Man Of Steel, Superman Returns

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Well, well, well… Matt Horn’s blog meets an upcoming comic book movie. Seems to be a running theme, right? And I’m rollin’ with it because these two forces will collide again when Warner Bros. releases “Man Of Steel” on June 14th. Before we get to MOS, I’m going to rewind a bit. Going back to the most recent Superman film and reviewing “Superman Returns”.

Zack Snyder’s “Man Of Steel” is just a tad over 2 weeks away from being released in the U.S. Even though “Man Of Steel” is completely unrelated to Bryan Singer’s 2006 Superman interpretation “Superman Returns”, I decided to refresh myself with “Superman Returns” for compare & contrast purposes for when I eventually see Zack Snyder’s new Superman flick.

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I’m going on record – right here, right now. In my opinion, there is a 0% chance that “Man Of Steel” is a flop. The creative team of Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan are too good to let MOS be a flop. After Bryan Singer’s Superman attempt fell flat, DC & Warner Bros. realize they’re up against the wall and CANNOT strikeout with Superman again, or they will completely lose interest in the property. Oh yeah, everyone’s hope for a Justice League movie would evaporate too if “Man Of Steel” doesn’t soar.

So let me get to the reason for this blog: Part 1 – “Superman Returns”

“Superman Returns” to me was a whole lot of nothing. I remember liking it more the previous times I watched it. Sure, we got to see Superman fly around, avert some disasters, and “save the day”. But when the credits started to roll, I didn’t feel like this movie took me anywhere. There wasn’t really a plot, so there wasn’t really a resolution. It was literally just frames with familiar characters viewers recognized from the comics books or previous movies.

I realize Bryan Singer tried to be epic, while doing his best Richard Donner impersonation with “Superman Returns”, but he missed the mark big time. The third act really had no punch. Singer tries to portray Superman as the epic hero he is, by saving all of America. But only 4 or 5 characters actually even know that America is even in danger. Which doesn’t have an epic ring to me. The people in Metropolis probably felt like this were just dealing with an earthquake. Granted, Superman did actually save some lives during the earthquake, but that scene didn’t really add anything overly important. Just a chance for fans to see Superman use his abilities.

I guess I’m just disappointed that it’s implied that Superman stands for truth, justice, and the American way. There’s no journey Superman’s character goes on, he’s just… blah. Heaven forbid Bryan Singer actually try to develop Superman… or any of the characters for that matter.

Lois Lane was in this film because everyone knows Superman loves Lois. Jimmy Olsen was in the Daily Planet because everyone knows he works alongside Clark and Lois. Lex Luthor was in this movie because writers knew he is Superman’s greatest villain. These characters all had a little interaction, but what was the purpose? Everything was just really misguided. I feel like Kevin Spacey, who worked with Bryan Singer in “The Ususal Suspects” (which I loved), must have been crazy excited to land the role of Lex Luthor, and overly bummed when he saw the final product. Spacey’s life motto probably goes something like this since being in “Superman Returns”: Friends don’t let friends act in Bryan Singer films…

I guess the moral of this post is this: “Superman Returns” was bad and don’t let Bryan Singer near any projects that have potential. I want to be excited for the next X-Men film – Days of Futures Past, but with Singer attached, its worrisome.

Go see Zack Snyder’s “Man Of Steel” on June 14th!!!! I promise, you won’t regret it.

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4 thoughts on “Man Of Steel, Superman Returns

  1. You’re telling me that Brian Singer attached to the next X-men worries you? Because of one movie, “Super Returns”, which isn’t even that bad. It’s not awesome, and I would need a refresher, but I remember liking it. More important, I loved X-men, which Singer did. And frankly, he does X-men well. And that was before everyone decided to jump on the comic book bandwagon. X-men was one of the first modern awesome comic book movies. And based on what I just looked up, he’s been attached to every X-men movie since, and they were all good (yes, even 3).

    More than anything, though, I’m surprised that you mention The Usual Suspects, which I know you love, and then say you worry about Singer’s movies. Clearly, he’s got potential. And I might add he produced Valkyrie, which was a pretty good movie too. (I don’t see anything else on his list that I know and have seen though, so that’s the last one I’ll mention.)

    Anyway, I’m sure Man of Steel will be awesome, so we agree there, Just saw Star Trek too, and it blew me away. It was the best movie I’ve seen in a while…in fact, I can’t remember liking anything that much since 300 came out…although I’m sure there was something in between there…oh yeah, Dark Knight. Duh. Alright, I’m done.

