Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My friend went to an advanced screening of Superman Returns and called me last night to tell me about it. I was a little cranky ‘cause it was late and I was tired or maybe ‘cause he couldn’t invite me to the movie and now I’d have to shell out 12 bucks if I wanna witness the Übermensch wasting my time and money in single bound.

In fact, I think most comic book heroes are meant to be read and not seen. Once they’re off the page and onto celluloid, their cheesiness grows into Hulk-like proportions. There’s a level of reality that’s totally acceptable when it’s printed by Marvel or DC that I can’t buy when it’s filmed by Fox or Sony. Last night I was rattling off the problems with these characters -- it was clobberin’ time.

Batman: Sure, he doesn’t have any special powers… except the guy’s friggin’ loaded. Yeah, I know, he lost his parents. Poor billionaire Brucie is an orphan. So is Donald Trump and I don’t hear him whining. Shit, if I had that kinda money, maybe I could quit the day job and either create my own TV series, or fight crime with specialized weapons, too. Tell you what, though -- I wouldn’t do some dumb reality show or use vigilantism as an excuse to go out every night wearing a nifty little leather body suit and utility belt.

X-Men: Leftover ideas for superheroes, none of which are interesting enough to stand on its own as a single comic book protagonist, so they all got lumped together as boring mutants. It’s like a movie about people from Staten Island.

Daredevil: The guy compensated physically for being blind, and morally for being a lawyer. But there’s no compensating for the Bennifer II effect.

Fantastic Four: Great comic, shitty movie. In the words of Stan Lee: ‘Nuff said.

Spider-Man: These films were actually pretty good. The villains were too over the top, but that’s not really what bothered me. I just wonder how Spidey would do outside of a big metropolis like NY. I mean, if Peter Parker moved to LA, he’d find the buildings are all too spread out. He’d climb up the wall of Bonaventure Building and try to sling his web all the way over onto the Staples Center and wind up falling and getting squashed like a bug somewhere on the Pasadena Freeway.

And Superman? Well, as I commented on Beth’s blog, Superman's super 'cause he's an alien (and an illegal one, at that). Anyone who came to Earth from where he’s from would have the same powers. So it's not that he's so great, it's that Earthlings are so wimpy by comparison. Best thing to happen to ol' Kal-El was having his planet blowed up real good. 'Cause back on Krypton, he was about as special as Clark Kent minus the alter ego.

Y’know, if I had super powers, I’d just want unlimited amounts of energy, so I wouldn’t ever get tired and cranky. That way I wouldn’t go off on inane tirades about comic book heroes. Then again, maybe I wasn’t coming across as so curmudgeonly. Was I?

Wait -- I’ve decided what I really want my power would be: the ability to read people’s minds. Man, that would come in real handy with women. I bet even Superman gets confused trying to figure out all those mixed signals from Lois Lane.

Fortunately, I didn’t need ESP with my friend -- he laughed good-naturedly at my observations and agreed with them. When he told me that the new movie seemed to pay homage to the 1978 Superman flick, and I said that I didn’t care for that one so much, he concurred.

When I said that Superman II was better, partially because it was written by Mario The Godfather Puzo, and partially because of Terrence Stamp as the main villain, and that it emphasized my idea that anyone from Krypton would be super on our planet, but I don’t know why they didn’t do something clever and cool with Kryptonite being used against the bad guys with Superman having to jeopardize his own life -- not just powers -- to save Earth… my friend still agreed with me.

And when I insisted that the best installment in the series was Superman III, ‘cause Richard Pryor was friggin’ hysterical…

“What?!” My friend said, “You’re crazy. That movie sucked. Good night, Mike.” And he hung up.

Guess I had taken my comic book cinema criticism powers too far.


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by