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Box Office: Supes vs Spidey

In typical ‘God hates elroy’ style I was stuck in meetings all day yesterday, so I didn’t get a chance to slip into my blue and red pajamas and hit the cinema to see Superman Returns. My absence doesn’t seem to have hurt the box office numbers for the man of steal’s opening day, which have it in 8th behind two of those Ring movies that Peter Jackson made, War of the Worlds and Spiderman 2.

Honestly though how, in any way shape or form, does Spider-man beat Superman? I don’t mean in a fight… because the answer to that is so ridiculously obvious that it doesn’t even warrant discussion… I mean at the box office. In my mind this should have been a complete walk over for Supes. Given the characters history, fan base and, lets face it, Superman is at the top of the food chain as far as superheros go. Could it be that audiences are not yet ready to forgive and forget for the last of the Reeve movies?

Don’t get me wrong, $21 million is not an opening to sneeze at, but it’s just over half of Spiderman 2’s record ($40.4 million) and yes, Spidey had the strength of the previous movie to build on… but even still, coupling Brian Singer’s reputation from the X-Men flicks and Superman’s stature something seems amiss here and I can’t quite put my finger on what it could be. [source]

Those of you who think that Spiderman had something of a free ride at the box office (in comparison to the baggage that Batman Begins and Superman Returns had to over come) must have short memories. Anybody else remember this?:

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    Almost Superman!
    Yo’ I went to see Superman Returns…Boorrriinngg! Bryan Singer got a hard on so hard for the caper that he forgot to put a good Vs Bad climax in the movie. Brandon Routh [however you spell his name] is PERFECT as Superman! GREAT CHOICE!
    He needs to work on his Clark kent though. The beginning is all good but after a while of seeing Superman fly around, save this and that you kind of wonder when will there be some real action. Yo! What tha Fuck! Kevin Spacey had great potential as Lex but they ended up doing a re-run of the Lex from the first Superman movies [all comic, surrounded by idiots and no genius! Just a common thug with a little brain] and what tha fuck was Kumar from “Harold & Kumar go to White Castle” doing in that movie! Basically to sum up the movie it’s another [bring yo’ girl] to the movie kind of flick cos the majority of the movie is about Supie & Lois [I’m getting tired of these corny ass movies]. After a while you get tired of the flying around GET to the point. The climax is him lifting that [supposedly kryptonite infused with the white crystal] into space! That’s what all the buildup was!!!!! To be fair, the flick has some good scenes [like the bullet to the eye and the plane crash but damn!] After a while you begin to fidget and look at yo’ watch. I even had a 12 yr old next to me in the theater ask his parents when it was gonna be over! For a re-intro they could have done a better job. Like I said Singer had such a hard on for the man of steel that he forgot to give him a REAL adversary instead focusing on the Man of Steel flying around. Instead they settled for the flying scenes and GENERAL action scenes and made Lexx into a joke…and is Superman that DUMB [apparently he is once again!] to land on a kryponite infused rock and not realize he is walking into a trap! That Lex is not to be underestimated! And what’s up with them fools kickin’ his ass and then getting killed off like that! I was expecting some payback like in Superman II! Yo, the franchise can survive the damage cos they have good actors in kevin Spacey and Brandon Routh is PERFECT as the Man of Steel and they can definitely use him in the sequels but they need to put MORE INTELLIGENT-LIVELY-WOTHRWHILE-OFF-THE- EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT-Action!!! Suggestion for the next Superman: Get rid of Lex and all other known villains. Make another alien being from another galaxy land on earth [full grown] with powers not known to the audience or fans, [make sure his character is well rounded not just simple] that way we cannot know in advance what his weakness is therefore the challenge and interest, and to make it simple: Have him give a real challenge to Superman! I’m tired of seeing Lex! Give the Man of Steel a REAL challenge. Superman II had a good idea but they ended the movie with a WIMP.
    So much more to add but ain’t nobody gonna read anyway so PEACE OUT! [wait for DVD or leave after the first hour of the flick you ain’t gonna miss much after that!

  • whoa
    Great comments dude – thanks for the review. I’m sorry to say it, but you’ve pretty much confirmed my fears about the movie. I had hoped that Luther would be more villainous and that the plot would be darker than the originals.. but Hope of that began to fade the more I heard of Singers love of the original movies.


