Superman Returns

I've seen this movie twice now, and I think I might go see it again. Bryan Singer has struck gold once again with his interpretation of (or should I say homage to Richard Donner's) Superman. This man can do no wrong when it comes to comic books translated to the big screen. Even at two and a half hours, Superman Returns sustains its momentum without feeling full of itself or overly bloated with meandering storylines and dangling plot twists. Part of Singer's genius was in casting the relatively unknown Brandon Routh (even us diehard Gilmore Girls fans couldn't remember that he'd made a brief recurring appearance in the first season without the help of IMDB)as the Man of Steel. Routh embodied what we've come to know and love about the Superman mythos.

The fact that there were moments in the film when your brain believed you were watching Christopher Reeve is a testament to Routh's preparation and Singer's steadfast committment to the essence of Donner's and Reeve's incarnation of Superman. Maybe that's what makes this film so wonderful. Singer didn't try to add to or take away from our perception of Superman, nor did he attempt some gritty yet artistic (or not) reinterpretation of the character. Instead he took his own boyhood sense of wonder, nurtured it and let his -- our -- Superman come to life again. To take a film so engrained in modern American folklore and present it with new and fresh ideas to refute accusations of staleness or lack of imagination but to stay true to the essence of the character is truly an accomplishment of superhuman proportions.

Spoilers after the jump. You have been warned.

Let me paint a picture for you

Normally, I'm not the type to dish gossip about anyone or anything. So when Lizzi told me that she was organizing a girls' night for some of the women in my masters program, I thought, "Great, what happens at Girls' Night stays on Girls' Night." That is, until Girls' Night invaded my quiet evening of working on my project's software architecture.

So let me paint you a picture: I'm sitting at my computer when I hear a commotion on the back porch. In walks Lizzi followed by four other girls, giggling and laughing and carrying on. Lizzi asks me to look up karaoke for them, and being the good husband I am, I dutifully google "pittsburgh karaoke".

"Shadyside Saloon looks like it has karaoke," I say.

"Isn't that place a little seedy?" interjects Ciera.

"No, I meant, is there anyway we can have karaoke here?" Lizzi says.

So now there are five women with varying numbers of sheets to the wind belting out "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" at the top of their lungs in my living room. So much for my quiet night at home.