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David Poland

By David Poland

The Most Recent 10 Superman Returns E-Mails

Mr. Poland,
It’s wildly amusing to your review of this film alongside the raves from reviewers with some clout and significance.
Maybe you’ll grow up to be a true critic, but for now you’ll surely enjoy your rebellious, rip-it-to-shreds-is-cool phase…I just doubt that anyone else will.
As for this excited movie-goers’ friends and co-workers – we’ll go regardless of reviews, but it’s nice to see that Variety, Newsweek and Time (and soon countless others) assuring us that we’re on the right path.
Good (lol) Job!
So, as someone who reviews movies in xxx and just got out of the screening I wanted to check rottentomatoes to see if I was the only one who hated it.
Apparently it was you *and* me!
I was so bored I’m still wiping off the drool from my chin.
Your review of Superman Returns was by far the worst review I have ever tried to read. I could not get through the whole review because you whined so much. How does a person get a job with Movie City News. Do you go into the bosses office and say, “I hate this movie more then life itself” and your boss gives you a web page. I will never read you again.
One more thing loser. Kids do have sex at 23 and get pregnant at 18. It happens all the time. Also, I know a Pulitzer winner and he is 24. So it does happen. You will defiantly never see one.
I find your reviews and your web site pure rubbish. I even feel contrite for having spent as much time as I have reading your work. You aren’t Peter Travers or Roger Ebert so quit taking yourself so seriously.
Thank you for writing your review on Superman Returns. I’m glad someone isn’t drooling over Singer’s latest stunt.
I’m a Superman fan through and through. I have Asperger’s and he’s my thing I have an encyclopedic knowledge of. And this movie looks like a big slap in the face. I mean, the costume looks terrible (I lost my costume, but the Teen Titans lent me some scuba gear), Kate Bosthworth is only two days older than me (honestly, we have problems when the cast of SMALLVILLE is older than the cast of SUPERMAN), and I don’t know about you, but Superman having a love child is uncomfortable and depressing.
I haven’t seen the movie, but I heard that about it and I’m guessing that might be what offended you cuz it sure the hell offended me.
The rest of your colleagues seem to be eating it up. So do so-called fans who don’t see the problem with Superman having a son and saying “you will never be alone… well, I’ll leave you alone for right now.”
Having a son means responsibilities which in this case should include telling Lois that Clark Kent isn’t just a casual friend at work. I tell this to people, they think I’m a prude.
I think finally, we’re told that just because Bryan Singer makes a bunch of references to the first Superman (this may be the world’s only $260 million love letter) that he “understands” the character.
He doesn’t understand this: it may appear outwardly that the crystals of the Fortress of Solitude and the theme music (don’t get me wrong, it’s great) and Lex Luthor being aided by bumbling morons is a huge part of the Superman legend, but the character was around for 40 years before it came out. It’s not like Donner used the music from the classic TV series. In fact, as much as I love George Reeves, one of the great things about Christopher Reeve was how DIFFERENT he was and how far they knew they could take it from the man most people were familiar with. In this case, Singer went to the lab and cloned him.
Eh. I’m sorry. I didn’t even see it. I’m just glad someone out there isn’t falling for X-boy’s little stunt.
I’ve seen the movie and I’d like to congratulate you on the sale of your soul. I hope you got a good price.
go fuck yourself! you suck as a movie critic. Get a new job. Your work place should hire me
nobody gives a shit about your stupid review of superman so shove it prick.
just read your review in tomatoes on superman, and i must confess that i had not the strength nor the patience to continue beyond the passage where you correlated the performers’ chronological ages with the ages of their onscreen persona.
please, my dear fellow, i implore you as would all your peers…
superman is a fable, and as with all fables time is only PERCEIVED and therefore IRRELEVANT (you must have had one helluva time sitting through blade runner wondering if and when the night would ever end…)
looking forward to your next review.
Excellent review of “Superman Returns” and “Nacho Libre,” thank you very much. It hurts to see these to fall into mediocrity.
Just a note on Jack Black. Peter Jackson is already filming two more King Kong sequels (“Son of Kong” and the third as yet untitled). The “Tenacious D” movie will go forward regardless of what Libre does at the box office. Black, at this point, can do no wrong.
“Miami Vice” I grew up with (probably like yourself) and will go see regardless of the reviews. “World Trade Center” I expect to be schlock, because Oliver Stone is Oliver Stone. The sleeper hit of the summer will be “Snakes on a Plane.” “A Scanner Darkly” has some potential to be memorable.

