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SupermanTV.net Forum / Superman / Superman Movies / Superman Returns Review


Posted:  28 Jun 2006 21:58   Last Edited By: Tim
Just saw Superman Returns and I will attempt to review it as accurately as possible for you all right here.

I guess I'll do this scientifically organizing my thoughts from good to bad.

Good:
1. The movie was dedicated to Christopher & Dana Reeve. That was very appropriate.

2. The effects were great!

3.Most of you already know the original score is there.

4. Superman Returns has lots of emotion. You can't really have a movie that grabs your attention without it. It's like watching paint dry that costs 350 million dollars if you don't have lots of it to pull you into the story.

5. Although you will see the negative issues listed under the bad category, I was very impressed with the over all moral tone of the movie. I would have to say if you listed every morally objectionable item like a preacher in a tent revival, Superman Returns would actually have beaten Superman the Movie in terms of language and kid friendlyness. 

6. Lex Luthor was bad, as in good. I mean he was bad, but still Gene Hackman is still the king of villains. Sorry Spacey. I have to say this Lex you do not want to have on your bad side. I'm almost afraid to say anything negative at all about him.

7. Surprises- Well there was one big surprise. I'm not sure how much of it will be a surprise after everybody reads reactions of the movie on the net, but in the context of the movie I'll bet it will still grab your attention like a heavy piano on your face.

7. Best scene was the airplane scene! I really wished there were about 40 more minutes of moments like this in the movie.

8. Marlon Brando's presence is felt throughout the movie. I was however expecting him to actually walk out onto the screen via cgi, but all we saw was his face.


9. Brandon Routh can act. That was the most crucial factor for the whole movie. He does act like Superman.


Neutral
1. I walked away from the theater feeling mesmerized. I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's just that Singer's vision of Superman isn't quite in sync with my personal vision.


Bad
1. Moral issues: Superman drinking in a bar! A child out of wedlock. These things don't ruin the movie, but hey I'm trying to be an impartial judge of the movie not come  at this thing from the perspective of a Superman fanatic.

2. Costume. It actually looked good in action, but dog gone it I would have been so happy if at least the red in the costume was actually bright red like it's supposed to be.

3. Too dark! Superman is supposed to be happy joy joy, not dark and gloomy. It depresses me. I got enough problems paying the bills without being depressed by darkness and foreboding colors.

Over all - I feel like I need to see it again before I can give it a final judgement. I think it's geared a little too much to female audiences. I say that because of all the emotional and romantic feelings brought forth in the movie, and the fact my wife liked it better than Superman the Movie. Where as I still have to go with the original. 

Don't get me wrong this movie is good, really good. It's expertly done with a lot of loving care. No doubt about it the guys who worked on this deserve a raise, but still. I guess I just didn't quite feel like the comic book had just came to life like when I watched Superman the movie or Spiderman even though Spiderman had that stupid power ranger costume for the Green Goblin, it seemed to really capture the spirit of the characters. But to be completely fair, perhaps I'm still biased leaning towards the Christopher Reeve Superman.

Well thankfully this one will not go down in history as being as bad as Superman 4. I did leave the theatre ready for a sequel. I say bring on Doomsday next time, and give us a dog gone super fight scene! Lighten up on the tender moments a little!
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Posted:  29 Jun 2006 11:26
Good to see you voicing your opinion Tim. I liked the movie but thought that it was lacking a certain spark to begin with. I think that as far as story telling goes for the movie Batman Begins was better but cgi put SR just in front. I watched the first two again before watching the new one just keep it all in perspective as far as a superman movie goes. The drinking in the bar was something that was unexpected but it fitted in with the contexted of that part of the storyline when he found out that Lois had not only found someone new but has a child with him until you get to the end of the movie when we find out it is Superman's son. I think that he would never have gone to the bar if Jimmy hadn't suggested it but the whole idea of superman having an alcoholic drink doesn't bother for two reasons. The first is the line from STM where says to Lois "no, I never drink when I fly" which implies that he is open to the idea of drinking alcohol but not under certain circumstances. The second is that in Lois and Clark whenever they would go out to dinner he would be seen drinking wine. I thought that the violence in the movie was going to be a bit more graphic which is why they gave it an M rating here but I didn't think that is was that bad and much less graphic than Spiderman 1  or 2. The whole single mother thing with Lois is fine with me because single mothers are everywhere and not just from stupidity or promiscuity sometimes they are divorcees or widows. Also I think she obviously held out hope that he would come back for them one day and in case he didn't then she would find someone else. I think she might have had a bit of explaining to do when Jason started developing more powers but by all rights he shouldn't have any powers because when they slept together he didn't have his powers or was the FoS making sure that Earth would still have a saviour with Kryptonian blood. I loved the fact that they made reference to his new suit in the movie(Perry;"what's with the new suit?") and so much for him being too skinny because when they ripped his suit off in the hospital he didn't look that skinny to me. As far his Clark goes he is a perfect blend of Chris', Dean's and Tom's versions in the role. About 30:40:30 ratio I would guess. I think that Singer still has him leaning more towards Dean's version of both characters more so than Chris' but he does look an amazing amount like Chris in both roles. Yes you are right it was much better than no. 4.
Posted:  29 Jun 2006 18:26
Form what I undestand, Jimmy was  flirting with Clark in the bar. This movie wasn't geared toward straight people, it was geared towards gay people.
Posted:  29 Jun 2006 20:04   Last Edited By: trfrady
Naw, SCLJ I don't think it was geared toward gay people. I think Jimmy is a nerd that likes Clark because he's a nerd. At least there wasn't enough in the movie to infer that this time. I doubt but would never guarantee that it would ever be part of a Superman movie.

