Archive for November, 2008

Meet Dave

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In a New York City apartment a young boy named Josh Morrison (Austin Lynd Myers) watches through his telescope an approaching object coming from the sky. It is a baseball-sized metal ball which flies through the window of his room. He keeps it and shows it at school in a science class presentation. Some months later, on Liberty Island a massive fireball crash lands. The fireball is actually a human-sized spaceship (Eddie Murphy). It is controlled by 100 humanoid aliens, each one inch tall. Its captain (also played by Murphy and looking like Dave) pilots the spaceship along with his crew from inside its head. For people the spaceship seems fairly human, but odd and with superpowers. A superstitious cop named Officer Dooley (Scott Caan) is desperately searching for the ship.

The aliens are seeking a way to save their planet, Nil, from an energy crisis. For that they need salt, which they plan to produce by draining the Earth’s oceans using the metal ball, so they have to recover it. Through a car accident in which the spaceship is hit by the car of Josh’s single mother Gina Morrison (Elizabeth Banks), the spaceship befriends Gina and Josh, telling them it’s name is Dave Ming-Chang and sees the ball on a photograph. Josh tells him that is was taken from him by a bully. Directed to him by Josh, Dave takes the metal ball back from the bully.

The Captain spends time with Josh and Gina, and realizes that humans are more advanced than they thought, having feelings and love. He decides to cancel the plan of draining the oceans, because of the damage to the Earth. Number 2 (the second in command on the spaceship) disagrees, takes over command, and imprisons the captain. Commander Number 3 (Gabrielle Union) is secretly in love with Number 1 and becomes jealous of Gina. She first cooperates in the change of command, but later agrees with Number 1. Numbers 1 and 3 are both expelled from the spaceship, but manage to reenter it and convince the crew that the captain should be in charge again. In the meantime one crew member, Number 17 (Kevin Hart), drunk from the alcoholic drink Dave has taken, takes a pretty female crew member and jumps out. Meanwhile, Number 1 apologizes to Number 3 for ignoring her. He admits that he does love her and wants to be with her. Back at the police station, Dooley discovers Number 17 in his coffee and steals him to find out information from him.

The police knows from the impression of Dave’s face in the dirt on the crash site what he looks like, and they arrest him for investigation. Dave breaks out, and the police try to arrest him again. Josh is at the scene and recharges Dave, who runs out of power, using a taserhe takes from a police officer. The ball, thrown in the ocean by Number 2, is retracted. The captain orders Number 2 to be stuck in the ship’s "butt" forever. Number 17 is allowed to enter Dave, and it uses its rocket-propelled shoes to leave Earth. While in the ship, Number 1 asks for Number 3’s hand in marriage. She accepts, and they kiss. During the end credits, the aliens dance to Shining Star by Earth, Wind and Fire.

REVIEW:

Eddie Murphy may look like a mutated version of his former self these days, but you can’t say he’s lost his ability to be funny. This is some of his funniest stuff since Coming to America or The Nutty Professor.

The concept of this film is one that has been explored before somewhere, but never brought to life with such comedic brilliance. I would love to see a spinoff of some sorts. It would be interesting to see the exploits the Nillians have. Obviously, it couldn’t have Eddie Murphy, but it could still be interesting.

Elizabeth Banks and Gabrielle Union are two of the sexiest actresses I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, save for one scene for the both of them, you don’t really get to see their sex appeal. Putting that aside, they still put on great performances and really get into their roles, especially Gabrielle Union when she gets into the jealous female being spurned for another woman mode. I may be wrong for playing the race card here, especially since it wasn’t brought up during the movie, but  was kind of expecting her to say something about, "So, you’d rather have the white girl?" She didn’t go there, though, but it just seemed like she could have.

Ed Helms does a masterful job as mutinous Number 2. As the film progresses, you can see the contempt he has for the captain growing and bubbling over. After he assumes control and snaps, he takes his character to a new level. 

Kevin Hart, Mike O’Malley, and Scott Caan lead a supporting cast that really puts the icing on the cake for this film.

