Wednesday, June 11, 2008

barbara parker sets new uk record in 3k

Brian and I went with our friends, John and Melissa, and their two sons to see Superman Returns yesterday (the 4th of July).  They were so sweet and treated us to the movie for our anniversary (though we tried not to let them).  Their boys wore their Superman pajamas and gave us plastic Superman rings to wear (so all of us had the rings on).  The kids were great through the whole movie - I was so proud of them - link

I become like a little kid when I watch some movies, and Superman Returns was definitely one of those movies for me.  When you hear that John Williams soundtrack, how can you not get all excited and hopeful for what's going to come next? Because of different reviews I'd heard, my actual expectations for the movie weren't terribly high, but I went into the theater deciding to ignore everything I'd heard - good or bad - and just enjoy myself and get lost in the story....and I certainly did just that.
The story itself was good - updated for the 21st century (with Lois having a kid and not being married - something I wouldn't have expected from the Christopher Reeve era).  Kevin Spacey was awesome as Lex Luther and there were great effects and twists and turns.  The plot surrounding Lois' son was rather obvious from the beginning, but fun nonetheless.  And it was like any typical superhero movie - the mere mortals get themselves into trouble time and time again and the hero swoops in from nowhere to save the day.  And knowing that it was going to happen didn't make it any less exciting when it did.  I was excited waiting to see how he was going to save the day over and over again. There were plenty of campy and tongue-in-cheek jokes that it kept from taking itself too seriously.
One criticism I heard was that Superman's slogan "Truth, Justice and the American Way" was changed to "Truth, Justice and all that other stuff." When I first heard that they changed the slogan, I was upset - thinking that Superman himself changed the slogan and said it during the movie.  Then, in watching the movie, you realize that the "new version" of the slogan is said by the editor of the Daily Planet in his crass newspaper editor kind of way and it was actually funny and well-timed in the movie.  I wasn't upset at all about that once I saw the scene.
Another criticism I heard was that the correlation between the Superman figure and Christ was too strong.  I think that - while it wasn't exactly subtle - it was well done.  Lois and Superman have a whole conversation about the world needing a savior (or, more aptly, if the world needs a savior) and the conversation was well written - addressing the skepticism in Lois (which won her a Pulitzer prize) and the needs of the world that Superman sees.  I loved that the conversation ended on the side of a world in need of a savior - and how Superman couldn't ignore the needs and cries of humanity.  The entire movie could be a great opening for conversations with people about the world needing a savior and about the desperation of people who don't have hope.
The movie - along with the current book I'm reading: Watership Down - got me to thinking about how every culture makes stories about one of their own kind being extraordinary and being the hero and savior for their people.  Superman is the perfect example - he's a super man like us in many ways - only better.  And he saves us all by his amazing abilities.
Is the story of Christ merely one of these myths and legends designed to unify people? Certainly not - but it does show how God used the form of man to reach out to mankind.
I think that these myths and legends show why God chose to send His son in the form of a human - that's the best way to reach humans.  If God came to earth in the form of God Himself, it would be too much for humans to comprehend.  If God redeemed the world from sin in the form of an angel, it wouldn't make sense to our human minds.  God used a man to reach men because that's how men reach each other - through stories that are myths and legends of men that seem beyond humanity.
It's a great movie - I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen even if you're not that into comic book based movies.

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