Today, the 1978 film version of Superman (directed by Richard Donner) may look primitive to young eyes weaned on PlayStation 2 and new-and-improved Tolkien tales, but it still holds up beautifully, with dazzling special effects, plenty of heart and spunk, and career performances by Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder. Director Bryan Singer, the X-Men and X2 helmer who jumped ship to steer this franchise, chose to take the road less traveled. His movie is neither a remake of the 1978 staple nor a direct repudiation of it; instead, he imagined Superman Returns as a continuation of the original saga. For fans of Donner’s ‘78 model, the pleasures begin immediately with a triple play. First, those cool opening credits are back. Second, they’re accompanied by the familiar chords of John Williams’ score (John Ottman receives credit for original music, but so much of Williams’ classic piece is employed that new themes were hardly needed). Finally, Singer made the decision to borrow 1978 footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El (the Man of Steel’s father) and use it at the beginning of his new picture. Learning that scientists had discovered the remains of his home planet of Krypton, Kal-El (Superman’s birth name) went to check it out for himself, only coming back to our planet after a five-year hiatus. Once again donning his human disguise as bumbling news reporter Clark Kent, he’s able to get his old job back at the Daily Planet, but other chapters of his life have been radically affected.