I fly to Wellington tomorrow. Tonight my friend Paul is coming round to cut and dye my hair (in his words, he’s going to “blonde me up like a teenage Jezebel”, which has got me rather worried) and I really hope I get a good night’s sleep, something I haven’t managed to do all week because of the heatwave we’re having at the moment. It’s been so hot I’ve had to unplug every single electrical item in my flat in case it overheats, and I can only watch TV if there’s a fan blowing on it to cool it down. Isn’t that madness?
But it’s winter in New Zealand right now. Oh, the bliss!
I’m a wee bit excited.
Something else that’s had me excited this week: Superman Returns. I saw it London’s IMAX cinema on Tuesday night (sitting two seats from Shaun Of The Dead director Edgar Wright, she says, shamelessly namedropping). Twenty minutes of the movie were in 3-D, so we had to put on the most enormous 3-D glasses whenever a symbol flashed up on the screen and then remove them when it flashed again – it was like watching a 1950s B-movie at a drive-in and was utterly hilarious. I’m still not convinced about 3-D, but it was certainly an “immersive experience”, as the IMAX press notes pointed out!
The biggest screen in the UK and the novelty of 3-D only enhanced the fact that Superman Returns is beautifully, wonderfully, amazingly good. I’ve done nothing but whinge and gripe for two years that Brandon Routh was miscast and Bryan Singer must have lost his touch, but now I apologise to them both. I’d knock on their front doors and tell them if I could; instead, I’ll just say sorry on this blog. I was wrong, wrong, WRONG!
The film is great, but Brandon Routh is extraordinary. I sat down expecting to hate him and instead I fell in love. Not in my usual, “He’s a sexy man, therefore I fancy him!” kind of way, but in a completely un-sexual, “He’s really Superman!” way. Superman was the first film I ever loved as a child and it was the first thing I kept on videotape and watched over and over and over (this was back in the early ’80s, when nobody owned movies like they do today). Christopher Reeve’s Superman is one of the most iconic figures in my life, a character I love so much I can’t even put it into words. That’s why I hated Routh when he was cast: because he wasn’t Reeve. I was horribly prejudiced, I’ll admit it. I’m so, so sorry…
Because Routh IS Reeve. He’s so like him that there are moments in Superman Returns when you feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. He’s a perfect geeky, bumbling Clark Kent. His Superman is noble and majestic, straight-faced and warm. And yet Routh’s brought his own presence to the role, too, so it’s not an homage, he’s just… well, he’s Superman. What else can I say? The Man of Steel is back.
Halfway through Superman Returns I realised Singer had achieved the impossible: he brought my childhood back to life. You know how my previous few blog entries have been full of me saying, “I’m so happy!” Forget all that. THIS is real happiness. Superman is back, and he’s MY Superman, too.
I really hope they show the movie on the plane to New Zealand.
Even though there’s a nasty plane crash in it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wish Supes was real.