Special thanks to Terrence for taking part on the Man Of Steel Countdown festivities. I love this post and especially his closing statement…
Is Man of Steelthe beginning of a new era for Superman? I think so. It brings in a new era and with it a new hope. That is, afterall, what the “S” symbol stands for!
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, a mother and father on a doomed planet called Krypton sent their one and only son, Kal-el, on a crash course to Earth in an attempt to save him from the impending doom of their homeworld. With the similar appearance of the inhabitants of Earth, young Kal-el differed in a very remarkable way from those who took him in as one of their own: powered by the rays of the sun, Kal-el (now living under the pseudonym “Clark Kent”) began to exhibit and harness powers of a super nature. Under the direction and guidance of his adopted parents, Clark learned that with great power comes great responsibility and as he grew he quickly learned just what that lesson would mean for him in his future
Not only would Clark (soon to be known to the world as Superman) have a…
Happy Friday everyone! It’s the last day of May but sadly I’m still wearing jackets these days… with umbrellas in tow!! It’s been a pretty lame Spring, and it looks like it’s gonna be slow going Summer too 😦
But hey, I’ll be seeing Man of Steel is exactly 11 days, so THAT definitely puts an extra spring in my step!! I usually get bothered by the endless amount of movie marketing, and this movie has certainly been bombarding us with endless TV spots… but y’know, I don’t mind at all. I don’t think anything can dampen my excitement for this, ahah. Ok, normally I don’t post interviews but allow me to indulge a bit today with this Henry Cavill interview with Vanity Fair:
I never said this about anyone but Mr. Cavill is like the 8th wonder of the world … [sigh]…
Ok, now that I’ve regained my composure (somewhat), let’s get on some awesome posts I’ve been reading in the past week. I’m going to put a number on each of the Everybody’s Chattin’ posts from now on, just so I can keep track 😉
Well, since Superman’s been on my mind lately, I’ll start with Cindy Buchman‘s post on this awesome book Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, which takes the story of Siegel and Shuster and loosely fictionalized their partnership and their account of creating the comic strip we know and love today. I’m gonna see if Amazon has this!
While we’re at it, Bubbawheat asked the burning question ‘Why do superhero movies appeal to you?‘ It’s definitely an intriguing question, one which I attempt to answer recently in my Superman & Me post, but it’s great to hear what everyone else has to say.
Rich also did a fabulous write-up on how Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner’s vision of the Man of Steel has been the standard-bearer for superhero films in general for many years and inspired millions. He argued why Henry Cavill [and the new film] would need to escape Reeve’s shadow an be compelling enough to stand on its own. I totally concur and from what I’ve seen so far, I needn’t worry 😀
Now, switching gear to a Marvel superhero, Lady Satijust recently did her review of Iron Man 3. I always LOVE her reviews with all the awesome photos and even more awesome rating system!
A film’s artistic sensibility sometimes begins even before the film itself. Michael has been featuring great Opening Titles on his blog (with this super one being one of my all time favorites, natch) and the latest one he featured is from the sci-fi mystery Contact. I’ve been wanting to see it for a while but just haven’t got around to it yet.
What I love about the blogging community is discovering day in and day out how various films affect fellow cinephiles differently. Keith and his Public Movie Defender posts are awesome as he picks movies that have been lambasted by critics [even audience alike] and serve up his own defense why he disagree with them. The latest one was on Terminator Salvation, which I happen to enjoy quite a bit despite the flaws.
Ryan at The Matinee (who was the inspiration behind this Everybody’s Chattin’ series btw) started something great with his BlindSpot series. I’ve been discovering a bunch of posts that opened my eyes to films I’ve been blind about, such as this Israeli animated feature Waltz With Bashirthat Josh just reviewed.
Speaking of another indie, the one I missed out on last month due to a thunderstorm, well Terrence’s review of MUD made me even more curious about it. Unfortunately we didn’t see eye to eye on EPIC though, but still, it was an excellent one-word-title double reviews, so check it out!
