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Superman Returns [Blu-ray]
Superman Returns
Actors: Brandon Routh, Lee James, James Karen, Frank Langella, Jack Larson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG-13     2008     2hr 34min

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 09/09/2008 Rating: Pg13


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Movie Details

Actors: Brandon Routh, Lee James, James Karen, Frank Langella, Jack Larson
Creator: Newton Thomas Sigel
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Superheroes, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/19/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Not Even Kryptonite Can Stop Him!
G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 06/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can now forgive Bryan Singer for ditching X-Men - possibly even he couldn't have saved X-3, but what he did with Superman Returns puts him at the top of the heap of action film directors. Quite simply Superman Returns is just about perfect. It has nearly everything one could want in a 21st Century incarnation for the Man of Steel and the physical production is visually as eye-poppingly glorious as anyone could hope for. The flying scenes (especially the Superman in space scenes) have a breadth and beauty around them that almost stops one's breath - absolutely stunning.

As we've come to expect, there is great humor throughout with winks to the comic books and previous Superman flicks and director Singer doesn't shrink from paying obvious homage to the Reeve flicks - a very nice touch, indeed. Singer doesn't shrink, either, from going for broke in the second half of the film's more emotional content and the balance between action, love story, and pseudo-religious, philosophical storyline is just about perfect.

For all the pre-opening hype criticisms centering around an unknown actor portraying comic's most beloved hero, Brandon Routh proves the naysayers pretty much wrong. He's got the look, the moves and the feel of the character down. If his Clark Kent doesn't quite have the presence Reeve brought to the role - (this Clark isn't quite as endearingly bumbling or nerdy) he makes Clark likeable and believable - and makes fully plausible why Lois finds him slightly forgettable. As The Man of Steel, however, Routh takes the challenge straight on and does not once disappoint his audience.

The opening sequences setting up the story have a classic old movie feel, a bit of exposition for history, hilarious snips of Lex Luthor beginning his bid for world domination, Lois and the rest of the world moving on in the years since Superman (and Clark's) leave of absence, all culminating in a breathtaking action sequence wherein our hero saves the lives of those aboard the space shuttle - and ties it all in with America's favorite pastime - Baseball!

Kate Bosworth's Lois is a bit bristley (Lois always was) but she always let's the vulnerable quality of her character crack through the tough-as-nails exterior.

Kevin Spacey's Lex starts off with a bang, but it isn't until the sequence with Lois aboard his yacht - the turning point of the film - that he gets to fully charm us with his evil craziness. If up til then I thought Spacey hadn't quite captured the role (as I envisioned anyway), from this point on he OWNED Lex.

Parker Posey is an entirely different creature than was Valerie Perrine. Where Perrine was all curves and opinions, Posey is all angles and dim. A different spin on the character, but a worthy one.

It was terrific to see Eva Marie Saint - now in her 60th year of films, in the small role of Martha Kent. Even washing dishes or driving her truck, Saint exudes movie star quality that proves the old adage "there are no small roles."

The movie's more than two and a half hours fly by and everyone - at least at the screening I attended - is left feeling like a kid again.

This is probably going to be the hit of the summer and well it should. It has just about everything one could want in a first "return" feature for this superhero and I'm already excited for 2009's sequel! See it on a big screen. Now!
"Why The Cinema Needs Superman"
Michael Roffman | Haddonfield, Illinois | 06/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After nearly twenty years, Superman returns triumphantly to the screen to save the day of both the moviegoer and the theater owners looking for golden entertainment. It might not hurt the studio producers too, but let's keep them out of this. Supes is back and there is popcorn to be made.

Director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) takes a dusty, beat up franchise and literally sinks his teeth into it. This has class written all over it and much like the director's previous work, this is really no surprise. It's a blessing in disguise.

After last year's schizophrenic Batman Begins and this year's laughable at most X-Men 3: The Last Stand, Superman Returns fails to follow suit. This is a film that takes all that was great in comic book filmmaking and just stains the screen with it. This is a film that knows what it wants to do and simply does it.

More than anything, this is a film.

Brandon Routh deliciously portrays Clark Kent/Superman as he awkwardly returns to his second home, planet Earth. There he finds that the world is in turmoil yet `getting by' without him. His greatest friends have long forgotten him while the love of his intergalactic life has moved on, now with a child and a husband to boot. Technically speaking, his return is without merit.

