Superman III so bad it make Superman II look like Superman I!  It as if director Richard Lester read monster’s reviews and den, out of spite, get Superman to spin world backward so he can go back in time and inklude everyting me hate so much about first two movies in first five minutes of dis turd.  Kooky musik play as guy walk into pole, girl in rollerblades knock phone booths over, blind man mistake street painter for seeing eye dog, old man get bucket of yellow paint on head, blind man walk thru painting, mime slip and fall on marblez, guy get pie in da face, etc.  And dis just opening creditz!  Phoo-wee.  Already, dis movie stink like Fozzie Bear at hot yoga class.  If Buster Keaton ever make comeback, Richard Lester your guy!

We introduced to Gus Gorman.  He lovable loozer dat can’t hold down job.  Just like Grover before he start mangosteen juice franchise.  Gus get job as computer programmer and, in no time, become hacker genius.  Find way to redirekt extra fraktion cents from everybody else paychek into his own – and make $85k+ on first try!  Me have to admit, dis very brilliant idea.  Remind monster of time Oscar da Grouch run similar scam.  Except instead of stealing money from checkz, he steal cash.  And instead of from co-workerz, he take from strangers.  And instead of computer program, he use rusty pipe and strong language.

Gus seem like smart guy.  But not really.  Boss of company (Napoleon Solo) told dat someone steal $85k+ from company but no way to track it.  In olden days possible becuz people check everyting dat go in and out but nowadays have to rely on lazy computerz so no way to know.  UNTIL Gus drive to work in flashy sportscar. Den Napoleon Solo say “Aha!” and offer Gus deal.  Gus have to use computer to command weather satellite to cause storm dat wipe out coffee crop in Columbia. Weather satellite can control weather?  Of course!  Dat why it called WEATHER satellite!

Ho ho ho! What funnier den giant hat? In dis movie, not much.

Meanwile, back at Metropolis, Clark get permishiun to go back to Smallville for high school reunion.  And Lois get permishiun to go on vacashun to Bermuda.  Monster tink “Aha!  Writerz so smart.  Lois going to go to Bermuda and get stuck in storm!” But writerz fool monster by not even bother to take advantage of Lois charakter. She gone for most of movie and, instead, we follow dopey couple we don’t know who visit Columbia and get caught in storm and watch giant piece of church roof fall and land on head of parishish parshishi church people.

On way to Smallville, bus stop at site of chemikal fire.  Superman arrive on scene just as two guyz run out of building on fire.  Superman ask: “Chief, how can I help?” Monster think: “Would be nice if you could put out dose two guyz” but instead Supes fly into building and chat wit scientist watching acid vaporize.  Need to cool tings down but problem wit water pressure!  So Superman fly to lake five miles away, freeze water wit super breath, den fly giant ice piece back and drop it on factory.  For some reazon, it instantly melt and put out fire instead of crush everybody like me hoping.

Superman return to Smallville.  Meet up wit Lana Lang and her kid and hilarious abusive alcoholic ex-boyfriend.  Superman teach Lana Lang kid valuable lessons like cheating a-okay (by using super breath to help kid win at bowling) and lying a-okay too (by showing up for kidz birtday after kid tell everyone Superman coming even though Superman not have plan to go and probably not like buttercream icing anyway).  Clark go on piknik wit Lana and son.  For some reazon kid fall asleep in middle of field during treshing season.  Superman save before he end up like Cookie’s second cuzin Froppet whoze frozen lemonade stand shut down by municipal snow blower.  Permanently.

Ah, dis perfekt place for piknik. Hope no combinez drive by and almost kill sleepy kid.

Meanwhile, Napoleon Solo decide he want to kill Superman.  He diskuss wit Gus who, in stoopidest scene of many of movie’s stoopid scenes, Gus akcidentally ski off top of building wearing pink tablecloth cape, fall turdy floors, land on slanted (GLASS!!!) roof and slide onto street.  Kidz, don’t try dis AT home!  Unless you wear helmet – den okay.  Napoleon Solo make Gus use weather satellite to analize fragment of kriptonite (don’t ask).  Not able to identify one element so Gus make it up, den lab make kriptonite and Gus show up at Superman parade and give it to Superman.