I haven’t done a Birthday tribute in a while but you’ve got to check out Novia‘s heartfelt and beautiful poem to her beloved idol Cillian Murphy on his 37th birthday. I love how loyal she is to her crushes, as she remains in love with Cillian even though she’s been caught up in the British show fever 😉
For good Friday fun (or any day for that matter), check out John’s mighty creative Movie Directors’ Baseball Jerseys! My favorites are the Scorsese, Coens and Edgar Wright Jerseys!
Now, last but not least, you’d want to head over to FilmHipsterto take a stab at his latest Guess the Movie & Winsweepstakes for a chance to win one of four awesome Blu-rays! …
Stay tuned for my Monthly Roundup coming this weekend, as well as mini reviews of Epic, Now You See Me and other movies I haven’t got around to reviewing yet. Of course there are more Man of Steel countdown posts, one courtesy of Terrence from The Focused Filmographer 😀
Well, before you’re off to any of the links above, tell me, what’s your weekend viewing plans?
She offered moi a chance to participate in the endeavor since we’re both big fans of the progenitor for the modern comic superhero film, Superman: The Movie. Here is my contribution.
“Ever since ancient times, humanity has sought to use stories to explain the world in which it lives. Just as ancient man used stories of gods and monsters to explain the world, modern man uses stories of godlike heroes and monstrous villains to do the same. Comic books are modern mythology, in that they are modern man’s method of explaining the world around them through the fantastical.”
In just twenty four days (well 21 days for me :D), THE most anticipated movie of the year will arrive in theaters. There have been few movie events in the past decade, but for me, THIS would count as the one of the biggest one to date. In preparation for Man of Steel, I’ll be posting various Superman-related posts in the next three weeks. Stay tuned for posts from Michael @ It Rains… You Get Wet, Terrence @ The Focused Filmographerand Bubbawheat @ Flights, Tights and Movie Nights in the coming days and weeks!
Superman and Me
I have been a fan of Superman all my life. It’s perhaps not a surprise to most of you if you’ve been following my blog for some time. A throng of superheroes have come and gone in the last three decades since I saw Superman: The Movie for the first time. In fact, the number of comic-based films have quadruppled in the last ten years and there’s no end in sight, but for me, the Kryptonian hero shall always be my favorite.
If you ask me why that it, I don’t know where to start really. I mean, I was far to young to know the cultural or social allegory of the time, that the hero was created in the context of the Great Depression in the early 30s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. After all, I was in preschool when the movie was released. But somehow, it appealed to me and was way more indelible than any other movie I had seen in my youth and perhaps since.
I wish I could find it, but I remember seeing a photo of me in my family album dressed in a Superman outfit that my mother must’ve bought me. One of my aunts who was living with my family at the time often told me how much I was so in love with Superman that I wore that suit often and I had gone to the theater a few times to see it. Now I don’t remember that part, but I definitely remember renting Superman I and II repeatedly when I was a teenager.
This is the first movie I saw a the theater… and I think I’ve gone more than once. I remember my uncle finally buying me the VHS as I kept renting it over and over again. This is probably what makes me love the superhero genre, so even if the technology looks dated now, it’s got all the ingredients that makes this one stand the test of time: the perfect actor to play Superman, a rousing score and epic, memorable scenes that truly made us believe that yes, a man can fly!
Of course the ‘flying’ thing is truly a fantastical element in and of itself. The first time I saw Superman fly, in the iconic chopper rescue scene that never fails to render me awestruck and teary-eyed, there’s such a huge rush and excitement. Even in so-so Superman movies and shows, the moment his feet leaves the ground and wooosh!!! Up, up and away he soars to the sky, it always leave me giddy like a school girl.
He chose goodness
I know a lot of people think Superman is boring because well, he’s such a goody goody, a model of piety that even Lois made fun of him when he asked Perry White to transfer half of his Daily Planet salary to his earthly mom Martha Kent in Smallville. “Anymore at home like you?” She asked. “Uh, no, not really.” Clark replies. No, there isn’t of course, well, not one from a planet called Krypton anyway.
