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My father and I used to watch the old Superman cartoon and I really liked the original superman movie. But I am not sure about this one. I am a little peeved that they took out the line "Truth Justice and the AMERICAN WAY!" and made it "Truth Justice and all that stuff" (doesn't sound nearly as cool does it :nuke:). I thought maybe they would say it again with the original tag line but I watched a news special on it and they said they purposely did they liked the idea of Superman being a "universal character." I stilll might see it though.

Has anyone else seen it? What do you think and is it worth my time?

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The "American Way" line is being blown out of proportion. The scene has Perry White giving assignments and orders to his reporters. It has the feel of an hour long meeting given in two minutes. He didn't leave it off to make a point but it appeared to be a more comprehensive order to research ALL of Supes's beliefs and attitudes. It fit the moment and the scene.

It's a good movie. Very character driven.

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Note, MANY spoilers below, you have been warned.

The film was impressive, the CGI, the opening credits, the mix of a 50's look with the modern (plaid shirts seem to be all the rage in Metropolis), even all the acting, Lois, Luthor, Lex, Superman, it was all top notch.

The story was not, and that is what made me leave the movie with a very bad taste in my mouth.

-The Jor-El sequences were meant to establish a theme for this movie being something about "Fathers and Sons", how Superman is supposed to help humanity realize its capacity for good. Unfortunately, none of that seems realized. None of the actions of Superman in the film help humanity realize its goodness or really seem to do anything other then, well, end the crisis of the moment. The fact that the movie then supposedly ties up with Superman learning about his new son, only makes this attempt at a point seem more contrived. What has Superman honestly learnt and applied from his father? What can he hope to provide for his son? This was a poorly developed theme and was one of several weaknesses.

-The editorial "Why the world does not need a Superman", which is supposedly Pulitzer Prize winning material, ultimately does not get nearly the attention it deserves. There is a genuine debate here, does the presence of Superman make mankind unwilling to try and work for its own survival? Does Superman bring villains like Lex Luthor into existance? These are all good questions to ask but in the end it turns into "I wrote the editorial because I was pissed he left". Big whoop.

-Superman using his powers to spy on Lois's house?! I know Uncle Ben is in the Marvelverse but the maxim "With great power comes great responsibility" should apply in that case.

-Lex was well played, but was portrated in a rather 2D manner, but this was not my largest gripe..

-Kitty, she repents, which was a weak way out of the problem, she is the Deus Ex Machina for getting rid of the six crystals, which is silly since Superman should have solved that problem, and Lex doesn't kill her for her moral weakness? The man who was willing to kill "Billions!" cant punish an inept minion? Its not as if a special attachment to those he cares about is a characteristic for him.

-The "death" montage was not done well. It was shown and portrayed well, but for Superman, there needs to be a greater precedent to make you seriously concerned he will not make it.

At the end of the day for me, Batman Begins, Spiderman, or even the most recent X-Men movie, was on the whole, more enjoyable then Superman Returns.

Edited by Strangelove
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-Superman using his powers to spy on Lois's house?! I know Uncle Ben is in the Marvelverse but the maxim "With great power comes great responsibility" should apply in that case.

I hated that bit as well. I also thought Lex's plan was a bit stupid. What was it something to do with real estate? Who would want to live in that horrible place. He should have had a better evil scheme.

Overall though, I really liked it. Will be going to see it again on Sunday.

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(Spoilers below ...)

I did enjoy the hint of Ellsworth-Toohey-ness about Luthor, but like everything else in the film it's not exploited to its potential. Lex Luthor is a bad guy, indeed, and needs to be written as a less moustache-twisting villian than he's ever been, but there was a lack of purpose in the character ... like Singer was 5 minutes late to witness Luthor's true evil.

It wasn't the Superman film I would have written - were I a screenwriter. Given the plot, my alterations would be:

1. Superman should have returned with more resolve and purpose, rather than trying to slink back into the daily life of Clark Kent. Instead of being a reluctant hero, he'd return as the savior he hears everyone clamoring for.

2. Luthor would have been someone of more public stature, having "redeemed" himself after a prison stint and taken on a humanitarian (with ulterior motives) persona.

3. (Agreement with above ...) Lois's bitter article would have been the title of her hatred & dismissal of Superman, and the subplot of her re-realizing her love for him (and why) would have been more transparent, and less hampered by the drama with her boyfriend. The implication the film presents is that she and Supes can't be together ... a foggy mirror of the Peter Parker/Spiderman conundrum with Mary Jane in the first Spidey flick. And, yeah, she should have been a bit older.

