Episode 18: Superman III

This week, impressive computer magic can do anything as we hit the slopes (and the streets) to save the reputation of Superman III!

Writer and podcaster Joe Mazel joins the show to talk about the probably not as bad as you remember third installment in the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise. With Lois out of town and things quiet in Metropolis, Clark Kent takes an opportunity to return to his hometown of Smallville for his 20th high school reunion. But unbeknownst to him, a new and more insidious threat is emerging to seize control of the world’s computer systems and he’ll need the help of morally flexible hacker Gus Gorman to defeat a cybernetic menace!

The Reeve Superman films stand within a now almost unrecognizable era of big-budget genre films, where studios like Warner Brothers lent out their most valuable properties to whoever had the money and ambition to bring them to the screen. Though the current verticality of the superhero blockbuster has led to more consistency in output, there is something to say for the erratic charm of superhero films of yore, when Richard Pryor could star as a hacker with a heart of gold or Clark could enjoy the simple pleasures of homemade dog food. In this episode, we talk about the unasked for humor of the Lester Superman films, the charming throwback of Reeve’s Man of Steel, the titanic scale of the Superman blockbusters of the past, defining Supes for a new millennium, the deep bench of the DC Universe, the way the film’s characters are all met with personal challenges of growth, and that “wacky” opening sequence.

Plus, we also discuss the “humorous” Marvel style, marrying your cousin on Krypton, subbing Alberta for NYC, sun-kissed Superman, Richard Pryor’s Star Wars cantina, a lack of “snow” jokes, paying off your acid, God becoming the Devil, the RoboCop/Schwarzenegger matrix, and the tragedy of Brad!

Citizen Kane is a jerk!

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Metacritic: 44
IMDB: 5/10

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