I had no problem with the Donner Verse thing myself although I did say at the time I'd have preferred a reboot but I also felt that with Superman the Movie you have as close to a perfect origin movie as you can get.
My problems with the film were mostly:
- Superman wasn't the main character in the film and he didn't have alot of dialogue
- I hated the portrayal of Lois Lane, she was not only was miscast but written badly and she just comes across as a complete b**ch and had no chemistry with Routh. Infact itas funny how the moment she arrives at the Daily Planet thats when the film starts to go downhill.
- They didn't really do a sequel to the Donner films it was a rehash so much dialogue and even scenes were lifted from the original movie. Now I think you could have gotten away with the statisaclly speaking line but there was just too much of this
- There was no Supervillain - people had waited years for Superman to have a throwdown with modern FX
- Too much CGI - there was so much CGI even when Brandon fell over on some scenes. Look at the bit with the plane CGI body and Brandons face that worked well but whena full CGI Brandon Routh lifted the spaceship into the atmosphere all I kept thinking was why?
- The love triangle should be Lois/Clark/ Superman not involving Richard
- The kid - probably the films biggest issue -Superman would be a homewrecker if he split up Lois and Richard
- Why ask the question Does the World Need a Superman then not really answer it?
- Lex's land plot - which I don't hate as much as most but couldn't he have done something good with the Crystal tech and made some weapons/ships so we could have seen Superman throw down
- We should have seen Superman do more saves throughout the movie instead of that quick reel in the middle on the TV (urgh)
- The costume - it really did look awful, they were right to go classic but they needed to do something better than this
- Misuse of Kryptonite, if Superma had have landed on a huge Kryptonite rock he would have probably splatted
- More Superman in the daytime (sunshine) would have been nice
- Lastly, that ending was extremely flat, he does this amazing thing lifting a huge island mostly made of Green K into the sky and then this is what I always think watching the ending "OH MY GOD HE'S DEAD (OMG THEY DID IT THEY REALLY KILLED HIM), oh he's in hospital........... wow this is taking ages....... oh look he's alive talking to his son..... and no Lois (ZZzzzzzz!), has this film not ended yet?! oh look there's CGI Superman again." just not the way to end a Superhero film especially a Superman film even the mediocre Superman III and the awful Superman IV have more upbeat endings than this.
On the flip side I like:
- Spaceys Lex - Even though I didn't like his motives I loved Spacey as Lex
- Brandon Routh (just wish he'd have had more to do)
- Sam Huntington nailed Jimmy Olsen, almost wish he could come back
- Marlon Brando back as Jor El - this was used quite cleverly (although not as cleverley as it should have been but hey)
- The plane sequence - by far still the greatest scene I have ever seen in a movie - this is Superman
- The elevator change (still wow)
- Superman catching the Daily Planet globe, along with the other super saves in the City
- Superman flying up to recharge himself in the Sun (Super WOW)
- I'm a massive fan of the Crystal fortress
- The score (for the most part could have been a little more uplifting at times)
Stuff I'm still not sure on:
- I admit I'm in between on Frank Langella as Perry White, I just feel the character could have been scripted better
- Richard White -don't get me wrong I love James Marsden but this character shouldn't have been in this film or should have been different, could've maybe still been a love rival but he didn't have to think he was the kid's father (although as above the kid been taken out would have solved a big problem)
All in all I do like Superman Returns but I feel I should LOVE a Superman movie and I can enjoy it but when I watch it I just always think why didn't they do this or this? and it ruins my enjoyment of the film. Who knows if Man of Steel ends up been the perfect Superman movie maybe I could just sit back and watch Returns without asking those questions as I know it would have led to something better. But overall I'm glad Superman Returns happened at least now I will have two different kinds of modern Superman film to enjoy