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Non-Review Review: Superman Unbound

To celebrate the release of Man of Steel this month, we’re going Superman mad. Check back daily for Superman-related reviews.

Superman Unbound is a little disappointing. These direct-to-video animated films can offer brilliant and energetic takes on established comic book characters and stories. The recent two-part adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns and the animated version of New Frontier come to mind. However, Superman Unbound seems to be just treading water, offering a fairly generic Superman story with no real insight into the character and his world.

Up, up and away...

Up, up and away…

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Alien Nation: What the Aborted Superman Returns Opening Sequence Tells Us About Bryan Singer’s Man of Steel…

I’ve already talked a great deal about Superman Returns and why the movie doesn’t really work as a Superman story, but I was still fascinated to get a glimpse at the aborted $10m dollar opening sequence that never made it to the final cut, but only wormed its way onto the internet today. The clip is well-made and there’s no doubt that it was abandoned fairly late in the process, almost ready to fit in Bryan Singer’s epic story about the Man of Steel. It’s fascinating what the clip tells about how Singer sees his protagonist, and how the clip bolsters his own take, while demonstrating some of the more fundamental flaws with his vision.

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Non-Review Review: X-Men III – Last Stand

I’ll confess right off the bat that I don’t share the same honest-to-goodness hatred of this third film in the X-Men series that most on-line commentators do. It isn’t a patch on Bryan Singer’s original two films (and – looking at Superman Returns – it might have been better for all if he’d stayed on here), but it isn’t quite as weak as other third-instalments in other superhero franchises (Spider-Man III and Batman Forever, for example). It’s not a fantastic film, and it’s not the final chapter that the film series deserved, but it’s not a complete disaster.

Weathering the Storm...

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Time to Worry About Snyder’s Superman?

Well, the reviews for SuckerPunch are in, and they are… less than encouraging. I could have great fun going through them looking for pithy put-downs, but let’s just agree that it looks pretty bad. The film was a critical and commercial flop, generally agreed to be the handiwork of a director who was allowed to run completely wild with Warner Brothers footing the bill. As inevitably happens after a disaster like this, people are wondering about the director’s next film – it would be a hot topic even if it wasn’t relaunching Superman, but the amount of weight that Warner Brothers is putting on Superman makes it a downright explosive little issue. So, do I believe that Snyder can do it?

No Snyde(r) remarks...

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Superman Returns & The Question of Consent…

March is Superman month here at the m0vie blog, what with the release of the animated adaptation of Grant Morrison’s superb All-Star Superman. We’ll be reviewing a Superman-related book/story arc every Wednesday this month, so check on back – and we might have a surprise or two along the way. I figured that, today, I’d take a look at Superman-related movies.

As I was watched Superman Returns again for the first time in what seemed like years, a question occurred to me. It wasn’t exactly one that the plot addressed, but it was probably one of those idle little thoughts which is best reserved for the late hours, as one enjoys a pre-bed snack, or fodder for a wandering mind on a long bus journey. The title of this post kinda gives the game away, but read on for more.

A super night...

Note: This article contains fairly basic spoilers for Superman Returns, but I think you probably already know what I’m going to talk about.

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Non-Review Review: Superman Returns

March is Superman month here at the m0vie blog, what with the release of the animated adaptation of Grant Morrison’s superb All-Star Superman. We’ll be reviewing a Superman-related book/story arc every Wednesday this month, so check on back – and we might have a surprise or two along the way. I figured that, today, I’d take a look at Superman-related movies.

You know, Quentin Tarantino once boasted that he had a 20-page review of Superman Returns that the director had been drafting for some years now. This review is going to be long, but it’s – hopefully – not going to be that long. The film has divided fans, movie-goers and film critics since its initial release, killed an attempt to relaunch the “Superman” brand name in the new millennium, made a shedload of money (although not as much as Warner Brothers would have liked). It’s a movie that deserves a large amount of discussion and debate, and it sure has generated it. I’m not a staunch supporter of the film, but I don’t hate it, either. Superman as a character has endured far greater humiliation. Still, it’s a bit of a disappointing continuation to the on-going Superman mythology.

The weight of the world is on his shoulders...

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Thoughts on Snyder’s Superman

It has been over a week since the news that Zack Snyder would be directing the Superman reboot was announced. And what a week it has been. No sooner was the movie announced than details started flooding in – Luthor would not be the main villain, it would be an origin story of sorts, it would not share continuity, Zod would be the primary antagonist, Brandon Routh would not return. That’s quite a bit of news to get straight out of the gate, and I took a while to really shape my opinion of it all. And I’m optimistic, just very cautiously so.

Look! Up in the sky!

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Lex is More: Bringing Lex Luthor to the Screen…

I’ve been swamped with real-world work this week, so announcing that Zach Snyder would be directing the new Superman movie and that General Zod would be the primary bad guy on Monday (and a plot synopsis on Tuesday) really threw me for a loop. Anyway, I cobbled together some thoughts on bringing Superman to the big screen. I’ll hopefully have some more general thoughts early next week.

Lex Luthor shouldn’t be so hard to get right on the big screen. I mean, it’s not from lack of trying. The character is more than just Superman’s arch-enemy, he’s a member of his supporting cast. More than the Joker to Batman, Luthor is inexorably linked to the Man of Steel – no matter which enemy is invading Metropolis, Luthor is usually helping them or hindering them or figuring out a way to turn the events to his advantage. As such, he has appeared in all but one of the live action Superman films released over the past three-and-a-half decades, even where he isn’t the main adversary (as in Superman II, where he attempts to manipulate Zod’s vendetta against Superman). And yet, despite being portrayed by two incredibly talented actors – Kevin Spacey and Gene Hackman – the big screen never managed to essence of Luthor’s character. Zack Snyder was earlier this week named director of the Nolan Superman reboot, and although General Zod was named the villain of the film I’d be fairly certain that Luthor will put in an appearance. So, how do you do Lex Luthor right?

Green there and done that?

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Looking for Christopher Nolan’s Superman…

Superman is a tough character to get right. In any format. I remarked earlier in the week that there are very few truly classic stories featuring the character. While I’m more than a little delighted that Christopher Nolan has been handed the reigns to the franchise, I’m also a little bit nervous. Is there a way to make Superman a viable commercial franchise for the twenty-dirst century? I’d argue there is, if we look in the right place. Here’s my opinion: Look! Up in the skies! I think that the place to look to take the character back to his roots is the sort of wonderful ‘out there’ science fiction of the fifties. Batman does noir, so let Superman do hokey sci-fi.

"You will always be a child of two worlds..." Wait, sorry, wrong monologue...

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Batman 3 and Superman Reboot Confirmed…

Wow. It looks like getting Nolan to sign on for Batman 3 wasn’t the hard part. It was getting him to sign on to be the brains behind the new Superman reboot. Yes, there’s a new Superman reboot coming. Guess DC is finally doing something with the Man of Steel. Looks like it’s no longer just fanboy hopes riding on Christopher Nolan – it’s the future of DC comics on film.

Forget Clark Kent, Christopher Nolan is the real Superman...

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