Monday, June 26, 2006

Superman Returns

*WARNING* MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS (although I will do my best to avoid them)

André and I went to see a sneak preview of Superman Returns tonight. The AMC near us does promotional showings of new movies but you have to go really early and wait in a loooong line to have a chance of getting in - especially when it's a movie that everyone wants to see. We showed up a the theatre over an hour early and almost didn't make it in. In fact we were the last group of twenty to be allowed in the theatre. Literally. There André and I were standing at the front of the line, him wearing a Superman shirt and me in a Batman shirt (that's how we went into the Batman Begins movie as well) and one of the managers comes up to the front of the line. We really thought that we were going to be told that they weren't any seats left (especially because they didn't let us in with the previous group of twenty because there were two of us and they only had room for one more person) but then the guy tells us that there's only room for twenty more and only if you were willing to sit in the front row. Well of course we went in. See, André's brother had gone in much earlier and said he would save seats with us - so not only were we the last people in, but we got good seats as well. My point is, we went through a lot of trouble to see a movie we were both convinced was going to be a disappointment.

I'm so happy we went anyway.

The movie was fantastic. Even super!

No, really, I ended up loving this movie.

First off, let me say, I know there are quite a few things comic book fans will complain about in this movie - there are always things that people will want changed. I know, because I heard some of the complaints about Batman Begins and I still believe that it was the best interpretation of Batman (as far as live-action movies go) yet. Superman is much the same, a good iconic story reintroducing us to a character that has been too long absent from the big screen. Superman Returns is a story about Superman the myth, and as such it was wonderfully done. Superman is meant to inspire us - for me, in this movie, that's exactly what he did.

Brandon Routh brings much more to the screen than just a resemblence to Christopher Reeves. He brings a sense of awe to the role of Superman while allowing Clark, the human heart of our hero, to gaze longingly at Lois and wonder if he still fits into her life after his five year absence. Routh plays homage to Reeves while still making the role his own. His Clark Kent is sweet, a bit clumsy, and very lovable. His Superman is awe-inspiring, heartbreaking, and above all, heroic. Mr. Routh has come a long way from soap operas and I'm glad Bryan Singer convinced the studio to take on an unknown for such a major role.

Kevin Spacey does an almost John Shea-ish Lex Luthor. Despite the misleading nature of the trailers, Lex is the diabolical madman/evil-mastermind we have all come to love and adore... I mean hate. He is cruel, ruthless, and wants to bring down Superman and dominate the world. He does have a few over the top moments but nothing out of character. I certaintly didn't think of Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor but I've been proven wrong.

Kate Bosworth was another pleasant surprise. Having seen her previous work I hadn't thought she was a good call for the role of daredevil Lois Lane. I was happy to be proven wrong (again). Bosworth played a passionate and feisty Lois Lane and the chemistry between her and Superman was very realistic.

The action scenes were breath-taking and the iconic moments gorgeus without detracting from the story itself. I especially liked the tribute to Action Comics #1, it was very enjoyable.

Jimmy Olsen get showen up by a kid with a cell phone camera. Priceless.

Cyclops (James Marsden) gets to be a hero-type! The poor guy certaintly got the short end of the stick in X3 so it was nice to see him in this movie.

As for the plot, well, if you've been enjoying Busiek's run on Superman you will like this movie's story. I'm pretty sure Kurt has been working on the recent Superman books with the movie in mind. There are some striking simalarities.

I'm going to go see this movie again. Then, when it comes out on DVD, it's going on the shelf next to Batman Begins. I'm so happy that instead of being horribly upset I ended up being blown away. Superman has returned to us and it's about damn time.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Jim said...

Shocked and amazed, I will now have to see it with some expectations of it being good.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Wow! Now I'm confused. All the comic fans online have been panning this flick after seeing it. They say that if you're over 11 you won't enjoy it. They were umimpressed to say the least. All the mainstream media has been very positive on this flick. It's getting B's and 8/10's and 4 out of 5 stars. So who's right? The fans or the media?? Cshiana is a fan and I share her taste in comics, but I read a spoiler for this flick that ruins it for me. They made Clark do something very creepy and un-Superman. I don't know if I'll be able to get past it(this concerns what they did with Lois while Clark was missing for 5 years). The Superman I know just wouldn't do what this Superman does when he comes back to see Lois. It's creepy super-stalking. Can't get past it in my mind.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Just got through talking with a bunch of my comic friends who went to a midnight showing last night. They disagree with you 100% They say the chemistry between Lois and Clark was zero. They say that Lex was played campy and goofy. They say Kate Bosworth looked like a human coat hanger, an anorexic toothpick who couldn't survive Superman's gentlest embrace. They say that the movie is nothing more than a love letter to the first Superman flick and that it's totally a kid's movie. They didn't like it at all. My how opinions differ.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

See, now who was it who just a few days ago was telling me how I had to let go and relax when watching a comic book movie? Like I said, there are things in this movie people won't like, but both Andre and I really enjoyed it. And both of us are comic book fans (at least when it comes to Superman). In fact Andre is one of the biggest Superman fans I know. Honestly Jeff I'm not sure if you'll like the movie - as I recall you weren't that fond of Batman Begins and I really liked it. Then again, you liked V for Vendetta and I can understand why Alan Moore removed his name from the project.

