Zack Snyder's Superman: Pros and Cons

Did Chris Nolan make the right choice?

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    • Jimzilla

      Oct 6th 2010, 9:23

      Frankly, this writer has negated any credibilty y having such obvious loathing for 300! I don't know ANYBODY, male or female, young or old, who has seen 300 and didn't like it! levelling critisisms of lack of plot or character development at Snyder seems somewhat redundant, as these are surely inherent to the property he was adapting. Similarly, critisising the film as an excersise in style over substance? And critisising the slo-mo (which IMO was combined brillianting with the speed ramping, almost completely pausing the image during some fight scenes at the moments of greatest impact, presenting us with filmed versions of comic book frames / pannels). Seriously, stating things like 'its one of those films that seemingly no one will admit to writing' is just ridiculous. It seems like the writer was just particularly offended by 300 and took the opportunity to blast it in this article. p**s poor journalism.

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    • durden

      Oct 6th 2010, 10:04

      i still can't understand why people didn't like superman returns...i expected every scene to be like the one in spiderman 3 where the us flag fills the background,but i got something completely different.it's good to see that not everyone nowadays thinks of a franchise before even the source material is launched.and singer proved that by killing lex luthor.it was refreshing

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    • thelastson

      Oct 6th 2010, 10:27

      Wow, Jimzilla, way to embarrass yourself on the interweb. Did you read past the first two sections? And I didn't like 300 either. Neither did my girlfriend. So that's a male and a female. And a director chooses his material, so saying that he's repeatedly shown an inability to pick subjects with character depth and genuine human drama is completely valid (I'm not saying he never has, mind). As for the slow-motion, it wasn't just the battle scenes. Everything in 300 seemed to be in slow-motion, and the writer's weariness may also be retroactive, as Watchmen featured a lot of slow-motion which was unwarranted and didn't at all suit the tone of the source material. I found this article to be a surprisingly level-headed take on the Snyder affair and it provides much to ponder. My first reaction was depression upon hearing of his recruitment (even though everyone else seems to have responded with outright joy) but now I'm holding out hope that Snyder will be just the flashy visuals plastered on top of Nolan and Goyer's sturdy Super-structures.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Oct 6th 2010, 12:48

      Superman Returns was dreadful I thought. Incredibly boring and some of the worst special effects I've seen (i'm talking about the CGI Brandon at the end). Durden, did i miss something? When did Singer kill Lex Luthor?

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    • marcoltuk

      Oct 6th 2010, 13:36

      Here's the thing. The reason we all loved the original Superman and the Sequel (best to loving nudge 3 and 4 off the table). Was that when you watched it, you believed a man could fly!! Not once, in Singers bland re-hash, did I get that feeling, not once! It was so glossy and fake looking I had trouble believing that the whole thing wasn't done by Robert Zemekis! I want to see Supes, in a real city, really flying between buildings. Stick Brandon Routh on wires and put him in the camera where he belongs! Remember the wide angled shot of Reeves swooping to the car filled with water and ripping of the roof? Magic! As for character, Reeves showed vulnerability, and inner turmoil (the honeymoon suite, the gas station pre and post powers), not to mention the bar and peanut scene (okay that was in 3 but, it was great!)! Superman is flawed because he wants to be human and whilst super strong, he is also super naive, like a child or a big boy scout in blue and therefore susceptable to manipulation by those who may wish to control him. From this standpoint a truly interesting character can be represented, realistically, on screen and in camera! CGI should augment special effects. Not take their place.