4. Routh would have had the opportunity to develop Superman as his character, rather than trying to just fill in for Reeves. A curteous nod in Reeves' direction would have been a nice touch, but the possibility of this being a new franchise is too important to let the first Superman film since Reeves to be a taped audition for the role. As Hopkins proved in Oliver Stone's Nixon, an actor does not have to look like the character to "be" the character. Besides, I think that the continuity of the films can be considered fairly broken when there's a 20 year gap between them ... a concept certainly Lucas should have considered.

But, there were some things I really liked:

1. The flying sequences were done right. I know it's all digital trickery now, but at least they directed it right. When I think of someone as powerful as Superman flying, what Returns did with it is spot-on.

2. The twist on the crystal continent was a nice touch, too. Anticipating the hero's response and minimizing his efficacy is clever, and that spoke to Luthor's intelligence. (After all, he's supposed to be incredibly brilliant, in whatever incarnation ... comic, cartoon, etc.)

3. The surprise. I won't say it for the ones who haven't seen the film, but for those that did, the word "piano" reveals it. I honestly didn't see that coming, and look forward to seeing how it's played out in the future.

4. The details: the role call of cities that reported Superman sightings ... the fall & thud ... the needle. Hearing the ultra-fanboys saying "did you see how that shot was like Superman #123? Cool!" was gratifying.

5. The inclusion of John Williams' themes and melodies in the score. Having purchased the soundtrack, I love the marching, heroic overture and the romantic love theme. Nothing takes this 32-year-old fanboy back to his childhood quicker than hearing the themes from a Superman or Star Wars flick. For better or worse, it makes me glad all those icons from my earliest memories are reseurfacing in popular culture.

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Superman should have returned with more resolve and purpose, rather than trying to slink back into the daily life of Clark Kent. Instead of being a reluctant hero...
That's Supes for you. Bruce Wayne wants to be Batman, Superman wants to be Clark Kent.
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Superman wants to be Clark Kent.

I liked the Superman-theory at the end of Kill Bill.

It goes something like this:

"All the other superheroes are humans putting on masks to become heroes. Superman is the only one who is one by nature. He maquerades as a human being. And what does he pick: A timid boring low-life. It's Superman's view of the essence of mankind."

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I always thought it was less that he wanted to be a low life, and more that he needed something that no one would suspect could be the real Superman.

I do like Stepehn Colbert's twist, "He wants his secret identity to be the most despicable and least trustworthy image available, the furthest from a Superman, so he choose a journalist." (part of his larger segment about the New York Times)

Edited by Strangelove
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All true, but - and I know there have been several incarnations over his 70-year story - Superman has left Kent behind and become the confident purposeful hero he should be.

This is especially true in the JLA story arcs, when the League became full-time defenders of humanity against evil "metahumans". They occasionally slipped into their secret identity lives, but found that they were constantly exposing loved ones to danger, so it was better to be "out of the closet" heros.

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Just got back from seeing the movie. I thought the first half was standard fare, I could sit through it and my 8-year old enjoyed it. I was yawning through the second half, wondering if I was in a chick-flick.

In general, I'd rate it an okay B-grade movie.

Edited by softwareNerd
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I really couldn't get into this movie and enjoy it. The opening was good and showed promise, but the rest of the film was mediocre. The acting was terrible and the plot lacked creativity. Mr. Superman had less personality than a cardboard cut-out. He had the "look" but the director did a poor job developing his character. I was also expecting a greater quantity action sequences. Overall i give this film a C. Batman Begins blows Superman away.

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This is especially true in the JLA story arcs, when the League became full-time defenders of humanity against evil "metahumans". They occasionally slipped into their secret identity lives, but found that they were constantly exposing loved ones to danger, so it was better to be "out of the closet" heros.

This is slightly aside, but secret identities on superheroes are STUPID. I mean, is there any other single thing that causes them more grief? "Oh, if we reveal ourselves the government/bad guys/aliens from outer space will be all over us and our families like white on rice!" How's that again? You don't think that if a NON-mysterious world-reknowned paragon of virtue suddenly goes missing there's a better chance that someone will NOTICE and GIVE A DAMN (and be able to figure out how to do something about it) than if Joe the Bartender leaves town suddenly? Not to mention that the more obvious, consistent, and forthright you are, the more difficult it is to pull the kind of character assassination that plagues Spiderman et al.

