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January 21st, 2007, 01:02 AM
I finally watched Superman Returns last night and thought it was ok but nothing to cheer about. The moments where they tried to inject lines like Christofer Reeves would have used were just painfully wooden. Also, the son thing was weak. But aside from all that, I felt that the movie was darker than the original films.

For those who have read many of my other threads know that I am not a particular fan of the more modern darker take on life. I'm not unrealistic, I just don't always feel it is necessary or could be handled better when it is done. However, that is not my purpose for starting this thread. I do not want to critique warm and fuzzy vs dark and bloody. Instead, I need help in examining my views on the subject with respect to thes movies.

I find the original superman to be lighter and more fun while this newer movie just kind of brought me down. In examining my thoughts I took notice of the portayals of Lex Luthor by Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey. I decided that I saw Spacey's Luthor as more evil and darker than Gene Hackman's even though humor was used for both of them.

I tried to find words or sentences to describe the difference I felt but was at a loss. I would start by saying that Spacey's Luthor was ready to destroy the entire United States to make money. That was why he was so dark and evil. But then I remembered that Gene Hackman's Luthor launched Nuclear Missles at California and New Jersey (where the mother of his female assistant lived). It is not like that was any less evil. So what exactly was the difference between the two portrayal and in extention the two movies that makes one darker to me than the other? I need help in defining my view.

Evil Agent
January 21st, 2007, 03:11 AM
I can't stomach too much talk about this movie, so I can't get very into it with you. But I will say that I thought it was one of the worst movies of 2006.

I'm not a huge Superman fan (I actually think he's one of the worst superheroes) but I did like the first couple movies. But I found this one was just incredibly boring, lacking any sense of fun, and that it took itself way too seriously. I think Bryan Singer's ego is getting too big, and he thinks he can "save" modern action movies by somehow making them "deep". He tries to focus on character development, but it's usually at the expense of the action; and, in Superman Returns, the character development was horrible! It was almost non existent.

Contrary to what some critics have said, I think X-Men 3 was actually better without Singer directing. I don't hate the guy, but I think he's a bit over-rated.

January 30th, 2007, 04:58 AM
Having thought about this one, I reckon the key word here is "charm". There was something indefinably charming about the original movie, which the new one simply lacks. It's not terrible, I don't hate it as much as Evil Agent seems to, I just thought it wasn't up to much. EA is dead right about the flaws in the movie's approach, though - of all the superheroes there ever were, surely Superman is the least suited to a "dark, gritty" take on the mythos. Superman has to be a bright shining light, an embodiment of gleaming virtue. Batman, sure, can be down and dirty - he's a nutter. Wolverine, yes, he's bestial (not meant perjoratively). But not the Big Blue Boy Scout.

Brandon Routh...as Clark, he does a fine impression of Christopher Reeve, which is a good thing in one way - it was a lovely performance from CR - but really, is it enough from an actor? As Superman, however, I just didn't buy BR at all. For older UK readers, he reminded me too much of Cooperman, a very poor spoof superhero of yesteryear. He just doesn't have CR's wonderful integrity and decency - not a bad trick for an actor in tights, but the late CR really managed to be believably superhuman and still approachable and amiable. Gene Hackman is, of course, The Man - if he can do wrong, I haven't seen it. Add in Brando's cameo, with its exceptional gravitas, and I'm afraid Superman Returns comes a poor second.

January 30th, 2007, 05:54 AM
I've never been a Superman fan myself, I do find him quite dull and never understood why this guy with super powers has a normal criminal as his arch enemy.

I don't mind the first couple of films, enjoyable if not a bit silly. As for Returns... it didn't do anything for me.

I just want big super powered fights!

January 30th, 2007, 08:53 AM
I liked the movie. It was dark and I like that. Although superman is a bit to nice. He always those the right things……. Yuck…….

Not having seen the original superman movies I can’t say what the difference between the luthors is, but this one was played well. Ruthless, and slightly crazy. Doesn’t mind people dying to get what he wants. What makes him really evil perhaps is the “why he does it” is understandable. He wants something a lot of people want, the difference is the he is willing to do ANYTHING to get it. He isn’t fair. He is evil, but not senseless evil, he is understandable evil.

