Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Over at, Bryan Singer has been keeping a video blog as he directs Superman Returns. I thought I would direct you all to this entry, in which Bryan hops over to New Zealand to help out an exhausted Peter Jackson on King Kong.

Mowrer, pay attention to Jackson's shirt.

Why do I have high hopes for Superman Returns? Well, a lot of it has to do with Singer; after the two X-Men movies, he's shown his ability to ground comic-book action in reality, and he's even brought aboard his X-Men 2 screenwriters Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty. Singer even contacted Richard Donner to seek his blessing, and is using deleted footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El in a key scene.

That's not the whole reason, though.

No, the main reason I want Superman Returns to work is that I grew up on Superman (hell, for a while when I was little I wanted to be Superman), and we haven't had a decent live-action Superman since 1978. Smallville sucks; despite nearly 75 years of history, they're making their mythology up as they go along, and the need to preserve Clark's secret results in repetitive gimmicks (how many times has each character on there suffered head trauma just as Clark is about to get his super on?) and illogical characterization (if Lana is his best friend, and having to keep lying to her about his powers is straining their friendship, why not just...I dunno, TELL HER ALREADY).

Before that, Lois and Clark sucked; typical Moonlighting redo, with the Superman angle tacked on, and the campiness turned up to 11. Before that was the Adventures of Superboy, and that sucked; typical syndicated action shite, with all the bad acting and low production values that implies. Bonus points, though, for Michael J. Pollard as Mr. Mxyzptlk.

Before that were the Chris Reeve movies. I've already said my piece on those.

I'm even gonna commit geek blasphemy and say that the 1950s Adventures Of Superman sucked. A doughy Superman, hanging from a visible string, fighting typical gangsters and crooks, without a single comic-book villain in sight. I'm not saying I expected cities destroyed as Superman fought the Atomic Skull and Titano the Super-Ape every week, but how hard is it, when casting your mad scientist character, to make him bald and call him Luthor?

I've never seen the 1940s serials, Superman Vs. The Mole Men or Superman Vs. Atom Man, so I can't comment on those. Kirk Alyn, you're safe--but watch your back, homie.

On the bright side, there was the 90s Superman: The Animated Series, which was pretty much the definitive Superman in any format or medium. They even made the Toyman not suck.

I don't just want a guy in a costume green screened in front of stock aerial footage. I want banter with Lois and Jimmy in the Daily Planet newsroom (with the giant globe on the roof, thankyewvermuch). I want Perry White chewing on his cigars. I want the Fortress of Solitude, I want the whole Red Sun/Yellow Sun pseudoscience, I want Jimmy Olson's signal watch going "zee-zee-zee." I want Clark Kent, in a blue suit, ripping his shirt open to reveal that Big S.

Please, Bryan, just make sure it doesn't suck, okay?

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