Sunday, July 30, 2006

Last Call

So, um...I don't know how I stumbled upon this, but I did.

Road House 2: Last Call.

They made a sequel to Road House.

Without Patrick Swayze.

They did it. They finally really did it. You maniacs!

Damn you! Damn you all to hell!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Who wants to watch people who want to be superheroes?

I do.

And I'm not alone.

I did not expect to like this show at all.

But I LOVED it.

This show was supposed to be a cornball, last ditch lame attempt by the geeks to sink their fake vampire teeth into the bloated corpse of reality television.

But, like so many things having to do with geek culture, this show - with much thanks to Stan "The Man" Lee - manages to elevate itself above the normal reality show trainwreck, rewarding noble character over petty, self-interested, competition-minded contestants.

In a time when the sneakiest snake wins the "survival of the fittest" in the selfish world of reality television, along comes WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO? and completely shames the entire genre.

If this show were just a bunch of grown adults wearing gaudy outfits, running around with pretend superpowers and shouting cheesy catchphrases, it would simply fade away as another sad cliche of geek culture.

BUT.

From the get-go, nothing is as it seems.

The drama!

The pathos!

The HUMANITY!

When these would-be Superheroes screw up, Stan Lee mercilessly shames them, providing insight into what it means to be a true hero.

The first "hero" to be kicked off the show is revealed to be nothing more than a money-hungry, fame-obsessed celebrity wannabe. And Stan Lee will have none of it, teaching him - and everyone - a terrific lesson in humility. He needs to make sure that these people are there for the right reasons. It's fascinating. Sure, on the surface they look like a bunch of freaks and geeks, but what Stan Lee is really trying to do is look beyond the garish get-ups and see what makes a hero tick. It's not about the cool gadgets or the goofy costumes; it's about what's on the inside that counts. It's about the VALUES of heroism.

When Lee sees them flitting about their house like they're on a vacation, he barks orders at them, telling them in no uncertain terms that this is not how superheroes act.

You gotta love the sense of theatrics and the slowly brewing melodramas -

Hello! Major Victory is a former exotic dancer who feels like he let his daughter down!

Yet, beneath the flashy, cheesy exterior of the show is a lesson in true heroism, where one's character is tested more than their skill, where it's not enough to talk like a hero; it's most important to ACT like a hero.

When "Fat Momma" stops in the middle of her mission to help a crying child, we know that beneath her copious bosom beats the heart of a true hero. We no longer see a large woman in a ridiculous outfit with doughnuts hanging from her belt ... well, okay, we do see that, but we also see a mother, a human being. Someone who truly believes in helping others, no matter the cost.

When Cellphone Girl and Major Victory veer off from their given task to help that child in need, you know that they value the ideals of heroism over competition. We feel a little tingle of excitement as a cry for help is answered. And even as Major Victory mugs to the camera, we know that his heart's in the right place. Sure his costume riffs heavily on The Greatest American Hero ... and that helps, too.

Many of these costumed characters fail their first real test and when Stan Lee solemnly chastises the so-called heroes for ignoring a crying girl - for not taking time out to do the most important thing a hero can do, help someone in need - they realize that there's a lot more to being a real superhero than beating your opponents in a competition. And an important lesson is taught to all. Dressing up in a silly costume isn't so silly when you actually live up to the superhero standard of helping those in need. But when you act selfishly, ignoring the cries of help around you, standing there in a superhero outfit must feel like the most humiliating experience in the world.

"Son, you have a lot of growing up to do."

Stan Lee uttering those words is the reality television equivalent of "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed."

In essence, this is an anti-reality show; instead of holding up a mirror to our culture and showing us how truly awful people are, WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO? encourages us to live up to an ideal, to be better than ordinary people, to be better human beings. Sure, it's filled with chessy maxims and over-the-top outrageous characters...but beneath the flash and pop is a show that rewards good behavior and a noble character.

Of course, Stan Lee sums up the show best when he explains that it's what's on the inside counts:

"Heart.

Compassion.

Courage.

Honesty and integrity."


These are the qualities that Stan's searching for and in a time when the word "hero" is tossed around to describe anyone from someone who hits homeruns to fictional characters who favor violence over peace, leave it to Stan Lee to provide a shining beacon of hope in a dark world.

