The Return of Superman Returns

01-Dec-09 2:45 PM by
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Superman Returns, released to theaters in June 2006, was a mixed success: it raked in $391 million from the worldwide box office — a lot of money, but well short of the $500 million expected. Critics were also, well, critical: some found male lead Brandon Routh dull, the plot lacking in action, and the inclusion of Superman's son unnecessary.

But Superman fanboys, even those who can are not blind to the film's shortcomings, still love the film and want even more from it. The various teasers and trailers released at the time revealed footage not seen in the final cut, so we hoped those pieces would be restored in the DVD edition. And though some deleted scenes were indeed made available, there remain even more that were not.

Just as Superman II got a Richard Donner cut, there is now a petition for Warner Bros. to create Superman Returns: The Bryan Singer Cut, named for the movie's writer, producer, and director. These fans have taken what unreleased snippets they could find and strung together this trailer:

As an owner of the original Superman Returns DVD, I would buy another edition and so hope this petition succeeds — but I don't think it will. First, Superman Returns is likely to be dismissed in whatever film is next for the superhero; the potential for a reboot could be confused by further promotion of this film. Second, the Richard Donner cut was a unique situation in which studio politics prevented his vision for Superman II from being realized for more than two decades; I don't know of any similar dissatisfaction on Bryan Singer's part. Finally, since DVDs have regional releases, I'm not sure if it hurts, or is immaterial to, the cause that the petition is based in Argentina.

Nonetheless, you can follow the cause on Facebook or Twitter, though neither have been updated in the last two weeks, just two days after the above trailer was posted to YouTube. Perhaps this cause was just a superhero fly-by-night.

Hat tip to the BlueTights Network.

A Long Time Ago…

14-Mar-07 12:33 PM by
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Today, March 14th, marks the tenth anniversary of the theatrical release of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Special Edition, the last in a series of re-releases that cleaned up the presentation of the twenty-year-old trilogy. The Special Edition did more than just modernize the three films' special effects, though (and I don't mean making Greedo shoot first). Before 1997, an entire generation had experienced Star Wars the only way it'd been possible: on the TV screen. Reinstating the story to the medium in which it was meant to be delivered — the big screen — gave millions of fans the opportunity to be reminded why they were drawn to this saga in the first place.

Read the rest of this entry at Computerworld.com »

The Force will be with you… always

31-Jan-07 11:56 AM by
Filed under Star Wars; 4 comments.

Up until ten years ago today, I, along with my friends Peter, Pelun, and our entire generation, had experienced Star Wars the only way it'd been possible: on the TV screen.

But if we'd only seen it that way, we hadn't seen it at all — not until Friday, January 31st, 1997, at 10:20 PM EST, when we witnessed the premiere of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope: Special Edition.

Despite the original trilogy being constantly rerun on TV, I'd seen it in its entirety only once. It was one night when the house was empty that I rented them on VHS, determined to complete this gap in my cultural education. Even that isolated viewing was many years before their cinematic re-release, so seeing them on the silver screen was all the more energizing. Not just because it was a new experience, but because it was a common, shared experience. Fans wrapped around the block waiting for tickets. Jedi Knights (or padawans) numbered among the throngs. Lightsabers and blasters were wielded throughout the lobby. The seats were packed for a film that would excite in both its familiarity and originality. And we all collectively mocked the petulant Skywalker when he bemoaned his unfulfilled intention to visit Toshi Station.

You don't create a memory like that from popping a DVD into your home entertainment system. It's true that movie theaters are expensive, as are their concessions, and that the theaters are often populated with babies, cell phones, and other noisy inconsiderations. But films themselves are a vehicle of social interaction. Each year that I taught a film studies course, I opened the first day of class by explaining to my students that the movies they were about to watch were a venue through which people of diverse eras and geographies could relate by sharing common experiences. Nowhere is that goal better achieved than in the communal consumption of film.

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