Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Off-topic: The Official Dave's Longbox Review of Superman Returns - Like You Care

Well, it didn't suck.

Superman Returns is better than Batman Returns, but not as good as Batman Begins. It's also not as good as X-Men 2, but it is better than The Fantastic Four and is about a third as good as both Superman and Superman II combined. It's not up there with Blade, but it's twice as good as Daredevil and five times as good as Catwoman. It would take all the combined good parts of Elektra, Batman and Robin, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze to equal half of Superman Returns, but Superman Returns would have to be twice as rad to equal The Incredibles or Spider-Man 2. Having said that, I'd say it was a little better than X-Men 3 and four times as good as Superman III and IV (separately.) It's no Swamp Thing, though.

I hope that clears thing up.

As a fanboy, I enjoyed Superman Returns, but as a regular moviegoer I was vaguely disappointed. I found it overly reverential to Richard Donner's Superman and Superman II, the movies that launched the modern era of superhero cinema. Superman Returns plays as a sort of sequal to those first two movies, completely blowing off Superman III and Superman IV, which were utter shite, as my British friends say. Director Bryan Singer emulates the vibe and design of the first two movies to a fault, and as a result it doesn't show us anything we haven't really seen before in Donner's films.

"Superman rescued the f$%* out of that space plane!"
-Chris Sims's nine-word review

I had some issues with the plot and general narrative drive of the movie as well. So much is going on that the film feels a little unfocused and rambling. It needed a stronger story spine and clearer sense of direction. The triumphant ending felt anticlimactic, and any impact it has is blunted by an overly long denouement - it goes out Return of the King style.

Plus, some stuff just didn't work for me, a nerd with a pretty clear idea as to what the classic Superman mythos should be. Kate Bosworth didn't convey the chutzpah and brashness I associate with Lois Lane, and being saddled with a silent five-year old boy didn't help. Don't get me started on that frickin' kid. Plus - (SPOILER! Swipe Inviso-Text at your own risk!) I had a really hard time with them killing Jimmy Olsen like they did, with a big crystal stalactite through the chest. It was just gory and unnescessary. (end SPOILER)

However, when the movie clicks it really clicks. The high point of the film for me was a fantastic sequence where Superman has to rescue a malfunctioning space shuttle and a plummeting passenger jet at roughly the same time. It's a gripping, masterfully done scene that ends on a F$%# Yeah note that was pitch perfect.

The thematic focus in Superman Returns is the idea of Superman as world savior, a sort of post-modern secular messiah. That means that nearly all of the action sequences involve Superman rescuing normal folks from impending doom or Superman lifting progressively heavier objects rather than Superman destroying things, which is what I really want. Singer goes WAY overboard on the Jesus imagery, and after a while it becomes a running joke. I'm challenging somebody out there to start the Superman Returns Christ Metaphor Drinking Game.

I hope it does well, because I feel like Singer and Co have it in them to do a really good Superman movie. I just hope the next one has a tighter focus: Superman punching shit.


Brett said...

Superman Returns is better than Batman Returns, but not as good as Batman Begins. [Snip} It's no Swamp Thing, though.

That is a brilliant way to rate a movie. Very detailed and pinpoint precise. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Dave: any opinion on the Spiderman teaser?

Bill said...

it's twice as good as Daredevil and five times as good as Catwoman

Clarification, please: multiplying a negative number by an even number results in a positive, odd, a negative.

David Campbell said...

I got nothing.

The Spider-Man trailer looked pretty keen and made my fanboy heart flutter a little. It needed more Thomas Hayden Church. And dinosaurs.

Anonymous said...

Bill, dude, you're thinking of exponentiation.
Negative times positive = negative, regardless of parity

Rob said...

I wrote my own review of the movie, as if you care, but I was not able to exactly pinpoint what it was that kept me from fully enjoying the film. But thanks to you I know what it missed: Superman really needed to punch more shit. Couldn't Singer find a giant purple robot somewhere?

