With the complete catalog of “Lois & Clark” and “The Adventures of Superman” now out on DVD, it’s fitting that Warner Home Entertainment ends November with an all-out bash dedicated to the Man of Steel.
SUPERMAN RETURNS: TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION
It doesn’t match the emotion of the first two “Superman” films, but director Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns” does a decent job resurrecting the long-dead franchise. While Singer dangerously teeters along some film pitfalls — includingterrible acting from the leads and some questionable plot twists — Superman is back and with Singer already signed onto another tour of duty with the character, it will be interesting where he takes it from here.
Superman (Brandon Routh) has left Earth for five years, flying to his home planet of Krypton in order to bury his past. While he was gone, Lois (Kate Bosworth) had a child (presumably Clark’s) and Lex Luthor (scene-stealing Kevin Spacey) again is up to his nefarious schemes. Needless to say, when the Man of Steel returns he isn’t greeted warmly by either. Once again, it is up to Superman to stop Luthor from turning the world into his personal ATM.
The DVD features an entire second disc of extras, including a whopping three-hour documentary on the making of the film that covers everything you could possibly want to know about the film outside of what Singer has for breakfast every morning. There are more than 10 deleted scenes along with Easter eggs, trailers, additional featurettes on some of the special effects and more. Price: $34.98. Rent or buy: Rent.
SUPERMAN II: THE RICHARD DONNER CUT
This is a great DVD as it is almost a completely new film with everything that was added back into the film. Remastered from the original source material, this edition includes a never-before-seen beginning of the film, 15 minutes of restored footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El and plenty of other unused material left in the cutting room. The DVD includes a commentary from Donner and creative consultant Tom Makiewicz, who talk up the original film and the differences in this cut as well as Donner’s original vision for the film and more. A featurette also accompanies the special features on the process of restoring the film. Price: $24.98. Rent or buy: Rent (only because of the next item).
This 14-disc set includes just about anything you could possibly want from “Superman.” Included in this set are the four-disc “Superman — The Movie” DVD, “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut,” the original “Superman II,” “Superman III,” the terrible “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” and “Superman Returns: Two Disc Special Edition.” Also on this set are the journals of Bryan Singer and two new featurettes not available elsewhere on the Man of Steel. Price: $99.98. Rent or buy: Buy!!!
SUPERMAN — THE 1948 & 1950 THEATRICAL SERIALS COLLECTION
How cool is this? Another resurrected classic serial thought long dead among some “Superman” fanatics. While this series is hampered by terrible audio and even on the digital cut the video is horribly bad, seeing Kirk Alyn’s “Superman” is worthwhile. While many think George Reeves’ version of Clark was the ultimate version, Alyn brings calm to the character not really seen in future versions. It is truly interesting to see how different actors approach the term “mild-mannered.” This DVD includes the “Atom Man vs. Superman” serials as well as the serials from 1948 that featured animated flying sequences that look totally corny but given the time period are a bit more acceptable. Price: $39.98. Rent or buy: Buy.
» Other Superman DVDs you may want to check out: The complete collections of “Lois & Clark,” the complete series of “The Adventures of Superman” and “Superman — The Animated Series” volumes 1 through 3.