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Thread: Superman Returns

  1. #1
    Administrator GIK's Avatar
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    Superman Returns

    Did anyone else go see 'Superman Returns' last night?

    I may not be the most objective reviewer, but in my opinion the movie was great. I was a bit worried about there being a kid in the movie, but it all turned out very well.

    The special effects and sound (the opening credits especially) were first rate.

    4 out of 4 from this Superman geek.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Superman Returns

    Haven't seen it yet, but I can't wait hopefully I get to see it before I leave for Florida friday
    THE University of Cincinnati

  4. #3
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    Re: Superman Returns

    I saw the highly anticipated "Superman Returns" today. I think I set myself up for a disappointment as my expectations were high. Some SPOILERS are to follow:

    I love the first "Superman" movie and even as I got older, the wonders presented in that film never eroded, became cheesy, etc. It was classic storytelling of one of America's most enduring characters, an icon, a myth. Christopher Reeve brought Superman to life more than any other before him (and after him I believe.) Like any film, it has it's faults but it has endured because it's strength lied in our belief that, in a generic sense, a man could fly but it was more than that really. It was our desire, our need to see someone so true, so virtuous, so heroic be there for us when we needed him. When man, woman or child looked at Reeve, with his charming smile, sparkle in his eye, he fit that mold perfectly. Think of it the same way most humans consider aliens and UFOs look, it's an almost uniform presentation in our collective mind's eye. So it is with our universal ideal of a superhero, it is Superman and Reeve was that image we'd describe to a sketch artist. It's damn hard to follow that and I think Brandon Routh will find that out.

    Now, you're probably thinking I hated "Superman Returns" by now. Well, I don't. It's a good film. The special effects are top notch, the direction is even handed and most of all, it's incredibly respectful of the original films. The opening credits mirror those of the original right down to the "whoosh" sound effects when the names fly across the screen. Lines of dialogue from the original are re-used. Hell even Marlon Brando is back from the dead (though not as spectacularly as I had hoped. You barely see him, or more accurately, his head.) The movie is dedicated to Christopher and Dana Reeve.

    "Superman Returns" is essentially a kinda-sorta sequel to the first two films and therein lies the problem. Bryan Singer handcuffed himself. He's tied this film so closely to those films that he limited himself to what he could do. It's one thing to pay tribute to your favorites, it's another to try and fill it's shoes. Singer should have done what Christopher Nolan did with "Batman," start from scratch. Nolan stayed close to what made the character so great, Singer tried following the same formula of the "Superman" film franchise.

    It seemed that every other actor in "Superman Returns" got to play their character their own way but Brandon Routh played Superman/Clark Kent just as Reeve would have done. That was a mistake. Sure, Routh did a great imitation but I don't want to see a Reeve impersonation. I wanted Superman from a fresh perspective. You cannot top Reeve, you cannot replace him and mimicking his performance will only remind those that he is no longer with us. Routh seems like he has decent acting chops and I wish we could have seen his own unique take on the character.

    A lot was said of this "new" Lex Luthor, played by Kevin Spacey and how much "darker" his take on the role is as opposed to Gene Hackman's in the original films. Frankly, I was hard pressed to take note of any major changes. Many of Luthor's scenes were humerous, his lackeys were walking jokes (though I concede Parker Posey was somewhat entertaining.) I never got the sense that Luthor was this true villain. Even when he was talking about billions of lives being lost, I felt nothing from him. Was Spacey *as* comical as Hackman? No, he wasn't but since most of his material seemed to be on the joking side of things, that's not such a good thing.

    They keep using Luthor as this rich guy who wants as much real estate as he can get. Whether it was using a nuclear weapon to knock California off the continent or using the crystals from the Fortress of Solitude to create an entirely new landmass, he just wants some property. This is the best they can come up with for him? A land grab? Who is he? Boss Hogg?

    I can say I was happy they used the original Superman theme written by John Williams as well as other bits from the original score incorporated with John Ottman's new material. It flowed together quite well and let's face it, not using the theme music is like "Star Wars" or "Jaws" without theirs. It's far too closely associated with the material now to ever be separated.

