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Friday 24 February 2006

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Life
through
a
lens
Superman Returns,
slated for a June release,
looks set to be an
exciting affair a
talented cast, an
amazing director and of
course, fantastic effects.
StarTwo got a sneak
peek at the movie in
Los Angeles, California.
> 2-4

Friday 24 February 2006

T2 Movies
STARTWO

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E-mail> startwo@thestar.com.my

tv

All about
Smallville

Meeting
Superman
By NIKI CHEONG

The A to Z about Smallville, Clark Kent and


his merry band of friends and foes.

movies

Independents are
hot
Efforts from the individualistic film world
are getting nods from the Academy
Awards in major categories.

10

movies

Lady in red
BEAUTY queen and actress Debbie Goh
talks about her latest movie and career
path.

13

music

Minority report

16

CATCHING up with Fort Minors Mike


Shinoda.

Clark Kent (Brandon Routh) shares a paper with a stranger in an elevator in


Superman Returns. It looks like Superman has made the headlines again.
BELOW: The young Clark Kent (Stephan Bender) tests his super strength.

Books

A different kind
of love story
The review of Love
Walked In.

EDITOR: Alistair Tan


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23

HE railway track rattles


violently as the sounds of a
train chugging away at an
enormous speed fills the room. Its not
going quite as fast as a speeding bullet,
but you can tell that its going way
faster than it should. Suddenly, it
crashes through a barrier, and misses a
stop. As it approaches the next, you can
see the station vibrating. Then someone
falls onto the track, and the train runs
him, or her, over.
The train just keeps circling the
metropolis; its speed increasing and
buildings are vibrating. Boom. Cut to a
bunch of people standing on what
looks like a subway platform. The floor
cracks, then the wall splits in two. The
group of people take a quick step to the
side. They look at each other. Kevin
Spacey, sorry, Lex Luthor, smirks.
The scene pauses. I turn to my left
where Superman Returns director Bryan
Singer is seated in the Warner
Hollywood office in West Hollywood,
California. He looks back, with the
exact same smirk. You can tell hes
quite happy with the looks of awe on
our faces.
Want to see more? he asked.
It was hard to imagine that less than
an hour before that smirk, four
journalists from Malaysia were
panicking about being late for an
interview. A toilet break had taken
longer than expected, and the guard at
the studio where the post-production
work of the movie was being done took
some time trying to identify us.
As we sped from the car park to the

24 February 2006 Friday

Movies T3
STARTWO

Bryan
Singer
on ...
MASTER AT PLAY: Bryan Singer prepares an extensive model for a scene in Superman Returns in which a train speeds across the
metropolis leading to a huge explosion ... kaboom!
studio, one of us asked, Can we ask
him questions about Superman? After
all, we were in Los Angeles to interview
Singer about his new mini-series The
Triangle, which is due to air on Star
World in a couple of months.
Sure, the answer came and we were
all elated.
Confession time: I grew up a comic
geek but while most of my friends
were crazy over X-Men and the
marvels, no pun intended, of Marvel
Comics characters I was always a DC
boy. The Justice League of America
were my heroes Batman, Flash, Green
Lantern and of course, Supes himself.
Walking into Singers office was like
walking into a Superman capsule. On
the left was a picture of him throwing a
Frisbee with Stephan Bender (who
plays the young Clark Kent), with the
latter in mid-air.
Other Superman posters float about,
and the one that caught my eye was
the metallic blue poster with the S
symbol in the middle of it with the
words Returns 2006 at the bottom. The
pre-publicity poster this was real!
Singer walks into the office (with a
friend, who looks eerily like actor
Brandon Routh before he put on the
9kg for his role as Superman) and as he
sits, he hums the classic John Williams
Superman theme.
Nice tune youre humming, I joked.
Ah, no, Singer laughed as he
pointed in the direction of the editing

