You'll believe a man can fly... Again. Superman Returns!

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by gabe, Jan 5, 2006.

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  1. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5


    I read all the negative stuff people have to say about Superman Returns and it sometimes leaves me down and depressed about the whole thing. However I hadn't watched the film since it came out on DVD so I really wanted to reaffirm my position that it is a good film.

    Having just finished it I can say that Superman Returns is a wonderful film and a true piece of cinematic art. It's just absolutely beautiful something you cannot say about the majority of comic book flicks. I would say that Bryan Singer sometimes sacrifices the film's narrative and plot so he can work in a more poetic way. Singer, very much like George Lucas, creates tome poems or "visual poetry" as I like call it. For example the scene where Superman hovers above the earth just listening to all the problems out there. At that moment the imagery, sound and music comes together in beautiful visual poetry. Rhapsody in Blue Tights, you might say. I don't care how long I have to wait for the next film because I know it's going to be worth it with Singer behind the camera.
  2. DarthButt Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2003
    star 5
    I couldn't agree more with this post. The bleed together of Clark... or "Metropolis Clark" and Superman is what made this movie believable. At the same time there is a noticable difference, but it's not the goofy sort of persona that is portrayed in the original films. STM and SII worked really well. But a more real Clark with a more subtle sense of awkwardness is really more necessary.
  3. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, it gives you the sense that it's not too much of a stretch for him, that both Superman and Metropolis Clark come from real places in himself, that they're just public personas... and don't we all have those?

    Gobi, that is precisely how I feel! I've been telling people that one intangible thing about SR is that it's just so beautiful. And that I can't really say that about other comic films. There are some really great ones. But not even STM strikes me as 'beautiful'. A lot of other things, but not quite that... and you're so right about the scene where he's hovering above the earth. Amazing.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  4. EDKRIEG Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2005
    star 1
    Agree with the person who has read the negative reviews.Just forget about it.There are a lot of Trolls on the DC comics board on DC movies who are still carping.Let's go on to the sequel! I think Routh did a darn good job as Clark.Good scenes like the elevator where he used the shaft to change were around. Question about beginning:where did he get that ship to travel.I presume he used it to look for the ruins of Krypton.Wonder if he saw Argo City?You can't tell me there are no other survivors!
  5. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    The Kryton scenes have been, strangely, left out of the film and DVD. Either they're waiting for an uber DVD or they're thinking of using it as flashback footage in MOS. I just want to see it, that's all.

    I think the ship was supposed to have been constructed at the Fortress of Solitude.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  6. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Is there a summary somewhere about his trip to Krypton? I know the novelization has a scene about it but I have not read that. If he was gone for 5 years did he travel for a couple of years one way or did it just take months or weeks and he spent most of his time exploring ruins?

  7. Moleman1138 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 6
    I put it in last night for a few minutes.
  8. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    It takes about 2.5 years to travel to Krypton. So it's a five year round trip. According to the novelization his spacecraft was grown in the Fortress of Solitude and included a sleeping chamber. He was put into "hyper-sleep" or what ever you wish to call it when he left Earth and awoke two and half years later when he was an hour away from Krypton. He didn't stay very long because of the huge levels of Kryptonite radiation. Superman is exposed to too much Kryptonite and has to immediately leave what little is left of his homeworld. He tells the starship to take him home and he is put back into hyper-sleep for the two and half year journey home.

    Hopefully all of the footage for this will be feature as a flashback in the next film.
  9. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, the did film it. That's all in the shooting script of the film and we've seen pictures of it. I do hope it shows up in a future film somewhere. If they're planning on having any kind of Kryptonian villain, it could be useful.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  10. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    One of the things that had always sort of bugged me about Superman Returns was the opening. I am not talking about the title sequence...but the bit of text at the very beginning the static text that set up the fact that Superman had left earth to find what were thought to be the remains of his homeplanet in hopes of finding out there is something still out there. I get that the story wasn't about his departure so much as the effects of his departure and how everyone deals with it and how they deal with his eventual return. But its always bugged me that the set up was left so uninteresting and simplistic. Well while playing around YouTube I found this. While someone has gone to great lengths to create this, I thought it was a far more dynamic and visually interesting way of setting things up with no lost screen time, and tells the story succintly and vissually. Its also not so entirely complex that the studio couldn't have punched something like that or better up for the opening. I think its great and its exactly what I had always wanted to see.
  11. Angel_Blue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2006
    star 2
    Ah, Superman Returns is a magnificent film. I loved it. It was probably my favorite film of 2006, along with Children of Men. Is there any news on the sequel, besides the title?