Of course you recognize kriptonite. Remember? It almost kill you? No? Okay den, enjoy gift.

But not pure kriptonite.  Instead of kill Superman, just make him very cranky.  He get drunk.

Friendz don't let friendz drink and fly.

He fix leaning tower of Pizza so not leaning anymore and Italian stereotype in front of shitty green screen very angry.  He blow out Olympic torch.  He punch hole in oil tanker (Oh, yeah.  Monster forget.  Bad guy redirekt oil tankerz to middle of Atlantic. Need to include dis crooshal piece of informashun or movie make even less sense.).

He also super horny.

But Superman conflikted.  He fight inner battle dat become outer battle when he split in two: Superman and Clark Kent.  How possible?  Well not, but dis franchize stop making sense two moviez ago.  Superman fight Clark Kent in junk yard.  Try to crush him in compactor.  Trow him into giant vat of acid (standard eqwipment in most junk yardz).  Clark strangle Superman, killing him.  Den open up shirt to reveal: S!  Superman back!!! Yay?

How de...? Never mind.

Bad guys fly around in air balloon chairs.  For some reazon.

Cool, no?

Superman follow dem to hideout where dey built supercomputer.  Superman fight supercomputer.  Gus feel bad and want to help.  Big booby girl feel bad and want to help too.  Napoleon Solo sister not feel bad at all and turn into computer tingie –

Hey, is dat guy from Quiet Riot!

But Superman win!  He save Gus and, for some reazon, drop him off instead of leave him wit everybody else to be arrested.  Den Superman go back to Metropolis where Daily Planet get new computerized bingo machine. It explode, reinforcing movie message: “Computerz bad!  Stay stooped!”

Uh oh!

Verdikt: Superman moviez = super crap.  0 for 3 so far wit super-crappy-looking Superman IV next after even super-crappier looking Supergirl.

Rating: 1/2 chocolate chippee cookie and 1 broken button.

Pleaze diskuss.

P.S. Cookie now have own movie review website here: Film reviews by resident film criti…  Tell your friends!

36 thoughts on “March 5, 2012: The Supermovie of the Week Club reconvenes! Cookie Monster reviews Superman III!

  1. Not trying to bring up bad memories bro. But I knew you would understand. We had to put our cat to sleep. She was a part of our family for almost 20 years. My oldest son of 30 is taking it the hardest. He’s mentally handicapped and Garfield slept on his bed almost every night. We’re gonna miss her. Thank you for just taking the time to read this.
    Have a great day

  2. oh. on a lighter note, have you ever watched the old Adventures of Superman? I remember watching them when I was 3. Well, not completely. But I do remember a black guy and a white guy bringing in our new color tv. So many mistakes in that show I love it. On season 4

  3. Looks like Cookie earned the lemon wafers I promised. Will hit the health-food store tomorrow.

  4. Off Topic: Any of y’all heard of a chug–chihuahua /pug mix? I stopped by ADL today, heard one had just been turned in. If anyone wants photos, I’ll try to get them on my next volunteer day.

  5. @ woody – So very sorry about your kitty, and I especially feel for your son. When they’ve been with us that long it’s like losing a member of the family. It really hit me hard (harder than I thought it would) when we recently had to say goodbye to our old kitty, Marbles. The thing that has helped the most is that we had another cat (Big Girl), and though her health isn’t very good, she’s filled in the empty spot Marbles left behind. Big Girl – who never slept with us – now spends the night by my side. Not sure if you have other cats, but if you do they may help to fill the void. If not, then maybe when you’re ready you will get another pet, and that can help, too. But don’t rush it.

    {{{Hugs}}} to you and your family.

    @ Cookie Monster – Just so we’re clear…you can pick on Superman, you can pick on Condorman – heck, I’ll even let you pick on Prince Nuada if you ever get to Hellboy II – but whatever you do, you do NOT pick on Buster Keaton. Got it?

    Good. 🙂

    (Same goes for you, Joey. 😉 )



  6. @woody: So sorry to hear, wishing you and your family healing and peace.

