Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Comics!!!

Greetings once again citizens!!!

I have decided to review all the comic book titles I currently collect, and tell you why I don't collect the ones absent from this list. The pros and cons of being a fan boy and picking sides, DC or Marvel, or even some of those crazy Dark Horse buggers. I'll even tell you why Ultimate X-MEN sucks now but had a great 40 or so issue run, we will try to find out what happened there. Even Ultimate Spider-man has faltered last arc or two, I'll be blogging about those arcs and where I think the series is going.

Anyways, these are the titles I'm collecting right now and will be reviewing:

Astonishing X-MEN
Amazing Spider-man
Ultimate Spider-man
The Ultimates
The New Avengers
Civil War
Civil War: Frontline
Green Lantern
The Flash: Fastest Man Alive
Action Comics

That be the list as it is now, more may be added, I am not a sentimental person, if a title sucks for a couple or arcs or I see no future in it being good any time soon it is cut immediately! Unlike fan boys, I don't try to justify crap. If it sucks, then I will say so in my review. Take for example Ultimate X-MEN, it has sucked for the last year, while Green Lantern has rocked! If it sucks, it sucks, if it's good, it's good. I'll give my criteria on my first review blog. Till then GOOD DAY CITIZENS and Happy Canada Day!

Superman Returns, was it really worth the wait? A personal view on the Superman epic.

Good day citizens!

After a long absence I have returned! Which brings me to the topic of this blog, Superman Returns, was it really worth the wait? How does it stand up to the Donner epic? Is it a instant classic? A kid??? All these are excellent questions good citizens have been asking me since I saw the movie Tuesday night like a geek (yes, I was first in line and everything). First I would like to say that I am reviewing from a certain angle here, I love the Donner Superman The Movie, that is a true FILM, a concept alot of film makers have lost. And secondly, I expect the plot to make total sense, if it doesn't then usually a movie just plain sucks. And finally, I expect continuity to be upheld and USED, not ignored or just plain stupidly used, even some bad continuity can be used well (ie Green Lantern REBIRTH!!). So I obviously had some expectations going into the theatre, I mean come on! Its Superman, how could a comic fan like myself not get super-hyped (beware, super-puns ahead). I wasn't as concerned with comic continuity for this film though, it was titled Superman Returns, not Superman Begins, so I expected Donner Supes, unlike the guy in the Superman costume holding his three favorite comic books and shouting through the credits. I'm just not that impressed with the current comic book Superman, we know Donner Superman rocks so go with that.

As the credits rolled, I have to say they are amazing, as John Williams famous Superman Theme played, I repented to the geek gods for all my Star Wars sins. This was the absolute best in-space sequence I have ever seen in a movie, you are as an audience suppose to be tailing Superman as he returns from his five year mission (you in essence are trekking along side him). The movie quickly takes Superman from his home, where he spends a little time with Martha Kent played brilliantly by Eva Marie Saint, before he, as Clark Kent, is back in Metropolis at the Daily Planet doing his thing. If any of you have watched the WB Saturday morning cartoon show or read John Byrne's Man of Steel, you will recognize the great plane rescue as being his first big appearance in Metropolis as Superman. Well, here it is, his first appearance since coming back. Now at this point I was hoping that maybe Superman wouldn't be accepted by society again as he had been in the past, that maybe people in general would have become more like Lex Luthor in the way they thought about humanity and so forth, that they don't want a interfering alien holding them back. But instead everyone welcomed him back with big cheers, Lois and Superman see each other for the first time, it is a nice moment.

The basic Luthor plan is another real estate scam, this time involving stolen crystals from the Fortress of Solitude which he plans to use for creating a deadly kryptonite island!!! A whole continent in fact! To drown the US and most of Western Europe so that people will have to pay through the nose to get living space on his deadly kryptonite island. Oh but wait Luthor, by killing one or two billion people in North America and Western Europe you are killing the only people able to pay the kind of money you want for this "real estate". And where are you going to spend any money you get when the world's greatest banks are gone? Luthor, if as a character is played brilliant, is an idiot in every other respect.

Routh is great as Superman/Clark Kent, Kate Bosworth's Lois has two expressions blank and happy, James Marsden's Richard is MacGyver meets James Bond (is there any reason Cyclops couldn't have been as cool as Richard, James?), and Lex Luthor is brilliantly played by Kevin Spacey. Luthor's plan however is not too brilliant.

One of the biggest problems I have with this movie is Brian Singer's obsession with Superman as a Christ figure. It is painfully obvious and in my opinion it isn't Superman, not in the Donner movie and not in the comics very much. (I want this to be a spoiler free review because some people somehow have not seen the movie yet, but Monday or Tuesday I will be discussing some of the spoilers and how they affect the movie.) Basically, I assume you can see most of this from the trailer, Superman comes to earth, is beaten, stabbed in the side, takes the burden of the world upon his shoulders, "dies", comes back to life, tells Lois "I will always be around", and ascends to the heavens. WOW! It came out and smacked me good the first time I saw Returns and it smacked good the second time too. It is just a little much.

Now the real question, is it a great movie? To be honest I think it is a good movie, but not great. However, that said, this is one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen, just don't think about the plot or continuity too much. That is what bothers me, it's like this movie was made for dumb people, who can't connect simple dots. And finally lets face it, this movie lacked alot of creativity. Luthor has another real estate scam, Superman and Lois aren't together in the end, Richard isn't dealt with honestly, and nothing has changed at the end of this movie, characters haven't moved forward. 3 out of 5. Watch it for the beauty and some cool action, but not the story or characters.

Now I bid you farewell once again citizens!!