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*** Official SUPERMAN RETURNS Discussion Thread

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1513 replies to this topic

#41 of 1514 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted June 28 2006 - 03:46 AM

Sean: The old films (especially the first one) were brilliant. They already did the origin story in a way that cannot be topped. But they came out almost 30 years ago, so the filmmaker has to reconnect the audience to that in a way that nonetheless creates a Superman franchise that is viable for today's audiences. This film is a bridge...and if it succeeds at that, then it will be successful. That's my take on this film (which I haven't seen yet, mind you). Chris

#42 of 1514 OFFLINE   Sean Laughter

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Posted June 28 2006 - 04:36 AM

I get the impression that the film comes across much more as a direct sequel rather than a 'bridge," which is why I asked does the film earn its own characterization or is it just taking the one developed years ago and perhaps changing it for the worst (going by some Lois comments in the discussion). IMO, even if this film had been a reboot I'm not sure you'd have to do the origin story again. Everyone knows the origin story, just do a montage over the credit sequence or something. On the other hand, retelling an origin story that everyone knows already doesn't have to be a bad thing as Batman Begins showed (though admittedly the Batman origin hadn't really been put to film before). In any case, none of this is neither here nor there since we've gotten what we've gotten.

#43 of 1514 OFFLINE   Tino



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Posted June 28 2006 - 04:49 AM

See, I believe this is absolutely true. Bosworth had no spunk in her. She didn't seem like Lois Lane at all. Lots of long, longing looks toward Superman does not a Lois Lane make. She is by far the weakest Lois Lane ever portrayed imo.

Nice to look at though.Posted Image
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#44 of 1514 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted June 28 2006 - 04:56 AM

I didn't agree with everything you said, H (but I did with a lot of it). But these two bits stood out for me as well.

As for Clark, Routh was good at that. Really good, and I think he deserved more time to shine as Clark.

I also immediately noticed the un-Supermanlike choice to effectively spy on Lois and family. Watching her ride the elevator is romantic. Flying to her house, peeking in and listening seemed a bit ignoble.

Chris, a bridge isn't enough for me. Why be content with updating S:TM, but avoid using the BEST part, then? Singer took the decent-good parts of a great movie and made a decent film with them. I mentioned earlier that my worry was that this film would be a little of both remake and reboot. And it was. But that's an impossible line to straddle. Either go whole hog and redo at least part of the origin (religious discussion in a moment), or do a whole new story after Superman II. This was a Frankenstein of that. Old story, no origin.

I don't mean to be negative in every post.

I thought the score was better than I even expected. It builds upon the incredible work JW did in 1978 naturally and classically. It'll be in my player for a long time.

The first effects sequence was one of my favorite movie scenes ever. Just jaw-dropping. That's Superman, and they just totally and completely nailed it.

The kid was good. I liked the lack of major resolution, but implied relationship. Like Clark himself, perhaps his biological son will be raised by decent parents (Richard White came out very well in the film...he deserves his son) who instill in him values.

James brought up a dark idea...using a villain to take his son away. Alan Moore sort of addressed that in a great story called "For The Man Who Has Everything", which was also an excellent JLU episode (Season 1, Episode 2). I do not think the films should go there, but it's makes for interesting characterization.

I'm not upset with the film. Just a little let down. There's a lot to admire in the running time. Superman is a very hard character (I say that time and again, but he is). He's very special, and I'm glad he's back in theaters. I wanted this movie to be great (as much as anyone, believe me), but didn't have inflated expectations. But it's got significant flaws for me. And I can't wish them away. I can focus on the good or the bad, or a little of both. I've chosen #3.
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#45 of 1514 OFFLINE   Mike_G



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Posted June 28 2006 - 05:43 AM

Wilder didn't get it. The world didn't turn against him, Lois did. There were a lot of people pretty damn happy to see him again.

#46 of 1514 OFFLINE   Kyle_D


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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:03 AM

Billy Wilder died well before Superman Returns was written, let alone screened. If you want to say I didn't get it, tell me. However, I did get it, and I saw a missed opportunity. The last 20 minutes would have been much more effective IF the film had portrayed the world turning against him, for the reasons I stated above. There's been a lot of debate in real life whether Superman is relevant to our times, and Singer is quoted in a recent EW that that debate inspired this movie. Unfotunately, he piles this all on Lois.

