crazy colored glasses

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Superman Returns... Finally

I know, I know, I know... for a self-confessed Superman freak like myself to have waited 6 weeks to post on this film is ridiculous.

Needless to say, I thought the movie was amazing. I've always felt that the first Superman film was by far the finest comic book movie ever made (except for the ridiculous flying around the world ending). When I first read about Superman Returns and found out Bryan Singer was basically making Superman 3, I was more than a little skeptical. Then I saw pictures of the new costume, again, I rushed to judgement... "What are they thinking changing the color scheme on the costume, making the S smaller, putting and S on the bet... and the shoes... oh no". Then, the more I read about it, the more Bryan Singer's passion stood out. You could tell he really related to the character. Once the teaser trailer hit (which i first saw on the IMAX while I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) I was sold. Every shot in the teaser was iconic, and the voice over by Marlon Brando was brilliant. With all that said, it was probably the most eagerly anticipated movie of my life (even more so than Star Wars Episode III).

As an aside, I truly do have my brother (thanks Jose) to thank for my love of comics and Superman. Comics are a medium he introdcued me to at a very young age. For as long as I could read, I've been reading comics. Making trips with him to Forbidden Planet to buy books. He would buy me books every week, as well as small digest sized collected editions. The very first of which I still proudly display in my office. It's "The Years Best Comic Stories of 1981". The very first story in it is "To Kill a Legend", which is still to this day of the best single issues I've ever read (ironically it was a Batman story that started my love for comics). But I digress, back to Superman Returns.

The day of the film, I kept IMing my girlfriend telling her how excited I was. I don't think even she expected me to be this excited. We both wore superhero t-shirts... I wore my distressed Superman logo shirt, she wore her Supergirls tee (that Meg got for her as a birthday gift). We had tickets to the Imax.. there was no way I was seeing this film anywhere else.

As the film starts the old John Williams score plays, and the movie has the same title graphics as the original (which I of course took as a great sign). From the very beginning scenes of Kal crash landing back to Earth slumped over in his adopted Eart-mothers arms, you knew this would be a very different superhero film. It was a deeply emotional tale of an all-powerful being, who just wants to fit in. All classic Singer moments. Its what made the first 2 Xmen films outstanding, and what The Last Stand lacked. For the first time ever, you got the feeling that Superman felt truly alone on this planet. He was the ultimate orphan. You could tell that Singer, also an orphan, truly related to this aspect of the Superman mythos.

Now I'm not saying the movie was all mushy and emotional. There was more than enough action for the Summer popcorn crowd. The action scenes were complex and for the first time ever, I think, showed the full range of Superman's power as well as his emotional and physical vulnerability. Bryan Singer crafted a beautiful, emotional, action packed movie that kept me yearning for more. Every scene unfolded seamlessly into the next. It was a very emotional take on a character that has generally been portrayed as cold and aloof.

In my (slightly biased) eyes, it stands as the finest comic book movie ever made. The acting was spot on... Brandon Routh seemed to somehow channel Christopher Reeves and was great as both Superman and Clark... Kate Bosworth was the perfect modern, fiesty, independant Lois... Kevin Spacey was a brilliant and diabolical Lex Luthor (played much closer to the evil genius we see today in the comic books, than the Gene Hackman more comedic version)... as well as poor James Marsden, he seems to always play the good guy who can't keep the girl. He was Cyclops whose girl was pining for Wolverine... he was the good guy in The Notebook, who lost his girl to Ryan Gosling, and now he's Richard White who will inevitablly lose his girl to Superman. I also thought he was quite good. The story was brilliant. The effects were extraordinary. The score was perfect.

All in all, it was probably the most enjoyable movie going experience of my life.
I can't wait for the DVD.
I can't wait for the sequels.

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