Everyone of us could be an everyday superhero. It's not about costumes or powers or cool gadgets. It's not about talking the talk or saying you love being hero. Actions speak louder than words and are more dramatic than any of the show's dreamt-up theatrics. It's about BEING a hero, in every sense of the word.

Heart.
Compassion.
Intelligence.
Courage.
Honesty.
Integrity.

Who WOULDN'T want to be a superhero?!

Excelsior!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

An important message

From the lovely ladies of Sweet Paprika:

Summer's almost over.
I hate to be the one to tell you, but I must.
Seriously, one more month and then it's back to the same grind you've had all summer, minus sidewalk cafes and rooftop parties.
Does anyone have a roof? Call me!

We're celebrating the last week of July with a bang, a scream and a strum.
Here's who's doing what:
Dan Newbower - Low key, relentless persuasion
Brad Loakey - Definitely bang
The Hazzards - All the strum without the drang
Benari Poulten - Please and thank you

And Allison and Ophira, screaming to be heard over the siren song of the vodka...

Sweet Paprika
at D-Lounge, beneath the Daryl Roth Theatre
Every Friday at 10:30pm
101 East 15th St. at Union Square East
$5, 2 drinks, endless laughs
www.sweetpaprika.com

ORDER TIX ONLINE!!!
www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5376


You heard the gals. Ge thee to D-Lounge!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

with "Fox and Friends" like these....



TO: Fox News, "Fox and Friends"

FROM: The Jews

RE: Your new "Israel-friendly" graphic


You are not helping.

Oy.

Monday, July 24, 2006

a little less conversation...

...a little more self-promotion, please.


On Monday night at 8, I'll be performing at the 45th Street Theatre.

The 45th Street Theatre
354 West 45th Street
Between 8th and 9th Avenue
Call 1-800-838-3006 for tickets and discounts!

It's a great line-up featuring:

Dean Obeidallah
Jim David
Julie Goldman
Jamie Jackson
and ME.

More details here: http://laughingliberally.com/shows.html


Then, on FRIDAY JULY 28th at 10:30pm, I'll be performing at one of my favorite shows in the city, Sweet Paprika.

D-Lounge, basement
101 E. 15th Street
Union Square East, NYC
10:30PM

Along with me, you get to see the always funny Allison Castillo and Ophira Eiesenberg, Dan Newbower, Brad Loekle, and the hilarious ukulele duo The Hazzards! All for 5 bucks!

More details here: http://www.sweetpaprika.com/schedule_sp.htm

Hope to see you there.

Thanks for supporting live comedy,

B.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

brilliant dialogue

I know I've quoted Ghostbusters before, and I'll probably do so again. But somehow, recent world events have reminded me of this exchange:



Mayor
What do you mean, "biblical"?

Dr Ray Stantz
What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff.

Dr. Peter Venkman
Exactly.

Dr Ray Stantz
Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.

Dr. Egon Spengler
Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes...

Winston Zeddemore
The dead rising from the grave.

Dr. Peter Venkman
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Stan Lee Meets...

So, Marvel's releasing a new series this year in which Stan Lee meets five of his favorite Marvel (co-)creations.

And a few days ago, on a brief visit to Somerville, I chatted with chums Kevin and Mike at Comicazi (don't mean to brag) and I wondered aloud about the possibility of Marvel doing a comic book in which Stan Lee meets Jack Kirby all these years later to make amends. Of course, The King has passed on, but through the magical power of comic books, here's what I think the comic book would look like, in script form. Of course, this being modern-day Marvel, it would be written by Brian Michael Bendis.

Please note, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Stan Lee and Jack Kirby...this is all in bad taste and fun. And so, may I humbly present:

STAN LEE MEETS...
JACK KIRBY!

as written by Brian Michael Bendis

PAGE 1: SPLASH PAGE. STAN LEE bursts forth from the page like a bombastic, ritalin-deprived 6-year old.