Honesty is the best policy. Plus, there's no need for all that self-denial agonizing about not having a love life because it might put whatshername at risk. You think she's not capable of deciding what she's willing to risk? For shame.

After hearing all these mixed reviews, I think now I HAVE to go see it so I can form my own opinion.

Edited by JMeganSnow
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This is slightly aside, but secret identities on superheroes are STUPID. I mean, is there any other single thing that causes them more grief?

For that matter, we could wonder why John Galt takes a job as a railroad worker when he could better spend his time back at his Atlantis laboratory whipping up more inventions to save mankind from drudgery.

In fact, an alter ego for the action hero in comics and other modern fiction serves the same purpose it did in those great romantic novels, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Count of Monte Cristo: it allows the hero to interact among the ordinary men and women of his society, as a way to gain access to their thoughts and aspirations--including those of the villains. If the super-hero spent all his time in a “fortress of solitude,” he would have to possess omniscience in order to know when to intervene in a crisis.

Furthermore, such undercover interaction allows interesting emotional relationships to develop between the hero and others--relationships that would be impossible if the hero were confined to his hermitage in the off-duty hours.

Finally, for better or worse, it’s easier for a reader to identify with a Clark Kent or a Peter Parker than a Superman or Spider Man. Men make more accessible characters than demigods.

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For that matter, we could wonder why John Galt takes a job as a railroad worker when he could better spend his time back at his Atlantis laboratory whipping up more inventions to save mankind from drudgery.

Largely because until the looters imploded Colorado, the valley was not a self-suficient place. Also because he was watching and waiting for Dagny.

In fact, an alter ego for the action hero in comics and other modern fiction serves the same purpose it did in those great romantic novels, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Count of Monte Cristo: it allows the hero to interact among the ordinary men and women of his society, as a way to gain access to their thoughts and aspirations--including those of the villains.

That's a valid point. However, to maintain an alter ego takes nearly as much time and effort as to maintain one's own self besides. What i find most fantastic about Superman, is that Clark Kent mannages to make a good job for the Daily Planet. maybe Superman doesn't need to sleep.

A secret identity might also be necessary to protect one's self. Take Zorro (an early superhero type). What he was doing was illegal. He could avoid prosecution by doing his deeds while wearing a mask.

BTW do real crimnals, crime syndicates (like the mafia or drug cartels), and assorted others go after the families and friends of real police officers? I know it has happened, but is it somethign that happens frequently or not?

Finally, I am opposed to inserting a plot element merely to make the story more dramatic. If it serves another function, or is a logical consequence of previous actions or natural law, it's ok. Otherwise, it's only a plot device.

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Largely because until the looters imploded Colorado, the valley was not a self-suficient place. Also because he was watching and waiting for Dagny.

The watching and waiting is the very thing I had in mind when I wrote of the value of a super-hero interacting with non-heroes (or, in Dagny's case, lesser heroes).

That's a valid point. However, to maintain an alter ego takes nearly as much time and effort as to maintain one's own self besides. What i find most fantastic about Superman, is that Clark Kent mannages to make a good job for the Daily Planet. maybe Superman doesn't need to sleep.
If I recall correctly from reading back issues from the fifties and sixties, Superman didn't require sleep.

Finally, I am opposed to inserting a plot element merely to make the story more dramatic. If it serves another function, or is a logical consequence of previous actions or natural law, it's ok. Otherwise, it's only a plot device.

I don't disagree with that, but, as I have indicated previously, giving a hero an alter ego has practical as well as dramatic value.

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Secret identities on superheroes are STUPID. I mean, is there any other single thing that causes them more grief?... Not to mention that the more obvious, consistent, and forthright you are, the more difficult it is to pull the kind of character assassination that plagues Spiderman et al.
Comic fanboy sidenote: Spidey recently (and intentionally) exposed his identity to the world (and rouges gallery :) ) Methinks he'll quickly realize how ginormous that error was...

If I recall correctly from reading back issues from the fifties and sixties, Superman didn't require sleep.
As if I need another reason to dislike Superman. I watched a Superman documentary the other day that said that Superman once blew out a star. :worry:
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If I recall correctly from reading back issues from the fifties and sixties, Superman didn't require sleep.

That would explain a lot.

