Reviewing the "Superman Returns" TrailerWelcome to the Superman Homepage's Review on the full movie trailer for "Superman Returns".
What you'll find here are 3 reviews. One by me (Steve Younis), another by Neal Bailey, and a third by Superman fan Daniel McIntosh. My review is a serious look at the scenes shown in the trailer, while Neal's review is a very cheeky look at the same trailer but in a way that can only come from his warped mind. :) Daniel's review looks at it from various perspectives.
We hope you enjoy reading them both.
Reviewing the "Superman Returns" TrailerBy Steve Younis
"Mr Luthor, we're approaching the coordinates".
We zoom in on the icy landscape of the arctic, where we see a group of people walking across the ice, away from a helicopter... obviously Luthor and his gang have located Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
We see the group enter into the main chamber of the Fortress of Solitude as Lex tells his gang, "This is where he learned who he was. This is where he came for guidance."
Luthor's hands feel out towards what I'm assuming is the main control console of the Fortress of Solitude.
Lex stands at the main console, where the vision of Jor-El can be seen within the crystal pillar in front of him.
Lex looks at Jor-El and states, "Tell me everything".
The scene changes, and we're presented with the now familiar visage of the close-up on Superman's face, eyes closed as he floats in the upper atmosphere around Earth, listening for where he's needed most.
The Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and DC Comics logos are presented in order.
"Let's start with the big question: Where did you go?" asks Lois.
Martha Kent drives the farm truck towards the firey crash site where her adopted son has returned.
We hear Martha tell Clark, "Your father used to say that you were put here for a reason", as we see Clark as a teenager experimenting with his ability to leap great distances. He leaps across the fields of corn in Smallville, landing atop a grain silo or water tank.
As we zoom up the outside of the Daily Planet building, we hear Martha telling Clark, "You know, the world can always use more good reporters." This sounds like it could well be a response to Clark's concerns about what he's supposed to do with himself now that he's returned.
So, we see Clark, back in the Daily Planet, smiling.
And then, the familiar opening notes from the fabulous Superman theme music begin, as we see Superman streak through the sky beside a trail of thick smoke.
As in the teaser trailer, we see a crowd of people staring up at the sky in awe.
Above the city streets Superman flies by.
"I want to know it all, everything", says Perry White to the gathered staff of the Daily Planet. "Olsen I want to see photos of him everywhere."
We see Superman in the sky. Jimmy snaps off a rapid fire of photos.
"Clark! Hey, welcome back!" smiles Lois, as Clark greets her inside the Daily Planet, "I see you've met the munchkin." Clark looks down to the little boy (Jason) sitting on Lois' desk and says, "Hello" in a friendly, uncertain way.
Clark looks at a framed photo of Lois, Jason and her fiance, Richard White as Jimmy says, "Fearless reporter Lois Lane is a Mommy." Clark, shocked, accidentally breaks the glass in the frame. "But if you ask me," continues Jimmy, "she's still in love with you-know-who."
Lois looks up. Superman flies above the streets of Metropolis, turning on his back as he flies.
"Does he still stand for Truth, Justice, all that stuff?" Perry White asks his reporters. Lois looks on, pen in mouth.
Held in the hand of Lex Luthor, we see that the Daily Planet headline reads "The Man of Steel is Back!"
Up in space, Superman flies over the Earth.
"Superman returns" claims Perry White.
On the roof of the Daily Planet, Lois turns to see Superman standing, arms folded. "How could you leave us like that?" questions Lois emotionally.
"It's not easy for me to live my life being who I am... Keeping secrets." replies Superman.
Lois edges closer to him, removing her shoes, and stands on his boots. Superman lifts of the roof, carrying Lois in front of him as they float in front of the revolving Daily Planet globe and above the city of Metropolis.
Back on the Daily Planet rooftop Lois looks Superman in the eye and says, "The world doesn't need a savior... and neither do I!"
With a tear in his eye, clearly upset, Superman flies away.
"So long Superman" Lex says smugly, looking down on the Man of Steel (in what I'm presuming is the moment captured by the WETA Workshop's "Fallen Hero" statue).
Lex's 300ft yacht, The Gertrude, crashes through the icy waters. On board are Lois and her son. Surprised by who her captor is, Lois says, "Lex Luthor!" to which her son states, "You're bald." Lex replies with a smile, "Cute kid".
"Come with me", says Lex, holding a green cylinder, as he walks on to the back deck of the boat, "You're not gonna want to miss this."
Back at the Daily Planet, Clark asks Jimmy, "What's wrong?" Jimmy replies, "Lois and Jason are missing."
