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Old July 10 2013, 08:30 PM   #46
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
This is what happens when fanboys/girls and the general public demand action all of the time without anything else (and I liked Man Of Steel a lot.) I also still love Superman Returns as well (I bought the Blu-Ray at the $5.99 discount price from the clearance rack at HMV two Fridays ago!)

As for what you've said about Superman and Lois, Routh was no more emo than Tom Welling was on Smallville, and Lois wasn't any more low-key than anybody was supposed to be (she's a hell of a lot more braver than the Margo Kidder version of Lois or the actress on Lois & Clark, facing down Lex Luthor with a ton of backbone and rescuing Superman after he rescued her.

Set Harth wrote: View Post
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.
I'm sorry, but checking in on Lois just to make sure she's okay is not being a stalker by any definition I know of (and I also think that the whole 'stalking' thing is overrated and a law that NEVER should have been passed anywhere, IMHO.) Superman was just hovering over and protecting people like he usually does (and like he was doing in that scene in space when he can hear all of the world's radio frequencies and can go and pinpoint where the need is or the danger is.) As for being a deadbeat dad, he had no idea that his sperm was going to be reactivated by the solar atoms of Sol and give birth to Jason (albeit with some prodding from Richard White's DNA), so the guy should be cut some slack on that one (although a potential sequel would be interesting due to the fact that Lex knows about Jason's parentage!)

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.
There's NOTHING wrong with the Donner films other than people and fanboys couldn't get it (a few critics did get it, and some moviegoers like myself did) and wanted action all of the time. This time, they got it, but as the old saying goes, 'be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.' Now they've got it, and they're disappointed. It was just a good way to tell a Superman story, but people wanted more than Singer wanted to tell (perhaps he should have done a new story, but what for? Sometimes telling a continuation is better then telling an origin.)

BTW, John Kenneth Muir did a great review of Superman Returns that still stands out for me, and codifies why I still love it as a movie: Superman Week: Superman Returns (2006)
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Old July 10 2013, 08:39 PM   #47
Gaith
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I've got no love whatsoever for the Donner movies, but I'll always be puzzled as to why Singer felt the need to make his "tribute" so damn drab and gray-brown:




'Course, now Man of Fail has a very similar visual look, and I don't like it, either. Guess I'll just still have to stick with the better S1-3 Smallville eps for my Supes fix...
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Old July 10 2013, 08:49 PM   #48
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

RandyS wrote: View Post
Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post

USS Firefly wrote: View Post
Too bad that Routh didn't a second chance.
I heard that he auditioned for Smallville. I'm sure he would have put on the glasses and the suit.
Thank God that didn't happen. Being a Christopher Reeve knock-off for one movie was bad enough. Ten years of that would have been tedious.

Kate Bosworth supposedly auditioned for Lana too. Imagine 10 years of that Clana!
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Old July 10 2013, 09:56 PM   #49
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
1. Wayyyyyyy too much pining over Lois. I felt like I spend 2hr+ watching Superman pout that he doesn't have Lois Lane anymore.
I won't deny the SR Superman is poutier than most, but he's hardly pining after Lois for the entire movie. Once they finally have their conversation on the roof, he clearly takes a step back and spends the rest of the movie fighting crime and stopping Luthor instead.

Superman and Lois only interact again briefly after he's rescued from the water, and then at the very end as he's flying away.

2. He gets brutally beaten by a bunch of low pay thugs, and there is no payback. What little "payback" there is, is completely unsatisfying.
Yeah I agree that was deeply unsatisfying. That beating scene is one of the darkest and ugliest moments in any superhero movie, so it's frustrating that we never get to see Superman confront them again.
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Old July 10 2013, 10:36 PM   #50
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I certainly didn't hate SR - there were a lot of things I liked about it - but I knew the movie had serious problems when I realized I was rooting for Richard White to hold onto Lois.
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Old July 10 2013, 10:36 PM   #51
Samurai8472
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

davejames wrote: View Post
Yeah I agree that was deeply unsatisfying. That beating scene is one of the darkest and ugliest moments in any superhero movie, so it's frustrating that we never get to see Superman confront them again.
Speaking of the thungs, I don't even know why Kal Penn was even in the movie. He doesn't even say anything in the movie!
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Old July 10 2013, 10:37 PM   #52
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