Also, the scenes with Superman spying on Lois and family at home and sneaking in thier windows were creepy. And Superman is no creep. Superman is a dick.

Barry Melton said...

I haven't seen it yet, mostly due to my low expectations of it, and I have to wait for a time to take my kid to see it at the Imax in town.

Sounds about like what I was expecting though, so oddly enough, your mediocre review actually makes me want to see it more. :-\

Yeah, I can't explain that at all.

philip said...

If I were the PR guy for Superman Returns, I would run your whole first paragraph as the pull quote on subsequent advertisements for the film. Sheer nerdy brilliance.

SanctumSanctorumComix said...

That was, hands-down, the BEST damn review (first paragraph) I have EVER read.

It gives the COmic-movie going viewer a VERY accurta ebarameter to measure one against several others.

YOU are the shite!
(As your Brit friends might a good way).



Reel Fanatic said...

Great review ... I'm getting worried that this one won't live up to my very high expectations when I finally get to see it tomorrow night

SanctumSanctorumComix said...


Freakin' Speed-typing. I SWEAR my keys can't keep up with the fingers. is my last post again (re-edited).


That was, hands-down, the BEST damn review (first paragraph) I have EVER read.

It gives the Comic-Movie going viewer a VERY accurate barometer to measure one against several others.

YOU are the shite!
(As your Brit friends might a good way).



ps; Dave, feel free to delete my previous post.

Dan Coyle said...

I hope in Spider-Man 4 they bring in more guys from Wings as villains. Tim Daly as Roderick Kingsley, Tony Shaloub as the Tinkerer, Steven Weber as... The Big Wheel?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it goes


Anonymous said...




My problem with this movie is an odd one, and it's this: there's a throwaway line near the beginning, and it excited the HELL out of me, and if they'd pursued its implications, I think it would've been a much more interesting movie.

Okay, you're Lex Luthor. You possess one of the finest minds on the planet. And you've just been told that you have at your fingertips, at your total disposal, all the knowledge, literature, "all the science of 28 galaxies".

Dude. DUDE. That's like giving Genghis Khan the keys to the Death Star. Better, because you're also letting Genghis know that his chief rival had the keys for years...and NEVER BOTHERED TO SHARE THEM WITH THE TRIBE.

There's your Prometheus, right there--all that knowledge, all those advances, all those mind-blowing concepts. Immortality. Faster than light travel. Safe free power. AND the ability to let the world know they could've had it all a decade earlier, but Superman. Wouldn't. Share.

And instead, Lex learns how to make crystals grow really big.

Greg said...

Superman punching shit is good. Let's hope it's not some crystal prison that alters reality every time he does so, though. I mean, that would just be stupid. Nobody would do something stupid like that, would they?

JIM said...

You know, if I was a demonic math teacher, I would totally take your post and make it into a word problem.

McGone said...

It would take all the combined good parts of Elektra, Batman and Robin, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze to equal half of Superman Returns

Whoa, back the truck up... there's a good part in Batman and Robin? When? The end credits? Or was it something I missed on the Special Limited Edition Joel Schumacher Director's Cut "Batman and Robin: Even Nipple-ier" DVD?

The Spider-Man teaser made me chub up a little, btw. Dinosaur's would have kicked it up a notch, you're right.

Dweeze said...

I didn't have a problem with what they did in the Jimmy Olson evisceration scene, it's the fact that they did it while he was "adjusting his zoom", if you know what I mean.

My main complaint was the length. You could easily cut a half hour out of the film and have a much better movie. Yep, the length. The length and the total lack of dinosaurs and/or pirates and/or gorillas. Or, better still, gorilla pirates riding dinosaurs. That would have rocked.

David Campbell said...

"Sounds like it goes


That is pretty much correct. Swamp Thing is the best comic book movie ever made. WHO'S GOT MY BACK? WHO'S WITH ME!?

arizonateach said...

I just won't be able to sleep at night until I know where Hulk, Punisher, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,and mostly Tank Girl go. Oh, and Return of the Swamp Thing, just 'cause.

