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*** Official SUPERMAN RETURNS Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Pete-D

    Pete-D Well-Known Member

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    Just got back. Some quick thoughts.

    Good, but not great.

    Could have been a lot worse though, and should successfully relaunch the franchise.

    Not really crazy about the "superkid" angle.

    I didn't feel like we got enough time to know Superman ... but I guess he's kind of a robotic character anyway. Routh is definitely no Chris Reeve, but he's decent and likable enough. They need to ease up on the "plastic" look though ... I wonder if that was CG.

    It was a little "colder" and a bit duller at times than what I'd expect from a Superman film. Kind of an odd mismash of the Donner versions of Singer's own style. It doesn't really have the sense of wonder/fantasy that the Donner version does. I will give credit for Singer for acknowleding and even embracing the Donner version though ... most director's probably would've just started from scratch.

    Kate Bosworth isn't the "spunky" Lois Lane we're used to, but I got used to her rather quickly. She wasn't terrible as perhaps some feared.

    The coolest thing was seeing the credits at the beginning done in the 1970s style ... I've only been able to watch the Superman films on TV/VHS ... so to see it on the big screen like that was awesome.
     
  2. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Well-Known Member

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    this is post release discussion, so you know the drill. Spoilers in this post

    Pacing was definitely a problem. While the movie seems to pretty much jump along right in Donner's footsteps almost every bit of the way, the problems are flip-flopped. Where Donner's pacing failed him as soon as Clark hit Metropolis, and the tone got way too comical and corny, Singer's pacing fails UNTIL Clark hits Metropolis, and then the movie stays a little too strait-laced and somber

    Things that surprised me:

    Lois' beatdown. That was sorta rough to watch.
    Superman's beatdown. That was REALLY rough to watch. The animal, desperate noises coming out of Superman surprised me.
    The Humor never felt forced. Spacey's reveal to Lois was pitch perfect.

    I'm gonna stick it right up there next to Donner's. Better than Superman II. But it's not by a longshot anything approaching a perfect movie. Or even a great one. Neither is the first, at least not to me, not anymore, not divorced from the nostalgia I happily throw the dvd in, until the goodwill of nostalgia runs out and I'm left with raw, pure movie to drink in. the 78 movie grew stale. This one gets bland.

    I didn't have any problems with the kid, however. One of the few key emotional moments in the movie happens when the kid very matter of factly, simply says "I like him." And that hit rather well. Finely directed moment. Also when he almost breaks down while apologizing to Lois in the bowels of the ship. Not bad for the little brat, scoring two of the most true-feeling emotional moments in the movie.

    Sam Huntington also came out of this like a champ. I wish Routh had a little more to do, but what he did, he sold perfectly. I prefer his Clark Kent, actually, to Reeve's. And the Supermans are pretty close, too. Spacey lives for this sort of role, and I'm glad he's back playing a quality villain. Parker Posey didn't annoy me (and also managed to deftly underline, very matter-of-factly, how wrong it is to see Superman brutalized as he was) and James Marsden packed 3 times the impact into his one Superman movie than he did his entire X-Men oeuvre.

    I ended up giving it a 7.5 if I had to grade it. It just has too many serious pacing problems to truly transcend. But then again--I had that problem with X-Men. and then Singer hit us with X-Men 2. So hopefully we get the same sort of jump in about 3 years.

    But this will most definitely do for now.
     
  3. Pete-D

    Pete-D Well-Known Member

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    Yeah ... I agree some of the violence was jarring (and not in a good way). It kind of gave the movie a really sombre feeling at times.

    The other thing that surprised me is the flying sequences sometimes looked awkward and really fake.

    I don't know if this was an intentional nod to the Donner versions or what. The flying scenes in the Matrix Reloaded looked a lot better.
     
  4. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, not to sound nitpicky (For the most part the Flying was ridiculously natural looking) but Supes last flyby in the movie, as he's leaving Metropolis before he hits the clouds and goes above--looked like oldschool classic optic printing over matte painting, and not digital compositing. No lie.

    Also, cute little homage in a movie that overtly wallows in it: The train set sequence seems to play like a best of disaster sequence demo-reel for Supermans I and II, in some cases almost equaling the bad model work during the earthquake sequence in Superman I to a tee. I hope that was intentional, because I appreciated the dry humor involved in that.
     
  5. Pete-D

    Pete-D Well-Known Member

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    There were a few other subtle nods to the Donner version.