67 Responses to “The Most Recent 10 Superman Returns E-Mails”

  1. Blackcloud says:

    Sequels to Kong? If that’s true, Jackson’s descent into mediocrity is complete.

  2. Nicol D says:

    Five days to go.
    Two things to say.
    1) This definitely has a Phantom Menace feel to it. People want to like it a little too much to be objective. Once fans get over the initial charge of the costume and music and the stale Jar Jar like aftertaste sets onto the bitter taste buds of the tongue…it will be rethought.
    2) I am amazed at the illogic of the people who say an actor’s real age means nothing to the character’s age on screen.
    Bosworth looks like a high schooler. Routh a college freshman. If we are to just ‘imagine’ she is older (30ish) when she clearly doesn’t look it, then why not just hire Sophia Loren as Lois and pretend she is 40 or so years younger?
    She is still beautiful and if the aesthetics of looks and appearance do not matter anymore I’ll take her over Bosworth any day.
    The late great Gene Siskel used to say it all the time…there is such a thing as being physically suited to a role. It is aesthetics.
    It does matter.

  3. the keoki says:

    the sequels thing was an april fools joke from 2005. and good lord dave, these people are idiots. even the ones who like it and cozy up to you are idiots. geez it has to be rough to read those sometimes. i don’t see eye to eye with you on all things but i’ve been coming here since (98?) and you’re entertaining. i miss the BO guesses on fridays and the “real” reviews you used to do. but you keep us coming back and isn’t that what it’s all about. (Funny enough AICN used to link to you and thats how I found you.) keep on keeping on!

  4. palmtree says:

    “You aren’t Peter Travers”
    No truer compliment was ever spoken.

  5. Wrecktum says:

    Why does Superman engender so much loyalty from a fervant (but limited) fanbase? If Dave ripped Dead Man’s Chest a new a-hole I’d bet his email folder would remain empty. And Dead Man’s Chest will outgross Superman by $100 million.
    I just don’t get it.

  6. palmtree says:

    I think it has something to do with the unanimity of the positive reviews. Mr. Poland is the only rotten tomato of the bunch…doesn’t that make him the one who spoiled a potentially 100%?
    And also there’s the symbolism of Superman=America=Jesus…that gets people riled up too.

  7. Telemachos says:

    Nicol D, I usually disagree with your views, but you’re bang on target here.

  8. Nicol D says:

    Thanks, man.

  9. Mr. Muckle says:

    Generic Rant:
    You _ _ _ _. How’d you get this job, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ someone’s _ _ _ _? You can’t write worth _ _ _ _. Did you go to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ with your eyes closed? I hope you _ _ _ _ in _ _ _ _ you stinking _ _ _ _. Get someone who knows a good movie to write the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ reviews.
    toothless in toledo

  10. Martin S says:

    Palmtree – “And also there’s the symbolism of Superman=America=Jesus…that gets people riled up too”
    Gotta disagree, Palm, because Dave was not smacking around Superman as a concept, but Singer’s version of it. If the emails went after him for belittling Supes as an icon, you’d be dead-on. But the emails posted follow suit with the blind supporters I’ve read on several ‘boards.
    It seems to boil down to a fervent love of Singer,(for a myriad of reasons), and the Orwellian groupthink of SuperReeve. No one wants to admit, maybe, possibly, someone could play the role better – or even different. So when Poland cracks on Singer’s “homage”, people take it like he’s going after Reeve. Just look at the comment about Superman as a fable. That only works if the fable is Donner’s tale because every other version doesn’t follow the same storyline.
    FYI – Boomerang is airing a marathon of Dini/Timm Superman Animated this weekend. This, IMO, should have been the template for the live franchise.

