Sunday, December 31, 2006

Singerman: The End of the Year Reviews

Several of the major media outlets (besides those owned by WB) have done year end pieces about the 2006 movies and of course Singerman. Here's a look at what's being said at the end of the year in which Superman was supposed to return, but all we got was this lousy t-shirt.
  • Detroit Free Press - "For nine months, the cabal that is Hollywood has an unspoken agreement that it will release no film of actual greatness, unless, of course, it also happens to also be of great commercial potential. That is why "Superman Returns" (which failed to live up to its moneymaking potential, perhaps because it was too subtle) and "Cars" were released this summer."
  • Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA) - But "Pirates" covered up the colossal failure of another sure-fire Hollywood franchise. "Superman Returns" exploded onto the scene in June and quickly sank into irrelevance.
  • The Toronto Sun - "Look past the eye-popping $1-billion US bounty hauled in by Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and you'll see a horizon scattered with costly letdowns -- from the barely broke-even Superman Returns to the utterly disastrous Poseidon."
  • The Decatur Daily (AL) - "Two icons returned this year, one with renewed relevance, the other creaking under his own pretensions. Strangely, James Bond, the character who shouldn't work divorced from his Cold War origins, showed new energy. Meanwhile, the supposedly timeless Superman, remained as stiff and lifeless as ever, not so much the Man of Steel as the man of rigor mortis."
  • The Joliet Herald News (IL) - "Who needs kryptonite? "Superman Returns," one of the year's most anticipated movies, quietly falls to earth. Not that that has stopped Hollywood from greenlighting a sequel." (SSS note: The sequel hasn't been greenlit yet, Singer was just signed to develop one.)
  • St. Petersburg Times (FL) - "Don’t go overboard with the Champagne, though. Too many sequels, remakes and knockoffs still take up too much megaplex space and public attention. But consumers seem to be wising up a bit ­— just ask Superman, if he returns again."
  • Jam! Showbiz (Canada) - "Or that Brandon Routh, touted just 12 months ago for super-stardom as soon as he was announced as the new Man of Steel in Superman Returns, would remain more anonymous than not in the first days of 2007 after the would-be blockbuster sputtered more than soared?"
  • Miami Herald (FL) - Best self-indulgent directorial flourish: The "Heart and Soul" sequence in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns: Menacing tattoos, a fax, chopsticks on the piano, and the movies' first appearance of Superboy.
  • St. Petersburg Times (Russia) - "Meanwhile, “Superman Returns” was on the edge of being imbecilic and it seemed like it was made for 10-year-olds to watch while their moms run errands."
Global Box Office Reports:
  • Australia - "Superman Returns" should have performed well Down Under because it was lensed in Sydney but film did not even make the top 10, returning $11 million, well shy of the $15.5 million indicated by the 10% rule.
  • Germany - Underachievers at the Teutonic box office include "Superman Returns," which made only $4 million. In Germany, comicbook heroes face a never-ending battle for cinematic recognition.
  • Mexico - Still, Mexicans this year didn't like their American superheroes to be bland: "Superman Returns" for one slumped at local wickets.
  • Italy - Hollywood titles that elsewhere had been summer films but were Italo fall releases played below par, such as "Superman Returns" ($7 million) and "Miami Vice" ($4.4 million).
  • France - Below par were "Miami Vice" ($12 million), "Superman Returns" ($11.5 million), "Cars" and "Happy Feet."
  • Hong Kong - Top 10 films "Superman," "X-Men 3" and "Cars" all arguably underperformed against expectations -- as did bomb of the year "Poseidon."
Some pretty damning evidence right there, both in media opinion and B.O. statistics.

A happy and safe new year to all of you out there! Yes, even you Bryan.

Friday, December 29, 2006

"One of the Biggest Disappointments of 2006"

Sure we've been saying this for over 5 months now, so for that to come from us, it wouldn't mean a whole heck of a lot. However when that comment is coming out of the mouth of someone at a nationally respected publication, people will sit up and take notice. And when said publication just so happens to be owned by Warner Brothers, well then that's really telling and pretty darn humorous if you ask us. That's right folks, Entertainment Weekly has come out with their list of the biggest disappointments in entertainment for the year 2006, and guess who's near the top of the list? Yup you guessed it, neither your friend or mine, Singerman!

Here's a few choice quotes from EW's Assistant Managing Editor, Dawnie Walton:
"Cut to opening weekend, me asleep in a theater. I checked out around the time someone exposition'ed that Lois Lane (a limp Kate Bosworth) had won a Pulitzer — a Pulitzer! — for some petulant, woman-done-wrong essay titled ''Why the World Doesn't Need Superman.'' When I woke up, Kevin Spacey was screaming at me, and former soap star Brandon Routh was doing something amazingly tedious with a huge floating island of Kryptonite. I wouldn't have minded if the movie had been merely bad — it would've given me something to talk about/make fun of with my husband on the walk home from the theater — but Superman Returns was just... boring. And is there anything worse than that?"
Well she certainly hit the proverbial nail on the head! I don't think there's anything else that we can add to that which hasn't already been mentioned here. The fact that something like is getting published by a WB entity leads me to believe that there's just a bit of a difference of opinion among some of the major players at WB as far as Singerman is concerned.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Warner Brothers Has No Shame

Academy Award season is just around the corner, and this is the time of the year when studios start to pitch certain of their films that they feel may have a chance to bring home an Oscar. For the major awards, Best Picture, Best Actress, etc., we usually see art house films like Brokeback Mountain or films with a deep message in them like Crash take home the awards. Every once in a while you'll see an epic film like Braveheart in there if it's especially good. You can sort of tell what films will be nominated by how critics and the Hollywood press react to them.

Now does anything I've just described sound like it has anything even REMOTELY in common with Singerman? No, of course not, but apparently Warner Brothers didn't get that memo as they're now trying to sell Singerman as being worthy of an Oscar. (That's OK, I'll wait until you stop laughing uncontrollably.) If you click on the picture of the poster above you can see what I'm talking about. We could possibly see the film getting some consideration for some kind of obscure sound or visual effects award, but the ones on this poster?? C'mon, let's get real here folks. Singer for best director? I'm sure all the great ones leave millions on the cutting room floor. Routh for best actor? Did he even have 12 lines of dialogue in the film? Bosworth for best actress? BWWAAAAAHAAAAHAAAA!!!!! Best costume design? Maybe if the film was about a pleather clad scuba diver. Best original score? Shouldn't that be John Williams' name there instead of Ottman?

With all of the hilarity seeing that brought to us the other day, it made us think of a few awards that we might actually nominate the film for. Take a look and see what you think:
  • Best mutilation of a legend - Bryan Singer
  • Worst attempt at disguising the remake of a script - Dan Harris, Michael Dougherty
  • Worst miscasting of a lead actress - Bryan Singer
  • Worst on-screen chemistry between lead actors - Bosworth/Routh
  • Worst misuse of an otherwise talented supporting actor - Bryan Singer (Spacey)
  • Most unnecessary plot device that will weigh the franchise down like a lead weight - Super Kid
If you've got any others, we'd love to heat about them in the comments.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Creative Ideas for those Unwanted Singerman Gifts

<--If Routh takes this out of the box, does that constitute playing with himself?

