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Superman Returns (2006)
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Review Date: June 29, 2006
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Producers: Jon Peters, Bryan Singer, Gilbert Adler
Actors:
Brandon Routh as Superman
Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane
Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor
Plot:
A man who goes by the name of Clark Kent as a human and Superman as a superhuman returns to Earth after a 5-year absence during which time, the world and the people living in it, have moved on. In particular, Superman’s human honey-bunny, Lois Lane, now has a kid and is engaged to Cyclops from the X-Men. This pisses Clark and Superman off, but he’s got bigger fish to fry at this point, as the nasty Lex Luthor is back and wanting to kill the whole world or some shit. Cue the awesome Superman score here!
Critique:
Overall, I liked this movie. I didn’t fall in love with it, I’m not likely to go out of my way to see it again in the next year or so, but while I was sitting there with a bucket of nachos on my lap and some root beer on the side, I had a good time reliving some of the nostalgic feelings that I had upon experiencing the original SUPERMAN on the big screen back in the day, even moreso because a lot of items in this movie were similar to those in the original. And yeah, that was this film’s greatest downside for me. It just wasn’t all that original. For an awesome director like Bryan Singer to jump ship from X-MEN 3 in order to create a new SUPERMAN movie, I would have thought that he had this ultra-cool new idea or direction to take the franchise, but honestly, much of what I saw on the screen today was similar to Richard Donner’s 1978 version of the Man of Steel, only with greater effects and younger peeps leading the show. That said, the film and especially its awesome John Williams score, still managed to entertain and delight me along the way, with specific scenes like the “airplane dropping out of the sky” and the lovey-dovey stuff between Supes and Lois Lane, buttering my bagel. But when all was said and done, when the film wrapped with a pretty cool indication as to the direction of the next installment, I wasn’t smitten enough to run out there and tell everyone to totally see the movie. In fact, it kinda made me want to rent the original again. Weird.

By the way, I apologize for contrasting this flick to the original so much here. I hate when “critics” do that shit, since I believe that every movie should stand on its own, but I guess I just can’t help but compare them on some levels, since so many variables were so similar in the films. But let’s talk about this movie alone! One of the best things about this picture, for me, was Brandon Routh’s performance. The man did an admirable job as both Clark Kent and Superman and did right to the legacy that was the great Christopher Reeve as Superdude. I also liked the general look and feel of the movie, the music, the neat “surprise” that I wasn’t entirely expecting and all of the cool action sequences that included Superman (unfortunately, not that many), as well as the emotional stuff between he and Lo-La (although from what I had heard, I thought there would be more). On the downside, the bad guys in the film were a letdown, particularly all of Lex Luthor’s so-called thugs who basically just stood around and said nothing (how a dude like Kal Penn can be cast in a film like this and given, like, zero lines, is beyond me!), as well as Lex himself, who was played decently by Kevin Spacey, but whose ultimate goal and scenes were pretty forgettable.

Other than that one scene with Lois Lane in which he “loses it”, the guy was pretty boring (although I dug the combat boots, nice touch!). When you consider that most superhero movies live and die with their villains, well, the film disappointed somewhat, especially since his right-hand man (woman, in this case) was also annoying, lame and see-through from the start. I’m not a fan of Parker Posey to begin with, but I would take Ms. Teschmacher over her any day! James Marsden’s character was also pretty bland, while his son with Lois could have been a lot more interesting, had they brought him into the picture a little earlier. Something tells me that he might figure into the franchise’s greater plans on the next round, which I guess is what I was hoping for this time around. Unlike his previous flicks, Singer also decided to embrace the lame-o cutting-scenes-every-two-seconds gimmick that seems to be prevalent in many PG-13 movies these days, such that I couldn’t focus on some of the cooler action stuff. Many people had complained that the film also went on for too long at 157 minutes, but I didn’t feel that at all. It moved at a nice pace and I was never truly bored or wanting the movie to finish.

I was hoping that it would be a little more exciting though, and also wondered where the film’s supposed $225M budget had gone, since it starred mostly low-salary stars and didn’t exactly feature tons of memorable action sequences. The film’s also got an odd 20-minute “epilogue” of sorts (a la RETURN OF THE KING, but not as long) that felt a little odd and out of place. I liked it, but still…it felt weird. In the end though, the Fortress of Solitude, the kryptonite stuff, the “does he love me?” shtick with Lois, the flight over the city in his arms, Luthor’s “master plan” for nastiness and so much more, all resembled the original SUPERMAN too much, and with the amount of rehashes and re-imaginings coming out of Hollywood these days, I would have hoped that the great Bryan Singer would have brought us something a little more creative, but alas, it was not to be. That said, I still quite enjoyed the movie, would still recommend it pretty hardily, especially to the new generation of kids that haven’t seen the original movie or think it’s “corny”, and felt good about the world whenever I watched Superman zooming through the sky, on his way to kick some ass or save the day (or both!). I do wish they’d have made the film a touch more original though. Hopefully, next time!
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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6:34AM on 09/25/2006

YAAAWWWN

At least an hour too long, this darkly lit and moody excuse for entertainment was painful to watch. The makers have treated a comic strip character who wears his undies on the outside and has the lamest alter ego imaginable, like he is some great and intense tragic figure.
At least an hour too long, this darkly lit and moody excuse for entertainment was painful to watch. The makers have treated a comic strip character who wears his undies on the outside and has the lamest alter ego imaginable, like he is some great and intense tragic figure.
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12:58PM on 07/10/2006

MORE ACTION WANTED!