    Hi Cookie, another wonderful review! Again, I was “unable” to watch with you, but next time, really…

  7. My condolences to you and your family about Garfield. Will you get another cat for your oldest son and the rest of your family?

  8. @woody. Sorry to hear about your family’s loss.

    Onto supine 3. before going onto the many bad things in this movie, I do want to give it the minimal credit due to it. That is in the sub-theme of Kent returning to Smallville and his sort of reconnecting with Lana. the reunion scene was actually well done, low key and without the slapstick humor that curses so much of this film. just as I begin to hope there may be something worth watching however, the writers and directed return true to form. A picnic where Lana’s cooking is brought into question(Clark eats dog food, yuk yuk) and a picnic where there is a thunderstorm in the distance. These folks are supposed to have grown up on the great plains, right? From this point on the theme, which could have really allowed the actors to shine, are instead written to further insult their talents. I only hope all parties were very well paid for prostituting their skills.
    Talk about insulting. I lost count of how many people or proffesional have been insulted here. starting with the audience. Then we move onto computer programmers, computer engineers, firefighters, chemists, physicists, astronomers, satellite engineers, ships crews and captains, Italians, coal miners, rednecks, small town residents, alcoholics, small children, mimes, blind people, seeing eye dogs, bowling alley owners, and anyone with an iq higher than that of a potted plant. Cookie monster touched on many points, so I’ll simply expound on a couple of others.
    First and most annoying, Superman as a Gillian. Straightening the leaning Tower of Pisa.? Blowing out the Olympic flame? THIS is Kent’s dark side? Common, Star Trek did a much better job of demonstrating the duality(or multi facet aspect) of human nature when Kirk was split into a good and evil twin. Even his most dastardly deed, holing the cargo ship, showed less flair and skill than a 12 year old mugger would demonstrate. The final resolution of this deli an had me wishing for a matter/antimatter reaction, sparing us the rest of the movie.
    The second sore point is with the people of this world. Clark and supers are supposed to befriends, but really, how far can credulity stretch? Did no one notice Clark acting strange, or his absence with Superman being nuts? People have sneered at comic book writers for decades, but since the early 1960s few such authors have dared to insult thei audiences so.
    A third and final point, which recalls my complaint of supine 2. Namely, a worthy villain. We have a looser bad guy who really is a good guy, who from scraps of paper puts together a computer that puts Nomad( yes, another star trek reference) to shame. Sorry, don’t buy it. An industrialist/mega millionaire who can’t do better than pile up ships in the middle of the Atlantic? No hero is great without a worthy foe. Once again the movies fail to deliver us such a foe.
    I do wonder about superhero movies of this era. Special effects were beginning to make it possible to bring superheroes to life, but it seems the writers of the time could not bring themselves to give the characters any respect. I don’t know if this is a result of the Batman tv series, or of hack writers unfamiliar with scie if or comics. Whatever the reason I look forward to when we review movies where these defects are at least limited.

  9. Cookie, being the master reviewer you are, you hit all the points I was going to make.

    I did like it better than I or II, if only because there was no embarrassing “girl-crush poem” like in Superman I. But being a computer engineering major, I had to grit my teeth and ignore all the tech non-sequiturs…”it wants to live!”

    I’m still trying to catch up after my trip last week, but I have to say those pork bellies look delicious! It makes me want to go pork shopping this weekend…

  10. Cookie, Ricky didn’t fall asleep in the field. He was laying next to a rock that had blood on it. We were supposed to assume he had a brain tumor that made it possible to knock oneself out from such a short fall. Or some kind of emotional disturbance that causes self-harming behaviors. Or that he was suicidal and didn’t want to be awake for the combines. Ya know, falling asleep would make more sense.

    Anyway, my notes on Superman III…

    No! I appreciate a Superman movie finally has a character with some kind of need (not to be lectured weekly by a public servant), but you do NOT start a movie in the most boring place on Earth, the unemployment office. NO! I say again, NO! Keeeeel meh NAO!