The season of giving is upon us! And we here at Singer's Superman Sucks continue to give to you, our loyal blog readers because we care. We're here this week to help you with a problem some of you might come across this holiday season. That problem of course, would be those unwanted Singerman gifts! (cue the horror music)

Everyone has that aunt who's gotten a bit senile in her old age and has trouble telling the difference between the toilet and the kitchen sink. She "knows" you like "that Superman fella," and in her bewilderment at the giant electronics store with all the flashing lights and loud music, she picks you up a copy of Singerman. You open it, give her a half-assed smile as she kisses you with breath that's some ungodly combination of tuna fish and moth balls. Or perhaps you just got the DVD because you weren't aware they stuck it into the Ultimate Collector's Edition box set, and are trying to figure out why? You then contemplate how far the thing could fly if tossed out your car window at 70 mph or perhaps which one of your buddies DVD collections you're going to hide it in to see if he notices.

Well fret not my friends! Don't waste those DVD's. With a little patience and a dash of creativity you can make "Singer-ade" out of Singerman! Here's a few ideas of ours. Submit your own suggestions in the comments section.

Perhaps you or someone you know has a cat... or two... or six. Well with a little hot glue, a plastic handle, and a bit or patience, you've got this handy, dandy kitty litter scoop! You know how they say "fight fire with fire?" Well now you can scoop crap with crap! Maybe that same senile, old aunt who gave you the damn DVD in the first place who has the cats and you can "re-gift" it back to her. Hell, it's not like she's going to notice anyway! If you don't know anyone with cats, try to pass them off as ping pong paddles or maybe even a spackle knife! Either way it'll be the most action these DVD's have ever seen.

Maybe there's a special lady in your life who's a little on the ummm "big-boned" side and she really likes to accessorize her outfits. Well then just slap some thin iron clasps into these babies and you've got yourself a pretty snazzy pair of dangly earrings. And don't forget our gender bending friends who like to play dress up either!

Tired of cups and glasses leaving those darn rings on your furniture? Well just take your Singerman DVD's, a little hot glue, and some cork board, and in a matter of minutes you've got yourself a lovely decorative coaster set that the whole family can enjoy! If Singerman can hold up a giant island made of Kryptonite, he should have no trouble at all with your vodka martini or a Diet Pepsi!

If your feeling really crafty and say someone gives you a multi-disc set of Singerman, try making a festive holiday wreath! You may think you don't need a holiday wreath made of Singerman DVD's, but every day I hear you crying for one! The best part is that it's REALLY easy to do! Just like Bryan Singer you can hastily slap it together, add in some semi-cohesive glue, and then throw a bunch of garbage onto it and see what sticks! Sure it's not as good as real, traditional wreath, but who cares? It's yours to do with as you please.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Jon Peters Wants to Show You "What Boys Have"

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" file, it looks like Singerman producer Jon Peters has gotten himself into some hot water. The same guy who wanted to put giant spiders, polar bear guards, and gay robots into a Superman film has apparently added sexual harassment to his list of transgressions...again.

According to multiple sources, a woman claims in a lawsuit that Peters sexually harassed her and exposed himself to her and her 3-year-old daughter while she worked as his personal assistant.
"Shelly Morita began working for the producer in February 2005 but quit after about a year, the suit said.

According to the lawsuit, Peters frequently grabbed Morita's breasts, buttocks or legs, hugged and kissed her and made "rude, sexual and disparaging comments."

During filming of "Superman Returns" in Australia in July 2005, Peters crawled into her hotel room bed and refused to leave, the suit alleged.

Morita also claims that in August 2005, while working in Peters' home, she walked in on him as he was naked and waiting to get a massage. The suit claims Peters chased her and gave her a bear hug.

The suit also claims that last December, while on a trip to Peters' ranch in Santa Barbara, Peters exposed himself to Morita and her daughter, commenting, "Look what boys have!"

He later joked about it to other employees at the ranch, the suit claimed."
Nice guy. Just the type of individual you want working for your company. And guess what? This isn't the first time this has happened while he was in WB's employ. In 1998, Colleen Bennett, Peter's former executive vice president of finance, filed suit, alleging that Peters groped her, exposed himself to her and conducted meetings in his underwear. If guys like this are allowed to stick around WB Features, it really explains a lot how management there conducts business and why we get the Catwoman's and Singerman's that we do.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Singer Likes Him Some Jesus in his Singerman

One of the MANY criticisms of Singerman was the repetitive, over-the-top Christ imagery in the film. We know there are obvious parallels in the tales of Jesus Christ and to a lesser extent Moses, with that of Superman. Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz took this up a notch in Superman: The Movie with how they chose to portray Marlon Brando's Jor-El. It was pretty subtle stuff, put into his dialogue about "sending his only son" and having Kal-El be the "light to show them the way." Nothing really obvious or "eye-roll worthy." You understood where they were going with it, but it didn't offend the senses or overshadow parts of the film.

Singerman on the other hand took this to unprecedented levels and had all the subtlety of sledgehammer to the groin. We seemingly got beat over the head with Stations of the Cross visuals at every turn. Half the time I was expecting Routh to say 'See! Just like Jesus!" which is a bit odd considering Singer is ya know, Jewish and all. For all those who think we were reading too much in to the film, Singer himself has basically just copped to the whole thing, and doesn't seem one damn bit ashamed about it either. Superhero Hype has up an interview Singer did with some guy named Stephen Skelton, who recently authored a book about the religous parallels in Superman lore called The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero. If you can make it through him sucking up to Singer more and more with each passing moment, there's actually some pretty revealing stuff in the interview.

Skelton: Time magazine said, "Earlier versions of Superman stressed the hero's humanity…The Singer version emphasizes his divinity…He is Earth's savior: Jesus Christ Superman." However, I take a little bit of an issue with that. Certainly Donner's "Superman: The Movie" stressed the parallels to Christ, as you were touching on before we started the interview. Now, I think I know the answer to this. But do you see your version as different or similar in that regard? Doesn't it pick up from what Donner was doing and kick it up a notch?

Singer: It celebrates that notion. These stories are told in so many different ways. From Sunday School to pop culture. You're not saying that Superman is Jesus Christ. He's not. He's Superman. He's the last son of the planet Krypton; he's in love with Lois Lane; he has a human side. There's a lot of things going on here that are a product of comic fantasy. But if you're going to have lines like Marlon Brando saying, "I send them you—my only son." And there being spoken with absolute seriousness, then when you carry it forward and you have him return after five years, face an immeasurable conflict and then… I mean, it's all... I mean, if you're going to tell that story, you've got to tell it all the way. You've got scouring at the pillar, the spear of destiny, death, resurrection,
it's all there. And I remember sitting with one of my writers and we were
watching the visual effects of him [Superman] falling to Earth. And his hands
are extended and he falls to Earth in that very…

Umm Christ was put to death and accepted his fate for the good of mankind. Singerman ignored what his infinitely intelligent father told him about his home world, left on a whim not caring about the good of mankind, and then returned only to ruin the relationship of the person he allegedley loved but left without telling, and then fight a giant island. I don't see how telling THAT story evokes the need to beat us over the head "all the way" with all of the savior allegories he lists out? Superman wouldn't refer to himself as a "savior" either. He has the utmost humility, not a God complex. Singerman wasn't a savior, he was a jerkoff.
Skelton: It's the crucifixion pose; it's beautiful; it's fantastic.
At this point in the interview, you pretty much lose any respect for the interviewer.