I loved the idea of paying tribute to the origianl Superman, also the use of the score made it easier to watch but the action wasnt that great and Lios Lane character was too angry for her good to be tolerated by Superman.
I wish they toned in more of the action and cut out the repeated Lios bashing of Supes.

Routh makes a good Superman and Mardsen steal the show and the second biggest dissapointment was Langella acting very quiet.He would have been a joy to watch if he was allowed to
I loved the idea of paying tribute to the origianl Superman, also the use of the score made it easier to watch but the action wasnt that great and Lios Lane character was too angry for her good to be tolerated by Superman.
I wish they toned in more of the action and cut out the repeated Lios bashing of Supes.

Routh makes a good Superman and Mardsen steal the show and the second biggest dissapointment was Langella acting very quiet.He would have been a joy to watch if he was allowed to scream a bit ......

Like the Bond flicks this kept with the traditions and I appreciated it very much.
One more advice dont try to connect this to Superman 2. This is a sequel and stands alone well.
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6:26PM on 07/08/2006
This was the Superman movie that I have been waiting to see. Brandon Routh was terrific, not only portraying the Man of Steel and Clark Kent, but he could turn out to be a pretty good actor since he put a lot of emotion into the emotional parts, I felt his pain and his loneliness as well as his hapiness in the final flight of the movie, which made me smile the same smile that I had when wathcing Christopher Reeve do the same thing. Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey were also terrific, with Kate
This was the Superman movie that I have been waiting to see. Brandon Routh was terrific, not only portraying the Man of Steel and Clark Kent, but he could turn out to be a pretty good actor since he put a lot of emotion into the emotional parts, I felt his pain and his loneliness as well as his hapiness in the final flight of the movie, which made me smile the same smile that I had when wathcing Christopher Reeve do the same thing. Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey were also terrific, with Kate playing Lois differently than Margot Kidder, but still being effective and believable as the best reporter in the city and Spacey really channelled Lex's hate for Superman, especially during their clash and New Krypton. The only reason I didnt give this movie a 10 is because there wasnt enough Clark being Clark and I because I was expecting the tidal wave that appeared in some of the posters, wondered what happened to that. But it still a great movie and Im hoping that it has enough legs to make enough money to earn a sequel.
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12:38PM on 07/08/2006

Surpassed Expectations

This movie was more then what I expected. Great Visuals, Great Story. Brandon Routh Did a great job playing Superman.
This movie was more then what I expected. Great Visuals, Great Story. Brandon Routh Did a great job playing Superman.
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4:42PM on 07/07/2006
OK, I finally saw the movie last night. Now I wanted to see if this movie captured my spirit as it did when I saw the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve when I was a little chap. We`ll it didn`t. The movie wasn`t bad or good, it just didn`t cut it for me. I would still give it a 7/10. The feeling I got was like drinking an OPEN can of Spirit after a day that has been open --- FLAT. That being said, the main reason I decided to give my input on this movie is to comment on the
OK, I finally saw the movie last night. Now I wanted to see if this movie captured my spirit as it did when I saw the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve when I was a little chap. We`ll it didn`t. The movie wasn`t bad or good, it just didn`t cut it for me. I would still give it a 7/10. The feeling I got was like drinking an OPEN can of Spirit after a day that has been open --- FLAT. That being said, the main reason I decided to give my input on this movie is to comment on the notion that this movie cost about $ 250 million dollars to make according to the movie studio. Come on Hollywood you`ve got to be joking, now I don`t want to spoil the movie for those that didn`t watch the movie but does Hollywood really take us for idoits, what are they trying to do make us believe that with the supposedly $ 250 M spent on this movie people would think that the special effects were on a regular frequency in the movie. Basically the movie contains 1 1/2 amazing special effects scenes (I think moviegoers know what I mean by the 1/2). If this movie cost $ 250 M to make then what, Star Wars 3 cost 5 Billion to make - go cry somewhere else Hollywood were not idoits. Ssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ! Thats my 26 cents.
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2:32AM on 07/06/2006

like...not love. LIKE.