Davis Ashura
February 2nd, 2007, 03:00 PM
I enjoyed watching SR at the theater. I did not enjoy it on DVD. It was long, solemn, and took itself waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously. There is little humor that involves Superman, but there are some funny moments with Lex Luthor.
Also, the take on Superman was so messianical that it reached the realm of stupid. The part when he's floating in space and hears all the problems of the world while his eyes are closed and he's in a sorta Jesus Christ Pose (great song by Soundgarden btw). Blah! It was even worse when they had the adds with Marlon Brado's voice in the background for this same scene saying, "They can be a great people, Kal'El. They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. Which is why this reason above all else, I have sent them you, my only son (Jesus Christ)."

February 2nd, 2007, 05:17 PM
I'll get off my chest now that I don't like Superman as a character in the comics, so that if this turns into bashing you can dismiss me out of hand :D That said I didn't mind SR but agree with a lot of what kged said, it had some decent set pieces, the occasional funny moment and at points there was grounds for hope. Unfortunately SR is too put on, where Superman had an innocence about it - using both the farmboy in a big city and alien on another world threads to it's advantage, with SR it's rehashed in the hope that the charm the originals had will be replicated.

I thought the script had it's moments but just went too silly at the end, I can't stand Parker Posey because she plays the same character in just about everything and Spacey's Luthor just wasn't sinister or dangerous enough for me. Tbh I actually feel that the earlier films are 'darker' and SR is so polished it doesn't leave any room to be more than surface dis/likable and not conjure up any deeper emotions than that. Routh was decent but is on a hiding to nothing, especially when the cast around him doesn't perform - Kate Bosworth in particular was weak, there's no spark in her acting and there was very little chemistry between her and Routh. The thing that struck me about Routh is that he seemed to be trying to be Christopher Reeve acting Superman and a lot of the press build-up was all about how uncannily like Reeve Routh was. I'd have much rather seen whoever was cast given some freedom to make the character their own. There have been plenty of James Bonds, plenty of Batmans and as tragic as the events around Christopher Reeve were, I don't think he'd have felt someone else doing Superman needed to be just like him. He got the part as a relative unknown and did it his way, there was no reason for whoever came after not to do exactly the same. James Marsden should have stuck with X3 (although no way was it better for the X franchise to not have Singer in charge EA :) :p ) I think the producers missed a trick in not asking at least some of the Smallville cast to be a part of it - Tom Welling and Erica Durance have very good chemistry and have had a few seasons to perfect it.

I thought Singer might have done as Batman Begins did and ignore everything that came before, not referencing any of the previous movies or events and just rebooting the character and the franchise. Even then the initial premise of Superman returning from the remains of his home could have been a winner, but it was clumsily handled and lacked any real warmth of character.

February 4th, 2007, 11:40 AM
Two things:

1. The original films inspired kids to go out and play at being Superman. Did this one? No.

2. In the original films Superman was Clark's rival for Lois. In a sense Superman wanted to *be* Clark, as if Clark was the real personality. The triangle doesn't need the addition of Lois' boyfriend...

February 6th, 2007, 08:50 AM
Early in the film, when Superman does indeed Return, he does so in a Kryptonian-style spaceship. Obviously this is a call-back to the infant Kal-El crashing to Earth decades earlier, but...why does Superman need a spaceship? He flies in space all the time, he can exceed the speed of light, so what does the ship do for him? And, where did he get it? Was there one last second-hand interstellar vehicle dealership left intact on Krypton, or something?

February 6th, 2007, 01:54 PM
why does Superman need a spaceship? He flies in space all the time, he can exceed the speed of light, so what does the ship do for him? And, where did he get it? Was there one last second-hand interstellar vehicle dealership left intact on Krypton, or something?

I'm guessing it's because Kal-El is only Superman due to the effects of our native yellow sun. It's crap science, but that's the explanation we get.

He came from a system with a red star where he was basically just a normal schmuck. If he leaves our system and goes outside the sun's range he defaults back to being an average joe.
As for space ship design, the entire knowledge of his race was stored in his crystal databanks so he most likely got all the info he needed there.