  11. palmtree says:

    Yeah, but if you saw a movie about Jesus’ life that was faithful to the Bible or about how great America was and then gave it a bad review because it was not a good movie, I think you’d still get people who think you knocked the concept.
    I don’t believe the cult of Singer is this strong…unless they are plants.

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    David: As I have told you before — Don’t take it to heart, let it roll off your back. The more you get defensive, the more you look self-dramatizing (or worse).
    So you’ve panned something that “everybody else” likes, and now you’re getting piled upon? Well, so what? When I shrugged off “Prizzi’s Honor” and “Gosford Park,” and when I appreciated “Vanilla Sky” and “Daredevil,” I caught flak. And I didn’t care. I am a critic, not a pollster. You might feel better if you adopt a similar mindset.
    And remember — LOL! — while everyone has an opinion, only a few get paid to express it.

  13. Nicol D says:

    On principal, most decent crix have at least one or two major films that they trash and take flack for.
    Remember Ebert’s one 1/2 star review of Blue Velvet?
    And that is one of my favourite films. Didn’t make me think less of him.
    I understand your sentiment but I do not think people are defensive over Superman because of the Jesus/America thing. This is the hardcore Singer/comic fanbase that is getting defensive.
    A friend of mine who worships the Donner Superman can’t wait…yet he is conflicted everytime he reads a plot development.
    I am more curious to see the average person’s reaction to this film than I am to see the film itself.
    I think it may be a reverse DaVinci. Crix love it and the public goes ‘huh’?

  14. David Poland says:

    Not taking it to heart, Joe. This is not my first time on the playground either.
    The funny thing is, this is so not The Passion or F9/11, where I really had to consider the politics and people’s feelings. This is flippin’ Superman, for gosh sakes!
    And I am completely confortable that I am on the right side of this, even though I expect a lot of people to enjoy the film. Watching some of these senior critics creaming over a superhero movie is pretty amusing though. (And where is Quote Whore King Peter Travers?!?!?! I hear people crying for his quotes every day!)
    The truth will be known in a month or so. And I am at peace, however much crazy mail comes in.

  15. Wrecktum says:

    Poland not only thinks that there are sides to take on this issue, but that he’s on the “right side.”
    (when in reality it’s merely his opinion about a movie we’re talking about here)

  16. Telemachos says:

    The geek backlash might already be beginning. Devin and Nick over at CHUD seem to be lukewarm (at best) about SR.

  17. David Poland says:

    Wreck… that’s how it is, man. I think you know this intuitively.
    I think my opinion is correct… or it wouldn’t be my opinion. And I know there will be other opinions. And I am fine with other people having opinions… which they will think are right, or they wouldn’t have them.
    I am not saying that I think anyone who likes this movie is a fool or a moron or evil.
    It’s just a disagreement. And hopefully, we will soon move – when the movie opens – from arguing blindly to a more detailed discussion, which will surely offer reasonably varied opinions.
    And there will be some backlash. But a lot of these opinions were established before my review or the trades or the newsweeklies.

  18. tapley says:

    Hahaha! These are friggin hilarious. I won’t be seeing until tonight, but even if it ends up a masterpiece, I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna call you a prick. At least not for disliking it. 😉

  19. Krazy Eyes says:

    Why doesn’t DP get to be “Cream of the Crop?” Surely he’s got the credentials. What’s it take to be crowned CotC by Rotten Tomatoes?

  20. Martin S says:

    Palmtree- “Yeah, but if you saw a movie about Jesus’ life that was faithful to the Bible or about how great America was and then gave it a bad review because it was not a good movie, I think you’d still get people who think you knocked the concept”.
    That I agree with, but it reads a little different from your original post. The first one reads as if people are pissed at Poland because they’re making a subconscious connection between America and Christ through Superman. The second one reads that Poland is getting heat because he’s attacking something of iconic importance.
    Wrecktum – “Poland not only thinks that there are sides to take on this issue, but that he’s on the “right side.”
    (when in reality it’s merely his opinion about a movie we’re talking about here)”
    Gene Siskel made Dave look like Knowles when it came to final critical judgement.