Singer: "We're going to tell the story. If we're going to tell this story, some parts are going to be subtle. But this one is not." And we were in the theater, he was visiting the effects session, just looking what I was doing, and I just said, "Either we're going to tell it or we're not." Either we're going to have him float down kind of in [the position of the crucifixion]or not. And it's entirely plausible the way we left him in the scene, in the moment, that he falls in that position and then he falls out of it. But if there was ever a time to hammer it home, this is it. Visually, this is it. And what's wonderful is when you see it with an audience. And I worried, that there could be a snicker. But instead you could hear a pin drop.

Why? Why is it all or nothing? I dont get this. Far greater talents like Donner and Mankiewicz were content with leaving it to a few lines of expository dialogue and letting the audience draw their own inferences. Why must anything like this be "hammered home" anyway? Donner's Superman was given the type of characterization to do this type of thing and didn't even take it that far. Singerman on the other hand acts anything BUT Christ-like over the course of the film. So the imagery sticks out like a sore thumb. It's like the guy who acts like an idiot 6 days a week but then suddenly becomes pious at church on Sunday. You don't buy it. As for the "pin dropping," was this the infamous "friends and family" screening?

It's a rather long interview, and the rest of it is more of the same. The interviewer gushing and telling Singer how smart he is (we know he LOVES that), and then Singer explaining how all of his different scenes have some kind of religous subtext, when in fact most of them are pretty damn overt. It becomes all the more comical being that had he actually written Singerman to act like the actual Superman, some of it might have had some actual depth to it. But since his main characterization didn't reflect the one from the source material that spawned the religous comparisons in the first place, most of it is lost and is basically just hollow imagery that winds up annoying the audience and insulting their intelligence.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Miscellaneous Bits: 12/1/06

Some rather interesting tidbits from around the internet about the goings-on with Singerman, the DVD, Warner Brothers, etc. that dont quite deserve their own postings, but are none the less still intriguing to read.
  • Apparently there are some BIG problems with some of the DVD's in the "Superman: Ultimate Collector's Edition" Box Sets. And we mean besides that DVD they shoe-horned in there with Singerman on it to try and help boost it's sales numbers. [DigitalBits]
  • Singerman's box office apparently wasn't the only thing that we were expecting to be "bigger." Those Hi-Def DVD's show EVERYTHING, don't they? [Defamer]
  • You know how Singerman having a kid in the film really sucked? Well Singer doesn't care, and he wants to give you a whole lot more of him in the sequel! Better hide your musical instruments! [Rotten Tomatoes]
  • An amusing review of the Singerman HD DVD: "Bryan Singer's 'Superman Returns' is instead best described as an unapologetic cinematic love letter to Richard Donner's 1978 blockbuster 'Superman: The Movie.' Never have I seen a movie so in love with another movie -- I'm sure if Singer could have somehow CGI'd Christopher Reeve and Kate Bosworth together, and had them spawn bald children that looked like a cross between Margot Kidder and Gene Hackman, he would have done it." [High-Def Digest]
  • OK, so which one of you anonymous commenters is a TV critic for The Boston Herald? []

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It Doesn't Take X-Ray Vision to See Through This Marketing Ploy

In case you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, you might've missed that Singerman was released on DVD yesterday along with a slew of other DVD's that actually relate to the character we know as Superman. Like any other big budget film, ads were all over the place for that one last grab at revenue from the rather lucrative home video market.What really caught our attention was not the volume of ads for the Singerman DVD, but one particularly egregious piece that WB tried to pass off as something charitable, but came off looking about as disingenuous and sleazy as you can possibly get.

On Monday's edition of the Hollywood gossip show "Access Hollywood," sandwiched in between advertisements for the Singerman DVD aired the following piece featuring Singerman star Brandon Routh at a children's hospital.

On the surface you may be thinking, "what's wrong with that? He's visiting sick children." Which any other time, it may have been just that. But given the timing of this segment (the day before the Singerman DVD goes on sale) and the way it's presented by the AH hosts, it's rather obvious that this was solely done for the sake of selling DVD's, which if you ask us pretty damn exploitive and in very poor taste. Where's the evidence for that, you ask? Well consider this?
  • C'mon let's be real, it's aired the evening before the DVD release, it's screaming marketing ploy.
  • After the teaser for the segment aired and before the segment itself, there's a Singerman DVD commercial. (you can see these in beginning of the clip)
  • the female host shills the "2 disc Special Edition DVD" coming out before they introduce the segment.
  • When the hosts introduce the segment, there's a picture of the DVD on the 20 ft tall video screen behind them.
  • Billy Bush makes sure to tell us that "they asked him to do this months ago" so we're not to think this just came up out of the blue, which might've meant it was ya know, spontaneous and somewhat sincere. Of course they asked him months ago, when they planned the rest of the DVD marketing. Duh.
  • look at the huge team of people that are there with Routh to film the segment. If he was just coming to cheer these kids up, why did the cameras need to be there in the first place?
  • the kids in the hospital are WATCHING THE DVD's!!! And Routh makes sure to point that out for us.
Look, and we'll make this really clear, this isn't a shot at Brandon Routh. From all accounts he seems to be a nice guy, though he's been known to have his moments. He's obviously got to go along with this sort of thing to fulfill his PR requirements, and he seemed to actually care about the kids. Who should be taken to task are the marketing people at WB who were trying to pass this "gesture" off as being something genuine on the studio's behalf.

You want to do something meaningful? Do this 6 months from now, or in the months in between the theatrical release and the video game/DVD when you're not peddling anything, and don't do it with the camera crew. Hell if you REALLY want to make a difference in those kids lives, instead of giving them posters and crappy DVD's, why don't you donate some of your precious revenue from those DVD sales to the hospital to ease the burden of paying for the care of those kids?

Last time I checked, Superman didn't seek recognition or attention for his good deeds. He just went about his business happy to know he was making the world a better place. Then again, its not like these guys seem to know much about Superman anyway so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Verdict on the Singerman Game

<-- Don't jump Singerman! We know the movie sucked, but life's still worth living!!! Previously on the blog we talked about the Singerman video game, and wondered why it was being released almost 5 months after the film? Then we found out that it looked like the game was almost intentionally differentiated from the shortcomings of the film. Well with the game now on store shelves, we were interested to hear what the response was from some of the more well-known gaming sites around the web. And from the looks of things, it seems like the game may be almost as disappointing as the film that spawned it.

From Xboxic:
"EA has barely scratched the surface as to the potential of a Superman game. Perhaps, if they had spent more time working on story mode rather than focusing a majority of their time and expenses on flight and the size of Metropolis. Yea, there’s an incredible, lush environment for Superman to engage in, but it is completely barren when it comes to crime for him to face off against. In Superman Returns, Kal-El’s greatest villain is boredom. The curse lives on." - Final Score: 4/10 - Poor

From Gamespot:
"After the thrill of flying around Metropolis wears off, Superman Returns is nothing more than a below-average, repetitive movie tie-in that doesn't even do the movie tie-in part well...
It's hard to shake the feeling that EA viewed the movie's DVD release as the last chance to capitalize on the movie license and was going to ship this game finished or unfinished, good or bad. It looks as though they finally settled on unfinished and bad. Superman Returns doesn't have much to do with the movie of the same name; the plot is a bunch of nonsense; and the game just doesn't capture the essence of what has made Superman such an enduring icon." - Score:4.5/10 - Poor

From IGN:
"The final boss in Superman Returns: The Videogame is a tornado. Not Lex Luthor. Not General Zod, not that nuclear guy -- not even Richard Pryor. A tornado!

