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  1. #31
    Spectacular Member W8IN4KAL-EL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Gerard View Post
    I made a cut for my own viewing that omits the kid subplot and Lois' relationship with Richard. Took a little pan and scan. The way it screens, Richard is a random chopper pilot Lois knows and the kid is his son. The chronology of events gets shuffled a lot.

    It focuses things considerably. The movie is purely about Lois being hurt that Superman didn't say goodbye and Superman winning her back.
    love it !! That's how it should have been !!

  2. #32
    BACK FROM THE BLEED Atomic Man's Avatar
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    I personally don't think Superman Returns is nearly as bad as it's been portrayed over the last decade. The idea of using the Donnerverse as a touchstone for a soft reboot was a brilliant one, but by being too slavish to certain intrinsically flawed elements in the first two films (Lois and Clark's romance, the Super Kiss), combined with Jason, ultimately killed the movie as a new start for a Superman and DC movie universe.

    Had there been no reference at all to the events of Superman II (perhaps outside of Zod and crew) with the events of Superman The Movie as the basis for a "requel" franchise, DC might have beat Marvel to a shared universe. Using the most popular and well-known take on Superman outside of comics as the basis for a modern update that laid groundwork for sequels and a shared universe, Superman Returns could have been a huge success. The tone and various narrative elements (the implications of Lois not knowing who Jason's father was, Superman being gone for 5 years, Lois moving on, etc) rendered the film a beautiful and powerful coda to the Donner films which was not at all what the studio or the character needed at the time.

    I discuss ten things I love about Superman Returns on my blog, and also discuss the merits of the film with my friend and co-host Michael Critzer on our Superman podcast, Superman Lives.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic Man View Post
    I personally don't think Superman Returns is nearly as bad as it's been portrayed over the last decade. The idea of using the Donnerverse as a touchstone for a soft reboot was a brilliant one, but by being too slavish to certain intrinsically flawed elements in the first two films (Lois and Clark's romance, the Super Kiss), combined with Jason, ultimately killed the movie as a new start for a Superman and DC movie universe.

    Had there been no reference at all to the events of Superman II (perhaps outside of Zod and crew) with the events of Superman The Movie as the basis for a "requel" franchise, DC might have beat Marvel to a shared universe. Using the most popular and well-known take on Superman outside of comics as the basis for a modern update that laid groundwork for sequels and a shared universe, Superman Returns could have been a huge success. The tone and various narrative elements (the implications of Lois not knowing who Jason's father was, Superman being gone for 5 years, Lois moving on, etc) rendered the film a beautiful and powerful coda to the Donner films which was not at all what the studio or the character needed at the time.

    I discuss ten things I love about Superman Returns on my blog, and also discuss the merits of the film with my friend and co-host Michael Critzer on our Superman podcast, Superman Lives.
    I think the problem with using the Donnerverse was several fold. First, Singer's approach was overly reverent, almost somber. The strength of Donner's movies is that while they can be solemn or wistful, they're not somber. They need a comedic underpinning.

    Imagine if Singer had produced but Wes Anderson had directed, with Bill Murray as Luthor (more in the Hackman vein) and Zooey Deschanel as Lois. 70s fashion still in play.

    Or, say, James Gunn had directed.

    I think it's worth meditating on how Donner would have shot SR and tinkered with the script. Instead of Superstalker or all the tense scenes with Richard White, I think you would have had genuine comedy there. I virtually guarantee there'd be a scene with "My Boyfriend's Back" playing on a radio. More local color in the city and backtalk from bystanders.

    The other issue is how Ottman cut the film. Singer walked away rather than do the final edit. There were a ton of Donner homage scenes left in. There were new or original scenes cut including Superman's escape from Krypton's remains and a bar conversation with Jimmy Olsen. Another with Ma having a boyfriend. I think an extended childhood flashback as well. (I recall rumors of Hugh Jackman being courted to cameo as a Smallville sherif, mistaken for Pa Kent in some rumors?) In general, you might film a bunch of homage scenes and then cut them down to one or two. Just like you might film five or six scenes with the same exposition being covered different ways. Some need cut. With Ottman cutting, the movie erred on the side of homage and showcasing the soundtrack. Best soundtrack to a Superman movie IMHO. Ottman improves on Donner. But the movie acts too much as a soundtrack showcase.