  21. Arrow77 says:

    The more I think about it, the more I think you shouldn’t have posted your review before the movie’s release. You’re owner of a blog and you started a discussion which no one can smartly participate to because no one else saw the film. Really, how different could the comments have been if the only people involved are the people with their mind already set? People aren’t dumber with that film than with any other review you made, it’s just that you basically installed a filter that no moderate opinion could get through.
    What I mean is that it wasn’t bad reviewing as much as bad blogging. You probably created a situation where people will crystalize their opinion before they see the film.

  22. EDouglas says:

    I just saw Superman Returns and while I thought it could still use some trimming, especially of all the jokey/fanboyish stuff, I did think it was one of the best looking movies I’ve seen in a long time and the cast was great… Routh was perfect, but not as perfect as Spacey as Luthor, who I consider the best movie villain in this role. I think if it was a bit shorter, it would have been great, but as it is, I think it’s really good. I can see why some people might hate it, but I think they will be in the minority… this is MUCH better than King Kong.

  23. Joe Leydon says:

    Krazy Eyes: Well, it helps if you’re a real critic. (LOL.)

  24. Citizen R says:

    So, Dave, you’ve taken umbrage at the personal nature of the feedback your review has drawn. You obviously want people to respond to your reviews in a measured and thoughtful way, even when – especially when – they disagree with them. And yet, when looking at reviews that you disagree with you say, “Watching some of these senior critics creaming over a superhero movie is pretty amusing though.” Hmmm. Spot the hypocrisy.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    Hey DP, is this officially the nastiest set of emails you’ve gotten in regard to a single review?
    It seems like it must be or you wouldn’t have printed them all…and you must not be completely ‘at peace’ or you would have just ignored them, moved on, and not posted these…right?

  26. James Leer says:

    Arrow77 nailed it. You can’t expect to get intelligent emails that debate your position when virtually no one in your audience has seen the movie, and I think you know that. You did the same thing before Brokeback Mountain came out, riling up fans of the source material who cannot debate on the same level as you because they have not been able to see the film in question yet.

  27. yabigdumi says:

    Truly awful to witness, even if they genuinely DO disagree with you, how personally people can take film criticism and how you can practically see the tendons clench behind the keyboards.
    Movies, I’m talking about. Sounds and images. Fiction. Constructed, not real.
    DP, I hope I end up disagreeing with you completely about Superman, but my life won’t end if it isn’t a good film. Wish some could just leave out the vehemence…it’s really not worth it.
    Social retards give genre fans a bad name–unfortunately they’re the rule and not the exception.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    You’re right, James. I think DP often forgets that the vast bulk of us do not go to preview screenings, do not see tracking reports, and are not as inside as he is.

  29. David Poland says:

    These were literally the last 10 e-mails… there have been well over 100. I decided to post some when I found myself laughing about them with friends and realizing that they might be of interest to you guys as well.
    And no. There was more vehemence on Fahrenheit and The Passion.

  30. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    The fact that it appears most of these emails are from people with a) no knowledge of Movie City News (LOL, how DID David get a job at MCN?) and b) are the kinds of people who read. every. single. review at rotten tomatoes.
    My favourite was the “nobody gives a shit about your stupid review of superman so shove it prick” one. At least that was concise.
    I’d never heard of critics receiving e-mails from people who agree with them though.
    “One more thing loser. Kids do have sex at 23 and get pregnant at 18.” If I hadn’t actually read David’s review I’d start thinking about weird 5-year time warp resulting from sex with Superman… or something to that effect.

