The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83% (Critics) / 79% (Audience)
Directed By: Jon Schnepp
Written By: Jon Schnepp
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Tim Burton, Kevin Smith and Jon Peters
Studio: Schneppzone Inc.
Synopsis: A documentary about the proposed 1998 Superman Lives feature film that would have starred Nicolas Cage. – (Source)


The Good:
Kevin Smith and Tim Burton were highlights as we got two wildly different approaches to the retelling of what happened with this film but both were very entertaining. Smith is a natural born storyteller and his recounting of his dealings with producer Jon Peters was enough to build an entirely separate film around. And while Burton spent more time delving into his own thought process on how he planned to approach the movie, he also had some funny moments to share.
This doc is also very nerd friendly, as it tends to focus on the stuff that people who are excited about super-hero movies really would want to know instead of getting dragged down into the weeds of Hollywood minutia. All of the design stuff, especially, that was shown in this film was incredibly interesting.
And who would have thought that from the neck down Nicolas Cage really did look the part of a pretty snazzy Superman.

The Bad:
Jon Schnepp is not a very good onscreen moderator. He tends to nod incessantly and not really offer much insight of his own or show a knack for leading an interview subject where he wants to take them. He tends to just go along for the ride and that is not always the best tactic for a documentarian. This style works with a subject as affable as Kevin Smith or even with a person like Jon Peters who just adores the sound of his own voice but with some people it just doesn’t work.

The Ugly:
Man, Jon Peters comes off like the most astounding asshole in this film. And his obsession with giant spiders was a bit bizarre to say the least.

Final Verdict: A fascinating examination of what looked like it would have been, at the very least, a very original take on the Superman mythos as well as an entertaining look at the behind the scenes twists and turns that a big budget movie goes through before the public gets a look at it.

Grade: B+

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