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JulyDiaz

Episode 178 - Superman IV: The Quest For Peace: LIVE!

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Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black) joins Paul, Jason, and guest co-host Jessica St. Clair to discuss the 1987 superhero film Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Recorded live in New York, they talk about Nuclear Man’s nails, amnesia kisses, and what’s up with Margot Kidder. Plus, we figure out what exactly is kryptonite.

 

 

Check out new HDTGM merch over at https://www.teepublic.com/user/howdidthisgetmade

Where to Find Jason, June & Paul:

You can see Jason, June, and Paul in The Disaster Artist in theaters now.

Paul’s new comedy Drive Share is available on Go90. Paul can be seen on Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, Opening Night, and Veep. You can see June and Paul on NTSF:SD:SUV:: on HULU. June stars in Grace and Frankie on Netflix, as well as Lady Dynamite alongside with Jason.

 

Jason can be seen in The Good Place, The House, The Lego Batman Movie, How to Be Single, Sleeping with Other People, and is still indeed in The Dictator.

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Thank you Paul, Jason and Jessica for coming all the way out to NYC. This was an amazing episode and I was unbelievably happy to be in the audience for it!

 

As for my Correction & Omission, it is lengthy and relies on visual cues (always great for a podcast,) but I do think it's important to share.

 

So even though I watched the film prior to attending the taping, I decided to re-watch it for this episode's release. Now while looking for a digital copy, I came across a promotional comic book for the film:

 

I1FYUg8.png

 

Now what is absolutely BONKERS about this comic book, is that it pulls all of it’s material from everything that was shot. This includes the scenes that did NOT make the final cut!

 

Below are some points I found especially intriguing.

 

 

1) There are TWO Nuclear Men!

 

The footage Paul played, is not the studio’s first approach at what Nuclear Man was gonna look like. The Franken Berry looking fellow is actually Lex’s FIRST attempt at creating Nuclear Man.

 

The first Nuclear Man is created in a lab from the genetic material pulled from Superman’s hair. This version is incredibly strong, but really, really dumb. Needless to say, Superman confronts and vaporizes him.

 

To create the 2nd Nuclear Man, Lex takes the leftovers of the first one and puts it on a missile which ends up being shot into the sun… thus creating the Nuclear Man we saw in the released film.

QfwTiij.png

 

2) Superman is NOT able to rebuild the Great Wall with just his eyes!

 

I’m not sure if the illustrators were just as confused like us, but even they didn’t draw Superman rebuilding the Great Wall with his eyes. In the comic book, all Superman does is use his super speed to collect the rubble and put the wall back into place.

wov0luO.png

 

3) Why is Nuclear Man obsessed with Lacy and why is she more important than Lois in the finale?

 

When the first version of Nuclear Man is looking for Superman, he comes across Lacy and Clark at a night club. There he immediately falls in love with her. Now although Nuclear Man is destroyed, Lex informs us that the material left behind to create the next Nuclear Man, still holds on to any memories. So that is why the 2nd version of Nuclear Man truly hates Superman and why he loves Lacy.

 

 

As for the comic book's finale… After thinking he disposed of Superman, Nuclear Man decides to destroy the entire planet by becoming a nuclear bomb. He also believes he will protect Lacy so they can be the sole survivors of Earth. Superman comes to the rescue and distracts Nuclear Man by flying away with Lacy. Nuclear Man chases him and ends up being caught in a closed elevator. Like in the movie, Superman flies the elevator to outer space, but sun leaks in to refuel Nuclear Man. Superman is beaten up in outer space and just when Nuclear Man is about to capture Lacy on Earth, Superman creates a lunar eclipse. This in turn knocks out Nuclear Man, which then allows Superman to fly him into a reactor to be destroyed.

 

KT1eymn.png

 

 

4) Superman & Jeremy's Relationship

 

In the released film, Superman does not respond to Jeremy’s letter and only meets him for the first time at the UN. But per the comic book, upon receiving the letter, Superman immediately flies to the boy's school and explains why he can’t meddle in the arms race. This scene this is pulled from actual footage shot, for I also located a still supporting this notion. I am throughly confused why this, and so many other scenes, were left on the cutting room floor. With this scene in particular, you really get a sense of Superman’s internal struggle of whether he should view Earth as just a visitor or as someone who should call it home.

