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Old July 9 2013, 02:03 PM   #1
Trek4Ever
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Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

OK I get that Man of Steel is popular with many folks around here for assorted reasons.

What I don't get is the disdainful attitude shown towards its predecessor Superman Returns.

Yeah, Superman Returns had its faults but so did Man of Steel, but the latter seems to be getting a pass because it delivered the action fest that many fans have been craving for.

Superman Returns despite its slow pace and other problems (Lex Luthor doing the same scheme from Superman, Superman being too emoish, a bland Lois Lane, and so on), the movie had its moments and it was a far better movie than those POS Superman III and IV and considering what was attempted before it came out (Nic Cage as Superman, a JJ Abrams attempt to have Luthor be a Kryptonian), it was probably the best we would've gotten in that time period.

So ok, Superman Returns probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, but why do so many people dismiss it?
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Old July 9 2013, 02:52 PM   #2
TheMasterOfOrion
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Personality, Charmless and Spying....Christopher Reeve, Richard Donner version of Supperman was charming you kinda rooted for him every time he used those powers. Superman Returns done weird things every now and then like Superman started X-ray visioning people.....spying doesn't sit well with people, for an audience it feels icky and corrupt very ObamaSnowden or the Enron Bush wiretapping scandals.....

Budget, the project was in development for years and kept having to get financial bailout from WB studios. It was supposed to be relaunching the franchise but instead its budget spiraled out of control, despite making millions at the theaters it is considered a failure because its production budget went so astronomically crazy

Going against an Icon, Superman is an icon, he's like Elvis, MalcolmX, Buddha, Santa Claus, Jesus....everyone has heard of his name, knows where Superman lived, they watched the toon or read a comic or watched the movie, everyone has an idea who he is, they know his mum, know his girlfriend, know his job.
Superman Returns in some ways broke the icon, they broke away from the DC animated universe Superman or Reeve / Donner Superman and they gave us a strange, dark, gritty guy who knocked up Lois, flew away to space and generally behaved like a dead-beat dad.

Overall Superman Returns has some very good moments, it wasn't a bad film
but it wasn't a great film either

Critics seemed to like it though because it pushed the right buttons with film buffs and paid tribute to moments in Reeve and Brando history.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I like it but I recognise that it's flawed. I think that Singer made a mistake in assuming that the audience would remember the first two Superman films over 20 years later; sure, geeks like us know them and many people of my age have seen them. But to the general audience, it made the story and its background a little hazy. The whole 'semi-sequel' was a bad idea (and I say so as someone who at the time was against another origin story).

The movie is slow and sombre; I personally liked its tone but was surprised by it. It's pretty clear audiences wanted something more upbeat, perhaps in the vein of Raimi's Spider-man movies or the Iron Man series (which hadn't yet been released). Additionally, there is a surprising lack of action for a modern blockbuster movie. I personally think that MOS perhaps went overboard in its action sequences and I like how Superman in Returns spent as much time in Metropolis saving people as anything else. However, when the climactic action sequence is basically Superman pushing a big asteroid into space, well, audiences may feel short-changed. I also think that another Lex Luthor landgrab plan was a bad idea, though I think Spacey channels a malevolence in his Lex that the great Gene Hackman never captured. The scene where he sticks the Kryptonite blade in Superman's side is quite shocking.

The idea of Superman returning to a changed world was intriguing but I'm not sure too many people were interested in seeing how the Superman-Lois-Richard-Jason dynamic went in subsequent movies.

I also love Brandon Routh's take on Superman, which I think segues effortlessly from Chris Reeve's take. I love Henry Cavill's version too, but I still think it's a shame Brandon never reprised the role. I think this movie handles his humanity and personal conflict better than MOS and little scenes like Martha Kent outside the hospital, unable to get in, as she can't reveal her son's identity, are more touching than anything in any other Superman film.

When WB said that they were going to reboot the series and wouldn't make a sequel to SR, they said that it could be viewed as 'a bookend to the Donner movies.' This is at once Hollywood spin and actually a pretty good way of viewing it - a one-off take on Superman and closure to that take on the character. When MOS comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray, I look forward to watching them closely together at home - I think they may complement each other in some ways.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

SR had a $260 million budget and it only grossed $391 million after 19 weeks in theatres worldwide. Singer got the job because of the awesome job he did on X1 and X2 where his budgets were considerably less. The writers and producers of X1 and X2 also came over for SR. Where they demonstrated that they don't understand the character or the mythos. Aside from Supes walking in to the most obvious trap, we never see him throw a single punch in this film. Rescuing the plane and saving people across Metropolis is all well within the scope of his abilities so there is no challenge for him. Watch the film and count how many lines Routh speaks as both Superman and Clark Kent. Superman's pals at the Daily Planet get just as much screen time as Supes does. Singer's admitted attempt to show a kind of camaraderie between them and Superman. Which doesn't work because nobody knows Supes is Clark Kent. It's like an inside joke and only Clark knows the punchline. I suspect this was a carry over from the team aspect of X-Men. Superman being a singular hero you would think you would have an easier job telling just one man's story but Singer blows it.

Batman Begins gave us something different from the Burton/Schumacher films. Superman Returns gave us the same thing we saw 30 years ago with the Donner films.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:13 PM   #5
DalekJim
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

It's an underwhelming remake of a movie from the 1970s, and an incredibly lackluster way of bringing Superman back to the big screen. The hate for it is over the top, but it was an uninspired and flat movie.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:16 PM   #6
Tosk
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I'm not blind to the flaws of Superman Returns (nor do I disagree with quite a few of them) but I still love it anyway.