    And it-would-be-swell-to-keep-a-job isn’t a real need anyway. Where’s the little girl who winces in pain when she bites a cookie because her daddy can’t afford dental care? Wouldn’t that help you care what Gus does next, Cookie Monster?

    The Intro… What? Huh? STUFF happens. Uninteresting things don’t become more interesting by putting them in rapid, silly succession. They do, however, become farce.

    Superman is just so much more likeable. All movies should start with the hero extinguishing a penguin.

    Lois was more likeable, too. I know about Lana, I said what I mean.

    20 minutes in and Gus has made progress on his goal not to be lectured by public servants. Can you feel the spectacular, superhero movie vibe? Gus went from the unemployment office to a bank office. This is where I had to send the kids to bed so they wouldn’t get overstimulated. Oh, and there’s some dance in Smallville.

    30 minutes in and the dance is over and Lana and Clark have a conversation that tries to be clever –does mayonnaise jar your memory?–, but the writers went overboard with trying to look like they weren’t trying too hard… or at all.

    40 minutes in and rich people recognize that pilfering money through computers makes Gus ideal material to help them drown people with weather and be okay morally with it.

    45 minutes in and Brad doesn’t shut the door behind him after he lets Gus in with the liquor. Gah! What is the point of having a romantic rival who presents zero competition? Spoiler: Superman gets the girl.

    50 minutes in and silly computer stuff happens.

    55 minutes in and skiing on a rooftop is soooo silly, but the right kind of cool for a superhero movie. I think I saw some plot, but mostly I heard Gus explain it. Richard Pryor’s antics were supposed to distract us from the travesty of doing exposition around the bad guy table instead of showing the flippin’ movie. Then he fell off the roof and didn’t need to get saved by Superman so I forgive him.

    100 minutes in and it’s so completely pointless that the tourist couple berates the editor for not predicting an aberration of all known weather science.

    125 mintues in and the junkyard scene would be so awesome if it made sense. There’s nothing like an open vat of acid to remind us the movie aims low.

    The end. Superman shows he’s still just a little evil by setting Gus up with a terrible job prospect while he was running a girlfriend errand. Luckily, Richard Pryor realized the script’s lame attempt to tie up a loose end was insulting to the character’s skill set and insisted on a change. Gus was smart enough to walk away.

    I think all the characters had their own copies of the script. In many scenes, people knew stuff they shouldn’t have. The UN knew Superman was evil when fixing the leaning tower of Pisa was merely impish. The bad guys were so confident about the moment Superman would turn good again. A newspaper prop declared Superman was super again when he had just turned super again. And why did Superman go drop in on the bad guys instead of arresting them later? Because it was in the script!

  11. @Woody – sorry to hear about Garfield.

    Once again an awesome review, Cookie. Too bad about your cousin. I was kind of wondering why he was selling frozen lemonade in the Winter, but I suppose what better time to keep your lemonade frozen. Poor guy, nothing left but some blue fur and yellow ice, I suppose.

    For a long time, I considered the John Candy movie “Nothing But Trouble” the worst movie I had ever seen. I think this one grabs the title! I noticed/was offended by a lot of the same stuff as Cookie, but I have a few additional thoughts:

    Instead of freezing the lake and then taking the big ice cube to the chemical fire, Superman should have just drank it all, and then pee’ed the fire out! I mean, it’s no more ridiculous than the rest of the movie.

    Exactly how many KILOMETERS did little Ricky wander away from the picnic site. It looked like Superman flew for a long while to get there. Kid’s got fast little legs!

    The big floppy foam cowboy hat almost made me cry. And not from laughter. At that point I was wondering how bad this movie could get. Pretty bad, it turns out.

    Weather satellites with frickin’ lasers! And not only that, they can beam as far as the (remnants of) planet Krypton to do some kind of spectral analysis at what apparently is faster-than-light speeds. Gus must be a genius – I’ve been working with computers for 27 years and I’m still not good enough to keep Windows from getting registry-rot.

    The KFC bag hanging on the inside of the closet door – lame product placement or brilliantly subtle commentary on the quality of the movie? You decide.

