(Warning: Minor spoiler ahead.)
I was six years old when Superman flew his one-arm-outstretched-red-cape-fluttering way into my heart. Six feet four in his socks, with his twinkly blue eyes and lopsided-smile, he was warm, and convincing and *believable* (I was six; I believed in everything. Fairies, goblins, elves...you name it, I believed in it).
I remember being fascinated by the way Lois fainted, after Supey deposits her safely on the roof of the Lonely Planet building; the graceful buckling of the knees and the half-circle-sway and I remember thinking that if I ever fainted, that would be the way I'd do it*!
I still remember word for word, the interview-on-the-rooftop scene, and the rife-with-innuendo conversation between Supey and LL, (which was of course, completely lost on me then. Elves, remember?) and I remember going all *mushy* when Supey, with his shy smile, replies to LLs question about girlfriends saying, "If I did, you'd be the first to know, Miss Lane."
All together now, "Awwww!".
That was, however, a very long time ago.
The new superman, via Superman Returns, however, came nowhere close to it (my heart, that is). That Brandon chappie, while tolerably cute, was not a patch on the original Supey, the Supey of my childhood.
Sure, there was the hot bod and the outfit**, but minus the charisma (and the pretty face) of CR, he just wasn't, you know...convincing. Not as nerdy Clark Kent, and definitely not as Superman.
Brandon Routh is everything that the original Superman was not, i.e., cold, insipid and well...fluff.
All the characters, and I mean all of them, were weak, watered-down versions of the originals. And the story had just about as much substance as a diet cracker.
Kate Bosworth had zero, zero spunkiness. Now Margot Kidder wasn't pretty in the conventional sense, but y'know? She had personality. Now there was a woman who looked like she had a brain...and a spine...and a heart. KB was so busy being all dewy and purty and lost-little-girl, she forgot to be Lois Lane. And a Pulitzer for chrissake? For a book titled "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman"?! R-i-i-i-ght.
The kid playing Supey's and KB's love-child was IN-CRED-IBLY annoying. With his look-at-me-I'm-wise-beyond-my-years expression and the now-patented I'm-an-unsure-kid walk, one was very tempted to pick him up and shake him and say,"stop with all the Joel-Haley-Osmont-ing kid, because you're not!".
Then there was the execrable Kitty something-or-the-other, who could be best described as 'ugh'. Not dumb-blonde-with-a-heart-of-gold like Miss Tesmacher, just really dumb.
There were a few watchable moments in the movie though; the plane-landing-in-the-baseball-field sequence (although you'd think KB would be a little more than just wobbly, post all the smashing-into-the-plane's-interiors that she'd done) and the bank robbery sequence. But that was about it.
Superman Returns, is at the end of the day, a movie which leaves you with mixed feelings. Disappointment, that it doesn't live up to Superman;The Movie, but also a strange feeling of relief that, well, at least your childhood memories are untouched.
* It didn't work. The mental note, i.e. The only time I ever fainted, it was more 'Wobble, wobble, wobble...Crash!', than soft-knee-buckle and half-circle-sway.
** The significance of which was explained to me recently, by a well-informed friend. Did you know that supey, being, well, a super man, was supposed to be super in (ahem!) every way? And that contrasting colours (like bright red against bright blue), draw the eye like nothing else? And that poor Supey had to wear some very uncomfortable ummm
substantiating pieces along with his suit?