Same job, different uniform.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Leaping Premier Dates in a Single Bound

Hours before the movie bowed in other theaters, select IMAX theaters offered sneak previews of Superman Returns and ours was one of the elect.

Twenty-five dollars earned us a commemorative t-shirt, poster and a trumped-up 3D version of the anticipated movie.

I was not disappointed. Brian Singer can deliver a superhero movie that is stylish and sentimental without being preachy or excessively earnest.

And I am ready to fall in love with Clark Kent again.

But while Superman Returns works as the launch pad for reviving the franchise, it didn't develop a compelling enough theme to really satisfy.

The more solid superhero offerings in recent memory have trained us to expect a powerful theme ensconced in an appropriate measure of angst and butt-kicking. Spider Man and Batman Begins come to mind as examples. Singer's vision of The Man of Steel is a throwback to the golden age of cinematic super-heroes: He fights the baddies. Period.

The film toys with the question, "Does the world need a savior?" but it never explains why the answer is yes. Singer could have spent some time developing this, but it would have detracted from his job to reintroduce and court our affection for Superman's central characters. He is priming the pump.

Singer's Superman is stronger, more dangerous, but with a kinder heart, a more contented spirit. The battle for his soul is won. Now he has to fight for ours.

I'm not overlooking the emotional complication that Lois Lane, son and fiancee in tow, presents, but it's handled with a lighter touch than I expected.

Though when the movie does pack its punch, it does it with finesse.

See this movie. It's nice to be wooed again by a 6"4' geek with a bullet-deflecting chest and a heart of gold, and movie-goers who have seen the original Superman movies will thrill to the sound of the unforgettable John Williams score. Though individual performances were not overly strong the ensemble worked. (Parker Posey and James Marsden's performances were more memorable than Kevin Spacey's. He played Kevin Spacey. With a bald head.) The special effects were outstanding; see it in IMAX but skip the 3-D, which is a distraction and confusing.

And gasp with delight'll know when.

UPDATE: Roger Ebert calls it glum (big spoiler alert) and Peter Travers, while preferring "the schizoid, sexually hung-up manic depressive who gets off by climbing into bat drag with built-in muscles to take revenge on evildoers for the murder of his parents" likes it.

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Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

I will see it today ... on the company dime and the company time :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Blogger girlfriday said...

Well, weren't you IN it?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


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