    When Supe became a totally rude jackass, he was suddenly much more interesting.

    I guess I missed the whole point of stopping the oil delivery. Was it supposed to drive prices up so that the bargain-basement Dr. No would get rich? Was it just to create havoc? Like the rest of the movie, it just didn’t seem to have a point.

    How does taking a screw out of the super computer shut it down? It just doesn’t make sense! Also, where did that canister of acid come from?

    I noticed as well that Margot Kidder was hardly in it – from what I read she was mostly written out because of her vocal criticism at the time of the change in directors in Superman II and how that all turned out. How prescient of her.

    I just don’t know how to describe this movie. What was the point of the whole thing? It mostly just didn’t make sense. Stuff happened out of the blue (the acid), and there was no reasoning behind some of the actions (like the whole oil shortage thing). Was it supposed to be funny, (it wasn’t), was it supposed to be action (it was flat), was it supposed to be romantic (it went nowhere)? The thing is kind of an enigma. How did it even get made? I always wonder about projects like this where it must be groupthink resulting in a decision to keep proceeding, and nobody wants to be the person who says “whoa! WTF are we doing??” In the end, the whole thing was just so much plot vomit that somehow spewed out into theatres.

    In the last scene, Superman is smiling as he flies away. Even he was glad it was over, it seems.

    Wow, sorry for the long post!

  12. I think the worst thing about having a pet put to sleep, besides the grief that follows is no doubt the helplessness that you can’t do anything to make someone you regard as part of the family well again. The realisation of that if anything is the most heartbreaking though.

    Like a part of yourself dies a little inside. It’s horrible if anything.

    But if anything if heaven does exist, I fully believe we’l eventually be reunited with those that we love that have passed on when our time comes.

    So it’s not a goodbye forever as such, but more a see you later.

  13. parishioners

    Napoleon Solo? Was The Man From Uncle in this movie?

    Well, that sure seems like an action packed movie! How do you think that writer’s room went? I guess someone throws out an idea and rather than choose the best they just use them all.

    Thanks Cookie Monster. You are too funny!

    @ woody – sorry about your cat. Tell your son others are thinking about him.

  14. i give it half a cookie for Richard Pryor… i always found this film so outlandish that it was funny

  15. Oh, and did anyone else catch the Benny Hill cast during the slapstick scenes? What was that about? Did Thames Television have some dirt on the producer?


    Sorry to hear about the loss of your pet. Praying for peace for you all…

  16. Looks like another Science fiction series bites the dust, Fox has cancelled Terra Nova, leaving just Falling Skies and erm? Left on the air. Looks like we’l be needing your good fortune with Dark Matter to fill the Science fiction void Joe 🙂

  17. I remember not liking this movie when it first came out on HBO or whatever movie channel it released to after it left the theaters. I figured if I can remember how bad it was back then and how much I didn’t like it, there’s no reason for me to subject myself to it again.

    Although, remembering bad Supe’s costume was darker(so you knew he was a bad guy), does that mean that Brandon Routh’s Supe was a bad guy? Makes sense since he knocked up Lois and left for five years! “Try collecting child support from Krypton, slut!”, I’m sure he thought. Can’t wait to hear what CM thinks when we get to that movie.


  18. He fight inner battle dat become outer battle when he split in two: Superman and Clark Kent. How possible? Well not, but dis franchize stop making sense two moviez ago.
    LOL! no kidding. but i think the exposure to the fake kriptonite had something to do with it.

  19. I have very fond memories of this film. I already had computer nerd leanings by the time I saw this at the cinema and it reinforced everything that excited me about computers: Skimming money out of the accounting system to get rich quick? Awesome! Hyper-intelligent mega computer whose sole purpose seems to be to kill Superman? Great! Annoying, evil sisters of the evil baddie getting turned into an evil robot? Amazing! A hick town farm machinery store has a computer that requires two keys to be inserted simultaneously by two people nuclear silo style to boot it up? Fantastic! Why doesn’t my computer at home need that?

    I was very worried that seeing this film after so many years would destroy my fond memories. Thankfully it didn’t!

