Anders Bergstrom's blog on Words, Films, and Music

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Am I Predisposed to Not Like the new Superman film?

NOTE: I have not yet seen the film and this is just based on what I've seen and read, and what I, as a long time comic book fan, would like to see in a Superman film. If Singer's film delivers, I will happily eat my words and admit I was wrong.

I'm getting the impression from some that people might think I'm against Superman Returns without going to see it. This is not entirely true. Oh, of course I'm going to see it, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it (like Luke said on his blog, it's gotta be better than X-Men: The Last Stand, right?).

I'm not even saying I think it's going to be a bad movie. It's just that from everything I've read and seen, Singer's vision of Superman is not what I would do if I was making the film. I just don't think that making this a psuedo-sequel to the first two Chris Reeve films is a good idea. Why handicap yourself and tie yourself to continuity that way. Especially a continuity that, nostalgia aside, had some pretty stupid elements to it that took away from the epic feel of Superman (e.g. Otis, turning back time, amnesia kisses, levitation beams?). I think that the series could have used a fresh start like Christopher Nolan did with the Batman films. Though, I guess I would keep John Williams iconic Superman theme. That I'll give Singer. Good idea.

Heck, if I was going to make a Superman film with a $250 million dollar budget, I'd go back to Byrne's 1986 Man of Steel mini-series and use that as a basis for a screenplay with a few modifications. Here's what I'd put in the film. A Luthor who is a legitimit threat -- a billionaire scientist with the tech to actually take on Superman, and whom the world trusts and loves, and who's lust for power and glory makes Supes a rival. A love triangle for Superman and Lois -- involving Luthor no less; I know this was done on Lois & Clark but it worked. Not killing off Pa Kent, as the love of his adopted parents is what helps keep Clark grounded in the human world. Those are just a few things that I would work into a film.

As for casting, I cast a Superman who's a bit older than Brandon Routh. Superman can't look like a kid. We already have a young, inexperienced hero -- his name is Spider-man. Routh's age wouldn't be a problem, but if we're to believe that this is the Superman from the first two films who's been away for 5 years shouldn't he be like in his mid-thirties at least? That said, I do like the idea of casting a non-movie star in the role. I really can't see any of today's Hollywood elite as Superman, and then he brings no baggage to the role (I'll give Singer this, Routh makes me much happier than Burton's ill-concieved idea of casting Nicholas Cage in the role).

As for supporting cast, I'm looking forward to seeing what Kevin Spacey does with the role; I hope he takes Luthor and really goes with it, because the last thing I want to see is a Luthor in the vein of most of Spacey's roles; you know, the self-righteous, soft spoken guy who's just so smug. I want a Luthor with a bit of kick to him. I was thinking, "who would I cast?" and I came up with what I think would be a really interesting bit of casting: Ed Harris! Just think, he's got the aggressive, intelligent, determined thing going for him. He can play great villians, and we're used to seeing him bald anyway so that wouldn't be a distraction for people (like Spacey's egghead is). I think Ed Harris as Luthor would kick ass!

Now for the most important casting decision: Lois Lane. I'm sorry, I don't know if I'll be able to buy Kate Bosworth as a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Lois has to be not just beautiful, but someone who you believe could track down a story, who could win the heart of the most powerful men on earth through her energy and aggression. I always thought that Terri Hatcher was the best Lois in any of the live action incarnations. She was easily the best part about the Lois & Clark show. But her time has passed, and she's now known to most as one of those Wisteria Lane women. Why not go after another TV actress, an up and coming starlet who I think would do a good job playing both a gutsy and beautiful Lois Lane. Why not Evangeline Lilly from LOST? I think she would do a fine job. What do you think?

With the right casting and the budget that Singer had, I'm positive we could have a definitive take on the Superman myth. But we have what we have, and I guess I'm going to have to see it for myself this week.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Well, I'm almost half way done my essay at the moment, and it seems to be coming together alright (I don't feel like I'm stretching my material at all).

I recieved an invitation from my friend Ryan Fisher to attend Superman Returns. I'm still not sold, as the reviews come pouring in. I'm very skeptical of how marrying the new film to the old films will work. I have a feeling it will be awkward. The fact is that the Superman comics are much more interesting than the old films (for example, why have Luthor be a crook who has to come into possession of his fortune. He's much more interesting in the comics as a multi-billionaire whom the public thinks is a good guy). I guess I'll know for sure how I feel on Thursday night.

