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Review of Superman: Returns Limited Edition Score

Superman: Returns


Music from The Motion Picture

John Ottman scored the music for Superman Returns, and La-La Land Records has released a 2 Disc Limited Edition version, with previously unreleased material. Here’s a review for that score!


FIRST OFF BEFORE I EVEN START this review I have to THANK La-La Land Records for sending this to me. It was included with the Lethal Weapon Soundtrack Collection that I had requested to review for them. I had no idea they’d be sending this along with it.


Most people know I’m not a fan of the film Superman: Returns. In my personal opinion it is a false unneeded sequel to Superman II. Plus I’m a fan of the Lester Cut of Superman II, so after seeing this film… I was like yeah nope! Plus Routh really isn’t MY Superman, and I doubt I could pick just one Superman to be the core one I love. The reason for that is I enjoy so many different portrayals of the character. Easily Christopher Reeve is #1, I’d have to say Tim Daly and George Newbern are tied for #2, and Dean Cain is my 3rd favorite depiction of Superman! There are several things in the film I do like, for instance Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor is awesome, and then there is the music! Don’t get me wrong, just because I don’t like the plot of the film, doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the action scenes and music.


This score has John Williams Superman themes, as well as original composition from John Ottman.  When I looked Ottman up online, I had thought at first that I wouldn’t recognize any of his work. After I did however, I was pleasantly surprised, he had done the score to X2, and will be doing the music for X-Men: Days of Future Past as well. This is the first time however, that I’m hearing his work outside of the films that it has appeared in.


Disc 1 of this 2 CD set is 22 tracks long, with a running time of 67:28. most of this 2 CD set is previously unreleased material, or material not used in the film, or cues from the Williams score. For me anytime the Williams score pops up is a good thing! Track 10 Boosters Non Responsive/Rough Flight/Home Run has some very unique themes in it. Ones that I don’t think I’ve ever heard in a film composition. It’s very cryptic, and epic all at the same time. The “He’s Back” track is clearly all Williams’ scores and cues. It’s so awesome!!! Track 19 “How Could You Leave Us” has some of the Williams score, but mostly it’s Ottman’s work, and it’s very emotionally charged. This is why I like listening to film scores outside of the film. So I can get the emotion without having to hear sound effects and other stuff.


Disc 2 of this 2 CD set is 15 tracks, 5 of which are all bonus tracks. Disc 2 has a run time of 60:01. Right out of the gate Disc 2 impresses with Metropolis Mayhem and Out to Sea. I remember these music tracks from the film, and they are so very awesome! The Out to Sea track especially, because it heightens the danger that Superman has to save people from. I have to say that disc 2 is by far my favorite. Maybe it’s because it has the ending scenes musical scores, but I really enjoy this disc the most. Don’t misunderstand me, Disc 1 is great, but I felt more of an attachment to the first 10 tracks on disc 2.


One of the greatest things about this release is the never before heard “Return to Krypton” Sequence. That part of the score was very moving! As far as a rating on this… hmmm? While I LOVE the inclusion of the Williams music, and I very much ENJOYED Ottman’s composition for the film, I am not sure I can give this a 5 star rating. Simply because it isn’t music I’ll listen to more than twice. Not because it’s bad, it isn’t at all. But there are very few Superman themes I listen to over and over again. I will highly recommend this to anyone. For me personally it’s gonna get a “Liked It” rating. not a bad rating at all, but it didn’t get me truly excited. Well other than when the Williams themes came up. Ottman did an amazing job, and as I said if I was just reviewing disc 2, this might get five stars.

What I love about these La La Land Records releases is the liner notes that come with the albums. Not only do you get cool images from the project, but you also get insights from the people crafting the music. That is just a nice little addition that this soundtrack company does!!

You can get this awesome score from LA LA Land Records directly! You can also find the track listing there!

Final Rating:


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