(originally, this post was longer with every damn movie I could think of, but not only would that have made a rather unfunny joke even unfunnier, but I would have missed one and somebody would be a dick and triumphantly point it out. Like, you know, I just did.)

As far as Supes goes, I fricken' loved it. When Clark got the news about the space shuttle, in my head I started thinking "buh-buh-buhbuh-bum"...and then they did it, so I'm like totally psychic. And his line to the passengers on the plane had me howling, but nobody else in the theater got it, it seemed. And the theater was damn near empty, which surprised me some, although the IMAX 3-D in the next theater over was sold out.

So, in conclusion, yes, Elektra sucked.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is my first comment here and ironically, after all the great posts from Dave, it's because of a guest's comment. And an anonymous guest, at that.

Anonymous (of the Prometheus/28 worlds comment), that's a really good point. Well-put too. Not sharing fire with the rest of the tribe would make a much more interesting theme than the (second) Great Land Grab.

Nearly broke out in hives as I flashed back to 3rd grade word problems, but let's see. If Catwoman was 10 times worse than The Incredibles, then Daredevil was only 4 times worse. That, I can see.

Third-grade math is a long way from here, but I'd also have to gently disagree with Anonymous of the movie rankings. The fact that Superman Returns is "is about a third as good as both Superman and Superman II combined" suggests that The Incredibles ranks higher than Superman and Superman II. Which I can also see.

KnightHawk said...

Tony Shaloub is playing Kang the Conquerer in the Avengers movie.

The one I just made.

In my head.

Scott said...

Lex just didn't work as a villain for me. The whole evil plot was basically a retelling of Superman I, including the secrely kindhearted Miss Tessmacher. With a better villain (or at least a better evil plan), it could have been an A+ movie, instead of a B+.

Anonymous said...

X3 ws better than X2.


Hoosier X said...

If there is a comic book movie worse than The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I don't want to know about it.

Do you hear me?

I don't want to know!

David Cutler said...

It was actually my favorite super hero movie ever, and the first that I didn't walk out complaining about something. That said, I thought Superman I & II were dreadfully boring, so maybe my opinion doesn't matter to other fanpersons much. Really liked it though. Going again on Tuesday.

Ransack said...

Best super hero movie ever (particularly if you loved Wings: The Specials.

Best comic book movie: Mystery Men!

Make it your life's work to find these movies and own them.

Superman Returns is a good movie (particularly for civilians) unfortunately, it's not a good Superman movie.

I think it missed the point of who Superman is: The friggin' cock of the walk.

Clark Kent needs to be played for what he really is: Supes' joke with the world, tripping, falling, spilling stuff - all with an ironic wink because he's really Superman, just with glasses and a slouch.

I think Bryan Singer "got" Superman on an important level, just used a cheap trick to exploit it - unsuccessfully in the eyes of real Superman fans.

The key to Superman? He's a friggin' alien that shoots lasers out of his eyes - which are remarkably blue and bullet resistent.

Almost nothing can hurt this guy, and what does hurt him - kryptonite - he can overcome. The way you get to the Man of Steel is through his heart. Exploit his emotions - hurt his feelings.

Singer tried to do this - but sending Supes off into space was just a cheap trick - instead of remaking Richard Donner's Superman, Singer should have made John Byrne's. Crazed industrialist Luthor trumps land-obsessed criminal Luthor.

Anyway, If Singer had really loved the fans, he would have closed with one final flashy action sequence with giant robots, Nazis and flame throwers, not the dopey flying around in space scene- ala Supes 1 - which I saw on my 13th birthday, thank you very much.

So, in conclusion, let me reiterate:

More: Superman getting shot in the eyeball

Less: Hospital scenes

Less: Creepy super-stalking

More: Robotic dinosaurs

Less: Creepy Lois kid

More: Lois skin - show us the goods, baby. (At least she is hotter than Margo Kidder ever was. Plus, looks like she has all of her own teeth)

More: S shield on the chest. It should be bigger than Supes' head

Less: Wierd plastic material the Super suit seems to be made of.