    Final bonus issue: spending something like 1/5th of the budget on Marlon Brando. Upside being that the footage rights getting cleared up allowed the Donner cut of Superman II and both a 5 inch and Hot Toys Brando action figure. Even now, you'll notice that Brando likeness merch is typically Superman Returns based since he didn't agree to STM merch. If you ever see a NECA or DC Classics Brando, it will probably be labeled as Superman Returns.

  4. #34
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    The problem with using the Donner-verse as a mold is several-fold. 1. Singer clearly doesn't understand what made those movies work because while he gets a lot of words/images right, he misses the spirit or it. 2. It's always tricky doing a sequel to a decades-old movie, and here NONE of the original cast return. And the new cast, just don't feel like those same people only five years older (which they're meant to be). 3. Singer wants to pick and chose which events he acknowledges, so it leads to wonky continuity issues at times. And 4. This isn't the 70's, the style of filmmaking has changed and what worked back then doesn't necessarily work here.

    And just as a movie itself, the pacing is not good, the look of the movie is overly dour and depressing, Kate Bosworth is horribly miscast as Lois Lane, Lex's plan is really REALLY stupid and nonsensical, Superman is a cypher, and kind of unlikeable and stupid at times. The kid is an interesting idea, but it's not executed all that well. Cyclops comes across as more Superman-like than Superman does. The film peaks in terms of action halfway through, etc.

    Basically it's a 2 1/2 hour love letter to Donner, but without a lot of the charm and brightness and fun that those movies have. And, as a movie, it has it's moments, but its mostly a slog to get through.
    Last edited by Punisher007; 02-07-2017 at 11:01 AM.

  5. #35
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    The real problem is the Donner films are a product of their time and do not hold up that good today outside of tugging on the nostalgia heartstrings of people who saw them as a kid. To base and a new movie of something that out of date was just doomed to fail from the start. Singer was just not the right guy to direct something like Superman.

  6. #36
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    The timeline is wonky to. The movie makes it seem like Superman left Earth almost immediately after dealing with Zod and co. So for Lois to have had a kid that old, and this to be five years later, she would have had to have gotten with Richard White REALLY quickly.

    Also the movie starts to lose me early on when it gives Superman such a flimsy motivation for leaving. We're never even told that scientist had detected signs that there might be survivors, or remnants of Krypton's actual civilization. That'd have at least given him SOME decent motive to go. But no, we're just told that they found pieces of Krypton, so Superman up and abandoned Earth for five years, just to look at some dead space rocks. That's just dumb.

    And I use the term "abandoned" because he apparently just left one day without telling anyone, including the woman that he supposedly loves and slept with previously. That's just jerkish behavior. Chris Reeve's Superman, who this is supposed to be just five years older BTW, would have at least held a press conference or something explaining why he was leaving and promising to return as soon as possible.

    Also turning Lois into a bitter scorned-ex was awful, especially the whole "she won a Pulitzer Prize, for what was essentially a petty attack on her ex."

    And worst of all, he suffers no real consequences for it. He comes back, saves one plane, and pretty much everyone just welcomes him back with open arms. And the only two who don't are Lex (the villain and his hated rival) and Lois (whom the movie plays up as a scorned bitter ex-GF). It would have been more interesting if Superman had to actually EARN the public's trust back or something.

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    What's kind of funny to think of is that Superman I and II were originally intended to be two parts of one movie, as many of us know. So, if that foundation were kept, and Superman Returns were to be the sequel, then Superman would've only been active on Earth for a few weeks (days?) before he jettisoned himself off the planet on a quest even more boring than "Grounded."