    Sure, the plot has more holes in it than Clark’s suit after being sprayed with acid but it has one big thing going for it . . . Lois Lane was hardly in it! Lana Lang’s girl-next-door wholesomeness was much more appealing that Lois’ brashness.

    Watching the film as an adult definitely raised some questions that didn’t occur to me as a child: Why didn’t Superman put out the fire at the chemical plant with is supercold breath rather than the whole implausible frozen lake thing? Why didn’t they send Lois to Columbia so the storms and earthquakes there would have more of an emotional impact? (I guess the answer to that, as was mentioned above in the comments, was that she was mostly written out of the story. I assume the original plan was to send her there.) What did the baddie expect to gain from diverting the oil tankers and turning off the oil wells? It seemed like his company was involved in many things, including selling farm machinery. Surely high oil prices would have a negative effect on the rest of his business?

    Even with all its faults I still enjoyed watching this film again. Richard Pryor is great. I suspect this was the first film I’d ever seen him in. I went on to enjoy Brewster’s Millions and Hear No Evil, See No Evil and later on his stand-up routines. I think this is my favourite of the Superman films. I know I’m in the minority but that’s nothing new!

    Supergirl is next? Wow! This is gonna be great! I had such a crush on Helen Slater when I was a teenager because of that film.

  20. Yeah…I remember Superman III. I remember it being as bad as Cookie Monster says. I mean the whole thing with Superman fighting with himself was just goofy.

  21. @woody: My sympathy on the loss of your kitty.

    @ randomness: Have you ever seen the old Twilight Zone episode “The Hunt”? It’s written by Earl Hamner, Jr. and tells the story of a man and his dog who die while out hunting and what happens next. That’s how I think heaven should be.

    Hey, Joe! I’m really enjoying not watching these terrible movies! And especially enjoying Cookies reviews! Robert Vaughn does make a good villain, though.

  22. @Woody
    So sorry about your kitty — our 17 year old kitty, Sugar, passed away about 10 days ago, at home in her little bed. It’s hard whether it happens that way or you take them,.
    Joe, tell Cookie his review nearly made me snarf my drink — I’m going to have to stop reading them at work 🙂

  23. I don’t suppose you would consider “The Fifth Element” as a superhero show?

    I know WIlis doesn’t have any super powers in the show, other then being super at losing jobs. Milla is super hot? Does that count?

    The Fifth Element is a guilty pleasure. I enjoy watching the dvd with the dolby 5.1 sound system cranked.

    How about Unbreakable? Willis has superpowers of a sort in that one…

    Mike from Victoria
    I’m currently on episode 21 of season 7 of my Stargate SG1 re-watch. (Jack does it again, he downloads the repository of the ancients into his head) It really holds up very well. It is one of the only shows I enjoy watching over and over. Did you put subliminal messages in the show? “Buy our DVDs” “Watch until you wear it out, then buy more DVDs”

    Should I start watching SGA now as well, or just run through all of SG1 then watch Atlantis?

  24. @Sparrow_hawk

    That’s a good story there, but sorry I haven’t seen the Twilight Zone before, though speaking of oldish Scifi, I loved The Outer Limits(New series), quite a few Brad Wright episodes really impressed me, especially his Sandkings pilot episode.

    A while back I was posting on here my appreciate for some of Brads episodes, and my thoughts on them in general. I think he did some great work on Outer Limits before he did Stargate.

    Mostly why I miss his storytelling on TV, such a shame he hasn’t done anything since Stargate Universe ended. I’m hoping he gets back into the writing business soon personally, he shouldn’t let SGUs cancellation get him down.

  25. Ah my bad, Brad didn’t do Sandkings, I meant The Light Brigade. I loved how dark this episode was in general, especially the twist at the end.

  26. Hello Joe ! Ou “salut !” comme on dit chez nous 🙂 !

    How are you?

    I hope this question will not bore you too much (SG is finished, you’ve probably turned the page) …

    Do you think a lucrative franchise that SG can die like that?

    I mean, SG1: success – SGA: Success – SGU: failure.

    Can a single failure can kill a franchise? A franchise with so much potential? with so many possibilities? with so many fans?

