After browsing through YouTube clips connected with RedLetterMedia, because of all the Justice League talk, I came across a clip from Superman Returns, so I decided to watch the film again.
This film was released in 2006, and around that time, it wasn’t received very well, I thought of it as an uninspired and partly miscast movie that offered too many cliches, was misplaced in the time it came, and suffered from being compared to the superior original.
Fast forward to now.
I had to live through Christopher Nolan turning Batman into a depressing fuck full of antiheroes, I had to live through Marvel releasing whole series for each of their characters, one more irrelevant than the next, one more indistinguishable than the next, one more vapid and empty than the next; I lived through these films turning into tech-laden self-serving showcases with the occasional dialogue; I had to live through Zack Snyder turning Batman into a gun wielding maniac; I had to live through Superman, most uplifting character ever, being turned into a depressed moping mass murderer. I had to witness superhero movies, and generally movies, being drained from colors, drained from fun, taking themselves as serious as fucking war epics, injected with and warped into shape by overbearing Hollywood mandates, agendas, and „visions“ by „auteur“ con directors who apparently hate the characters they are supposed to portray.
Batman v Superman, Man Of Steel, Justice League, Dark Knight Rises, what steaming piles of utterly depressing fuckery. I had to witness orchestral, colorful, memorable music being replaced by brass farts and synth pads in the contrabasso register for 120 minutes straight.
Point is, you soak these things in, even if you don’t directly pay attention, through osmosis, and you just adapt it as normality.
When I watched Superman Returns again, and I truly, truly mean it, it warmed my heart. This barely more than ten year old film felt like a ray of sunshine in this movie environment. Everything in the film has a beating heart. HEART. It’s not a bogus ADHS plot, the film takes its time for moments. It has colors! I couldn’t believe it, a movie with bright colors! When Superman returns and saves the plane, the film takes a whole minute just for showing people CHEER for Superman all over the country! With heroic music! It just feels soooo good, being allowed by a film to feel good about it!
The flying sequence with Superman and Lois WITH THE NON MORONIC SCORE feels so gentle and heartfelt. The ending too. It’s from the heart. I feel it. And it ends GOOD.
Do you even realize that literally all the last big superhero films end with someone dying and just depressing as all fuck? Dark Knight, Rachel dies. Dark Knight Rises, Bruce dies. Man Of Steel, Metropolis in ruins. Batman vs Superman, Superman dies. Iron Man dies. Everyone fucking dies.
Brandon Routh feels so right after the last 10 years. It just feels like such an uplifting character. You know, SUPERMAN? He doesn’t even have to do much, he radiates just warmth, smiles, and determination. You know, when actors were actually acting and not just bulking up? When Superman could be just nice, open, helpful, and Clark a bit dorky? You know, RELATABLE?
And my god does it feel great to watch a superhero film that doesn’t take itself so serious. It’s never overly serious, nor is it too comedic, yet the key scenes are very touching. And the few humor bits are actually funny, like Lois fainting after the plane rescue. I smiled. A genuine smile. Last time I smiled during a superhero film was a sarcastic smile.
The idiot in Batman vs Superman playing Lex Luthor can go fuck himself.
And cinematography...I forgot how satisfying it is when there’s actual real stuff and real people in the camera, and no hamfisted bloke is zooming digital cameras about from impossible angles, letting CGI people fill in shit that wasn’t there, hoping it would not look too much like a video game.
Even the score ... Back then, John Ottman‘s soundtrack was thought to be serviceable, but little more than that. Huge discrepancy between John Williams‘ original theme interludes and Ottman‘s fairly anonymous and in parts cliched underscore. Even THAT sounds like prime Williams through 2021 ears.
When action sequences were containing written motifs instead of farts and looped strings, when composers had enough pride to be noticed in the film, and when the composers were still composers, and not musically illiterate button mashers fresh from a Hans Zimmer internship.
I enjoyed that film so much, and it genuinely made me feel better. Then my heart ached when I realized nobody is interested in making films like these anymore. And it’s not even a terribly original film. On the contrary, next up is Robert Pattinson as deranged edgelord Batman.
Fuck, when will it stop?
The excuse that „time changes“ is bullshit, it doesn’t change on its own, it changes because Hollywood makes it change.
No wonder young people are depressed as hell when this shit is the new normal.