STAN LEE
Hey, True Believer! Stan "the Man" Lee here to extend a humble hand in friendship to you, the ever-lovin', cigar-chompin' pencil-slingin' maestro of the marvelous, Jack "the King" Kirby. The past is past, ol' pal, so let's let bygones be bygones. If the Yanks and the Reds can do it, then surely two towering titans and tellers of terrific tales such as ourselves can bury the hatchet...in something other than a buddy's back! In fact, such debonair and devilish dynamos like the two of us should team-up! Like the old days! Just imagine...! You, me...why, we could put the whole boisterous bullpen back together! Who knows what new, dizzying heights of excellence we could achieve?! Fame, fortune, fantastic flights of fancy and ferocious fun...the sky's the limit! Whaddya say, ol' buddy, ol' pal?

PAGE 2: 9-Panel Grid. JACK KIRBY sits at his drawing board, smoking a cigar. He and STAN LEE face each other.

Panel 1. STAN and JACK stare at each other.

STAN LEE
So? How 'bout it, Jack?

Panel 2-9. STAN and JACK stare at each other. Jack's cigar gets progressively smaller as he puffs away.

NO DIALOGUE.

PAGES 3-21: Each page is a 9-panel grid and each panel is the same repeating image, except JACK's cigar gets smaller and smaller, until it's merely a nub. STAN and JACK silently stare at each other.

NO DIALOGUE.

PAGE 22: 9-panel grid of STAN and JACK staring at each other.

Panels 1-8. STAN and JACK stare at each other.

NO DIALOGUE

Panel 9. Same image of STAN and JACK staring at each other. JACK's cigar has completely burnt out.


JACK KIRBY
Go fuck yourself.*

PAGE 23:

Panel 1. Suddenly, and without warning, a metal chair cracks Stan Lee over the head, knocking him out.

SFX: KER-RAAAANG!!

Panel 2. STEVE DITKO stands over STAN LEE, holding the chair.

STEVE DITKO
Justice demands that man's principles be fixed in terms of good and evil. Black and white! Any man who deliberately commits an evil act will be so judged! No man shall profit from choosing evil at the expense of those who choose to be good!

Panel 3. JACK KIRBY stares at STEVE DITKO, who clutches the metal chair.

NO DIALOGUE.

Panel 4. SAME IMAGE. JACK KIRBY stares at STEVE DITKO.

JACK KIRBY
You really need to get laid, Steve. You know that, right?

Panel 5. JACK lights up another cigar.

NO DIALOGUE.

Panel 6. CLOSE-UP on STAN LEE. He's propped his head up on one hand, his eyes are open and he has a large grin on his face.

STAN LEE
Fear not, o Faithful Ones! Your old pal, Stan Lee, can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'! It's just business as usual here on another typical day at the bullpen. If you want to see more pulse-pounding action and excitement, tune-in to what's sure to be the next far-out phenomenon, Who Wants To Be A Superhero?, Thursdays on Sci Fi Channel!

Panel 7. Small, circular panel. CLOSE-UP on STAN LEE's face. He's winking to the readers.

STAN LEE
EXCELSIOR!


*Remember, this is Brian Michael Bendis writing this! - Bashful Benari!

Brave New Frontier

This one's for the geeks.

DC's coming out with an all-new Martian Manhunter series and as much as I dig J'onn...well, I just ain't interested in this one. It just seems like they're trying to jam the character into a new edgier and extreme look and characterization. Because that worked so well in the past.

I'm sure everyone involved has the best of intentions, but with all due respect, I think they're missing the core coolness of the character.

What kind of Martian Manhunter series would I like to read?

One by Darwyn Cooke. I'd like to see a retro take on the character, maybe even jumping off from his version in New Frontier. It could be self-contained, either set in the 50s/60s or set in that vague, neo-50s world Cooke seems to conjure up every time he puts pencil to paper. Done-in-one stories that aren't beholden to any one continuity but could easily slide into any given time frame.

I'd make it less of a superhero book and more of a sci-fi/pulp detective serial. Explore J'onn's trials and tribulations as he tries to fit in to a world not his own. An intergalactic detective of sorts, disguised as the very humans he has little understanding of, as he works to solve bizarre mysteries in seemingly ordinary locales. An offbeat noir starring an alien shapeshifter trying desperately to make sense of a seemingly senseless world.