The Biblical allegory of Superman as a Christ-figure is more than obvious. JK Muir’s splendidly-perceptive review of Superman: The Movie said it best:
… Superman: The Movie lyrically captures the mythic, spiritual nature of the long-lived Superman legend… Jor-El (Marlon Brando), an Elder God-figure, sends his only son (a Jesus Christ surrogate…) to Earth to walk (and fly…) amongst humanity. Immaculate white and gleaming, Krypton is a visualization of an extra-terrestrial “Heaven,” a world far in advance of our own. But just as Heaven faced an insurrection in the form of Lucifer, so does Krypton quell an insurrectionist named Zod… one who is cast to a Hell-like dimension (The Phantom Zone) for his crimes…
Ok so God the Father and his Heavenly realm was never in any danger so it’s not like He sent Christ as a ‘refuge’ for His Son, but the pronounced parallel is Kal-El’s love for humanity. So to me, the fact that the Kryptonian luminary epitomizes GOOD doesn’t make him boring at all. In fact, it makes him utterly fascinating as he’s such a rarity… a being who’s SUPER because he not only epitomizes perfection on the outside with his external powers, he also represents inner goodness we all aspire to. Superman has all this power at his disposal, and really, he could practically do anything he wanted. After all, what does he owe us earthlings anyway? Nothing. We can’t expect him to protect nor save us as we don’t even deserve it, but yet, he takes it upon himself to be our savior.
He’s not without his share of tragedies, after all he not only lost his parents but his entire home world of Krypton, if that’s not ‘excess baggage’ I don’t know what is. But yet he doesn’t wallow in self pity and spend his days sulking or rebelling against his adoptive parents because he feels ‘entitled.’ I love how Mr. Muir puts it:
A real hero can still choose to take to the skies instead of lurking in the shadows, or seething in the dark of night.
I may not be able to relate to Superman with all his superpowers but power is a relative term and each of us has a certain degree of power and the choice to use that power for evil or for good. So in that sense, I can surely aspire for greatness, to be inspired by his heroism and altruistic notion. Superman has always been about hope and I’m sure glad Man of Steel will be so as well. As you’ve seen at the end of the second trailer, Superman tells Lois that the ‘S’ on his chest means hope. So long as there’s tragedy and misfortune in our world, hope shall never go out of style. …
The Ultimate Immigrant
Now, later on, as I move to the United States to go to college, I soon identify with the Man of Steel because he too is an immigrant. No, I didn’t come from a dying planet like Krypton nor did I have adoptive parents in the US, but the idea of feeling alienated and an outsider in the community I live in is something I definitely identify with. Reversely, I was born in a Metropolitan City (Jakarta) and came to live in a small town in the US (St. Cloud, about 1 hr away from Minneapolis), but just like Clark Kent, I too have long come to love my ‘adopted’ country.
Superman is very much an American, but he’s also very much an alien. As they were raised by Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Siegel and Shuster perhaps also struggled with issues of immigration and assimilation as Clark/Superman does on earth. But through his struggles of concealing his identity and living a dual life – like many immigrants trying to fit in — Superman rise above all that and choose to be a champion for humanity, a citizen and protector of the entire planet Earth, not just United States. …
Wanting to be Lois Lane
If there was a movie character I wish I could be for a day (or even weeks), it’d be Lois Lane. I mean, she’s a cool career woman with a spunky personality. She was the best reporter at the Daily Planet and lives in a swanky apartment in NYC even Carrie Bradshaw would envy. As if that weren’t enough, she doesn’t only get to interview Superman, she becomes the only woman who captures his heart.
Growing up, I had always wanted to be a journalist. Yes I even enrolled in a Mass Communications major and was intent on pursuing that degree with a focus in journalism. Well, after a few classes, I realized it’s not for me (I got into Advertising & Graphic Design) instead, but that goes to show how much the character from the Superman comics resonated with me.
It’s in the genes
Seems that my connection with Superman have began even before I was born. Back in 1974, my late father produced and wrote Rama, Superman Indonesia (perhaps the first Indonesian superhero movie ever – at least as far as I know). I actually have never seen the film on the big screen, the only token I have of that movie is this photo of the movie poster (I knew my dad used to do some poster illustrations too but I’m not sure if he did this one).
