Blog Archives

Richard Donner is Super, Man

Richard Donner’s 1978 cinematic masterpiece Superman is considered the greatest (and the most perfect) superhero movie ever made. That’s not just my opinion, but the opinion of some of the most influential people in the movie industry. Director Christopher Nolan said the following regarding the Richard Donnner-directed Superman.

“I said, ‘I want to do for Batman what Dick Donner did for Superman,’ ” Christopher Nolan humbly states in the opening of his nearly half-hour conversation with the director of the original “Superman.”
Kevin Jagernauth, IndieWire

Need more proof of the super genius Richard Donner showcased in that unforgettable origin story of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman way back in the late ’70s with Christopher Reeve?

How about getting the super rivals DC Films president Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to wholeheartedly agree on the personal impact and storytelling legacy of 87-year-old Richard Donner and, specifically, that Superman film (a priceless DC property)?

Some of Hollywoods biggest stars, in front of the camera and behind the camera, gathered together recently to celebrate and honor the unforgettable work of the legendary director and producer Richard Donner at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles. Actors and actresss from his most popular movies were in attendance, including the primary cast of Lethal Weapon and the kids from The Goonies.

Here are a few of Richard Donner’s films/credits:

  • The Omen (1976)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Superman II (1980)
  • The Goonies (1985)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Maverick (1994)
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

This celebration of Mr. Donner’s work reaffirms the belief (and I’m a firm believer in the following) that a cinematic masterpiece does not always require mind-blowing special effects or the biggest explosions or the use of bad language for the sake of using bad language for that edge or street cred. Sometimes, a great movie just requires a hero people can believe in who struggles with similar issues and moral dilemmas as the people watching in theaters and at home.

That, above all, is Richard Donner’s storytelling legacy. In this sense, Richard Donner is a super man superman.

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Four Years Later & I’m Still Looking to the Horizon

Exactly 1/10th of a score and two years ago (4 years total), I started Jimmy’s Daily Planet.

Paying homage to the greatest (albeit fictional) newspaper of all-time, The Daily Planet, this blog was founded on my love of my favorite superhero and disguised human of all-time: Superman and Clark Kent. The scene from Richard Donner’s 1978 classic Superman that showed us Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent walk through the bullpen of The Daily Planet for the first time was the moment I knew I wanted to be a journalist. The chaos, palpable energy and big city, skyscraper setting flew from the screen and landed directly into my impressionable imagination.

These few minutes showing reporters preparing to get the scoop, watching exciting individual and group dynamics (papers scattered, people typing, talking and moving) and hearing creative storytelling pitches is arguably my favorite journalistic hook.

I wrote my first blog post (Eight Years Later & We Look to the Horizon) about what the next Facebook would be in the future. The “next big thing”/new dominant social platform hasn’t arrived yet to eclipse Mark Zuckerberg’s social network from his days at Harvard.

This revelation will be realized, it just hasn’t happened quite yet.

One of the questions in blog #1 was whether or not we are an app generation? That answer has not conclusively been determined since July 13, 2012, but people seem to be embracing a hybrid. This translates to using popular sites and social media platforms (ie-Facebook) while simultaneously choosing a diverse selection of acutely personalized social media apps.

The best answer for July 13, 2016 is that we are a splintered population (or customer base) concerning our use of social media and digital applications (sorry, apps). Individualism rules.

What’s next?

That’s still the question. Not the question that Shakespeare wrote for his brilliant play “Hamlet.” Although, in a way, it sort of is. “To be, or not to be – that is the question.” Who will we be in the near future? How will someone revamp our already complex and extensive communicative grid? How will we change as a result? This very idea is thrilling to cogitate because, as Americans, we know a newfangled innovation will collide with destiny. And destiny is a very good friend with this country.

“I know something big and new is coming because that is the American tradition of big sky-big idea dreamers. Until then, start drawing on your dorm room window and think big, plain and simple.”

That’s the final paragraph of my first blog post on Jimmy’s Daily Planet. I remember writing that four years ago and I still believe it’s true today, whatever the wildly crazy idea or dream may be.

Plain and simple.

A Super Cameo?

There has been a super discussion about whether or not Christopher Reeve made a one second cameo in, “Man of Steel.” Someone using the website Reddit recently laid out the frame-by-frame sequence where he believes 1978s Superman made an appearance in the 2013 theatrical adaptation of the greatest superhero of all-time. There was a YouTube video made of this split-second moment in the movie.

What do you think!?

Reintroducing a Classic

Through all of the variations of Superman, whether in cinema, television or comic books, Christopher Reeve established himself as the standard bearer 35 years ago. The richness Reeve brought to life in Clark Kent/Superman, and his superb supporting cast, has defined this movie from the ’70s as a classic well into the digitally-driven 21st century. We the audience did not simply watch in awe as a powerful man flew through the air and battled bad guys, but instead got caught up in a heroic story and a love story involving another world and people and a particularly feisty Daily Planet reporter. Terrific elements of realness and fantasy intertwined, which potently lifted Superman off the 2D screen into our hearts and imaginations.

Will 2013s, “Man of Steel” have the same impact as 1978s, “Superman”?

Richard Donner cared about Clark Kent/Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Mr. White, General Zod, Lex Luthor and so forth. His dedication to showing us a story about Superman instead of telling us was just one of the many “it” factors that has cemented, “Superman” as the best movie thus far about the man with the “S” on his chest.

We cared because he cared.

The story for “Man of Steel” was written and concocted by David Goyer and Christopher Nolan (both of “The Dark Knight” trilogy). Below is an interview with Mr. Goyer.

The paramount question: Did Goyer and Nolan write a screenplay and create a story that Superman fans from multiple generations will care about in 2013?