Luke said...

I agree with the need for more punching.

I don't like disaster movies, and most Superman movies turn into them. In a non-comic book world (like the movies have all been, and most other comic book movies) you don't have enough supervillains, minor villains, bad-ass evil organizations (AIM, Hydra, etc), or monsters/robots to fight. So instead, Superman has to rescue normals and put out fires.

In the superman/JLA cartoons, you can do lots of villains, so why can't you do it in movies? I know you can't flesh them all out, but couldn't you throw in a punch-up with Solomon Grundy?


gwalla said...

Utter shite? Dude, Superman 3 had Richard Pryor skiing down a skyscraper! And the world's freakiest scene to a 3-year-old: the woman getting turned into a robot by string while screaming.

Superman 4? Yeah...yeah, that one pretty much sucked all around.

Anonymous said...

"That is pretty much correct. Swamp Thing is the best comic book movie ever made. WHO'S GOT MY BACK? WHO'S WITH ME!?"

I am...with you...David!

Anonymous said...

As a Brit, can I just clarify one thing:

No brit (friend or otherwise) would ever say "you're the shite". Never.

"You're the bollocks", maybe (as a compliment).

For the next movie they should do Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman. That would rule.

Owen Hargreaves said...

I want to know where does 'Howard the Duck' come in all of this?

R2K said...

Nice : )

Philip Looney said...

Superman Messaiah Drinking game:

The word "son" and "father" are spoken in the same sentence - TAKE A SHOT

Superman makes like the cross - TAKE A SHOT

Brando says "I sent them you..." - TAKE TWO SHOTS

Dweeze said...

More: Robotic dinosaurs

Can the robotic dinosaurs have gorilla pirates riding them? How about gorilla Nazi pirates?

Trent said...

Hey! I really like Mystery Men too, which makes Ransack and I the only two people who like Mystery Men.

Matthew E said...

I like Mystery Men. *And* I like The Specials. I don't like them as much as I like Sky High, and I like Sky High about half as much as I like Unbreakable, and almost as much as I like The Rocketeer... and I like Unbreakable almost as much as I like The Incredibles.

Bully said...

Math is hard. But I loved Mystery Men too. I'd put it in my top seven superhero movies.

Cody said...

The moment I realized that Singer gets Superman also doubles as the movies first real F^%* Yeah! Moment.

Supeman has just saved the plane and checked on the survivors. He turns to leave, and is greeted by the standing ovation from the baseball fans. For almost a full minute, he lets the crowd's cheers wash over him, then he takes off.

Were Superman real, he'd be the most famous motherfucker on the planet. No one would give a shit about how many refugees Angelina Jolie collected or abotu some pregnant naked trollop on a magazine cover. That ovation was a reminder of that fact.

In all, I loved this film. It's mile better than any of the old Superman films (which all of us see through nostalgia colored glasses) and Is just a hair under Spider-Man 2 on my list.

Anonymous said...

so where do Man-Thing, Dr. Strange and both Captain America movies fit in on the list?

Mike P said...

I also enjoyed "Mystery Men". As for "Superman Returns", well, I was heartbroken when Jimmy bit it. Jimmy is one of my favorite Superman characters, simply because of his silver age incarnation's power-a-week habit. I was hoping they may exploit that in one of the inevitable "Superman Returns" sequels, but I guess not.

As for the rest of the movie, Brandon Routh looked good as Superman during the action scenes. During the quiet scenes (including the creepy Superstalker ones) his pretty boy-ness sort of made me think, "That's not Superman." I also disliked the muddy reds of the costume, and the "S" shield's design. However, despite all of this, the movie exceeded my expectations of it and proved to be a decent Superman film.

Anonymous said...

1.) SM2=I=2sr

2.) sr=(s+s2)/3

3.) E+BR+TMNT=sr

4.) x2>sr>x3>F4

5.) ST>sr

6.) 4*s3=4*s4=sr

7.) sr=2DD=5CW

By looking at line two, we see that Superman Returns is, the equivalent to 2/3 of the average enjoyment of the first two Superman films.

