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Friday, July 07, 2006

Superman Returns

I'm a comic book geek. And an Actor. And I like watching movies.

I was not going to miss seeing Superman Returns.

But I was surprised by just how geeked out I got when 70s-esque movie credits spun onto the screen, and the first time the update of his own John Williams Superman theme played during the film.

Overall, a very good film. With caveats.

Director/Producer/"Story By" guy Bryan Singer does an amazing job of fitting the film into the original films' canon, deftly sticking it between Superman II and Superman III, almost seemlessly. Almost.

Singer's good at putting heart into the super heroics, which is arguably what sets X-Men and X2 apart from X-Men: The Last Stand.

Parker Posey gave perhaps my favorite overall performance of the movie. She is so engaged with her character. As an actor, it was a lot of fun to watch.

Kate Bosworth suprised me as Lois Lane. I could not see her in the role until I saw her in the role, and she plays it well. My quibble would be she goes through some heavy physical punishment in the film with little effect, which made it unfortunately a bit laughable.

Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor is phenomenal and devious and creepy, without being cartoony. Just like Gene Hackman (without being Gene Hackman).

Brandon Routh does a passable Man of Steel, and an even better "doing-Christopher-Reeve-doing-Clark-Kent", which does make the former role seem a little off.

And really, though the match to the actor that did the original role is pretty amazing, it took me out of the movie at moments, and reminded me that -- for me -- Christopher Reeve is Superman.

Also, though Singer does an amazing job of fitting so much into the canon, he introduces some elements that are so huge their not showing up in Superman III would be weird. But maybe he thinks like I do that Superman Returns is the direction the franchise should have gone after the second film, rather than the, uh, Richard Pryor route (absolutely nothing against Mr. Pryor).

And, though I say Routh pulls off Superman, there is some pretty heavy-handed dialog that came across stilted, and produced a "huh?" factor that probably wasn't intened. Maybe it helps if you remember Superman is "The Last Son of Krypton." Maybe.

Overall, Superman Returns is a good flick. Didn't hit me as hard as the Spider-Man treatments, but still really enjoyable, and a solid super hero film.

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