    I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but when Lex Luthor is stealing the rock from the museum ... the caption on the rock is that it was discovered in 1978, which of course is the year Superman: The Movie came out.
     
  6. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    From the review thread:

    Incredibly disappointing.

    Everyone was miscast. Routh, Bosworth, Spacey etc...No one stunk, they were just....O.K.

    Long dull stretches. Very little action. Weak plot too. And an ending that just goes on, and on, and on.......There were moments of brilliance and promise but too little of each.

    I loved the little nods to the '78 film but this film imo had none of that films' charm, excitement, inspired casting or sense of spectacle.

    The sold out crowd seemed stunned during it's running time and there were more than a few walkouts. No cheering, laughing or clapping.

    I'm in shock right now as I can't believe this is the best Singer and Co. could come up with.

    The best way to desribe Superman Returns is that it's a movie where Superman just does a lot of LIFTING. That's about it.

    Didn't hate it. Just, as I said, incredibly
    disappointing.[​IMG][​IMG]

    Forget Kryptonite, I really think bad word of mouth is going to kill Superman. I doubt it will reach $200 million.

    I saw it with six people and we were ALL similarly saddened by how weak the film is. And I heard many disappointed grumbles from people walking out at the end.

    Wow. I'm bummed.[​IMG]
     
  7. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    Just read Ebert's review and it's spot on imo.

    And regrading the pacing, I don't mind a slow pace as long as it's interesting. In Superman Returns, it's just dull.
     
  8. Mike_G

    Mike_G Well-Known Member

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    Dave,
    See, here's the thing. Ebert said that Bosworth's Lane was weak compared to Margot Kidder. NOT TRUE. Look, they're two different actresses playing the same role 30 years apart. What in God's name does Ebert want? If Bosworth mimicked Kidder, then that diminishes Bosworth's acting ability. Lane was written differently, but Lane's still that tough-as-nails reporter. Bosworth was GREAT as Lois. As for Ebert's "slow and plodding" crap, I hit the nail on the head when I said that this movie took its time and that's what surprised me the most about Ebert's review. This is classic cinema reborn, it tells a STORY. This is not Armageddon with MTV style editing.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Spoilers below:






    I think what this new development revealed in the coda does is basically give Superman a reason to be a better man. With his power, it's easy to be super, but does he have what it takes to be a good man going forward. He's spent 5 years looking back, but now, he's got everything in the world to live for to watch what develops in the future with proud, watchful eyes.
     
  10. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Well-Known Member

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    I never felt the missing five years with Routh. It made Lois cold and angry (one flight later and fine), and Eva Marie Saint was the only character to make it matter. For her minute. Her second scene was awesome though. Not being able to get to her son, and having to bear that worry. Positively biblical.

    But the five years seemed like a ploy to get the Lois relationship antagonistic. Since we don't see his journey to dead Krypton, the resonance that might have had with Superman stepping onto Luthor's island (a recreation of his home) is gone.

    The Luthor/Lane meeting is great...almost worth the tried and true (and hacky, sorry) romantic interest walks into danger to be saved later. I thought the flying scenes were outstanding.

    A few hours later, and I still love the score. I still liked Routh. Marsden did a great job with a very tough position (though I kept thinking he was Cary Elwes). The kid was good. But I wanted more.

    The devil in me wants to pick it apart (Lois and Richard live in, what, a $2 million dollar waterfront house, with a Seaplane and a view of Metropolis??? What does she make?!?). But I won't. I'm glad Superman is back, and like Robert, I hope 2 makes the same leap in storytelling and style that X2 did. It would be something to see.
     
  11. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Well-Known Member

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    And I have no doubt we will get it, Chuck. That's why my criteria for judging SR will be: a) faithfullness to the original films, and; b) setting up future stories.
     
  12. JonZ

    JonZ Well-Known Member

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    Is there a scene after the end credits?
     
  13. Dalvis

    Dalvis Member

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    So, I remember a debate a few months back between Drew Reiber and Robert Anthony about whether Superman Returns was a sequel to the first two Superman films. After seeing the film last night, I don't think there can be any doubt that this film is strongly tied into the first two films, especially the original. It played like a direct sequel. Anyone agree or disagree?
     
  14. Patrick H.

    Patrick H. Well-Known Member

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    It's completely a direct sequel, which ultimately gave me a very strange feeling. Like coming back to school and finding all your friends have transferred...same hallways and classrooms, no familiar faces.

