Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's A Bird, It's A Plane...

...yeah, you know who it is. Warner Bros. released their first official shot of Henry Cavill as the Man of Tomorrow in Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman: The Man of Steel. Take a gander below:

That's pretty awesome, actually. The detailing on the suit is a little busy, and is it me or does the cape seem absurdly long? Anyway, I like the look of Cavill. He gives Supes a sense of intensity and power that the more earnest portrayals have always missed. I'm still a little guarded, mostly due to how Snyder's movies seem to be heading on a downward slide. Dawn of the Dead was great, 300 was good but a little flawed, Watchmen was faithful but lifeless and Sucker Punch was mindblowingly awful. Haven't seen the one he did about owls, but assume there will be scenes that start off in slo mo and then ramp up to regualr speed. But Christopher Nolan and David Goyer are overseeing the film, so they could curtail some of Snyder's weaknesses and play up his strengths. Who knows, but this shot certainly has piqued my interest based on its atmosphere alone.

On a side note, recently watched all of the original Christopher Reeve movies. Beyond nostalgia, I was amazed at how well the first two films hold up, especially Richard Donner's cut of Superman II, which is head and shoulders above Richard Lester's more campy version. Also astonished that I found Superman IV to be vastly superior to Superman III. Yeah, IV had like a dollar ninety-five as a budget, and it looked like it.  But III seemed completely uninterested in telling a Superman story, and way more interested in making a Richard Pryor comedy. And by trying to do both, it winds up being neither. It's painfully unfunny. Pryor isn't even as funny as Ned Beatty was in the first two Superman films. The only bright spot is Reeve's continuing brilliance in the title role, and an almost unbelievably luminous Annette O'Toole. That's it. Everything else is godawful.

On the other hand, its cloying naivete aside, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, is at least trying to tell a Superman story. Gene Hackman is back, and though his wit is a shadow of his former excellence, bad Gene Hackman is still fun to watch. Margot Kidder is more involved, which is good even if she somehow looks ten years older than anyone else in the film aside from Jackie Cooper. Mariel Hemingway is quite good, and the much ridiculed Nuclear Man is actually a good physical foe. With a little more care (which new producer Cannon Films was unable to provide given their meager funds) the script and film could have been tooled into something actually enjoyable. As it is, it's a goofy little B-movie, and far easier to sit through than Superman III.

So, let's hope The Man of Steel is more Superman I & II than III or IV.

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