a huge threat in that movie as well.
As much as I love the serious tone of MOS, I think the approach of the Donner films works just as damn well. You just have to be willing to look past the humor and dated effects.