I know Singer is gay, but it appears to me that he tried to make the whole movie family friendly. I think they had one cuss word in the whole movie and it wasn't even a bad one. Perhaps Singer was playing it smart and trying to not alienate the old fashioned crowd like me that make a movie like this profitable. Heck, I've spent enough on Superman this year to make DC comics rich.

Superjon, please don't get me wrong about the drinking and the wedlock thing. I wouldn't judge anybody for that kind of thing, it's just that I was nitpicking and in my mind a perfect version of Superman would be one that didn't drink or sleep around etc. Just nitpicking though trying to point out all the good and the bad, and there really wasn't that much bad to say.
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Posted:  29 Jun 2006 21:03
hey guys ive been gone for a while i have returned in a sense just saw movie yesterday really enjoyed it i would put it in the first two chris reeves movies of bening blockbuster epics except for 3 and 4 but i really enjoyed the effects and i think im getting used to the suit and routh does bear ressemblince to chris reeves both superman and clar kent. and he was an unknown just like reeves so thats a plus ,all so on a side note spacey and bosworth made great lex and lois cant wait for next one.
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 11:45
SCLJ, I don't think that Jimmy was flirting with Clark in the bar I think it was more just horsing around with an old friend who he hadn't seen for a while. You must have a different interpretation on that thing to Tim and I. Tim, I understand that you are not trying to be judgemental about the whole drinking and single motherhood thing but maybe Singer thought it wasn't going to do any major damage to the characters as a whole if he went down those paths. I mean think about it, he only had a beer after he was told that the love of his life had moved with her life and had a child to, as far as he knew, someone else. I mean he wasn't getting tanked on whiskey shots like in S3, was he? As far as the whole child out of wedlock thing then I am guessing that getting married then having kids is still the way most young Americans want to do things but I have met quite a few people in my life who want a partner and kids but never want to get married. I think the bottom line on that issue is it is up to the people involved to decide what is best for them. Anyhow about the movie, was it just me or did Singer try to pay homage to all previous superman incarnations from George to Chris to Dean to Tom and even the modern cartoons?
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 17:39
shut up SCLJ u just hate because the movie was better than you thought it would be

the movie was awesome, Brandon was a great supes, kate was a good lois, i have no complaints!
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 18:49
Why don't you shut up Pinoyman. And I give the suit a F.
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 19:52
cant we all get along come on guys and gals.
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 20:01
Guys lets' not make it personal. That takes the fun out of it. We can argue about it, but let's respect one another's opinion. No sense in beating up on one another. Unless you find it fun, in that case I'll shut up and you can go at it all you want.

Superjon, I guess I should explain a little further on my perspective of movies and the media in general. I've never been one for shows trying to portray exact realism especially when we are dealing with comic book characters. I feel since the whole thing is a fantasy to begin with, why not give the main characters a sort of higher standard of morality than I myself can achieve. I think that the media should give kids an ideal that rises above reality.

It's like the old Andy Griffith show. It goes on and on in reruns year after year. It wasn't that every town in America was that nice, but it's an ideal of what we should be like to on another.

So I say why not give Superman a superior moral code to the rest of us. Give people something to shoot for. It's like giving the kids a place to shoot for without necessarily preaching to them. The best teacher after all is an example not someone pointing a finger.

