"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

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