davejames wrote: View Post
Yeah I agree that was deeply unsatisfying. That beating scene is one of the darkest and ugliest moments in any superhero movie, so it's frustrating that we never get to see Superman confront them again.
Having a now-fully powered Superman beat up a couple of normal crooks would have been overkill at best (and deliberate murder at worst, since a punch from him would have resulted in them having broken skulls.) The ice ledge falling down on some of the crooks and Brutus having the piano slammed into him by Jason on board the Gertrude was a great old-fashioned 'hoist by their own petard' move right out of the old MPAA Production Code that people didn't get because they wanted action all of the time and for Superman to kill somebody (BTW, those objecting to the action in the current flick should note that this always happens in the current comic books: Superman-and the Justice League in the first story arc of the new Justice League comic book-can't always save everybody in the nick of time, some will die.) Superman waked into a trap? He didn't know that Luthor had stolen kryptonite and used it as a base element to grow the crystal continent; even so, he did what he did because he's like that.
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Old July 10 2013, 11:35 PM   #53
davejames
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I don't think anyone wanted to see Superman pummel those guys into a bloody pulp. But it would at least have been nice to see him stop the helicopter in it's tracks or wrap them up in a steel girder or something.
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Old July 10 2013, 11:50 PM   #54
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

What I'm about to say probably has already been said and more than once in this thread, but since the OP asked, I can't help myself.

Before I dig in I will say that I re-watched Superman Returns after watching Man of Steel and now I don't loathe SR as much as I once did. I think SR was harder for me to swallow when it served as the 'final' Superman movie, the bookend of the Reeve era films. But now that I have something else to compare it to, I've actually found some nice things to say about it.

I liked the relatively brighter color scheme of SR, the John Williams score, the maintenance of the Donner aesthetic for Krypton, and the flying effects all better than what I saw in MOS. I also liked the inclusion of the George Reeves-era actors. SR was more of an homage (not always in a good way) of the Reeve era but also acknowledged George Reeves contributions. After reading a Superman biography recently I appreciated that more. I can't think of an action scene in MOS that was as well shot as the plane rescue early on in SR.

Now the rest...

Singer made a mistake in connecting the film to the Donner films with totally different actors. I can get some call backs and using the Williams music and even the aesthetic, but it was a mistake not to at least make the characters his own and to update the Superman story for the 21st century. For an example of what I'm talking about, I take Smallville which sparingly used some Donner-era stuff but largely charted its own course. SR could've done something similar.

Singer was mistaken to think that general audiences were as taken with the Reeve films as diehards like me and would remember or care about the intricacies of Superman 2 and be willing to ignore Superman 3 and 4.

To be fair to Singer he did try to make Superman relevant but I felt he was a little too heavy with the religious metaphor. I also didn't need Superman to be an absentee father. Perhaps Singer was going for an emotional core with the film, but the actors he had didn't quite pull that off.

SR was too drab, too somber, if not in subject in tone and execution. Superman wasn't super enough (except for the plane rescue). The film was lacking in action. And the one time Singer let Superman do an amazing feat with the lifting of the Kryptonite-laced island it was an impossible one for Superman.

Lex's plan didn't make much sense. Who would want to live on a barren Kryptonite island? Lex's crew was boring, including Parker Posey. They were too small bore for a guy like Lex, or rather the Lex many people had become accustomed since the mid-80s.

The casting was a mixed bag. I can't blame Routh because I think he got bad direction. Kate Bosworth was a wet noodle. She was too young, or looked too young to be playing a Lois after Superman 2 (or 3 and 4, whatever), and her take on the character was way too sedate. Spacey was an inspired choice for Luthor, but he got saddled by the story. I can only imagine what could have been if Spacey had been allowed to reinterpret the character in a new story.

It sucks when Richard White comes across as more heroic than Superman. And the less I say about the kid the better.
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Old July 10 2013, 11:53 PM   #55
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Am I the only one that thought Spacey was terrible as Luthor? I particularly cringed where he gets Lois to say to Superman will save us then he yells WRONG!!!
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Old July 11 2013, 12:04 AM   #56
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Am I the only one that thought Spacey was terrible as Luthor? I particularly cringed where he gets Lois to say to Superman will save us then he yells WRONG!!!
I liked him, the scene where he shivs Superman and starts beating him is probably my favorite Lex Luthor scene in any media.

