Posterplex: Superman Returns
There's no better feeling than walking down the hallway of a movie theater and encountering a Superman movie poster. The advertising campaign used on the original and the "You'll believe a man can fly" tagline is now legendary. So with Superman Returns it seems like a good time to take a look at the posters for the new movie, and see how they measure up to the original, first two which it claims to be a direct sequel too. Maybe you've seen most of these before, maybe you haven't. But scroll down to see Superman in all his past and present glory.
It's appropriate I suppose, to start right off with the poster for 1978's Superman: The Movie. The effects for the film may be a little silly by today's standards, but that classic "S" on a one sheet still holds up:
That's nice, but my favorite Superman poster has always been this one. The poster for Superman II featuring a very pissed off Christopher Reeve. Angry Superman rules so much, that for some of the international posters they cut out the three villains altogether just to get more angry eyes Supes. The domestic version is below on your left, the international one (obviously) on your right:
Alright time to move on to Singer's current Superman Returns. What better way to start than with a couple of logo posters? You probably remember the first one, it's the teaser poster we all looked at for so many months before they finally got around to sending out something with Supes on it. The other is an IMAX 3D version, which I think does a pretty good job of getting the point across:
While you just can't go wrong with a basic Supes logo poster, at some point you've got to take things up a notch. Warner Brothers decided to go for power, and posed Superman next to something that gets the point across: Earth. There's always something cool about seeing Superman in space, and though he's floating above and flying past the Earth in both of these, you can't help but look and think of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders. Appropriate, since some critics have also likened his role in the new film to something of a Christ figure. Superman carries the weight of the world:
After supporting the entire planet, Superman flies a little lower and Warner Brothers gives us a little more intimate shot of Supes soaring over a cityscape. This one seems almost to be an homage to that angry eyes Superman II artwork I posted above. Because of that, it's also my favorite of this Superman Returns batch:
Saving the world is all well and good, but the real focus of any Superman story is romance. He doesn't have the human foibles to identify with that other superheroes like Spider-Man or Batman have. Instead, the thing that we can identify with in Superman's life is his love of Lois Lane. In the end, his feelings for her are what make him the mostů human. That's our real window into his world, and Warners is making sure they highlight it. I was still pretty hesitant about Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, until I saw these:
Last, for those of you sick of the holier than though attitude of the big blue boy scout, here's something special. Spend a little time getting to know Lex Luthor.
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