Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Superman Returns From the Video Store

Spoiler Alert: Many things to be said about the new Superman movie.

Ah Bryan Singer, your Muse has departed you. I was excited for this one and it disappointed me in many ways--not all ways--but many. I'd give the entire film a "C" and it's one I won't be seeing again. As bad as it was, Fantastic Four might be worth another look just to see Alba and the Thing in a cool suit. But this film goes back on the shelf.

Here's why:

1. The plot: Most of the film we've seen before (in Superman I and II) and it was done better the first time. We've already seen Supes get shnookered by Lex Luthor weilding green kryptonite, and we've seen Lex try to build himself sea-side real estate. We've also see Supes and Lois do their fly-through-the-sky-oh-my-god-isn't-this-romantic thing. Better the first time.

2. The tile: Superman returns? Who cares? The film's treatment of Superman's journey to his home-planet (it took him FIVE YEARS) can be summed up in Lois' attitude to Clark about his "trip" to other parts of the world: "I want to hear all about it sometime." She clearly doesn't care where he's been, and neither does the movie. It feels like Superman was at the video store returning a movie...maybe Superman III? The scene in which Superman "reappears" by saving a plane in the middle of a baseball field is cool; everybody applauds. But we NEVER get any exploration about the impact of Superman's absence...what an amazing missed opportunity. Nor do we get ANY exploration about how Superman's journey has impacted him. In fact, the film relies solely on narration from Brando (from Superman I) to give us any sort of idea/feeling about this journey.

3. The pacing: Remember seeing Jurassic Park for the first time and thinking "COMO ON! GET TO THE FRIGGIN DINOSAURS!" We wanted so bad to see one. Speilberg played us, so by the time we finally saw the dinosaur 1) we already related to the characters and 2) we smiled, cheered or said "Wow! Cool effects!" In Singer's film, we get the title and then we get Superman found in a field. We should have been tantalized! We should have seen a world reeling from the absence of our moral giant! We should have wanted SO BAD to see Superman that we wanted to die!

4. Lois Lane: Her notes must have been 1) don't show any positive feelings towards the world, your job or living creatures 2) except for your husband who you will kiss a lot like he was your brother 3) except for your freaky Children-of-the-Corn son who you will say nice things to and then immediately ignore--also, you will take your son into any situation which might be incredibly dangerous.

5. The friggin music: I love the Theme from Superman march. It makes me feel like I can fly. You like it too...and you'd better. Because you will hear it FORTY-SEVEN TIMES. It plays for the opening credits. It plays while Superman saves a plane. It plays while Superman walks home from the video store. It plays while Lex Luthor is taking a shower.

6. Stupid Characters: 1) Lois Lane takes her son to interview Lex Luthor. She sneaks aboard his yacht. She decides she wants to leave. Lex catches her and she acts as if she's just been kidnapped. What about the interview, stupid? 2) Lois' hubby: he flies a plane out of almost certain destruction until Lois says "We've got to go back!" cuz she has silently put together that Supes has kryptonite in him. He says "What? We can't!" She says "Please!" and he says "Okay." Jackass!!

7. Stupid plot-twist: Superman has a son! He looks like the kid in Sixth-Sense but can't act beyond wide-eyed stares. When he opens his mouth all you can see is the Omen. Look out Mom! There is NO WAY Lois Lane has Supes' son. It is physcially impossible. More on that in a later post.

Okay, there were some fun bits. Posy Parker doing her Posy Parker thing was fun. I liked seeing one fluffy dog cannibalize another fluffy dog, and I liked Spacey doing his crazy Lex routine (you saw it in the previews). Sadly, that Lex wasn't present throughout the rest of the film; we get instead the bored evil genius.

Alas, the evil genius of Bryan Singer where are you?


At 3:43 AM, Blogger Indri said...

Easter egg for you, speaking of JP: that first shot when we see Sam Neill standing with his back to the dino?

His fly is open.

That was the first shot I was given to do when I was moved from traditional roto over to digital. Took me weeks. Weeks of giggling.


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