Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 by Shaun in Labels:

Superman Returns - A Fanboy's Review

I attended the gala premiere today.

Preview tix pictured with camera pouch and wallet.

Here's what was in the goodie bag.

A First magazine notepad, the bag itself and a copy of the Daily Planet. There's a press-on tattoo for the kids, but I couldn't be bothered to photograph that.


From the costume to the initial preview pix, I got pretty worried that this movie would just flop.

Then the trailers came on, and they offered a ray of hope.

When I saw the clips from the movie two Fridays ago, I was pretty much sold on Brandon Routh .

Last week, my anticipation was building up like crazy. My mantra was "Buy every Superman product on sight".

I'd secured tickets for opening night (28/06/06), having given up all hope on the premiere when the deal with the distributor and my retail contact fell through.

Then here comes along Benjamin Loh this morning who said that he'd just secured the tix for tonight. I cartwheeled. Ask Em.

My take on the movie

I thought I'd just shed a tear or ten at the opening sequence, but I guess I was still not believing that I was finally seeing Superman on the silver screen. I'd only caught Superman IV in the cinemas and was too young to really remember. The other movies I caught on TV and subsequently DVD.

Loved the opening sequence. The John Williams theme is still there, and thank goodness Bryan Singer retained it. I can imagine that it'd probably open the subsequent movies, if any, as its a beautiful summary of Krypton's demise to Kal-El's arrival on earth.

The movie started off really slow. They used three paragraphs to explain why Superman disappeared.

The sequence with young Clark on the farm was missing loads of stuff we saw in the trailers, i.e., discovering the crystal and spaceship, which was rather disappointing for me.

I really enjoyed how they resurrected lines from the old films, e.g., "I hope this doesn't put you off flying" and "You shouldn't smoke, Miss Lane."

Then again, I started to wonder how much original stuff the scriptwriters had to come up with.

The most decent piece of dialogue to me was:

Superman: Lois, will you come with me?

Lois: I can't be gone long...

Superman: Please.

Lois takes off her shoes, steps on his boots and they float up in the sky.

Lois: You know, Richard also takes me up like this, he's a pilot...blah blah blah shoots optic glares from his eyes and dies in the most pansiest way ever in X3. He should learn to stop loving schizo freaks. He's lucky he gets so much more screen time in this show....

They're howevering next to the Daily Planet's globe now and its pretty breathtaking.

Superman: Not like this.
Then the scriptwriters had to spoil this by making Lois say:
"I've almost forgotten how warm you are"
Lex is a charming, intelligent and one hell of detestful bastard.

Spacey's Lex wasn't bumbling around with Otis anymore. He really wanted to kill Superman. And brutally.

Witness the Kryptonite shard through the ribs. I felt quite sad when Superman got totally bitch-slapped and owned by Lex's goons. I'm glad they paid for that dearly.

About his son. Ben was really shocked at this bit.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you wanna screw with mythology, might as well go it all the way. And Singer did. I really don't know how they're going to deal with the son issue in the next movie, if any. Which makes you wonder why Lois & Clark were not allowed to continue as they wanted to explore Superman and Lois having a kid.

It was nice to see Noel Neil and Jack Larson's respective cameos as the dying widow Lex conned and a bartender.

His tribute to that classic Action Comics cover almost ejected this fan boy from his seat.

And the flying sequences and super powers.

Like whoa.

Grandiose but tastefully executed. Here's a man who know's the extent of his ability and goes about saving the world in a most unassuming way. But why does his superhearing flange people's voices, rendering them sounding electronic?

Loved the funny bits where he throws a ball into the atmosphere for his dog (Rusty/Shelby?) to fetch, Richard and Lois having a conversation about the possibility of Clark being Superman and the Planet having two different headlines and stories ready for print.

It was great how they weaved in scenes from The Death of Superman, i.e., needle breaking against his flesh and him short circuiting the medical equipment.

The end bit where Superman recycled Joe-El's speech to his son tended to border on saccharine, but it was one of the best tributes to Richard Donner's version.

I hated how Superman got off so easily from his paternal duties and I dislike the movie continuity in general. I never fancied how he could turn back time and the fact that Jonathan Kent had to die. He dies in Smallville as well and that totally sucks. His loving and supportive parents in Lois and Clark are comic accurate and are in line with mythology. If you're a stickler for that like myself, you'd tend to feel a bit queasy after watching this film. Yup, the old adage that, "There's no pleasing the fan boys" could never ring more true.

But I'd go as far to say that it was a true labour of love from Bryan Singer.

The colours in the movie are so lush and scenes so beautifully composed.

The action sequences were damned riveting and the plot passable.

I'm thankful he dropped that steaming pile of crap known as X3 for this movie.



  1. Ben Loh says:

    U gonna watch it a second time?

  1. yeah gonna watch on sat at imax, free tix for staff.