With Jason sitting in her lap, Lois looks on as Lex tells her, "I have advanced alien technology". We see him lifting up a sparkling Kryptonian crystal.
As we see Superman come to a complete stop in mid-air, Lois responds to Lex's plans by saying, "But millions of people will die!" "Billions!" corrects Lex.
The windows and glass doors of the Daily Planet building shatter and explode as hi-tech weapons fire upon the building and police cars below.
"Come on, let me hear you say it, just once." goads Lex. "You're insane" Lois tells him. "No!" shouts Lex in a scary, playful manner, "Not that. No, the other thing." Lois replies, "Superman will nev..." "WRONG!!!" shouts Lex, right in her face.
Faster than a speeding bullet, Superman flies through Metropolis, breaking through a window.
On what looks like a drab grey version of Kryptonian landscape (the "New Krypton" set we've heard mention of in previous reports), Superman lands with earth-moving force, confront Lex and his goons.
We see Superman in pain, his eyes near popping out of his head.
As the music reaches its crescendo, we see Superman approaching a man firing a hi-tech machine gun at him. The shots bounce off the Man of Steel as he walks casually closer to the gun.
Once again standing infront of Lois, Lex shouts "Bring it on!" It's interesting to note that the map on the wall next to him shows a new land mass in what appears to be the North Atlantic Ocean...
A damaged Boeing 777 plane, with its tale on fire, plummets towards the ground. Superman lands on its right wing, attempting to slow the plane down. The wing rips off from the body of the plane, tossing Superman behind it once again. Inside the plane, Lois is thrown from her seat, painfully crashing into the ceiling of the cabin. As Superman dives down after the crashing plane once more, the left wing rips free and hurtles towards him.
With three succinct trumpet blairs we see the following red titles:
"On June 30, 2006"
"Look Up In The Sky"
and the "S" symbol.
"What have you got Olsen?" asks Perry White. Jimmy throws a photograph down on the table between him, Perry and Lois. The photo (upside down for us) shows a blur in the sky above some building. "Look, in the sky Chief" points Jimmy. "It's a bird" says Lois. "It's a plane" declares Perry. "No, look it's..." Jimmy's line is interrupted as the door to Perry's office is opened. They all stand up, looking to see who it is, "Ah, you wanted to see me?" says Clark.
"Returns Summer 2006"
And so ends the 2 and a half minute trailer.
I can't tell you how many times I've watched this now. Countless. The first time I watched it, I was joined by my wife. I was choked up, especially that last bit... I was just so excited and buzzed about what I'd just watched I literally couldn't talk because I'd been unconciously holding my breath. I looked at my wife, and she had tears in her eyes. I'm a diehard Superman fan. She's a long-suffering wife of a diehard Superman fan. The affect it had on her... that said it all for me. I can't wait to see it in the cinema to see what impact it has on the audience around me.
Kevin Spacey may well steal the show. His delivery of his lines was just amazing. When he screamed "WRONG!" it's scary as hell. I can only imagine the affect it had on the poor little actor playing young Jason White.
Everything looked fantastic. The Daily Planet - awesome. The costume - fabulous. The Fortress - magical.
Lois, Jimmy, Perry, and especially Clark/Superman were all spot on.
I can't wait... As Lex says, "Bring it on!"
Reviewing the "Superman Returns" TrailerBy Neal Bailey
Hey, everybody! I thought I'd do a review of the Superman Returns full trailer. Seeing as how the teaser trailer was pretty symbolic, focusing on the Christian images, the music, the revelation of the suit in motion and the chilling lines of Jor-El, this time I thought I might spice things up with a picture story, and a blow-by-blow! Enjoy!
First off, we have this thick, green screen:
My first impression? LAME. WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ME FROM WATCHING THE TRAILER, STUPID GREEN SCREEN! I must note, however, that they chose a startlingly symbolic color for the opening, given that green is kryptonite to Superman, and pain to wait through on a dialup.
Thankfully, I have broadband. Cause I'm a nerd.
We open up with my favorite kind of opening. Luthor, kicking serious tail. First off, we don't know how he's done it, but somehow he's taken his yacht and accelerated global warming, busting up the ice floe leading up to Superman's crib. Then, being the true pimp he is, he's got men on radios despite the magnetic interference showing just how rich he is. He could have swam the water, but he used a helicopter, because he's Luthor, and he doesn't have to. But he could have.
And where is he? Drinking Cristal? Rotting in prison?
Nope. The man is kicking back in Superman's crib. He's even messing with his teraflop badness and taking names. He's probably finding Superman's secret files. The ones that say what his big green crystal does aside from making people not see through a glasses disguise!
