Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Superman Returns

Superman Returns

2 Stars

Let me start this review with a bang: Superman Returns is an utter failure on many levels, one of the most confounding and agonizing movies I have ever had to sit down and watch. Why is it so agonizing? Because there are moments of sheer brilliance in the film, small glimpses of a better movie struggling to get out. A half an hour of brilliance mixed in with two hours of really crappy melodrama. Director Bryan Singer has taken one of the world’s most beloved icons and turned his story into a poorly written soap opera. Instead of Superman Returns, they should have called it “Dawson’s Cape”.
There is so much awful to get through. I’m just going to list it off as it comes to me. I’ll be revealing some plot details in this review, laden with the ever evil spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now. If you have seen the movie, come join me on this rage filled stream of consciousness list of everything that was wrong with this movie.

1.) Superman Returns… from where Exactly?

The film opens with a simple title card that basically says some Astronomers believe they had found the remains of Superman’s home planet, Krypton. With that information, Superman gets in a spaceship and flies to see if there is anything remaining. Of course, there isn’t. We don’t discover this by seeing Superman flying around the destroyed remnants of his homeworld. Instead, we’re treated to some really poor exposition before Superman crash lands back on Earth. If the movie is called Superman Returns, maybe it would have been interesting to show us where exactly he went, if even for a few moments.

2.) Lex Luthor: World’s Most Maniacal Real Estate Agent

By now, we all know that Superman’s greatest villain is the criminal mastermind Lex Luthor. There have been many variations of this character, from Mad Scientist, to slick businessman. But Director Bryan Singer has decided that Lex should be some kind of crazed genius who is interested in creating prime real estate in the middle of the Atlantic. Using technology from Superman’s home planet, he creates a large, murky grey island. Not exactly prime beachfront property. I can’t see a lot of investors buying up property in ‘Craggly Rock Acres’. I know the real estate market is booming, but this is ridiculous.

3.) Lois Lane: Frigid Bitch

Possibly the worst casting choice of any movie I’ve seen this year, Kate Bosworth plays star reporter Lois Lane. In this movie, she has recently won the Pulitzer prize, and has a 5 year old son (more on that later). The problem is, Kate Bosworth looks 14. It doesn’t help matters that she reads every line like a pissed off sorority girl. Bosworth is neither likable or compelling. It’s like watching a high school production of Medea, i.e. it’s frickin awful. I’ve seen better line readings from a brain dead remus monkey. And someone get her a sandwich.

4.) Clark Kent: Mildly Retarded

Sure, they get Lois Lane wrong by a mile, but the character Director Bryan Singer really destroys is Clark Kent. Clark returns to Metropolis after a 5 year absence and gets his job back at the Daily Planet, even though we never actually see him reporting. He’s kind of charity case here, no longer Lois’ intellectual equal. Instead, they make Clark kind of a sad s.o.b. who hangs around in the background waiting to change into Superman. By removing Clark from the thematic equation, the filmmakers have removed his humanity. Superheroes have alter egos for a reason, and Superman is no exception. To remove Clark is to take away what Superman is really about.

5.) The Kid

There’s a cute kid in this movie. Right away, this should be a warning. Cute kids in movies are always a dangerous gamble, and this one doesn’t really pay off. Lois’ asthmatic son may be the son of her new beau Richard (the excellent James Marsden), or he could be the product of Super Sperm. Either way, the whole plot is rather ridiculous, like a superhuman Kramer vs. Kramer. Not exactly what I expect to see in a movie about Superman.

6.) No More Talky Talky

Ever go to the movies expecting a fun, light romp featuring superheroes, and instead are treated to a really talky dissertation on the importance of heroes with a whole lot of allegories to Christ? This movie is so talky, it makes My Dinner With Andre look like a John Woo film. Halfway through the movie, I wanted to scream “Mother of God, shut up and go save someone.” But instead, I was treated to another 20 minutes of talky melodrama. They should have called the movie Superman Returns and Discusses His Love Life. Here’s a memo: I don’t care.

