"Superman Returns" Gets More Online Reactions

by | June 13, 2006 | Comments

In a follow-up to yesterday’s article ("Early Superreaction Sounds Promising"), we’ve got the rundown on even more online journalists who have chimed in after last week’s first-ever screening of Bryan Singer‘s "Superman Returns" — and so far the twelve-count consensus has given the pic a 100% Unofficial Tomatometer.

As Warner Bros. employs the honor system in their embargo on early "Superman Returns" Super-Reviews, few media outlets have let loose with opinions on the upcoming superhero blockbuster — leaving, as always, the early word on whether or not Singer’s ambitious pic delivers to the over exuberant fansites of the web. Granted, these include your usual hyper-excitable movie-fan types, but the early tide of praise coming from the first "Super" screening may also mean WB’s Movie of Steel has won over its harshest, comic book-purist critics.

"Superman Returns": This ain’t no "Smallville"

Nearly all of the early reviews are in agreement that, although it’s not as comic book-ish as other recent superhero flicks ("Spiderman," for example), "Superman Returns" deftly combines action (but not too much action), romance (but not too much romance), and drama, all to a satisfying end.

For what it’s worth, AICN surprisingly offers a few morsels of criticism (‘The pacing is a bit off…["Superman Returns"] never reaches the emotional levels of Donner’s [1978 original] film‘) before concluding that nearly every kind of viewer will love it:

"It’s a very good action-romance-adventure-soap opera movie, that should satisfy almost all kind of audiences (but MTV-influenced teenagers… it’s too slow for them), and it ends up being very emotional (the last 20 minutes, pure drama, are absolutely brilliant)."

Also agreed by many is that Singer’s casting gambles will pay off. Besides obvious crowd-pleaser Kevin Spacey as legendary baddie Lex Luthor, a Kryptonian weight has been placed on the shoulders of newcomer Brandon Routh — not only to carry his enormously budgeted big-screen debut, but to fill the well-worn and beloved tights of the late Christopher Reeve. Add to that the selection of cinematical surf chick Kate Bosworth in the pivotal role of Lois Lane, another celebrated character in the annals of "Superman" comics, movies, and television. And how about Singer’s movie-history mash-up move to resurrect Marlon Brando from the dead, to reprise his role as Jor-El from 1978’s "Superman?"

Early reviewers believed both Routh as a Man of Steel and Bosworth as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Jonah Weiland, writing for Comic Book Resources, tosses his comic-geek skepticism aside to deliver a bold statement indeed (emphasis ours):

"Brandon Routh turns in a performance that at many times plays as an homage to Christopher Reeve’s legendary portrayal of Superman while managing to prove scene-after-scene that he now owns the role."

In his blog, Boston Herald film critic Stephen Schaefer applauds the casting of indie queen Parker Posey as Luthor galpal Kitty Koslowski, and declares further success for other supporting-actor choices:

"There is luminous Eva Marie Saint as Ma Kent once again in a movie, if only through screen magic, with her "On the Waterfront" leading man Marlon Brando whose work as Jor-El, the father of Superman, is recycled to positive effect."

Tone and casting aside, Singer seems to have nailed "Superman Returns" with his signature writing strengths. A sequel of sorts, this "Superman" is nestled in the timeline between "Superman II" and "III," and by Singer’s account was made with original director Richard Donner‘s blessing. A well-known comic-lover himself, Singer appears to have taken diligent care to be respectful of his superhero’s 68-year-history, mixing the nostalgic and cutting edge alike with the look and feel of his contribution.

Schaefer on the combination of eras and technology:

"The venerable Daily Planet, with its golden globe atop the Metropolis City landmark building, is a Thirties building with 21st century hardware, flat-screen monitors, computers and faxes. Parker Posey’s wry comic relief as Kitty, Lex Luthor’s moll, is, right down to her name, an evocation of Hollywood’s spunky, wise-cracking Forties heroine Paulette Goddard (with a bit of Jennifer Jones).

Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) manhandles his dog-toting moll Kitty (Parker Posey)

Journalists in attendance at the sneak screening were also treated to a preview of "Super" scenes in IMAX, in which gigantic format the pic will open simultaneously on June 28. If these reports are to be believed, the IMAX 3D sequences, like most of the pic’s impressive CGI, will blow audiences away. Interestingly, Singer did not film with the intention of an IMAX viewing; IMAX did a spec rendering after scenes were shot and later sold Singer on the idea.

Film writer Jeffrey Wells, whose Hollywood Elsewhere site has been a long-respected staple of entertainment media, gives an emphatic endorsement of the bigger-than-life 20 minutes of "Superman Returns" that will be shown in IMAX 3D:

"There’s an airborne action sequence in particular that delivered, for me, the greatest sensory thrill I’ve ever experienced from a mainstream movie in my life. There’s no question that anyone within reach of an IMAX presentation of this film HAS TO SEE IT THIS WAY."

By all accounts thus far, Singer’s "Superman" may just deliver this summer’s biggest (and best) blockbuster. If the cast is as solid as sneak reviewers claim, and the story as compelling, and the IMAX and CGI effects as mind-blowing, audiences certainly have a lot to look forward to in only a few short weeks.

Superman (Brandon Routh), filling out his blue tights nicely…

But despite their positive slants, none of the early previews are official critiques, and the big players of print and online film review have yet to be heard. "Superman Returns" currently sits with an Unofficial Tomatometer of 100% based on the sneak reviews available, none of which are Tomatometer critics (although they do include esteemed industry reporters like The Hollywood Reporter’s Anne Thompson, and The Boston Herald’s Stephen Schaefer).