We realize that Lex Luthor is so cool, he's walking around this craggy noise without even opening his eyes. His hands reach forward, he's all like, "No, no, boys! Stay back! I can navigate this with my eyes closed. Why? Because I'm Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor. Get some!"
Jor-El appears and is all like, "What are you doing here, ruler of Australia?"
Luthor says, "I played Dr. Evil, punk. Don't talk smack with me!" and pulls Jor-El's plug. After powering down, the hologram congeals into a donut, which Luthor eats.
Luthor, realizing the power he now has at his disposal, decides to use it in the best possible way. To score chicks! In an extended scene, we're told from sources, he uses the Kryptonian technology to create the most high definition tele-dating video in history.
It starts out, "I'm Lex Luthor. You might know me from my yacht, my varying attempts to take over the world, or my pretty, pretty bald head. I'm not asking for the privilege of dating you. I'm offering you the opportunity of a lifetime to date me. If you want that chance, please, leave all of your pertinent information after the beep. I might just show up in my awesome parka. I'm serious. Tell me everything."
The "Tell me everything." part is where we pick up in the trailer.
Here's where we first see Superman. He's somewhere, probably helping a kitten out of a tree, and all of a sudden, it's like Darth Vader walked into Luke Skywaler's bungalow while he was out getting soy milk. He senses something, a presence he's not felt since...
So he's having this pleasant nap...
Now, some of you may not know this, but this is a deleted scene. In this scene, he's wearing the suit that the naysayers clamored for. The ethereal, perfect suit that everyone would like and not a single person would nitpick. Made out of mithril and sculpted in the fires of Mordor, this one suit, just looking at it would make you drop dead in awe. It was cool. But when Superman heard Luthor was back in town, he just soiled it. Game over. So he went to plan B and had Ma sew the one they're using.
Which ain't half bad. Like, at all.
Oh, I can see the message board now. "*Snort* But Neal, if you'll duly note most astutely, the hair is approximately three millimeters shorter than it was in Action Comics #303, which I consider to be the definitive Superman, and if you think that there are different interpretations, you don't know who Superman is, and-"
And here comes Luthor with a smack to the head.
And the fanboy now needs a new suit as well. The trailer moves on.
We see our first Lois Lane. She says, "Let's start with the big question. Where did you go?"
Is that the big question?
Wroooooooooooooooooong! The big question is who Luthor's gonna smack down next. But hey, I'll take it.
Ma Kent's driving to the senior center, rubbing her arms in her angora sweater. "My, I wonder what's on McGyver tonight? You think they'll show Walker, Texas Ranger? It's cold in here! Why can't I turn up the thermostat in the car!"
She hears some noises, and veers off the road in a dementia inspired fugue, seeking fire as a way to warm her weary bones. Lucky for her, she finds her son.
"I'll save you, Clark! Just like McGyver! Gimme a banana, a rusty nail, and a guitar string!"
Then, in her old-person fugue, she suddenly remembers the time young Clark said something off-color about Lex Luthor, and Lex Luthor found him, put him into a giant cannon, and launched the farm boy into the cornfields at roughly mach 18.
"I was wroooooooooooooooooooooooooooong!"
Sadly, Clark recovers, landing on his feet. This is the only tactical mistake Lex Luthor has ever made, and one he will rectify in this film.
Clark arrives at the Daily Planet, which we see in detail, and it cuts to a picture of Superman rushing into the smoke of a burning plane to save it. Awesome. Lex Luthor could do it with a banana, a rusty nail, and a guitar string, but commensurate nonetheless.
Next we have the beginnings of the Superman Theme, and what appear to be a crowd of gawkers standing around wondering what Lex is doing in his penthouse.
I know. Planning the death of gawkers.
Superman flies above a crowd of Metropolitans, so fast he can't hear their cries.
"Superman! My car broke down!"
"Superman! My wife just went into labor!"
"Superman! Sign my picture!"
Lex just scoffs and says, "See. Told you he didn't care." Then he liquidates them all for insolence.
Perry White appears. He sends Jimmy out to photograph Superman, and says, "I want to know it all. Everything." Which is really, really disturbing, because why would he want to know everything? Well, because Lex Luthor asked for it in his tape. That's kind of...Brett Ratner, isn't it? No, wait, I'm thinking Jimmy Olsen.
The next scene we see is Superman spreading his arms wide. I'll set the scene for you. He meets up with Lois Lane, takes her for a flight, and they start to click again. She starts singing the lyrics to "Can you read my mind?" which Clark reveals is the real reason he left Earth. He then laughs, and drops her.
