Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Supergirl - Product of the 80's or Subpar Additon to a Film Franchise?

Imagine the TV sitcom The Facts of Life if one the girls was from another planet and the cousin of a popular superhero. That's the movie Supergirl.

Supergirl was produced at the height of Superman's film popularity in the 80's. I recall passing by a poster of this movie when I was younger thinking it was just a dream.
Even as a child I loved female based media. Females were more fun and 3 dimensional. Especially Jem. :-)

Guys were boring and only good for sex. Especially that blonde kid from Who's the Boss. We were the same age so it was okay.

I finally saw Supergirl on television repeatedly as a teen and fell instantly in love. Supergirl had a mission, to save her planet of Argo, she had a friend in Lois Lane's little sister played by Maureen Teefy (Fame, Grease 2) and she had an awesome villain in Mommie Dearest herself. No, not Joan Crawford, but Faye Dunaway.

I finally got to see Supergirl on DVD. The director's cut. Holla!
Supergirl herself was played to perfection by Helen Slater in her first role ever. Faye Dunaway as the villainous witch Selena can be argued to have more screen time than Supergirl, but come on, it's Faye Dunaway. Faye Dunaway gives one of her best camp performances. If you loved her in Mommie Dearest then this movie will be one big gay ole' time.
While Superman had Lois Lane to save now and then, Supergirl has a hottie himbo named Ethan (Hart Bochner) who reminds me of Owen Wilson if he played that hottie gardener in Desperate Housewives. Unlike Lois Lane, Ethan has very little when it comes to brains. Thus the term "himbo." He is very enchanting though and it's easy to see why Supergirl would be enamored with him. It's kinda' like me and my love of my guinea pig Chubbles.

The movie itself is an acquired taste. Aside from references to Superman (Christopher Reeve doesn't appear in person) and a cameo from Jimmy Olsen, there's very little connection to the other Superman movies. The plot is a little contrived: Supergirl must save her inner-space planet from dying out by retrieving it's power source, The Omegahedron, from Earth. While on Earth it gets into the hands of the witch Selena who uses it's powers for (gasp) evil. The music is very beautiful, composed by the great Jerry Goldsmith, and the acting is top notch. It's the script that really needed help. Director Jeannot Szwarc has stated that not having Christopher Reeves in the movie really affected his vision of the movie.

The movie is not bad for being a Superhero fantasy film of the 80's, especially the newly found director's cut which should be the ONLY version you watch. I can't wait to get this on Blu Ray, if that release ever happens that is.

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