Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's SUPERMAN!

          The Daily Planet has published a lot of
editions since I first saw Superman on the big
screen about 64 years ago!
          The Man of Steel had been around in
comic books since 1938. But seeing him
portrayed in the movies really made him seem
larger than life.
          The story was produced in Serial form
so you had to come back to the theater every
week to see how Superman or one of the other
good guys survived the last scene from the week
before .Each chapter ended with somebody
facing what looked like certain death.
        The special effects were not very special
back then. In fact when Superman shot "Up, up,
and away" the actor's form was turned into a
cartoon animation so the character could "fly."
        Kirk Alyn was the first actor to take on
the roles of Clark Kent and Superman. And
back then all of the characters were shown in
black and white.
        A few years later Superman showed up
on television.  George Reeves took over the
role. His series ran from 1952 to 1958 and
the last 5 years were presented in color. The
special effects were actually pretty advanced
for the period. But still nothing like those
offered in the movies that were to follow.
       Christopher Reeves wore the cape in a
series of movies that began in 1978. There was
color, some great flying scenes , and, now and
then, a fair story line.
       Another guy, Dean Crain, looked for a
phone booth in which to change in the TV series
"Lois and Clark."
       I give you all this background after going
to see the latest Superman movie, "Man Of
Steel," yesterday.
       There's a new Superman, Henry Cavill,
a new story, very loosely based on the
original, and even a new custom for our
hero. In fact most of the talk I had heard
about the flick before buying my ticket,
concerned the fact that Superman no longer
wears those red shorts we've all been used to
       There are tremendous special effects!
       To be honest, after seeing it and them, I
longed for the days when Kirk Alyn flew
down into the path of the speeding
locomotive and stopped the train with his
bear hands. As unreal as that scene might
appear I prefer it over the aliens and space
ships that threaten earth in this latest
installment of the Superman legacy.
       Maybe it's because the movie was
designed for 3D (although we ,thankfully,
saw the 2D version.).
      Hollywood, or where ever the movies
come from these days, seems determined
to cloud story lines with at least 30 minutes
worth of crashing buildings, car wrecks, or
a combination of both.
      The Superman I knew and loved was
the only alien I needed and the space ship
that brought him to earth was the only one
I needed to see.
     I liked my Superman to deal with criminals
and catastrophes that mankind has to deal
with every day.
     I suppose it seems unfair to object to
unrealistic villains when you're  talking
about a character that isn't real in the first
place. Guess I can only accept so much
    To be fair, I didn't hate Man Of Steel.
    But I sure didn't love it either.
    Maybe I'm just bias. After all I was "a
mild mannered reporter for", well in my
case, "a great metropolitan television
    Or maybe I've just been exposed to too
much Kryptonite over all these years!
     Hope you're in favor of truth, justice,
and the American way and that all your
NEWS is good!

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