Luthor approves, and thus allows him to live for a few more minutes of film.
Clark walks into the Daily Planet (this is before he drops Lois) and says hello. Lois, with a wide smile says, "WELCOME BACK!"
"And by the way. I have a kid."
Clark says. "Oh. Oh, I see. Hey, can I take him out for some ice cream?"
Lois: "Sure, Clark! That'd be nice."
Lex Luthor approves, and that buys Clark ten more minutes. And ice cream.
Superman says, "Hey, we're...we're kind of pals now, aren't we Lex? Lex? Kaiser?"
Superman flies upside down above some traffic in the image now famous from the Coca Cola commercial. Lex drinks Pepsi, by the way.
At any rate, he hears something from above, that's why he turns over. What is it?
What is it?
"Awwwwwwwwww yeah it's the JUGGERNAUT! Shut up, Clark! Aw, my helmet! He's messin' with my helmet!"
Anyway, Singer just couldn't resist taking a little bit from X-Men and putting it in there. Just to show he still cares.
Lex Luthor goes to check out his daily paper, and finds that they're reporting on the new Superman movie. He promptly creates a list of all of the things wrong with the suit, thinks about posting them online, but instead just writes a nasty letter about Neal's last Smallville review and sends it to him before killing Michael Rosenbaum and blaming it on Kristin Kreuk. And the Juggernaut.
Here's a neat one. Superman, flying above the Earth, patrolling space. It's part of his whole plan to turn back time and stop Lois from having a kid while he's away. Unfortunately for Superman, Luthor foils him with a banana, a rusty nail, and a guitar string.
Clark and Lois on the rooftop.
Lois: "Superman! You're back!"
Superman: "Yeah! Where's my five bucks? You thought I'd forget, didn't you? After five years, that's like, at least fifteen bucks with inflation. Now you pay with your life! Or a heat vision colonic, whichever comes first..."
Lois, trying desperately to save her own life, walks up and tries to kiss Superman. "No, no! I love you, Superman! Please, take me for a flight!"
Superman sighs, but agrees.
Oh, Superman! You're so hunky! You mind if I pay you in monthly installments? I have a kid now, times are tough what with Luthor taking half our pay, and...
And this brings us full circle to the end of the scene we saw before.
Welchers never prosper.
Superman thinks he's done for the day, so he starts to fly home.
Little does he know, Luthor's paying someone to look at his watch, and that person has just said, "My weight is 200 pounds!" which is what Lex told him to say as a timer bell. This timer was set to indicate when Lex's admiration for Superman for taking care of Lane and her meddling brat would cease without further coolness, so Lex Luthor, smug, says, "So long, Superman!" and prepares to destroy him. He retires for the night to figure out how to do it.
Hmmm. How to kill Superman. Ewoks? Kryptonite? Giant spider?
WROOOOONG! Don't you know who you're dealing with? This is the greatest criminal mind of our time! It's not a question of how! It's a question of WHEN. And the answer is when he's darn good and ready to. Right now, Lex Luthor just wants to drive his yacht one-handed through torrential rain and giant waves. Because that's what strikes his fancy right now.
You don't like it? Die.
Luthor, bored, hits a button on his yacht, suddenly teleporting Lois and the kid to his yacht just before they splat on the ground so that he can toy with them.
"You're bald!" the kid observes.
Lex turns to face him.
"Cute kid," Lex replies. Lois thinks he means easy on the eyes. He just means the kid will look good stuffed on his mantelpiece. Or as Otis' successor, with his grasp of the obvious. Either or.
"Come with me!" he tells them, and takes them to the front of his yacht. You may think he's carrying some variation of Kryptonite, but really, this is just a can of whup@%$ to hand to Superman when he sees him. Lex hands out about fifty to sixty cans a day, so he gets the commercial discount at Costco.
Clark, meanwhile, back at the Daily Planet, expresses fake concern when Jimmy tells him that Lois and the kid are missing. "Er, ah, um!"
"No, this is serious, Clark!" Jimmy says. "Luthor took them."
"Luthor?" Clark realizes. "Oh. Okay."
Jimmy: "I was in Jungle 2 Jungle."
Lois, meanwhile, watches Luthor's tele-dating video in horror.
Luthor: "I have powerful alien technology!"
"With this crystal, I don't even have to pull my own finger to decimate a room full of imbeciles!"
Superman stops, suddenly hearing something with his super-hearing. It brings tears to his eyes.
Lois, voice over: "But millions of people will die!"
Lex: "BILLIONS! I just ate a burrito!"
