Sunday, July 02, 2006

I Liked It

I really liked Superman Returns. Good action scenes. The pace was excellent. Brandon Routh is an excellent homage to Christopher Reeves and is a dream boat when he's in that uniform. There's something about that fresh face, slick back hair, and that rogue curl that is so hypnotic. Also, I forgot and love how Superman gives helpful tips and tidbits of info after saving the day and that he's solar powered. All in all I was entertained greatly by this installment in the franchise and was pleased by the use of iconic Superman movie elements from the previous movies.

My only issues with the movie was that Bosworth (Lois Lane) is no Margot Kidder, her performance could have been easily substituted by a computer rendition of Kidder from 1978 and would have been better. Someone should have looked for her on MySpace to see if she was available to just do the part. Also, Parker Posey was not utilized correctly both by the writing and the direction.

I don't understand why many of the critiques I've read after seeing the movie insist that the original movie was some untouchable work of art and that Returns is some kind of cheap imitation. Returns is an entertaining comic book gone to the silver screen movie, just as the original was. I couldn't help but guffaw at reading criticisms that the original music was used in the new movie. John Williams' music has made many movies and Superman is no exception to that rule. "Can You Read My Mind" is a classic movie song and flying through the sky with Lois and the man of steel wouldn't be the same without it. Would you have the asteroid scene from The Empire Strikes Back redone with new music when that movie gets re-released on DVD for the umpteenth (spell check recognizes "umpteenth" as a word) time? Some of the reviewers that are writing couldn't have been more than eight years old when they saw the first movie and I think that perhaps they need to revisit the original with an adult eye and sans Superman underoos (underoos is not included in the spell check dictionary).


Blogger Kalvin said...

Don't you mean John William's music has ruined many movies!? I am so sick of his shit. His old stuff in the early 80's and 70's was okay, so I have to give it to them that they were smart not to use him to actually write the score. I hate hate hate hate hate John Williams right now. He should just stop. Even JR has been trained to recognize his music. And besides, almost everything he has ever done is a rip off of Orff, Holst, Stravinsky, Puccini, Wagner, and on and on...but I do still need to see the new movie, and people are actually saying that the first movie was that good? Are people smoking crack? It was pulp! And it was good for what it was, but that is all. Boy do I seem bitter today.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Hypnotic - that's EXACTLY the word (that I didn't use in my post). That was how I felt when I was glued to the cinema chair. The movie just captured 100% of my attention all the time.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I probably made it clear that I loved it, personally.

In general, the reviews seem pretty good to me. Yeah, you always have some people who have this issue or that issue with a movie. It's often different reviewers with different issues.

Music - Why was Williams' music included?

Any reviewer worth their salt would have already known why this was done. Unlike Batman Begins (IMO, another excellent "comic" film) this is movie was intended as a continuation of the Donner films, and so the musical motifs stay in. Period. Singer says this over and over and over again in every interview. A reviewer who doesn't know this isn't doing his job.

But note that, except for opening and closing credits, John Ottman's music only uses Willams' music as motifs and does not simply lift the music from Superman I. If you listen to the soundtrack, you'll note that about 90-95% of the music is utterly original. (He does play with interpolations of some of the motifs at times, though.)

Kidder/Bosworth... I'm sorry, are there women in this movie. I didn't notice.

And, Kalvin, I semi-agree about Williams. His music did define the movies of a generation, IMO. But he's never been really original, but sometimes he surprises me. I always thought ESB was a notch above his normal work (I practically know the damn 2 LP sountrack by heart). And, whoever he might be copying, I really thought the music for AI (a movie most people hate) was very atypical for him and I really liked it.

Oooh... this is a long comment. Sorry.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Gosh there's a blast from the past. I have yet to see the movie...but I hear it's a good one...most people I know that saw it liked it.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Yeah, I checked in my Bible, and I did NOT see the Original Superman in there. People, It's a Cartoon!It's not War and Peace!
But Brandon is cute, and I admire that gun he's packing, too.
And Kalvin, I don't understand what you're trying to say about John Williams. Less ambiguity, please.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

ooh ooh ooh, I have to ask this of Kal. Does JR salivate like Pavlov's dogs when he hears John Williams music? Just poking fun, here. I know I'm with friends.