Using this knowledge, we can thus determine that the first two Superman movies average out to 8/3 times the enjoyment of the second two.

Line one, with the information provided tells us that Spiderman 2 and Incredibles bring (100/3)% more enjoyment compared to the average enjoyment one would derive from the first two superman movies.

We can also determine Catwoman is 1/10 the quality of Incredibles or Spiderman 2. It is 2/15 times the quality of the average of the first two Superman movies. Daredevil is 1/4 Inc/Spiderman2 and 1/6 (Supes1+Supes2)

Those are likely all of the numbers we can achieve in confidence through the information provided, but I may have missed one or two calculations. It's hard to tell with this tiny window. We would need to be given more numerical information to accurately determine the complete rankings for the remainder of the movies.

Cole Moore Odell said...

A rigorous, double-blinded, scientific review of all the movies on your list shows that only Swamp Thing has gratuitous shots of Adrienne Barbeau washing her rack. Even Spider-Man 2 doesn't have that. They wasted the CGI budget on the train scene.

Bill Reed said...

I liked Batman Returns more. This was maybe as good as Hulk. But I liked Hulk. So maybe not. Blade sucked. Moving on.

It didn't inspire me. That was its greatest failure. Also? No climax, no resolution, no damn ending. It just stopped after two and a half hours of build-up.

I actually liked Kate Bosworth's performance, though. Even if Lois was a bit of an idiot.

Patrick said...

Batman Returns is easily the best superhero movie of all time, and the only film to come close to the sort of generic examination that makes Watchmen so great.

I don't get how Singer can get away with making a two and a half hour homage to a not particularly great film, while Nolan totally ignores Burton's two great films that were actually made much more recently. I'd have loved to see someone pick up with a real Batman 3, or if this was 1993, Tim Burton to make a Catwoman film with Michelle Pfeiffer.

Luis K. said...










DUDE. That's like giving Genghis Khan the keys to the Death Star.

Excellent, excellent point, Anonymous! I kept waiting for all that Kryptonian tech, twisted by mad human genius, to be unleashed. Instead what we got was about as anticlimactic as -- as the Parker Posey character points out -- growing Sea Monkeys.

And you're right, the implications of Superman hiding that potentially life-saving tech from humanity are staggering: for a moment I was reminded of The Four in Warren Ellis' Planetary. But really, I just wanted to see big Killer Battle Robots or at the very least, a Kryptonite Laser or something.

In Rob's review, he wrote: Of course, I mainly think of Superman as a Batman supporting character... You know that scene where Supes rolls around on the ground and gets the crap kicked out of him by three Standard Comics Henchmen? I kept wishing that Batman would just drop in and beat the holy hell out of all three of them, and Luthor. Problem solved.

Oh well. At least we got the Superman/Cyclops team-up!

Mike P said: Brandon Routh looked good as Superman during the action scenes. During the quiet scenes (including the creepy Superstalker ones) his pretty boy-ness sort of made me think, "That's not Superman." Totally agree.

This Superman is mildly unsettling because he's both more human and more alien, in a way. He's more human because of all the yearning and stalking and making mistakes and stuff, but in a way that just underscores the fact that you can't possess power like that and still harbor human pettiness; his human flaws emphasize his basically inhuman superiority. That scene where Lois says, "My boyfriend takes me flying!" and Supes says, "Not like this." -- Man. That had me rooting for Cyclops.

I did enjoy the movie a lot. Casting turned out much better than expected, effects were good, barely noticed how long it was, story was okay if somewhat lacking (I did love the Superkid reveal though -- was genuinely surprised, despite the foreshadowing).

It's just that something about the way this Superman is portrayed makes me feel he's about two minutes away from declaring himself Emperor of the Planet and imposing his will on all humanity (and Lois).

And then Batman drops in and beats him up. Yay!

captain koma said...

Everything goes better with dinosaurs. My next synthoid creations are going to be dinosaurs.