A mix of Spillane and a ray of Chandler, a dash of Hammett, a helping of Wells, and maybe a pinch of Dick...

At once light-hearted and brooding, comical and poignant, J'onn J'onzz has the potential to delve into the mysterious underbelly of our world and perhaps truly discover that most precious secret of all: what it means to be truly human.

That's the series I'd like to read.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"I hate your bag."

Picture this.

Crowded mid-town Manhattan sidewalk. Afternoon. It's hot.

Walking southbound is a disheveled-looking man wheeling a small, leather suitcase behind him.

Walking northbound is a dude carrying a chair on his shoulder.

Like colorful balloons in a French film, they pass.

Suddenly, unexpectedly - and without breaking stride! - the dude with the chair just kicks the man's suitcase.

BIP!

I hate your bag.

The man with the suitcase looks back, confused, thinking he ran over a bump.

The man with the chair continues walking, angrily grumbling, "Bag."

That dude must really hate luggage.


*BIP!*


"I hate your stupid bag. Bags! Aaaaaargh! Fuck that bag!" *THWACK!*

So many questions.

Was his family killed by roving bands of carry-on? Maybe he was the sole survivor of the terrible Samsonite Scourge of '99. Perhaps he just barely escaped with his life and his chair after his family, his friends, nay! - his entire village was wiped out by a rabid pack of the finest leathery travel accoutrements.

Now, carrying only his chair - the last remnant of his former life - he roams the streets of New York, like a modern day Kung Fu, seeking justice and peace.

And occasionally kicking the shit out of some guy's luggage.

Monday, July 17, 2006

FYI

Psssst.

Wanna know where you can see me tonight and next Monday night?

Monday at 8:00pm
The 45th Street Theatre
354 West 45th Street
Between 8th and 9th Avenue


Comedy. Politics. Beer.

See you tonight.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

B-b-brilliant quote o' the day

I would argue that Who Framed Roger Rabbit stands as one of the best hard-boiled film noir detective flicks of all time. Up there with The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, or Chinatown.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Jeffrey Price & Peter S. Seaman. Loosely based on the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by novelist Gary K. Wolf.


Of course, who could forget the movie's sultry femme fatale?


"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."
-Jessica Rabbit
(Kathleen Turner)


You know you wanted to bang Jessica Rabbit.

Perv.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"From the creators of 'White Chicks'..."

INT. PENTHOUSE APT. - NIGHT

Two brothers, dressed in baggy but expensive clothes, take hits from a wacky-looking bong as they watch a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

A thick haze of smoke hangs heavy in the air.

KEENEN
Aw, shit. I love this one! This one here's where this tiny midget gangster tries to fool ol' Bugs into thinkin' he's a baby, but my man Bugs ain't havin' it, see?

SHAWN
Midget what?

KEENEN
He's like a robber, but he's a midget. Funny as hell. Baby Face Finster or some crazy shit. An' he's all actin' like he's a baby to get his goods back.

SHAWN
And Bugs believes that shit?

KEENEN
Naw, Double B turns the tables on ol' boy and -

Keenen belches a puff of smoke. The brothers laugh uncontrollably.

PAUSE

SHAWN
Oh shit. Oh shit!

KEENEN
What?

SHAWN
What if I was Bugs?

PAUSE

KEENEN
You're cut off -

SHAWN
I'm Bugs, right, and we make Marlon the midget...

The two brothers stare at each other.

Smoke swirls ominously around them.

MARLON enters, wearing a bonnet and a diaper.

MARLON
Look what I found in the attic! This shit is off-the-hook hilarious!

KEENEN and SHAWN collapse in a fit of laughter.

MARLON
I told you this shit is funny!

FADE TO BLACK



Did it really happen? You make the call!

Little Man

Baby Buggy Bunny

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

culture shocked?

BEIJING, July 12 -- Italian defender Marco Materazzi has for the first time acknowledged that he "insulted" French player Zinedine Zidane because he was super arrogant in the World Cup final, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

"I held his shirt .. for only a few seconds, he turned toward me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down: 'if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.' (Zidane said) It's true, I shot back with an insult," Tuesday's paper quoted Materazzi as saying.