More reviews will be added as they become available (and as Warner Bros.’ ban on early reviews passes), so we’ll have to wait to see if the Official Tomatometer of approved critics agrees with the earlybirds.

On a side note, for an interesting interview with Bryan Singer, check out The Hollywood Reporter article in which Singer discusses the lightning-quick genesis of the "Superman Returns" project, a cut scene explaining Superman’s absence that might make it to DVD, and his aversion to rehearsing scenes when making movies.

To read more articles and sneak reviews for "Superman Returns," click here.

Tag Cloud

singing competition thriller Superheroes franchise period drama 2018 zombies crossover Country theme song PaleyFest Western zombie indiana jones dogs crime thriller American Society of Cinematographers Biopics critics CBS All Access ABC Awards Tour Vudu Valentine's Day Action Hallmark Horror Holiday Amazon MTV MCU werewolf Classic Film Kids & Family Logo Podcast LGBT YouTube Premium Amazon Prime Video RT21 Musicals comic Oscars SundanceTV Esquire Fantasy Trophy Talk hist halloween news Women's History Month docudrama Shudder ITV Netflix casting Schedule Apple Ovation 21st Century Fox Cartoon Network christmas movies Disney streaming service Elton John BBC One ABC Family blaxploitation talk show Acorn TV Trailer The Purge harry potter police drama Extras Pirates chucky Walt Disney Pictures Writers Guild of America stoner Marvel TCA ESPN Tomatazos cooking richard e. Grant romance PlayStation Heroines 20th Century Fox TruTV psychological thriller Mystery vampires Cannes TIFF sports cars Song of Ice and Fire Hear Us Out New York Comic Con streaming CW Seed Martial Arts IFC Films Super Bowl cinemax based on movie Photos Spike 45 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Discovery Channel Star Trek DC streaming service historical drama composers DC Universe blockbuster independent hispanic Video Games Sundance Now Countdown USA crime drama Bravo Thanksgiving Opinion green book BAFTA Year in Review video on demand aliens E! romantic comedy BBC dark social media 2017 VOD TBS Avengers Marvel Television comedies MSNBC anthology Pixar LGBTQ CNN Teen mutant canceled cancelled TCA 2017 Musical 007 dramedy History FOX Funimation 2019 RT History spinoff BET directors CMT children's TV YA Turner Classic Movies San Diego Comic-Con screenings Comedy Central Drama The Witch Emmys Lifetime Christmas movies First Reviews Spring TV game of thrones Family Crunchyroll films revenge Rom-Com breaking bad slashers 2016 Infographic adventure robots Sci-Fi Comics on TV cops space Pride Month TV Land IFC The CW NBC Lionsgate DirecTV spanish language sag awards Apple TV+ diversity comiccon Lifetime Stephen King nature Academy Awards parents Fall TV YouTube Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Sundance Turner crime TCM Certified Fresh Ellie Kemper war what to watch E3 Arrowverse screen actors guild FXX Starz Tumblr President Masterpiece SXSW game show The Arrangement Mudbound Comedy Sundance TV witnail APB award winner Warner Bros. Disney Plus Paramount Network Universal justice league OneApp best reboot A24 Nickelodeon Film dceu WarnerMedia GoT Pop TV true crime Reality Competition travel child's play name the review Grammys First Look AMC WGN Food Network Britbox documentaries indie science fiction series book NYCC serial killer facebook 4/20 DGA GIFs Ghostbusters Nat Geo Fox News Television Academy criterion adaptation mission: impossible a nightmare on elm street Election animated VH1 strong female leads cancelled TV series free movies SDCC Creative Arts Emmys OWN Black Mirror batman National Geographic Peacock transformers Mindy Kaling Superheroe anime Epix natural history Music USA Network festivals Star Wars Toys Shondaland Endgame Lucasfilm See It Skip It Tarantino boxoffice comics Cosplay FX on Hulu movie versus Crackle Character Guide 2015 medical drama HBO Go elevated horror doctor who Apple TV Plus movies cancelled television Mary Poppins Returns scary movies Amazon Studios TV renewals politics Watching Series Sony Pictures psycho cults foreign TV twilight Netflix Christmas movies PBS Disney Channel Nominations Hallmark Christmas movies BBC America golden globes Travel Channel Mary Tyler Moore documentary FX DC Comics Chernobyl Winter TV mockumentary television Film Festival cartoon disaster Winners Red Carpet Set visit Marathons Awards Holidays Comic Book latino technology political drama The Walking Dead BET Awards VICE Brie Larson El Rey Dark Horse Comics Calendar 24 frames reviews unscripted ratings cancelled TV shows Black History Month Rock canceled TV shows renewed TV shows spain miniseries supernatural Adult Swim Summer Tubi HBO Max Rocketman CBS quibi TCA Winter 2020 Pop universal monsters zero dark thirty Captain marvel die hard Premiere Dates TNT Marvel Studios binge HBO Sneak Peek Polls and Games TLC Emmy Nominations Binge Guide Pet Sematary Disney 71st Emmy Awards south america spy thriller concert discovery sitcom Best and Worst X-Men Baby Yoda dragons sequel 2020 finale tv talk spider-man stand-up comedy Paramount rotten movies we love kids Freeform Interview video teaser Box Office Rocky GLAAD cats Anna Paquin satire jamie lee curtis Trivia ghosts Spectrum Originals Syfy asian-american Hulu YouTube Red Disney+ Disney Plus Quiz Amazon Prime toy story joker Christmas Animation A&E Mary poppins Reality Columbia Pictures biography all-time dc Showtime