Think of the worst movie you've ever seen and just add dinosaurs. Hey presto the movie becomes watchable.

Sleepless in Seattle - Have Meg Ryan trun into a dinosaur. She eats Tom and his whiny son. End of movie and we all walk out happy. Cast-away have wilson the volley ball relapce with Wilson the T-Rex fun and caos ensues.
The money pit, have the house destroyed by a ramapging group of dinosaurs.

I think you all get where I'm comming from. Tom Hanks sucks.

Adam said...

If there is a comic book movie worse than The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I don't want to know about it.

the justice league flick with matt frewer as the villain.

and i think that movie deserves a LONG BOX treatment!

Anonymous said...


ummmmm, in line two, its 1/3, not 2/3. in line seven, its 1/5, not 1/10. as if i weren't confused enough.

AnthonyF said...

That wasn't Matt Frewer as the villain, it was Miguel Ferrer. But yeah, that thing sucked pretty badly. Thinking about it makes me like Superman Returns a lot more, actually.

Dan Coyle said...

Matt Frewer DID play the villain in the busted Generation X pilot, which despite a good perf by Frewer and the sight of Finola Hughes in a corset as the White Queen, was pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

I'd figured I'd botched some of the math. I was working all out of my head and the Notepad program.

It had some fun parts and some unnecessary parts. Some dude shouted "WHEEEEEEEE!!!!" at one point, which was pretty damn funny. Had nothing to do with the movie itself, though.

The bad guys weren't conistent enough with their level of evil. Sometimes they were too goofy, then they inexplicably change to super evil. Why would the henchmen want to beat up Superman anyways? He didn't do anything to them.

Superman also acted a little creepy. He's watching Lois cook dinner when he could be using that time to stop some kind of catastrophe.

SW said...

What's this about Olsen dying? I sat throught the whole thing and didn't any such thing!

You're kinder to this movie than I would be. I really found it to be really bad fan fiction. I can understand having an homage to the first two movies, but ultimately it was a watered down platitude. We would have been better served with an original take on S-Man (a la Batman Begins). We did not benefit from having a weak imitation of earlier works.

Dug the Spidey trailer though! Rock on!

Ed said...

Think of the worst movie you've ever seen and just add dinosaurs. Hey presto the movie becomes watchable.

Actually, the worst movie I've ever seen was Jurassic Park 3...

What's this about Olsen dying? I sat throught the whole thing and didn't any such thing!

I didn't seem him killed, either! When was this, when the glass was shattering and such? And why would they kill him, after makin' him so damned likeable in this one?

Anyway, I liked it. Wholeheartedly and unreservedly. It fit my image of what Superman should be, and thus, I am satisfied.

Well, okay, the stalker bits were kinda creepy.

David Campbell said...

Okay, okay - I was kidding about the Jimmy Olsen death thing. I'm a dick.

Hoosier X said...

Dave, you were a lot nicer than this guy.

(And, by the way, I totally believed you about Jimmy! You got me good! But I will have my revenge! I will provoke the conservatives when you least expect it! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!)

Mon-L said...

The bottom line on the Singer and those two midgets writers he had stitched to his hip is.... they basically suck at crafting stories.

They can write an outline that gets the greenlight by jamming it full of big moments and sly references to old movies and a million plot threads. But when the time comes to make it actually work on the screen with a nice blend of nuiance and flair, it ends up being a messy, unsatisfying disaster. With enough good moments that trick into thinking it was okay.

Superman Returns was the cousin of X1 and X2, in the sense that it shared many of their major faults...

A) They bludgeon your senses with Theme. Sunday, I am going to mass at Superman Pentecoastal cuz that dude is Christ.

B) They litter the piece with way too many plotlines, so that every couple of seconds you need to digest a new piece of story information and then sit on it for about a half hour until it matters. Lex Luthor's dudes stole a missile. Wait for an hour to see the very unimportant function that missile will serve.

C) When you have too many characters, some of them have to stand around and do nothing. Or just stare. But don't worry, everyone will get to play a tiny unsatisfying part.