    EDIT: Never mind, I just saw the thread.
  12. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Singer cut the sequence because it bogged down the film. That's why he left it to the text and a couple of lines from Clark. The plot point was only set up to establish that while Clark has those that he cares for, he is for all intents and purposes, alone. He is Krypton's last son and has to accept that part of himself. So when he finds out that Jason is his son, he finds that he is no longer alone in the universe. To paraphrase Jonathan Kent in Action Comics #850, there is the family that you create and then there is the family that you are born into.
  13. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    Well the funny thing is that the sequence shown above doesn't take any more time then just the text and visually tells the same information. Don't tell me what happens...show me...its a fundamental rule of film making.
  14. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I saw the abomination of a film known as Transformers yesterday, and after I shuddered at thought of Michael Bay having gotten his hands on SR.

    Not sure much more needs to be said than that. The guy is a total hack and embarrassment, and I'm glad a real filmmaker like Singer directed SR.
  15. Panther50 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 3
    Its to bad Singer didn't worry that much about bogging things down when it came to the rest of the movie. :)
  16. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I honestly do not understand the claims that the film has slow and boring parts. It must be true for a fair number of people because they say it... but from my perspective, I couldn't be bored by SR if I wanted to. I'm always trying to figure out what parts are boring to people, because I love all of it.

    As much as I wish the Krypton stuff could have been in the film because it would have been amazing to see, I completely understand why it was cut. And the extra stuff with Martha and Ben on the Kent farm, though I think that wouldn't have messed up the pacing too much and would have emphasized how much things have changed while Clark's been gone.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  17. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    My issue was never with the fact that the krypton stuff was cut. Its was always that the method the filmmakers took to tell us that remnants had been found and that Superman had left to find out the truth. I don't need to see him finding that stuff...its explained in like two lines of dialogue. As an editor I found it to be a questionable approach to relegate that information to a simple white on black text prologue when various newspaper headlines could have vissually given the same information. It was something that had always been stewing in the back of my head and i stumbled accross this vid and thought it was wonderfully done.

    This isn't meant to be a critique just a personal opinion where I thought there was a better approach to the method. I don't mean to detract from the film or anyone's enjoyment of it in anyway.

    As for the length vs pacing issue, I understand how people felt it was slow. It certainly contained a lot less action then a lot of other comicbook films. But for me thats why it stands out. The climax of the film isn't Superman saving the planet in some fast paced action sequence, but an emotional climax where Lois and by extension the world accept Superman back into their hearts after fearing losing him forever. I do admit the third act felt a little long and it didn't seem to follow the usual structure, but it doesn't bug me as much as it used to...especially when you get to that final shot and tie in the entire franchise again.
  18. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    That's part of the reason people are so split in their opinions on the movie: if you have not been sucked in by the characters at that point, then the whole climax makes you roll your eyes. A fair number of people, myself included, failed to connect emotionally to Clark and Lois, and especially their relationship. It was a risky thing for the makers to do, and for some viewers it panned out, others not so much.

    As so many people on the boards have found things to love about this movie I will watch the film again when it comes on TV, to see if I get more out of it the second time. I'm not convinced I will, though. I think think this is probably one of those films that you really get, or you really don't.
  19. whisperjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 2
    I didn't "get it", and that's that. I own the Ultimate Set, & won't even waste 2-hrs. I would "watch" it on tv if someone threatened my dog, cat, and gerbals!
  20. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    The Kryton scenes have been, strangely, left out of the film and DVD. Either they're waiting for an uber DVD or they're thinking of using it as flashback footage in MOS. I just want to see it, that's all.

    I don't think anyone will ever release it; it's like a big secret at WB. I meet the Guy who worked on the DVD set for SR and actually got to watch the Krypton scene, and to be honest, it makes one want to kick WB in the pants for not wanting to keep that in. A much better beginning than the Luthor Scene at the mansion. The fragments of Krypton are floating everywhere, Kal-El sees a huge "S" on a rock and then the huge rock turns and voila, exposing kryptonite and Kal-El becomes sick and his space ship nearly flies out of control, he nearly crashes...so that's why Clark crash lands on Smallville at the start of SR.
  21. The_Face Ex-Manager

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    Huh! I didn't know that stuff was even filmed. I'd like to see what the movie is like with that in there, and see how it really compares. [face_thinking]

    But I didn't have a problem with the movie as it is. Matter of fact, I liked it quite a bit. SR has soul; it has an emotional core that resonates more than flashy explosives. Though when things do explode, they are suitably flashy. :p I may have said this already, but even though Kevin Spacey plays Lex for comedy, he does it well.
  22. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I understand time and pacing-wise why they cut the Krypton stuff and some other stuff from the front end of the film (like the Ben/Martha scenes). The Lex stuff they couldn't cut because it was extremely plot-heavy. The other stuff was really awesome and great in terms of character-development and theme, but not as important for plot.

