And as General Zod sinks slowly in the west, we bid farewell to successful superhero movies for a while. If I’m going to cover the entire history of superhero movies, then that means taking the bad with the good, so I’m about to enter the string of disappointing comic book movies of the 80s, including Swamp Thing, Supergirl and Howard the Duck, which convinced everyone at the time that making movies based on comic books was a dumb idea.
Meanwhile, way over here on the other side of history, we live in a world where making as many movies based on comic books as possible is the only logical course for every single movie studio to pursue. You can tell that the nerds have won because a movie about a minor Spider-Man character comes out, and the entire pop culture discussion around the movie is about which Marvel movie “universe” it belongs in. This is not normal pop culture behavior.
Continue reading Morbius 95.1: The Sinister Sick
The thing is, everybody thought that Superman would fail: it would look silly, the flying wouldn’t work, it would collapse under the weight of its own budget. Most importantly, everyone thought it would be too square for the seventies: a man in a cape fighting unironically for truth, justice and the American way, in an America that had lost its taste for unsullied superheroics.
So when Superman turned out to be an enormous hit, it knocked us back a step, forcing us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves: are we as cool as we think we are? Do we believe that truth, justice and the American way is a workable ethic in this fallen world, and that an individual with power and talent would ever choose to commit himself to the general good?
Those are difficult questions to answer, and in our time of need, we turned to the nicest TV star that we could think of, who wasn’t currently on public broadcasting.
Continue reading Superman II 2.12: The Nice Guy
“When it comes to muscles and body,” asks a random internet user on the social question-and-answer forum Quora, “Reeve’s Superman looks nothing like Cavill’s. Why didn’t Reeve train for the part?”
That question was posed in February 2017, during the production of Henry Cavill’s third Superman film, Justice League, and while the question is insulting to Reeve, you can forgive the inquisitor getting caught up in the propaganda. By that time, Cavill and his workout routines had been featured in supermarket workout-porn mags at least four times — Men’s Health in 2011, Muscle & Fitness in 2013, and Men’s Fitness in 2015 and 2016 — in an ongoing series of public-service bulletins keeping America updated on the current status of his big-ass arms.
Continue reading Superman 1.71: The Workout