  1. Ben Loh says:

    Cool!!! Twice and both times free!!! You the lucky one!

  1. No I am blessed by the Good Lord.

    And I also owe General Zod my first born.

  1. Ben Loh says:

    No need, just name your first born son, Kal Benjamin Wong – good enough already.



  1. Actually I'm very disappointed with the movie y'know.

    It was a great summer movie and moving fanboy's tribute yes.

    I loved Reeves as Supes but the movie continuity sucks. Can't help it as it was done before Crisis continuity,

  1. Ben Loh says:

    Can’t watch it with comic books continuity in mind my friend.

    I’m frankly rather disappointed with Crisis. Haven’t read it yet but it’s not something that is now enticing to me. It’s like just an Earth 2 superman chasing lois story…

    My view of the movie is this –

    As a movie, there were huge problems with pacing. It could have been a lot tighter and faster. A lot of unnecessary time spent that could have been cut tighter.

    Editing was disjointed at times and some of the cut scenes were really unnecessary and it disturbs the audience enjoyment of the scene.

    Script was very very weak though the story was OK.

    Some of the actors were really miscast and James Marsden while good should not be in that role. His previous role as Cyclops was distracting him from this role. I for one kept thinking that Cyclops rescued Superman.

    Perry White was really bad and Jimmy was nearing irritating.

    That aside – it is obviously a work of love from Bryan Singer and the two leads were really good in their roles. All complaints about the suit kind of disappeared while I’m watching him on screen. Visual effects were certainly impressive and it was a tribute and fanboy movie too. Especially for those of us who grew up loving Superman I and II.

  1. Oh I was referring to Crisis on Infinite Earths, not Infinite Crisis or whatever nonsense DC Comes up these days.

    Yeah it was damn funny seeing Cyclops and thinking he was a damned pansy for dying in X3.

    I think Lois was purely decorative though

    visual effects rocked.

  1. Ben Loh says:

    Crisis on Infinite Earth!??! OH I SEE WHAT you’re talking about now!

    Actually Crisis and current comics continuity was very much influenced by Superman I and II continuity. Let’s see what happens next. I know I would like to watch a sequel, maybe it will be called “Superman Stays”.

  1. But after John Byrne's revision, Jonathon was still alive, and Clark had two alive and well loving parents, which is a part of the current Superman mythos which I really appreciate. Hence, my favourite rendition of Superman is and remains Lois & Clark.

  1. Ben Loh says:

    OK, I get that mom and pop thing which is probably what’s making Smallville really stand out – but Lois & Clark? That was fun and good in the beginning but it became flaky and boring after a while. But you can’t bring back his dad in the movie. That having been said, I think that one of the mythos of the movie was that Clark Kent was brought up well by Jonathan and his death was probable something that affected Supes to ensure that the values that he was brought up with was respected, treasured and honored through his life.

    Actually, if you review and relook at what Jor-El told Kal-El, re-listen to his speeches, you can actually interpret those as him wanting Kal-El to RULE the EARTH!!!!! Not serve them! HA HA!! Something to think about!

  1. Quote Ben Loh
    I know I would like to watch a sequel, maybe it will be called “Superman Stays”.

    I mentioned this to Neoconvoy and probably 20,000 people before.

    Look we've got Batman Begins & Superman Returns, to complete the trinity, we should have Wonder Woman Strips.

    The Mama and the Papa thing has ended. johnny kicked the bucket in Smallville. Which pisses me off as well!

    Yeah, I'm not asking for Johnny kent to be brought back and accept he's a gonner. Just his luck and he'll stay that way in movie continuity. Which means movie continuity will never appeal to me.

    Yup, the Jor-El asking Clark to rule the earth is fully fleshed out in Smallville. Kudos to the scriptwriters for picking up on that from the movie.

  1. Anonymous says:

    "Yup, the Jor-El asking Clark to rule the earth is fully fleshed out in Smallville. Kudos to the scriptwriters for picking up on that from the movie."

    What?!?!? NO WAY!!!! These were original lines written by Mario Puzo way back when! Then got picked up in the comics with the eradicator remember? This is probably where the Smallville writers picked it up from.

    Yup DEAD POP!!!!! I suppose that everyone wants to emulate Batman! BWAH HA HA HA HA HA

    Wonder Woman Strips? That's something I'd catch on day 1!

    Movie Continuity will never appeal to you because Pop ain't around!?!?!?! Hello, the title is "Superman" not Jonathan Kent! By that rationale, NO MORE WATCHING SMALLVILLE FOR YOU!!! NO MORE SUPERMAN MOVIES FOR YOU!!!!! AH HA!!! Bring it on!!!

    And don't get me started on X3. That was so weak!

  1. General Zod, by fully fleshed out I really mean fully enacted in Jor-el coming to take Clark away every summer holiday.

