It was, hands down, easily the best movie of its kind since the original Batman movie, and a logical extension of the first two movies in the series (before the franchise went seriously downhill). But of course, keep in mind, I'm pretty single minded about these things.
I won't give any surprises away, but there were so many nice touches: the tribute to Christopher Reeves and his wife at the end, the fact that Lex Luthor's henchmen looked exactly like every henchman ever drawn by Curt Swan over his two decades with Superman, the fact that Kevin Spacey played Luthor entirely like Gene Hackman (including his obsession with real estate), Jimmy Olson's bow tie, and, of course, the theme music by John Williams, which will always be, hands down, the most stirring music ever written for this genre.
And, of course, the story itself. It brought me back to summers spent as a kid, thumbing through the old "Imaginary Stories" that you'd find in DC comics before "Kryptonite No More!" ushered in the seventies and Denny O'Neil tried to make Superman all relevant, by making Clark Kent an anchorman and introducing Morgan Edge, the smiling cobra. "What if...Superman and Lois got married?" "What if Bizarro Superman moved into Metropolis?" "What if Jimmy Olson turned into a statue made of Gold Kryptonite?"
These references will be lost on all but one percent of my LJ friends. But let me tell you, those summers spent in a tent in my backyard with a big stack of comic books stolen from my cousin Joey were some of the best days of my life!
And this was a really good movie. There are some plot flaws, of course, but nothing that really ruins the look or feel. What a great way to kick off the summer.