Superman, listening to Lex Luthor from afar, hears something that chills his blood.
"It appears I have a tape here from a one Perry White. Eliminate him for insolence."
Superman, aghast, says "Oh noes!"
Perry, looking for love in all the wrong places, observes what happens when you slight the house of Luthor.
"Go on. Let me hear you say it. Just once."
"No! Not that!"
"C'mon! The other thing!"
"Superman will ne-"
Superman, rushing to the scene, makes a pit stop along the way to plow through an apartment.
The owner of the apartment, a one Peter Parker, bursts into tears. And needs a new suit.
BOOM! Superman arrives, and does his best impression of The Seven Year Itch.
Lex Luthor throws his shoulders forward. "What? You gonna step to this? You think you got what it takes? See these guys around me? I built them out of bananas. Really. They're held together with guitar string. Each one of them could take you out with a rusty nail. Do you know who I am? You must not know who I am. I'm the ruler of Australia! You're Marilyn Monroe! Ketchup, buddy! Mustard!"
Superman: "My suit is awesome! You can't talk to me like that! I'll melt your face!"
Luthor laughs. "Ffft! If I was a woman I wouldn't take you to a dogfight if you were defending champ. No need to dress up for me!"
Superman starts bawling, and swears allegiance to Luthor.
"Good. Rise, Darth Routh. First thing, I need you to go stop that guy on top of the Planet. He's wasting too many bullets."
"I will do as you command!" Superman cries, taking off.
Lois promises to write a fluff piece about Superman.
"BRING IT ON!" Luthor shouts. He then charters her a plane to write the story, just to prove how unafraid he is, then lets her and the kid go.
...and sends Superman to take care of the plane.
"Got it! Woo hoo! No child support!"
Lois checks on her carry-on.
Superman follows the plane down, then goes and gets Luthor his tea. Credits.
All joking aside, this was seriously one of the most incredible trailers it's been my honor to see. The millions-to-billions reference to the original movie, the "It's a bird!" line, the plane, the effects, the character in every scene...the cinematography...
I was willing to be a naysayer. I was. I honestly have no fear, even on this site, of going out there and telling people if this movie stinks. I mean, look at how I treat Smallville. I call it as I see it.
I'm excited for this movie, and this trailer only adds to that.
We've seen three minutes of a three hour movie. This is just the beginning. Crank up the gears, prepare your tents. Two months to the party.
My plan for reviewing is the "high" review, where I'm excited from the movie and put down my random thoughts, and then the "day after" review. This will be where I sit down and watch it three times and take notes and give it the Smallville treatment.
I hope you all had as much fun reading my trailer parody as I did writing it. Good times ahead, all! Thanks!
Reviewing the "Superman Returns" TrailerBy Daniel McIntosh
I guess the best place to start is to look at what defines a teaser trailer and what defines a theatrical trailer. The name teaser trailer alludes to its over all purpose and that is to tease the movie going public with a display of what lies ahead and some of the elements that they can look forward to. The teaser trailer is not meant to give any plot points away but to merely draw the attention of the movie going public to the new movie and some of the main cast. In most cases the movie is still in the process of pick-ups (re-shoots) or post-production when this is released. Essentially it gives us a visual cue of what they can expect upon release.
Moving on a few months down the track we are given the full theatrical trailer for the movie. This trailer establishes for us several things: the main cast, the official title, the overall tone to the movie (to a degree), the visual style of the movie and most importantly an overall story arc that the movie will follow without giving away too much of the plot. Given the influx of Comic book movies of late, I thought that it might be good to take a look at the visual style and some of the aspects of the new Superman Returns movie.
Starting splash screen:
Every movie trailer today requires this by law in most countries around the world. If you are in the United States, then the green splash screen seen at the start of the trailer applies to you and serves as a warning to anyone else in the world. When the trailer is distributed to the cinemas around the world, the green splash screen is replaced by the appropriate warning that the government office of film and literature classifications requires in order to advertise the movie. The Splash screen tells us briefly the reasons and age group the film is appropriate for. Let's move on!
Well I suppose this is as good a place to start as any. Now in a trailer, the sequence of events portrayed is in no way guaranteed to be the same as that for the final movie. In this case looking at the sequence, I would say that the trailer follows the sequence very closely but I can't say 100% for sure because I haven't seen it. We start off with Lex Luthor looking for something in the Arctic Circle. What is he looking? Well this is where you have two possible answers, depending upon whether or not you have seen the original Superman: The Movie and Superman II. If you have not well this just adds an extra degree of mystery to the story line. If you, like me have seen it, then you would suppose that he is looking for Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Now those of you who are Superman fans would say that it was immediately obvious that was what was happening. Remember, the majority of the movie going public are not really up on the whole Fortress of Solitude bit, particularly if they are under 23 and are NOT Superman fans. The dialogue sequence: "Mr. Luthor. We are approaching the coordinates", alludes to the fact that Lex knows the location from Superman II. Of course this is only speculation until the movie is released.