    I find it hard to understand why spyglass does not interress has the franchise … What do you think?

    One more time, sorry for my bad english, and have a good day Joe !


  27. @Mike from Vancouver: The Fifth Element! I love that movie! I vote we watch it just on general principles. But I think it’s more of an alien movie than a superhero movie, unless we get to count Bruce Willis as a superhero – yippie kai yeh… 😉

  28. Hey Joe!
    I’m always slacking off with commenting, but I do read all your blog entries!
    My thanks to cookie monster for the review. I love reading them, especially because then i don’t have to watch the movie, ha, ha. And they lighten up my day.
    Can’t wait to hear news on Dark Matter. I wishing you all the best of luck!


  29. Woody, am so sorry to hear about your kitty baby. Your son lost his best friend. Whether a person has a horrible week, depression, or disabilities, the non-verbal communication between human and beloved fur baby speaks to the heart in a way that words just can’t. Sometimes I think they understand us better than people do. Consider another kitty in a little while? Sending hugs and prayers for you, your son, and the rest of your family. 😐

    Poor Cookie Monster! That was awful. He may need a transfusion of a good superhero movie, even if it is out of chrono- order. How’s Cookie gonna survive on 1/2 a chocolate chippee cookie? Cookie Monster, I messed up last week. It’s the choc. chippers you like. Here’s a gourmet recipe… 🙂

  30. G’day Joe

    @ Woody, very sorry to hear of your precious kitty. Sending best thoughts and hugs to you and the family, especially your son.
    Take care.


  31. Okay, I know this is gonna put me in the minority, but Line Noise is right there with me, so at least I’m not alone in my unpopular opinion…

    I honestly think this movie is better than Superman II, and possibly better than Superman. *gasp!*

    I know, I know, I can’t believe I’m saying this. I’d only seen the movie once or twice before (once in the theater and maybe once again on HBO a couple years later), and until yesterday, my memory of it was that it was bad, bad, bad. But I think that memory was tainted by the 3 intervening decades of critical consensus that this movie sucked. So I went into this rewatch fully expecting an abominably awful movie. But it really wasn’t as terrible as I’d remembered!

    I think the difference between this one and Superman II is that I was expecting so much more from #2 and didn’t get it: no interesting or sufficiently motivated villains; no heart-wrenching drama; no sensible plot. And with #3, I wasn’t expecting any of that: I just wanted to be entertained. By #3, I’d come to realize that a Superman movie (at least a Salkind Superman movie) is really a tongue-in-cheek take on the Superman mythology. The evil villains are over-the-top evil, and their evil plans are over-the-top elaborate. It’s really more like an Austin Powers movie, and if you take it as the prototype for Austin Powers (or an homage to the ’60s “Batman and Robin” with Adam West and Burt Ward), it’s not a bad little movie.

    The opening credit sequence, however, as Cookie noted, was garbage. Aside from outrageously insulting blind people and making them look like morons, it all just had no point. It wasn’t funny, or clever, or even Rube Goldberg-esque, wherein each mishap would lead directly to the next. It was just stupidly designed nyuk nyuk time filler.

    But aside from that misstep, a lot of the humor bits in Superman III worked for me. Some examples: Clark’s awesome dance moves at the reunion; Napolean Solo referring to Lorelei as his “psychic nutritionist” in polite company; Solo skiing on his Metropolis penthouse rooftop; Gus’s shock and awe at seeing what passes for “fashion” in the Smallville shop window (“Jesus CHRIST!”); his later frightened double-take upon catching a glimpse of himself in said hideous outfit in the mirror; his line as the Pentagon “general” in front of the Smallville townspeople: “God has given us the greatest gift in the world: CHEMICALS!!!”; the many ways Solo had to turn his penthouse into an evil lair: the bookcase turning around to reveal a bar, the water fountain turning upside down to reveal a computerized world map, the fireplace splitting right down the middle to reveal a compertized wall display; the supercomputer’s defense system being, essentially, an Atari “Superman: The Video Game” screen; Superman emerging from the rubble of the supercomputer with absolutely perfect hair. There’s a lot going on here that escaped my notice as a kid and really made me chuckle as an adult.

