Saturday, July 8, 2006

Sweet! Superman, Singer-style!

I remember enough English from high-school to know that that is called alliteration.

I went to see Superman Returns tonight with a couple of friends. One of those friends reviewed the movie much better than I will here. His take:
"I never read comic books or watched the movies when I was a kid, so I never knew how, like, totally sweet Superman is."
Before I go any further, I have to say that I am not a fan of Superman. The cartoons were fun, but the comic books were included in my general bias against the medium and the four movies ranged from cheesy to exceptionally awful (with the exception of the first hour or so of the first one). The character has always been just a primary-colored myth to me, and beyond the disposably fun aspects there was nothing in his story or struggle that captured my interest.

The thing I have always liked about Bryan Singer is that he (and the writers of course) has an uncanny ability to make all of his characters (even the blue-tighted crimson-becaped nigh-invincible alien ones) undeniably, viscerally human. He is also demonstrating an increasingly subtle skill for rhythm, pacing and structure in action and non-action scenes alike. In this movie, Singer has finally capitalized on the potential that was contained in those goose-bump inspiring chords John Williams wrote to start off the first movie in 1978. Superman Returns picks up where the second movie left off (deservedly pretending the third and fourth never happened), even including some of the same music and the same style of title sequence. The visual effects are amazing, to the point that the first audible "wow" occurred about 90 seconds into the movie. The action scenes are impressive and beautiful and realistically staged all at once. Superman remains a mythical figure in this movie, but instead of a live-action cartoon version, he is the what-if-it-were-real version. Special effects are finally able to make Superman fly and move and lift and land the way an immensely powerful superhero should, and the current trend of actually taking stories seriously (yes, even the comic book variety) results here in a character who is believable and relatable.

There are some things in this movie that are a bit ridiculous (you won't find any spoilers here), realistically speaking, but this is a myth brought to life, not reality. I've gotten over it.

On a scale from 1 to 10, this movie gets a "Yeah, I'd pay to see it again, and yeah, I'll probably buy the DVD too." That falls somewhere between 9 and 10. Once again, I am left waiting to see a Singer superhero sequel (alliteration). Come on, you know there's going to be one...

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Michelle said...

major props on the alliteration. Yeah, I liked Superman too. Kevin Spacey made me laugh pretty hard a few times and once or twice when he was actually supposed to. I guess you can't expect too much from Lex Luthor. But I was highly impressed with the actor who played Superman!! Also, Lois did much better than I thought she would.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger treeinforest said...

Thanks! It took some time to think those things up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 4:57:00 PM  

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