It really is a shame this movie didn’t do better than it did, but a good portion of the reason it wasn’t as successful as it could have been was that it was released around the same time as Hellboy II: The Golden Army and The Dark Knight. So, of course it wasn’t going to be a huge success against those odds. I think had it been released a few weeks later, or even during the movie lull (after Labor Day…before High School Musical 3 was released) it would have done much better.

Having said all that, I’ve noticed something about movies like this. They start out hilarious and then somewhere after the halfway point, they lose the funny and turn serious, or just stop being funny. Unfortunately, Meet Dave fits that mold, as well.

This is a very funny movie, and like I said, is vintage Eddie Murphy. Critics may have bashed it, but I never listen to critics. I prefer to read what the real people say and form my own opinion after seeing for myself. The people were pretty much with the critics, just not as hard bashing. I loved this movie, but wished it would have kept up the funniness all the way through. I highly recommend it if you’re in the mood for a good laugh

4 out of 5 stars

Bugsy

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel (Warren Beatty) who works for the New York mob goes to California and instantly falls in love with Virginia Hill (Annette Bening) and then buys a house. On a trip to Nevada he comes up with the idea for a casino in the desert. He enlists the help of gangster Mickey Cohen (Harvey Keitel) and acquires funding from gangster Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley) and other New York mobsters who approve the deal for $1 million. Bugsy puts Virginia in charge of accounting and begins construction of the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada but has no sense of control and the budget soon rises to $6 million. Bugsy tries everything to ensure it gets made even selling his share of the casino and most of his belongings. Upset about the costs, the fact that the casino is a failure and that $2 million of the budget is unaccounted for Meyer Lansky asks Bugsy to meet him in Los Angeles. Bugsy discovers that Virginia stole the money but tells her to “keep it and save it for a rainy day” rather than return it. He then calls Lansky and tells him never to sell his share of the casino and that he’ll live to thank him someday. While in his home back in L.A. later that night, Bugsy is killed by several gunshots (presumably from an assassin hired by Lansky or one of the other mobsters). Virginia is told the news back in Las Vegas and becomes upset, rushing out of the casino. The final text before the credits states that she returned the missing money a week later and committed suicide at some point after that. It also states that by 1991 (the film’s release year) the $6 million invested in Bugsy’s dream of Las Vegas had generated revenues of over $100 billion.

REVIEW:

Benjamin “Busgy” Siegel is not necessarily a household name when it comes to gangsters like Al Capone is, but he is fairly well known enough. In seeing this film, I learned alot of things about the man and the myth.

Warren Beatty is one of the best actors of a generation, and it is obvious he really cared about this role. Is it any wonder he won a Golden Globe for his portrayal? He should’ve won the Oscar, too, but it’s kinda hard to compete with Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.

Annette Benning is breathtaking as Virginia. Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley give their usual flawless performances on screen, and the rest of the cast is just amazing.

I tend to love movies set in this time period, but this film just didn’t connect with me. I’m not sure why. This is a very good movie, its just not for me. I think I prefer Warren Beatty’s previous gangster-era movie (and one of my faves) Dick Tracy.

So, while this may not have been my favorite, I’m not going to dissuade you from going to see by totally bashing it. It’s too good a film for that. However, it does drag on in parts. As a matter of fact, there are parts that lost me, but that’s what Oscar nominated films apparently have to do.

That being said, this is worth a look if you’re looking for a really good film. You should give it a look.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Legendary adventurer Sinbad the Sailor (Kerwin Matthews) and his crew land on a island for provisions. While exploring, Sinbad encounters Sokurah the magician (Torin Thatcher), fleeing from a giant cyclops. They are able to escape, but Sokurah drops his magic lamp when the cyclops throws a boulder into the sea, overturning their boat. The cyclops finds and keeps the lamp. Though Sokurah offers Sinbad much to get it back for him, Sinbad refuses. He and his fiancé, Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant), are on their way to Bagdad to be married, to cement ties between their two nations.

