superman returns

even though you've been raised as a human being you're not one of them. they can be a great people, kal-el, they wish to be. they only lack the light to show the way. for this reason above all, their capacity for good, i have sent them you... my only son.

- jor-el, superman returns.

i could talk about the new events in the middle east, what with the abduction of an israeli soldier or the reaction by the israeli army and the abduction of politicians, but why would i want to talk about that sort of thing when something far more important is amongst us:

superman returns.

**minor spoilers ahead**

as much as it sucks to admit it, the world is fucked and will remain so for years to come. but as jaded as i am, there are things in this world that still manage to bring a smile to my face, and superman is one of them.

i have been waiting for this movie for over ten years, ever since i first heard that warner brothers was thinking of jumpstarting this franchise. for years there was talk of a reboot of superman, or a superman vs batman movie, and for years this movie remained in development hell. but it was worth the wait. superman is an epic of a movie. it has everything: drama! action! romance!

the movie basically deals with superman's return to earth after a five year absence. scientists had discovered what looked like the remains of superman's home world, krypton, and so he decided to go see for himself. the unfortunate part is, he found nothing. it was a graveyard. on top of this, he is facing lex luthor, his nemesis, who has managed to get out of jail and has a new real estate scheme that makes donald trump look like a peon.

so that begins the plot of the movie, resulting in a superman who is filled with loneliness and rejection, especially after learning that lois lane, the love of his life, has moved on seemingly, engaged to another man with a child of her own. what is remarkable is how well the story works. this is definitely an epic, and here we have superman, the man of steel, yet with a heart perhaps just as, or even more succeptable to being broken, as the average man. superman represents everything that little boys wante to be when they grew up: strong, tough men on the outside, while clark kent represents everything that guys are deep down inside; insecure, unsure of themselves.

as a writer, i definitely appreciated what they've done, and I have missed bryan singer, the director's input into the scripts. there was humor and wit, plenty of it too, mixed in with the drama and the action. singer has made a dramatic superhero movie, the way he made the x-men movies. what was so lacking in x3: the last stand was the wit and the character development. x3 was a major disappointment, especially since i had really low expectations to begin with. but superman i had high hopes, and it surpassed even that. if i don't see another good movie for the rest of the year, i'll still be happy.

the direction was amazing, the writing was intelligent, and the special effects were flawless. i especially loved how many of the shots of superman flying were taken right out of the original superman movie.

right from the first credits, you hear the superman theme song and the crazy blue graphics from the original 1978 superman. i can't remember the last time i giggled through the opening credits of a movie. by the end of the film, i was incredibly thirsty because i had watched 2/3rds of the movie with my mouth agape. it was like i was 10 years old again. all of a sudden, i was back in my mother's room running around wearing her red scarf like a cape, pretending i was superman.

i know it's just a movie, but for 2 1/2 hours, i was so incredibly happy and satisfied. when art does that sort of thing (and it is art, despite having a $250 million budget. i can't stand it when people only consider independant movies art), it is a good thing.

overall, this movie is probably the best of the modern superhero movies. i absolutely loved batman begins, because it made batman what he's supposed to be: a scary, psychologically messed up bad-ass. it was the perfect blending of director and writer and actor; it was the perfect batman movie. i say the same thing for superman returns, except that this is possibly a more entertaining movie overall. it is also quite eerie how close brandon routh talks and behaves like christopher reeves. the difference is that brandon still manages to bring something else to it. there is a sadness in his stoic acting, that really makes you feel for superman. of course, christopher reeves will always be the definitive superman, but brandon does a great job.

i actually love how writers, even in the medium of comic books, can bring about a clarity to life. they are right when they say that humanity has an incredible capacity for good. this part is true; we can change the world by changing our own perceptions and wants. there are choices that we make. some are forced upon us, but we still have a choice in the end.