Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) has gotten out of prison and married a wealthy old woman who leaves all her money in her will to him. He heads off to the Fortress of Solitude and steals the Kryptonian crystals then goes to a museum where he makes off with a large chunk of kryptonite. Still focused on real estate, he plans to combine the two and create his own island to rule, unconcerned about the flooding this new land mass will cause or Superman since the whole place with be deadly to him.
Returns has pluses and minuses, but more of the latter, which isn't good for a film that runs 154 minutes. Spacey's Lex is much better that Hackman's. He imbues the character with a sense of menace that elevates him from a mere comic-book villain. Unfortunately, Singer makes a huge mistake in casting the other two main leads who seem as if they were chosen for their looks rather than being able to bring the characters to life. Routh does make a good hero, but his Clark only seems different from Superman in what they wear. Bosworth is way too young and just not believable as seasoned reporter Lois Lane. Also, the film focused too much on their relationship and became a bit of a family melodrama.
The film has great, intense action, the biggest being when Superman helps the failed shuttle launch. The sequence delivers, but it came too early and nothing else matches it. I was disappointed to find Lex repeating himself with his land desire and use of kryptonite, but the writers made it all so simple, it's hard to blame him.
Superman Returns has the same 1080p/VC-1 encode, displayed at 2.40:1, seen in the previous releases, which is a bit odd considering the backlash it received and the remastering performed on a few of the other titles. The film was shot on HD cameras, which contribute to the disc's inconsistent look. Some scenes have dimensionality while others appear flat. The effects can creates magic and other times it's very obvious they are in front of a green screen. Objects can have defined texture while others appear smoothed out from DNR. There are also a few digital artifacts throughout.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is the best audio experience in the collection delivering a wonderfully immersive experience. The dialogue is clear and engaging. Objects pass through the channels. LFE was too needlessly strong at times, causing a slight bit of distortion. The track shows great dynamics from the bombast to the quieter scenes.