BTW, apropos of the new movie (whcih I haven't seen yet), and this discussion, here's Larry niven's take on kryptonian intimate relations with humans:

Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex

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I liked the movie. There is a Tiny Borderline Spoiler below.

All I want to know is do the bad guys throw their guns at superman after all the bullets bounce off? If so, does superman duck?
In the movie, nobody throws a gun at superman. But there is the classic thug-pulls-gun-on-superman scene. It got a big reaction from the crowd, 'cause it was pretty cool.

Comic fanboy sidenote: Spidey recently (and intentionally) exposed his identity to the world (and rouges gallery :worry: ) Methinks he'll quickly realize how ginormous that error was...
This is part of Marvel's Civil War miniseries crossover, which I think is well done. I think if the sidenote is put out there, it needs to have some context:

During a capture attempt by young and inexperienced heroes, the super villain, Nitro, blows up a large chunk of a city, including an elementary school while it is in session. In response, Tony Stark (Iron Man) teams up with congress to pass the Superhero Registration Act. The act calls for all heroes (and villains) to register their real identities with the government (not necessarily publicly) - it is also a document of conscription - that's right, slavery for all heroes (something that Marvel seems to be downplaying, even though it is the the most important flaw in the legislation). Peter Parker (Spiderman) is a close friend of Tony Stark, and is convinced by Stark to reveal his identity to help promote the legislation. Captain America (who's identity is already public) rejects the act and goes underground to wage a war against the US government - Spiderman is now forced to fight his friends.

The comic storyline doesn't apply very well to the issue of Superman's identity. In a world of super villains, I would chose to keep my identity secret if I were a superhero.

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I'm sorry, but John Galt, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and the Comte de Monte Cristo are not super heroes. In a world with super villians, I'd personally be extremely interested in seeing to it that I was never tarred with the same brush. Compared to what the "average citizenry" could do to you if they decided you needed to be gone, the super villians are a joke.

John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjold never had secret identities. (Well, Francisco nicknamed himself "Frank" while he was working for Reardon.) They used their own names, and they didn't go around wearing a mask and an improbable spandex costume and calling themselves "The Black Avenger". Nor is it necessary to hide out in order to interact with "the common man", an epithet that anyone with any sense should reject wholesale.

Spiderman was a special case, because, in addition to being a superhero, he was a public criminal, a situation, I might add, that he got himself into by being a vigillante. Using your initial stupid mistake in order to justify your ongoing stupid mistake does not count as improving matters. Two wrongs don't make a right . . . although they may sort of cancel each other out, rendering pretty much anything you do null.

Futility is actually a common superhero theme. Ever wonder why?

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I'm sorry, but John Galt, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and the Comte de Monte Cristo are not super heroes.

That is true. But in my post, I spoke of the advantages of "an alter ego for the action hero in comics and other modern fiction." Those advantages obtain whether our hero is merely very talented or endowed with a strength that borders on the godlike.

In a world with super villians, I'd personally be extremely interested in seeing to it that I was never tarred with the same brush. Compared to what the "average citizenry" could do to you if they decided you needed to be gone, the super villians are a joke.
I'm not sure the above doesn't count as a good reason to have a secret ID (or several of them).

John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjold never had secret identities. (Well, Francisco nicknamed himself "Frank" while he was working for Reardon.) They used their own names, and they didn't go around wearing a mask and an improbable spandex costume and calling themselves "The Black Avenger". Nor is it necessary to hide out in order to interact with "the common man", an epithet that anyone with any sense should reject wholesale.

I don't know. When John Galt applied for a job at Taggart Transcontinental, did he list his real name and his actual home address in Galt's Gulch? As for the term "common man," I don't see why it can't serve a purpose on occasion. I had a teacher once who told the class that everyone is "super." I wondered what value "super" had as a word if there were no non-super people.

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I had a teacher once who told the class that everyone is "super." I wondered what value "super" had as a word if there were no non-super people.

Sidebar:

I"m not sure if you have seen "The Incredibles", but your comments here touch on the evil deed that the super-villian was trying to achieve in that movie. Syndrome (the villian) was trying to turn everyone into supers so that no one would be super (or more competent than anyone else).

Edited by RationalCop
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When John Galt applied for a job at Taggart Transcontinental, did he list his real name and his actual home address in Galt's Gulch?

Yes, he used his real name and his real NYC address. His place in the Gultch was a vacation home.

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