Friday, June 21, 2013

Man of (Recycled) Steel

            Superman has been re-imagined one time too many.
            I grew up watching the black and white TV series and reading my brothers’ DC comic books, including Superman, Superboy, and Supergirl.
            In December of 1979, I took my one-month- old son Kyle to the Susquehanna Valley Mall, where we saw Superman starring Christopher Reeve. Well, Kyle mostly nursed and napped, but I enjoyed the movie. I eventually saw all the movies in that incarnation, some on the big screen and some at home.
            In 2006, when Superman returned in Superman Returns (duh), I made a date to see it with Kyle for old time’s sake, and we enjoyed it at the Campus Theater in Lewisburg. This time Kyle stayed awake and ate movie theater snacks.
            Last week my husband thought Man of Steel would be a perfect movie to celebrate our thirty-eighth wedding anniversary. I thought a romantic dinner for two would be more apropos, but my D. H. would have none of it.
            So we bought our senior discount tickets at the Lycoming Mall along with a small bag of overpriced, salty popcorn, and settled into our favorite spot in a sparsely filled theater—which is not a good sign for only the second night of what was supposed to be a blockbuster summer release.
            After watching ten minutes of previews and dozens of subliminal and non-subliminal messages reminding me to turn off my cell phone, the movie began.
            Man of Steel has a plethora of special effects and violence and a paucity of character development. (Look them up; they’re Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop words.) However, Amy Adams turned in a respectable representation of Lois Lane.
            A few years ago when my high school girls and I were reading the Hunger Games trilogy, M. described the third book as “tediously violent.” Man of Steel is, also.
            I kept thinking of going to the restroom, wandering around the lobby, and taking out a small loan to buy Raisinets, but I thought I’d miss something good the minute I left.
            I needn’t have worried.
            The violent, tasteless, and boring destruction of Metropolis dragged on and on. Tasteless because it looked too much like Manhattan on September 11, 2001. Boring because how many buildings do you need to see crumble?
            The opening credits scene of Robin Hood Men in Tights came to mind. As the thatched roofs of the village huts are torched, the villagers shake their fists and yell, “Whenever they make a new Robin Hood movie, they burn down our village. Go away, Mel Brooks!” (or something like that)
            I would have like to have seen the people on the streets of Metropolis shake their fists. “Whenever they make a new Superman movie, they destroy Metropolis. Go away, Zack Snyder!”
            So I’m swearing off Superman movies for the foreseeable future. The next one I attend had better be written, directed, and produced by Mel Brooks.

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