That alone sums up the wrong direction EA is flying in Superman Returns, an unfinished game that suffers from a poor narrative, monotonous and brainless enemies, and a questionable take on the Superman universe. It should be said that flying and using superpowers are generally fun, but not enough to overcome the average graphics, sound and suspect game design." - Score 5.5/10 - Mediocre

From Eurogamer:
"Superman Returns is so criminally lacking in any inspiration, though, and is such a dismal waste of the licence that you'll want to curl up and rock yourself into a trance. At least then your mind can entertain you with thoughts of what a good Superman game might be like." - Score: 3/10 - Poor

From TeamXBOX:
"There are fun moments to be had when playing Superman Returns: The Videogame, but I never really felt that I was playing a complete game during my time with it. I’m guessing the team ran under some time constraints and had to push Superman Returns: The Videogame out the door before it was fully optimized." - Score: 6.7/10 - Average

Those bolded parts were all taking about the game right? Not the movie? Because I wasn't sure there for a second... Seems like Singerman just can't catch a break. I was hoping to get at least a rental out of this one.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Brandon Routh Clings to Fleeting Career with Super Strength

Our Canadian friends over at have a humorous look at some recent comments made by Singerman star Brandon Routh at the recent Singerman videogame/DVD (i.e. "Hope and Pray") launch party. It's good to know he's still around.

"With plans for a sequel to Superman Returns in the works, and with director Bryan Singer reportedly on board, Brandon Routh wants everyone to know he’s still around and will, like, totally play Superman again.

Routh told website E! Online, “They've publicized that Bryan had finalized his deal, which was the lynchpin in the whole talk about a sequel. So, everything looks to be heading that way.”

The actor, who made his much-publicized film debut in Superman Returns, also revealed some details of the sequel — tentatively titled The Man of Steel — including its possible villain

“There’s a lot of talk about Braniac; everyone wants to see [him]. But in the Superman Returns video game, you get to play as Bizzaro [the imperfect Superman clone], and Bizzaro’s pretty fun — you could have some fun with that [too],” says the actor. “So, I’m leaning towards one of those.'”

You tell em Brandon! Your ideas already sound more original than anything Singer's coughed up.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Film Threat's Frigid 50

Based on their initial review that described Singerman as both "creepy" and "sinister," it's apparent that, like many people, wasn't all that impressed with the film when it opened either. We here at SSS feel their pain. But Film Threat is still poking fun at Singerman as evidence by their latest 2006 list identifying the 50 Coldest People in Hollywood. They explain...
Unlike those other lists aimed at browning the most nose, the Frigid 50 is a written declaration of who or what in Hollywood needs a reality check, detailing the least-powerful, least-inspiring, least-intriguing people in all of Tinseltown. Before celebrities fall off the face of the Earth, they get one warning, and the Frigid 50 is it.

Throw up a big middle-finger to the Hollywood "Power" lists and enjoy Film Threat's Frigid 50: The Coldest People in Hollywood 2006!
Here's numbers 27 & 28...
27. Bryan Singer
You left the "X-Men" franchise to collapse under the weight of its own failed expectations (and Brett Ratner), and you brought a "Superman" film to the multiplexes that re-imagined the Man of Steel as a peeping Tom obsessed with Lois Lane (and little else). Whatever comic book credibility you had disappeared the second Lex Luthor threw the first crystal into the water.
Anti-Freeze: Quit the "Superman" franchise too, show you're nothing if not randomly insubordinate.

28. Brandon Routh
Look, up there in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's - a flash in the pan? The new Superman didn't quite leap the A-list in a single bound. The lack of public enthusiasm for Routh might suggest the Curse of the Red Cape struck a bit early in his career.
Anti-Freeze: Show an emotion. Smile, frown, something so we know that you're real.
At this point, to say we agree is probably superfluous.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

That's Some Funny Math There, WB

Just wanted to bring to your attention a great article put up on Dave Poland's always entertaining Hot Blog that takes a look at the financials for Singerman and just how WB may fudge the numbers in their favor in order to avoid the rath of their shareholders. That's the magic of accounting. If you know what you're doing you can make profits appear and disappear when it's convenient for you.

I was reading a Merrill Lynch study on equity funding of movies. And it finally occurred to me how Warner Bros could claim profitabilityfor Superman Returns without getting sued by Time-Warnerstockholders.
Superman Returns grosses $392 million worldwide. That’s
roughly $210 million in rentals.
WB takes roughly $130 million in worldwide
P&A and another $55 million in distribution off the top. That leaves $25
million for distribution toward participations and production.Ancillaries on
this movie look to be (generously) about $175 million net. That’s $200 million
WB takes half of that, $100 million… plus roughly $55 million in distribution
equals $155 million. Why, that would be a $5 million profit! And if you
accept WB’s acknowledged cost on the picture of $210 million, you’d be looking
at… taa dah!!!... a $50 million profit, as they claimed in the NY

Of course, you have to overlook the $60 million in failed development costs… also acknowledged by WB. And the $30 million or $40 million in additional production costs that are generally acknowledged inside the non-publicity side of the studio as real. And my figure of $130 for worldwide publicity is generous, especially considering the long push to crack $200 million domestic (it happened last week) and the big money spent on weeks two and three and four of the domestic run. And any participants who might have gotten paid (did Bryan Singer have gross points?) are not offered here. But studios are good at hiding costs when they so wish, just as they are good at hiding profits when they so wish.

Interesting. When you look at a film like that and add back things like distribution fees you can really enhance the look of the film's bottomline. But how much of that money does the studio actually ever really see?

Best of all, by this accounting method, Legendary Pictures took an
only-in-for-$105- million hit of $5 million and an it’s-really-$150-million hit
of $50 million.
In looking towards a second Singer Superman, there is the
obvious advantage of not carrying the load of failed development costs. And
keeping Singer to a $150 million budget is possible. But
story on the idea of this sequel
says that a financing partner is key for WB
to movie forward. Why, if the first film was allegedly profitable?

Yeah, I've been asking the same thing. If the film would've been profitable whether or not WB split the $200 million in revenue ($25M from theaters plus $175M in ancillaries) with those distribution fees added back, why DOES the financing partner matter???

Well, as you see, WB gets to triple dip, while an equity partner has only one
shot at breaking even or profiting. Recovered marketing costs also pay for
permanent WB staff on the picture. Distribution returns are mostly profit
. So if
Superman Returns Again did 20% less at the box office ($400 million is nothing
to sneeze at), the dollar flow looks like...
Production cost: $150 million

Total net: $310 million (on $315 million worldwide gross)
WB P&A - $120 million
WB Distribution – $40 million
WB Production - $75 million
Partner Production - $75 million

In other words, a breakeven movie, with $40 million in profit for WB, using this year’s SR calculation. And nothing for a partner. (Again, this is without profit participation.)

Yeah, I know that's enough to make your head spin, and there's even more figures on the blog page that details other scenarios for a sequel, but the point is pretty clear how you can make it look a lot better than it actually was.