D) The Villian and the Hero never really face off on equal footing. The Villian usually sets some world threatening event in motion and then titters off in a helicopter. Leaving the Hero to fend off this event and probably friggin' die.

E) Most dialogue will be so flat and on-the-nose that only the very best (Sir Ian) can bring any life to it.

F) James Marsden must appear as a boring, insecure loser who you really hope will die.

G) The Hero's are usually slimy perverts who can't keep their hands off other dude's chicks.

H) If you have a bad tattoo or a black beanie on, you are a henchman and you are about to die.


The final entry in my thesis against Singer, et. al.....

I) Okay. New Lex City was made of Kryptonite. Which allowed Kumar and co to kick Supes around like a rag doll. But later, after being stabbed and beatdown and a little drowned, Supes was able to lift the entire New Lex City and throw it into space, even though it was made all out of Kryptonite because..... because I'm Bryan Fucking Singer and I don't do endings. I do sequels bitch.

Anonymous said...

Needs more punching? Actually, that was exactly my review of the movie, right on!

Anonymous said...

Was that actually Kumar, for real?

That's what I'd been calling him because I was SURE it was him, but my buddy says it's not.

Todd said...

I don't want to hate it, but boy did that guy at Dialforblog hit a lot of what was really wrong with the movie right on the head.


You can't even put your clothes on and say thanks to the nice nurses who took such good care of you, you ungrateful jerk? You can't even talk to the MOTHER of your CHILD about what exactly is going on? Because she might not want child support, but you've been playing with her emotions since the start of the movie and she just might not be ready to go back to Cyclops as daddy quite yet.

This was obviously sold as a three-movie arc. There's no other reason for so many dangling plot lines. Luthor just runs away and is left on a little island? Superman doesn't come to any sort of resolution with the mother of his Super-baby about how super-baby will grow up dealing with his powers? No biggie, we'll deal with that in the next movies. Unless the overseas grosses aren't big enough to justify another $300 million.

Cole Moore Odell said...

Todd, Luthor's predicament iat the end of this movie is called ironic justice; he wanted his own continent, and ended up with as much land as he deserved, a postage stamp in the middle of the ocean. There's nothing incomplete about it. His plot resolves itself in a very tidy manner--and just like the comics, leaves him around to menace Superman again.

And sorry, but the movie totally came to a resolution about Superman's son; just like Jor-El, he's entrusting his kid to a pair of decent earthlings to raise as their own.

I swear, people are manufacturing phantom reasons to hate this movie, and many of them have to completely misinterpret it (or fail to interpret it at all) in order to bitch about it.

Cole Moore Odell said...

And as far as Superman's ability to raise the kryptonite-laden island at the end, look at it this way; in these movies, superman is so fucking awesome that among his powers is the ability to violate, and surpass the established rules of his own powers at the climax of each film. In Superman the Movie he's able ot make the earth spin backwards. In Superman 2 he springs that freaky S-shield and the wack teleportation. Here he guts out massive k-radiation sickness just-because-he-fucking-has-to. All of the films are pretty explicit in treating Superman as Jesus Jr. When the shit goes down, he's going to set it goddamn straight no matter how many laws of physics or logic he has to twist in half.

Rohan Williams said...

Cole, those are some of the first comments I've heard about the movie that I agree with.
On the Kyrptonite Island thing... I assumed it was a mixture of because-he-fucking-has-to and the fact that he'd just recieved a big ol' dose of sun power.

bostonpenguincat said...

About the kryptonite island-rock thing....

The only way i rationalized it is that he went deep down underneath it, through the ocean floor/bedrock and started pushing up. this way he has a few tons or rock between him and the main kryptonite infected rock. Since the crystal keeps growing and pushing into the uncontaiminated rock, he has "just enough time" to push it into space before the kryptonite gets close enough to turn him into coma boy.

or course, that's just my take on it and on a whole, i thought the film was meh.

Cole Moore Odell said...