However, things seem to change for the worst when Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) also has his share in the homecoming. After evading a double life sentence, Luthor has plans for global domination--literally. He visits Superman's fortress, steals the invaluable alien crystals, and discovers a magnificent hidden truth inside that is damaging to both Superman and the world.

So in the end, yeah, the world starts the Superman hype again.

Taking on the heroic role of revitalizing the series, director Singer picks up the franchise where Richard Donner and Richard Lester's previous work respectively left off. This means ignoring the ill fortuned Superman III and IV, both films becoming too reliant on the gimmick rather than the story.

Everything here is back to the basics plus one.

Returns sports the same original theme conceived by John Williams, this time Singer's favorite composer John Ottman takes the reigns. By the time the theme picks up pace and the blue retro-terrific titles fly past the screen, you might want to pinch your arm and remind yourself that this is still 2006 and not 1978.

Effects aside, the film retains the magic and aura of the original entry with newcomer Brandon Routh filling in and gracefully replacing the late Christopher Reeve's tights and boots. He is enigmatic, spunky, and fortunately for the role of Clark Kent he is unbearably clumsy. Routh is Superman, delivering lines like "Good night, Lois" as if they're straight from the audio files that have collected dust for over twenty years now.

Supporting Routh at his side are Kate Bosworth as the ill-tempered journalist Lois Lane and the energetic and screen stealing Kevin Spacey who looks to be having just the right amount of fun as the arch nemesis Luthor. For Bosworth, this role is a long stretch from the surfer hey-day she came from nearly four years ago but she nails it with the right expressions and a perfect pitch.

Even Margot Kidder should be proud...

Spacey, on the other hand, portrays Lex Luthor as he should be. This is of course the same role originally staged by Gene Hackman. Yet instead of the forcibly awkward casting of Hackman, Spacey takes the character and soars to heights that might rival that of the caped crusader.

Gene Hackman might bite his lip at this one.

The film clocks in at two and a half hours which might welcome or daunt the audiences for the next coming month. Considering modern epics of the likes of King Kong or The Lord of the Rings series sport running times of three to four hours, it might be safe to say that moviegoers should be more than happy.

A longer running time allows the film to stretch, to explore, and to expand the storyline that might otherwise be constricted in anything shorter. Singer even takes a cue from director Peter Jackson's work by upping the characterization and organizing outlandish, superior action sequences over breathtaking settings.

It's times when the almighty caped one struggles that the film really shines. Never once do the action sequences seem overly done or outwardly jutting from the storyline. The thing works and blends so smoothly that there's no fruit to be left at the bottom.

The dialogue is snappy, the chemistry is modern science, and the effects succeed on a level of believability and boyhood wonder. This is a film for everyone that wants a film for themselves. For those looking for a hero that they'd rather look up to than relate to, Superman Returns delivers the package right on time.

It just might have taken twenty years and counting in the process.
A sequel and a remake at the same time
Mike Leone | Houston, TX, United States | 06/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I went to a special pre-release screening of Superman Returns that I thought was supposed to start at 9:30 and did not start until 10:30. While watching the previews, I wondered why on earth I ever agreed to go see a movie at this hour on a work night. As soon as the film started, with the stunning 3-D-like presentation of the credits, accompanied by that wonderfully irreplaceable theme music by John Williams, all doubts were gone.

And in this theme music is the key to the wonder of Superman Returns. It is set up as a sequel to the original films, and yet it recycles many elements of the original, and so it manages the seemingly impossible task of being a sequel and a remake at the same time. Watching the film was like a wonderful trip back in time to 1978. Everything was different and yet everything was the same.

Once again, Lex Luthor has a plan for taking over the world that involves land, and this plan is even more diabolical and life-threatening than the first one ever thought of being. There is delicious irony in how Luthor ends up in this film, given his original plans. And it just wouldn't be Superman without a replay of the magical scene where Superman takes Lois Lane on a flying trip. The musical score plays a prank on the viewer at this point, and I can only say "be patient."

