Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bust You Out with My Super Sperm

So, I'm a geek. You know it. I admit it, freely. I get all up in arms about Greedo firing first and about the removal of the voiceover in BLADE RUNNER. I get perplexed when the gyro pilot doesn't recognize Max in BEYOND THUNDERDOME. I threw my popcorn at the screen when ghosts and vampires were explained to be errant "programs" in MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. Yeah, that's me. Nerdus Supremus.

But even I can't had to sign off of the recent discussions over at OriginalTrilogy.com regarding the Richard Donner re-cut of SUPERMAN II. Some of it I found fun to see, sure, and some of it was pretty awful (yeah, I know that S2 was supposed to end with the "world spinning backwards bit" but that doesn't mean that it should have been used in this version). But the thing I find funniest -- or saddest, depending on my mood -- is the insistence of keeping a consistent timeline between the 1970s/80s Superman films and the blight that was SUPERMAN RETURNS.

Some of the folks on this forum are fighting tooth and nail to try and reconcile Bryan Singer's SUPERMAN RETURNS with these Donner / Lester / Furie films and are now in a tizzy about the "reset back to zero" ending of this Donner cut. As this is a fan-editing forum, they're trying to figure out how to sustain continuity between these earlier films and the sloppy Singer seconds. The biggest sticking point when I finally found myself bashing my head against my keyboard was the existence of Supes' sickly Adam Rich hair-cut wearing tyke:

Lois and Clark's conception of Jason: It doesn't matter if Superman's sperm was still in Lois before he reversed time. The time reversal negated that, just as the time reversal in S:TM negated Lois being dead. There was no other opportunity for Jason's conception to happen, regardless of Singer's apparent suggestion of it happening he night of Lois' first interview with Superman.

Yes. You read that right... we're talking about Superman's sperm here. Gotta make sure that that sperm didn't just reverse course and eject itself out of Lois Lane when Superman spun the earth backwards. Otherwise, she might have the traditional SUPERMAN II "amnesia kiss" and just realize that she's pregnant some day -- perhaps before SUPERMAN III...

I've been mulling over SUPERMAN RETURNS for the last few months and I just can't deny that it's a really awful film. It's not just an awful SUPERMAN movie (like SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE) but just an awful film in toto. The pacing, the plot, the characters, the writing, the acting, the costumes, the editing; they're all bad. I wasn't even too thrilled with the musical score. The best part of the movie, for me, was the preview.

Some gripes:
  • Why would Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind of our times, need to marry a rich woman and take her money after death? Seems like this is an overly complicated scheme for financing.
  • Superman returns from Krypton... even after he knows it was blown up... why the fuck did he go?
  • Superman returns from Krypton... You'd think that the first thing he would do after a five year absence is to maybe check on the whereabouts of his arch nemesis.
  • What era is this movie? The costumes look rather '40s but there are anochronistic items all over.
  • Some lines worked so well in the first movie(s), let's use 'em over again and remind people how we're raping their memories.
  • Superman as creepy voyeur constantly watching Lois in her house with his X-ray vision and sneaking into his son's room at night.
  • Super Kid?
  • His son's awful haircut.
  • Wow, that island is beautiful, Lex. I'm sure it'll be a great place to live.
  • Superman thou art Jor-El's only begotten son and thou shalt be resurrected.
  • Horribly jarring cuts to the Lex Luthor subplot.
  • Parker Posey as Miss Teschmacher -- but not quite.
  • Lex cutting the brakes on Kitty's car.
  • Superman lifting a continent made out of Kryptonite into outer space.
  • No one recognizing Cyclops as Lois Lane's husband. ;)
  • All of the build-up over the use of Marlon Brando footage in this film -- only to have it be a few seconds and not very visible.
Okay, those are all the ones that come to mind immediately but I know there are others. Oddly, continuity between SUPERMAN RETURNS and the original films doesn't enter into it, except the recycling of lines from SUPERMAN ("Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel.") that caused me to squirm in my seat. Otherwise, I was most disappointed that this felt very much like a "by the numbers" superhero movie with the exception of the uncomfortable love triangle subplot.

Geek out.

No comments:

Post a Comment