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    • marcoltuk

      Oct 6th 2010, 13:37

      asdf

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    • Devilangeldude

      Oct 6th 2010, 14:58

      There are 3 films in the last 10 years that had me think wow. Inception, Collateral (for two brilliant performances), Minority Report (for the unique vision of the future) and Superman Returns. I lived and breathed Superman when i was a kid. No other hero mattered to me. I waited patiently since 1987 for a new Superman film. In 2006, I went to the premiere in Leicester Square. There was applause even before the movie began. There was a standing ovation at the end. For me it was an incredible movie. So what if it was nostalgic. No one else had the balls to make their own. Singer did. So respect to him. Nolan is probably the greatest director of the last 10 years. Watchmen looked good, although i personally am not a fan of the storyline or characters, but as a movie, an incredible achievement. A cousin of mine did suddenly send alarm bells ringing in my head yesterday when he said "If i see any slow motion scenes, I'm gonna kill myself". Other than that, i'm truly excited. The Zod rumours are rumours, nobody has said a word. But it sounds to me like they going all Batman Begins on this. Superman roaming the world looking for who he is, sounds quite familiar. Nolan's reality based visions, would put Zod and Lex as villains. Braniac as an evolved AI in this day in age is not so unbelievable, he could potentially be a strong contender, or perhaps Nolan will leave Brainiac out for a sequel where he is no longer involved. My guess is as with smallville is Darkseid will be brought in the the 3rd movie and end a massive progressive story. Nolan has said his 3rd batman will be the end of his story, so think similarly for Superman. My guess is he will give all his ideas and guidance for this movie, where it all goes after will not be down to him.

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    • Devilangeldude

      Oct 6th 2010, 14:58

      Ok I meant 4 films

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    • Rusco87

      Oct 6th 2010, 23:21

      I think the whole of Hollywood had high hopes for superman returns. and the reason man of steal is being made is because Nolan and co have been looking and there hasnt been a good superman film for decades. and now is the time to reprise the legend.

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    • Jimzilla

      Oct 7th 2010, 8:57

      thelastson - I dunno dude, I don't feel embarrassed and I stand by what I wrote. 300 is the unltimate excersise in style over substance and I love it for that reason. The writer's vitriol toward it seems to be completely unwarranted, like critisising a Snickers for having too many peanuts. Whilst the rest of his/her points were well reasoned and vaild, the obvious venom for 300 felt more like personal opinion given a public opportunity to soapbox than balanced journalism, therefore reducing the credibility of the entire piece. And as for saying Snyder is a director incapable of picking projects that lack character depth or human drama? That's a fairly retarded statement, and not, for the majority of film fans, a major concern for a property like Superman. For all the fan boy moaning, most people want to see Supes kick the s**t out of something/one. Sure, there's a certain amount of depth to be mined from the character, which the Singer movie touched on (stalker issues aside), but most viewers would sacrfifice talky-talky for smashy-smashy. I have faith Snyder can find the right balance of the two.

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    • thelastson

      Oct 7th 2010, 10:46

      Jimzilla, Sorry if I was hot-headed (saying you'd embarrassed yourself was a little too much), I was just a little taken aback by your complete rejection of the article. I still think it makes some interesting points and that it's perspective can't be utterly discounted simply because the writer doesn't dig 300. Fortunately, this opinion chimed with my own, so for me that raised the credibility of the writer's other thoughts. As to whether it was balanced journalism, I think that's a bit of a phantom these days, and I think objective writing doesn't really exist on the internet, if it ever existed. As for character/human drama, I"m really not some intellectual a**e who only reads Chekhov and slanders Hollywood and any film not made in Iran. I love action and spectacle cinema. I am praying that Superman gets battered by Darkseid for two hours - all this stuff about Superman not having any credible threat is utter nonsense. Make him fight an evil god and he'll be in trouble soon enough. And I don't mind films that don't have deep characters or whatever. But I think this Superman film and the endless possibilities it presented were just a little too close to me to accept that it'll just be an empty adrenaline dump (not that it will be, and even making a genuinely exciting action movie is hard enough). I've been waiting 5 years hoping someone was going to give us a great Superman and I spent that time thinking of all the various versions we could have. Drunk on choice, I'm now very sober because unfortunately Snyder's tastes and my own aren't exactly aligned. But like I said, I'm going to hold out hope and keep an open mind and maybe he'll put out a Superman that delivers. I'm psyched for Sucker Punch, God help me... Be honest though. Doesn't saying 'Snyder' make you cringe just a litte?

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    • thelastson

      Oct 7th 2010, 10:59

      Quick addition; as for the venom for 300, if the writer had off-handedly insulted Superman Returns, no one would have batted an eye lid, and no one would have called into question their integrity as journalists. It seems it's okay to slate certain films casually but not others. The writer probably felt a little befuddled at all the love 300 gets too (I know I do). I liked your Snickers analogy though.

