It’ll only get hotter now…

Today wasn’t too bad – hitting 90-odd degrees F, although the so-called real feel temperature was some 5 to 7 degrees more. Otherwise, I took my sort-of vacation, without leaving town…
–> Saw “Superman Returns” yesterday. Okay movie. Well done, in that art-y sense, evoking memories of the Christopher Reeve series. Major spoilers from here on, although note that I won’t discuss actual plot so much as it relates to my opinion; if you don’t want to know, just scroll on down…

So, anyway, Kevin Spacey clearly enjoyed himself as Lex Luthor. Very eee-vil. Parker Posey as his moll Kitty – aww, she has a sort-of conscience after all, in the tradition of past Luthor-twisted sidekicks.

Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane – she had the requisite moxie of Lois. More “issues,” since she had to deal with (what else?) the return of Superman. The return of Clark Kent – well, apparently that’s not an issue for her (poor Clark!).

James Marsden as Richard White, Perry White’s nephew and Lois’ erstwhile fiance – showed some moxie too. Impressive, considering that Superman’s been the Guy of Lois’ life. Considering that he got shafted as Cyclops in the third X-Men movie, he should feel a little vindicated. (yeah, Cyclops, the love of your life kind of treated you as badly as Lois treated Clark, so don’t feel so bad!).

Brandon Routh as Superman/Clark Kent – well, he did okay. Felt like he had to pay homage to Christopher Reeve, which I don’t have a problem, but Routh gave no sense of making the character his own or displaying actual acting talent (well, sort of, but not nearly as much as I’d like).

For me, it felt like this: Clark was put off on the wayside in favor of Superman/Kal-El – except to Ma Kent, for whom Clark/Kal-El/whoever is and always will be her son – it’s like there is no Clark – Clark is just the secret identity for Superman/Kal-El, long-lost son of Krypton, not vice versa. Superman II or III (or was it IV? It’s been sooo long since I last saw them) had pretty much addressed or resolved the Clark v. Superman/Kal-El issue; even “Smallville” of WB (soon-to-be CW) makes it clear that you can’t have Superman without the aw-shucks, all-middle American values of Clark Kent (who is as much the product of Pa Kent than Marlon-Brando as Jor El, who ironically is voiced in “Smallville” by the actor who played a bad guy in the Reeve Superman movies).

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought by now we’d realize that Clark becomes Superman; Superman can’t exist without Clark. Even the old Teri Hatcher/Dean Cain “Lois and Clark” series made it clear: Clark is the one with the dreams of journalism and fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way (or as this new movie put it “Truth, Justice and the other stuff” – check out a recent NY Times Op-Ed about that issue – we’re kind of losing sight of Superman’s motto, I’m afraid). Only Lois is clueless not to see that Clark’s a good guy (geez, there’s got to be a reason that Jimmy Olsen cared about Clark, after all).

Ultimately, there’s more to Clark/Superman/Kal-El than the Kryptonite (which the movie made every opportunity to point out, in a pretty heavy-handed way).  At some points, the CGI made Superman look a little wax-statue-y, but, special effects are what they are.
Oh, well – I do take my superhero stuff a little too seriously (then again, I’m more of a Batman kind of girl – there’s so much angst coming out of a superhero who’s too aware of his personal flaws; Batman doesn’t need Kryptonite to make him collapse considering the extent of his problems). I believe a planned Justice League cartoon movie will finally address the rather twisted relationship between Clark Kent/Superman and Bruce Wayne/Batman (they’re friends, really, if only Bruce can get over his problems with trust and psychotic tendencies; and – according to the cartoon series anyway – if Lois can finally realize Clark is the man, not Bruce, but Bruce is too easy a catch, as the millionare playboy (with hidden serious problems); well, there is that Wonder Woman thing, but this is again why the two guys will be rivals and friends for quite awhile).
–> Oh, and for today – heat index be damned; I took in the ambiance of NYC, feeling like a tourist. Okay, not really, but it was nice to enjoy time on my own. Window shopped at Saks Fifth Ave and FAO Schwartz; kudos for the air conditioning!!

Enjoy the rest of the work week; picnic coming on the weekend. Mmm-mmm!

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