When the Caliph of Bagdad (Alec Mango) refuses to provide Sokurah a ship and crew to retrieve his treasure, the magician secretly shrinks Parisa to the size of a hand. Sokurah claims that he knows of a potion that can restore her, but it requires a piece of the eggshell of a roc, a giant, two-headed bird that coincidentally nests on the island of the cyclops. The caliph has no choice but to provide a ship. Sinbad enlists his loyal men from the previous voyage, but they are not enough, so he also has to recruit thieves and murderers from the Caliph’s prison.

When they reach the island, the cutthroats mutiny and capture Sokurah, Sinbad, and his men. However, screaming demons madden the crew, and the ship is in danger of being dashed upon the rocks. One of the mutineers releases Sinbad so he can save the ship. Afterwards, Sinbad regains control of the men.

On the island, Sokurah insists on splitting into two groups, so that if one is caught, the other can try to rescue them. Indeed, Sinbad’s party is captured by the cyclops. Sokurah finds them, but refuses to release the prisoners from their wooden cage, instead going on to retrieve the magic lamp. The cyclops chases him, forcing him to drop the lamp. Meanwhile, Sinbad slips Parisa between the bars and she unlatches the cage. Sinbad manages to blind the cyclops and trick it into falling off a cliff to its death.

Sinbad still needs Sokurah to guide him, but keeps the lamp, though he does not know how to use it. Parisa suggests she enter the lamp. Inside, she talks to the boy genie (Richard Eyer). He tells her how to summon him in return for a promise to try to free him.

The party reaches the roc’s nest, just as a giant hatchling emerges from its shell. They kill it for food, which results in an attack by the infuriated parent. In the confusion, Sokurah abducts the Princess and takes her to his underground fortress.

Sinbad follows, slipping past the chained guardian dragon. Sokurah restores Parisa to her normal size in return for the lamp. However, he reneges, animating a skeleton swordsman (an effect Ray Harryhausen would reuse in Jason and the Argonauts), but Sinbad defeats it. He and the Princess flee. As they cross over a river of molten lava, Parisa recalls part of the prophesy the genie told her about. She persuades Sinbad to throw the lamp into the lava, releasing the genie from his slavery.

Sokurah releases his dragon and pursues, but the monster is delayed when it has to fight another cyclops. Sinbad has time to organize his men to slay the fire-breathing creature with an enormous crossbow, a weapon ironically designed by Sokurah. The mortally-wounded beast falls on Sokurah, killing him. Sinbad, Parisa, and the other survivors depart, joined by the genie, Sinbad’s new cabin boy.

REVIEW:

I’m a huge fan of stop motion animation. If you’ve read my reviews of Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, you know that I believe that it is infinitely superior to CGI.

Sinbad is not a character I am too familiar with. I remember my sister renting a Sinbad movie when I was little and watching it with her because my  neighbor was out of town and I had no one to play with. For some reason I recall liking it, and today, with the advent of Netflix, I am able to become acquainted with Sinbad myself.

This movie goes up and down. It starts off fast and with lots of action, then it suddenly grinds to halt as they arrive at Bagdad. If not for the snake woman and the plot device of the princess getting shrunk, then I’m sure the rating I’m going to give this film would be an entire star lower. That section of the film is that droll.

I don’t fully understand why Sinbad would choose to take a bunch of cons for his crew with out having some kind of precautions. He should have known better than to trust these lowlifes, especially in that day and time.

Ray Harryhausen again does what he does best and that is bring fantastic creatures to life with stop motion animation. My favorite is the dragon, but you have to appreciate the cyclops, roc,  skeleton, and the snake dancer.

I may be a little to used to seeing grown up genies, thanks to I Dream of Jeannie and Aladdin,but the idea of a little boy genie just seems wrong. At the same time, since his power seem to only b for protection, then I don’t have that much of an issue with his age.

Sokurah, the magician, is obviously a very powerful man. One must wonder, why doesn’t he just vanquish the cyclops his self? Then again, if he did that, we wouldn’t have much of a film would we?

Princess Parisa is very beautiful, as most women were during the time this movie was made, and not the fake beauty we have today. However, I wonder what it had to be like to be stuck in what was essentially a dressing room.

All in all, this is a good film. Not the best I’ve seen in this genre, but pretty solid. I recommend it for any and all.

