Not since the final Star Wars film or perhaps even Spider-man had I been this excited to see a film. For the entire day, the thought of seeing Superman Returns has kept me in a great mood. Maybe it was too great of expectations, or perhaps it was an amazingly high pedestal that I could never allow a movie to reach; but in the end it comes down to one thing. I didn’t love Superman Returns.

Don’t get me wrong, here. I liked it. And when I break it down, I have to wonder why I didn’t love the movie. I thought Kevin Spacey was awesome-simply awesome. I thought that this movie had the best Lois Lane ever. Superman himself looked and felt like what Superman should be. The acting was great; the humor was there, but in the end… I just didn’t love this movie.

The first time I saw Superman on the big screen was with my mom in 1978. Even though I was a young boy, the movie so amazed me that I still vividly remember watching the film in the theater. I can recall the feeling I had when the toddler Clark lifted the Kent’s truck and smiled… or when Clark caught the bullet from the mugging… or even watching Superman return the little girl’s cat from the tree (and the smack afterwards). To me, Superman was real. This wasn’t special effects; this was the real adventures of a Superhero caught on film.

In almost 20 years of time, we’ve seen an amazing amount of movie magic. Thin about it… when they made Superman in ’78, there were no blue screens to help Superman fly. So, when Superman Returns debuted tonight I expected magic. I expected to feel the same way I had all those years ago in a small New York movie theater. And even with the great performances, I came away with the feeling that I just didn’t love this movie.

Am I being too hard? I don’t know. Spider-man is my favorite super-hero of all time. And when Tobey Maguire put on the Spidey suit I had enormous expectations– Huge, Colossal, Gigantic expectations. Even knowing that one of my favorite aspects of the hero had been changed (his web shooting), I still had almost entered the movie theater as if with a dare… in a way daring this new Spider-man to impress me. I walked out of the theater with the biggest smile on my face and saw the movie two more times that same weekend. This film took my dare and shoved it in my face. The movie not only lived up to my expectations; it surpassed them.

I expected nothing less from Superman. Was it a good film? Sure. But, I thought some of the coolest new effects of the movie I had already seen in the trailer (Superman being shot, etc.). And even though the performances were great, my favorite part of the movie was a trailer… and that trailer is for Spider-man 3.