    As I said previously, the special effects were excellent. All the shots of Superman rescuing the regular folk of Metropolis were handled expertly and all of Supes' greatest hits were included (x-ray vision, super cold breath, and so on.) What was missing? Something "Superman II" had in spades, a true, knock down drag out supervillain fight. Yes it's cool seeing Superman do these "super" things and show just how POWERFUL he really is but what we really want to see is the big, blue boy scout thrown down with someone who is on his level of powers. Perhaps the next installment will give us that? I have no doubt "Superman Returns" will be one of the biggest hits of the year and a sequel is a given so my hopes are that maybe we'll see a supervillain introduced on the next go-round. Lex Luthor is great but he has been overused (four films by my count.) Imagine Batman having to face the Joker again and again.

    Another problem we face with Superman is, can we ever realistically fear that he will lose or even die? As Superman was stabbed with a shard of kryptonite by Luthor in "Returns," we all knew he'd be ok. The comic book counterpart at least had an opponent like Doomsday who did kill him (at least for a little while, these ARE comic books afterall.) In films like "X-Men," you actually could think that any of them could be killed off at any time. All I'm saying is, put him in greater peril than simply giving him a kryptonite necklace. Geez, even in the ****ty "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace," Superman got messed up by Nuclear Man (you saw him withering away, losing his hair, becoming fragile....dying.)

    "Superman Returns" had a running time of about two and a half hours and boy did it feel like it at times. There were some major lagging moments which should have been tightened up in the editing room.

    I can't say the film held any surprises for me. Lois Lane's child was so obviously Superman's son that the big "reveal" scene of the kid throwing a piano at one of Luthor's thugs came as a "What took them so long?" moment for me.

    Yes, "Superman Returns" was a dissappointment for me for all the reasons I stated above. Keep in mind that NONE of it makes it a bad film, it makes it a well crafted tribute and if that's what you're looking for then you should love it.

    I was originally hyped about "Superman Returns" kinda sorta following in the footsteps of the first two films and now I just think it was a mistake. You just can't pick up where Reeve and director Richard Donner left off. Singer and company should have started the franchise over.

    I will have to enjoy "Superman Returns" for the film it is, not what it could have been. That's not too bad I suppose. I'm sure Christopher Reeve is smiling somewhere tonight. I'm also sure that there are those who will leave the theater with warm hearts seeing such an affectionate tribute to a childhood memory they hold dear. I can see it from their point of view and I can't fault them for that.

    Finally, with this first film out of the way, I hope that when Singer, Routh and the gang return to the franchise, they will attempt to explore new ground and take the character to places we haven't been to before.

    My rating (out of *****): ***

  5. #4
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    Re: Superman Returns

    *SPOILERS*

    I too wish we would have seen a super villan, but I'm wondering how "comic booky" Singer, et al, wanted this movie to feel. Darkseid? Brainiac? Toyman? I don't know. I was pleased with Lex, but his goons never really worked perfectly for me.

    For me the running length of the movie wasn't a thought. 2.5 hours is long for a movie these days, but I didn't notice it. There were some 'slow' parts in the movie, but IMO they were justified to set up different acts.

    I would've liked to have seen Superman use his powers more. Before he finally used heat vision and super breath, I didn't know if we'd see them.

    And, yes, it was obvious LL's boy was his own (though, as I said earlier, I don't think having a kid in the movie ruined it - his lines were limited and his role was just fine).

    I, again, loved the visuals and the sound was amazing. They both immersed you in the movie (at a few points I thought the theater had installed buttkickers in the seats it was that intense).

    No doubt the movie will do well. I thought it was great and can't wait for Round 2 of Routh's Superman.

  6. #5
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Superman Returns

    I never liked the Christopher Reeves movies one bit. Too corny. Especially seeing a smiling Reeves flying the American flag, and then smiling and waving at the camera.

    Looking forward to seeing Superman Returns this weekend with my kids.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  7. #6
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    Re: Superman Returns

    I saw the movie last night:

    Im young enough (23) where I don't really remember seeing the older Christopher Reeve Superman movies, so I can't really compare them to the new Superman. But I too was expecting more. I thought Kevin Spacey did a great job playing Lex, as well as all the characters doing really well. I guess I got caught in the hype of it and just expected more.

    It took me awhile to realize superman's son was the son of lois, I feel pretty stupid for not putting it together any earlier.

    One thing that I know you guys are right in is that we know there is no chance superman will die, the guy gets stabbed with a huge chunk of kryptonite and really doesnt have to many problems living. I think that the fact that in all the X-men anyone of them are prone to dying makes it a little better.