Now in the real world that's something totally different. All we lowly mortals can do is try to recognize our errors and go forward without trying to judge others for the same things we mess up on.

Didn't mean to go on so long, it wasn't something that really hurt the movie, but it's more like my own personal take on what I think would have been the better way to go with it. When you are as big a fan of comic books and Superman as I am you tend to over analyze everything.

The more I think about the movie. the more I like it. I still wish there was more mass destruction and action though. It's just that after 20 years or more of waiting, you tend to really build these things up in your mind as to how they should go.
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Posted:  30 Jun 2006 20:36
I just saw it (IMAX is the way to go). Man. It's funny. I've stood in the same room as Routh. Photographed him. But nothing prepares you for seeing him on the big screen as Superman.

When I saw him fly, it made me think about swimming. I guess he pulled that from his past. I think he did a great job.

As a fan of the comic books, the ending was a little awkward for me. But I guess they did knock boots in the Fortress of Solitude... so... that's that. Maybe Superman will wake up in the next movie and it will have all been a dream.

I have no problem with Lois having a kid out of wedlock. I mean, that's the situation with my girlfriend so if I weren't fine with it... well.. I'd be spending a lot more time writing about Superman (along with some non-moral things).

Visual effects were fantastic. I liked it. I liked it a lot!
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 20:52
I saw yesterday on the science of superman where they had Brandon Routh swimming for the movie. I think they were filming him to get the flying scenes right. You can see the way he waves his arms it was exactly the same movement he was doing in the water.
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Posted:  30 Jun 2006 21:52
Swweeeeet. Hey Tim, I know what you mean about leaving the theater in a daze. I was bombarded with enough imagery that made me think "This IS Superman!!!" but the other side of my brain that analyzes the story was going "What just happened?"
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 22:04
read this review by Roger Ebert, and to think i liked him:   

It's no fun being Superman. Your life is a lie, there's nobody you can confide in, you're in love but can't express it, and you're on call 24 hours a day. But it can be fun being in a Superman movie. The original "Superman" (1978) was an exuberance of action and humor, because Christopher Reeve could play the character straight and let us know he was kidding.

"Superman II" (1980) was just about as good, but "Superman III" (1983) was a disappointment. "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace," with Reeve, bombed in 1987, and then the series was quiet for 19 years. Now the Man of Steel is back in Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns," which, like its hero, spends a lot of time dead in the water.

This is a glum, lackluster movie in which even the big effects sequences seem dutiful instead of exhilarating. The newsroom of the Daily Planet, filled with eccentricity and life in the earlier movies, now seems populated by corporate drones. Jimmy Olsen, the copy boy, such a brash kid, seems tamed and clueless. Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has lost her dash and pizzazz, and her fiance, Richard White (James Marsden), regards her like a deer caught in the headlights. Even the editor, Perry White (Frank Langella), comes across less like a curmudgeon, more like an efficient manager.

One problem is with the casting. Brandon Routh lacks charisma as Superman, and I suppose as Clark Kent, he isn't supposed to have any. Routh may have been cast because he looks a little like Reeve, but there are times when he looks more like an action figure; were effects used to make him seem built from synthetics? We remember the chemistry between Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder (Lois Lane) in the original "Superman" movie, and then observe how their counterparts are tongue-tied in this one. If they had a real romance (and they did), has it left them with nothing more than wistful looks and awkward small talk?

It's strange how little dialogue the title character has in the movie. Clark Kent is monosyllabic, and Superman is microsyllabic. We learn Superman was away for five years on a mission to the remains of his home planet, Krypton. In the meantime, Lois got herself a boyfriend and a little son, played by Tristan Lake Leabu, who mostly stares at people like a beta version of Damien, the kid from "The Omen." Now Superman and (coincidentally) Clark have returned, Clark gets his old job, and Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is out of prison and plotting to rule the earth.

Lex's plan: use crystals from kryptonite to raise up a new continent in the mid-Atlantic and flood most of the surface of the populated world. Then he'll own all the real estate. Location, location, location. Alas, the craggy landscape he produces couldn't be loved by a mountain goat and won't be habitable for a million years, but never mind. Spacey plays Luthor as sour and sadistic; he has no fun with the role, nor do we.