    Still, that doesn't change the fact that it really sucks it was cut :( I wish it could have wound up in an extended edition of the film.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  23. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  24. lazykbys_left Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2005
    star 4
    First, a few confessions:

    I didn't see Superman Returns in theaters when it was released.

    I didn't wait for the DVD release to see it.

    In fact, the only reason I rented it was because they gave me a Rent One Free coupon when I renewed my DVD shop membership - and Shrek 2 wasn't available.

    So be advised that this belated review is coming from a non-Superman fan who has seen Superman 1&2 but has forgotten most of the details. I also write fan fiction, which may account for the way I see these things.



    I went into this movie with only two bits of data in my mind:

    1. Superman has been AWOL for a few years.

    2. Lois won the Pulitzer for "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman".

    (This was accomplished by living in Japan, fast-forwarding through all commercials, and staying away from the Superman Returns threads in SF&F.)

    What I expected - what I hoped for - was a world that had outgrown its desire for Superman. A world where bad things happened to good people and other good people did their best to keep the damage to a minimum. A world where, perhaps, Superman could be accepted as One Of Us instead of a demigod.

    And in my heart of hearts, I was hoping for something that would show how the world does need Superman. Superman saying, "What about all those people crying out for me?" doesn't quite cut it.

    I suppose I should explain. There's an old Chinese saying: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." And in my mind, superheroes are fish givers. They save lives. They fight crime. They rescue kittens from treetops. But is it just me, or do we never get to see where a superhero arrives and is told, "Thanks for coming, but we have the situation under control" - and it really is?

    One exception - sort of - is Spiderman 2, where Aunt May tells Peter that Spiderman inspired her to hang on just a little bit longer. Yes, she was eventually saved by him. But he couldn't have done it without her. Perhaps the saying I'm looking for is this: God helps those who help themselves.

    Superman helps everyone. And I can't help but wonder if he's unwittingly encouraging people to be dependent on his being there in the nick of time. IIRC, there was a line in the movie about people wanting him to do things they could do for themselves. I wish they could have expanded on this.



    My favorite scene is where the Tattoo Guy starts playing the piano beside Jason. At first I thought it was a touching move, a bit of warmth in a hardened criminal. Then I realized this was a man who could kill people without a twitch of conscience. Then Lois starts to do her thing with the fax, half afraid she'll be caught, probably more than half afraid of what the man might do to Jason if he found out what she was doing. And then he does - and goes after Lois instead of using Jason to punish her. Wonderful characterization, I thought.

    The moment of Jason's superness with the piano was . . . well, to be honest I found it anticlimatic. I think it would have been better to keep Jason's parentage ambiguous. Not that it would fool anyone watching the movie, but -

    Still, the subsequent scens about Jason's powers (or lack thereof) in the boat are great. For me, the sequence goes something like this:

    1. Jason does the piano thing in a fit of desperate rage to save his mother.

    2. Lois asks if he could help with the door. Jason apologises because he wants to be normal - or perhaps that he thinks Lois wants him to be normal (and therefore Richard's son?).

    3. Jason realizes he might be the only way they can get out of the locked room. He gathers what courage he has and walks toward the door -

    4. And Richard opens it. And Jason is relieved he can be just a kid again. So when the boat splits in half and starts to sink, he is just a kid depending on grownups for survival.

    Which brings me to the part I'm most upset over: Superman in Jason's bedroom.

    I'll admit that it's a great scene. This is Superma
  25. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Clark isn't telling Jason that he will have to use his powers. He's just telling him that he will come to experience life the same way that he has, which was the same way Jor-El has.

    That's because most police officers can't deal with super powered individuals or stop all disasters. And in the case of bank robbers, guys who are invulnerable save the lives of those who aren't.

    He's not unwittingly encouraging people to be dependent on him to save their lives if necessary. The only thing that he objects to is when they ask him to make it rain or some other such thing. Anyway, Lois only wrote that article because she was made that he left without telling her good-bye. He was telling her that this is why they need him. That they call for help and because of his powers, he has to do something. That was how Jonathan, Martha and Jor-El raised him.
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