4 out of 5 stars

Blade

Posted in Action/Adventure, Horror, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A man is led to a rave club by a seductive woman, only to find that the club is filled with vampires eager to feed on the human members of the crowd. In the middle of the carnage, a vampire-hunter named Blade arrives. As a half-vampire hybrid known as a “daywalker”, Blade has all the strengths of a vampire but none of their weaknesses except the thirst for blood. He slaughters the vampires in the club, leaving only Quinn alive and horribly burned.

Blade tracks Quinn down to a hospital, but Quinn is able to bite a resident hermatologist, Dr. Karen Jenson, before escaping once again. Blade brings Karen back to his lair and introduces her to Abraham Whistler, his mentor and weaponsmith. Karen resolves to study vampirism and find a cure before she becomes a vampire. She soon discovers that the anticoagulant EDTA reacts explosively with the vampire infection. Meanwhile, Deacon Frost, a young upstart in the vampire community, clashes with his vampire elders. He believes that vampires should rise from the shadows and enslave humanity. The elders shun him for his radical views and because he was not born a vampire, like they were. Frost studies ancient vampire lore and comes to believe that he can awaken La Magra, a vampire god, to gain godlike power. Together with his minions, he kills the chief vampire of the region and imprisons the other elders.

Blade combats Frost’s various minions in an effort to uncover his plan, but Frost manages to invade Blade’s lair, kidnapping Karen and mortally wounding Whistler. Blade gives the infected Whistler a gun to commit suicide, then arms himself with a large supply of EDTA. He storms Frost’s home, overrunning the bodyguards, and discovers his own mother, whom he believed dead, in Frost’s bed. She reveals that Frost was the vampire that bit her while Blade was still in the womb and caused him to become a daywalker. Thunderstruck, Blade is defeated and taken to the Temple of Eternal Night for Frost’s blood ritual.

Frost sacrifices the elder vampires in a magic ritual and gains the power of La Magra. Karen manages to break free and feed Blade her blood, giving him the power to fight back. He kills his mother while Karen kills Frost’s lover Mercury with garlic spray. Blade then cuts through Quinn and the rest of Frost’s minions before engaging Frost in swordplay. Frost’s new powers make him immune to normal weapons, so Blade injects him with EDTA, causing Frost to explode. Blade and Karen return to Blade’s lair, where Karen successfully cures herself of vampirism. Blade chooses to forgo the cure in order to continue hunting vampires with their own powers. An epilogue finds Blade killing a vampire in Russia.

REVIEW:

Let me preface this by saying, I watched this after eating Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon, so I was a bit out of it and I believe I fell asleep a couple of times. Luckily, I’ve seen this film many times before.

There are many that don’t even know that Blade is a comic book character. True, he’s not on the level of X-Men, Spider-Man, etc, but he’s still a Marvel property, even if Stan Lee didn’t create him.

This is an awesome film! It’s no wonder they felt the need to make a couple of sequels. Wesley Snipes is the perfect Blade.

Some call this a horror film. I guess you can say that, but for me, its more of an action/adventure with lots of blood, similar to Underworld or Van Helsing.

The plot isn’t too hard to follow, unlike most horror films where you get lost, and if not for all the people getting chopped up, you’d probably be scratching your head wondering WTF?!?

I wish the presence of La Magra was bigger, rather than just Stephen Dorff with red eyes. I get so tired of hearing about actors and/or their fans who think that doing roles that require them to morph into a creature that will take away their screen time will hurt their career. Personally, I think a full out creaturific La Megra would have been awesome! That is my only real complaint other than there isn’t enough Sanaa Lathan.

If you’re looking for a good vampire, comic superhero, or action/adventure film, then this is for you!

4 out of 5 stars

The Producers

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Musicals, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The flop musical “Funny Boy” (based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet) opens (“Opening Night”). Afterward, Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) arrives at the office of the show’s washed up producer, Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane). Max has hired Leo Bloom as his accountant. While studying Max’s books, Leo inadvertently inspires Max to put on a show that is certain to fail at the box office and cleverly change their accounts leaving them with $2,000,000 to spend. At first, Leo refuses to participate. Max, who cannot change the books himself, attempts to coax Leo into the scheme (“We Can Do It”). Leo still refuses and returns to his old accounting firm, Whitehall & Marks.

