With all the attention being paid to a new "Superman" movie, there are certain notions which most reviewers have abandoned regarding the Caped One which I am happy to provide even if it tarnishes the shine on this American Icon.
It seems most reviews and media praise want to forget how overdone this storyline has become. First, I keep noticing comments that there seems to be overtones of a religious nature - um, folks, isn't that really, really obvious?? - a being with unheard of abilities arrives on Earth; his true nature is withheld during his childhood years until he realizes He Was Sent Here For a Purpose; his real Father urges him to Help Those In Need on Earth; His earthly Mom gives him constant encouragement and his friends don't seem to comprehend his Real Identity; He feels somewhat isolated from the mass populace even though His help is needed; many folks feel compelled to attack and hurt Him, etc etc.
Add to this that the story of this Hero has been on radio, television and in movies for about 60 years or more. Finding new tales to tell is a tall order. Early reviews indicate this newest version is quite entertaining - is this a sign viewers have a need for a Hero who is actually Heroic? Probably.
There has always been a certain cheesy quality to the Man of Steel comics - and one web site (provided to me some time ago by the legendary Cinema Monkey) which is absolutely hilarious - Superman is a Dick defines the aforementioned "cheese". Using only the actual comic book covers from decades past, yeah, ol' Supes has had kind of a mean and tricky side. You'll find much to entertain you at Superdickery.com.
There are pages and pages of examples on the website, plus a host of many other wildly hilarious comic book covers that leave you wondering just what the heck the publishers and writers were actually trying to say. (click on the image for a larger view)
Some other comic books news for you this Friday -- one that has me hopeful is that one of my favorite characters might finally get his moment in the spotlight. Rumors are flying the next "Fantastic Four" movie will focus on the Intergalactic Surfer Dude - yes, FF 2 will feature none other than the Silver Surfer.
Cinema Monkey was also kind enough to point me to the vast world of comic book blogging via the offerings at Marvel Comics Blogs. Tons of nerd-filled pleasure/debates/news. And I did note with some satisfaction that Marvel's Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada has one titled "Cup Of Blog." I guess he knew "Cup of Joe" was taken, heh heh.
Some sad news to report today too - despite our mutual admiration for Asian Cinema, GoldenAppleCorp at Atomic Tumor took my advice and watched the horror movie "Pulse" (the American remake is out this summer) and GAC says - it was boring and made no sense. Aww, hate to hear that, but in all honesty, about half the people I encouraged to see it said the same, though the other half agreed with me that it was a well-made, disturbing example of the horrors of existential loneliness. (yeah, I know, soooooo many people like stuff like that in a movie).
Maybe my preference simply reveals I live a tenuous existence at the edge of the abyss of Complete Existential Dread with the ghost of Samuel Beckett whispering in my ear.
Using mostly shadows or the offscreen implication of weirdness, I think the movie scored a bullseye on the freaky/disturbing scale. Others say - made no sense, never was scary. I think it's one of those cases where the movie fired up my imagination via minimalistic methods and left others wondering what was the point of all that??
GAC recommended I watch "Volcano High" which I did this week. I liked it okay, especially the way it was filmed and the way images and characters collided in a story (one also kind of hard to decipher) about a new kid at school with amazing powers and the struggle for Power between students and teachers. Now, since this was a movie made in Korea, the plot twist of New Teachers with Super Fighting Abilities arriving to challenge and chastise both students and teachers made me consider the film as a bit of a metaphor for the current political climate in North and South Korea.
But, ya' know GAC, I liked "Pulse" better, as well as "Battle Royale", but still, I did like "Volcano High" - it sort of reminded me of the anime series "Cromartie High School" - a surreal and nearly slapstick action story.
Atomic T. himself expressed much excitement for the 2nd season debut of "The Venture Brothers" on Adult Swim - man was it good. I'll never miss an episode. Newbies can catch-up by getting Season One which is out on DVD. It's just so funny and very imaginative in the ways it plays with the conventions of television cartoons. It's like Jonny Quest meets Mad Magazine. Catch it on Sunday nights on Cartoon Network.
For horror movie news - would ya believe it - more and more horror remakes are ahead, including Rob Zombie's new version of "Halloween," and another take at "Aliens vs Predator," Brad Pitt's planned Zombie movie, plus more Romero zombies on the way and in general a heaping abundance of all things horror movie at ESplatter.com.
Next week, an exclusive peek at the DVD "The Garden" starring Lance Henricksen from Anchor Bay, AND a book review of "Comfort and Joi, by author Joseph Dougherty, which chronicles the career of the mostly unknown actress Joi Lansing, who was featured in "Singing In The Rain," Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil" and grade-Z 1960s horror schlock like "Hillbillys In A Haunted House."