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    • Jimzilla

      Oct 7th 2010, 11:21

      Thelastson - I think Sucker Punch will be the best indicator as to what we can expect from Mr Snyder (a little less cringe-worthy!?). His first film of original material, from an idea he developed. A lot of people tend to get worked up when the term visionary is applied to the guy, but as a visual artist I think he's up there with Ridley Scott in ability. Very different techniques obviously, but there's not denying the guy has a gift. With Christopher Nolan overseeing the whole shebang, I think the two of them will deliver. Villain-wise, I really hope it's not Zod. He's been done before, even currently on Smallville! It's about time, given the state of special effects technology, to give a much more outlandish villain a go. Everyone in the movie universe knows Superman is an alien. So play up to that fact! Run with it. I'm not suggesting go the Green Lantern route and have the film leave Earth for extensive periods of the running time, but an extraterrestrial threat to Kal-El's adoptive home would be wicked good to see up on the big screen. As for Superman Returns, that movie leaves me so confilcted. On the negatives, we have the relative lack of action, Kate Bosworth's appaling Lois Lane, the whole stalker issue, the super-kid and the plot as a whole. as the plus side, we have Brandon Routh (superb as Clark and Superman given he had to pretty much emulate the late great Mr Reeves), Kevin Spacey, the beautiful look of the film and Superman stopping a bullet WITH HIS g*****n EYE!

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    • Seedorf

      Oct 7th 2010, 14:59

      Anyone who is thinking this new film will be the start of a trilogy, or part of a bigger story, similar to Nolan's Batman. You are forgetting one thing, come 2013, WB will no longer own the rights to Superman. Frankly, I'd couldn't care less if this film fails. There is no bigger picture, no well thought out story. Just a rushed script, that WB want made into a film ASAP, before they lose the rights.

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    • thelastson

      Oct 7th 2010, 17:10

      J-Z, 'Mr. Snyder' is great! It makes him sound like an evil lawyer! I am indeed one of those people who had a hard time swallowing the whole visionary thing during the Watchmen build-up. And comparing him with the man who made probably the most visually influential film around in Blade Runner, and has one of the most impressive CVs in film, almost makes me want to cry in a really heartbroken and pitiful manner. He's certainly talented, but visionary implies that he forges the path for others to follow. I'm not sure he's done that yet. I entirely agree about the villain. I'm not too keen on Doomsday, and I'm oddly tentative about Braniac, but I really hope they do Darkseid with a full on planet-vs-planet war (almost certainly not what they have in mind). If at any point in the marketing I hear words like 'dark' or 'gritty' I'm pretty sure I'll end up hating the finished product - like the article says, Superman needs to be classic. Blue skies. White clouds. Towering skyscrapers. Big Red 'S'. I know I'm in the (extreme) minority, but I loved Superman Returns unconditionally and still do. Boswell was insipid, and there are certainly flaws, but I found it moving and elegant (not words that should really be associated with a summer blockbuster). It had a great thematic texture, perfectly evoking a loneliness and isolation that perhaps in the perfect Superman film wouldn't be the entire story (the film is kind of like Superman having an existential crisis). It's very much an old-fashioned romance, quite apart from the rest of the superhero genre. Not the definitive Superman people hoped for, but a very good personal interpretation. As for action, I really think it gets undersold. It has breath-taking action, just not fighting. The whole stalker/dead-beat dad thing really doesn't ring true with me. He doesn't stalk her - when he goes to her house he's obviously going to talk to her about his leaving, accidentally eaves drops on a conversation (which he just couldn't stop himself listening too - a very human flaw) and as soon as he finds out about his son he realises that it connects him to Earth in a way he's never felt before. Perhaps Superman shouldn't need a son to feel compassion and kinship with humanity (in fact, he definitely shouldn't), but I think Returns is absolutely a great film which will be vindicated in the future (didn't everyone love it on release?). Personally, I would have carried on from Returns, had the kid die in the second one (Darkseid's penchant for taking the first son of each planet could come into play), and have Superman re-assert himself as the quintessential hero he is by recovering from this trauma and still managing to believe in the morality he is defined by (it's quite depressing that being 'good' is a negative these days). In that film, you remove the solemnity of Returns and replace it with the unshakable belief and hope that Superman is all about. Anyway, you're right. Sucker Punch will hold the key, and I really would love it if Mr. Snyder could pull it off. I'd rather eat my words than have a s**t film. We'll have to reconvene after we've seen it and continue the debate!