The betting is that Superman Returns gets more love on DVD than it did in
theaters and that it is stronger going into another film, plus the idea that
Singer makes the movie that people really wanted to see the last time.
That said, Batman Returns was down 10% from Batman and Spider-Man II was off 7% from
Realistically, what will make the “deal with Singer” into an actual movie? It could be DVD revenues. Everyone involved will be waiting to see how SR sells on DVD. The margin for financial safety on another film in the series is that thin. And of course, this all becomes moot if the next film soars. And so it goes…

So like we said last week, even though Singer is "signed" to some form of a contract to do a sequel, just how and in what form that materializes will be dependent on what happens in the home video market and just what kind of profit margin goes on the books after that.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Will Work For Food

Found on page 2 of the Sunday, Nov 5th issue of Parade Magazine:

Question: Why has Superman Returns' Brandon Routh fallen off the media radar since being favorably compared to Chris Reeve?
- Geri Smith, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Answer: Routh, 27, filled Reeve's tights but failed to put his own stamp on the role. Our advice: Choose a serious acting challenge for your next role and raise your asking price. His paltry Superman salary (reportedly $1 million or less) led some to dub Routh "the Man of Steal."
Superstitious people might want to blame Routh's disturbing disappearing act from public view as portends of the infamous Superman Curse, but we here at SSS tend to think it has more earthly causes. Too bad Singer didn't give him something better to work with.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Singer and the Sequel: What Could be Changing?

We're back after being away on a business for a few days, and unless you've been living under a rock (or throwing a giant one that contains a material that should kill you) you've heard the news that WB and Singer have a preliminary agreement for him to direct a sequel to Singerman.

At first I thought to myself, "great! he just got done raping Superman's corpse, and will now be coming back for seconds." Upon further reflection however, I think there's a few interesting tidbits to be gleened from the article that show things are still from rosey.

"Pic is tentatively intended for release in summer 2009, although the studio stressed that there's not even a script or budget yet.

Sequel is apparently at the very beginning of the development process and, as with any other project, there are any number of factors that must be addressed before it is greenlit."

Even though Singer is signed to some form of an agreement, there still appears to be a WAYS to go before this thing moves forward. Once the final take for Singerman can be determined, they'll set a budget for a proposed sequel, which will most likely be less since Singerman performed far below expectations. A script will then be submitted and then pruned to fit that budget.

"Insiders say Warners and Legendary are sure to insist that the sequel's production budget comes in under $200 million.

"Superman Returns" fell under endless scrutiny for its production budget, which the studio puts at $209 million after tax rebates and incentives. The number is much higher when factoring in more than $40 million in development costs -- "Superman Returns" was in the works for years --even though those costs were previously absorbed.

Critically, "Superman Returns" was disparaged for lacking in action. Singer has said he would address this concern in the follow-up."

And here's where things get a bit iffy. Singer's production budget is going to be cut to somewhere in the $140 - $175 million range we'd assume. Assuming it's the high end for argument's sake that's a minimum of $35 million minimum less he's got at his disposal. He's also claiming to remedy the action deficiency of the first film. Everyone knows that more action = more special effects work = more budget. Now granted some sets are already built and some of the CGI modeling is already done from the first go around, but we'd assume (hope) there will still need to be various new set pieces built and the CG work will have to be done extensively again, unless of course Singer plans on reusing his few action sequences from the first film. On top of all that, you have these rumors floating around about Singer introducing a super villain (please NOT Zod) this time. What effect do you think something like that has for the FX budget?
Granted I'm a bit shocked that the action criticism is actually being addressed, but how is it going to get done for less? And how many big budget sequels do you know that cost LESS than thier predecessors to produce? And how many of those were actually successful? None that I can think of. Sequels up the ante, which means you need to up the investment. Singer had free reign with over $200 million to play with and couldn't deliver the goods. Why should anyone assume he'll put out a better film for less?

"In terms of casting, Warners has an option on "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh."

Interesting note there. We've said before we didn't think Routh was really a problem in this film, although his exposure seemed to be limited, and he didn't have the greatest PR at times. But is it still possible WB may want to tweak the casting of the franchise? (If they should scrap anyone it should be Bosworth!) However, how happy can they be to see things like this on the website of a magazine they own? And don't get all pissy on us, we wouldn't have liked this movie any better with Welling or Christopher Reeve in the lead role. We just thought that result was a tad shocking since one of them hasn't even thought about the suit yet.

"Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris penned the script for "Superman Returns" based on a story they created with Singer. It's not clear whether Dougherty and Harris will return for the sequel."

One can only hope WB forces Singer out of his "comfort zone" and hires some decent writers that have a decent knowledge of who Superman is. However I'm not sure what difference that's going to make since the issues with the first film are so far engrained into the universe that was created that to ignore them now would be an even bigger joke than the first film.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Gift suggestions from Sci-Fi Magazine

The cover of Sci-Fi Magazine's December 2006 issue sports its 2006 Gift Guide for the upcoming holiday season.

Excerpted from the Editor's Log on page 6, Editor-in-Chief, Scott Edelman offers suggestions for holiday presents that a few individuals in the biz really need:

For Bryan Singer: A simple script, one with no superheroes, and not part of any franchise. Keyser Soze would approve.

For Brandon Routh: A personality. Because this year you weren't using yours. You just borrowed the one that belonged to Christopher Reeve. We're pretty sure you have one of your own buried under that Superman Returns performance, because we watched you work the talk-show circuit, but in case of emergency, feel free to unwrap ours.
Summing up a $260 million dollar film in 75 words or less should be harder than that, but Mr. Edelman did have easy material to work with.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Well Isn't That Convenient

We stopped looking at theater counts for Singerman here a long while ago since they really haven't been relevant once the film left general theater distribution. However in just so happening to look at the theater counts for the upcoming weekend, this stuck out like a sore thumb. The turtle that was Singerman FINALLY passes the big $200 million mark after 17 long weekends, and NOW it looks like Warners is finally letting it die in peace.

It dropped 262 theaters this weekend and will only be playing in 41, a reduction of a whopping 86.5%. That seems like a bit of an extreme drop compared to its previos weekends. Which now leaves us wondering just how much exactly "Big Brother" paid TO exhibitors to keep the film running in their dollar theaters so the film could reach $200 million? Since now that its hit the mark, its getting dropped like it has the plague.

While we still dont think a potential sequel hinged on that $200 million amount, it appears obvious there was some incentive on the studios part to hit that milestone, if only to save face perhaps.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Box Office Update: Took You Long Enough

While we've had some fun the past couple weeks looking at some of the film's ancillary revenue forms, we thought we'd peek in at the numbers that really matter once again. In it's 17th weekend at the domestic box office (i.e. a couple hundred dollar theaters), Singerman took in $173,300 and FINALLY broke the $200 million mark for a grand total of $200,006,305 year to date. Granted we fully admit that before the IMAX totals came out, we didn't think it would break that mark, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a supporter of this film that saw that one coming either.

But before Singer and Co. go throw another Halloween party, is their really any significance in hitting the $200 million mark now? Does this latest $173K really make a difference other than being able to say they hit a milestone of a nice round number? In actuality, no, not really, especially not after this length of time. We know there was speculation by some sources that the film hitting $200 million domestic was some "magic number" for a sequel, but that was largely passed off as being inaccurate by certain people in the industry. When you take into account the cost of the film to produce ($209 million) and market ($100 million), it's still glaringly obvious that the film fell well short of expectations (Alan Horn even admitted this). Whether it made $198 million or $202 million the film still has yet to make back it even come close to breaking even. MovieWeb has an interesting look at the situation:
"Superman Returns finally crossed the $200 million plateau! Congratulations. Oh yeah,the bad news. It took 117 days for it to cross that mark, 8th slowest all-time,and, oh yeah, the flick still has $70 million to go before it reaches a profit.Good luck hitting that mark, you idiots."
While we're not exactly sure who the "idiots" are, it does bring up a good point. The film still has a long way to go before it even thinks about breaking even, and even though its now hit $200 million it took almost twice along as films like Batman Begins (who it still sits over $5 million behind) and cost almost $100 million more to make and market. And since some of you have been asking, Singerman also took almost six times as long as contemporary X-men: The Last Stand (who it sits over $34 million behind domestically) and cost just slightly more to make and market.