 

IAqBfyN.png

 

 

Also at the end of the comic book, Superman speaks to the UN and says that he needs everyone to look at the world as he sees it. To achieve this, he puts Jeremy in a space suit, flies him around the world, and while being plugged into all the major news outlets… Jeremy communicates how he doesn’t see borders. He sees everything below him as “one world.” Again, a still provided shows that this concept was shot, but yet never featured in the final release.

 

HZYytXi.png

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HI Paul. Quick "correction", not directly regarding Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, but for Superman The Movie.

 

It's a widely held misconception that Superman spins the Earth backwards on its axis. That's not what happens here. It was Superman moving backwards in time, not The Earth actually spinning backwards.

 

The Earth spinning backwards was meant to represent time moving backwards. I'm not sure if this is indicative of the state of what was possible with special effects at the time, or a poor directing choice (I'm gonna say effects because Richard Donner is dope), but this story telling beat is not clearly conveyed. Also, knowing that he can move backwards in time lends more weight to Jor-El telling Superman "You must not interfere with human history".

 

Thanks for what you do. Love the show.

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I can't post too much right now because work is busy but I just want to say that June is the best!

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Jessica St Clair is a fantastic sub for June but I’m a little afraid she’s going to lose her mind before this tour is over. I don’t remember how many shows they’re doing but I imagine that’s a lot of bad movies making her nauseated very close together

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The setting for this movie is a world where the nuclear superpowers cannot agree on disarmament and it has gone the opposite direction into a full blown arms race. But when Superman announces to the UN that he is going to disarm the world he is met with 100% approval. So what was the issue?

 

I thought the missile launches were not attacks they were the countries working with Superman lobbing them into space for him to collect. It struck me as a very bad idea. What if some huge natural disaster occurred at the same moment Superman was supposed to be snagging a missile. I'd say just pick them up off the ground at your leisure.

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There are some intuitive ways to understand how the earth is round.

 

1) As you head north or south, you'll notice that the length of days change. Well, if the earth was flat, that wouldn't happen. That's because your angle relative to the sun wouldn't change very much. That's true whether you assume the sun revolves around the earth or the earth revolves around the sun (spinning like a quarter?).

 

2) If you are flying over the ocean you can actually see the curvature of the earth. If you're on the water, it's harder to see, but you'll notice that distant objects "disappear" over the horizon (i.e. there is no longer a direct line of sight between you and the distant object).

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I can't find it now (for some reason, my TL cuts off in Feb of last year), but I definitely tweeted after the Streets of Fire ep that if we ever needed a June replacement because she was unavailable for an extended period of time, it should be Jessica St Clair.

 

So what I'm saying is, I made this happen.

 

uyKgrYk.gif

 

 

I definitely didn't, but I'm so happy she's back as June's stand-in. She's so fantastic.

 

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First of all, is no one going to mention that genius Lex Luthor pronounces "nuclear" as nuke-yew-lehr at least twice?

 

 

Second, why was Superman's hair protected by an around-the-clock burglar alarm? I guess I can buy that someone might want to steal it as like a souvenir, but really, you'd think the 1000lb weight would be enough of a deterrent.

 

Also, Superman basically tried to kill Mr. No Pain No Gain, right? I get he was supposed to be distracted, but who throws weights? Jesus, Clark. I bet you don't even wipe down the machines when you're done.

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This is the first HDTGM movie that I definitely remembered as loving from my childhood, so I was apprehensive going in. (I'm the same age as Paul, also saw this in a theater.) Something about the double-dating rom-com zaniness in Lacy's apartment and TWO fabulous newspaper-working women really captured my interests.

 

Anyway. Yes, it's bad, but I enjoyed it anyway.

 

I wish they had addressed that Superman "plugs" a volcano with the top of another mountain, which I think would just make it much worse.

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A lot of people don't understand what would happen to a human exposed to the vacuum of space, beyond the obvious death part, but Jason's version was a new one on me. You'd certainly asphixiate and if you tried to hold your breath, you'd damage your lungs. You absolutely wouldn't implode because that's the opposite of the pressure you'd experience. But you wouldn't explode, either. You wouldn't freeze instantly, either, although your body heat would gradually radiate away, but you'd be dead long before that became an issue. If you were rescued fast enough, you'd probably survive and heal up.

 

Originally, the go back in time ending was intended for the second movie, which is why they needed another way to make Lois unlearn his secret. Of course Superman's primary power is the ability to just suddenly pull new powers out of his ass whenever he needed them, so amnesia kisses is perfectly in line with that.

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This is the first HDTGM movie that I definitely remembered as loving from my childhood, so I was apprehensive going in. (I'm the same age as Paul, also saw this in a theater.) Something about the double-dating rom-com zaniness in Lacy's apartment and TWO fabulous newspaper-working women really captured my interests.

 

Anyway. Yes, it's bad, but I enjoyed it anyway.

This movie confused me so much even as a kid. I don't think I had ever encountered a movie I didn't like before and I wasn't sure how to process disappointment in a movie.

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"Imagine if, at the end of Sixteen Candles, a character from a movie that hasn't been made yet, but features the same lead actress, shows up and announces that if she doesn't pick him in their movie, he'll then evil in another movie, but one that she's not even in, so why would it matter to her anyway."

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Here comes the nerd to talk about kryptonite.

 

Kryptonite was originally a radioactive substance from Krypton. So in theory he should react to it the way a human would react to being hit with large doses or radiation. (Super cancer?) It's not just any old piece of his planet.

 

Then they made it more complicated and added different types of kryptonite. The most well-known is the green. (Aside, I first learned about this when Xander and Oz had a fight about it on Buffy because, nerd.) I think the red just makes him act... Odd. The gold kills plant life? There is a whole Wikipedia entry on this. Look it up if you care.

 

I am told the post crisis kryptonite is different but I don't care really. My Superman is from the animated cartoons.

 

Do yourself a favor and watch the two-part episode of Justice League called Wild Cards where Joker sets traps for the JL in Vegas and films it all like a reality TV show. Great work by Mark Hamill as the Joker.

 

That has nothing to do with this podcast but it is a literal cartoon and it's better written than this movie.

 

I wish Jason and Paul had said whether they prefer this or the Richard Pryor one.

 

So great to hear from June! Glad she didnt have to watch the movie.

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Paul was right about there being different color Kryptonite with different effects. First off, the reason chunks of his home planet effect him at all is because they were irradiated by Krypton's explosion. Just think of Uranium as our weakness, "Earthite" if you will. Anyway here's the rundown on the different flavors of Kryptonite;

 

Green- Greatly weakens Kryptonians with prolonged exposure causing death.

 

Red- Causes a different effect with each exposure. Giving Superman an ant head, making him evil, etc. This usually lasts for 48 hours.

 

Blue- No effect on Superman but is like green kryptonite for Bizarro duplicates(Creatures similar to the deleted Frankenberry Nuclear Man).

 

Gold- Robs Superman of his stored solar energy rendering him powerless but otherwise unharmed. This can be temporary or permanent depending on the writer.

 

Black- Has the effect of the kryptonite Richard Pryor made in Superman III, splitting him into two beings, one good, the other evil.

 

Hope that helps. As far as why Nuclear Man, a clone of Superman, has Gene Hackman's voice? I got nothing. Though I highly recommend the audio commentary for this film. It pretty well answers the question, How Did This Get Made. My favorite quote from it is "Superman 4 was made with the best intentions."

 

Thanks for another favorite episode! My best to you and yours,

 

Lee

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I kept trying to articulate in my head that Superman drawing his power from "Earth's yellow sun" would somehow give him an advantage in fighting Solar Dude but then I realized I should stop.

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I can understand why the audience member felt that Lois was cock-blocking Clark, but there is stronger evidence of Superman cock-blocking him.

 

Hear me out…

 

During the double date scene at Laci’s apartment, Lois specifically tells Clark:

 

"Clark. She really likes you, so notice the dress. Dress.”

 

So what does Clark say… "Oh hey. Neat dress.” Then he bolts out the door. Not 6 seconds later, Superman arrives in the apartment… is introduced to Laci and says… "That’s a very attractive outfit you are wearing.”

 

Yes, I understand that the reason Clark shows little interest in Laci, is that his (and Superman’s) one true love is Lois. So essentially Superman is helping keep the peace. But from an outsider who is oblivious to the fact that Clark and Superman are the same person… Superman is the cock-blocker in this situation.

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Isn't the Daily Planet an American newspaper? So why are they using British English spelling on their front page?

 

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The setting for this movie is a world where the nuclear superpowers cannot agree on disarmament and it has gone the opposite direction into a full blown arms race. But when Superman announces to the UN that he is going to disarm the world he is met with 100% approval. So what was the issue?

 

I thought the missile launches were not attacks they were the countries working with Superman lobbing them into space for him to collect. It struck me as a very bad idea. What if some huge natural disaster occurred at the same moment Superman was supposed to be snagging a missile. I'd say just pick them up off the ground at your leisure.

I was going to say something similar ... that it makes no sense for all the countries of the world to not just disarm if that's what they really wanted.

 

And for the scene with the launches to come right after that, it's almost looked like the nuclear powers all said, "Oh shit, Superman's coming for our nukes! Quick -- launch 'em before he gets here." Which of course wouldn't make any sense if they didn't want they in the first place. But then you see that Supes already had a big net full of missiles ready to go, so yeah ... I guess they're just alley-ooping them up to him.

 

By the way, it would have taken those missiles about 10 minutes to actually get to the sun ... even if he threw them at the speed of light.

 

I kept trying to articulate in my head that Superman drawing his power from "Earth's yellow sun" would somehow give him an advantage in fighting Solar Dude but then I realized I should stop.

No, you should keep making that point, because I had the exact same thought. Please continue.

giphy.gif

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I kept trying to articulate in my head that Superman drawing his power from "Earth's yellow sun" would somehow give him an advantage in fighting Solar Dude but then I realized I should stop.

I had this thought too! That guy is made from the yellow sun of earth... which is what makes Superman ... um super. So wouldn't his proximity to "Nukes" make him extra super?

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A couple of quick thoughts:

 

1. I know that this is a super-low budget Cannon Group flick, but couldn't they make Superman go a little faster? He is the slowest on-screen version of himself in this movie.

 

2. I must respectfully disagree with Ms. Lyonne: I thought that Lex Luther, in this movie, seems to have been reduced to Adam-West-Batman-villain levels of ridiculousness. His costumes are baffling. His dialogue is ludicrous ... he's either addressing his own "awesome brain" or just talking out loud about what he's doing. And I quote:

Robot-Devil-is-Angry.jpg

 

3. How the hell does Lex Luthor get out of the museum? When he smashes the glass with the World's Best Bolt Cutters, the alarm starts blaring and people scatter. He snips the Puberman hair out of the display, and then ... just leaves? Has a shoot-out with museum security and flies away in that blimp from the second movie? The scene cuts away here and it's never brought up again (I assume that his thrilling get-away was part of the 45 minutes that was chopped from the 2hr+ version).

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Question:

 

Did they dub someone else's voice for Jeremy like they did for Nuclear Man? I ask because that kid maybe looked like he was 12 if a day and his voice sounded like he hit puberty at 6. Also did Lenny mug someone from Death Race 2000 to get his car, there is no reason for there to be four gramophones on the outside of the car as a surround sound system, and there definitely shouldn't be people interested in that fact enough to just blindly sit in this random person's car.

 

Finally, Gene Hackman needs some kind of humanitarian award for giving the performance that he did because he was legit trying and crushing in this film. It was so good I can honestly see how it shaped Luthor in the comics with his mannerisms and superiority complex, especially in titles like All-Star Superman or Superman: Red Son.

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