10:50 PM  
Blogger savante said...

Loved the John Williams music actually - just so terribly nostalgic to hear it and it certainly wouldn't have been te same without it.

And the romance of it all.. especially with the Can you Read my Mind playing.. Sigh.


3:07 AM  
Blogger tornwordo said...

Because underoos is supposed to be capitalized.

I wasn't interested in seeing it, but you make it sound worthwhile.

7:04 AM  
Blogger john said...

I can't wait to see it.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Jeez, here I was going to comment on Brandon's package and Kalvin and Atari-Age gets all NY times reviewer.

I haven't seen it yet, but after reading this post and hearing Marc and Fausto talk about it on the Feast of Fools, I am definitely going to be lining up with ticket money in hand. Maybe I will wear my Superman undies!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Adam...are you ready for this? I actually agree with everything you say in this post. I saw the movie this weekend and was just in awe with it as you were. I was even happier to hear the original Superman theme played at the beginning. I think Brandon did such an awesome job playing homage to Christopher Reeves (as Clark Kent) but at the same time making the character his own.

The one thing that nagged the heck out of me in this whole movie was the actress that played Lois Lane. Lane was such a gutsy, grab 'em by the balls until you get your story type of girl, which this new Lois was not. Oh sure she can be banged around an airplane cabin 20 some odd times...up one wall and down another...and come up without scratch when it was all over (unlike the passengers who stayed seated but got the biggest cuts when the overhead baggage fell on them.)...but Bosworth was no Lois. Did five years without her SuperStud drain the life out of her?? I also want to say Kudos for Kevin Spacey...I thought he was excellent at Luthor.

I am tired of all the bad critism from the "critics"...apparently they saw a totally different film then the rest of us.

PS: Trivia - The old lady who died at the beginning, the one who left everything to Lex Luthor...she was the original Lois Lane in the 50's B&W television show.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Knute123 said...

I have to agree with kalvin that John Williams is soooo over. He's going through the motions.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. I was watching Superman II last night and remembering that it is one of my favorites for all it's cheesiness. I like that the new film is a sequel to II.

However, I disagree that Margot Kidder was even watchable in the originals. YUCK! You can see the crazy even back then.

And that song "Can You Read My Mind"...why doesn't she SING it? Why does she just speak the words like she's reading prose? I don't get it. This has bugged me since childhood.

The new Superman might not have the same charm as the Donner films, but at least they didn't go with Nicolas Cage for Superman.

2:04 PM  
Blogger VJnet said...

I saw Superman Returns yesterday! I thought it was very well done. The new Lois Lane didn't bother me. I actually think she was portrayed as quite heroic. And was glad to seen her as not being the helpless damsel in distress. I thought that she wore the pants in her relationships with Superman and with her fiancé and took charge of the situations as they happened. I think the movie is SuperGreat :)

12:37 PM  
Blogger GayProf said...

Loved the film overall.

Clark/Superman I adored.

Lois I could take or leave.

Hated the child.

I seem to be alone on that last one.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Epilonious said...

I think this comic sums up the reaction perfectly. :)

7:52 AM  
Blogger Knute123 said...

Saw it this weekend.

I hated it.

Nothing happened. The characters rarely interact. Lois is very simply a mom...and not a particularly good one at that (taking your son into a strange yacht?).

Superman has 5 lines in the whole movie and they are all banal. Yes, I like the actor playing Superman, but the script in this film was terrible and they didn't give him anything cool to do. Who knew Superman's only superpower was lifting heavy objects?

The plot was insanely dumb. Kevin Spacey was wasted as a Lex Luthor. The final Lex vs. Superman showdown was disappointing to say the least.

I cannot believe how the elite screwed this one up.

The cinematography was beautiful though.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Matt Blender said...

Slick back hair always does it for me, too.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Exactly. Not a ripoff of the originals -- a tribute. There are so many specific throwbacks to the first two that are clearly intentional.

I loved it.

9:43 AM  

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