    And put me down as someone who loved, LOVED the “bad Superman” bits. Of course the worst things Superman can think of to do are all about playing pranks and impressing a hot girl! (Remember, the oil tanker, his most dastardly deed, was a favor to the hot blond Lorelei, in exchange for getting the chance to shag her.) He’s still, after all, Clark Kent, and Clark would see what “Bad Superman” is doing as “really bad,” even if the rest of the world, corrupted as we are, see his actions as relatively mild, compared with what he’s capable of.

    The Bad Superman sequence just keeps getting better: when he’s drunk in the bar and vandalizing it, I love how everyone around him is just shaking their head and muttering. No one is running for their life; they see him as just another deadbeat stinkin’ up the joint. It takes Ricky’s undying faith in Superman’s inherent goodness to shake him up and provide the catalyst for the junkyard scene, which, in my opinion, is the best scene in any Superman movie thus far. Superman battling HIMSELF!!! The ultimate opponent! Unlike Cookie, I wasn’t bothered by the splitting-in-two thing. I took it as — and I think it was meant as — a metaphor for the inner battle raging in his mind, between his desire to be a (sometimes asshole-y) human like everyone else, and his eternal duty to be something more: a role model, a savior, an infallible devotee to duty. This is the battle we should have seen in Superman II, when Clark had to decide whether he really wanted to give up being Superman in order to live a normal life with Lois. But here it is in Superman III, raising the tone of an otherwise pretty frivolous and emotionally empty popcorn movie.

    Of course, there are the silly plot holes. For example, how did Solo et alia know Superman would suddenly turn good, so they could leave a video message for him? All the evidence up until that point was that the pseudo-kryptonite had wrought a permanent change in Superman’s do-gooder-ness. And how, if Solo knew nothing about computers and needed Gus to do his dirty work, would the supercomputer have defense capabilities that (a) Gus (the designer) didn’t know about; and that (b) Solo knew how to operate? [To answer gforce’s question: the acid came from the chemical plant in Smallville. There was a quick shot of Superman flying back there and landing in the yard of the chemical plant after he stumbled out of the supercomputer cave in his post-kyptonite-attack stupor.] But if you take this movie as something more like “Batman and Robin” a la Adam West, you’re not bothered as much by that stuff as you would be if you took it more seriously (as I took Superman II, and hence, why I was so angered by that movie, but not by this one).

    Finally, I have to hand it to Richard Pryor. The temptation to phone it in with this movie must have been tremendous. But he plays it perfectly. Gus is totally believable as a guy caught in a situation way over his head. The way he plays the dawning realization that he’s trapped working for some majorly slimy people reminded me sharply of when I was a corporate attorney working for The Man and realized I needed to get out. The “Oh shit, what have I gotten myself into?” expression was pitch perfect. I also like the casual way he interacts with Superman, calling him “Supe” — as if Superman’s just another guy. It’s a refreshing change from the one-note adoration everyone else showers on him.

    So, in the end, I give Superman III 4 chocolate chippee cookies out of 10. I’m fairly certain I will never, ever rewatch Superman II, but if I had kids or was drunk and wanted to watch some comedic fluff, I can see myself rewatching Supe III if it were on cable and I was flipping channels — especially if it was near the Bad Superman part.

    P.S. – And the award for Most Blatant and Random Product Placement Ever: the KFC bag hanging in the storage closet. I didn’t know KFC even HAD reusable shopping bags in 1983! How forward-thinking of them! And then Gus even mentions KFC when comparing their “Secret Formula” to the (unknown) elemental composition of kryptonite. But at least that product placement made sense in context. The bag was just ridiculous.

  32. Danger, danger, Joe! Aren’t you worried about the Corporation for Public Broadcasting coming after your ass for impersonating Cookie Monster and infringing on their trademark? Giving Cookie his own website seems inherently more risky than merely featuring him as a guest blogger on your own site. (Sorry, it’s just the recovering lawyer reflex in me. I can’t help it.)

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