Asked whether he had insulted Zidane's sister or mother, Materazzi said, it was an "insult of the kind you will hear dozens of times and that just slips out on the ground."

"I certainly didn't call him a terrorist; I am ignorant, I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is. I certainly did not mention Zidane's mother; for me a mother is sacred.”

 (Source: Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)


For most people, the head-butt heard 'round the world was the decisive moment in France's loss to Italy. Whether Materazzi's provokation of Zidane deserved a head-butt or not...well, I've heard some excuses before, but I think Materazzi's defense has to be - by far - the most bizarre.

"I certainly didn't call him a terrorist; I am ignorant, I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is."


You don't kow what an Islamic terrorist is? Well, I assume someone had to have told you what one is so that you could explain to us that you don't know what one is.

Actually, I like this highly-detailed, dizzying logic.

"Speeding, officer? I could not have been speeding. I am ignorant. I don't even know what a 400-horsepower, aluminum V-8 engine-powered corvette is."

"Murder? Impossible! I don't even know what a double action .38 caliber revolver is!"

"I don't blog. I do not even know what the internets is. And I certainly didn't stalk anyone on MySpace. Definitely never heard of MySpace."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Open Letter

To the shirtless guy running around the West Village last night waving the flag of Italy:

I see that you're very proud of Italy winning the World Cup, as evidenced by your ceaseless heckling of anyone wearing anything vaguely French-looking and your continued boasts of "We kicked your ass! Italy rules!!"

Being that you were roaming the streets of New York City last night - and not the downtown streets of Berlin, Germany - I can only assume that you yourself did not actually play in the championship game. Based on the intensity and personal nature of your comments - you repeatedly referred to the Italian soccer team as "we" and you seemed to take the most innocuous of activities, such as walking on the sidewalk, as an egregious personal insult to you, the Italian soccer team, and indeed, all of Italy itself - I can only surmise that you are close friends with the players or perhaps have even played for the team in the past. In which case, kudos to you on your hard-fought victory, sir!

I must also praise you for your eagle-eyed awareness, as you keenly observed that the guy wearing the blue GAP t-shirt was, indeed, silently mocking you through colorful expression. Your witty jabs at his masculinity and your insightful thoughts on the French culture truly put him in his place. He'll think twice before wearing THAT Frenchie shirt again!

I commend you for your loyalty to the sport and to the good-natured spirit of the game.

Also, I felt my eyes mist up a little as you marched down 6th Avenue, chanting: "Four more years of tears!"

Four more years of tears, indeed, good sir! Well played!

Yours in Pele,

B.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

today's brilliant quote

In honor of the end of the patriotic 4th of July holiday week, I give you a quote from perhaps the greatest All-American paramilitary wish-fulfillment movie of the Reagan-era, Red Dawn.

From the paranoid pens of director John Milius and writer Kevin Reynolds.


"Wolveriiiiines!"



Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey before they sexed it up in Dirty Dancing.

C. Thomas Howell fresh from The Outsiders, pre-Soul Man.

Pre-Deadwood Powers Boothe - and although he never actually says it in this movie, it's retroactively implied that he calls everyone a "cocksucker".

Lea Thompson before Back to the Future and Howard the Duck ... but only a year after we saw her breasts in All The Right Moves.

Charlie Sheen, before the hookers and coke!

Also, it's a fact that Red Dawn - along with Rocky IV - finally ended the Cold War.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another reason why...

...I heart Rocketship:

I show up randomly to pick up some new comic books and I'm treated to free beer and I meet Rosario Dawson.

Rocketship is awesome.

even more thoughts

Evil Robby Reed reviews Superman Returns. It's not pretty. But it is hilarious.

Also, it reminded me of another thing that bugged me about the flick:

They sure did love to beat the crap out of Lois Lane. She gets thrown around a falling jet plane, slammed into walls, tossed around by thugs, and finally has an iron door smack her unconscious. Someone's got unresolved anger issues against women...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Up, up, and...okay


"Sorry I've been away so long. I won't let you down again."


These are the last lines spoken by Superman at the end of Superman II.

And then, according to Bryan Singer, some scientists see remnants of Krypton and Kal-El immediately takes off into space, in search of his long-dead planet.