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    • piffle

      Oct 8th 2010, 13:48

      Hmmmm, so 300 is "one of those films that no one will admit to liking"? Not that long ago a certain other UK movie magazine ran a poll for the 500 greatest films of all time. The poll was largely voted for by the public. 300, the movie no one likes obviously, came 336th. I literally know no-one who doesn't enjoy 300... Is it the 336th best film of all time? Is it hell! but its an easy film to enjoy. Conversely I know a lot of people who don't enjoy the comparatively ponderous and humourless Watchmen. I think its a great version of the story but its also hard to feel affectionate about. To my mind though Snyder made the best possible version of the story anyone was ever going to manage and, when coupled with his Dawn of the Dead remake and 300 he's done enough to make me believe he can pull Superman off.

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    • Arkhaminmate001

      Oct 8th 2010, 16:19

      I think Super man should now be left alone, it's been done so many times now and the last movie proved that the world is a more sophisticated place now. A super hero that has no mask and wears glasses as a disguise is so lame. Smallville is a very good show and i think Superman is better as a T.V. show than a movie.

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    • mrblonde

      Oct 8th 2010, 16:50

      Personally, I think Zach Snyder is a great choice to revamp The Superman franchise. I think all of his films have gotten better as he's gone along and think along with Christopher Nolan's input, is capable of making a really great Superman film. I also hope that whatever villain they decide to go with for the 1st film that they don't use Lex Luthor as the central villain in the new franchise. Lex Luthor, in my opinion is one of the top 3 villains in all of comics (Joker and Magneto being the other two) but so far in the live action films, I feel he has been overused and not portrayed as the evil genius from the comics. As much as I liked Superman Returns, I can understand why most were less than thrilled with it and one of that films main flaws in my opinion was that Superman didn't have a villain in that film that was equally as powerful as him that presented a real physical threat to him. It comes to something when the best onscreen fights that Superman has had are his battle with Darkseid in the finale of The Justice League unlimited animated TV show and with Doomsday in the DC animated movie! In this day and age, they should be able to put together set pieces more befitting The Man Of Steel than just picking up heavy objects. He needs to go up against foes such as Braniac, Doomsday and Darkseid in the new franchise. Also, I think casting is crucial in the new franchise because as Nolan's BB and TDK proved, the supporting characters are just as integral to making a successful franchise as the main character himself. Personally, I think Brandon Routh should be given another shot as Supes as he did a great job in Returns but as it is very unlikely , I wouldn't mind seeing either Jon Hamm or Eric Banner taking on the role. In another post someone mentioned Carrie Anne Moss as Lois which I think could work. As far as Lex is concerned, if he makes it into the new franchise I think Josh Brolin, Johnny Depp or Michael C Hall would do great in that role. Also Jesse Eissenberg as Jimmy, Hugo Weaving as Braniac and Hugh Lorrie as Perry White.

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    • squirebrown

      Oct 9th 2010, 9:20

      As long as there's a giant squid at the end, i don't mind...

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    • euanmcgrath

      Oct 12th 2010, 14:18

      WHOAH.. long thread.. I really liked Superman Returns.. It had far more meat on its bones in terms of character, emotion and depth than 300 ever did. However i liked 300 for what it was.. a ridiculous OTT fight movie. It makes me sad that everyone says Superman Returns was boring.. i really liked it's slower pace and emotion over action. But i'm clearly in the minority.. more evidence of the dumbing down of mass audiences i think. Watchmen was a mess... a amazing looking, ambitious, mess. Snyder needs a tight script that balances the minimal shlock of 300 with the Epic spurge of Watchmen.

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    • russellemery

      Jul 15th 2012, 14:44

      Does ayone else not remember that at the time Superman Returns came out (as did Ang Lee's "HULK"), it got good to favourable reviews, with only Lois ane being slated. I find it strang, and typically british of us that because the general bpubli stayed away for a lot of the reasons being stated here, that the press haack ve generally shifted it's tone twardso SR (& H) to match that of the general publc. As for 300 - i get why it split audiences, but lets also point out - that Frank Millers tome on this is although impeccably stylised - s rather slim - and Zack Snyder expanded the story line and fleshed out quite a bit, particularly the stuff im sparta while the war is going on. I think it is foolish of people to write Zack Snyder off as a visualis with no sbstance. The fact that the Nolan's are producing this means there is obviously depth and range going on here. I personally can not wait to see what he does.

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    • russellemery

      Jul 15th 2012, 14:45

      ...sorry for dyslexic typng

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