  31. Aladdin Sane says:

    Those are great.
    The only time I’ve written a critic was when some local critic for a Vancouver area paper said that Pulp Fiction was the worst thing to ever happen to film because it spawned other violent films. I found that to be a pretty narrow-minded view of violence in films.
    Can you imagine the outrage in a couple months if Poland dislikes Snakes on a Plane?

  32. Blackcloud says:

    “‘One more thing loser. Kids do have sex at 23 and get pregnant at 18.’ If I hadn’t actually read David’s review I’d start thinking about weird 5-year time warp resulting from sex with Superman… or something to that effect.”
    Time warp. LOL. Camel, that’s hilarious.

  33. vitu says:

    OMG!!! what

  34. palmtree says:

    A fun typo:
    “Also, I know a Pulitzer winner and he is 24. So it does happen. You will defiantly never see one.”
    What does Mr. Poland have against seeing a Pulitzer?
    “as with all fables time is only PERCEIVED and therefore IRRELEVANT”
    Is that supposed to mean something? If so, what?

  35. Tofu says:

    Some things to admit…
    Bosworth (in the right light) could pass for 26, Routh for 28.
    Poland is loving all this attention. 😉
    Too many people have made up their minds about this movie before viewing it.
    The End.

  36. Telemachos says:

    Maturity isn’t necessarily simply a function of age. Lauren Bacall, for example, was 19 when she made “To Have and Have Not”, but she carries herself well and comes across as a very elegant, mature young woman.
    Kate Bosworth looks like she’s a sophomore in college, not a mother and working journalist who’s had time to develop a strong career AND have a kid.

  37. Blackcloud says:

    “‘as with all fables time is only PERCEIVED and therefore IRRELEVANT'”
    I think the person meant that because Superman is a fable (or fictional, to be more precise), it is timeless, and therefore normal rules about time do not apply. Hence, the characters can be represented as being any age, because they are not bound by the our-universal rules of aging, time, chronology, whatever. As they represent archetypes, not real people, their apparent age is merely an illusion, and therefore irrelevant.
    That’s one explanation. Another is that this guy has read McTaggart’s The Unreality of Time once too often.
    A third: the guy’s a plumb idiot. I think that’s defiantly the most likely explanation.

  38. anghus says:

    there will always be haters. howerver, with that said, the anger from this (from what i’m being told) stems from the superiority thing we talked about earlier.
    Sure, there are those who will send a kneejerk email, but a lot of people online have a real bad taste in their mouth about Dave, because he doesn’t just give his opinion, he tries to invalidate those of others. Whether intentional or not, it comes across as smug. And while contrary opinions are all fine and good, saying “I’m right, and you’re wrong” does rub people the wrong way.
    I think that’s probably Dave’s number one issue with people. It’s not that Dave’s opinion isn’t valid, or that he disagrees with people. It’s that Dave spends more time dismissing the opinions of others, rather than reinforcing his own.
    It reeks of insecurity.
    Wrecktum said it well. There is no “right” or “wrong” side of a film review. But Dave goes down swinging everytime.

  39. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Time warp. LOL. Camel, that’s hilarious.”
    Can you see where I was coming from though in regards to that man’s comment?

  40. Martin S says:

    Anghus – go read the listed emails again. Those people don’t know Dave from Jack outside of this review. Your implication about them being a “lot of people online” has no validity because you don’t know who the hell they are. What you wrote is total projection and typical passive-aggressive. Take your shot at Dave if you want, but don’t dress it up as coming from other people.

  41. Martin S says:

    Here’s the most rational review yet…

  42. Blackcloud says:

    “Can you see where I was coming from though in regards to that man’s comment?”
    Yeah, I see it.

  43. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Can David give us an actual number of the amount of e-mails he has received? Is it Brokeback levels?

  44. David Poland says:

    Brokeback went on for five months, so no.
    And next week, most of the Superman stuff will stop. There will be some residual, but there will also be more agreement with my posiiton (and much disagreement) and I am pretty sure that I won’t be getting even the long tail “How can you say Matrix Reloaded is great?” stuff as the year progresses.
    Superman Returns will do a lot of business… and fade into cultural insignifigance before Labor Day.

