Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman never made any money / Saving the world from Solomon Grundy

I took the boy and one of his friends to see Superman last night, at the big Loew’s theater nearby. In the interest of getting home at a semi-decent hour for nine-year-olds on a weeknight, we skipped having dinner at home and went for the chicken tenders, curly fries, and Sprite combo at the theater. Which is now, I found out too late, $10. FOR ONE MEAL! I didn’t eat, but had a Diet Coke, and this was easily a $50 Thursday night. Ouch. No wonder I usually stick to popcorn and matinees.

Never mind that, though, because the movie was worth it. I’m a sucker for the super heroes. (Although I never cared all that much for Batman. I’ll root for him, sure, but he’s little more than a rich guy with gadgets and a cool car, as far as I can see. Dark Knight? Whatever. I get that he’s avenging his parents . . . but . . . he’s just too suave. And brooding. And not brooding in a good way.) ANYWAY. I’m a sucker for the super heroes. I love me some Spiderman, and the Xmen, and the various heroes I’ve met through “graphic novels” (comics) as a grown up.

Superman, though, is just so beautiful. And good. And kind. He’s everything a little girl thinks her dad is, and everything she thinks grown men should be. Of all of the super heroes, he’s the one I wish were really real. I always say I’d choose Marvel Comics over DC in a story-by-story fight for my interest, but Superman breaks my heart because he’ll never exist.

The kid who plays Superman in this movie is scarily like Christopher Reeve in a lot of ways. I’m almost glad Dana Reeve is dead, because I can’t imagine how she’d be tortured by this movie. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like for their son, if he sees it. Brandon Routh is the actor, and I haven’t seen an interview or even read anything about him, but he’s perfect. You can see Reeve in his eyes, in his jaw, in his cheekbones. It might not be in his face all at once, but it’s always there. His Clark Kent grin is beautiful. His longing looks at Lois are beautiful. His teary eyes are beautiful. (Oh, and did you see “I, Robot” with Will Smith? Do you remember swooning over Will Smith in the shower, or was that just me? We get a look at Superman’s naked torso here, and I felt similar stirrings.)

Kate Bosworth is a fine Lois (although less urgent and raspy than Margot Kidder), and Kevin Spacey is a SPOT ON Lex Luthor. He’s smart and serious about his dreadful scheme, and nasty and cold and, and funny here and there without being too campy. And Parker Posey doesn’t get enough to do as his chick, but I like her anyway. Also, one of Luthor’s posse is Kal Penn, from Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. It was nice to see him, even as a bad guy.

There’s a new (to me, at least) character, Richard, who is Lois’s live-in boyfriend and (assumed) baby daddy. He’s handsome and kind, and a pilot. He’s a sort of Superman Lite, I guess. He’s a good character, especially as he’s allowed to be jealous of Superman without having to go the normal comic book route of having that jealousy turn him into a villain.

Some of the sets are lovely, and some of the cinematography totally rocks. There are some winking, knowing moments, but they’re tasteful and fun—not ironic or mocking. There were moments when I wanted to pump my fist and give a big, “Whoooooo!” I didn’t, but the whole theater applauded at the end.

Go. Give yourself over to pure goodness. What the world needs now is not love, sweet love. We need Superman, and for 120 minutes, we have him.


Joke said...

I was always a Green Lantern sort.

Although I spent my youth reading Donald Duck & Uncle Scrooge comics, which explains a whole Hell of a lot.


Gina said...

The only thing I know about Green Lantern is from the Justice League, which I can take or leave.

I don't think I've *ever* read a Donald Duck comic, and my only exposure to Scrooge & Co. is from cartoons like Duck Tales (Tails?). No great love there.

Sarah Louise said...

I love going to movies where it's so good the audience applauds at the end. I wasn't thinking to see this, but you may have convinced me...

It's a sort of family Fourth of July flick...

Badger said...

Okay, so Brandon Routh? The guy who plays Superman?

He used to be on One Life To Live, years ago, when I actually watched soaps (well, I only watched THAT one, but still). He was AWFUL. Just horrible, terrible, the worst actor ever. Pretty, yes, but horrible.

So they fired him, right? And on his website, he posted this big crybaby pissypants rant that was just unbelievable, complete with the phrase "God will punish them" and just all kinds of bizarre shit. He yanked it down pretty quickly, but a lot of people saw it and he was mocked far and wide across the internets.

And so while I'm glad y'all enjoyed the movie and whatnot, I can't bring myself to go see it. Because to me he'll always been that wooden crybaby soap actor.

I can't freakin' WAIT until Ghost Rider comes out, though. Speaking of comic book movies.

Gina said...

I had no idea of that sordid Brandon Routh past, but . . . I still loved the movie.

And yes, Ghost Rider looks like it is going to kick all kinds of ass. As does Spiderman 3, which I saw a preview for last night. Venom, anyone?

Katya said...

I can't wait to see Superman.

Joke: I've always loved Green Lantern. I was at the American Library Assoc conference this week and went by the DC exhibit. They had a poster of Green Lantern, and I exclaimed, "OH! I love Green Lantern." The guy manning the booth said, "Oh, thank God! You're the first person I haven't had to explain who Green Lantern is."

Peg said...

Gina, if you tell me you knew that Crash Test Dummies lyric without looking it up online, I may swoon.

Joke said...

Comparing the classic Donald Duck & Uncle Scrooge comics to ::shudder:: Duck ::eye twitch:: Tales is like comparing "comparing God to a Spaniard." (I can say that 'cause I'm in the tribe)

Look for anything done by the LEGENDARY Carl Barks. The guy is so legendary that after he stopped the comics, he started painting oils of "the ducks" and today the AVERAGE price for one of them is $150K.

These comics were the inspiration (as admitted by Spielberg) for the Indiana Jones films. They are educational (VERY sneakily so), engrossing and rollicking.

I cannot recommend them highly enough.

So there.


P.S. ONE DAY they will make a film of the Green Lantern.

Joke said...

P.P.S. The Justice League plays REALLY fast and loose with characters like The Flash, GL, etc. (WEHT Hawkman?)

Don't get me started.

Suse said...

Well here's my name drop for the day. (Ahem). Last weekend the man who did props for Superman had a coffee at my house.

I still haven't been to see the movie though. It got pretty lame reviews, despite being filmed HERE IN AUSTRALIA 'N ALL.

Joke said...


If it's any consolation, the reviews here have been, um, underwhelming.


Gina said...

Peg: I did indeed know that--I own the CD. I can't really sing along, though, because my voice just can't get that deep. :-)

Joke: I'm going to look into Carl Banks asap. Thank you. And sorry to have caused an eye twitch.

Joke said...

Numbah One Son found my cache a few months back (I think he's your kid's age more or less) and INHALED them. Stories about the Argonauts, Incas, Atlantis, Capt. Kidd, etc., etc.

Then (and this is the hook, right here) he went with me to the library to get "background" stuff so he could be sup to speed on the Argonauts, Incas, Atlantis, Capt. Kidd, etc., etc.

It's a win-win.


P.S. Of course, there are no superpowers beyond talking, prehensile waterfowl.

Carolyn said...

I really like Kevin Spacey.

That alone would make the movie worth seeing.

Sarah Louise said...

I lurved the set at the farm--wish more of the movie had been set there.

INTENSE would be a word for it--I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire film.

kt77 said...

gina - i couldn't agree more. it was a great movie. and somehow so tragic that he's not real. and that not all men are like that. and that our country won't be saved by him.