ok, maybe a "little" love-- but its been a few days since seeing it, and Im a little more objective now. As I sat in the theater, I was literally thrown back to an era of my childhood when I constantly hummed that theme in my head-- yes, good times, no doubt-- the acting...casting...all good choices, so nothing to add there that hasn't already been praised and commented about...but I cant shake the feeling that this was more about re-living that late-70's moment than about bringing Superman
ok, maybe a "little" love-- but its been a few days since seeing it, and Im a little more objective now. As I sat in the theater, I was literally thrown back to an era of my childhood when I constantly hummed that theme in my head-- yes, good times, no doubt-- the acting...casting...all good choices, so nothing to add there that hasn't already been praised and commented about...but I cant shake the feeling that this was more about re-living that late-70's moment than about bringing Superman into the here and now. Sure, the FX were great and I even like the updated costume now...but I found myself constantly yanked out of the moment by one thing or another. ( Mind you, Im all about suspending my disbelief and letting things go for the sake of enjoying the fantasy that is the movie) --but the sheer amount of "homages" or lifting lines or scenes from the previous movies were both cool...and distracting.
There were also little things-- like the fact the tires on the Mustang instantly stopped spinning as soon as Superman lifted it up off the ground--and was the gas pedal stuck as well as the brake lines cut? --because that car hit at least 10 things that should have stopped it regardless. Plot device kind of stuff...although some were more distracting than others. Nothing to lose your head over-- but they were there. (They should have not shown us the doctor removing Supermans shirt...what was THAT about...?? It just popped off with one grab...and the cape stayed up near his neck...and--well, yeah. We get it...the doctors had to get the suit off to try and help him. That was just a silly way to film that scene-- I really didnt want to laugh at that detail when I was supposed to be concerned about Superman being hurt.
On another note-- because there have been many opinions about the movies' storytelling and plot that have been covered well enough at this point that theres no need for me to rehash-- I still feel a little robbed that Smallville didnt graduate to the big screen. Ive invested years into these characters lives and seeing them fleshed out (quite well for the most part)--and it seems like a slap in the face to deny them what I thought was already theirs. They have done their share of homage to the legacy as well as sucessfully bring the characters and storytelling up to a level that has integrity and character.
I almost have to think of this as two seperate continuities to really be happy about everything--so with that in mind, yes--I did enjoy the movie on its own terms. A little less sophisticated than I had hoped for--and little more lite on story than I had expected...but assuming there is a sequel--I would look forward to seeing more engaging story that keeps the audience in the moment...and for whoever is the villain...maybe a sinister plot that makes more common sense for us to swallow. (Growing New-Krypton was a great plan if his intention was to destroy the world out of spite...not a good plan for somebody interested in selling land to all the people he just killed on the continent he just destroyed.) Obviously Im nit-picking...we all know that I'll own the DVD and buy the t-shirt and get the action figures. Lots of hard work on this film and lots of things to really like about it. Make sure to see it again so they'll break even already! I want to see a sequel.
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12:05PM on 07/05/2006

great movie

i just loved it, i liked the fact that it looks similar to the original, but still looks new and original, great movie
i just loved it, i liked the fact that it looks similar to the original, but still looks new and original, great movie
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8:16AM on 07/03/2006

Do you remember??

When the first trailor came out and everybody was complaining about this movie I told everybody what was gonna happen with the "little boy" (I don't want to spoil it but if you saw the movie you know!!) Great Frickin Movie!!
When the first trailor came out and everybody was complaining about this movie I told everybody what was gonna happen with the "little boy" (I don't want to spoil it but if you saw the movie you know!!) Great Frickin Movie!!
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4:50AM on 07/03/2006
I'm not going to compare this to the original, because it's been years since I've seen it.

With that out of the way, I had a hell of a time with this film. Yes, it does run WAY too long (was 2 1/2 hours really necessary to tell this story?) and the Lex Luthor character didn't do much for me (although Spacey did crack me up a few times). Those were really my two biggest problems. The casting of this film is absolutely perfect, with Brandon Routh completely taking this role and making it his
I'm not going to compare this to the original, because it's been years since I've seen it.

With that out of the way, I had a hell of a time with this film. Yes, it does run WAY too long (was 2 1/2 hours really necessary to tell this story?) and the Lex Luthor character didn't do much for me (although Spacey did crack me up a few times). Those were really my two biggest problems. The casting of this film is absolutely perfect, with Brandon Routh completely taking this role and making it his own. I was a bit nervous about Kate Bosworth as Lois Lone, but she couldn't have been more charming. I was also surprised at the amount of humor in this film, which was definitely welcome. I'm not going to lie, I got a little teary-eyed during several key scenes between Lois and Supes, especially their flight over the city.

Bryan Singer has really made my summer. Thank you!!
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7:03PM on 07/01/2006

Way to go Singer!

I walked into the theater today expecting this movie to disappoint(thanks to all of the 'disappointed' reviews). However, I was completely blown away. I think that I have an advantage of not reading comics when I was a kid, because I didn't have any expectations to let down. That being said, I saw the original Superman in theaters when I was 8 years old, and I believe Bryan Singer's film was very true to the original, as Superman Returns aims to be a continuance of the Donner film. I loved
I walked into the theater today expecting this movie to disappoint(thanks to all of the 'disappointed' reviews). However, I was completely blown away. I think that I have an advantage of not reading comics when I was a kid, because I didn't have any expectations to let down. That being said, I saw the original Superman in theaters when I was 8 years old, and I believe Bryan Singer's film was very true to the original, as Superman Returns aims to be a continuance of the Donner film. I loved it, and have no complaints. Way to go Singer!
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