You’ll believe a man can fly

Superman Returns flyer
Superman Returns flyer

When did the first Superman film come out? 1979 or thereabouts? I seem to recall being 6 or 7, running round the playground with my jacket buttoned round the neck like a cape, arm in front of me. Those days flooded back this afternoon when we saw Superman Returns on the IMAX screen in Auckland.

Yup. Superman. On IMAX. In 3D (partially). With crappy sound, but hey – you can’t have everything.

The tickets were $20, around £6.50. This is how much a cinema ticket goes for in the UK anyway, and only a two quid more than the price of a regular matinée ticket here. Worth every penny.

Things have been great recently for superhero films. Three superb X-Men outings, Batman Begins getting us back on track after Joel Schumaker’s utter abortions, Spiderman throwing away all memories of Mark Hammond’s straight-to-TV nonsense of the 70’s, and now this. Absolutely superb.

The WB logo fades out with a little twiddle at the end that tweaks the memory. Then the music starts up. Short bursts like the opening chords of the Jaws theme. Then the full flurry of that wonderful theme music, the overture that anyone aged 30 or over should be hugely familiar with. The hairs literally stood up on the back of my neck.

The director is Bryan Singer who did the first two recent X-Men films (coincidentally, the guy who was originally listed to do Supes ended up doing X:3) and it shows in the scripting and vision. The effects are utterly wonderful, but what shines through is the story. Anyone who is familiar with the original trilogy (let’s ignore Quest For Peace and pretend it never happened) will feel right at home with the little references. Kevin Spacey steps perfectly into Gene Hackman‘s shoes as Lex Luthor – manic, scary, sneaky. The play between him and his henchwoman perfectly mimics that of the original The Movie. The other henchmen hardly say a word and wear black. More reminiscent of The Penguin’s hoods from the old Batman TV series, but they just work.

As for the new Superman… spot on. He really looks like a young Christopher Reeves. The little smiles, the raised eyebrows, the way he stutters around Lois when posing as Clark. Brilliant. No, I can’t remember his name as I type this up but then, nobody had heard of CR when he took the role all those years ago. As another bonus, the makers have seen fit to update the costume only slightly – it’s more of a Spiderman-like update than a Batman one.

Louise & Clark and Smallville along with the comics themselves have had a big hand in turning Superman into a soap opera over the last 20 or so years. There’s enough backstory and twists in Returns to let them do the same on the cinema screen. I for one and waiting for the next one. There’s no doubting it’s in the pipeline already and I only hope it’s as good as this.

Oh, if any of you out there have children who haven’t yet seen the original films then for crying out loud, get them sat in front of the DVDs immediately. Then take them to see this. It’s the best excuse you’ll have. I don’t need such an excuse. I’m a big kid and everyone knows it!

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Sorry for the delay…


It’s raining blood, hallelujah…


Thank you.

I have been splattered by the Scumdogs of the Universe. I got home in the early hours of Wednesday morning, soaked to the skin. My clothes, skin and hair coated in blood, mucus, baby vomit, space alien jizz, hydraulic fluid… And with a big smile on my face. Everyone must know about Alice Cooper‘s legendary live show. And many will be aware of Ozzy’s habit of spraying the crowd with water. OK, now imagine some kind of hybrid.

The songs are instantly forgettable. I won’t be rushing out to buy an album. However, the stage show is amazing. It must cost a fortune to set up, and the tickets were less than a tenner. I’ll need to dig out the old one from the last time they toured (13 years ago!) and see how the prices compare.

In last night’s show, we all got to see:

  • Some nameless guy getting beheaded and covering the audience in blood
  • Arnie having his chest ripped open and covering the audience in blood
  • Saddam Hussain having his chest sliced off with a hige sword and his head ripped off. Squirt, squirt
  • Paris Hilton, nailed to a table, her legs ripped off and being made to go down on herself as the now diembodied crotch was forced into her face. While she sprayed blood over the audience
  • Michael Jackson pleading that he was a nice guy before having his face ripped off. More blood and copious vomit from his baby’s mouth
  • Dubya having his cock ripped off, then his limbs removed, while… you guessed it
  • An insane looking woman apparently with Mad Cow Disease giving birth to a smoking fish (?!) before being ripped apart and etc.
  • Ronnie Reagan, reanimated at the Reaganator. Imaging Transformers’ Optimus Prime with Ronnie’s head. He has both his arms cut off (green hydraulic fluid everywhere) and then killed (blood)
  • A troll, beaten to death and then a huge sword shoved down its throat

Add to this the lead singer’s huge alien penis showering the crowd in alternating blue alien cum and bright red blood, plus a microphone stand with an eyeball squirting blood everywhere and the venue was a little bit of a mess by the end. As was everyone in it.

Anyone who’s seen Peter Jackon‘s original films (Bad Taste, Brain Dead(UK)/Dead Alive(US), Meet The Feebles) would love this. Actually, any sick **** would love this. I know I did.

More blood and piss than a dead pope’s underwear. And you lot think I’m uncultured. Shame one you.

Tesco lights

Another of those daft stories on the radio. Tesco recently trialled a scheme where they put “traffic lights” on their own-brand food products. The basic idea was that green indicated healthy foods with certain ingredients (fat, salt, sugar and so on) below a certain lever. Red, obviously, was the reverse. After the trial, they’ve decided to abandon it.

The reason cited? Customers were confused as to what amber meant.

Did they test this scheme in darkest Cornwall where the inhabitants all have extra fingers in place of brain cells? Green – one end of scale. Red – other end of scale. Orange… in the middle.

How bloody hard is that?!

Why bother?

I bought some of those new “Nobby’s Crisps” today – grilled steak flavour. They’re quite nice as well. Bizarrely, they have a little story on the back that tells you where the term “hat-trick” comes from. Which is nice. The Nobby’s Nuts I had the other night gave me details of how to plaster a wall.

The nuts are an obscure idea. Taking one of nature’s healthiest foods, then wrapping it in a fatty batter with a load of artificial flavours. Lovely.

One other thing I noticed on the crisp packet, though, was the fact that they’re “suitable” for vegitarians. Hang on – what’s the point? You could make them any old flavour, say they’re “steak” and sell them to veggies – they shouldn’t be able to tell the difference. It’s not like they have the “real thing” to compare against.

While I’m on a roll, if you’re a veggie answer me this – why bother with veggie sausages, bacon and so forth that’s made to look and taste like meat? I mean, you know it’s not meat, it doesn’t taste right so why not just take it for what it is and have it served up as mulch? For me, there is nothing like the taste of real meat and sausage. There is a local shop that can collaborate with DCW Casing customer in my neighborhoods, it sells the best possible sausage casings.

Now, I’m not having a go at veggies – people have very good reasons for their dietary choices – but it just seems like they’re trying to fool themselves in to thinking they’re eating meat so that they fit in. Is that a fair thing to say?

Ironically, I remember noticing a couple of years ago that virtually every meat-flavour crisp from a major manufacturer was veggie-friendly, while the pickled onion flavour wasn’t.


Here’s a bit of friendly advice. Ten quid on a pair of shoes seems like a bargain for about 6 months until they start to look like the Hulk’s post-metamorphosis.

Plastic shoes may be kinder to cows and stuff, but I’m splashing out on leather next time. And I don’t mean that in a pervy “glad I got the wipe-clean car seats” kind of a way. Unless I have nice company.

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