After being chastised by Mr. Marks (Jon Lovitz), Leo fantasizes about being a Broadway producer (“I Wanna Be a Producer”). Leo quits his job and with Max, forms Bialystock & Bloom. Max and Leo search for “the worst play ever written” and discover Springtime for Hitler,written by an ex-Nazi named Franz Liebkind (Will Ferrell). They are coerced into performing Adolf Hitler’s favorite tune in order to gain Liebkind’s signature for Broadway rights to the musical (“Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop”). They solicit a flamboyant gay director, Roger De Bris (Gary Beach) (the worst director in the world), to direct and choreograph the play. De Bris initially refuses saying that the musical is far too dark and gritty and that Broadway needs to be more “gay” (“Keep It Gay”). Roger is talked into it, however, after being enticed by Max and Leo, who tell him that if he directs the play, he is certain to win a Tony. Then, Ulla (Uma Thurman), a beautiful Swedish woman, appears at their office for casting despite there being no auditions. Max insists on hiring her as their secretary and auditioning her (“When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It”).

To gain the finances for the musical Max has sexual affairs with every old lady across town (“Along Came Bialy”). Max and Leo return to the office to discover that Ulla has redecorated it to be entirely white. After Max leaves, Leo laments about Ulla and the dangers of sexual affairs straying him from his work, culminating in a kiss between Leo and Ulla (“That Face”). Later, at the auditions for the role of Hitler, Franz becomes angered at a performer’s rendition of a beloved German song. Franz storms the stage and sings the song the correct way (“Haben sie gehört das deutsche band?”). Max hires Franz to play Hitler.

On opening night, as the cast and crew prepare to go on stage, Leo wishes everyone “good luck”, to which the players are horrified. They explain to Leo that it is in fact “bad luck” to say “good luck” on opening night and that the correct phrase is to say “break a leg” (“You Never Say Good Luck on Opening Night”). Franz leaves to prepare and, in his rush, literally breaks his leg. Max enlists Roger to perform the role in his place, and Roger accepts.

As the show opens, the audience is horrified and begins to walk out until Roger steps on stage as Hitler. Because his performance is so flamboyant, the audience sees the play as a mockery of Hitler rather than Franz’s original vision (“Springtime for Hitler”). As a result, the show is a success and the IRS will be keeping tabs on Max and Leo. Max gets arrested for his tax fraud while Leo and Ulla escape to Rio (“Betrayed”), however they return to stand up for Max in court (“‘Til Him”). The judge sentences them both to five years at Sing Sing prison, but they are pardoned after writing a musical in prison (“Prisoners of Love”), and go on to become successful Broadway producers.

REVIEW:

If you are a regular reader of this blog and my reviews, you can no doubt tell that I am a fan of musicals. The Producersdoes not disappoint. It has entertaining numbers, comedy, a sold plot, and Uma Thurman as an uber-hot Swedish sexpot!

I did not get the chance to see this on Broadway, mostly because I don’t live in NYC, but if previous musicals are any indication, it didn’t lose anything in the transition from stage to screen, except maybe a couple of songs.

Mel Brooks is a genius. However, if you expect to see the same kind of humor in this film as you would in some of his other film, such as Spaceballs, The History of the World, etc., you’ll be disappointed. However, this is still a good film.

It’s not without its flaws, though. Having not seen the Broadway production, I don’t know of these are in the original production or just a result of bad editing, but there are spots, especially as the film nears its end, that it just seems to rush to a conclusion without taking the time to move the plot forward. Of course, I was trying to rush through the movie today, myself, so it could have been my personal sense of rushing that caused said feeling.

This is an excellent film, and I highly recommend it to all, but like I said, don’t go in expecting your typical Mel Brooks film.

4 out of  5 stars

War, Inc.

