Superman Returns...

superman returns was not the best superhero movie i ever saw. just wanted to get that outta the way... i had lots and lots of drama going on yesterday. amid all of it, i ALMOST forgot to spend my last few bucks on that midnight showing of Superman Returns (no, i didn't wait the extra hour to watch the IMAX version...). almost, but not quite!
it wasn't bad. for once (X-men and X2 director) Bryan Singer made a movie that wasn't in the top 5 superhero movies ever made, but to his credit, it IS better than x3, directed by his buddy Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon), making it the best comics adaptation of the summer! spiderman 3 comes out next year, and V for Vendetta came out in the spring, so he's off the hook there!
designed as a sequal to the 26 year old classic Superman II (you remember: "you will kneel, son of Jor-El"), i found Superman Returns a bit too derivative. there wasn't much attempt to make the new Supes, rookie actor Brandon Routh, distinguish himself from his predecessor (he often comes off as though doing an imitation of the late Christopher Reeves' Clark Kent), his Superman was good though, as i felt he nailed the good-yet-tough-guy persona that Reeves underplayed. Likewise, Kate Bosworth's Lois Lane was okay, but unimpressive (Terry Hatcher owns Lois Lane!). Don't get me wrong, they have their moments (the onscreen chemistry between Lane and Superman is date movie-worthy, and the scenes where Supes flexes his power are good), but... OH! Kevin Spacey (Usual Suspects, LA Confidential, Se7en) was great as Lex. still, go check Superman and SupermanII for the true genius of Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor. Lex's plucky galpal, Kitty Kowalski , was played brilliantly by Parker Posey (Blade Trinity), but she was strangely similar to Ms. Teschmacher ("But Lex, my mother lives in Hackensack...") from the original Superman. you'd think Lex would'a learnt his lesson...

Unlike his X-men films, this movie is a bit too long, clocking in at an overweight 154 minutes. having only seen it once, i'm not sure where the fat shoulda been trimmed from, but it does drag in places...

all that aside, there were lots of great, great character moments and surprising, ballsy moves by Singer and crew to give the Superman storyline narrative thrust... enough for me to recommend the film to superhero fans, or fans of the first two films.

i found a wide variety of reviews to Superman Returns, reflecting the differences in what people came in looking for. the Original superhero, Superman's continuing relevance as a character is constantly being challenged, so it's no surprise that the movie is getting a mixed responses. Still, i thought it was pretty good, just not quite Super! check it out, and let me know what you think...

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