Friday, July 21, 2006

SUPERMAN RETURNS - by naudy (7)

My suburban older sister, (the one w/ the kids) told me she hated this movie. "It's stupid!" she said. "All that time and the ending is dumb. Why did we look at that girl for two hours if they wern't going to get together?"

It's an interesting question, and one that can be broken down into two parts -- 1) why did we have to look at that girl (Kate Bosworth) for two hours and 2) what was the point if it's not a straight ahead romance? I, for one, would have been perfectly content to never look at Kate Bosworth again, even though it is mildly entertaining to watch her and wait for her skull to pop out of her face. Thin.

But, skeletons aside, what is the point of this film? I think one of the most important things for any audience member is to realize that this is not an American film. It's a foreign film, and a pretty good one, but it's not the popcorn-y summer blockbuster we expect it to be. And I think SUPERMAN RETURNS will struggle in the box office because of the subtilty of Bryan Singer's "message". Whatever it is he's trying to say, he's saying it quietly and w/ a lot of pauses, and pauses do not blockbusters make. He's also saying it with questionable costuming and mismatched technology. What year is this? No one knows. Why is that woman with the 20 inch hips wearing Katherine Hepburn's clothing when everyone else isn't? Once again, there's no knowing. But here's a better question, why does Lex Luthor wear galoshes? Well, I know that one. It's because he's trying to look like landed British gentry, and Parker Posey goes through every possible sartorial variation of nouveau rich she can. She's hyserical, by the way, as she stomps through scenes with the campy funny delight we expect her to excell at.

I'v read a lot of reviews about SUPERAMAN RETURNS and there have been some really interesting comments. I read that one can track our society's perception of a reporter's role by examining Lois' character. In the 1940's she was Girl Friday and would do anything to get the story. In the 1970's she was post-Watergate committed to truth and the righteousness of her mission to report the truth. In 2006, she's a colorless corporate reporter who could care less about truth, righteousness, or making a name for herself. Pretty sad.

Anyway, it's an interesting movie. View it with an eye towards subtilty and unspoken messages and you'll probably like it.