Regardless of a few uncharacteristic moments in this movie I was able to enjoy it for what it was trying to offer. Like I said, this is a movie about Superman, not Clark Kent. And really, if you don't enjoy the old Reeves movies you won't like this one because they too were about Superman and not Clark Kent. If you want CK stories watch Lois&Clark.

I mean c'mon, Clark amnesia kisses Lois (after sleeping with her nonetheless) at the end of S2... how wrong was that? But it was still a fun movie.

In the end, it's really up to you if you want to like this movie or not - you can choose to make it a bad experience by picking out everything you could possibly hate about it - OR you can decide to see all the good and have a good night out at a pretty neat comic book movie.

And honestly, looking back at a lot of the old comics, Superman was kind of an ass. www.superdickery.com

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I didn't like Batman Begins cuz they were not true to Batman's core. Batman doesn't kill. Period. When he murdered Ra's at the end by leaving him helpless on a train that Bats knew was gonna crash that totally turned me off the movie. After all, Azrael did the same thing to Abbatoir and was promptly told he was unfit to be a hero because of his actions, de-cowled and sent packing. For Superman to be using his powers how he does after finding out about Lois' new position in life is just so out of character I can't even put it into words. Plus, I didn't like the first Superman movie. So boring......Zzzzz.......
Gonna e-mai you an article from one of NYC's largest newspapers. Be interested to see what you think.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Good debate - please continue.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Anonymous Kenshusei said...

Wow... that amnesia kiss at the end of SM2...

I'd never really had it presented in a date-rape type context.


There's days when you scare me, Gwen.

Though I'll doubtless post my reactions to the film once I see it this weekend. I'm REALLY stoked now.

- Kenshusei

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Jeff -

If you read the old Superman books you'll find he was a bit of a creepy stalker type. I will post exibit A on the site. And like I said - I swear you were the one telling me to relax when viewing a comic book movie. :)

As for Batman, I didn't like him letting Ras die at the end either, but I got over it and enjoyed the rest of the movie. I thought it was very well done. I'm not going to throw out the whole movie because of one scene. Not to mention its a little funny hearing you say that the one ooc (out of character for you non-gamers) moment in the movie ruined it for you and yet you like All Star Batman in which Bats is ooc all the time. Sometimes I think you like to disagree with me ;)

If you didn't enjoy the first two Christopher Reeve's S-movies you won't have much of a chance of liking the new one. Although I'm not a big fan of the old ones and I still liked it so who knows.

And Ken - how did you not contemplate the superdickery of the amnesia kiss?? We make fun of it everytime we watch S2!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Well, it's been all over the news reviews for this movie so I guess it's not really a SPOILER, but here's the part that bugs me about Superman Returns. Supes is gone for 5 years. Meanwhile, Lois gets engaged to some other dude, a man with whom she has a child. You heard right, Lois got pregnant while Superman was gone and had a kid. So Supes comes back and uses his powers to spy on Lois?!?! Then he forces himself on her and kisses her, knowing that she's with someone else?!?!?! This is what a slimy jerkoff would do, not Superman. You don't make a play for a woman with some other man's ring on her finger. You don't try and break up a happy family when there's a child involved. This is supposed to be Superman, not Joe 6-pack slimeball. To top it off, the movie is over 2 1/2 hours long. That's what killed King Kong. Check it out for the amazing effects, but get ready for some campy acting from Spacey and a sleazier, almost Guido Superman.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Um, Jeff - your spoiler obviously missed some key points. All is not as it seems. Seriously.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006  
Blogger Ragnell said...

Don't worry, cshiana, you're not alone.

It was freaking awesome, and I've seen a lot of good reviews.

I've seen ONE bad review, and it was by some guy who didn't see the movie and had a "family values" fit over hearing about the kid.

Saturday, July 01, 2006  
Blogger Ragnell said...

And I didn't see the "forcing himself" stuff.

(And I'd accidentally seen the Exhibit A-C post before I saw the movie, so I was extra-sensitive to stalker-y behavior)

Granted, Superman did a little bit of eavesdropping, but guess what, EVERYONE eavesdrops when the conversation's about them -- and with Super-hearing he can pick up on his name and start focusing.

Saturday, July 01, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Yeah, that's why I think the most that scene does is make him more human.

I'm glad you too liked the movie. Actually all the bloggers who's pages I frequent enjoyed it so it's nice to know I'm not just crazy. I think a lot of people wrote off the movie before actually seeing it and thus a majority of bad opinions from the comic book world.

Saturday, July 01, 2006  

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