The next shot we see Luthor and his men inside the Fortress where he informs his men of the significance of the Fortress. This dialogue sequence definitely says I know what this place is all about because I have been here before. That is to those of us who have watched Superman II. To the rest, well they would more than likely presume that he was making an educated statement to his men. Next we see Luthor conversing with Jor-El and getting the low-down on Kryptonian knowledge. Now for anyone who thinks about anything they see would have to think that Kryptonian knowledge in the hands of the bad guy is a bad thing. I would openly say that the majority of people would know who Lex Luthor is. If they didn't they were probably living a rather sheltered existence. He is one of the world's iconic bad guys only surpassed by Darth Vader. Moving on! The next shot I think is out of sequence to story arc but it is an establishing shot none the less of who this movie is about. We have the obligatory splash screens for the production companies involved. Kudos to the editor of the trailer for not having them up for too long and moving the ball along.
The next dialogue sequence tells us that the main character has been away for a while and then we cut to the scene with an old lady in the truck. Now this is where the teaser and theatrical trailer work hand in hand. The teaser trailer gave us a little more visual detail on the arrival back of Superman and the old lady is in fact Martha Kent; Superman's Earthly mother. We also flash back to a time when Clark is growing up on the farm and is discovering his powers for the first time. I think this is a very cool way to establish some character history in my opinion. The next dialogue sequence is from Martha Kent re-iterating something that Glenn Ford who played Jonathan Kent in the original Superman: The Movie said to a young Clark Kent (played by Jeff East). "Your father used to say that you were put here for a reason". To me that sounds like Martha is trying to convince Clark that the world needs a Superman more than ever. This dialogue sequence probably takes place around the time where we see Clark reading the newspapers that Martha saved for him (given to us in one of the press pictures released). The next line sounds as though Clark is contemplating going back to the Daily Planet to work. Or quite possibly it could be that Martha is telling him that being a reporter would put him into the best possible position where he could help people.
The visuals show the front of the Daily Planet building and Clark in the newsroom of the Planet. The trailer then tells us that Clark Kent's return marks the return of our favourite hero Superman! Added to which is the famous motif that John Williams composed as part of the original Superman score that conditions us to the coming of our hero. The sequence of footage that follows seems to possibly imply that there are sightings of Superman prior to the official Daily Planet article announcing to the world that Superman has returned. I think that I, like most people, were about un-certain as to Frank Langella taking on the role of Perry White. That was until I saw the footage of him in the boardroom meeting and I was sold. Frank is actually a very good actor who has not had that many main title roles in films, but that by no means takes away from his acting ability, which is by far quite superior to a lot of other actors out there that enjoy the mega star status.
The next crucial piece of information that follows is that Lois has moved on of course (with Richard White) and that she has a kid. Let's not open that bag of worms again until the movie comes out and we can definitively find out what is going on for sure. We also have Jimmy putting his opinion forth that he thinks that Lois still isn't over "the big guy". The cracking of the photo frame is a nice touch but it will be interesting to see how it goes down with audiences. I have shown the trailer to a few people now and that particular shot doesn't draw the laughter that I thought that it would. Cut to a very cool shot of Superman performing a half-barrel roll. Of course there is the stereotypical newsman in Perry White asking the hard-hitting questions of whether or not Superman is still the same man that they once knew. The shot of the newspaper with "The Man of Steel is Back!" is great. The sub heading also tells us about a key sequence which occurs to mark Superman's return. Cut to an awesome shot of Superman flying through space. Part of the rescue? We will have to wait and see I guess. Perry White: "Superman Returns!"
Now comes the part where the story says hold your horses. There is something a little more to this story than some super guy returning to Earth and lots of action sequences. There is something on an emotional level that needs to be considered. I like it. When Bryan Singer said at Comicon that the movie was firstly a love story, many people were like what the? Now the way the trailer depicts the level to which this story is a love story is good. It shows that the movie seriously addresses this issue of the feelings between Superman and Lois, but at the same time does not make it the focal point of the movie. How will it really play out? Only time will tell. I think that this scene is a crucial scene to the overall feel of the movie. It gives it a more personal quality. It alludes to the final confrontation being more personal. When Luthor kidnaps Lois, there is something of a deep personal involvement for Superman. We all love it when a fight is personal. Now Superman would do his best to save anyone from Luthor, but the personal level of involvement with Lois hopefully will serve to raise the drama to that extra level without Superman having to turn the world backward. The shot of Superman flying away after Lois telling him that the world doesn't need a saviour and neither does she is fantastic. It really demonstrates more than any words could that there is more of a personal nature to Superman's return and that despite his physical virtual invulnerability; he is emotionally as vulnerable as the rest of us living here on Earth.
