Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trek4Ever, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Fair enough. I enjoyed SR and thought Routh was good in the role (Bosworth as Lane performed fine, but was a poor casting choice, IMO), but I fully acknowledge that it has a lot of structural problems and probably would have been better had it tried to forge its own path instead of being tacked on as a continuation to the first two Superman films.
     
  2. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I agree. Routh was good, he played the part well, and really looked the part, on the basis of it being a continuation.
     
  3. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well to be fair, I'm sure Luthor was probably assuming the island would be this gleaming white crystal palace like the Fortress, and that it would be possible to construct crystal cities and palaces on it like on Krypton.

    He obviously didn't realize infusing it with kryptonite would turn it into just a dead, lifeless rock.

    Plus I think his plan was less about "real estate" than owning a piece of powerful alien technology. And considering how bitter he was towards Superman, the fact he was turning Supes' own technology against the people of Earth was probably an added bonus.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    He only achieved those things because the script said he did. And I never found it believable that some loser hanging out underneath Grand Central, whose entire organization consists of one idiot and one bimbo, could possibly have the resources to achieve all that he did. That's what I mean -- it's not credible that the individual Luthor was portrayed to be would be capable of achieving as much destruction as the film alleged. I could believe that Ross Webster had the resources and organization to pull off the feats of villainy he performed. I could've believed it of the infinitely resourceful scientist Luthor of the pre-Crisis comics or of the corporate-magnate Luthor of the post-Crisis comics and TV series. But not of the very strange, guy-in-a-basement take on Luthor that the Donner movies came up with. We were told that he was this arch-criminal that the authorities feared and only Superman could get a handle on, but the films just didn't sell it.



    I don't agree. He was still rooted in the flawed conception of Luthor from the Donner movies, just amplified a little -- he was colder and more ruthless, and for once he actually had more than two assistants, although most of them didn't seem much smarter than Otis and Eve. But he still didn't feel to me like the most successful archcriminal on Earth. I mean, come on, Superman had been off the planet for five years. Most versions of Lex Luthor would've been running the world by that point. This one was sleeping with old ladies to steal their inheritance. He's a petty thug compared to what Lex Luthor should be.

    And I'll never get what's supposed to be so impressive about Kevin Spacey here. Maybe it was just that his performance was too betwixt and between -- he was trying to pay homage to Hackman's more comic performance but bring more serious menace to it, and so it just felt like the two cancelled each other out. Really, Hackman's comic flair was the only thing worthwhile about that version of Luthor. Either embrace that fully or wipe the slate clean and start over.
     
  5. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    Yes, but it's a nod to old school comics books; Inn the same way that Superman after opening the lead box containing the kryptonite, could have just as quickly closed it/hurl it away, and subdue Luthor easily before the radiation fully affected him -- yet due to the nature of old school comics, once the box is opened; the deed is done and Superman is defeated.
     
  6. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Yes, I know. I wasn't arguing for slavish devotion to realism in comic book movies.
     
  7. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm in the, 'both movies had their flaws camp', but overall, I liked SR more than I liked MOS. Singer managed to make a movie that was emotionally touching while presenting a spot on interpretation of who the Superman character was to the people of Metropolis and to the audience. Superman catching the airplane and taking a bullet to the eye were better than any of the "super" moments in MOS. Supes punched a lot in MOS but unfortunately, because he fought Kryptonians, the effects of the punches were negligible. The flying scenes were also better in SR.

    SR missed it however on the villain, Luther was a bad idea (as was Kevin Spacey's cliched performance), the "kid" storyline, which made both Lois and Supes look bad. Bosworth as Lois was just fine and even though I believe Amy Adams is the superior actor, she wasn't given much more than Bosworth to work with and consequetely failed to distinguish herself in MOS. MOS failed to convey emotion or humor and took itself way to seriously, and the romance felt tacked on.

    I think "the Old Mixer" wrote in the MOS thread sums up my feelings about SR and MOS, between the two, there is a great Superman movie. Get rid of Chris Nolan and make the next one with Singer directing the personal scenes with Clark/Supes and Lois and Martha Kent (maybe), and let Zack Snyder direct the action scenes.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm afraid I can't consider either SR or MOS successful. There were some things that MOS did better than SR -- it certainly had more originality, and a better cast -- but there were other things it got horribly, aggravatingly wrong.

    And I really wanted it to work, because I have never seen a live-action Superman movie that I didn't consider seriously flawed at best. I've recently come to terms with the first three Reeve movies as representing the kind of goofy, fanciful Superman we got in the Silver Age, but they definitely have their flaws, and I've been wanting a more modern take. But the two modern films we've gotten have both been grave disappointments.
     
  9. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I prefer MOS and thought the action was cool as hell, but I do agree the plane and yacht rescues in SR were pretty special, and never truly matched in MOS.

    Although Superman struggling to overcome the energy beam of the World Engine comes awfully close, as it's such a powerful visual and gives me chills every time I watch it.
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry you felt that way. Despite both movies' issues, I sat there in complete awe like a little kid through both of them, and thought they both did a fantastic job capturing the magic and wonder of the character (albeit in very different ways).