    I think I also liked Spiderman better than Superman Returns....
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  8. #7
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    Re: Superman Returns

    Quote Originally Posted by beb30
    I saw the movie last night:

    Im young enough (23) where I don't really remember seeing the older Christopher Reeve Superman movies, so I can't really compare them to the new Superman. But I too was expecting more. I thought Kevin Spacey did a great job playing Lex, as well as all the characters doing really well. I guess I got caught in the hype of it and just expected more.

    It took me awhile to realize superman's son was the son of lois, I feel pretty stupid for not putting it together any earlier.

    One thing that I know you guys are right in is that we know there is no chance superman will die, the guy gets stabbed with a huge chunk of kryptonite and really doesnt have to many problems living. I think that the fact that in all the X-men anyone of them are prone to dying makes it a little better.

    I think I also liked Spiderman better than Superman Returns....
    Speaking of Spidey, did anyone else get the "Spider-Man 3" teaser trailer when they saw Supes? That trailer kicked some butt and for the first time I'm actually looking forward to seeing a Spidey movie.

  9. #8
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    Re: Superman Returns

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    I never liked the Christopher Reeves movies one bit. Too corny. Especially seeing a smiling Reeves flying the American flag, and then smiling and waving at the camera.

    Looking forward to seeing Superman Returns this weekend with my kids.
    Well, it sounds like you'll like the new one.

    Every "professional" review I've heard has panned the movie flatly. That usually doesn't mean much to me, but the things they're saying makes me not want to go. Such as:

    It's like Superman joined the X-Men, super-heroes as outcasts, crowd.

    Kevin Spacey (whom I love as an actor) is pretentious and over bearing as Lex Luthor.

    Kate Bosworth (who I think is nice to look at but not really the best actress -- eg Blue Crush) plays Lois Lane as a brooding single mother.

    The excellent special effects don't make up for the lack of "superhero-ness" in the plot and storyline.

    Doesn't much sound like my cup of tea and I will take my 18 bucks (wife an me) elsewhere... probably to GABP.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  10. #9
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Superman Returns

    I haven't seen the movie yet. I'll probably wait until it comes out on DVD. This thread confirms other things I've heard.

    IMO, a good superhero movie needs a good villian. Someone like the Gene Hackman Lex Luthor that has no real motives and goofy, clowny side kicks just doesn't do it for me.

    And you're right, Superman is invincible, so there's really no suspense at all.
    Thus, a good story needs to be built up. We know Superman will win, so we need a good challenge for him to beat the villian and a good story. SPOILER (stop reading if you don't want to see it)...... I'm sorry, but I just can't get pumped up about a story with Superman's illegitimate child breaking up Lois' relationship with another man and watching Superman throw a continent into outer space.. The latter is about as corny as Superman making the world spin backwards to turn back time. Superman is plenty powerful enough not to need lame things like this to solve his problems.

    I thought the Reeve movies were ok (Superman II was better than part I). I didn't bother to see Superman 3 or 4, because I heard they were awful.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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  11. #10
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    Re: Superman Returns

    I hate Superman.

    Hate him. He's a false god.

    Spiderman is the Way.

  12. #11
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    Re: Superman Returns

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    I hate Superman.

    Hate him. He's a false god.

    Spiderman is the Way.
    Hear hear.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
    -Ken Griffey Jr.

  13. #12
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Superman Returns

    Batman is the way, super powers? radioactive spiders? gimme a break

    Go Gators!

  14. #13
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Superman Returns

    It seems most like their super heroes with severe emotional problems, and a severe sense of imbalance that pushes them consistently to the edge.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  15. #14
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    Re: Superman Returns

    Superman? Batman? Spiderman?


    None of the Above.

    Nobody holds a candle to Mighty Mouse!!!!

  16. #15
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    Re: Superman Returns

    Quote Originally Posted by dabvu2498
    Every "professional" review I've heard has panned the movie flatly.
    I'm guessing you haven't read many reviews.

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/superman_returns/

    Rotten Tomatoes has a 76% rating on 'Superman Returns' which means that 76% of the reviews they compiled (170 in total) gave it a positive review. Of the movies currently in the top 10 at the box office, only 'Cars' can match that Tomatometer percentage. Being in the same zip code as a Pixar film is always a good thing.

    http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/supermanreturns

    Metacritic, which has uses a weighted rating, gives 'Superman Returns' a 72 rating based on 38 reviews. Once again, that ranks the movie in the same class as 'Cars' as well above the rest of the movies at the top of the box office.


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