  8. #38
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    Honestly "Superman in space" would have been a far more interesting movie imo. Especially if he encountered other cosmic DC characters/races/villains/etc. And it'd have been something new and different.

  9. #39
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punisher007 View Post
    The timeline is wonky to. The movie makes it seem like Superman left Earth almost immediately after dealing with Zod and co. So for Lois to have had a kid Chris Reeve's Superman, who this is supposed to be just five years older BTW, would have at least held a press conference or something explaining why he was leaving and promising to return as soon as possible.
    Not to mention that Superman II ends with him apologizing to the President and promising he won't let him down again.

  10. #40
    Fantastic Member Tra-EL's Avatar
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    Superman Returns always made me:


  11. #41
    Incredible Member Grim Ghost's Avatar
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    I just really dislike the idea of Superman flying off into space to find himself, or Krypton or whatever else. I didn't much care for the idea when it was done in the 80s in the comics either. At least in the comics he had the whole Gangbuster thing that I guess made him feel potentially dangerous. I can see him doing something like that at the end of his career, but near the beginning of the career it's like "well screw Earth anyway, my feelings are what really matter".

    That said, I don't think it's a terrible film. It's just an average film and average is never good enough for Superman! Someone earlier in the thread described it as forgettable and I agree with that. I've seen it at least 3 times and I have a tough time remembering a lot of the details. I like it better than Quest for Peace at least.
    Last edited by Grim Ghost; 02-07-2017 at 04:31 PM.

  12. #42
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    One of the deleted or possibly unfilmed scenes explains that Luthor faked evidence that Krypton was intact while in prison. It's in the novelization along with explanation that the crystal island is a weapons platform.

    The movie needed more of that kind of thing.

  13. #43
    Mighty Member adkal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Not to mention that Superman II ends with him apologizing to the President and promising he won't let him down again.
    Not the Donner version

    Per Returns' novelization, the Zod Crew were never released from the Phantom Zone - Kal (if I remember correctly) thinks about Zod, but only as someone he had read/heard about rather than someone he had fought.

  14. #44
    Mighty Member adkal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Gerard View Post
    One of the deleted or possibly unfilmed scenes explains that Luthor faked evidence that Krypton was intact while in prison. It's in the novelization along with explanation that the crystal island is a weapons platform.
    Both are somewhat alluded to in the movie - the first (unless my memory is playing tricks on me (although it's probably one of the deleted/inserted scenes) is when Lex has the newspaper with the headline about Krypton being found and he looks at Kal Penn knowingly. The second is when Lex explains the crystal tech and that it can make weapons.

    The movie needed more of that kind of thing.
    Totally.

    One scene I wish that had kept in is the super-speed one before the plane rescue. Originally, Clark didn't have the suit on underneath (it was in a bag in the Daily Planet), so, when he opened the shirt, it would have been a bare chest. Then he would have dashed over to the DP, changed (and this is where the collector card that had him wearing the suit but with the glasses on supposedly fits in (also showing that the suit didn't go on over his head, and tying back to the zipper (or whatever) they found in the hospital scene), and then flown to the rescue.

    Back when the movie was released, I imagined that the sequel would involve the still expanding island out in space. The crystals on the island are either corrupted by the Kryptonite or draw the attention of a certain 'seeker', and the island itself is loaded with Kryptonite weapons.

    Kal would find out that, during his absence, others had stepped up and looked after the world. Certain events lead to him seeking their help and tackling the weaponised planet now threatening Earth.

    (I had a much more detailed treatment but it's been 10 years )

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by adkal View Post
    Not the Donner version

    Per Returns' novelization, the Zod Crew were never released from the Phantom Zone - Kal (if I remember correctly) thinks about Zod, but only as someone he had read/heard about rather than someone he had fought.
    Granted, I read the pre-release novelization which didn't have Lois' kid as Superman's but I remember mention of Zod and crew being in a federal prison.

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