As for Superman, he's a one-trick pony. To paraphrase Archimedes: "Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the universe." Superman doesn't need the lever or the place to stand, but as he positions himself in flight, straining to lift an airplane or a vast chunk or rock, we reflect that these activities aren't nearly as cinematic as what Batman and Spider-Man get up to. Watching Superman straining to hold a giant airliner, I'm wondering: Why does he strain? Does he have his limits? Would that new Airbus be too much for him? What about if he could stand somewhere?

Superman is vulnerable to one, and only one, substance: kryptonite. He knows this. We know this. Lex Luthor knows this. Yet he has been disabled by kryptonite in every one of the movies. Does he think Lex Luthor would pull another stunt without a supply on hand? Why doesn't he take the most elementary precautions? How can a middle-aged bald man stab the Man of Steel with kryptonite?

Now about Lois' kid. We know who his father is, and Lois knows, and I guess the kid knows, although he calls Richard his daddy. But why is nothing done with this character? He sends a piano flying across a room, but otherwise he just stares with big, solemn eyes, like one of those self-sufficient little brats you can't get to talk. It would have been fun to give Superman a bright, sassy child, like one of the Spy Kids, and make him a part of the plot.

There is I suppose a certain bottom line of competence in "Superman Returns," and superhero fans will want to see the movie just for its effects, its plot outrages and its moments of humor. But when the hero, his alter ego, his girlfriend and the villain all seem to lack any joy in being themselves, why should we feel joy at watching them?
Posted:  30 Jun 2006 23:47
Ebert is all about the negative. You would think he would at least aknowledge the good things about the movie. Doesn't seem like a very fair or balanced review.

I think the biggest problem with his review is, he's not really a fan. Some of what he says I understand like the darkness of the movie where it should have been brighter and more cheerful, but overall he is way too hard on Superman Returns especially if you compare it to your average special effects movie where it really outshines everything else.

I definitely disagree about Brandon Routh. He surprised me with his acting skills. He was great. So I don't get his comments on him at all.

The one thing that he failed to mention that might have been worth mentioning was the lack of the complete phrase, "Truth, Justice, and the American Way".
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Posted:  01 Jul 2006 16:15
I think the phrase was in there but all they did was use the modern way of saying it which means cut it down a bit because everyone knows the rest of it. Hey Tim, I have something for you to think about with regards to the whole single mother thing with Lois and ask your wife her opinion about the next question, please. Would Lois have become a single mother if Superman hadn't left Earth to try to find the remnants of Krypton?
Posted:  01 Jul 2006 16:48
Superjon, I'm not sure what you mean. It's not really the fact she was a single mother. It was the fact that the movie is shouting out that Superman and Lois had sex before marriage.

Which you know it's not the ruination of the movie, it's just not the perfect scenario for a kid flick about a super boy scout.

But you know about the American way thing, it would have been a whole lot smarter to have put just one or two scenes in the movie that reflected some form of patriotism. That would have hit big with small town Americans especially since it's so close to the Fourth of July. Let's face it most of the money a movie makes usually comes from America. So just from a financial stand point it would have been the wise thing to do. Imagine Superman flying around holding the American flag. That would have made a huge difference at least for us in America. I'm sure even other countries expect Superman to represent America in some way.
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Posted:  17 Jul 2006 10:05
If this movie is set after 2 but before 3 does that make it 2.5 and will he set the next one after 3 or am I just way off base with my thought process. Also they damaged the new suit in the movie so does that mean they will change it for the next one. Hey Tim do you find the scenes when Lex stabbed him and the one in the hospital a bit bemusing when they ripped off his suit considering it is supposed to be indestructable even if he isn't wearing it.
Posted:  21 Jul 2006 03:15
the thing i didn't like about the movie was the kid, no matter how cute he was, i don't think superman would had a kid out of wedlock.

and lois lane is in love with superman. not that richard guy. i really don't like him. (then again, that's my  opinion)

and lois and superman having sex before marrige contridicts with most of the superman shows, (lois and clark mainly)in the show, lois and clark repeatedly state that they arewaiting till after marriage.
Posted:  21 Jul 2006 11:45
So what if superman was in the bar having a beer. jimmy hadn't seen his buddy clark in 5 years so they went to the pub and jimmy bought his old buddy a beer. big deal. and i have to say i'm glad superman isn't a 35 year old virgin. sex out of wedlock... big deal.
Posted:  21 Jul 2006 14:43
Didn't they hook up in the superman movies when he became mortal for awhile?
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Posted:  21 Jul 2006 16:37
Quote:
Hey Tim do you find the scenes when Lex stabbed him and the one in the hospital a bit bemusing when they ripped off his suit considering it is supposed to be indestructable even if he isn't wearing it.