    Yes no more Smallville for me since Pop died. Superman movies happen so seldom I guess its ok to catch them.

    I just cuddle up to my Lois & Clark episodes.


  1. General Zod - YOUR GOD! says:

    You just lost me there with your comment on Jor-El taking Clark away. What talking you?

    No more Smallville?? Are you sure!?!?! ARE YOU SURE!?!?!?! You don't cop out OK!!!

    Hate movie continuity but because it's rare, it's OK? Not acceptable. A principle is a principle. Don't like, hate, then don't watch. Now, give me your tickets to your second viewing. I'm doing this to help you preserve your principles.

    Then you love Lois & Clark.... Man, that's like saying you Love Jar Jar Binks.

    If X3 blows and PE at the same time, it means that X3 is GAY! The way I see it, X3 is more limp dick than anything else.

    Err.... are we allowed to get so graphic and vulgar in this forum?

  1. Jor El exists in Smallville leh almighty general. For season two and three, he takes clark on a family vacation. Really!

    YES NO MORE SMALLVILLE on channel five

    Nope no tickets to IMAX SR for you general zod, you already have my first born.




    yes we are allowed to go wild here, because Kal-El owns this place.



    Lament and complain all you want about the continuity but you are still SO IN LOVE with the movies and the TV show and there's nothing that will happen that will prevent you from watching these series. HA! That and your desire to watch it on IMAX for FREE.

    So, you liking the name? Kal Benjamin Wong. Good name huh!

    YOU love Jar Jar! You probably love Mission Impossible 3 too.

    Yes, X3 sucks. It sucks so bad that I'm glad I didn't have to pay any money to watch it.... oh wait, I DID!!! MAN! That was good money down the drain! I doubt if I would want to get the DVD at all - not even to complete the collection.

    By the by, I think that Brandon Routh actually looked quite OK as Supes. Wished his eyes were more blue but when he's on-screen, all complaints of costume and so on went away. Now THAT's the size you should be going for. A bulky supes in real life just doesn't really make it believable.

  1. i am so in love with Kal-El's ideals and powers and will support him in anyway I can. Even if it means appearing everytime his movies are screened and not having to pay a cent for it.

    Hey MI3 is another contender for dud of the millenium. Tommy having a wife is as bad as Clark having a son. Dunno how they gonna do the respective sequels. If MI3 follows James Bond, we all know what's gonna happen with michelle.


    Even my crap looks and smells better than X3. Really, you can see Wolverine's features in there.

    Down South Routh was wearing contacts. Yeah think his size was decent, not overwhelming. I quite liked him as Clark. Pretty decent, unlike Kate 'Part of the Furniture' Bosworth.

  1. OK, I give you a way out on principles with your caveat that it's Kal-El's principles, ideals and powers that override any and all continuity problems and your hatred of that continuity. Bleh!

    MI3 was so bad I was laughing almost all the way through. There was no internal logic at all and the direction of the movie with all that bloody shaky handy-cam work was God-awful.


    Comparing crap - X3 was the food that got digested and crapped out as MI3. But that's not saying ANYTHING! Because they both SUCK - BIG TIME!

    Kate Bosworth - when I heard the cast list, I was like - WTF!?!?!?! Then I watched her and I thought she carried her role pretty well. The fact that she can act certainly helped. It's just a pity that she had NO BODY to show-off. Nary a curve on that freaking skinny body of hers.

    Remember that scene of her at home with Cyclops and the little bastard? She was bending over the oven or some shit like that and there was a shot of her from behind? NO BUTT AT ALL!!!!! Sheesh!

    And to continue with our other discussion elsewhere here :

    Yup, that's why Supes always appeared to be the dumbest of the superheroes. Just brawn and strength. Hardly got brains - and that's all thanks to his red-neck education in SMALLVILLE. SMALL VILLE, SMALL BRAINS!

    And finally, you know WHY Supes had a kid???

    Remember, Supes can't have sex with a normal human being because he would kill her. Ejaculating in the woman who be like shooting a gun in her. BUT because this is part of movie continuity after Superman II, which if you recall, he lost his powers and had sex with Lois??? THAT must be when the conception happened. Which of course now begs the question of whether or not Jason should have powers! Because Supes had no powers when he did her!!!!


    Kate Bosworth is a mutant with her dual coloured eyes. The only lois with curves is Ryan Seacrest lovin' / Seinfeld appearin Teri Hatcher.

    Jason is a stupid name, does it occur ANYWHERE in continuity? PLEASE ENLIGHTEN. They should've called him Joseph, clark's middle name.


    Yeah I did know why, way before the movie and was amused to hear you 'Eh' when he did a piano on baddie. I wanted to spoil you if you didn't give me the tix.