Looking at those factors, I'd say the status of the future of the "franchise" hasn't changed over the last weekend, and still won't be determined until long after Singerman has been collecting dust on DVD shelves.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Nobody Wants to Play with Singerman

Apparently, Mattel didn't do any favors for Singerman's perceptions of "manliness." -->

A bit of a merchandise update for those of you that have been asking. A recent Variety article, gives us some details on movie-related toys that have been hot sellers and ones that are expected to be come Christmas season. The article states:

"With the latest bigscreen incarnations of Batman and Superman taking darker and more complex turns, the toy lines they inspired have taken some hits.
So went the buzz at last week's Toy Wishes Holiday Preview -- a mini lead-up to February's major Toy Fair event. "You have to have the box office," says Jim Silver, editor of Toy Wishes magazine. "But then the story and the theme has to be applicable to translate into the toys and into play."

Hmm, looks like there is a relation between the box office and merchandising.

"'Superman Returns' was a bit of a disappointment with respect to toys. It was more of a love story. If it had had more action it probably would have done better in the toy aisles."
This Christmas, instead of traditional toy staples like superhero lines, look for more whimsical properties to dominate kids' toy lists.
Merchandisers at the Toy Wishes confab were talking penguins and pirates.

Looks like Singer's problems do in fact carry over into the merchandising aspect of the film. After all, who wants to play with a hero who sits around and pouts about his girlfriend that he left, and throws big rocks? (especially when it looks like a young Liberace doll.) Sounds an awful lot like what we heard about the Halloween costumes.

Perhaps they should've used some of our merchandising ideas that were more in line with the film's plot?

Thanks to Christopher for the heads up.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Was the Singerman video game purposefully distanced from the film?

Recently Electronic Arts, who you may know as the video game company that ruined the Golden Eye franchise and who produces countless repetitive Madden NFL Football sequels, held a media day for the upcoming video game based on Singerman. Although the decision to release the game almost 5 months after the film it's allegedley based on unspooled seems a bit weird at first. But after reading a few of the reports on the game from a few of the different gaming sites, this may have been done somewhat intentionally, as it appears the release dates weren't the only things distanced from one another with these two entities.

According to GameZone, it seems that certain things that were problematic about the film were intentionally left out of the game, and things the movie lacked were added in, as EA seems to have taken a few creative liberties with the license in order to beef up the content.
"First off, EA is not using the John Ottman’s score or John Williams’ theme from the film. What a travesty! EA has all this money and can’t dish out the dough for integral parts to keep it authentic to the video game. Wait a minute, maybe this isn’t a bad thing after all. Tiburon can continue to distance themselves from the movie with not using licensed music, which will be a good thing when everything is said and done. Tiburon knows that the movie wasn’t action oriented and was geared more towards Clark Kent stalking Lois Lane like a maniac."
That's interesting to say the least. How many times have you played a licensed game that doesn't use the film's score? Can't say I can think of many. Looks like EA agrees with us that Ottman's score was lame, and Singerman hanging outside of Lois' house spying on her was downright creepy.
"Now that we know that Tiburon is moving away from the drama and inserting the action, what else could they have done to boost the game in a whole new direction? It’s easy to see, just from screenshots of Metallo – Tiburon is putting forth new villains and telling new stories the movie never did. One example would be before the movie, when Superman went to search for Krypton, he was on his way back when Mongul warps him to his WarWorld. Mongul puts Superman through a series of battles with his greatest gladiators until you finally meet up with him to battle."
That actually sounds somewhat interesting. Singer can't be happy with this at all. He's probably furious there's no "stalker mode," "emo-level meter," or final battle with a large, rocky land mass.

CBR also sheds some light on who's really responsible for scheming out the game:
"But while Singer & Co. were involved in the development of the game, another very special writing force was behind much of the game's story and underlining philosophy. "We worked very closely with Marv Wolfman," said Associate Producer Sergio Bustamente.

The results of this synthesis of projects and collaborators are most impressive. While the game's Superman, Lois, Jimmy, Lex and Kitty are modeled after and voiced by their film counterparts, the game plays and feels like that of a very original experience, one that invokes the core mythology of Superman without confining players to the film's vision."
Well now, that sure explains why the game sounds somewhat interesting to me. Marv Wolfman's work on Crisis of Infinite Earths was probably some of the best I've read. He knows far more about the character than what came out of the Richard Donner films. I'm glad to hear the game isn't confined to the film's "vision" or lack thereof, and from what I read it sounds like other than the voice actors the 2 properties don't have much else in common. Though I'm sure Bosworth will still suck virtually.

Some gaming sites claim that Singerman doesn't even look like Brandon Routh, and is more of a cell-shaded cartoon.

I may actually have to give this a rental once I've beaten Justice League Heroes.

Monday, October 09, 2006

WB: 'Hey We had Cheaper Flops Too!'

Today's Defamer takes a humorous look at an article from today's New York Times about Warner Bros.' awful summer box office, where WB execs, Alan Horn and Jeff Robinov, use some REALLY odd logic when trying to explain why WB is sitting in sixth place for total box office this year, when just months ago they appeared to be primed for a second straight summer of big box office grosses. In the Times story, Robinov and Horn lament that people have harped on their higher-profile disasters, while ignoring all the money they've proudly lost on lower-budgeted projects??

"Studio executives say it will make a profit. But in bringing in only $389 million at the worldwide box office, “Superman Returns” failed to live up to prerelease expectations. If Superman had done twice what it did, the whole summer would havelooked different," said Mr. Robinov. "It's as much about perception as reality.Even with the failure of a movie like 'Poseidon,' we've had much smaller movieswe've lost as much on."

Mr. Horn agreed. "I've seen movies that cost $15 million lose as much as $20 million,he said. "But when event movies don't perform well, it is very high profile."

And IF the Queen had balls she'd be King, Jeff. And what are these guys really saying? That it's easy to lose a bundle on supposed "can't miss" superhero franchise like Singerman, but only a select few individuals like themselves can lose big time on a much lower budgeted film?? With people like this making the call on the Singerman franchise, no wonder we got the film that we did. If you own any Time Warner stock, now might be a good time to sell those babies.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Miscellaneous Bits 10/6

<-- sometimes no caption is necessary. We've got a few miscellaneous news bits from around the web relating to Singerman from the past week, that I didn't care enough about to give them their own postings.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Singerman et al Negatively Affecting WB's Stock Value

AOL Money & Finance's "Blogging Stocks" has an interesting look at the current situation over at Warner Bros. and just how exactly the sorry performance of their 2006 film slate, tent-poled by Singerman, is affecting the company's bottom line.