7.) Why the hell isn’t anyone having fun?

The biggest problem with Superman Returns is that it isn’t any fun. The whole draw of comic books and the characters within them is that their lives are extraordinary, with powers and abilities beyond that of mortal men. So why doesn’t Superman ever seem like he’s having a good time? Even the villains don’t have a good time. Lex Luthor who by all means should be a scenery chewing villain in the grandest sense of the word, barely cracks a smile. Even dark comic book adaptations like Batman Begins contain a scene or two showing that it’s kind of cool to be a superhero. Instead, we get a self involved Emo version of Superman. I was half expecting him to get a MySpace page so he could blog about it.

So what’s good about Superman Returns? First off, Brandon Routh does a fantastic job of capturing the look and feel of Superman. While many people were wary of the newcomer filling Christopher Reeve’s boots, the kid did a fine job. In fact, he was probably the best thing about the movie. I bought him as Superman, unfortunately, I didn’t buy anyone else around him. There’s also some great looking shots in this film. There’s an 8 minute sequence where Superman saves a plane full of passengers that will take your breath away. It’s a blend of great production design and fantastic FX work, and is almost worth the price of admission…almost. So, what could have been the Summer’s most exciting film turned out to be a massive, melodramatic downer. Bryan Singer turned our greatest hero into a whiny little bitch faster than a speeding bullet. Now if only I could find a powerful locomotive to throw him under.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The New

so, i decided to use a more traditional blog page, rather than the bulletin board. i can always change back if i like. i'll be posting here 3-5 times a week, letting everyone know what the hell is going on. Here's a mini update of all the things in anghus land.

Furnace - Rough assembly complete. I should be watching a cut in the next 2 weeks
Dead Heist - Almost done, i promise. This thing has taken forever, but it's amazing how a project can sink to the back burner when you have so much going on. I've seen the completed film, it's lots of fun. You guys are gonna love it.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Monday morning busy as hell blues

Check this out... the coolest picture from any set ive ever been on....

Behold... TREJO

Friday, April 07, 2006

I write Reviews i.e. i am an asshole

yes, i too am among the assholes voicing their opinion about the degrading state of film. Here's a link to whatever atrocity i had to take a look at this week.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Back to the Blog

So i've been using a message board for awhile, but i dedcided i like this format better, so i'm dusting it off.

I've been a busy little beaver or late. I have two films coming out this year: Dead Heist and Furnace. We just wrapped Furnace in Nashville: starring Michael Pare, Tom Sizemore, Ja Rule, and Danny Trejo. Here's some pics of me on the set.

and here's some from Dead Heist

i'll let you know more about the releases as they become clearer.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

20 Funerals on DVD June 7th

Hooray. Finally, after a year and half of busitng our asses, 20 Funerals is finally set to get released on June 7th

Our awesome distributor, Koch, is putting some real money behind it, with magazine ads and television and radio ads. You can pre-order it on Amazon, or shop around if you'd like. I've seen it for as little as 12 bucks on a few sites (DVD Planet i believe).

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Let's play 'What's Wrong With this Article'

Here's a snippet from an article about Paris Hilton's cell phone being hacked. I wonder if it was Cereal Killer or any of the other extremely gay characters from Hackers. Anyway, this if from ZDNET... see if you can find the errors...

"The Drudge Report said it had confirmed the authenticity of many of the numbers and e-mail addresses, including those of rapper Eminem, actor Vin Diesel, actress Lindsay Lohan, singers Christina Aguilera and Ashlee Simpson, and tennis players Andy Roddick and Anna Kournikova"

Let's start with the most obvious errors....

Ashlee Simpson is a Singer? Doesn't that require actual singing?

Anna Kournikova is a Tennis Player? Last time i checked she was a Calender Model who appeared on a tennis court every so often and got her fantastic ass handed to her.

Vin Diesel is an Actor? Yikes. That's a bold claim. Did you SEE the trailer for the Pacifier?

and the most glaring error of all:

The Drudge Report confirmed a story? First time for everything i suppose.