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

War Inc.is set in the future, when the fictional desert country of Turaqistan is torn by a riot after a private corporation, Tamerlane (based on Halliburton), owned by the former Vice President of the United States (Dan Aykroyd, based on Dick Cheney), has taken over the whole country. Brand Hauser (John Cuysack), a hit man who suppresses his emotions by gobbling down hot sauce, is hired by the corporation’s head to kill the CEO of their competitors. To do this, he has to have a cover story which is in the form of a gala wedding by the outrageous Central Asian Superstar Yonica Babyyeah (Hilary Duff). Everything changes when the ruthless killer finds himself head-over-heels in love with a sexy reporter Natalie Hegalhuzen (Marisa Tomei) and developing paternal feelings for the oversexed Yonica.

REVIEW:

I hadn’t heard much about this film, other some promotional shots of an extremely sexy Hilary Duff, until my friend over at The Movie Whore posted a blog recommending it and I immediately went and put this on my Netflix list. It was a long wait, but I finally got the chance to see it, and was not disappointed.

I’m a fan of satires, so is it really any wonder that I would like this film? I’m not a big fan of John Cusack. Well, let me take that back, I’m not too familiar with is work. The last movie I saw him in was America’s Sweethearts, but I do have Martian Child on my Netflix cue.

Hilary Duff has come a long way since her days as Lizzie McGuire. Anyone want to call her “Duff Puff” after looking at her rock hard stomach in this? I’m sure the Disney folks would’ve had a cow had she have made this film while still working for them. Listen to the songs and you’ll see why. All that said, her accent, while not the best, is pretty good.

Marisa Tomei is still gorgeous and hasn’t lost any of her talent as an actress. I don’t know why she doesn’t get more roles. In my opinion, this is one of her best.

Ben Kingley and Joan Cusack add there own brand of comic relief to the picture. Until the ending credits, I did not know that Montel Williams was voicing the Guide Star system, which seems to be John Cusack’s best friend.

Cusack is believable as an assassin. When he starts killing, he seems to be in a different zone. I don’t know if that is part of the movie, or just good acting, but it works.

I don’t really have anything negative to say about this picture. It’s sad it didn’t get a wider release, but that may be a good thing. I can see this becoming a cult favorite in the future. Especially because of its satirical stance on the way the US treats the Mid-East.

I highly recommend this film. Watch it and you won’t be dissatisfied!

4 out of 5 stars

Superman Returns

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Superman has been missing for five years, having traveled to where astronomers believed they had discovered the remains of Krypton. During his absence, Lex Luthor was released from prison. Lex married a rich widow and obtains her fortune upon her death. As Clark Kent, he returns to Earth, living with his adoptive mother, Martha Kent on the Kent Farm in Smallville. Clark returns to his job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, while learning Lois Lane has won the Pulitzer Prize for her article Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman. Meanwhile, Luthor travels to the Fortress of Solitude and steals Kryptonian crystals. During an experiment with the crystals, Lex causes a worldwide power outage. This interferes with the flight test of a space shuttle attached to a Boeing 777, occupied by Lois Lane who is covering the story. Clark flies into action as Superman and stops the plane from crashing onto a baseball field.

The world rejoices in Superman’s return, but Lois is more concerned with the blackout. Clark later meets her fiancé Richard White, nephew of Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White, and their son, Jason. Clark is emotionally hurt when he overhears a conversation between Lois and Richard in which she says she never loved Superman. He then proceeds to stop a bank heist, saving Kitty, Luthor’s co-conspirator. With Superman distracted, Luthor steals Kryptonite from the Metropolis Museum of Natural History. Perry assigns Lois to interview Superman while Clark investigates the blackout. That night, Superman arrives at the Daily Planet and takes Lois for a flight, during which he apologizes for leaving her.

Lois focuses her attention on the blackout again and ascertains its origin. Lois and Jason inadvertently aboard Luthor’s ship and are captured. Luthor reveals to them his grand scheme of using one of the stolen Kryptonian crystals to grow a new continental landmass in the Northern Atlantic Ocean that will destroy much of Earth’s existing continents, in the process killing billions of people and leaving him as the new landmass’ owner. On observing the effect of a Kryptonite sample on Jason, Luthor asks who Jason’s father really is; after Lois asserts that the father is Richard, he leaves to launch the crystal (now encased in green Kryptonite) into the sea. Under water, the crystal begins to create Luthor’s new landmass. Lois faxes their co-ordinates to The Daily Planet and is attacked by a henchman. The henchman is hit by a piano, which seems to have been pushed at him by Jason; afterward, Lois and Jason are imprisoned in galley. Luthor flies in his helicopter to the still forming continent. Meanwhile, Superman is attempting to minimize the destruction in Metropolis caused by the new landmass’ growth when Richard arrives in a sea plane to rescue Lois and Jason. Superman soon arrives to help and then flies off to find Luthor.

