Changing the Film Heroes we Love

Two new trailers hit the internet yesterday, one for Superman Returns, and the other for the new James Bond, Casino Royale. One of these looks, um… super, and the other looks like crap.

I was a little skeptical when the first Superman trailer showed up. The footage looked great, but I really wanted to hear John Williams’ goosebump-inducing main theme that I remembered as a kid. The second trailer gives us exactly that. We also get to see some of the acting and characterization this time around. It seems like each actor is doing a nearly spot-on impression of the original Superman cast. Spacey as Gene Hackman… that new Superman guy mimicking Christopher Reeves… The shots and the action and the interactions all feel like a Superman story should. Bryan Singer may have nailed a whole new comic universe (knock on wood).

And then there’s this young, James Bond, prequel/origin, crap thing. Aside from throwing Judi Dench in there, and the classic James Bond bullet-hole/blood graphic, the rest of it looks nothing like a Bond film. Granted they’ve been veering away from the classic Bond feeling in the past few movies, but at least Pierce Brosnan could pull it off, and there were enough playful throwbacks to the original campiness. I understand they’re trying to beef it up and turn it into a fresh new vision, or something, but honestly I think Mission Impossible III looks like the better Bond movie than Casino Royale. (I know, we all hate Tom Cruise now, but it’s written and directed by J.J. Abrams, and it has Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Not even Mr. Scientology can mess those guys up… too much… I hope.)

Lastly, and unrelated, I highly recommend Lucky Number Slevin. It’s smart and fun and dark, and has a really fun cast to watch. It isn’t nearly as goofy/silly as the trailers make it look.

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