As for the movie, it was alright. My friend cracked me up with his comment that the entire movie was Superman picking things up and slowly putting them down.
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Old July 11 2013, 12:05 AM   #57
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
As for what you've said about Superman and Lois, Routh was no more emo than Tom Welling was on Smallville...
That has nothing to do with anything I've said. I did not at any point use the word "emo." I don't believe I have ever used that word except when quoting someone else's use of it, or when discussing comedian Emo Philips (which is something I haven't done in a long time). I'm hard-pressed to contemplate a circumstance in which I ever would earnestly invoke that word. I'm not even entirely sure what it means.

I don't believe that labels constitute meaningful criticism. I speak about individual performances, I don't try to lump them into categories. The only things I actually did say about Mr. Routh's performance were that (a) I didn't feel he worked as Superman and (b) I felt Singer directed him and the rest of the cast to be too understated. I don't understand why any of those comments would suggest this "emo" thing to you. I would assume that "emo" means "emotional," i.e. expressing strong and maudlin feelings, whereas the problem here was that the characters were not expressing enough feeling.


and Lois wasn't any more low-key than anybody was supposed to be
Which is the problem. One or two low-key performances in isolation could've worked, but the entire ensemble was so languid and internalized that it robbed the film of energy.


(she's a hell of a lot more braver than the Margo Kidder version of Lois or the actress on Lois & Clark, facing down Lex Luthor with a ton of backbone...
And bringing a small child into a potentially dangerous situation right along with her. Nobody gets to be called brave for unthinkingly putting other people in danger, especially children, especially their own children. That's not bravery, it's reckless endangerment.


(perhaps he should have done a new story, but what for? Sometimes telling a continuation is better then telling an origin.)
There's no reason why a continuity reboot would require a new origin story. If anything, the problem with comic-book movies these days is the assumption that every one has to be an origin story. Origin stories are a limited formula and we've kind of reached saturation by now. Anyway, Singer's first X-Men movie wasn't an origin story, except for Rogue, and sort of for Magneto. It opened with the X-Men already in place as a team, Wolverine already equipped with adamantium and lacking his memory, Senator Kelly already campaigning to register mutants, and so forth. The origin movies came later in the series.

And I don't think a continuation was the right approach here. Donner's Superman was a movie made in the Bronze Age of comics with Silver Age sensibilities. In the interim, Superman in comics had been radically transformed, with new and influential ideas introduced to the mythos, such as Clark as the real person -- and Lois's love interest -- rather than Superman, or Luthor as a ruthless corporate magnate. Those new ideas were adopted by numerous screen adaptations of Superman, from Lois & Clark to S:TAS to Smallville. They became key aspects of the mythos. So for Singer to go back a quarter-century and try to resurrect a movie built around the pre-Crisis version of Superman felt backward and atavistic compared to what other screen adaptations had been doing for many years. It was ignoring a whole generation of the franchise's evolution, decades' worth of new ideas. And I found that a missed opportunity.

For all of Man of Steel's faults, at least it's up to date in its influences. It draws a lot from Superman: Birthright. It has Lois in on Clark's true identity as she had been in the comics throughout most of the '90s and '00s. It gives us a glimpse of the Luthorcorp logo on a pair of tankers, telling us that it's using the corporate Luthor idea that's now standard. This is the benefit of starting anew: You can be more up-to-date, incorporate the best of the more recent ideas that have come along. And I would've liked to see what Singer would've come up with if he'd started anew, if he'd drawn on post-Crisis ideas instead of trying to rehash something far older.
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Old July 11 2013, 12:17 AM   #58
marksound
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Since I haven't seen SR since in was in theaters in 2006 I ordered a copy today. For five bucks. (Vintage Steve Martin fans will get that.) Seems only fair to give the movie another shot.

As for Emo Phillips, is anyone else thinking "Brent Spiner doppelganger"?
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Old July 11 2013, 12:21 AM   #59
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
Since I haven't seen SR since in was in theaters in 2006 I ordered a copy today. [I]For five bucks.
I once saw Superman Returns being sold for five bucks in the bargain bin, picked it up for a few moments then put it back in the bin when I realized that was still too much to pay for that movie.
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Old July 11 2013, 12:25 AM   #60
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

I, too, found the thugs beating Superman to be very disturbing. I consider Lex stepping in and shivving him to be a mercy killing, because those ex-cons probably would have been pulling down his pants next....And didn't they die as a direct result of Superman's actions (lifting the island)? Seems an appropriate revenge for Superman...he's a god again, and they get squashed like insects, beneath his notice.

I never had a problem with him lifting the island...the Kryptonite radiation seemed more diluted beneath, as it was mixed in with lots of normal rock, and the effort did wind up "killing" him....
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