Ummm....didn't you just say that you wouldn't...ah, nevermind. Already, I can see the major holes in the plot for Superman Returns.

It looks gorgeous. But in the end, it was kind of a hollow movie. A beautiful love letter to the original movies with some nice spins...but there was no sense of closure, no new thrills.

Superman Returns is all homage and set-up without any real pay-off.

I wanted to like it more. I really enjoyed a lot of it, I thought the sets and special effects were fantastic, loved the cast...but the last 1/2 hour just really disappointed me.

And the central question of the movie - "does the world need Superman?" - was never actually answered!!

I'm just gonna bullet-point the highs and lows here.

Of course there are SPOILERS below!!!

First, the positive:

* The comforting embrace of nostalgia. Singer really creates a unifying sense of Superman's fim world. From the opening credits to the John Williams music to Brando's voice, this movie really explores and expands upon Donner's original vision and beautifully captures the majesty and epic scope of those first two films. And there's just something about those perfect notes and those triumphant horns....


* Singer truly created a unique Metropolis, with its own character and charm. In the movies, Metropolis was really just New York. Superman would often fly over the Statue of Liberty and the major battle of Superman II takes place, essentially, in Times Square. But here, Singer very subtley makes his mark on the franchise, giving us a Metropolis that's its own major metropolitan city. The Daily Planet building is straight out of the comic book, with it's giant globe piercing the Metropolis skyline. The bustling streets and the skyline have their own distinct traits. Singer keeps it in sync with the originals, but he develops it more. Sure, there's the Empire State Building along the skyline, but he also incorporates bridges and buildings that look like they could only belong to one place: Metropolis. Also, cute background mention of Gotham City in a tv news report. Always nice when they throw the geeks a bone.

* Noel Neil as the old dying lady, Gertrude, at the beginning. Excellent.

* Jack Larson as the bartender. Very classy. At one point, there's a shot of him and Jimmy together...I just thought that was sweet. One of the better movie cameos. Plus, I liked this Jimmy Olsen. There was a real sense of friendship and warmth between Jimmy and Clark. Very nice.

* Kevin Spacey. His Lex Luthor is a nice evolution of Hackman's original. A little more menacing, a little more hardened, but with that same sardonic glee and wicked humor.

* I have to give credit to young Brandon Routh. He made me believe that I can believe someone else can play Superman.

* The special effects were superb. And some beautiful shots of Superman lifting heavy things or blasting them with heat vision or cooling things off with cold breath...nice use of his powers and an excellent job all around. Super.

* The movie itself looked spectacular and it just exuded a tremendous love - love of this project, of the previous films, of the characters. A respectful and thoughtful tribute to what's come before.

*Nice nod to Action Comics #1, loved the Aquaman jammies, and all the other nice little flourishes. For the fanboys.

* The last shot was a nice touch.

The not so positive...

* The big climax is that Superman fights a giant slab of earth? Okay, it was cool that he's picking up a giant slab of the earth...but...the movie then goes on for another 1/2 an hour. I mean, the plane scene was the most action-packed, and that happened in the first third of the movie. When does he hit stuff?

* They made Superman so status quo. He just does his thing. Why does the world need Superman? Because he's there. I was waiting for Lois to sum up why the world DOES need a Superman. Or for Superman to inspire people. In Superman II, when the crowd thinks the evil Kryptonians have killed the Man of Steel, they are inspired to fight back in his honor. When Superman lay dying in a hosptial (don't get me started on THAT), where were the acts of heroism inspired by the Last Son of Krypton? Where was the impact he has on people shown? Yeah, they wanted him to get better, but...why couldn't we see how Superman inspired people to be better, to do better, to make the world better?

* He was kind of selfish. I mean, Superman II was all about the repurcussions of him acting in his own self-interest. And then, apparently, he didn't learn his lesson at all...

* The kid's his. From when he slept with Lois in Superman II. Okay. Fine. But let's look at the problems, starting with the two reasons why the kid couldn't have super powers.