Now, even though it has the word ‘Superman’ in it, the story is quite different as it’s actually closer to The Greatest American Hero as a young paperboy named Andi is given a magic necklace by an old man he helped, which could transform him into a superhero. Veteran Indonesian actor August Melasz played Rama in one of his earliest roles. According to the Indo Wiki, the film can’t ever be Internationally-marketed due to copyright infringement of the use of the word ‘Superman’ [sigh]
Now if you’re curious about and wants to see a super cheesy, SFX-free superhero movie ( I mean, the entire movie’s production cost probably only amounts to Man of Steel‘s catering budget for a day, ahah!), someone actually uploaded the entire movie on Youtube! …
When the actor and the character meets
My admiration for Christopher Reeve, who shall always be my favorite Superman, pretty much set the bar in terms of my Hollywood crushes. I’m glad I was able to separate fantasy from reality though as Superman is, in Lois’ own words, a tough act to follow 😉 But when it comes to movie star crushes, I guess Reeve sets the bar high. You never forget your first one, they say, and Reeve was my first ever crush. But not only that, he’s the ONLY actor I’ve written a fan letter to in my entire life, and he’d also be the last. I was in my Junior High, I finally did it with the encouragement from my late mother who also helped me write it in English. It took nearly a year to receive a reply, but I ended up getting not one, but two autographed photos from him (arrived separately).
Later in his life, Mr. Reeve himself suffered a personal tragedy when he was thrown from a horse in an equestrian competition in May 1995. He became a quadriplegic due to his spinal cord injury. I remember crying when I heard the news. But in the nine years that he lived with such an extreme physical disability, he became a champion for people with disabilities through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. He was a hero even when he couldn’t walk, let alone fly, but then again, inner strength and courage is what truly makes a hero.
Speaking of actors playing Superman, I also had a premonition in regards to Henry Cavill. Back in 2002 when I saw The Count of Monte Cristo on the big screen, I distinctly remember whispering to my hubby when I saw the then 18-year-old Cavill came on screen that he could play Superman when he grows up. Now a decade later, imagine my delight when I first heard he was indeed cast!
Interestingly enough, the actor playing his father in that film, Jim Caviezel, was also considered by Bryan Singer to play Superman in Superman Returns. But reportedly, Singer was hesitant to cast Caviezel as he had just played the ultimate Savior in The Passion of the Christ.
It’s been a while since I’m THIS giddy with anticipation the way I am with Man of Steel. I was stoked for Superman Returns seven years ago, but nowhere near at this level. So I’ll end this post with this awesome featurette that talks about the characterization of who Superman as a ‘conflicted, lonely and lost person’ and ‘the most powerful but also the most vulnerable.’ I’m liking these themes here, which makes the message about hope all the more compelling.
Well lookie here!! Turns out that the latest Man of Steel trailer titled Fate of Your Planet was out the same time I posted this.
Oh boy, is it ever intense!! It made me reflect on just how much Supes truly love people of earth and how much is at stake against a ruthless enemy like Zod and Faora…
For every human you save we will kill a million more. – Faora
OMG! That quote made me shudder! I think it’s wise that they save the most action-packed trailer to last, starting with a more dramatic and emotive one first. This convinces me more that the movie’s gonna have a good balance of being action-packed and packs an emotional punch!
BRING! IT! ON!
Hope I still have your attention after all my personal rambling, ahah.
What are your thoughts about Superman and/or Man of Steel? Let’s hear it!
Hello folks, welcome to another 2012 edition of Five of the Fifth!
As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here. So let’s get started, shall we? ….. 1.Well, despite the name, Wreck It Ralph certainly is no box office wreck. In fact, the opposite is true! The movie grossed nearly $50 mil in just three days! Seems like a lot of people affected by Hurricane Sandy were looking for some fun distraction and there were reports that many kids being out of school because of the storm also help with strong matinee business on the East Coast on Friday. Well I haven’t seen it yet but my friend Terrence gave it 4/5 stars and it does sound like a lot of fun!
According to Gold Derby, this movie is one of the 21 films that have officially been submitted for consideration for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards.
If you’ve seen it, what did you think? How does it rank amongst your favorite Disney movies?