Doug McIntyre
, a partner at Wall Street firm "24/Wall St" explains how investors were hoping that Warner's film slate would do better this year. A recent downgrade of the TWX stock by JPMorgan was based, in part, on the projections that the financials of the company's film unit would get worse.
"Things are not looking up at the Time Warner film unit. It has had no hits this year, and even "Jackass" ($51.4 million so far), could ultimately pass "Superman Returns" ($198.5 million), which is Time Warner's biggest box office release in 2006. "Superman" cost so much to make that it almost did not matter how much money it brought in. It was going to lose money under even the best of circumstances."
Although we're very skeptical ourselves that an idiotic picture like Jackass 2 will pass even Singerman's domestic box office (unless of course he's talking about profitability?), McIntyre's sentiment is one that's been echoed around Wall Street about WB and their summer film slate. Tack onto this the implosions of Poseidon, Lady In The Water, and Ant Bully and the picture gets even more grim. All "fanboyism" aside, it's the opinion of "the Street" and in turn Time Warner shareholders and its board of directors that's going to determine where their film division goes from here. Singerman was expected to lead the way for the WB summer slate, and when it fell flat, there wasn't much else for the studio to fall back on to show it's stockholders. With Singerman struggling to get to $200 million domestic and $400 million worldwide, it wont see a profit until long after it hits the home video market. (Assuming WB gets about 55% of the worldwide B.O., and it cost about $300 million to produce and market.) McIntyre goes on to add:

"The film-making business is notoriously fickle. But the costs of running a studio are not. Disney decided to cut 450 people at its production unit earlier this year and cut the number of movies it would put out. At least if it had a dry spell its costs should be less.

For Time Warner and its stock to stage a full recovery, it will not suffice that its cable and network businesses do well. The film unit will have to pull its own weight. Right now, it isn't."

Pretty interesting stuff, especially considering Disney had what was largely considered the most successful summer of all studios with POTC2 and Cars. Personally I'd expect to see budgets for WB films scaled back considerably in the coming years. The real question then becomes, can superhero franchises survive under those restrictions? And if so, can they be done well?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Box Office Update: Still Coming Up Short

<-- a sure fire way to get your kid pummeled this Halloween (most likely by kids dressed as pirates). In case you haven't noticed, we've switched to doing these updates every couple of weeks now because, well constantly updating you every week on this film's box office shortcomings has gotten a bit boring. Singerman's 13th weekend at the domestic box office is in the books, and like most of the 12 before it, it left a lot to be desired. Singerman continued its slow painful crawl to its demise by grossing a whopping $301,373. The vast majority of that coming from the 100 or so IMAX theaters it's still sitting in per a contractual agreement. This takes Singerman's disappointing domestic gross total to just $198,447,055.

How does that stack up to your favorite piece of comparative cinema, Batman Begins? Well in Begins 13th domestic weekend last year it took in $440,469 or approximately 32% more. That took Begins total domestic gross up to $204,145,879 at the time, which is about 2.8% more than where Singerman is at right now.

Another interesting tidbit, is that Begins total domestic theatrical run was about 20 weeks. From the end of it's 13th weekend until the end of it's theatrical run it only took in another $1,197,895. Assuming Singerman could get back to the level where it's making the same each weekend as Begins, (instead of trailing behind by about 32%) it still would fall short of the $200 million mark domestic, the alleged "make or break point," with a total gross of $199,644,950. Assuming Singerman stays 32% behind Begins income level, it would end up at around $199,261,623. Another thing to consider is that Begins 13th weekend was in early September as opposed to late September like Singerman, so it's going to be even harder to make up those numbers for Singerman now that we're getting into October, and the summer film season has long since ended.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Singerman Can Ruin Your Relationship

Apparently, Superman and Lois Lane's relationship wasn't the only one ruined by Singerman.

In an odd twist of irony, Kate Bosworth is apparently blaming the failure of her real life relationsip with POTC2 star, Orlando Bloom, on the film where she failed at portraying a convincing relationship with Brandon Routh.

According to, Bosworth is blaming the alleged "Superman curse" on her split with Bloom.

Kate has now confided in friends that she and Orlando decided to go
their separate ways because the stress of being apart while she was promoting 'Superman Returns',
in which she plays Lois Lane, was too much for them. A friend of the actress is quoted by Britain's Daily Express newspaper as saying: "The stress of Kate filming and then promoting 'Superman Returns' was too much for her - especially with Orlando being so busy with 'Pirates of the Caribbean' at the same time.

"It's something they had suffered before in their relationship before but Superman was the one that broke them up. Kate never believed in the curse before - but she does now."

After her last "musings," we didnt think Bosworth could get any crazier, but perhaps she's more like Margot Kidder then we first thought?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sam Raimi won't make Singer's Mistakes

Well at least one of them.

Apparently Sam Raimi isn't taking any chances with his successful Spider-man franchise, and unlike Bryan Singer, he has the ability to push his own ego aside to make a better movie.

After hearing numerous justified complaints about how Singerman lacked any real "punch," including WB Chief Alan Horn basically admitting it as a reason for his film's subpar box office results, Raimi is apparently reshooting parts of the upcoming Spider-man 3 movie to include more action scenes, so unlike with Singerman, young males will actually have a desire to see his film and not snicker to themselves and question the hero's manhood.

Imagine that? A director who doesn't let his past successes go to his head, and is willing to change his game plan to give the fans more of what they want. What a novel concept.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fun with an IMDb Template

Apparently, idle hands and an IMDb template are a comedy goldmine. For those of you who think we have too much free time on our hands, check out the fun that the folks over at Daily Ramblings had with an IMDb template and The Story that Just Won't Go Away.
Could we have gotten a more perfect cast than Eric McCormack, Nathan Lane, and Kathy Griffin? I think not.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pirates Scribe and Singerman VFX Coordinator Poke Holes in the Film and the Crew

Thanks to all the readers who pointed this piece out to us. We waited to post it for a while because we wanted to verify that the two individuals were who they say they were. After a bit of checking, we've found that this is in fact legit.

Recently on his own Wordplayer website, Hollywood scribe Terry Rosio, gave his thoughts, from a writer's standpoint, on Singerman. Who is Terry Rosio? And why should we care what he thinks, you ask? Well Terry's written a few "somewhat successful" films like Pirates of the Caribbean 1 & 2, and this film called Shrek, that we heard made a few dollars. So whenever a guy who's written a film that's made over a BILLION dollars worldwide speaks up, it's probably a good idea to listen.
Terry takes the writing in Singerman to task in a number of areas including a few that we've been hammering at for months. He also provides some great insight in a number of other areas like this:

From what I could see, there were two ideas presented in the film -- 1.) hey Superman, guess what, while you were away, turns out you've made a kid. And 2.) Lex Luthor is free because you didn't show up to court.

So what is Superman's position on these topics? Wish I knew, because here's a surprise -- neither of these issues is discussed in the film either.

Superman does not say a word -- and I'm serious, this is a true statement -- Superman does not say a word about having a son. (Well, unless you count the deadbeat dad response, "I'll be around." Yikes!)

And Superman does not say a word about the issue of being responsible for Lex Luther being free. He does not defend his action, he does not regret it, he does not discuss it. At all.

Okay, okay ... let's cast around for something. The film has to explore some kind of topic, right? Yes! They DO talk, a little bit, about this issue: Does the World Need Superman?

With nothing else going on, that's the subject of Lois' essay. That's the purpose of the flight up into the sky. So there should be some juicy stuff there, right?

Okay, let's lay out the arguments.

YES, the world need Superman because he resuces Space Shuttles and saves people from explosions and there is a lot of human pain and suffering out there.

NO, the world doens't need Superman because ... because ...

Guess what, filmmakers. You picked an issue that has only one side. Poor Lois was assigned the position -- via an insert shot -- that the world does not need Superman. Why? We don't know, and we can never know, because ... there isn't anything you can put on the other side of the argument.