    Overall, I thought the movie was an intertesting experiment, but it ultimately didn't work for me. Its character dynamics were based entirely on twenty-year-old movies with different casts...it didn't really try to establish them on its own. The visuals were terrific, but it all felt strangely hollow, replicating the look, but not the warm spirit of the Christopher Reeve/Richard Donner films. This ultimately may have been an impossible task.

    The only bit that was an unqualified success were those old-school opening credits...man what a rush! I wish what followed had measured up to that.
     
  15. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Well-Known Member

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    I wanted it from this film. I know we'll get sequels, and they'll be better. I want that. A lot. Almost as much as another Batman film [​IMG]

    1) It wasn't faithful...it was almost slavish. That bothered me. It is like a sequel...from the 80's, when they redid the exact same things with a few cosmetic changes. Same lines, same villainous plots (with a neat twist, admittedly).

    2) It definitely did that.

    Again, Lois. Lois is a great character, a GREAT person. I understand the need to make her a little brittle with her last five years. But I think they went way overboard. Her first appearance is as a bitchy TV reporter. She's completely dismissive (as opposed to comically dismissive) of Clark. It was off-putting.

    The opening scene: Just awesome beyond belief. The visuals, the words, the music, the explosion. I'll even say...best opening in years and years and years [​IMG]
     
  16. Mike_G

    Mike_G Well-Known Member

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    How different is reusing lines in THIS film any different than "I've got a bad feeling about this" from Star Wars? Star Wars reused a LOT, but I never see that as an issue in reviews.

    I loved the film for what it was.
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Lois is still a newspaper reporter who happened to be televised asking questions.
     
  18. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen the film yet, but I just had to interject how this rationale seems completely foreign to me since it places little weight on the merits of the film itself. Does it work on its own or does it only work because it's based on 20-year old characterization due to its "faithfulness to the original films"? Does this film establish its own characterization or is it just reliant on the old and adds nothing new?

    As for establishing future stories, I'm not sure we should have to wait for "future stories." People disagree, but retreading old territory with Luther and then excusing it because it "sets up future stories" is specious reasoning at best. This should have been one of those "future stories."

    Maybe actually seeing it will change my opinion, but I've always said I'd be far more impressed in Singer & Co. had they done their own take on the character and series and made it work.
     
  19. Holadem

    Holadem Well-Known Member

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    I got a call last night at 9:30 from someone who wanted to go, so I went, having nothing better to do. I didn't even think there would be seats that late. I liked it more than I expected. Good, not great, which is fine (and seems to be the prevailing opinion).

    Glad to see I am not the only one who feels many scene had a CGI look to them, something I've been complaining about since the first trailer. "Plastic" is right. Not sure how I feel about that, it certainly pushes that universe further into fantasy land, again in contrast to the recent trend toward realism in the genre.

    Ultimately, this whole affair feels a bit low-key for Superman. As did the first X-Men I guess, which bodes well for a sequel? Still, this is Superman, not superman, you know?

    --
    H
     
  20. James_Kiang

    James_Kiang Well-Known Member

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    The crowd I saw it with last night seemed to like it well enough. They reacted positively at the right times in the movie and left with a polite if not over-enthusiastic amount of clapping. Box office wise I am thinking pretty much what I thought all along - this will probably flirt with $250M.

    I'll agree with the sentiment that this feels very much like Donner's Superman. I guess that's not necessarily a bad thing and perhaps the sequel(s) will establish Singer's creative vision more clearly, but it doesn't work completely in favor for SR (at least for me). When I first saw Nolan's Batman Begins, I wanted to see the sequel immediately. While I would definitely see another Singer Superman movie, I didn't leave with the excitement I did with BB.

    A comment I made to my brother on the way out was that this one had the pacing of the first Superman movie, which was probably intentional as this was more a re-introduction of the character. What I want now is to see a more balls-to-the-wall action film.

    So, too early to speculate on the sequel? Seeing as they flirted with the death of Superman idea, I'm not sure they would want to go there in the next one. That means no Doomsday (who probably wouldn't be quite right anyway). The dialogue with Ma Kent about how large the universe is makes me think they could easily bring in someone like Braniac (they could even tie him/it to Krypton). Please, no Bizarro Superman [​IMG].

    Lastly, what about Lex? He and Kitty are pretty much screwed if they aren't rescued soon. If Supes was to find them it would seem to land Lex back in jail, and with Kal back in the picture he wouldn't be getting out on a technicality any time soon. I don't know that we need Lex as the main villain in the next one, but since he does know about the boy, what if they went way dark and had Lex take his revenge by killing him? Could take Superman himself to some interesting places...
     

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