    • The Usual Suspects was Bryan Singer’s coming out party and it was an awesome one. Sadly, he hasn’t done anything nearly that great since Suspects came out in 1995…

      I want to say that X-Men is good, I really liked the first X-Men when I saw it in the theater. But I’ve watched it since, along with X2 (not sure off the top of my head, but I don’t think Singer did X3 – still X3 was terrible) and feel like they were a let down… or that they don’t hold up. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart both capture what was needed for their roles, but Halle Berry is one of the worst actresses of all-time, so she doesn’t help X-Men’s cause.. or any cause for that matter. It is a tragedy that Bryan Singer is bringing her back for X-Men Days of Futures Past.

    • I just read this review on IMDB, and I have to say that it’s pretty much spot on:

      Bryan Singer owes Superman an apology, 28 June 2006
      1/10
      Author: dpogue21

      *** This review may contain spoilers ***

      First, let me just comment on what I liked about the movie. The special effects were fantastic, and very rarely did I feel like I was watching a video game. There, that is the last nice thing I have to say about this film. In fact, I would just like everyone reading this to take note that I can’t even put into words how hard it was for me to write this review without swearing.

      I have innumerable complaints about the film, but four major complaints jump to mind. My first major complaint has to do with the incredible cheesiness of the “plot twist” (if you can call it that since most people probably saw it coming a mile away) where Lois’s 5 year-old son turns out to be the super-powered child of Superman. When the crying super-child throws a piano at Lex’s henchman to save his mother, I almost got up and left the theater. Singer could have made a much better Superman movie without resorting to cheap gimmicks like a seemingly fragile but latently super-powered illegitimate child. It’s been 5 days since I saw the movie and I still want to vomit.

      My next major complaint has to do with the fact that Superman lifts a continent made out of kryptonite up into outer space. It doesn’t take comic book guy from the Simpsons to point out what’s wrong with that. I don’t know how many comic books Brian Singer has read, but when Superman is exposed to even a small amount of kryptonite he barely has the strength to stay on his feet. Whoever had the idea to have him fly a large island made out of his greatest weakness into space has no business being associated with any Superman-related projects ever again. The concept is as ridiculous as making a Dracula movie where the title character has a stake through his heart and still manages to fly a spaceship made out of garlic into the sun. Why not just have Superman eat kryptonite? He can eat it and then brush his teeth with it, and then go to sleep in kryptonite pajamas. That’s not any more absurd then having him hoist a continent of kryptonite into space and then fall powerless through the atmosphere without burning up in re-entry or splattering all over central park when he hits the ground.

      My third major complaint has to do with the fact that Singer slaps movie-goers across the face with religious symbolism the entire movie. I have to take issue with his characterization of Superman as the only son of a God-like Jor-el sent to Earth to be a savior. Jor-el wasn’t all-wise, he was just a scientist. And he didn’t send his son to earth to be a savior, he threw him in a rocket and hurriedly fired it into space because his planet was about to explode. I’ll buy the Christ allegory if Brian Singer can show me the part in the Bible where God sends Christ to Earth because Heaven was about to explode, and then radioactive pieces of Heaven become Christ’s primary weakness. Furthermore, the “crucifixion” scene where Luthor stabs Superman in the side with a kryptonite “spear” just makes me want to slam my face into a brick until I’m too brain-dead to notice the brazenly obvious and inappropriate symbolism that will be tainting the man of steel for the foreseeable future. They might as well rename this movie “Superman Returns: the Passion of the Christ.”

      And speaking of Luthor, my last major complaint has to do with Singer’s depiction of Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor is a shrewd, cold-hearted business tycoon who is more apt to run for President (which he does in the comics) than try to destroy the world. The man wants money and power; he wants to be in charge, not wreck everything. Yet the Luthor we see Superman Returns, as well as all the previous Superman movies, is a wacky theatrical dunce who comes up with zany schemes to destroy the world. If Singer had the slightest loyalty to the characters instead of the (quite awful) previous Superman movies, this film might not be such an unbearable travesty. Maybe Singer’s next project can be a Batman movie where he focuses on the interpretation of Batman from 1960s TV show. ZAM! WHAP! POW!!

      To summarize, I don’t know what I hate more, the movie itself or the fact that so many people seem to be giving it good reviews. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you don’t hate this movie then your opinion is wrong. I sincerely encourage anyone who reads this not to see this movie if you haven’t already. Don’t see it, don’t buy it when it comes out on DVD, don’t rent it…basically don’t contribute any money towards it in any way. This movie does not deserve to make any money. In fact, I think that for every person that sees this movie, Bryan Singer should be fined 45 billion dollars. If you’re a Superman fan and you really want to see this movie, just bend over and have someone kick you in the balls and you’ll get the same experience without having to waste 2 hours of your time.

      • Ha…harsh. And agreed on the Hailey Berry front…but I still think all 3 X-men are worthwhile…though certainly not as good as Wolverine. Having only seen First Class once, I’m not sure how it will hold up. Anyway…where’s the Bizarro Horn take on Superman Returns? That’s what I want to know.

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