That said, here's a film that I'm sold on from the beginning. This looks good. Real good.

Forget Superman. SPIDER-MAN RETURNS!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Well, it's been a week now since The Loss. And it's been ages and ages since I posted anything on this blog. And I'm working on the final essay for the final class of my MA program. Victoria has been HOT lately! In excess of 30° and wonderfully sunny. I spent most of Saturday at the beach reading and getting a nice tan/burn. Of course, beach weather interfers with one's concentration when you're trying to get a paper done for Wednesday. The papers not due until Friday, but I'll be back in Saskatoon on Thursday morning so I figured I might want to get it done before then.


A few thoughts on the Oilers. Now it was a glorious--and more importantly UNEXPECTED--ride to the Stanley Cup , which makes the ending that much more sad. Why? Well, given the state of things, you never know when they're going to be able to repeat that again. In the "new NHL," basically every team is competitive and could make a similar run if the stars align properly. It's both the hope and the frusteration of any fan hoping to see their team make regular runs at the silver. You have to enjoy it when it happens. So with that said, I'm getting over it. Really.

However, Edmonton Oilers fans can now move on to the fact that our "Conn Smythe candidate" defenseman, Chris Pronger, has requested a trade from Edmonton for "personal family considerations." Translation: his wife doesn't like Edmonton and would like to move out east. Harsh blow: lose the cup, now possibly lose your franchise player?

Things are not nearly a dismal as it might seem though. Pronger has just finished the first year of a 5 yr, $ 6.25 million a year deal with the Oilers. He's just come off a Playoff MVP quality post-season run. He's arguably one of the best defenseman in the league. So what's that hope I'm talking about? The hope is that Pronger is a huge bargaining chip for Oilers GM Kevin Lowe (and that story says that the calls are already pouring in). Lowe, known for being one of the shrewdest GMs in the league, knows this and this makes the next week fairly exciting for the prospects of making the team strong.

Of course player Free Agency begins on July 1st, and Lowe is going to want to re-sign a few of the key players that are UFAs this summer; prime among those I would imagine are Pisani and Roloson. Of course, the signing of Roloson and what happens among other teams on July 1st is going to make a big difference in the decision that Lowe makes.

Firstly, if Roloson doesn't re-sign with the Oilers, filling the space between the pipes is going to be Lowe's first concern. Barring that, Lowe's concern is going to be getting fair market value for Pronger. Now, Pronger wants to move out east, so those are the teams to be looking at for this deal. The reports are that Toronto is interested in Pronger, and the offer of Kaberle and Steen has been thrown out there. Now, Kaberle would be ok for shoring up the defense of the Oil, but neither of these guys are really on the level of Pronger (I'd be more interested in McKabe). For me, the more interesting move would be to make a deal with Ottawa. Both of Ottawa's star defensemen are UFAs this summer, and if Ottawa fails to sign Chara and Redden, they could be very interested in Pronger. I think that if this happens that Havlat/Heatley/or Spezza and a defensemen like Phillips could be a good option for Edmonton.

The next week or so should be very interesting for a lot of teams.


Last night I re-watched Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction with a couple of friends and it just reiterated how great a film it is in my mind.

It's such a cliche to say such a thing, but the film honestly just cracks with energy, despite the fact that it's a two-and-a-half-hour film that is very dialogue heavy. But Tarantino makes the most of this with his outstanding cast. Just about ever actor is perfect for their role, and brings so much to their portrayals.

Take Uma Thurman's Mia Wallace (above). Not only does she handle the QT's dialogue in a way that never seems forced or contrived, but she brings all the little things to the role that make it memorable. The tension between Mia and Vincent throughout the entire chapter is apparent, just in the way she moves her eyes, or drags on her cigarette. It's no wonder QT brought her back as The Bride in Kill Bill.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Apologies for the long time between posts.

Anyway, anyone who was dissapointed/enraged by X-Men: The Last Stand should check out this hilarious webcomic: "X-Facts! The 'X-Men' comics vs. 'X-Men: The Last Stand.'" Hilarious!