I hadn't thought of that. Good catch.
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Posted:  21 Jul 2006 16:46
Quote:
So what if superman was in the bar having a beer. jimmy hadn't seen his buddy clark in 5 years so they went to the pub and jimmy bought his old buddy a beer. big deal. and i have to say i'm glad superman isn't a 35 year old virgin. sex out of wedlock... big deal.


It is a big deal if you are a long time fan of Superman and have a idea of the history and type of character that Superman has always shown especially for the sake of children viewing.

I've been watching the old Superman show of the 50's and not only did Superman stand up for the American way but they went out of their way to have Superman make a good impression for the kids. Clark would never drink or even smoke. An episode I watched last night had Superman even telling a kid to never try the things that Superman did. At that time of course kids were silly enough to jump off their rooftops trying to fly, but the point is if Superman isn't portrayed as a role model for kids then who will be?

Lets' not forget comic book characters were primarily invented for kids anyway.
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Posted:  22 Jul 2006 00:20
so what about in superman 2 when superman and lois have a bottle of champagne in the fortress of solitude before they get busy? next thing you know is that you'll all be saying superman got lois drunk and took advantage of her. you guys are using your values to judge superman. who says having a beer or a glass of champagne is immoral or lacks values? who says sex out of wedlock is immoral? i have sex with my girlfriends... does that make me immoral? maybe in the eyes of god but now ask me if i care. besides, i saw superman 2 when i was a kid and it never even occured to me that him and lois getting it on was a big deal until i started reading all of these posts.... 26 years later. superman was a hero of mine as a child and still is, at least as much as a comic book character can be to a grown man. just because he has an occasional drink or had sex with the woman he loves out of wedlock doesn't diminish his character or his status in pop culture. besides, remember in superman 1 where he tells lois:"i never drink when i fly." so at least hes promoting responsible drinking. also, in superman returns when lex stabs him, it penetrated the suit because the shank lex used was made of kryptonite. and the doctors didn't rip his suit, they tore it off him but didn't rip it because he put it back on when he recovered. it may be indestructable but it could still be taken off him if he was laying there unconscious. superman is a great hero and a good role model for kids. if you all think that his having a beer or having sex out of wedlock is such a big deal, than don't bring your kids to see it.but my bet is that those scenes will go unnoticed by any kids watching the movie. the only reason they may have an issue with it is because of their parents making a fuss about them.
Posted:  22 Jul 2006 18:09   Last Edited By: Tim
I think you are missing the point mainly because you are equating my character judgements of a fictional character with how you live your personal life.

The classic Superman character is one of a super boy scout raised with old fashioned values.

From an artistic view point it is much more interesting and entertaining to see a character who completely goes the opposite way of society in general having in this case a super moral code that goes beyond what the majority might deem appropriate.

Batman is dark and Superman is all happy and goody two shoes. Wouldn't it be boring if every character or every person for that matter thought the exact same thing. So let's have Superman goody good and let Batman be the dark hero.

Besides to be honest nobody cares about your personal life except for God, but there is a huge difference in how you choose to live and broadcasting it to children and saying this is ok, and not only is this ok but the most heroic  and moral super hero in the world Superman even thinks it's ok.

For the record Superman is still one of my favorites, but the point of this board is to point out the negatives and positives of Superman in every form including movies, tv, and comics. Otherwise it would be a pretty boring discussion. Would you be like reading 20 thousand posts of "yay Superman you're the dude" or do you want an honest analysis and discussion?

http://superherouniverse.com/art/data/565/Anim_spokbrow.gif
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Posted:  23 Jul 2006 11:52
There are many flaws with the movie but I think they will be explained when we get the sequels. Neal, on the supermanhomepage, gave a very detailed review of the movie by almost breaking it down in 5 to 10 mnute sequences. I agree with some of his comments but I don't think that he truly thought about what he was saying before he posted his review. He made comments about what happened to the wings of the plane that fell off when superman was trying to save it but I don't think he thought about the scene in Superman The Movie when the engine from Air Force One got blown off by that lightning bolt because it was at night so we have no idea of what was under that plane either. However he made a very valid point about the tsunami that would have been created by superman when ripped that "new" continent out of the water. I also agreed with his comments about superman's reaction to kryptonite in this movie wasn't what it should have been or has ever been but maybe Singer will give us an explanation in the next movie. At a guess maybe supes built a bit more immunity to it when he went back his home galaxy and planet.
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