    Oh well, I’ll still see it – but I’ll know what I’m in for now.

    ~ elroy

  • Supes Up!! (Donster’s take)
    Yes, some good points there. Yes, its as boring as hell in some parts. Bryan Singer has pulled his punches, dropped the ball and made out like a bandit while starting a new Superman franchise. In short, he’s a genius. I agree, Brandon Routh is perfect and I think his Reeve impersonation is spot on. I think that Kate Bosworth was a terrible choice. She mumbled and minged her way through the whole thing. She also didn’t stir any loins in the process – an absolute necessity in casting Lois Lane.
    Kevin Spacey was good with what he had to work with i.e sod all. He (Luthor) is ultimately toothless. He is simply used as a tool to establish the bond between the common man and Superman (after all we are supposed to be one and the same psychologically) and in a not so subtle way to highlight the superiority of a nuclear family unit, no matter who turns out to be the father (spoiler alert!…What?!….Oh, Damn!)
    The other bit players are all universally OK. That’s it – they’re there to fulfil their lines and look the part. None of them stand out which in my view sucks the potential life out of the film. Jimmy, Lois’s boyfriend, Perry White, Lex’s almost nameless sidekick (can you tell I can’t remember her name?-
    played by Parker Posie); they all have such significant histories in previous Supes films and in this one they’re given nothing meaningful. Its a real shame.
    The story? What story? We’re re-establishing a franchise here guys! Superman’s been gone for five years and returns to the farm in much the same way he got here in the first place. We get a montage/flashback of him realising/remembering he has superpowers (stupid and unnecessary). He walks back into his old job and we’re up to speed. How long does this take? 5-7 minutes of nicely crafted and emotionally uplifting music and vision? Nope, try 20+ minutes! (This is my guesstimation after the fact guys. If I’m out by a ludicrous margin I’ll happily stand corrected – it just felt sooooo long). My point being this is a long and slow film.
    We find out that Lois is ticked that he left for five years without saying goodbye, that she has a four year old boy…..aaaaand is yet to commit to marrying current boyfriend/Perry White’s nephew. Lex Luthor is out of prison because Supes neglected to show up at the trial, yadda yadda Kryptonite + Superman = bad yadda yadda. Its empty. There’s no emasculation leading to self doubt. There’s no patriotism!! Perry White baulks at saying ‘..and the American way’ when he dose refer to it. If you believe that Bryan Singer is a fan of the original Donner films then this is unforgivable. He’s a superhero without being overtly heroic, save for a single action sequence at the beginning (to save Lois) and a montage of him flying all over the world to fix stuff! I’m getting more ticked off with it as I type this. In my opinion Singer spends too much time setting up further films and not enough on telling a good story. Its Spiderman all over again.
    I’ll sign off now before I upset any more fanboys and people who hate spoilers.
    Two and a half hours?!! Yikes! Goodbye.

  • Stop it, stop it, stop it !

    you guys are killing me – I really want to love this film.. well, actually, I’m getting more and more scared that I actually may, but I doubt more and more that I will.

    Hopefully I’ll get to see it tomorrow so that I can form my own opinion… damn it.

  • The problem with foresight…
    Hey. Nobody will begrudge you wanting to like it. I really wanted to like it. I set aside time to go and see it with a mutual friend of ours and when he cancelled I went anyway. Such was the drawcard of Superman. I too wanted to be challenged and taken in by a believable and real storyline – at a Superman movie. Therein of course lies the problem. We allow our expectations to nudge common sense out of the way and imbue the experience with some sort of mythical ‘other than’ potential. Lets look at tour position in history, both in reality and in recent northern hemisphere blockbusters. We live in a world where America is not very popular. They can’t seem to do much right, yet have an extraordinary history in the search of real liberty and justice. The French, cheese eating surrender monkeys though they were, had their heads and their hearts in the right place when they bequeathed THAT statue to a potentially culturally imperialistic democracy. Imagine if that was the structure that got knocked down five years ago. On second thoughts, don’t.
    Now think of all the people that live there and truly want to be proud of their heritage and who they are. Try to put yourselves in their shoes when you see Superman Returns.
    For some reason we’ve been sucked in by the trilogy – if its not HUGE and arced over three ever increasing behemoths of films we seem to think its not satisfying. Because they’re massively successful financially we think that they’re ‘better’ or that they’ve engaged us in some sort of unique way. Collective psychosis writ large if you ask me. Give me some top notch editing software after the third Spiderman film and the rights to edit them all and I can guarantee you a cracker of a three hour blockbuster. I won’t even break a sweat. One film to rule them all? Ok, I’d better stop soon. Our responsibility in all this is to be as honest as we can in our assessment of these leviathans and to not pull our punches when we get disappointed by a half hearted foray into franchisedom. If they don’t succeed they can’t proceed – its simple. Recently James Cameron intimated that he is looking at two (2)!! three film franchises to see him into retirement. (Lazy, cynical c*#t), but revealed his smarts when he openly described the one/two structure of franchise ventures – make one and if it works, make another two. Gore Verbinski did it with a movie based on a theme park ride FFS!!
    If they’re no good, don’t buy into them. Pirates will of course be a success and make me look like a dick. I’m off to watch the review on the Movie Show.