  1. Teri Hatcher was hot in the beginning. Really hot but those doppy eyes and sagging eye bags of hers got irritating. Together with her screeching voice - bleh! Reminiscent all you want but I don't recall anyone ever really playing a really good Lois.

    Give you a choice, say you could cast any celebrity in the role, whom would you cast?

    Joseph? Wouldn't that be TOO obvious? And Jason looked like he was way more than 5 years old! And which continuity? Comics? If movie, then this is part of the new continuity that took its cue from Superman II - THERE is the possibility of how it happened.

    Say what you want - that's why Batman will ALWAYS beat Superman.

    OK, the piano thinghie, maybe he didn't do it at all. Maybe the piano wasn't stuck to the ground and moved when the ship moved. In any case, there is no reason why Jason should have any powers at all.

    Language? Kiss my @$$.

  1. In the later seasons, I don't think her eye bags were the only stuff that sagged.

    Angelina actually. But I want her to play Wonder Woman. Grrr.

    Comic continuity. I only know of elseworld's The Kingdom, sequel to KC. But never read it cos I heard it was STUPID!

    Batman will ALWAYS beat Superman cos Supes wants to give humanity hope in their greatest terrestrial hero. He'd heat vision Batman to ashes anytime he wanted. Supes is just kind.

    Jason is still a silly name.

    On your reply to language, I'm sure Jar Jar, Boss Nass and the Gun Guns, why not throw in Wicket and Gang, would like that.

  1. Well, you've still got Desperate Housewives to ogle over.

    Err.... I'd rather go with Jennifer Connelly for Wonder Woman. Angelina is too "manly" to pull off a Lois. She'll eat Superman for breakfast.

    "Kind"? That's the PC word for "simple mindedness". See, the point is what while Superman can easily beat Batman in a straight out fight, the truth remains that in the event that such a fight occurs, Batman will, because of his preparation and brain, would have won the fight before it even began. I believe all continuity supports this postulation.

    Jason is a neutral name that will always protect his identity.

    EVERYONE wants to kiss me.

    I'll tell you some stuff that I like:

    When he gets beaten;
    The flight with Lois (until "you feel so warm")
    When he throws the island into space
    his fall
    the plane rescue
    All the visual effects shot
    Action comics 1 tribute
    his last speech to Jason

  1. OOOOOH Betty Ross! Loved her scene in Requiem for a Dream. Yeah she'd be great.

    Did you really hate Hulk? I liked Eric Bana's Bruce Banner actually.

    It is right that all continuity supports this postulation. Its cos we're never gonna embrace aliens. But Clark giving Bruce the kryptonite ring is just so damn funny.

    I'd figured you'd like the last speech to Jason bit. Now confess! You went home and enacted the scene with Xander right?

    Didn't you find it frickin ironic when he said I'll always be around? Frickin useless Dad I'd say. If that's how kryptonians bring up their kids, I'm glad my ship landed in smallville and I was raised as a country hick.

  1. Jennifer Connelly is my all time favourite though she looks Wonder Womanly, I am not quite sure if she can actually carry the role off though. Her in "Labrynth" and the "Rocketeer" maybe. Her in "Hulk" and some of her more recent outings not quite. A kind of sad and forelorn look in her eyes takes the strength and determination of Wonder Woman away from her.

    Mia Kirshner - she may make a good Lois.

    Eric Bana Bruce Banner OK, Hulk the movie sucks ass BIG TIME. I ABSOLUTELY HATED THAT MOVIE BIG TIME!!! I wanted to walk out and I wanted to rip the screen off the wall. All that cross-editing and comic-like panels? That was so irritating and I've never physically hated a movie before.

    We never embrace aliens because there are no friendly aliens. They are ALL EVIL. You name me any alien and I can tell you why it is evil.

    Supes giving the ring to Bats is cause Supes know that he is inherently evil and must be stopped at all cost and Bats is always the one that can take Supes down. No other hero would have enough brains to use the ring before getting taken down by Supes. Plus, Bats fights the street fight.

    I went home and WANTED to enact the scene but dang! I couldn't remember the lines! Trying to memorise it now... heh heh heh. Those lines didn't have as much impact on me in "Superman the Movie" as it did in Supes Returns. The fact that Jason is supposed to be 5 years old and is close to Xander's age certainly resonated with me.

    "I'll be around" was his line to Lois and repeats the earlier talk they had when they were on the roof. So that wasn't really something that said anything about his parental duties. Further, his paternal status must be kept secret to protect the child and mom too. And for that protection, it is also important that Jason does not know that Supes is his father (note that this was never expressly stated in the movie - merely implied).

    I also don't think that Supes is shirking from his responsibilites. I think he will always be around to watch over both Lois and Jason. He certainly can't be your everyday father, he can only do that as Clark and under movie continuity, it won't happen.

    So this is going to be a heartache that will stay with him for quite some time yet.

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