Friday, July 28, 2006

"Imitation of Life"

My old college roommate alerted me (through a recent post of his) of the existence of this old video to R.E.M.'s "Imitation of Life."

It is a pretty mesmerizing video, one that you need to watch several times to get a sense of what is going on. Unfortunately, this computer video blurs it a bit, but you can still appreciate what's happening.


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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Superman Returns

Lynda and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary yesterday by going to see Superman Returns. I have written in this space before about how Superman the character doesn't get lots of love. But I'm here to say that Superman isn't a square, he's not boring or straight-laced! He's . . . a super stalker!

That's right. No sooner than Supes gets back into town from his sojourn in space, he uses his super-hearing to find out where Lois Lane is living and flies on over to x-ray the house from a distance and keep closer tabs on his favorite reporter, her son, and their (?) son. Sure, he's been away for a long time and he and Lois have a history, but it's still a bit creepy. Creepy . . . but NOT square, right?

The movie begins a bit confusingly. Superman crashes to Earth back in Ma Kent's field, in what appears to be a replica of the crystal-shaped ship that brought him to our planet back in 1978. No more is said about this oddity however. If it wasn't for the clear fact that this wasn't his original arrival on Earth, you might think it was a flashback.

One thing that you can say for certain is that Superman Returns is a clear homage to the original Superman: The Movie and Superman II. There are lines stolen from previous movies--Superman and Lois first conversation on top of the Daily Planet is a clear reminder of the Reeves/Kidder interview in the original movie. In fact, there are constant reminders of the movies that have come before. The opening credits "zoom" just like in the first movie, Brando's voice as Jor-El, Luthor having been in the Fortress of Solitude in Superman II.

Another interesting thing I saw was a theme of the reconsidering henchwoman. Parker Posey's character Kitty begins to reconsider her helping Luthor with his scheme. So, just like Mrs. Teschmacher freed Superman in the original movie, Kitty does something in the end to put a crimp in Luthor's plans. I can only conclude that this is why Superman wears a skin tight suit. It gets the ladies on his side every time.

There is no doubt that the actors (especially, ESPECIALLY Brandon Routh) have watched these films and are aware of the actors that have come before them. In fact, as many have said before now, at times it seems that Routh is channeled Christopher Reeve, but in all the most appropriate, honorable ways.

At the end of the film, Routh even flies by the camera while orbiting the earth. He doesn't exactly do the Reeve wave over the shoulder and smile maneuver, but it's darn close.

I really liked the movie. I found it funny in spots, both to a new initiate and to someone who recognized the homages to the earlier films. And the best thing of all was that when the movie was over and Lynda and I were driving home, we were arguing and discussing the film, trying to tease out the plot and why certain things were done the way they were done. I love the fact that I can geek out with my wife and she can geek out with me too.

I expect Superman Returns . . . AGAIN! coming to a theater near you in Summer 2009. Let's hope . . .


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