2. Y’all already know my undying love for Superman since a wee girl. So when my friend Michael tweeted a post by Flights, Tights and Movie Nights blog on this 11-min short called One on One, I was intrigued! I love it when filmmakers highlight the ‘human’ side of a superhero story, without making it too overly-sentimental. The subtle hints about the reporter’s identity is handled very well in this short, plus it’s so well-shot and well-acted all around.
Do check out Bubbawheat’s interview with Jake Thomas, the creator of the short film, on how he chose to focus more on a random Metropolis teenager and her interaction with Clark Kent, instead of the typical action/special effects/stunts style story.
Check it out below:
I should thank my hubby who saw the tweet when I woke up this morning and we both watched it twice as we’re relaxing in bed enjoying the extra one hour from the end of Daylight Savings’ Time 🙂
Well, what do you think of the short film?
3. November 5 is Tilda Swinton’s 52nd Birthday! Wow, I had no idea she was already in her 50s! I first noticed the Scottish actress in the first Chronicles of Narnia movie where she played the White Queen. She appeared in Danny Boyle’s The Beach but I didn’t realize who she was then. I’ve seen her in five other films since the two I mentioned, but I think my favorite role of hers is the one in Michael Clayton. It was a well-deserved Oscar win surely.
Some trivia about miss Swinton:
Her family is one of the oldest in Scotland, but her mother is Australian. Her father is Major-General Sir John Swinton, whose ancestral home has been within the family since the 9th century. She attended West Heath Girls’ School, with Princess Diana as one of her classmates, and later Fettes College. Gave birth to twins, a daughter named Honor Byrne and a son named Xavier Byrne, in November 1997. The father of her children, John Byrne, is a Scottish artist and writer.
I’m very curious about her next film Only Lovers Left Alive, about two vampires who have been in love for centuries, co-starring Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and John Hurt.
What’s your favorite role of Tilda Swinton? …..
4. Now, my fourth question is not exactly a new news. Tons of films have had advanced tickets selling weeks in advanced, so the fact that The Hobbittickets are going to be on sale this Wednesday online and in theaters across North America, a month ahead of its December 14 release doesn’t exactly surprise me.
Just like Nolan’s Batman movies, there’s also a scheduled marathon screenings of Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy in Extended Cut editions on Saturday, December 8th, and Sunday December 9th. Oh geez, I don’t know if I could handle seeing nine-hours worth of stuff on the big screen, though if I have the fortitude I might watch my already-purchased extended edition Blu-rays in the comfort of my own home.
Now, the only advanced screening tickets I bought about a week ahead of the film’s release was The Dark Knight Rises on IMAX.
Out of curiosity, what film(s) have you bought advanced tickets for and were they worth it? …..
5. One of the things I like about Wes Anderson’s films are the stellar ensemble cast and he seems to be doing the same thing for his upcoming feature The Grand Budapest Hotel. So far the four major stars confirmed are Wes’ regulars Bill Murrayand Jason Schwartzman, and two British thespians Ralph Fiennes and Jude Law (and reportedly Jeff Goldblum is now confirmed to join the cast as well). Fiennes will be playing the lead role as Mr. Gustave, and the film will focus on the troubles and tribulations of the hotel’s perfectly composed concierge. Well, thanks to Julian who tweeted me the news, my favorite Irish young star Saoirse Ronan has now joined the cast as the female lead! Anderson will once again work with Scott Rudin and Steve Rales who produced Moonrise Kingdom.
I know the film hasn’t opened until December 2014 but I definitely will be on the lookout for it. Here are additional info about the movie according to Filmofilia:
The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place 85 years ago in a Hungarian hotel, and is partly inspired by the witty films of Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch.
Oh, I like that premise already! And with this cast, it surely becomes one of my anticipated holiday movies of next year!
