I don't know if it's possible to really put Superman on screen in a compelling way any more without making dramatic changes to the character of a kind that would put off fans.
I never got into Smallville so I don't know how the screenwriters there took care of the #1 problem with Superman as a film character: he only has one vulnerability, so every time you make a movie about him it has to include, "...OK, and then the villain has some Kryptonite..." With the other possibility being, "...OK, and then the villain kidnaps - X - to hold them hostage and threaten Superman..."
Not entirely true. Supes has been beaten, nay, killed, by a character who was simply more superstrong and invulnerable than he is. No kryptonite or kidnapping involved. Just a straight up fist fight going on for several issues.
The problem with the movies IMHO, has always been the over-reliance on Lex Luthor as main villain. Obviously, HE needs the plot elements you mention to threaten Supes. The more recent comic book movie convention of killing off members of the rogue gallery within the feature they debut in is probably a response to this flaw of the Superman series.. which has, in ways, invented the genre, hasn't it? Admittedly, most other Supes villains are kinda lame. The sad thing is, if they go the reboot route, the first movie pretty much needs to have Lex, again!