“There are some things about commercial film making that are in really bad taste,” Christopher Reeve told the LA Times in June 1983, passive-aggressively promoting his new blockbuster Superman film.
“For a film to be commercial,” he explained, “it must earn money, and that results in strategic planning in certain degrees — the goal being to earn even more money. When it comes to a showdown between quality and integrity and commercial expedience, guess which wins?”
Oh, and go see Superman III, he absolutely did not add.
Continue reading Superman III 4.6: A Monsignor Moment
“These people are blemishes at your love feasts,” Jude declares, “eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” I know, right?
“But you, dear friends,” Jude continues, “by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”
But naturally, we don’t have time to wait for the mercy of J. Christ; the movie is only 91 minutes long, and the clock’s ticking. We’re going to need a quicker way to dispense eternal life, and here it comes, courtesy of a big soggy swamp zombie.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.29: The Book of Jude
Man, don’t turn your back on Superman during date night is the lesson of the day. After their champagne dinner at the Fortress of Not As Much Solitude As Usual, Lois excuses herself to change into something more comfortable, and I can’t imagine what that means, since she’s never been here before and they didn’t arrive with luggage.
But while she’s out of the room, Superman takes the opportunity to call his mom and tell her that he’s quitting his job, which is probably something that he and Lois should have discussed first.
“If this is what you wish,” Lara tells him, based on a procedurally-generated AI conversation from the distant past, “if you intend to live your life with a mortal — you must live as a mortal. You must become one of them.”
So I’ve got a question that I’m not sure they’ve considered: How come?
Continue reading Superman II 2.32: Mama Don’t Preach
“Once, there was a civilization,” says the announcer in the Superman: The Movie trailer, over a shot of Jor-El doing science stuff with crystals, “much like ours, but with greater intelligence, greater powers, and a greater capacity for good.”
Jor-El touches the machine, and the starship rises to the ceiling, and then everything goes to hell. We see people fall into the red pit of their doomed civilization, and then: BLAM! the whole planet explodes.
“In one tragic moment,” the announcer resumes, “that world was destroyed. But there was one survivor.” We see Kal-El in the star bubble, a brief clip of the crash landing, and then Pa Kent is kicking at his tire. Ma taps him on the shoulder, and they look at the wreck of the spaceship.
As they gaze in wonder, the announcer says, “Because of the wisdom and compassion of Jor-El — because he knew the human race had the capacity for goodness — he sent us his only son.”
The music swells, and we see little K, standing up with his arms outstretched, and we wonder: if Jor-El was so all-fired wise and compassionate, maybe he could also have sent some pants?
Continue reading Superman 1.17: For Unto Us