  • Superman embarresses
    Man the movie,I wated 4 it so eagerly & it landed so soft i cant imagine that anyways i havent seen it yet but am full up wid the comments

  • Supes embaresses
    Some unregistered foo mumbled:
    Man the movie,I wated 4 it so eagerly & it landed so soft i cant imagine that anyways i havent seen it yet but am full up wid the comments

    Karan Raj Mishra

  • SDR
    SUPERMAN RETURNS makes the biggest cinematical mistake – suppose to be a sequel to superman 2 but Bryan Singer forget how it ended, with Clark wiping Lois’s memory with a kiss. Also the lack of duality never arose, Clark never really struggles to keep his super powers secret which is what makes it exciting. Smallville uses it all the time to great effect and even their Lois – E.Durance trumps this Bosworth any day. Lois ‘s character never defines herself as a reporter which was so entertaing when Margot kidder portrayed her.

    The Super outfit is completely homo – no offence – but the red colours are muddy, the blue is too deep and the symbol is way too small – and nowhere in sight on his cape. Mainly though this fails because of Bryan Singers lack of inspiration. The acting is sloppy and rumours of his coke partys on set translate on screen – the takes look like he didn’t try to get the scene right.
    The digital image looks poor and the cinematics are lame – visually the shots seem rushed and devoid of real construction. The other story flaw is the kid – he must be adopted because he does not belong here. It is an unneccessary addition and gives the story a melodramatic overtone. This superman portrays the worst aspect of human nature – stalking – Superman is above this. These aspects should not be in the film period.

    Brandon Routh looks okay but can’t act – as David Stratton Movie Critic Legend remarked – he has undergone a charisma Bypass! This bartender should go back to the pub, he is not right – why? Reeve created a bumbling nervous character, faking his voice as clark and becoming assured as Superman. This Brandon has the most annoying voice as both – but this is not his fault. The blame lies with Bryan S and the lame writers who totally botched the story. We need to forget this version and completely retool. New actors, a real script and better special effects. With the power at their disposal we never saw Superman fly off from the ground as smoothly as the wire effects of the 70’s. Just because Bryan singer wanted this job – don’t mean he deserves it. Brett Ratner would make a better film any day – Xmen 3 is more entertaining and the charcters are better drawn than SR – If studios bosses read this; look hard at the movie and see the flaws which for a $200m budget should not be there. Get a great director that is concerned with performances and leave the sfx to ILM – then the audiences will come in droves – But this superman is a bad start and has nowhere to go with these storylines in play. Seeing the Donner Cut to superman 2 shows just how the threatrical release and a great director(Richard Lester) can improve a story as Donner’s version is nuts – and we can see why the producers replaced him – his talent is not in question – but Lester brought an enetertaining verion to the screen which Superman Returns was not. If Singer gets his way with another sequel it will be a travesty – and totally gay – not that there’s anything wrong with that – well not too much – just get a straight filmaking team who knows what Superman is – not what a group fags – no offence – want it to be – and yeah this Superman does come across as gay – sorry brandon but you need to do some gritty films and have more experience as an actor. Sure Reeve was an unknown and he had few roles outside of the part, but he new how important the job was and he owned that role – and will possibly hold on to forever if something is not done soon.

    SDR Original Movies Fan