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Superman (1978)
The Magic of Modern Myth, 12 July 2003

The first mistake you can make when trying to make a Superman fan is simple: try to make him seem like one of us. You can't - because he isn't.

That's what Richard Donner saw, and followed through on in the first, and still best, superhero film. If there was a true opposite to the nerd-in-love story of Spider-Man, it wouldn't be Tim Burton's gothic nightmare, it would be Richard Donner's translation of *the* modern American myth.

From the Valhalla of Krypton, to the serenity and idyllic Kansas prairie, to the sterling Metropolis, Donner follows our protagonist at a perfect distance. We never get too close, we merely experience his history. Do we ever get to truly know Clark Kent? No, no we don't - but that's fine. It's one of the few films where this is acceptable. If we truly got to know this extraordinary being, this alien, it would ruin the gloss, the myth. We don't watch Superman fly with envy ("I wish that was me"), but instead with awe. Here is a being so beyond us physically, mentally, and morally, that we can do nothing but gape - certainly not relate.

And that is truly the film's strength - when tragedy befalls the woman he loves, we see that glint of humanity - that spark that connects this God to us, and that makes the whole thing work. Here's a man we thought was beyond that kind of outburst, and that kind of pain, and the fact that he experiences it, makes the viewing that much more powerful. This myth builds to this tragedy, and Donner does the impossible - makes us empathize with an abstraction.

This is not to say, however, that this is the only way to translate the character. Recent writers (and screenwriters) have been attempting to breathe humanity into Superman - and I look forward to the results. But until they prove that we can relate to such a being, this will forever be the quintessential superhero film.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Probably the greatest movie. Ever., 27 May 2003

Well, I was sitting in my cell at the Florida State Penetentiary, and a question bubbled, down from my very gut, into my mind. Which is the greater film, and in turn, the greatest film of all time: The Phantom, starring Billy Zane, or Run Leia Run, directed by Adam Bertocci?

Granted, there are pros and cons to each, which I weighed, like a beautiful woman deciding which succulent ham roast to buy. The Phantom has skull rings. I like skull rings a lot. It also has Treat Williams. I like this guy a lot too. I think he might have been in that movie with the monkey that talked, but I'm not sure.

But Run Leia Run is probably better. For one thing it had some really cool people in it. Man Harrison ford looks so different now. I liked the part of the movie where the guy comes up to him and wants to swordfight him but he just shoots him. man i crap my pants everytime i see that part. i like star wars because i know mark hamill. he lives in my cell block, and one time i threw my mashed potato serving at him. man was he steamed.

this guy adam bertocci is a talent to watch. you should watch him every day like i do. He's nice to watch. it makes me feel good to look at him. I wish I knew more names of people who worked on this so i could watch them too.

I have to go now or else i'll get in trouble with my mom. or the warden. i forget.

- Nosrednas tneK dna Yalc

xXx (2002)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Doesn't even live up to the genre it's name invokes, 16 February 2003

"xXx" is a disgrace. Conceived by Rich Wilkes ("The Stoned Age") as a revamp of the James Bond legend, Cohen's film is a vacuum of time, talent, and money.

I am having trouble coming up with a concise, clever way of maligning this film, simply because there is so little right with it. Even the near-100 million dollar production and its effects look cheap. The film is a concoction of buzz words and fads led by rising star who somehow manages to be out-classed by Arnold Schwarzengger.