"So long Superman." These are the words uttered by a smug Lex Luthor, which tells us that our hero is put on a temporary hiatus from his arch nemesis. Given the nice Weta collectibles line of statues, we can guess what is going on!
Cut to the Gertrude moving its way through the sea with Lois and her son Jason on board. Now we are getting to the core of what is really happening on the movie. Luthor has possession of alien technology and he plans to kill no, not Millions of people but BILLIONS of people! I like my super villains thinking on a global scale! I wonder if they are going to give Lex some motivation for wanting to kill billions of people or they are just putting it down to him being a psychotic maniac. Inter cut is a nice shot of Superman just pulling up and realising that there is something a little more immanent that requires his attention. Cut to a lot of machine gun fire in the street and a direct threat on the Daily Planet building. It looks to me this maybe a diversionary tactic by Luthor to lure the Man of Steel away from what he is really after.
The next dialogue sequence between Lois and Luthor is to a degree very good, but for me the whole "Wrong!" almost seems over the top. I hope that I am wrong about it. It almost in some regards seems as though that the pendulum has swung in the complete opposite direction to Hackman's Luthor. I hope we don't get an over the top evil Luthor because I think that he will come off as inadvertently campy. Once again only seeing the movie will really tell us the degree to which Spacey takes it to.
Next scene we see a very determined and perhaps very angry Superman come crashing down behind Luthor and his men. A little over the top? I think maybe a tad over done. I guess my biggest qualm with it is it looks too blatantly CG. I think today with the option of computer graphics it has taken away a director's good judgement to compromise when it comes to creating a shot. Previously the director would change the shot to something that could be achieved with the current technology such that the final shot would look quite real. Now they just rely on computer graphics on creating a shot, even if it does come off looking like it's CG. Another aspect is the force at which Superman hit the ground. If Superman hit the ground that hard, I doubt that anybody would still be standing. I think that they could have had Superman land more subtly, fold his arms and then zoom into a tight shot on his face looking extremely angry. I think that visually it would have been better and truer to the character of Superman. But having said that it looks as though it takes place in a sequence where Superman later runs into trouble with Luthor. So perhaps Singer was trying to portray a Superman losing his cool a little bit and rushing into a confrontation with Luthor, which would be a dangerous thing to do.
Next comes the plane sequence. Nothing to say other than incredibly wicked. It promises to be an incredibly exciting sequence. One of the weta statues alludes to how that sequence ends.
The last scene is a great homage to the days of the old Adventures of Superman TV series with George Reeves. The "it's a bird, it's a plane..." statement is classic Superman iconography. When Clark walks in and says "You wanted to see me?" is what can I say? Classic! I love it! It is so my type of humor. Many other people I have shown this too didn't laugh as much as what I did when I saw it! What can I say? "Everyone likes there own brand!" - Fat B%@tard Austin Powers.
Overall I think that we are in line for a really good story. Will it be as good as the original movie? I probably doubt it. I find today that there is very few screen writers around that can write a story at the same level as what some of the older writers could. Mario Puzo who wrote firstly the Godfather movies prior to Superman is one of those great writers who can truly write on such a grand cinematic scale. Sadly today I don't think that there are too many writers around of the same calibre. It is much the same as acting talent. Surely you have a few great actors around today, but nothing like in the days of James Mason, Gregory Peck, and the list could go on. Having said that, Dan Harris, Mike Dougherty and Bryan Singer have my confidence in telling a great story. Whether or not it is of the same epic quality as Superman? I doubt it, but we will have to wait and see. One aspect I truly like is how they have taken more story aspects from the comics such as Byrne's Man of Steel series and a few others and used them as minor plot points in what I hope will be an even grander story line.
Visually I don't think that I have ever seen Superman look so good. The colors of the costume look great. For those of you who nag over the colors, read Steve's article on the evolution of Superman's costume. I would put the costume into a more Fleischer style of costume. There is nothing wrong with it. Once the action hits the screen, you won't be worrying about the different aspects of the costume look.
