Superman Returns DVD: Review By T.Clark

Good flick for what it is
  • OVERALL
    4.0
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
Bryan Singer directs and stays faithful to the Donner days, offering a new Supes in the form of Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor. The specials features aren't bad, either.
THE BAD
Stays TOO faithful to the Donner days at points and Kate Bosworth as Lois is terrible, not to menion the "Super-kid.
THE FEATURE
"Superman Returns" tells the story of Superman coming back to Earth after five years in space to discover that the world has moved on without him. The love of his life, Lois Lane, has a child now. However, when Lex Luthor, who was set free when Superman failed to testify at his trial, hatches a plan that could kill billions, Superman finds himself needed once again.

Those who say the movie sucked, clearly don't know good storytelling. This movie is far from "sucking." In fact, it is a well-constructed piece of artwork. Bryan Singer clearly had a vision with this-whether people like it or not is up to them, but Singer chose not to reboot the franchise. Instead, he continued the story told in the original series' first two films. Naturally, people have different opinions on this matter, but the movie itself deserves 4 stars simply because of its construction and style. Yes, it has flaws, but overall, Singer has crafted a FILM, rather than just a superhero movie. It's not on par with films like "Batman Begins" or especially "The Dark Knight" in terms of oscar-worthy performances and other aspects that make it more than just a comic book adaptation, but it does feel like more than just an adaptation.

However, the film, while being emotional and deep, doesn't pack the punch that a Superman movie in this day and age should. The love story between Lois and Clark is definitely needed, and wouldn't be a Supes movie without it, but with the technology of today, the movie should not only be epic in the sense of depth, but action as well. The film offers moments of awesome special effects, don't get me wrong. There's the plane rescue, Metropolis suffereing earthquakes, and the final battle on the island, but for a 2 and a half hour movie, that's too little. Singer's vision of Superman is too gentle. I want to see Superman knock the snot out of a supervillain. BUT, we'll get that with the reboot. Since Singer felt the need to continue the original story, then this does justice to the Donner days of Superman...but not Superman as a character.

Singer also picked an unknown to be the Man of Steel, as was the late Christopher Reeve, in the form of Brandon Routh. In my opinion, Routh did a great job. He looks the part and did the best with what he had. Routh portrayed a believable Superman and deleivered what Singer wanted. While some feel he was too stale, I think he did an excellent job for being an unknown. If the script was different, I think Routh could have delivered even more. However, Routh was not the star of the show. That title goes to the always great Kevin Spacey, who portrays a more sinister Lex Luthor than his predecessor, Gene Hackman, who was more comedic. With that said, while Routh and Spacey might have been the right choices for thier respective roles, Kate Bosworth was not. Her Lois is boring and plaine, not feisty. She has to be one of the worst casting choices for a character I've seen.
THE EXTRAS
There's lots of behind-the scenes stuff. Some might find it to be a little boring, but for a future filmmaker like myself, you might find it interesting to see the process of making a movie like this and what goes into it.

*Making Superman Returns: From Script to Screen-

You'll take a look back at Singer and his partners, Michael Doughery and Dan Harris, hatching thier plan to bring Superman back to the big screen, as they write the screenplay and lay out the story. It's an interesting insight into thier thinkings and what went into the process of finding the perfect Superman.

*Disigning Superman: From Art and Costume Desgin to Set Construction-

Similar to the above feature in the sense that it's a "making-of" doc*mentary, this takes you behind the scenes of the sets on Returns. Also, you'll see the costume designer as she tells you how the idea behind the final costume for the flick came about.

*The Joy of Lex: Behind the Scenes with Kevin Spacey-

An interesting behind the scenes look at Kevin Spacey's presentation of Superman's greatest enemy, Lex Luthor.

There's more, but those are the main doc*mentaries. There's the usual additional scenes and even a look at how recreated Marlon Brando for the film. Like I said, the features are nice and interesting if you like to see what goes into the making of a movie.
THE VIDEO
THE LOOK:

*Widescreen version presented in a letterbox format preserving the "scope" aspect ratio of its original theatrical exhibition. Enhanced for widescreen TVs.

The overall look of Returns is magnificent. The picture is great quality, even with the slow scenes, so a lot. When the action does come, it's even more magnificent and looks super. The special effects are done so well, it's a shame they didn't use more of them while still keeping a good story.
THE AUDIO
*Dolby Surround 5.1 in English and Spanish

It sounds great. Not a whole lot to say other than that. However, if your going to talk sound about a Superman movie, you can't forget the theme, which is once again rendered beautifully for a new generation. They should never change it, not even with the reboot.
THE PACKAGE
The slide-over cover is done very well for this 2-disc special edition, with a nice shot of Supes flying at us. The image and title pop out at us and on the back is a sinister shot of Luthor holding kryptonite. It's a very nice overall package.
THE FINAL WORD
Bryan Singer might not have given all fans what they wanted, but as long as he didn't, I can say that he made a great film out of his vision. It's a complex movie that is done very carefully and you can tell Singer was committed to it. It may be a little boring at points, but overall, Singer made a film out of it, instead of JUST a superhero movie...more action would have been nice, though and superboy wasn't necessary.

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Comments (1)

  1. ed_wood

    Excellent review. People really seem to hate this movie, but I am not one of them. I really liked it, the action just needs pumped up in the next one. Oh, an get rid of Bosworth.

    6 years agoby @ed-woodFlag