Excellent rationalization. It's on par with with "he didn't make the earth turn backwards, he was traveling back in time", slightly ahead of "it's not stealing, this is a huge corporation" and a bit behind "fellatio isn't cheating."

Anonymous said...

"Excellent rationalization."

It's amazing how passive-aggressive people get about comic books.

Rare Wotdog said...


So... Since Supes kissed Lois in Superman 2, making her forget everything that transpired between them in the film... once the heritage of her son became obvious in Superman Returns, wouldn't she have wondered when Superman boned her?

Did she whisper "I know you raped me in my sleep" during the hospital scene?

What gives?

Toonhead_NPL said...

So THAT'S where that Jimmy was gonna die! You prick. :P (Actually I was kinda looking forward to it at that point.)

Cole Moore Odell said...

Passive agressive? Anon, you entirely misread my tone. I wasn't arguing anything; I was just being silly.

Anonymous said...

I swear, people are manufacturing phantom reasons to hate this movie, and many of them have to completely misinterpret it (or fail to interpret it at all) in order to bitch about it.

More of your light-hearted humor? Face it, you are quite exercized about defending this movie.

Cole Moore Odell said...

Well, yes, but not in the prior case. God knows I've rationalized the ending of Superman: The Movie to myself for years in order to try to get it to make sense, when it plainly doesn't. I happen to think the rationalization for the kryptonite resistance offered by bostonpenguincat is a very good one. I would totally give him a no-prize.

As far as my defense of the film's merits, yeah, I thought it worked, I thought it did Superman justice, and I really do think the nits being picked by most casual critics tend to miss entirely the point of the movie, in much the same way that John Byrne decided ahead of time that Spider-Man absolutely had to be a steaming pile of shit from top to bottom that utterly betrayed the spirit of the character because of the organic web-shooters. if you'll notice, my comment about phantom reasons to dislike Superman Returns was a response to someone who paid so little attention to the movie that he didn't understand why it would leave Luthor stranded on a tiny island, when it's obvious that this is ironic justice for his greed in wanting to kill billions by creating a new continent. Lazy complaining that fails to recognize the most elementary ends and mechanics of the script is worth dismissing.

And finally, anon, I can't really be bothered to defend my thoughts too strongly to someone too lazy to even come up with a fake name, let alone use their real one.

Thomas said...

Wait, wait, wait. I'm confused. There was a good part in Elektra?

Starwolf said...

Kurt Busiek did two interesting ideas with Astro City that I'd like to see in the next Superman movie. (1) What do superheroes dream about? (the very first Astro City issue) (2) What if one day Lois Lane got fed up and ripped open Clark Kent's shirt in the Daily Planet newsroom? (Astro City: Local Heroes #2)

So, in the next movie, Superman has a nightmare where Lois does exactly that: she takes off his glasses and rips open his shirt in full view of the Daily Planet newsroom. I think this should show that Clark Kent is *not* Superman's joke on the world: it's how he feels human.

Oh, and I want a plot about Brainiac kidnapping Lucy Lane and altering her with alien DNA to turn her into a living weapon against Superman. It wouldn't be as bad as Superman being forced to fight Lois Lane, but it would be pretty close.

That, and robot dinosaurs.


Cyrus said...

The only way i rationalized it is that he went deep down underneath it, through the ocean floor/bedrock and started pushing up. this way he has a few tons or rock between him and the main kryptonite infected rock.

I think I came to this thread months after everyone else, but there's no reason to not post my theory, so... The way I understood that part of the movie all along was that the continent wasn't pure kryptonite. It was impure K, pseudo-K, whatever. You'll notice he didn't fall over as soon as he landed on it. He was weakened, sure, but he didn't even notice it at first. It wasn't until Lex stabbed him with a shard of the kryptonite left over from the museum that he began to get seriously poisoned. So it took lifting a few hundred tons of fake kryptonite (maybe buffered by inert Earth rock as well, like you said) to give him a near-death experience.

Standard Deviations said...

Nobody's said anything about Kevin Spacey's performance at all, which I rather enjoyed.

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