suite. We were just going through the


music.
Of course, our entourage knew that
already. We were signing in to get our
visitors tag awhile earlier, and we
heard the exact same tune blasting
loudly from one of the rooms. Singers
assistant, who escorted us in, just
winked at us at that point and said:
Well, I guess we all know whats
happening in there.
For someone who is making what is
probably the biggest movie of his
career, Singer seems surprisingly calm.
While there is a sense of nervous
energy radiating off him, one gets the
feeling that this is more from the
excitement of getting on with his work
than actual anxiety about having to
face the press.
He has, after all, just finished
shooting the long-awaited story of an
American, if not the worlds, superhero
and having to fill the shoes of great
actors such as George Reeves and
Christopher Reeve.
Supermans shoes, he corrected me.
I couldnt have felt comfortable going
into making the movie if I didnt feel
like I had Superman.
But while the pressure to bring the
greatest superhero in the world back to
life was terrible, it was stress of a
different kind that actually got to him.
The physical exertion, Singer
explained. It doesnt seem like it
because youre in the directors chair,

youve got your tea, and youve got


your box of Kleenex and your assistants
but the reality is, day to day, the
decisions youre making, the multimillion dollar decisions youre making
every five minutes, all day long, for 16
hours a day ..., Indeed, a US$250mil
budget is no joke. Thats just about
twice the budget that Singer had when
filming X2.
I spend about 12 hours on set and
then I am in the editing room for three
hours at night, every night for 143 days
of shooting, he went on. Of course,
that is almost half a year of constant
shooting. Singer had not, in his
calculations, added in the time spent in
pre-production, script development
and of course, post-production that is
currently going on, of which he has
about four more months to go.
So intense was this project that after
the 110th day, Singer
uncharacteristically stopped shooting,
went on a three-week break before
coming back to finish the movie. While
this method of taking breaks in the
middle of shoots is not common, others
have been known to use it.
(George) Lucas ... starts shooting and
then he takes a break, then he comes
back to shoot the other half, Singer
explained.
Of course, despite all the pressures,
he still found the time to produce The
> TURN TO P4

The stress of making movies.


I promise myself, before I go to each movie, how
Im going to change how I work. How Im going to
go on vacations in the middle. But I never do. Thats
what stresses me out. But then I get my energy over
the holidays, and Im like ready to go again, make
another movie.
The amount of time it takes to make movies.
Movies were never meant (to take so long to shoot).
I mean, a big movie in the 1970s or even the 80s
shot for like 15 weeks, they didnt shoot for five
months straight except for a few things that went
wildly over budget. So this is an unusual
phenomenon thats only happened in recent times.
I think the directors have to start rethinking (how
they shoot movies).
His cameo appearances in his own shows.
I was in X2 ... I was the security guard. It was very
random. I dont like it though so I always cut myself
out. I had a cameo in The Usual Suspects; I cut it. I do
them then I feel stupid about them so I cut it. Im
not a good actor. I had a cameo on my TV show,
House. I played myself in the beginning and I was
not good. Im trying to act with the actors and I
forget my lines when Im acting.
Watching his own movies once theyre
completed.
I dont usually see any of my movies after Im done
with them ... because Im bored with them. I see
them a thousand times in the editing room and
another thousand times in the mixing stage.
Recently, they screened The Usual Suspects at the
Arclight (Cinema in LA) for some reason, and I went
and spoke beforehand and then they put the movie
on and I set back and thought, Oh, Ill see the
movie. Ive not watched it in 10 years, Ill watch it
because itll be new to me, itll be exciting. I had
actually thought that maybe itd be like watching
the movie for the first time. When it was over I
thought, This is so slow!

Friday 24 February 2006

T4 Movies
STARTWO

Super
reincarnations
SUPERMAN Returns But from what? Here
is a list of previous Superman-themed
movies:
Superman (1948)
Directed by: Spencer Gordon Bennet and
Thomas Carr
Starring: Kirk Alyn (Clark Kent/Superman),
Noel Neill (Lois Lane) and Carol Forman (Spider
Lady)
Superman and the Mole-Men (1951)
Directed by: Lee Sholem
Starring: George Reeves (Clark Kent/Superman)
and Phyllis Coates (Lois Lane)
Adventures of Superman (TV Series, 1952)
Directed by: George Blair, Philip Ford, Harry W.
Gerstad and Lee Sholem
Starring: George Reeves (Clark Kent/Superman),
Phyllis Coates and Noel Neill (both as Lois Lane)

Kate Bosworth
steps into the
shoes of Lois
Lane in
Superman
Returns.