There you go. Right from the mouth of someone who writes for a living. Like we've been saying all along Singerman presents a myriad of ideas but fails to explore any of them effectively. I HIGHLY recommend reading the entirety of Terry's post. It's long but his insight into the topic is fantastic.

What became even more interesting was that later on in that very same thread, one of the VFX Production Coordinators, from SINGERMAN chimed in on the topic, and his revelations about Singer and Co. are unbelievable:

It was one of the most educational experiences of my life. Seriously. I could see from their very inception, the birth of countless bad ideas...and the murder of good ones. I witnessed the endless creative battles and the cowardly finger pointing. Honestly, if this is how movies of this size usually get made -- I'm amazed they get made at all....

Bryan Singer has an issue with never doing test screenings...and has the juice to enforce it. Instead, he has what he calls "Friends and Family" screenings. This is where the crew and executives can invite a limited number of -- well – “Friends and Family” to see a rough cut of the movie. So, as it turns out, this version of the movie clocks in at well over three hours. The cards come back from the audience and, lo and behold, most of them say it's too long.

After a lot of tense meetings and heated arguments with the execs, the decision was made to cut several sequences. Several WHOLE sequences. Yes, there were trims made within the rest of the movie -- but they were minimal. The majority of the cuts include several scenes that I believe, by and large, were necessary for the story. Not only that, but several sequences that survived should have easily ended up in the Avid trash bin -- but remained in for the very reason you stated, "Because they looked cool."

WOW! So apparently there may have been a little more meat to the film but Singer would rather cut things that were integral to the story instead of things that were "cool looking." Ah, but the plot thickens:
You know, I can safely say that there wasn't one moment that I was really connected with these characters. They just seemed like blanks, hoping that the audience would imbue them with some sort of malevolence. They were as dumb as a box of rocks and their master plan was moronic. I laugh every time somebody says that Lex's whole scheme is a stupid real estate grab. I mean, who the hell does he think would ever want to live on that disgusting piece of crap?
Keep in mind this is someone from the FILM CREW saying this! Another great read, and it actually explains how some of the film actually had parts that were necessary to the plot left on the cutting room floor because Singer doesn't know how to edit a film properly and his ego is too big to allow a proper test screening for anyone who's not a lackey of his. I highly recommend spending the time to read it all. It shows just how this cast and crew was seemingly flying by the seat of their pants while ruining Superman in the process.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Box Office Update: IMAX Life Support

It's been a couple crazy weeks around here recently, so postings have been few and far between, but rest assured we're working on some doozies for you. In the meantime, let's check in at the Singerman box office.

In its 11th weekend at the domestic box office, Singerman took in a whopping $453,273, and its total domestic take still sits at a disappointing $197,430,626. Frankly we're a little surpised that it's gotten this far based on how it was tracking earlier. Looking at the statistics, we can see its barely in many theaters (241) and hasn't been for a few weeks now. Where has the money come from the past 3 weeks you ask? The answer: IMAX. That's basically all Singerman is left in at this point, and that's because it's contracted to be there per a WB agreement with IMAX, as are a few of the other disappointing WB summer releases like The Ant Bully. We dont know what WB paid IMAX for that this summer, but whatever it is it's not enough, and they're going to owe them BIG TIME come time for the next contract, as IMAX has pretty much saved their summer slate from total embarassment by adding a nice chunk to their disappointing films bottom lines.

Does this mean Singerman finally found "legs" on IMAX? No, not at all. That term refers to a film's stint in traditional theaters. IMAX is less about the quality of the film in the theater and more about the experience of the visuals in the film with the huge screen, 3-D, etc. Why do you think people go to those theaters to watch 2 hour movies on honey bees? Singerman's moping must even look cool in 3-D, though we seriously doubt it. Expect IMAX to have WB over a barrel when the next contract comes up for negotiation.

As for the obligatory Batman Begins comparison, in Begins 11th weekend at the U.S. box office it took in $445,373, or about 1.8% less, for a total domestic take of $203,019,055, or about 3.8% more. Keep in mind Begins had a more limited IMAX release and didn't have the benefit of having 3-D footage in it, oh yeah and the fact that it cost CONSIDERABLY less to make and market. Should be fun to see how this one finishes out since Begins spiked up again in its 12th and 13th weekend at the B.O..

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Why Singerman is an "Affront to all That is Good and Decent?"

A reader sent us this link to a rant by Thom Holbrook over on Overall it's a pretty good read and hits a lot of the same points that we did about the film. He also has some amusing ways to fill in some of the blanks in plot and logic with the film. One of our favorite parts of the rant reads as follows:
"Lois Lane had a child and became involved with Perry White's son. Seeing that Lois is practically engaged to Richard White, Superman does what any true heroic figure would do. He steps aside. Oh no… wait… I got that wrong. Let me go again. Seeing that Lois is practically engaged to Richard White, Superman tries to mack on her and seduce her away, only stopping when Lois tells him to back off. But THEN he backs off and goes away. Wait… no… wrong again. Sorry. After that Superman flies to Lois's house and like a super powered stalker floats outside watching their every move inside with his x-ray vision. I get the idea. Superman is outcast and alone and we pity him. Again, I don't want to pity Superman. And regardless of why he is doing it, it's creepy. Finally, I have no pity for this Superman because this is a situation all of his own making. He flew off into space for five years on an idiotic mission showing no concern for Lois Lane. Now she's involved and happy and I should pity Bag-Of-Hammers Man? I don't even like the dolt at this point."
Wow, it's as if this guy was channeling the staff here when writing this. A long review but well worth a read in our opinion.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Delusions of Kate Bosworth

From the "When Monkeys Fly Out of my Butt" file:

Apparently Neal Sean over at gossip site Sky News talked with the incredible shrinking Kate Bosworth recently about all things Singerman and beyond. For those of you consuming a beverage at the moment, I recommend finishing it before reading any further because you run the risk of ruining your monitor.

Finished? Good. Here we go:
"Thanks to her starring role as Lois Lane in the recent Superman movie, Kate Bosworth is much in demand. already planning her portrayal of Lois in the next Superman film.She said: "Lois will be back bigger and better in the next movie, and with more of her own storyline.""

I can only imagine the amount of thought she must be putting into the part, after her vapid, lifeless portrayal of the iconic character in Singerman's first go around, proving what we had said all along, that she was overwhelmed by the part and looked terribly miscast. Although I can't quite fathom exactly how much more of a Lois storyline they could possibly cram into another movie, if we're somehow unlucky enough to have another one with her in it forced upon us like a drunken uncle? I mean instead of constantly watching Singerman mope over her, will we just be seeing close-ups of her looking defiant, while we're told by some supporting cast member that Singerman is moping over her off camera? I should probably stop there and not give Harris and Dougherty any more ideas.

"Not only that, but I can reveal there are plans to give Lois Lane her very own investigation spin-off."

Did someone at the studio tell you this to get you in bed or something? I mean c'mon girl, the feature film allegedley about Superman is limping it's way to semi-profitability, and you think they're going to give YOU of all people their own spin-off film? What's Lois going to do? Investigate news, get into trouble, and then wait for the rescue that never comes? Then again, I guess some people could argue that Singerman WAS a Lois Lane spinoff in the first place, so perhaps maybe she's not that far off-base?
"What will the caped crusader think about that?"

I dont know Neal? What do you think BATMAN would think about that? Probably the same thing that most anyone with a half of a functioning cortex would think: that the idea blows. Superman on the other hand...