Second, I'm sure some of the world did turn their back on Superman, or else Lois wouldn't be getting a freakin' PULITZER for writing an editorial entitled "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman." I mean, to get the Pulitzer, she must have convinced some poeple Posted Image

#47 of 1514 OFFLINE   Charles CB

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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:09 AM

Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my Tuesday night experience. This was quite possibly the best movie going experience I ever had...better than all the star wars movies even. Getting in line at 7:30pm for the 10:00pm showing, the line was already over a block long. They let us into the theater at 9:15pm and suddenly of course, the beach balls came flying out in a sort of "in theater volleyball game". Everytime an usher would come into take the ball away, the crowd would give out a massive boo. Then suddenly 2 or 3 more balls would show up (this happned like 5 times). As all the ushers came into take the balls away, it turned into a giant game of keep away from the ushers, and even they seemed to be enjoying it. As one usher was about to grab the ball out of mid air, someone jumped up and smashed it out of his face and all he could do was start laughing. Eventually, the ushers found the person with all the beach balls and forced him to leave the theater. Nearly the entire audience got up and started chanting: "LET HIM STAY! LET HIM STAY!" About 5 minutes later, they let him return and audience gave him a large round of applause. During the SpiderMan teaser, the crown went nuts, but I think as sort of a small joke, anything that wasnt related to either superman or spiderman was instantly booed with laughs (even a simple picture of Lindsey Lohan during the pre-show trivia thing). However, despite all this, once the movie began, the audience became completely respectful and cheered in all the right places. It was clear that this crowd was full of people who truly loved superman, not to mention the copious amount of superman shirts worn being a give-away). The opening credits sequence alone received a huge applause throughout the sequence (everyone flipped out once they saw "Warners Bros. Pictures Presents" begin to fly and streak towards the camera like the "78 film"). Everyone cheered everytime the main theme was played and Superman was on screen and saved someone. And at the end of the movie, there was a huge applause that lasted for at least a minute straight ( a minute is a long time if you really think about it). Im sorry that some of your didnt have a good of an experience as I have. Being a massive Star Wars fan, and not having this type of experience for Revenge of the Sith for scheduling reasons and stuff, I felt was sorely missing a great movie going experience for a long time. This was it for me. I cant wait for the IMAX 3D version this weekend.

#48 of 1514 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:10 AM

But Chuck, you can't remake Donner's Superman, and there is absolutely not a compelling case to do so. You also can't do a direct sequel to II because 2/3 of your audience is likely not familiar with the plot of the first two films. I guess what I'm saying is that Singer chose the best long term solution, which means we might have to live through some short-term disappointment. Now he can do a direct sequel because he bridged the first two movies. And if he also introduces a whole new generation to the Donner film, then I say bravo.

#49 of 1514 OFFLINE   Ruslan


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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:16 AM

Quick question on the opening credits: Were there good sound effects for the credits flying past the camera in your cinema? The sound system where I saw it was great but I was very underwhelmed by the credits, expecting some seriously good sound, when in fact there was little. I wish they could have expanded on Krypton a little, making its supposed great technology more obvious - we keep being told how advanced they are, yet all we see is a big rock and crystals. It would have been nice if they had fleshed it out a bit, given it some variety in landscape or culture. I thought the opening explosion of the planet looked far too CGI and disappointing, though I'm looking forward to an IMAX screening before I settle on how disappointed I am with this.

#50 of 1514 OFFLINE   Jacinto


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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:19 AM

Like most posting here, I found the film good to very good, but not great. My biggest fear going in to this was how the writers handled the reasons/explanations for his leaving for 5 years, and whether or not what they presented resonated with the character traits of Superman. For me, they didn't ring true. I just don't buy that he'd leave all those people he hears crying out for a savior in the first place. And even if he really HAD to leave, he would have told Lois that he'd be away for a while, but that he'd be back. That's just Superman. That's the ethics/integrity of the character I've come to know over the years, so the explanation given by the writers just seems forced, like Chuck said, as some plot device to create some new friction in Clark's relationship with Lois. Why not have him tell Lois that he was leaving, and still have her move on, losing hope/faith that he'd come back after a couple years gone? That would still get the writers the hook they wanted, and would stay truer to the characters -- his honesty and integrity, and her pride, impatience, and headstrong personality. And as a plus, to me anyway, it would continue with the strong religious undertones of Donner's film. As for the look of the film, I thought it was fantastic. Just beautiful. The performances were all strong as well. I liked Routh in the role much more than I anticipated, Bosworth was fine, Spacey was quite good, as Robert stated, the kid was not only really good, he provided a few of the more powerful emotional moments in the movie. Just my first thoughts on the film. Thanks for the interesting discussion, everyone.
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#51 of 1514 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:46 AM

Superman is bigger than the 1978 movie. Maybe not to Singer (because that IS Superman to him). But he is. He's bigger than the comic, the cartoon, the t-shirts. Why use $200M for a preamble. Short-term disappointment is an unacceptable excuse. I don't even see it as a long-term solution. Why spend years and time remaking S:TM with a twist?
Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?

#52 of 1514 OFFLINE   Holadem


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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:59 AM

Yup. And what exactly is so expensive about this flick anyway? FX were good and plenty, but nothing groundbreaking as far as my relatively undiscerning eyes can see. They certainly weren't perfect, the Smallville jumps were not very convincing. Beside Spacey and possibly Singer, salaries couldn't have been that high. -- H

#53 of 1514 OFFLINE   Travis_S


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Posted June 28 2006 - 07:48 AM

Oh, for anyone who wants to know the 4 scenes that were shown in 3-D, they were: 1. Clark walking out of the farm/flashback where he flies and crashes into the barn. 2. Plane sequence and landing in the ballpark 3. When Luthor's boat is split in two until Superman lifts Richard, Lois, and Jason to the plane. 4. The final sequence of Superman flying into outer space at the end.

