Capsules 🍿

Indian Summer (1993, Mike Binder)
★★½
Genial and life-affirming–but never trite, which is an accomplishment–story about a bunch of broken-dreamed, WASPy thirtysomethings returning to summer camp of their youth (camp owner Alan Arkin invited all his favorites) and recapturing their mojo. Beautiful Newton Thomas Sigel photography, good performances–including a great extended slapstick cameo from Sam Raimi. Writer-director Binder just plays it all a little too safe. DVD, Blu-ray, Streaming.
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Undercurrent (1946, Vincente Minnelli)
★★½
Overlong confused (not confusing) thriller about newlyweds Katharine Hepburn and Robert Taylor. Taylor seems too good to be true, except he flies into a rage whenever his missing, saintly brother is mentioned. So Hepburn starts investigating, just without much interest. There’s a real disconnect between Minnelli’s direction and Edward Chodorov’s script. Minnelli does all right though; the movie makes it through thanks to him, Hepburn, and Taylor. DVD, Streaming.
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Superman II (1980, Richard Lester)
★★★
First SUPERMAN sequel (much of it filmed back-to-back with the original) has Terence Stamp leading a trio of supervillains on a worldwide takeover (aided by Lex Luthor Gene Hackman) while Superman and Lois Lane are busy having an ill-advised and ill-plotted (if singular) romance. Great performances from Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve. Sometimes excellent, sometimes wanting special effects. The story’s just not a good idea. It still works out. Followed by SUPERMAN III. DVD, Blu-ray, Streaming.
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Superman II (1980, Richard Donner), the Richard Donner cut

Almost thirty years after producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind fired Richard Donner from the SUPERMAN sequel, Donner constructed his own cut from deleted scenes, screen tests, and even some newly shot footage. Besides offering some great Gene Hackman material, the new cut doesn’t have much to recommend it. For example, the highly touted Marlon Brando scenes just make Superman Christopher Reeve callow and selfish. And there’s nowhere near enough Superman action. Ostensibly SUPERMAN RETURNS is a sequel to this cut but not really. DVD, Blu-ray, Streaming.
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*****
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