Thursday, June 29, 2006

Superman Seen

Posted by Codemorse

Tonight, I saw Superman Returns.

After the film ended, my friend and I waited through approximately sixteen billion screen credits to see if there was a sneaky after-the-credits final scene (there isn’t). My friend’s the laconic type – a good guy, but not prone to running off at the mouth unless he’s been drinking – so the two of us were sitting in relative silence.

This afforded me the ability to listen in as the woman seated directly behind me deconstructed the film we'd just seen. Thoroughly.

She combed through it, citing specific scenes which she'd thought had gone on too long, character beats that seemed "off," and all sorts of amazingly detailed stuff like that.

It annoyed the fuck out of me.

The trouble with criticism, as has been pointed out by the smarter and handsomer than I, is that at some point, what "art" really comes down to is whether or not you appreciate/enjoy the art you're observing. That's the root of the matter, especially when it comes to film. Listening to that woman this evening made me realize that I truly didn't care about what she was saying. None of the problems she had with the film resonated with me in any real way.

You can defend a film on many fronts, but in the end, what it comes down to is this:

Did you like it?

And yes, I did. I liked it very much. I liked it a lot. Were I forced by some mysterious and threatening Opus Dei of film criticism to sum Superman Returns up in one word, I think I could do it.

Magnificent.

That sums up Superman Returns rather nicely, I think. And that’s really all you need to know about it, if you care at all about my opinion to begin with. And considering how often you send me flowers….well, it’s pretty clear you don’t care much at all.

The prospect of a World's Finest film, starring Christian Bale and Brandon Routh, has me salivating. Copiously. Routh literally channels Christopher Reeve for his scenes as Clark Kent, and brings a calm, zen-like attitude to his power. He's amazing.

Kevin Spacey? Amazing. Parker Posey, whom I like and loathe in equal measure? Amazing. James Marsden, the sensationally silent Cyclops? Amazing. Kate Bosworth? Very good.

Yes, I can nitpick. Yes, the ending is somewhat anti-climactic. Yes, there's some fat that could have been cut. Yes, Bosworth is far too young to be playing the character she’s cast as.

But I liked it. A lot. The scene in the baseball stadium (“Statistically, it’s still the safest way to travel.”) had me grinning like I haven’t grinned in a film in forever. The comedy is often laugh-out-loud funny.

It’s long. It’s over-stuffed. But I liked it. A lot.

2 Comments:

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too completely loved the flick Matty. I thought it was the perfect summer movie. It was massive in scope, the effects were stunning, the plot was fun, the direction was spot on, and the acting was in line with my expectations. I was never pulled out of the movie by shoddy acting or effects work(except at the VERY end of the film where Superman was flying into the sun. They got a little too close to his CG face) and the whole thing made me smile.

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-Adam M.

 

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