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Superman Returns to kick X3’s butt.

Superman Returns to kick X3’s butt. published on 1 Comment on Superman Returns to kick X3’s butt.

So I saw Superman Returns this afternoon. While Smallville leaches the superheroic magic and epic proportions out of the Man in Tights’ story, Superman Returns restores some of that power. Though the film felt overlong and populated by mostly forgettable characters as done by average actors, it did achieve a great sense of mood. All the dark, dank shots of Kryptonian crystal architecture …the drifting, serene isolation of outer space…and, most of all, the shots of Superman suspended, listening, almost overwhelmed by his power and responsibility…they really gave a wistful, melancholy key to the story. I didn’t really care about Superman as a character [or anyone else, for that matter], but I felt what he felt.

While no one figures out that Clark Kent = Superman, I finally resolved this blind spot in a way that makes perfect psychological sense at least to me. Clark and Superman just two sides to the same person, but no one can tell that because the sides just behave so differently. Clark acts inept and awkward, unable to express his emotions, while Superman has physical power and seemingly no feelings at all. People around him don’t expect Clark to be physically strong, just as they don’t expect Superman to be emotionally expressive. So when he is muscular and powerful, he seems like a separate entity from the Clark self…and when he is more vulnerable, he seems like a separate entity from the Superman self…mostly because that’s how he feels. Emotional attachments really confuse this guy; they baffle him even more than kryptonite. He may be masterful in lifting cars and small islands, but saying ‘I love you’ requires a different kind of strength, an inner strength that he’s unsure of. The bumbling human form is a physical reflection of his awkwardness. No wonder he goes out and saves the world… It’s easier for him than untangling the human heart.

Coming up: Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and Devil Wears Prada!!!

1 Comment

I have a friend who plays Superman at a restaurant where all the waiters are actors in character. One evening a table was giving him a hard time about how lame changing your clothes and putting on glasses is as a disguise. So, after he was done that night, he changed into his street wear, put on his glasses, and went to say hello to the table.

They didn’t recognize him. 😉

Part of that, of course, is the truism that the best disguise of all is a uniform. Looking at a person in street clothes, you are more likely to remember some detail about the person if asked later. Asked to remember details about the UPS guy later, most people will respond with some variant of “I don’t know. He was…a UPS guy.” The uniform sort of maps over the little individual traits that make a person distinctive.

The OTHER part of it, however, is that you are 100% right. Neither Clark nor Superman is entirely false or entirely the real individual – they are two sides of the same person, and so ring true enough that people will hesitate to question their beliefs regarding what this person is capable of.

I really, really, really hope that Pirates of the Caribbean 2 doesn’t suck. Admittedly odds are high that I will enjoy it simply because it is a swashbuckly pirate movie and there have not been enough of those released, but still. It would be nice if it were also genuinely Rather Good. 😉

The Loremistress

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