Superman III (1983)

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Released 19-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 119:53
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Richard Lester
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Christopher Reeve
Richard Pryor
Jackie Cooper
Marc McClure
Annette O'Toole
Annie Ross
Pamela Stephenson
Robert Vaughn
Margot Kidder
Gavan O'Herlihy
Nancy Roberts
Graham Stark
Henry Woolf
Case ?
RPI ? Music Giorgio Moroder
Ken Thorne


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Arabic
Bulgarian
Dutch
French
Italian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, KFC, Camel Ciggies and Pepsi
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    When good franchises go bad...

    I have memories of seeing Superman 3 on a plane when I was child. As the film finished I was quite disappointed, as Superman and Superman 2 had been two of my favourite films up until that point. I remember turning to my father and saying that I didn't like it. His reply was essentially the same.

    For fans of Richard Donner's masterpiece and the flawed Donner/Lester sequel, Superman 3 is a deeply unsatisfying film. The franchise had so much potential and yet fans essentially received a Richard Pryor vehicle without the R rating and none of the laughs. Pryor looked uncomfortable a lot of the time, like he knew he couldn't let loose within the confines of a PG movie.

    As usual, Christopher Reeve is fantastic as Superman - it's a shame that he didn't get better material to work with in the later films. He is Superman. Margot Kidder had the presence of mind to pass on this one, so Lois Lane is relegated to the first and last couple of minutes in the film. Jackie Cooper (Perry White) and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen) also make brief appearances.

   Pryor plays a computer genius who assists tycoon Robert Vaughn in his attempt to become more powerful. Superman needs to be gotten rid of so they end up trying to off him with tar tainted Kryptonite and a super computer so powerful it can control the weather!! A lot of the film is based in Smallville as Clark Kent goes back to do a story on high school reunions. Here he meets up with the girl he lusted after in his teens, Lana Lang. Re-watching this film for the first time in 20 years Annette O'Toole was the highlight for me. Since watching Smallville (where she plays Clark's mother Martha Kent) I had never seen her this young before. She did a great job in the role.

    This is the first time Warner Home Video has made Superman 3 available in Australia. It has previously been available in the US, but apparently the Salkinds owned the film and there were some legal issues.

    Bryan Singer, who is directing next year's Superman Returns plans on that film picking up where Superman 2 left off. He has said that as far as his Superman vision is concerned that 3 and 4 don't exist.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    I wasn't expecting a great transfer for a 22 year old film, but I have to admit I was surprised at how good Superman 3 looked.

    This PAL disc is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Not surprisingly for a film this old there is a bit of grain, but nowhere near what I was expecting.

    There are a few film artefacts, but nothing too ugly, however aliasing can be a bit of an issue in some wide angle scenes where the shot has a lot of movement on screen.

    Close up shots were the clearest and for the most part were the scenes where I thought "Dang this looks better than I thought it would." Some scenes had a fuzzy, blurred look to them, especially anything with SFX included.

    Colours came across well, especially in outdoor shots. Skin tones were excellent. Some effect shots have that blurry hue about them from the blue screen process, a nostalgic reminiscence for me!

    Overall, a surprisingly great transfer for a surprisingly disappointing film.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) track is a mixed bag.

    For the most part I found that the track was technically fine, but there were a few things that detracted. A lot of the dialogue has a hollow, almost echoic sound to it. Dialogue wasn't soft like it can be sometimes where dialogue gets lost in the mix, but occasionally it sounded like it was being spoken into a tin can.

    Effects sounded fine and added to the viewing experience.

    The music also came across sounding good.

    There were no sync or drop-out issues.

    There was no surround and no subwoofer use.

    French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) tracks are also included on the disc.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

Theatrical Trailer

    The trailer is good for a laugh. They don't make them like this anymore.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 version is a bare bones release too. Too close to call any difference.

Summary

    The video presentation is a pleasant surprise.

    The sound is decent enough, although the dialogue can be a bit tinny.

    There are no real extras except for a great trailer.

    I am not a fan of this film, but I am a fan of this DVD. It's about time PAL fans had the chance to buy this locally.

    An essential purchase for diehard Superman fans and completists who already have 1&2. Most kids will love it.

    For everyone else... a rental will suffice.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Reviewer please update plot info - JediDude (read my bio) REPLY POSTED