Friday, May 05, 2006

Superman Returns

I was left a little cold by the second Superman trailer--why is it that when Supes is flying at 400 mph, his hair moves as if there's only a light breeze? And why is Kevin Spacey doing Lex Luthor as if he was K-Pax's evil brother? Shouldn't there be a no-camp mandate? And that scene with Lois, Perry, and Jimmy doing the "It's a bird" routine feels like a stilted rip-off of the wonderful J. Jonah Jameson office scenes from Spiderman 2.

All of that said, AICN has the first early review of Superman Returns, and it's quite positive, although for reasons I don't find particularly convincing. Still, we DC partisans must hope for the best.

If only Wolfgang Petersen had been allowed to make Superman vs. Batman. Well, a boy can dream.

Update: In the comments is a link to this extemely sophisticated fan-film trailer for Superman vs. Batman. In all honesty, I'm not so sure that the Singer-helmed Superman Returns trailer is more enticing.


Donny Broome said...

I was surprised to see Kevin Spacey playing the Luthor role as a lunatic. I was expecting more of a Smallville-esque (drop-dead serous) interpretation. Spacey's Luthor looks like a version of Hackman's Luthor.

Jacob said...

Superman vs. Batman looks like it will be pretty good

Meryl Yourish said...

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of Superman taking a six-year vacation.

Sorry, Supes doesn't do vacations.

Actually, the thing that's getting me is that they're basing this movie on the earlier movies, when the comic book has nearly 70 years of story to mine.

I hate Hollywood sometimes.

But of course, I'll go see the film. I love comic books movies.

GeorgeG said...

Thank God Almighty Superman vs. Batman was never made. For once and for all, can DC drop the ridiculous concept that Batman is in Superman's league in a one-on-one confrontation? And please, don't give me Batman is smarter, or "Batman beat Superman in Dark Knight Returns (Batman still died so at best it was a draw)" or Batman holds the last remaining bit of Kryptonite. A "Superman vs. Batman" film would be the most anti-climatic blockbuster in history. Two hours building up the storyline and a 5-second fight scene where Superman flicks Batman in the head and KOs him.

Will be in line for Superman.
Will wait for rental for X-Men 3.

Bizarro Jack said...

Geor-Geg - The real glory of any superman vs. batman story is the mind blowing assymetry of the fight. While one can plainly see that Lex Luthor has somehow been evading the inevitable flick-to-the-skull for decades, (you know, superman is doing that to people all the time), it's still an interesting idea to see what a superior mind and more experienced fighter can come up with. But mainly, the sheer futility of a mere mortal going up against superman has becoming a near classical theme, reminiscent of the legend of John Henry. If you don't think this is a realistic (er, in comic terms) and interesting concept, read Red Son (which I have plugged here before), a what-if story where the infant superman lands in Russia instead of Kansas and becomes successor to Stalin. I'll apologize if you didn't think it was a great read.

George G said...

Bizarro Jack - Thanks for your feedback. Your point was well argued, especially when referring to the timeless theme of a mortal challenging a god. I guess it is the mind-blowing assymetry that I can't handle. The assymetry is so off the charts that it looks absurd when DC pushes Batman as an equal to Superman. DC loves to remind us that Batman is only human, yet he constantly performs superhuman feats like dodging bullets. Is Batman a superior mind? Yes. But DC proved long ago that Superman is far more than just all brawn, no brains. More experienced? Doubtful. They've both been fighting evil most of their lives. I can't help think of numerous Seinfeld episodes where Jerry spoofs on all the other Justic Leaguers as being superflous because Superman can do it all. I'm not saying there isn't a place for Batman, he's just not in Superman's league. Imagine if Marvel constantly ran stories of Galactus/Nick Fury team-ups or portrayed Nick Fury as capable of taking out Galactus. It's absurd and so is Superman vs. Batman.

I stopped reading comic books cold about four years ago and haven't looked back, but I may take you up on your recommendation of "Red Son" because of my fascination with WWII and the intriguing storyline of Superman as a Soviet Communist. Just please tell me there's no Russian Batman involved.

Bizarro Jack said...

I was actually trying to compare Batman to Lex Luthor. It's probably not fair to Lex to say that Batman's mind is superior, but I was leaning that way because Batman is a hero and Lex is a villain, and thus obviously inferior (villainy is negative points). While Lex probably is "smarter" in the traditional sense, you will notice that Lex usually loses whereas Batman usually wins.

Just how smart Superman is depends on the writer, but he is pretty obviously able to think much faster than any human, and doesn't get tired, and has much exposure to alien technologies. So in short, I would agree that his mind is superior to Batman's by many measures but not all.

The entire point, the only point, is that Batman represents humanity, and strength of will and tenacity. He plans ahead. He fights dirty. If anybody on "our side" (meaning humanity) can find a way to beat Superman (the "why" would of course be integral to a quality story), Batman might not do it, but he'll give it a hell of a try, and it will be a great read. And no, batman would never sign up for a skull flicking competition . . . If you limit the scope of the story to a straightforward head-to-head struggle, there's just no story.

I mean, who /would/ hoard the last kryptonite, besides villains who are doomed from the start? A crazy guy like batman, that's who. He's got a contingency plan, it's his thing.