When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
As the Clone Wars near an end, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious steps out of the shadows, at which time Anakin succumbs to his emotions, becoming Darth Vader and putting his relationships with Obi-Wan and Padme at risk.
Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé, while Obi-Wan investigates an assassination attempt on the Senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.
Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior.
After eliminating General Zod & the other Kryptonian arch-villains, Ursa & Non, Superman leaves Earth to try to find his former home world of Krypton after astronomers have supposedly found it. When he finds nothing but remnants, he returns home to Earth - to find out that Lois Lane is engaged to a relative of his boss, and that Lex Luthor is at it again - after swindling an elderly, terminally ill woman. The psychopathic Luthor, whose plans to destroy California failed because of Superman's heroics, vows vengeance against the Man of Steel and contrives a new sinister plot - using the crystals of Krypton to build a continent that will wipe out most of North America! Embedded in the continent's structure is Kryptonite - the lethal substance that is Superman's only weakness. Upon learning of Luthor's sinister scheme, Superman must again race against time to stop the psychopathic Luthor before millions - possibly billions - are killed. Written by
Lex Luthor says, "To the primitive mind, any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic," which is a paraphrase of an Arthur C. Clarke quote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" ("Profiles of the Future," 1961). Clarke is mentioned in the closing credits of the film for this reason. See more »
During the news reports, the German banner "Fensterputzer halten an ihrem Lebemfest" (Window cleaners hold on for their lives) is spelt wrong. It should be "Fensterputzer halten an ihrem Leben fest." (This has been corrected to the latter phrase on the DVD/Blu-Ray Release) See more »
You will travel far my little Kal-El. But we will never leave you. Even in the face of our deaths. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father, the - The son.
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Congratulations to Bryan Singer for making another film, under challenging conditions, that meets his own relatively high standards. Congratulations to Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth, who fill a couple pairs of sizable shoes very well. Congratulations to Kevin Spacey for proving, once again, his versatility and competence within an ensemble cast. And finally, congratulations to Michael Dougherty and the rest of the writing team for Superman Returns, who have done the seemingly impossible by blending together several elements taken from disparate Superman stories over seventy or so years of the character's development in several DC comics titles into a true-to-character, intelligently written and themed, blend of romance and wild world-saving action.
I can hear the film snobs now - "just what we need, another bombastic action flick loaded with CGI and cliché in place of a 'SERIOUS' human story." Yup, it's a bombastic action flick. Yes, it is crammed with special effects. And yes, if you consider simple and largely unexamined human emotions to be cliché, then Superman Returns is loaded with clichés. My advice to the film snobs is - don't review films you are predisposed to dislike. If you do not have a standard from which you are able to measure the worth of a certain genre, then you have no business reviewing in that genre.
Let's examine this rationally. The whole point of the character of Superman is to provide a fantastic superhuman persona who is so alien and so vastly superior in terms of physical being, knowledge, and morality, that he becomes a mirror through which we are forced to critically examine our own social, political, emotional, and health problems. What kinds of problems would such a vastly superior being trouble himself with? Well, guess what, he might not have time for the day to day subtleties of social and sexual intrigues and ambiguities, the role of the media in political rhetoric or other "SERIOUS" concerns plaguing the modern intellectual elite. Superman is concerned with more fundamental issues such as whether half the world's population is going to live out the day. Yet he still manages to find time to rekindle a dysfunctional relationship with love interest Lois Lane, and to be inspired to prove himself with a flourish of light-speed heroic antics to regain his esteem among a people whose cynicism and self-contempt have apparently gotten the better of them (film snobs all?). in fact, he even MAKES MISTAKES!!!!
Kal-El returns to earth just in time to confront his old arch-nemesis Lex Luther's plot to rebuild a chunk of Krypton off the coast of New Jersey as his own continent. He must also unexpectedly confront his own feelings for the people of earth and, in particular, for Lois Lane, now an unmarried mother with an asthmatic kid and a smoking habit. Lois is also engaged to a good guy, very competently acted by James Marsden, but the paternity of her son is suspect. Considering the fact that this is a "bombastic action film" a remarkable amount of time is taken up with developing the relationships between these characters and exploring their effects on one another. And at times, you even get the feeling that at least some of Superman's heroism is inspired by his feelings for Lois.
The bigger problem is that Luther has Kryptonite, and plenty of it, and so, Superman is mortally vulnerable and must fight for his own life as well as those of his adoptive species.
Ignore the geological inaccuracies (which are plenty), forget about the occasional continuity problems, and let yourself get sucked up into this very fine and well crafted example of the superhero action genre. If you're a hardened film snob, it's worth the effort of wriggling out of your fossilized suit of cynical armor just long enough to see what the value of a film with a positive, simple, message might be.
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