Well, my last question to you is: are you anticipating this one, too? …
Well, that’s it for the November edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 😀
Upon hearing news last week that Zack Snyder & co. are looking for a middle-aged Superman (though he specifically mentioned 35-40, now since when is that middle aged??!), I immediately conjured up a list of actors previously starring in Snyder’s movies worth considering. But before I posted that list, my blogger friend Sam from Banana Oil Movies came up with an utterly brilliant casting idea that I practically threw my list away! She suggested Eric Bana for the role, and you ought to pay a visit to her post to see her rationale. I can’t believe I didn’t come up with that myself as I adore the Aussie actor and as Sam pointed out in her post, though at 42 he’s 3 years older than Mad Men‘s fans’ choice Jon Hamm, to me he actually looks much younger and I think he’s got the right physique and talent to pull off both Superman AND Clark Kent.
You might’ve seen this fan-created photo of what Hamm might look like as Supes. I personally think that looks like a botched Photoshop job and as this article says, might actually hurt the actor’s chances for the role. Well, I promised Sam I’d attempt to do my own Photoshop job of visualizing what Bana might look like as both the Kryptonian hero and his bespectacled alter ego, so here we go:
Well, what do you think folks? Did I convince you? 😉 It didn’t take me long to create the Clark Kent version, but the Superman one is a bit tricky. Christopher Reeve is such a perfect Superman that everyone else just didn’t come close. Even looking at Brandon Routh’s photos, he’s lacking that ‘IT’ factor that Mr. Reeve possessed. He’s obviously extremely good looking and had the quintessential chiseled-look, but yet there’s nothing effeminate about him (Routh kinda look too pretty in the film, though it’s likely the makeup people’s fault). I think the same could be said about Bana in that he’s definitely a man’s man. Plus the guy certainly can act, he can do intense (Munich, The Other Boleyn Girl), great at fighting scenes (Troy), and has a romantic/vulnerable side (Time Traveler’s Wife). He was great in Ang Lee’s Hulk, too, I hope the studios don’t think of that movie’s failure as Bana’s fault, as it certainly wasn’t the case. However, the actor himself might be weary of taking on another superhero role because of that though, which is a huge pity.
In any case, all this casting speculation is kinda fun. While we’re at it, why stop at just the main character? You know who I’d love to see as General Zod, now I’ve got some ideas for Lois Lane. I thought I’d start with those who’ve worked with Zack Snyder before, and since we’re going with a middle-aged hero, I should think we want someone mature enough as his love interest. How about 37-year old Lena Heady (300), or 39-year-old Carla Gugino (Watchmen)? Or maybe Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch)? She’s 28, which is 5 years older than Kate Bosworth at the time she was cast in Superman Returns.
Well readers, I’d love to hear what you think of these casting choices. Agree, disagree? Let’s hear it!
This might seem like a completely random choice today, but in fact I’m sort of inspired by Kick-Ass’ err… kick-ass box office this weekend. The movie tells the tale of a high school student and a comic book die hard fan who decides to be a superhero himself. The action comedy also stars Nicolas Cage, who’s got more than his share of comic book connection. He named his own son Kal-el Coppola Cage, which is Superman’s Kryptonian given name — if that doesn’t tell you he’s a comic-book nut, I don’t know what will — just as Nick himself was named after a Marvel comic book character, “Luke Cage.”
Anyhoo, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Man of Steel ever since I was a wee girl. I think I was only 3 years old when I donned a Superman suit, complete with cape, running around in my front yard. My first ever movie crush was Christopher Reeve, who will always be the BEST Superman ever in my book. Other impossibly good looking and buff actors may try to emulate him, but will anyone ever top his performance as Supes? I seriously doubt it. I also love Margot Kidder’s performance as the quintessential workaholic, fearless reporter. It’s her beguiling spirit that captures the superhero’s heart.
I still get teary-eyed every time I watch this very scene. This is the first time the world is introduced to Superman, and by the time that rousing John Williams score comes on, we all believed a man can fly! There is such an irresistible optimism, hope and unabashed jubilation when in the nick of time, out of nowhere, a savior flies out to catch the peril-prone reporter. The script peppers the movie with wonderful, memorable quips, “You’ve got me? Who’s… who’s got you??” Oh, and humor, too. “Yo, man, that’s a bad outfit! Woo hooo!” shouted the afro-haired guy upon seeing the blue-with-yellow-underwear-on-the-outside suit for the first time. That about sums it up!