Superman Returns


Saw Superman on 3D IMAX last night. Only certain action scenes are in 3D. It was cool for a big action movie and it’s in the same place as the multi-plex. However, not sure it’s worth the drive for those who might live a distace from an IMAX.

Anyway, I have to say, I enjoyed the movie. Scale 1-10, I give it a 7.5. It’s really the first Superman movie I like. (Superman 2 was ok.)

First, the superficialites:
Special effects were great.
Costume was great.
Story was pretty good. A little long, story took a while to develop. Wasn’t really crazy about the whole crystal problem but I guess all the other plots were used up.
I’ll have to do a little more thinking about it but it turned out better than I expected, though not worth $300 million – but it does save the franchise.

Casting – I liked the actors and the characters they played but agreed with others that if this is set between Superman 2 and 3, that Clark and Louis should have been played by actors who look older. (then again, it doesn’t help that Christopher Reeves was like 40 when he did Superman 2.)
Speaking of which – Thought that Brandon Rouse was a great successor to Reeves. He spoke just like him.

Lex Luther is a tough character to play – I happen to like Kevin Spacey, so I’m supporting the performance but I don’t think we saw anything new in the Luther character.

But of course Superman is a tough character to play too.
There is no self-conflict within him, which is what makes Batman and even Spiderman so interesting (especially Batman. which I think this movie would have been better received if it didn’t have to follow Batman Begins.) But Superman is portrayed as the Christ-figure with such strong emphasis – I was surprised.
After seeing it, one of my close friends said they should rename it to “The Passion of Superman”. Loved that.
This is what makes Superman so different from the other heroes. He is good – very, very good. (although no lie – while waiting to leave the theater, I overheard parts of a father-son birds-bees discussion bc Superman and Louis aren’t quite married but had a kid so the son, who was about 7 or so, was a little confused. Which brings up the point, did that need to be in there?). Anyway, Superman’s goodness is what one of the main things that I like about his character.

It feels impossible NOT to compare heroes with each other. It may not be fair, but whatever.
Spiderman is perhaps my favorite superhero but he is confused – there is no confusion with Superman.
Batman is angry, he fights crime to avenge his family tragedy and bring justice. Superman does so because he sees this as a calling. Another Christ-like attribute.
In fact, the movie, rings over and over. Even when Superman is dying/coma-state, it’s a female nurse that discovers the room is empty. In the dvd, I’m going to see if her name tag reads Mary.

The voice-overs of Superman’s father,Jor El (from Marlon Brando’s 1978 recording), “I’m sending them my only son”. Again, too many to mention.

Normally, I am not sure if that would have sold me. Like at the end of Matrix Revolutions, Neo’s arms are outstretched. That didn’t to it for me. But this is the first time I think I actually cared about the character of Superman. Ok, second, because I felt for him in Superman 2 when he got beat up at the restaurant (after he let go of his powers). Anyway, I think Bryan Singer may have done it again and he may have resurrected Superman’s career.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Sorry I may have to disagree with you. “Superman Returns” was mediocre, at best, and I feel like I may be in the majority on this one. It barely beat “The Devil Wears Prada” (which isn’t a half-bad movie, by the way) at the box office this week!

    It was so slow and way too long. Plus, the story line bordered on ridiculous. I mean, didn’t his father tell him their planet was destroyed??? What, so he’s got to go back to check it out for himself??? And why is he exhausted on the return, I thought he was Superman???

    And Lex Luther creates this barren wasteland with cliffs and dead fish and people are going to be clamoring for this “ocean-front property”???? It made the Jersey Shore look like the Garden of Eden!

    And are you trying to tell me that when this monolithic structure rises off the coast of what seems like New York City that it wouldn’t create a massive tsunami that would wipe out the island???? No, it only creates a little tremor, a few broken windows, some smashed television sets, oh and a falling giant globe . . . come on!

    And the whole Superman has a child stuff was so transparent. Wow, I never would have figured he was going to reveal his identity to save his mommy! What a time for that little nugget to reveal itself!

    To make a truly great comic book movie, especially one with a built in audience like Superman, you need at least one stand-out performance. For example, Jack Nicholson in the original Batman. Was there one compelling performance in this movie? I expected more out of Kevin Spacey. He’s a superb actor, but he didn’t even match Gene Hackman from the original franchise.

    Kate Beckinsale was woefully miscast as Lois Lane (too young . . . yeah, she won a Pulitzer, what when she was 12????). Whomever played Jimmy Olsen was annoying and Brandon Rouse was adequate at best and hardly made anyone forget Christopher Reeve.

    Yeah, there was some cool action scenes . . . saving the plane comes to mind. But all in all, with the hype, it was kind of weak. I’d give it maybe 6 stars out of 10.

  2. Ahh, the joy of internet. Though we live further now, we still can debate the trivial.

    Your post cracked me up. “And why is he exhausted on the return, I thought he was Superman???” Yeah, there were a couple of things like that.

    And when Kate Bosworth and her boyfriend, James Marsden (who plays Cyclops in the X-Men, and the boyfriend/fiancé in the Notebook – I mention this to say that the poor guy is always getting dumped) are comparing Clark and Superman’s height and Clark overhears and thwarts their suspicion by giving them a geeky wave and fools them again. Yeah, what can you do? But it is a story about a flying man with super-strength and various super-powers.

    You could argue a multitude of things, why doesn’t Superman rewind time to get back those five years?

    And if Krypton is as far away as it looks in my Atlas of Superheroes book, then he should have been gone for much longer than five years.

    And since when does Superman missing the courtdate? Lame. How would he have been contacted anyway. No address, no email, no cell, I’m not sure he would have made it anyway. It would have been better had Lex escaped again. Oh, and why didn’t Superman pick them up off that island and drop them off back in the prison as he usually did?

    But it’s a story about a flying man with …

    And so, I have a couple minutes this morning so I’ll give it a go.

    Superman is exhausted from the flight in the same manner that we too tire of travel. Think of it as when you travel from Europe it takes a day to adjust because of the time-zone change, well, imagine, that you time zone difference when traveling multi-galaxies.

    The barren wasteland that Lex creates is a new technologically superior land with no disease, built-in ac and wifi, and because I know you, and with no pollution. In fact, its crystals help the earth get healthier.

    No tsunami because the ocean is deeper in that part of the world and also, if you look close, most of the water travels east. Yeah, the eastern seaboard wins some and loses some.

    Innitially, I agree with your Superman child stuff and I still can’t figure out what kid who just threw a piano across the room is going to be stumped by a door. But he’s learning and I’m interested to see if he is faced with a similar dilemma in the sequels. And will he still need to use the inhaler? And will he become allergic to the Kryptonite, if not, will he kill his father and marry his mother, can you hear Freud yelling Oedipus Complex!!?? Very interesting.

    But I have to disagree with you regarding the performances. There was a stellar performance in Kal Pen who played Harold or was it Kumar, yeah, it was Kumar. The way he hid underneath the train set platform in that basement. He could have gone back to Luther but he was curious but stupid, but intrigued, yet naive of the power of the crystals and to put all that in one expression while crouched nonetheless (standing maybe, even seated but crouched!!) was amazing. He might not get an Academy nomination, but wait for the next time. (It will remind us of the “deserved it for another role a few years ago Sean Penn” and the “now deserving Bill Murray”). Just wait til Harold and Kumar Go to Amerstadam (they actually did announce that – no lie).

    Good talking to you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very pretty design! Keep up the good work. Thanks.

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