Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Superman Returns Trailer

by Brian
Can be found here.

Strongly discouraging. Did no one tell Kevin Spacey that he's not doing a Bug's Life sequel? Are there really that many people in the world who are saying, "You know, I liked the 1978 version, except that Gene Hackman just wasn't hammy enough."

Ugh. My interest level just dropped about 40 percent.


Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I don't have the necessary software to view this trailer, but my interest level was already pretty low. I was a pretty big comic book fan as a kid, but I've never cared for Superman. There's something so blah about the character, the direct opposite of Batman or Spider-man. I wasn't crazy about any of the Superman movies (I hated number II, and I don't think I saw much of III when it aired on TV. Was there a IV? I didn't see it). I also don't watch Smallville. This one will probably be one of those I end up seeing after it's been out for a month just so I'm not the only one who hasn't seen it.

5/02/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

Oh yes, there was the classic "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace," in which Superman battled Nuclear Man. I'm not sure which was worse, Supes IV or Supergirl, as I haven't seen either since there releases (1984 and 1987), and I have no real desire to do so.

5/02/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Supergirl was definitely better. Case closed. Supergirl was even better than Supes III, wasn't it?

I was never that in to Superman, either, which I thought was probably why I liked the Superman films better than the Batman films. Less personal investment in my own vision of the character.

5/02/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

Hmmm...all I can really remember about Supergirl was that Supergirl battled a witch who tried to cast a spell on a gardener to fall in love with her, but he instead falls for Supergirl. That doesn't sound too promising, but who knows. I see now that Faye Dunaway played the witch, and I also see that there's a DVD out there with an extended cut, so who knows?

I would rank Supes III higher just based upon the reference in Office Space. You're probably right, though, that Superman IV is the worst. I don't remember there being anyything redeeming about it, and the special effects were horrible.

5/02/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I hesitated when I was writing about III just because of Office Space, but I wasn't going to bring that up! Supergirl might even be on the level of II, which I used to hold in high regard but thought was pretty awful the last time I re-viewed it a few years ago.

5/02/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

All I remember from Supergirl was thinking that it was very, very odd to my six-year-old way of thinking. Now that I'm older and know who Faye Dunaway and Peter O'Toole are, I'm sure I would find it even odder.

Never liked Superman II that much, even as a kid. Can't say why. Haven't seen it in years, though, either.

Superman III I hated from the time I saw it. I remember liking Superman IV in comparison, but I honestly don't remember anything from that movie.

5/02/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Professor Wagstaff said...

When I was about 10 years old, I thought Superman 2 was the most entertaining movie ever made. Of course these days I think differently but in the stifling prism of modern comic-book films, it has a lot more fun then the standard.

I saw a fair bit of 'Superman' recently, it holds up pretty well although Wells' observations about how its become the same stifling template for every mainstream comic book over the last 28 years makes its presence felt.

Superman 3 I found cheesy as a kid. Pryor appearing in that kind of film was such a bizzare move.

As for Superman 4, I've got only one thing to say... Sidney J. Furie! A genuine bona fide hack.

5/03/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I hated 3 and 4, but the first two were my absolute favorite films growing up.

Supergirl is definitely an odd film. It is hardly a good movie, but could very well be the most entertaining of the Superfilms. I am seriously contemplating buying the DVD, it is a goodbad classic.

I am a huge Superman fan, and heavily biased. He is an interesting character whenever writers try to dig deeper than the perfect goody two-shoes that he is usually portrayed as by lazier writers.

This is a guy who is the last of his kind. Spiderman and Batman lost family members, Clark Kent lost his whole fucking planet. The great Superman stories deal with his coming to terms with the fact that he is not human and will never really belong. Being super; better than everyone else in just about every way, is not easy for someone like Clark who just wants to fit in and live a normal life as a human being.

5/03/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Part of my problem with Superman is the secret identity thing. If this new movie tries that, it will be a big obstacle with me. You can't convince that people don't know Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same, and that simply taking off glasses does the trick.

5/03/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

mmmmkay, so it is believable that the dude can fly around, lift mountains, and shoot lasers out of his eyes, but unbelievable that people don't recognize him when he puts on a pair of glasses?

This is a superhero story, after all. It's modern mythology, a vessel for heroic characters and lessons about life. There is a suspension of disbelief that has to be made in order to truly enjoy stuff like this.

In Gotham, do architects purposefully build shadowy interiors and really quiet windows so Batman can poof in and out of buildings like he does?

Wouldn't the radiocative spider that bit Peter Parker just have died instantly after being hit by high doses of those deadly rays?

The glasses thing has been explained halfassedly in the comics. Apparently Superman has some minor psychic ability that allows him to hide his true identity from people. Ridiculous, I know, which is why these questions are better left unasked. The real reason is that the Superman costume looks stupid with a mask.

I think Superman Returns is gonna be great. Not quite Batman Begins great, but still great. You can never judge a film by its trailer, but this one gives us three definite facts about the movie. It has an interesting story (Superman trying to reintegrate into human society after an extended absence), it isn't taking itself too seriously, and it is respectful to the characters; that is the good Superhero movie formula, right?

Spacey's Luthor might be troublesome. I was never a fan of Hackman's perfomance in the old movies and it looks like Spacey is channeling a little bit too much of that. Still, Lex Luthor is a hairless guy with no conscience who is hell-bent on world domination. I couldn't see playing that character as anything but hammy and over-the-top.

At least they aren't going the way of Spiderman 3 and X3, packing the film with so many villains that there is no possible way to properly develop the characters.

5/03/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I actually loved the way that Christopher Reeve handled the whole Superman/Clark Kent thing. I won't say that he looked a lot different, but mannerisms, tone of voice, etc., were really completely different. It may not have been real-world believable, but it worked for the movie. There was a moment (in the first movie?) where Kent, when Lois wasn't looking, took off his glasses, straightened his posture, i.e., to look more Superman-ish, and it really was an amazing moment, because the transformation really was stunning.

Also, I liked the way Lois never really even looked at him long enough to notice, in the first one at least. She was always so fixated on Superman, but too busy or just plain uninterested in Clark to even start to put the pieces together.

Routh's Kent looks way too obvious, though. And I'm really interested in the how the inevitable "Superman's back! And by amazing coincidence, so is Clark!" thing plays out in the movie, because it sure had me wondering during the trailer.

5/03/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

I don't know about Lex having to be hammy and over-the-top. I quite like the way that Michael Rosenbaum plays him in Smallville. And while that show is by no means a masterpiece, I really like how it introduced the idea that Lex, however misguided he may be, thinks that he is actually acting to save the world by doing the things he does.

It brings to mind what Joss Whedon said in his commentary track about Chiwetel Ejifor's character in Serenity. That character could have functioned as a simple bad guy, but he worked so much better b/c, however wrong he was, he fervently believed in what he and the alliance were doing.

5/03/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Certainly comic books require a huge suspension of disbelief, but they have to be consistent, and there are limits. For example, I can go with Daredevil having supersensitive hearing, touch, etc., but I have a great deal of trouble believing that he can zip around New York City rooftops with only the use of billy-club with a grappling hook attached.

The creators of Superman, who were making a lot of this up as they went along, decided to go with the glasses on/off thing, and those who have managed the character since then and have to had to work around that silly premise. I'm not suggesting that Superman wear a mask, and I'm fine that it doesn't bother others, but it bothers me and is one of the reasons I don't like the character.

5/03/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

You know, I think my favorite Superman incarnation may just have been the '90's "Lois & Clark" TV show....

5/03/2006 04:40:00 PM  

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