Richard Lester

The Beatles and Superman guy.

Love It A Hard Day's Night (1964) -- Think of most films about popular bands, especially those goofy ones from the 60s, and then think of this one. Even if I didn't like The Beatles, I'd still love this movie. The Beatles themselves, of course, are as funny and charming as they were in real life, and the movie never ceases to make me laugh, make me smile at the perfect music, or just enjoy the artistic look of the picture. Once again, The Beatles: the band who almost always managed to do things right.

Indifferent Help! (1965) -- In the case of this movie, The Beatles are the only reason to watch it, since it's not that great and looks more like a typical 60s goofy chase movie.

Indifferent How I Won the War (1967) -- I saw this movie because John Lennon was in it, but I don't remember too much about it. I'd like to see it again sometime.

Like It Superman II (1980) -- Richard Lester took over the direction of this movie and finished it up when Richard Donner (who shot most of this at the same time as the first one) was removed from the production, and he takes the Superman series more into the comic world--comic as in "ha ha" comic, not just comic strip.  The first movie was really only good until Superman arrived at Metropolis, then it became kind of stupid, so this new addition of comedy and the Richard Lester "flare" actually helps a bit, and admits its stupidity in a way that somewhat works.  But dumb is dumb, so you have to enjoy the movie on a certain level that doesn't exactly equal "quality."  The best way to enjoy this and the first movie, actually, is to watch Superman III and IV immediately after.  Parts one and two will look brilliant. (See Richard Donner for the predecessor, Superman: The Movie. See below for the sequel, Superman III.  See Richard Donner for the alternate version.) B

Indifferent Superman III (1983) -- Donald Barthelme once wrote "Q: Do we really need Superman III?  A: Clearly not."  For the most part this is true.  Richard Lester had a decent (though not perfect) balance of comedy and action in Superman II, but here it's just a huge slapstick movie--and even that wouldn't be a problem if the slapstick were actually funny.  Richard Pryor does his best to add real comedy (he only does a little), but the "villains" are boring and it seems wrong to have Smallville's Lana Lang as Superman love interest.  The only part of the movie that's good is the one non-comic sequence where some bad Kryptonite spawns the evil Superman who must then fight the good one.  (See above for the predecessor, Superman II. See Sidney J. Furie for the sequel, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.  See Richard Donner for the alternate predecessor, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.)

Copyright (c) Nov 2001 - Feb 2007 by Rusty Likes Movies