Movie Roundup

Monday Movie Roundup
Yesterday was like a festival: the Festival of Sitting on my Butt and Knitting and Watching Movies. I decided to ignore Ebert’s warning and check out Superman Returns for myself, so the Snook and I headed over there early in the morning. I found it surprisingly entertaining. I absolutely LOVED the opening credits: the soaring John Williams score, the so-retro-it-hurt vector graphics for the text, the crazy whooshing planets. I was bouncing in my seat like a two-year-old throughout the whole shuttle adventure, which is pretty much the highest “rock ’em, sock ’em” compliment I can pay to an action sequence. Then suddenly during the middle third, when Superman was flying Lois over the city, I suddenly went, “I’m bored.” I just found the whole love sequence really slow and turgid and boring. I perked up a big during the big finale though. Overall I’d give it a 7.5 out of 10. In terms of the casting, I thought Brandon Routh did a great job with a really thankless task. Superman’s supposed to be wooden; he’s an alien! I didn’t mind him at all. I really disliked Kate Bosworth though. I just didn’t warm up to her Lois at all, and I didn’t buy her as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist either. (Actually, both she and Supes just looked too young altogether.) We had a lot of fun poking each other whenever there were recognizable Sydney landmarks: the fountain in Martin Place (where Parker Posey’s runaway car eventually stops), the street in front of the Menzies Hotel at Wynyard (where I photographed the filming, and where the crowd stood in front of the Metropolis Hospital at the end). Sadly, my friend Raelee’s part was edited down to a blink-and-you-miss it shot in the hospital melee, but if you see the person in scrubs with curly red hair, that’s her! She’s in the credits too. Miss Fee, on the other hand, despite doing an excellent job in helping with the design of Perry White’s office, did not make it into the credits. But we cheered them both nonetheless. (I have some possibly spoilerish questions about where the plot from this film falls in the “canon,” so more on those after the jump.)

In the afternoon, I decided to clear some space on the TiFaux and ended up watching Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. I enjoyed it a LOT more than I thought I would. The portrayal of life at sea was fascinating, and the battle action was fairly straightforward and easy to understand. I also really enjoyed the scenes at the Galapagos. While I correctly anticipated nearly every plot “surprise,” I still found it engaging. Definitely recommended, especially if you’re the type (like me) who wouldn’t normally go in for a sea adventure.

And lastly… my guilty pleasure of the week: High School Musical. What can I say? I’m a sucker for big group dance numbers that take place in a cafeteria.Superman Questions:
Okay, where does this movie fall in the series? My understanding was that it happens five years “after” Superman II, effectively erasing III and IV from existence. Right? So that explains how Lois managed to carry Superman’s kid without getting killed. (I kept hearing Jason Lee from Clerks in my head whenever the kid was referenced.) It was from that time when he made himself mortal and then they got bizzay on the big silver beanbag in the Fortress of Solitude, right? And then at the end, he gave her the kiss of amnesia… and presumably that’s when he took off for Krypton. So unless Lois is some sort of idiot, how does she think she got pregnant? Does Richard know it’s not his kid?

I realize that there may not be answers for this stuff, so feel free to speculate!

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  1. Well, I always figured that the Margot Kidder Lois got around, so it would have been possible, especially with the kiss of amnesia, that she might not be able to narrow down the father to one guy.

    Richard was always mentioned as Lois’s fiance, but I don’t think he was ever explicitly called the kid’s father. Or was he?

  2. Well, Lois said he was… although that was in reply to Lex, who was waving a chunk of kryptonite in their faces. I just couldn’t tell from her reaction post-piano incident whether she’d just had a sudden revelation, or whether she’d suspected all along. And quite frankly, if I were her and I suddenly discovered that I’d done it with Superman and he’d ALTERED MY MEMORIES to make me forget about it, I’d be ROYALLY PISSED. Since we never seemed to get much surprise with her, I’m guessing she must have sensed it all along. Or maybe he kicked really hard in the womb or something.

  3. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.

    Superman Returns is set six years after Superman II. The idea was to basically pretend Superman III and IV never, ever happened.

    Superman was originally written as one big movie and if you get the new edition of Superman you can see the badies (Terrence Stamp et al.) from Superman II get tried and banished by Jor-El.

    For Superman IV, the rights were bought off Alexander and Ilya Salkind by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, to which WB gave their…

    “production company Cannon Films $40 million bucks to make Superman IV, and Golan-Globus took the money and spent it all on their other pictures. They only spent $17 million on Superman IV, chopping out key plot sequences (a grand total of 45 minutes’ worth of critical story material was excised) and gutting the FX in order to keep the costs down. Anyway, Superman IV bombed because of the hack job Golan-Globus did on it. But since they still had the rights to Superman, they decided to make a fifth film for release in 1989, with Captain America (the one with Matt Salinger and Ronny Cox) director Albert Pyun at the helm. They also planned to reuse all the edited material from Superman IV and to recast Superman with another actor (their antics on IV left Reeve outraged with them). However, Cannon fell on hard times and Golan left to make his own company, 21st Century Films (which went under in the early ‘90s—he’s since re-founded Cannon), and the rights to Superman reverted back to the Salkinds. “

    A really good (if very long) story of the making of Superman Returns is here. It stretches over decades.

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