The New Adventures of Superman (Animated - TV,


1966)
Written by: Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel
Starring the voices of: Bud Collyer (Clark Kent/Superman),
Joan Alexander (Lois
Lane) and Jackson
Beck (Narrator)
Superman: The
Movie (1978)
Directed by: Richard
Donner
Starring:
Christopher Reeve
(Clark
Kent/Superman),
Marlon Brando (JorEl) and Gene
Hackman (Lex
Luthor)
Superman II (1980)
Directed by: Richard
Lester
Starring:
Christopher Reeve
(Clark
Kent/Superman),
Gene Hackman (Lex
Luthor) and Margot
Kidder (Lois Lane)
Superman III:
Superman vs
Superman (1983)
Directed by: Richard Lester
Starring: Christopher Reeve (Clark Kent/Superman),
Richard Pryor (Gus Gorman) and Margot Kidder (Lois
Lane)
Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)
Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
Starring: Christopher Reeve (Clark Kent/Superman), Gene
Hackman (Lex Luthor) and Margot Kidder (Lois Lane)
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (TV
Series, 1993)
Created by: Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel
Starring: Dean Cain (Clark Kent/Superman) and Teri
Hatcher (Lois Lane)
Superman (Animated - TV, 1996)
Directed by: Hiroyuki Aoyama and Curt Geda
Starring the voices of: Timothy Daly (Clark
Kent/Superman) , Dana Delany (Lois Lane) and Clancy
Brown (Lex Luthor)
Smallville (TV Series, 2001)
Created by: Alfred Gough and Miles Millar
Starring: Tom Welling (Clark Kent), Kristin Kreuk (Lana
Lang), Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan) and Michael
Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor)

James Marsden is Richard White, the guy who


appears to have stolen Lois from Clark.

New
adventures

You want to see


more? Maybe I should
show you ... nah, maybe
Triangle and even pop over to
not, Singer teased.
Wellington, New Zealand, to
Pause. Oh, why not, he
assist King Kong director Peter
said as he dragged the
Jackson direct a scene from
mouse looking for
the movie. Still, that was all
another scene. He
the time he could spare, much
obviously knew what he
to the disappointment of Xwas looking for. We, on
Men fans who had hoped for
the other hand, didnt
Singer to direct X3, after two
know what else was in
successful movies.
store.
I cant split myself, he said.
We heard a click only
If I could split myself, I would
to see something flying
have done X-Men 3 and
across the screen. It
Superman.
wasnt a bird, but it sure
However, luck was on the
was a plane ... heading to
side of James Marsden (who
crash into a baseball
plays Cyclops in all the X-Men
field.
movies), who managed to be
The look of horror on
featured in both movies. In
the faces of the people
Superman Returns, Marsden
sitting in the stands was
plays Richard White, the guy
priceless (again, not
who appears to have stolen
unlike ours) until a
Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth)
swoosh flashed across
from Clark Kent after he (and
the screen and
of course Superman) literally
Does Kevin Spacey have what it takes to play the ruthless
something in blue and
disappear from the face of the
Lex Luthor? Well just have to wait and see.
red grabbed hold of the
earth for several years.
nose of the plane and
Thats right folks, this isnt
tried to slow it down as
we finished the interview. We
your average Superman-saves-theit dove towards the pitch. Would it
followed him, our hearts thumping
world-and-courts-Lois-Lane-andcrash?
and not saying anything, as he led us
they-live-happily-ever-after movie.
Singer stopped the footage just
into the room where we first heard
Lois Lane even has a child!
before we could see if Superman had
the theme song come out of.
I feel good about it, Singer said,
indeed saved the day.
And there it was. On the huge
when asked how he feels now that
In fact, we didnt get to see
television hooked up to the editing
the movie is shaping up. Its a
Superman doing much at all on
machines was a young Clark Kent
different film than anything Ive
screen.
running through the farm as he
made before. Its funnier, more
But if the countless of hours of
discovers his incredible powers. He
romantic, so Im happier about that.
hard work that went into making the
takes a slight leap and ends up on a
After the interview, as he walked
movie, the beautiful footage that we
huge water tanker.
us out of the office, he turned to us
witnessed, and his passion for
The look of shock on his face
with a child-like grin on his face: Do
bringing the man with the red
matched ours. We couldnt believe
you guys want to see something?
underpants back to the big screen
what we were watching. We were
We all thought that he was going
possibly the first few if not the first after a 19-year absence was anything
to show us some drawings; after all,
to go by, then we had already met
Malaysians to watch actual footage
he had brought in a mock-up of the
Superman that day.
from the movie.
new Superman Returns poster just as
> FROM PAGE 3