A swamp. A tree. Evening.
Estragon: Where’s Danny?
Vladimir: Where’s Willie?
Estragon: Maybe Willie’s with Tyrone.
Vladimir: Danny shot Tyrone.
Estragon: Oh, yeah.
I mean, technically the dialogue is more Abbott & Costello than Waiting for Godot, but you have to admit that if it’s possible to have a Theater of the Absurd action sequence that makes you question the existence of God and the fundamental moral nature of modern society, then this swamp stomp is about as absurd as it gets.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.19: The Unknown Soldiers
The coup, when it comes, is ridiculously easy. Like, not even easy for people with superpowers, but just actually easy. It feels like a high school field trip could take control of the United States, if they had a little time to prepare.
Continue reading Superman II 2.34: Mars Attacks
It’s the most significant moment in Lois Lane’s significant moment-heavy life, so it’s a shame that it begins with her talking about what a fool she is.
“Boy, I sure must have looked like an idiot,” she mutters. Her hairstyle doesn’t look that bad. Oh, she means the river thing. “Jumping in the river, waiting for Mister Wonderful… who obviously had better things to do.” I remember the days when Lois Lane was the coolest person in the world.
“Where’s my comb?” she asks. “Where’s my comb?” she repeats, with her head on a swivel. “God, not only have I lost my mind, I’ve lost my comb.” Then Clark trips over a pink polyester bearskin rug and falls face first into the furnace, and that’s how Lois didn’t figure out that Clark was Superman.
Continue reading Superman II 2.23: The One Where Lois Finds Out
So, in the Superman movie — and yes, I am still talking about the movie — Lex Luthor has just deduced that Kryptonite will kill Superman, and he’s heading to Addis Ababa for an off-screen meteorite shopping trip. But the movie was out of date — according to the Superman comics of 1978, Kryptonite didn’t exist anymore.
The folks at DC Comics may have been excited about the upcoming Superman film, but there was a quiet war going on between the comics and the movie, battling to see which version of the story would take hold of the popular imagination. As it turned out, the movie won by a wide margin, and to explain why, all I need to do is show you what they tried to do with Kryptonite in the early ’70s.
Continue reading Superman 1.81: Nevermore
I’m just going to come right out and say it — it’s not a compelling car chase.
Continue reading Superman 1.61: Thrill of the Chase
In an article about the filming of Superman: The Movie published in August 1977, Time Magazine reported, “One thing Superman does not have — so far as anyone with plain old 20-20 can see, anyway — is many laughs. Director Donner, convinced that it was campiness that brought down King Kong, is avoiding even the possibility of untoward giggles.” Which just goes to show how wrong a magazine can be.
Because for the last five minutes, starting from our arrival in a Metropolis taxicab, the characters have been doing nonstop screwball comedy shtick, up to and including getting stuck in a revolving door.
Extricating themselves from the architecture, Lois and Clark emerge into a sunny musical comedy New York, where everyone is quiet and well-dressed, and the traffic noise limits itself to a couple of respectful honks when nobody has any important dialogue to say.
Continue reading Superman 1.42: Another Sunny Day in Comedy New York