And if nothing else, it's nice to end that stage of Superman's cinematic life with anything that isn't Superman IV.
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Old July 9 2013, 03:17 PM   #7
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

It was nice, when they let Superman be Superman.

Every other moment was awful. 17 year old Lois; Super-bastard; Lex Luthor: insanely inept real estate developer; Why are you there, James Marsden?
I don't think Singer or anyone else involved knew what they were doing.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:02 PM   #8
Ugly Sweater
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Because I'm pretty sure Superman was pretty close to slitting his own wrists and letting himself bleed out while he listens to Black Veil Brides.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I don't "hate" SR, I just think it was misguided and disappointing. I didn't want to see a zillion-dollar fanfic about the Donner Superman, I wanted to see Bryan Singer's original reinvention of Superman. What made the X-Men films work so well is that they weren't a slavish recreation of something from the past, but a radically fresh and different take on the X-Men that still managed to capture their essence. That's what I wanted Singer to do for Superman, but he didn't even try, because he was too busy being a fanboy, and trying to recapture the flavor of a movie that was a relic of an earlier time and didn't age well enough to be worth resurrecting today.

I also didn't think much of the casting or the directing. Routh never worked as Superman for me. Kate Bosworth was breathtakingly gorgeous but breathtakingly wrong for Lois. And Singer seemed to be coaching the entire cast to dial their performances down to the most subdued level possible, so the whole thing lacked energy and intensity.

By contrast, I do hate a lot about Man of Steel. It has some great ideas here and there, the second act works pretty darn well, and unlike SR it has a great cast (except for Kevin Costner, whom I've never liked, and Amy Adams, who was merely okay as Lois, though better than Bosworth). But the third act is a hollow, soulless exercise in excess, and the story doesn't let Superman be Superman, reducing him to a passive and ineffectual lackey in a story about the heroism of Jor-El, Last Father of Krypton.
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Old July 9 2013, 04:25 PM   #10
Ugly Sweater
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Christopher wrote: View Post
I also didn't think much of the casting or the directing. Routh never worked as Superman for me. Kate Bosworth was breathtakingly gorgeous but breathtakingly wrong for Lois. And Singer seemed to be coaching the entire cast to dial their performances down to the most subdued level possible, so the whole thing lacked energy and intensity.
I swear Bosworth and Routh were on a dietary requirement of Xanax on that set to ensure their performances had no energy or emotion at all.

Everyone else was fine, Spacey as Luthor? Great energy, surpasses Hackman. But, goddamn, whenever Superman or Lois is on the screen it's like someone let all of the air out of the movie. Superman shouldn't be all mopey and dour like he was in this, spying on Lois creepily and looking like he's ready to cry. Man, lighten-up! You're the Man of Steel! You can take the Metropolis version of the Brooklyn bridge, was it up into a ball and toss it into the sun if you're so inclined. But, instead, you look ready to go watch "My So Called Life" on DVD again.
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Old July 9 2013, 05:29 PM   #11
Gojira
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I actually like Superman Returns a great deal. I liked the movie when I saw it in the theater and I have watched it over and over on DVD. I actually like this version of Lois much better than Margot Kidder's version.

I didn't care for the stalker scenes and it could have used a bit more action. I actually like the Superman-Lois-Richard triangle and the fact that Richard was a good guy.

All in all I do like the movie despite its flaws.
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Old July 9 2013, 05:36 PM   #12
Set Harth
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
they gave us a strange, dark, gritty guy who knocked up Lois, flew away to space and generally behaved like a dead-beat dad.
It's not at all fair to call him a deadbeat dad because the whole time he was in space he had no idea he had a kid. Then when he finds out he has a kid and starts showing an interest in the kid he's labeled a stalker. This guy can't win.

AllStarEntprise wrote:
Batman Begins gave us something different from the Burton/Schumacher films. Superman Returns gave us the same thing we saw 30 years ago with the Donner films.
Though the Donner films were generally regarded as good. So giving us the same thing as Donner is not necessarily a bad thing, while Nolan giving us something different from Schumacher was unquestionably a good thing.
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Old July 9 2013, 05:40 PM   #13
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
It's an underwhelming remake of a movie from the 1970s, and an incredibly lackluster way of bringing Superman back to the big screen. The hate for it is over the top, but it was an uninspired and flat movie.
This.

For me, the 1978 movie with Christopher Reeve is still the pinnacle of Superman movies. That movie more than any of the rest, IMO, really captures the spirit of Superman and his world.

It' not about special effects and CGI. It's about the heart and emotion of the characters, and having some fun along the way.
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Old July 9 2013, 06:20 PM   #14
Dick Whitman
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Like it, love it, hate it, everyone has their own opinions. But it bugs me when it's a called a "remake". Most of what people do not like about ot proves it is not a remake! Lois and Superman did not have son in the first film, and everything connected with that.

It's a different story with similarities to the original. Isn't that like most sequels??? Lex Luhtor has another different land-scheme. Is Return of the Jedi a remake of Star Wars because the Empire has another Death Star? The list of similar examples is endless.
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Old July 9 2013, 06:26 PM   #15
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I didn't hate it, but it did seem "flat" for want of a better word, and Routh lacked Reeve's charm in the role. If you're making the same kind of Superman movie as Donner made, you'd better get an actor with Reeve's charm. Perhaps the director did tell Routh to dial it back, but it wasn't the right creative decision.

I, too, liked that Richard was a good guy and not conveniently "bad" so we could root for Superman and Lois, but I agree that Bosworth was horribly miscast as Lois. She most certainly didn't project the mature countenance of a woman in her 30s, which Lois should have been. I remember a great many jokes at the time that--since this Lois had a five year old child who was obviously Superman's son--that Supes must have left to avoid the statuatory rape charges.
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