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November 18, 2005

It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's the Start of the Superman Movie Hype!

Trailer over at Dave's place.

It's... okay.

Among the problems with the trailer: It's just stuff we've already seen in the first two Superman films. (The good ones.)

The music is the same, and they even use Marlon Brando's voice-over as Jor-El... though I assume the music is in there just as a place-holder (trailers often use music from other movies, as the score isn't usually finished by the time publicity begins) and the Brando voice-over is just for nostalgia.

It looks like a somewhat more stately, less comic remake of the first Superman movie, pretty much, with Superman wearing a darker-colored outfit. Which isn't necessarily bad, but...

Batman Begins worked (at least through the first hour) because it was all stuff we'd not seen before. They never really told Batman's origins in any of the movies, except in brief, broad flashbacks, so all that stuff was good and new.

They did tell Superman's origin in the '78 picture, and pretty much nailed it, so... how exactly is this going to be superior? It doesn't even look very different. Krypton looks just like Krypton did in the '78 pic, except rockier, less crystalline. The Kent home is still just nostalgic heartland Americana, and Clark Kent still apparently finds that Kryptonian crystal in the Kent family barn.

They even re-do the meeting between Lois Lane and Superman on her penthouse rooftop.

It's a straight remake, it seems, not a reboot like the Batman pic was.

Different villain, probably, so the last half will be different-ish, but different enough?

Bryan Singer's got a talent for this, but it's hard to see how he can improve on what were a pretty damn good (and true to the comics) couple of movies. The new Batman film was only competing with the wildly-overrated, doesn't-hold-up-well-and-it-wasn't-very-good-even-at-the-time Burton misfires.

They'll have to take out a lot of the light comic touches of the '70's films, just to create a different tone, which is too bad, because the original two Superman films really got that balance pretty much exactly right. They were funny without being campy, wry without being self-spoofing.

I don't even like Superman much, but they're still the best superhero movies out there (close competition from X-Men). I'm a big fan of Batman and Spiderman, but I'd rather watch either of the first two Superman movies over the Tim Burton Batman movies or even the (better, but not great) Sam Raimi Spiderman pictures.

What about that old adage that one should only remake bad or at least greatly flawed movies? Can't someone do something with Captain America?

Don't Fix What Ain't Broke Update: I guess I admire Singer's courage in recognizing the fundamental strength of the original Supe move, and just duplicating that. A lesser director might be tempted to change things just for the sake of changing them, to avoid direct comparisons, to put his personal stamp on the franchise.

But the problem remains that that first film was very strong. Making his remake, no matter how good, sort of unnecessary, a superfluous Superman.

Then again... taking out all that silliness about changing the rotation of the earth and going back in time might be enough to make this a slightly better movie.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong: Dave says I'm wrong about the remake aspect. I quote him after the jump, just because this post on a superhero movie has really gotten far too long.


Ace, sounds like you didn't know that it's NOT a remake, but a continuation of the Donner/Reeves storyline (at least the first two movies). That's why it's called Superman *Returns*.

Yes, the movie asks to accept that Superman (and Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor, etc.) are younger than they were in the original movies, but it accepts the same storyline of Superman I & II.

From what I've read, the "Returns" part involves Superman leaving Earth for some reason or another (hence the visiting dead parts of Krypton), and then, surprise-surprise, returning. Lex Luthor is the bad guy.

Oh, and the music is going to be new, but it uses John Williams' theme as the hook. And Brando is still used as Supes' father in flashback (and, apparently, through CGI makes some new scenes as well. . . jury's out on how that works).

Sooo. . . minimal origin stuff, not a retread, continuation of movies (but ignoring Richard Pryor and Nuclear Man. Poor, poor Nuclear Man. . . )

BTW, here's the synopsis:

Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure Superman Returns, a soaring new chapter in the saga of one of the world's most beloved superheroes. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman's bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.

FYI, Lex Luthor is a bald Kevin Spacey. Which isn't gay or anything (hopefully, he remembers back when he was, you know, an actor).

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:35 PM

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