    Of course it could just be that I'm very easy to please when it comes to Superman movies and just love seeing the guy on the big screen. :p
     
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    I hated the whole idea of the growing Kryptonian crystals....I think that Singer was running with a misinterpretation of how the Fortress was built in the Donner film and taking the flawed concept too far. In the Donner film, one specific crystal (distinguished by its color, which made it too easy to confuse with Kryptonite, but that's beside the point) built the Fortress out of surrounding ice....something that it was probably programmed specifically to do. There's no evidence that throwing a full-sized crystal in water is supposed to create a continent-sized land mass...and all of the other crystals in the Fortress would have themselves been created, not originals from Krypton, so you'd think they'd be inferior in that regard, not superior.

    Heh. :) I'd been thinking of throwing that line in here but hadn't gotten around to it. To phrase it my own way, somewhere between the best parts of SR and MoS is a great Superman film that we haven't seen yet.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Granted... but on the other hand, it pretty much stands to reason that if a technology is all made from crystals, then by definition it was grown, and it's not a huge stretch that it could have the potential for further growth under the right circumstances. I wouldn't call it a misinterpretation so much as an updated interpretation, choosing to read the crystals as a kind of self-replicating nanotechnology. It's a logical extrapolation from there that they could have the ability to modify matter on a large scale.
     
  13. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Clean Old Mod Moderator

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    Maybe if Luthor had done something to bring that out in the crystals...but it was presented as a natural property. "This is a memory crystal...it plays a movie of some guy in a robe reading Earth poetry...and if you throw it in water, it just so happens to grow a continent!" :wtf:
     
  14. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    Or had Luthor actually gained Kryptonian technology from the crystals. That could be in turned used as weapons against Superman. The film may have been better. His diabolical scheme of growing continents doesn't really create the IMMINENT threat an action movie calls for.
     
  15. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    I wanted to leave the theater after this scene. Listening for crime over a city, I get, but he had no right to peek on Lois' life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  16. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    I don't have time to read the other posts (just now)...

    but for me, it was a big disappointment of highexpectations.

    it just felt bland and without the spirit that Bryan Singer had with the X-Men movies.

    I was VERY excited to know he was working on it...I really felt that his X-Men movies really brought the spirit of the comics, while modernizing and "movie-izing" X-Men so it can appeal to both fan and newbie. There were nuggets than fans could appreciate, but didn't alienate ,let's say, kids who never read X-Men before.

    Superman Returns just didn't feel like any of that.

    I also feel sad that Singer dropped X-Men 3 to work on this -- it made sense to me (I might have done the same thing given the opportunities), but the result were TWO superhero movies that weren't very good, rather than at least 1 that would be been a great segment in the x-men trilogy
     
  17. Trek4Ever

    Trek4Ever Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The thing that I find intriguing about both films is that they represented extremes that if handled correctly would've made for a kick ass masterpiece. SR was at times too ponderous and thoughtful. But if you would've jettisoned the stuff that didn't work and added MOS elements that worked that filmed might've been received better.

    The same idea applies to MOS, it had some quiet reflective moments, esp. in the first half. But like many here I agree the action was too much, it was an overreaction to SR's lack of action. Anyway, if they would've cut back on all the punching and had more quieter moments like SR, more people would've been satisfied.

    Oh, BTW, utilizing John Williams' theme at some point wouldn't have alienated so many fans of the original films. At least SR got the score right.
     
  18. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    ^ leaving out the John Williams score was a good idea IMO. Snyder is creating his on franchise, independent of previous films. Chris Nolan didn't use the Danny Elfman score from Batman 1989; in his films.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't agree that recycling the John Williams score would've been "right." People keep forgetting that Williams's theme was itself a pastiche of the two seminal Superman marches, Sammy Timberg's from the Fleischer cartoons and Leon Klatzkin's from the Reeves TV series. Williams is just one of many composers who've created new Superman fanfares and marches that followed the stylistic lead of those two, and some of them have done lovely work. Personally I'm quite fond of Ron Jones's theme from the 1988 animated series and Jay Gruska's from Lois and Clark. Shirley Walker's S:TAS theme is pretty good too, and Louis Febre gave Clark a pretty good heroic motif in later seasons of Smallville. Hans Zimmer came up with a good Superman theme at the beginning of the end title music of MOS, but he barely used it.

    I suppose the reuse of the Williams theme in SR could be justified because it was theoretically a continuation of the same version of Superman, but I didn't care for the way it was used. John Ottman didn't do any fresh adaptation or variations on it, didn't arrange it to fit the sequences it accompanied; he just slavishly replayed the theme music note-for-note every time Superman did something, and it felt lazy, repetitive, and heavy-handed.
     
  20. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Obviously it crosses a bit of a line, but I didn't think it came across all that creepy the way they did it. Superman had just returned to Earth and learned that not only is Lois seeing Perry's son, but she's got a freakin kid. It seemed clear to me that he was as thrown by that as we were, and simply wanted to confirm that it was true, and that he hadn't just imagined the whole thing.

    I mean, it's not like he was peeking in on her in the shower or anything, or hovering outside the house all night long. And plus the look into her new life was as much for our benefit as it was for Superman's anyway.