Stylistically speaking, this Superman movie does look darker in tone than the first two Christopher Reeve movies. When I say tone I don't mean the color tone, but the feeling that one gets when watching it. The overall look for the movie is bright, but there is this kind of darkness that you feel when looking at things especially the Fortress of Solitude. A symbol of the dark times we live in now? Who knows? In some ways one might think that the darker tone to the settings was taken from the recent Superman comics For Tomorrow series, which depicted Superman in a darker brooding kind of light. Still if you look at the Max Fleischer series of cartoons they were very dark. I can see where Singer says that he has drawn a lot more from the earlier Superman stuff like the Fleischer cartoons rather than the more recent Christopher Reeve movies, other than the vague references made.
The newsroom looks really cool. Although it is probably a little more luxurious than what a normal newsroom looks like. I have a friend who is a reporter and I showed him a picture of the Daily Planet newsroom and his reply was, "Yeah ours looks like that, but not quite as elegant". Meaning that it was set out similar, but not quite as lavish with the furnishings.
Computer technology allowed film special effects to really soar to new heights, but still has some limitations. The first movie's slogan was "You'll believe a man can fly." I don't think that there was any question as to whether we could make a man fly, the big question was, "how can we make him fly like never before and still make it look real?" To the most part I think the trailer really shows us that this question has been answered, and answered with authority! Still there is one scene I don't like! It is of course the scene I mentioned above where Superman lands hard on the ground behind Luthor and his cohorts. It looks too CG. If it looks too CG on the small screen, it will look even more so on the big screen. The rest all I can say looks stunning. Most people can't wait to see the plane sequence, but more so I can't wait to see the roof top sequence with Superman and Lois. We have come a long way in the last 28 years of cinema and I can't wait to see what the future holds! I can't wait to see the end result on the big screen!
Music to my ears!
Ah the music! It is probably the most important thing next to Superman wearing blue tights, a red cape and boots and his jocks on the outside. It is good that Singer and Ottman have decided to use most of the musical cues written by John Williams. So iconic are any of John Williams' themes to blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Jaws and of course Superman that it would be nothing less than sacrilege to not use them in any other work of the respective genres.
I like how the music is kept out of the trailer right up until the trailer deals with the returning of Superman, which is almost the same as seeing him for the first time because of his long absence from the silver screen. The right cue was chosen for the trailer. It serves to remind us of the original Superman movie when we first saw Clark run across the road and tear his shirt open to reveal that S we all know and love. If you listen to the way in which the music is constructed, you come to realize that Williams is the master. I am a great fan of Soundtrack music and I listen to it quite profusely, and there is no other composer that I know of that can condition the audience as to what will happen next and makes a statement better than Williams. He did it incredibly well with Jaws. Audiences around the world were scared to death when they heard the "thump-thump" as Williams calls it. This signalled to the audience the oncoming of the shark. Likewise audiences were thrilled when they heard that motif "dum-da-da-da dum-da-dum". We all new what was about to happen! And the music yelled SUPERMAN! Such is the feeling I got when I watched the trailer. Such is the thrill I believe Ottman will give to audiences around the world again! A chance to hear Williams' great music in Dolby Digital in the cinema for the first time for many of us who never had the opportunity to watch the re-release of the original Superman movie.
The brief musical cue that is played during the scene with Lois and Superman is unique and is probably part of the new composition that Ottman has written for the movie. Does it work musically? We'll have to wait for the soundtrack and the movie. It is much better than the 'Can you read my mind' cue written for the original movie. 'Can you read my mind' was a nice piece of music instrumentally but I hated the vocal version. This new cue has potential but I don't think it fits all that well with that scene. I have often listened to the Fantastic Four soundtrack, which is a completely new composition by Ottman. It was okay, but the main theme whenever I listen to it I keep thinking I am listening to 'Row-row-row your boat'. I am pretty sure that he did the music for X2, which was a much better job. Still he was working from cues written by the late Michael Kaman who was the musical genius behind Symphony and Metallica. I think that with a couple of movies under his belt now, Ottman is likely to pull this one off with the use of Williams' original cues.
Overall the trailer had all the necessities in order to give us the story arc and a bit of a special effects bonanza. It was delivered in good manner such that it tantalized us with a promising story but didn't give too much of it away.
Come June 30th girls and boys, you had better be ready for a movie the will rock your socks and jocks off! I think that we will be in for a real treat and Brandon Routh will be considered to be the new Superman; both on and off the screen! Till June 30 people, keep watching this trailer!
In the words of Lex Luthor:
"Bring it On!"
Mild Mannered Reviewer for a great international web site