1. Kal-El sleeps with Lois after he gives up his powers, when he's simply a mortal man.

2. "...the lights were on out here, while he was safe...in there..." Even if his Kryptonian DNA were passed on, when Superman reverses the molecule chamber stripping the evil Kryptonians of their powers, Lois was also outside. Carrying their child, apparently. Who would have been exposed to the rays and thereby made mortal. So, there ya go.

Also, the first time he uses his powers, the kid kills a guy. Great. And it happens half way through the movie. We get the big revelation and then...that's it. If you're gonna do that, tease it a little more. Make the ending have a little more impact. Instead, the last 1/2 hour just tells us what we already know. Because you already TOLD us.

Other problems with the kid, and here's the big one:

LOIS HAS NO IDEA SHE EVER SLEPT WITH SUPERMAN! HE ERASED HER MEMORY WITH A KISS TO RELIEVE HER OF THE BURDEN OF HAVING TO SHARE HIS SECRET. So, if she got pregnant, she wouldn't know it was his. Basically, she'd just wake up pregnant one day. Aaaaaand, if Superman left, and Richard White could possibly be the dad (so she says)...she sure did get over him pretty damn fast. She would have had to sleep with him within days of Superman's disappearance (unless Superman took off for space, like, immediately after saying he would never leave again - like, THAT DAY - and if so, then he's really a dick) AND she would have to be pretty careless with the whole safe sex thing.

AND Superman never really tells her that "yeah, it could be mine, because we slept together but then I made you forget everything with my super kiss" ... WHICH MAKES THE WHOLE THING EXTRA CREEPY.

* um, the story? Where was it?

* I guess I expected a little more chemistry between Brandon and Kate.

* The script? It's overly sentimental with a lot of heavy-handed symbolism and an almost slavish devotion to the originals. Hey, I loved the first two movies. But I've seen them. I didn't need to hear all the best lines over again. And all the best lines in THIS movie were just rehashed lines from the original! I was hoping for some new material, not a poor man's imitation of the first movie...I didn't want to see Superman Redux. The script is, in the words of General Zod, "Scruffy. So morbid. A sentimental replica of a planet long since vanished."

* The criminals were never brought to justice. I never saw Superman get back at those thugs for kicking the crap out of him. Kumar and crew just get crushed by rock. Randomly. Superman never even goes after Luthor to bring him to justice?! What?! Lex and Parker Posey stranded on a desert island? How is that justice? Poetic justice, fine. But Superman's whole schtick is fighting for "Truth, JUSTICE, and the American Way." He fights for JUSTICE! He wouldn't leave it up to irony to punish Lex. I would have been fine with that scene if Lex turned around and Superman was just hovering there. "Looks like you made a bad real estate investment, Luthor." Something. HE NEVER PUNISHES LEX LUTHOR!!! No closure. And no justice.

* The Daily Planet staff is really stupid. "Hi, Clark. Haven't seen you in years. Welcome ba- Oh! Superman's back on the same day! I'm sure there's no correlation!" Sloppy.

* The whole Jesus thing? I got it. But his whole line about "every day I hear them calling out" for a savior? Eh. There's more to it than that. He's a beacon, a light to lead the way...he's not supposed to be THE WAY. Dig?

* Um, as soon as Clark hears about Lex Luthor being out of jail, wouldn't he maybe, um, try to track him down?

* The end was just a let-down. There was no "F*@% YEAH!" moment. In Superman and in Superman II, we were treated to several "F*@% YEAH" moments. Superman II alone has enough "F*@% YEAH" moments for its own movie. "General, care to step outside?" Superman kneeling before Zod, then crushing his hand and lifting him over his head as the music swells. Going back to the diner for some payback. "Oh, I've been...working out." This movie had none of that. It definitely would have benefited from a little more "ooomph" in the ending. And really, its lackluster ending made me walk out of the theater feeling kind of let down instead of jazzed up.

In conclusion: it's disappointing. There's a lot of great things in it, but it never really comes together to make it a great movie. And after seeing it, it just made me want to watch the first two movies even more. So, maybe that's the power of this movie: to make you feel really excited about seeing the old Superman movies again.

But it did look cool.

I don't normally agree with the NY Post...




Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks Kenny Boy is sipping margaritas on a tropical island somewhere off the coast.