Saturday, July 01, 2006

Three words:

Super Man Returns
Saw it last night. Loved it. It’s the perfect summer beefcake-and-special-effects spectacle. (And I know the title is technically two words, but I’m trying to start a pattern here. Please play along.)

Brandon Routh’s Eyes
They’re brown! They’re blue! They’re green! And the color changes have no correlation between when he’s (spoiler alert: Superman and Clark Kent are the same person) Superman and when he’s Clark Kent. Case in point: the first time we see him. There’s a closeup on his eyes. They change color from camera angle to camera angle. It’s like he’s an alien or something.

Brandon Routh’s Thighs
The man has physical charms by the truckload. And he’s obviously been doing his squats. And though he was clearly cast for his body and for his resemblance to popular Superman imagery, he also does a nice job acting—he plays his characters exactly as they need to be played.

Brandon Routh’s Nipple
You get a very brief shot of it toward the end of the movie. The gaggle of gay men sitting next to me audibly gasped when they saw it. And I—not being that desperate for peep-show thrills, especially involving straight actors I’ll probably never meet—gasped at their obviousness.

John Williams’ Score
It’s been resurrected from the definitive 1978 Superman movie, and it’s still as fresh and exhilarating and richly orchestrated as you remember. Assuming you’re old enough to remember it.

Heart and Soul
Even Hoagy Carmichael contributes to the soundtrack; there's a very charming scene involving this tried-and-true kids' piano duet.

The special effects in this movie are spectacular. I don’t want to describe any of them here for fear of giving stuff away, but I guarantee you’ll find yourself gasping and gripping your armrests and sitting in utter slack-jawed amazement repeatedly as you watch.

Samantha’s Cousin Serena
If Parker Posey doesn’t completely steal every scene she’s in, her wigs and costumes finish the job. Our favorite look of hers conjures up memories of Samantha’s mischievous but well-meaning almost-twin cousin from the 1969 two-part Bewitched episode involving Darrin’s sexy Italian client Clio Vanita, a monkey and a wacky mixup.

Lois Lane's Boyfriend
I'd have a hard time picking.

Ham-Handed Metaphors
Look! Superman and Lois Lane are having a Meaningful Conversation about how he’s a savior. Look! Pontious Pilate Lex Luthor and his Roman soldiers henchmen are beating and kicking Jesus Superman before they try to kill him as Mary Magdalene Kitty Kowalski weeps in the background. Look! Superman is falling to earth to die with his arms outstretched as though he were on a cross. Look! They entered the cave room I won’t describe here so as not to give anything away and Jesus Superman is gone! Look! Superman is ascending to the heavens at the end of the movie (but just to fly around and usher in the credits—I’m not spoiling anything by telling you this)!

Big Obvious Secret
See if you can spot it before Lex Luthor does.

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