Monday, July 24, 2006

Superman Returns One Mo’ Time

OK, so I watched the 1978 movie Superman again the other night, and I just have a few more comments to add to my previous post about the new one.

1. Chris Reeve carried the 1978 movie. He was the perfect blend of strength and sensitivity, sexiness and respect, aw-shucks American Values and suavité. He really was Superman. Brandon Routh may have done a good job, but there was no way he was going to measure up, even if Reeve hadn’t died tragically.

2. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane is ridiculous. She’s, what, 23 or 24 years old, and is supposed to have birthed Supe’s child and won a Pulitzer prize while he fucked off for 5 years? Give me a break. She doesn’t have the character or appearance for the role – she’s a blank slate. Her match as Supes would have been Keanu Reeves. Fortunately, they got Routh, who is better. Still, although he is about the same age Reeve was in 1978, he doesn’t have the grown-manliness Reeve did. Even if you imagine that Superman does not age like mere mortals do, he requires a certain power of face and carriage to carry sufficient gravitas. Making the movie “dark” in general doesn’t do it – Routh is too young for the part.

3. I still think a continuance of the Superman series is almost unworkable in 2006, unless you start completely over with a revised story. Let’s face it, if Superman were around today, half the United States would be demanding he go kick butt in the middle east, and the other half would be petitioning him to rid the Earth of all nuclear weapons. Lex Luthor may very well be a kind of terrorist, but it’s hard to sit through this fantasy without thinking about the real-world situation of war, politics, famine &c. Again, maybe the filmmakers thought that giving the movie a darker, more depressing “tone” overall would make it up-to-date. Unfortunately, it just works at odds with the goofball humour elements, and instead of hitting a balance it makes neither seem to fit. With the original, it was mostly goofball, but when you had those few really serious moments, like Reeve’s excellent and moving breakdown when he finds Lois dead, they really stand out and stick.

4. You’d think Kevin Spacey would be perfect for the role of Lex Luthor. Yet he still bugged the shit out of me.

That is all.

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