  45. Blackcloud says:

    You have company, David. Ebert’s review is up. Two stars.

  46. Crow T Robot says:

    Last week I totally guessed Ebert would two star the sum’bitch based slightly on DP’s review! Ahahahaha!
    And I got five bucks says he three stars Pirates next week.

  47. David Poland says:

    And NY Times, LA Times, NY Magazine, New Yorker… and now, Mr. Beaks…

  48. jeffmcm says:

    Now now, wait until a solid contingent of us can agree with you before you start gloating. (And nobody really takes Anthony Lane seriously as a critic anyway, come on)

  49. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    And what if YOU find it disappointing?
    Ebert gave War of the Worlds 2 stars, which was one of the best reviews of his (I agree with every single point he made) so I worry now for Superman Returns

  50. Blackcloud says:

    Ugh, Camel, that would be really bad if Superman Returns is like War of the Worlds. Because War of the Worlds was lousy.
    p.s. How are you getting italics?

  51. palmtree says:

    like this?

  52. Blackcloud says:

    Yeah, but what are you doing to get the italics? What’s the command?

  53. palmtree says:

    It’s html.
    Type less than sign, “i”, greater than sign
    Then type the text you want italicized after that
    Then type less than sign, “/”, “i”, and greater than sign.
    I know that was wordy, but I wanted to write it out without it becoming embedded. You can also just go to View, Source and see the html stuff in action.

  54. palmtree says:

    Like this:
    <i>italicized text</i>

  55. Blackcloud says:

    I thought it was something like that. I can never remember the specific steps. Thanks.

  56. palmtree says:


  57. jeffmcm says:

    KCamel, that’s why I said ‘us’ in regards to finding it disappointing. I don’t always agree with Ebert (especially in regard to WOTW, where he is very wrong) but I think I trust him when it comes to Superman and my expectations are very low at this point.

  58. David Poland says:

    And those low expectations will serve the movie well.
    I expect a lot of “it wasn’t as bad as I expected” comments this week. Ebb & flow.

  59. Blackcloud says:

    David, is that really you?

  60. David Poland says:

    That was really me.
    When expectations get lowered, they are more easily met. It doesn’t change the long-term view of the film.
    Or did something else surprise you, BC?

  61. jeffmcm says:

    The surprising thing is DP’s admission that even he is part of the Superman marketing machine, expectations-lowering division.

  62. Blackcloud says:

    I figured it was you, I just wanted to make sure. I’m impressed you’d confront your critics like that (they were saying such mindless things about you). At the same time, though, I can’t help but feel that justifying yourself like that is the equivalent of a teacher having to explain to grade-grubbing students why their illiterate, barely decipherable paper is, far from being the next “Hamlet,” lucky to get a “B-” instead of the “D+” it so richly deserves. Some people are never going to see the obvious, no matter how long they stare into the mirror.

  63. David Poland says:

    Ah, my RT appearance…
    I think a reminder that there is a human being on the other side of “David Poland Is A D**k” is a good idea.
    Fracing critics, which is to say people who actually have a real opinion based on really thinking it out, is easy. That is a conversation. Facing people who are just angry and namecalling is actually more difficult because there is no “answer,” only pissing in the wind. But so it goes. (I’m sure Drew McWeeny feels the same way about me… that I have blind, undefined issues with AICN that have no foundation.)

  64. Blackcloud says:

    Yeah, I meant the RT thing. Sorry for the confusion.

  65. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Whoa, I just realised that when the convo briefly touched on War of the Worlds that it was exactly a year ago that that movie premiered and that Ebert also gave that one 2/4.
    …yeah, I don’t have a point.
    Blackcloud, isn’t html fun

  66. Blackcloud says:

    Yes it is. Now let’s never speak of it again.

  67. Blackcloud says:

    By the way, that SR box office item on MCN reads suspiciously like something Nikki Finke would run, except it’s “Word is” instead of “I am told.” Or is it just me?

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