The film is dedicated to Christopher and Dana Reeve. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Christopher Reeve imaginable is Brandon Routh's performance as Clark Kent/Superman. In some of Routh's scenes, particularly as Clark Kent, he is the spitting image of Christopher Reeve. I don't think I realized how much I identified Reeve with Superman until I saw Routh in the same role. There is also some resemblance between James Marsden, who plays Richard White, Lois Lane's new love interest, and Routh and Reeve, giving the impression that if Lois couldn't be with Superman, then the only substitute she would accept would be one with similar features. Another connection to the original film is the use of archive footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El, Superman's father.

Director Bryan Singer doesn't try to extend the illusion by bringing in lookalikes for the roles of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor. Kate Bosworth and a bald Kevin Spacey acquit themselves well in these parts, without completely erasing memories of Margot Kidder and Gene Hackman, which would be a pretty big order for just about anyone.

One major difference between this film and the original is that Lex Luthor's henchmen are considerably more threatening than was buffoon Ned Beatty in the original. David Fabrizio as head henchman Brutus nevertheless shows a sympathetic side when he accompanies Lois' son Jason in a piece on the piano during the scene where son and mother are held hostage. (Tristan Lake Leabu as son Jason White shows himself in his limited screen time to be a good little actor, particularly in the scene where we discover that he may not be quite who we think he is.) And if I have a preference for Valerie Perrine over Parker Posey as Lex Luthor's girlfriends in the two films, it is mostly because Perrine made the effort to help Superman out of the Krypton-related jam he had gotten into in the earlier film, while Posey, whose life Superman has previously saved, watches helplessly as Superman is overcome by the deadly Krypton.

The special effects are stunning and very much an integral part of the story. They are never there just to draw attention to themselves.

I always enjoyed the original film, and saw it several times. I don't think I every truly realized how much I loved the original until seeing Bryan Singer's loving and respectful take on it. I imagine that younger folks who never saw the original will still enjoy the remake. And the film's real gift is to those of us who did indeed see and love the original. For us, it's a must-see."
A Superman we can root for
Sherrie Jackson | St. Louis, MO United States | 06/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember seeing Superman IV in the theaters when I was six, how there were so many people swarming all around, how there was excitement. Clearly it was a shoddy movie, but to a kid you just can't buy that kind of palpable movie madness.

Now I'm as old as my parents were when they saw the very first Superman, and I've got to say this must be what it felt like. I think Bryan Singer is fast becoming one of the most respectable directors in Hollywood, and what he did with this movie--on a far, far grander scale than either of his X-Men movies--merits SOME kind of award come Oscar time.

We all know the story--Kryptonian boy comes to Earth, saves man from the foibles of archnemesis Lex Luthor, woos Lois Lane. Singer and Co. decided to have this movie pick up after Superman II (wise move) but you never really get a jarring sense of chronology--no General Zod references here. Instead, Supe has just returned from a nearly five-year journey to see if anything remains of his homeworld; alas, the answer is no.

What's strange is that him being gone is such a small deal when it comes to the overall movie. But that's okay; there's plenty more fantastic things to keep the average moviegoer and Superman afficionado happy. What I love most about this sequel is that so much of it feels like home--Brandon Routh has moments where he looks exactly like the dearly departed Christopher Reeve, and his voice is dead-on most of the time. He quotes several lines from the first movie to great effect. Kate Bosworth as Lois isn't as quirky as Margot Kidder but she still can't spell, and she does the best job I've seen in a long time of playing the "strong female" role without ever drawing your attention to it.

The plot also feels familiar--Superman spends a night righting wrongs across the world; Luthor AGAIN gets hold of that Adis Ababa kryptonite, and Supe AGAIN falls prey to it; but there are intriguing elements dealing with Fortress crystals that take Luthor into land-grabbing madness like we've never seen.

The special effects are superb, of course; you can't spend almost $300 million and get it wrong! Here is where I thought Singer might overdo things, but his restraint is commendable. He allows Routh to do all the old Superman things and yet they don't feel aged at all. Singer was concerned with how to entertain a generation where flying is no longer the spectacle it once was, and yet, watching the movie, it's hard to believe that any kid, no matter how jaded, could scoff at what's on screen. The movie is that well done.

Don't let detractors fool you. This kind of movie only comes along...once every thirty years or so."