Meeting Luthor, Superman discovers the landmass is filled with Kryptonite, which weakens him to the point that Luthor and his henchmen are able to beat him. Superman is stabbed by Luthor with a shard of Kryptonite and falls into the ocean. Lois makes Richard turn back to rescue Superman, whereupon she removes the Kryptonite from his back. Superman, after regaining his strength from the sun, lifts the landmass by putting layers of earth between him and the Kryptonite. Luthor and Kitty escape in their helicopter; Kitty, unwilling to let billions of people die, tosses away the crystals that Lex stole from the Fortress of Solitude. She and Luthor are stranded on a desert island when their helicopter runs out of fuel. Superman pushes the landmass into space, but is weakened by the Kryptonite present and crashes back to Earth. Doctors remove more Kryptonite from Superman’s wound, but after it is removed they cannot penetrate his skin with their surgical tools. While Superman remains in a coma, Lois and Jason visit him at the hospital where Lois whispers a secret into Superman’s ear. Superman later awakens and flies to see Jason, reciting Jor-El’s last speech to Jason as he sleeps. Lois starts writing another article, titled “Why the World Needs Superman”. Superman reassures her that he is now back to stay, and flies off to low orbit, where he gazes down at the world.

REVIEW:

I’m not the biggest fan of Superman, but I do know a pretty fair amount about him and the original movies starring Christopher Reeve. In comparison, this film stacks up between the second and third films. It’s not the greatest, but its far from the worst.

Brandon Routh was an unknown when he took this role (and for the most part still is), but he does a fairly good job, and bears a resemblance to Christopher Reeve, which can be argued as to how he got the part. However, I did not like that in an early 3 hr film, you can all bu count his lines as both Clark and Superman on your hands.

Kevin Spacey steals the show as a Lex Luthor. He even adds a nod to Gene Hackman’s portrayal of the iconic villain. On top of this, he adds his own twist in there.

Kate Bosworth’s portrayal of Lois Lane, I thought was a bit too emotional. She seems to spend the whole film pissed off that Superman just up and left her as if they were an exclusive couple. Now, it has been a while since I’ve seen the original films, but if I’m not mistaken, the only place Lois and Superman actually make it official is in the comics.

The rest of the cast is solid, but no one really sticks out, except James Marsden as Richard. There were times when I thought he could have been Superman, but then he’s already been one superhero (Cyclops). No need to confuse people by making him another one, especially under the same director.

Speaking of the director, Bryan Singer did an ok job with this, but I expected better. He left the X-Menfranchise for this, and it just doesn’t seem like it was worth it. I’m not saying there should have been a reboot, but the flow of this film seems to be similar to the first X-Men.

MY biggest issue with the movie, that I haven’t already mentioned, is that there is a lack of action for 3/4 of the film, minus a few scenes here and there. I went into this expecting to see more action, and the whole paternity issue just didn’t really seem to fit, especially since they shoved it in near the end, and Richard didn’t even seem to react to it, at least not on-screen.

I did like the homages and nods to the previous films and comics. For instance, there is a scene where Superman saves car from crashing into the ground that is straight from a cover of Action Comics. Also, when Superman boards the plane after saving it, he says the same lines Christopher Reeve said to Margot Kidder after saving the helicopter in the original Superman.

This is not as bad as I, or the critics make it seem, but it could use some refinement. It’s sad that they have chosen to reboot the franchise and make Superman dark rather than go with the original plan of giving this film a sequel. So, I recommend you see this one, before you waste your time on a dark Superman, because we all know Superman is not known for being dark. That’s what Batman is for.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars