Supergirl, originally released theatrically in 1984 at 114 minutes, is now available on DVD in both an International Version at 124 minutes and a Director's Cut at 138 minutes. Both are packaged together in a Limited Edition Set, of 50000, from Anchor Bay, and the Director's Cut is only available in this set. Supergirl stars Helen Slater as Supergirl and Faye Dunaway as Selena. Other notable actors include: Peter O'Toole (Zaltar), Peter Cook (Nigel), Hart Bochner (Ethan), and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen).
Supergirl's adventure begins in her home city of Argo, where the last of the Kryptonians live in a dome-like environment powered by a glowing orb called the Omegahedron. One day, Zaltar takes the Omegahedron for inspiration in creating another artistic masterpiece when Kara, aka Supergirl, stops by for a visit. Zaltar explains to Kara how the Omegahedron works, and allows her to create a dragonfly using it. However, an accident occurs, and the Omegahedron flies out into space. Without it, life on Argo City will perish in a matter of days. Feeling rightly responsible for losing it, Kara takes off after the Omegahedron. Her search leads her to Earth, where she adopts a similar costume to that of her cousin, Superman, and enrolls in a nearby school for girls where she rooms with Lucy Lane. She slowly tracks down the Omegahedron, only to discover that it has fallen into Selena's hands, who practices black magic. After Selena captures Ethan, the man she has fallen in love with, Supergirl must find a way to defeat the extremely powerful Selena, take back the Omegahedron, and be reunited with Ethan.
I had never seen all of Supergirl before, but had wanted to, being a big fan of the first two Superman movies. I have to say that Supergirl disappointed me. The acting was a bit too over the top at times; with some incredibly weak plot points and dialogue. The movie was also pretty slow moving in some areas. However, the movie does have some good points. Some of these are: the romance between Jimmy Olsen and Lucy Lane, Helen Slater's performance as Supergirl, the Phantom Zone, and several tie-ins to the Superman movies.
Both the International Version and Director's Cut of Supergirl are presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. There is some slight grain present in both versions, with some heavy grain apparent in a few brief scenes. A bit of shimmer is also noticeable, but very infrequent. Overall though, the prints for both look terrific for a film that's sixteen years old with vibrant color and accurate flesh tones.
The differences in presentation between the International Version and the Director's Cut are extremely noticeable here, though both still have the annoying sound effects. The International Version is presented in Dolby Surround 5.1 that has a surprising amount of surround effects. The score also sounds terrific in 5.1. However, the Director's Cut is only available in Dolby Mono 1.0. After hearing the International Version in 5.1, I was disappointed by the mono sound in the Director's Cut, and while it isn't bad, it just can't compare favorably to the 5.1 surround offered in the other version. Dialogue in both versions is crisp and clean. Also, please note that the above score for Sound of 4.5 stars refers to the International Version. The Director's Cut scores 3 stars.
The extras for Supergirl all reside on the International Versions' disc. For starters and probably the best extra for fans is the informative and insightful audio commentary by the director, Jeannot Szwarc, and the special project consultant, Scott Michael Bosco. Its filled with all sorts of neat tidbits and historical facts concerning the film. You also get the original 1984 "Making of Supergirl" featurette, which is hosted by Faye Dunaway. It runs about fifty minutes in length, and contains interviews with quite a few of the cast and crew, including Helen Slater. Also present are the theatrical trailers, television spots, storyboards, a still gallery, talent bios, closed captions, and the THX Opti-mode calibration test for audio and video signals.
In addition to all this, the Limited Edition also comes with a sixteen-page booklet, which mostly consists of reproduced games from the original promotional materials. These include crossword puzzles, a maze, and 'spot the differences.'
Fans of the Supergirl movie should definitely pick up the Limited Edition Set. The picture and sound, especially on the International Version, is top-notch for a film of its age, and DVD provides a lot of quality extras. For others interested in the film or the Superman movies, but unexposed to Supergirl, I suggest renting or purchasing the single disc International Version: you get a cheaper price, the best picture and sound, almost all the extras, and only lose the fourteen extra minutes from the Director's Cut and the sixteen page booklet.