#54 of 1514 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted June 28 2006 - 07:55 AM

Reactions here are similar to what is appearing in the press. Let's make it more obvious: Compared with Batman Begins, how does this flick check out? Oh, and Ron: 2004's Spider-man 2 is considered just about the best comic book-based film ever made. I certainly think so. (This post perhaps is better fitted to the coming "Official Superman Returns Discussion" thread.)

#55 of 1514 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 28 2006 - 08:05 AM


I'm not a Spider-Man fan so that should give you an idea of
my opinion on those films.

Batman Begins is probably my 2nd favorite comic book
film next to the original Superman. It was a sensationally
dark and visually captivating film.


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#56 of 1514 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted June 28 2006 - 08:10 AM

Because it's one of the best comic book movies ever made, and remaking it is pointless (and, to some of us, would be insulting). Building on that legacy is the best possible artistic choice for this franchise.

#57 of 1514 OFFLINE   Pete-D



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Posted June 28 2006 - 08:19 AM

In retrospect, this movie makes me appreciate Batman Begins moreso. It's really easy for superheroes like Batman/Superman to come across as just iconic/mythic type of figures ... they're more "ideas" than real, full-fledged characters. And this is kind of an issue with Superman Returns as well ... I dunno, while I didn't think Routh was terrible by any means ... I just don't feel fully satisfied. It's like the movie is more about the character's around Clark/Superman than Clark/Superman himself. In some ways it almost feels like Lois Lane is the main character. There's no real character arc for Clark/Superman in this film ... it's Lois that goes from being upset with Supes, to coming around, the movie in a lot of ways really revolves around her. When you really think about it, Lois is really the hero/protagonist of the third act as well, because she goes back to rescue Supes, and then it's just a matter of him having to do his thing to finish the job. But in Batman Begins, we really get to know Bruce Wayne, we get to understand not only the cliche part about his parents murder, but about how he's struggling to live up to his father's ideals. You really get behind the mask. So by the end, when Batman becomes THE Batman and Gordon flashes that Joker card, you feel really satisfied with the story.

#58 of 1514 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted June 28 2006 - 08:38 AM

Chris, you keep proving my point Posted Image A remake *is* pointless. But that's what Superman Returns basically is. A well-intentioned, well-produced rehash of the plot of the first film. I'm surprised Lois didn't hear Lex's plan and go "You already tried that with nukes."

I wanted them to build on the legacy. All they added to said cinematic legacy was a thematically unused trip by Supes to the remnants of Krypton (unseen, unexplored, therefore unimportant). This allowed them to REALLY harden Lois so she could thaw for Superman (while totally and completely ignoring Clark Kent), add a romantic foil (who is a great guy, and a father to Jason), and the kid himself.

I agree that Lois seems like the major character, which would totally work for some stories/perspectives...but it just doesn't work for me here. Her feelings of rejection are way too fresh for 5 years to have passed. Why did she write what she wrote? What did it say? Why does she change her mind? Had those been addressed, I might have liked the angle a lot more.
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#59 of 1514 OFFLINE   Holadem


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Posted June 28 2006 - 08:46 AM

Such character insight should have been the goal of this semi-reboot. If not, then go all out with a far more elaborate plot and wall to wall action, re-intro of the character be damned. As it is, I know no more about Superman now than I did yesterday. Outside of the fact that apparently at least one woman has survived sex with him, and our species are compatible enough to crossbreed - none which tells me anything about the guy, still. (BTW, has anyone worked out the timing of the kid's conception yet? Hubby's belief that he is the father puts him within a month or two window of Lois last encounter with the Supes, who she was supposedly in love with to the point of still being resentful 5 years later. And it's not like he "broke up" with her, he just... vanished. Which should have kept her worried for a spell. Hmmmm.... ok........) I keep going back to Smallville... for all it's faults, that series provided insight into the character like nothing ever did (disclaimer: I am not familar with the comics). It may be unfair to compare a series to a film, but again, each of the better stand-alone episodes presented the character with a conflict which opened a window to his motivations, mind, heart. Speaking of conflict... where was it? What difficult decisions did our character face? Lois may have, but the movie isn't called Lois Returns. The more I think about it, the less I like the movie. -- H

#60 of 1514 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted June 28 2006 - 09:08 AM

It's unfair to use 5 seasons of character development from a TV show to compare it with 2.5 hours of a film. Look how much character development there is a 2 hours of Smallville? Not all that much more of consequence than in a film like SR. The more I think about the Jason subplot, the more I like the undercurrent that Superman is not alone in the universe anymore. He's not the last son of Krypton. He has more purpose than ever now, and his happiness isn't quite tied down to whether or not he and Lois will be together again.
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