You will see my life through your eyes


Several things to talk about tonight. First and foremost, the son of Jor El. I witnessed Superman Returns on Tuesday night at around 10. And I witnessed brilliance.

There's a difference between the Superman mythos and many other comics. Superman was one of the first superheroes ever, and the very first to gain mainstream popularity. This happened at a time (the 1930's) when comics were almost more like printed soap operas. Characters intertwined, storylines took weeks to resolve, and the real flashy action that we have now come to expect from our superhero movies took a backseat to drama and interpersonal relationships.

This was true of the Richard Donner-directed Superman movies of the 70's, starring Christopher Reeve. They placed a premium on drama, and downplayed the action. You watched for the interplay between bumbling Clark Kent and the impossibly handsome Man of Steel, for the way Lois treated one or the other, for the discoveries of his Kryptonian heritage. And when the few moments of action came, they were so heightened because they were so rare. These things gave a very different dynamic to the Superman films, differentiating them from the 80's Batman flicks, and the 2000's Spiderman and X-Men movies.

Director Bryan Singer wisely kept this dynamic in place in his new film. Every moment, every interaction between characters, is deliberate but not forced, emphasized but not emphatic. Brandon Routh does a terrific job portraying an emotionally stolid Man of Steel. It isn't easy to show emotion by being unemotional. It seems like Superman's always got his heart in the right place, his feelings under control. But you sense the turmoil beneath the surface -- the longing, the hope, perhaps even the despair at times. This is as much a testament to Singer's touch behind the lens and the tightness of the script as Routh's acting. Whatever it is, it works.

Kevin Spacey is delightfully amoral as Lex Luthor. I think he had a TON of fun with this role. He was able to ham it up a bit ("Krrrrryp-tonite!!!") without going overboard. And Kate Bosworth does a fairly decent job as Lois Lane, though I could have used a bit more fire from her (and a bit less meltiness when Supes takes her for a night flight). James Marsden steals the show as Lois's fiance, perfectly walking the line between jealousy and quiet support. (It's nice to know he can act without a big Cyclops visor covering his face.)

But it's really the tones, the colors, the sets (Fortress of Solitude), and the whole world of Metropolis (and the views of Earth from Superman's vigil in space) that create a feeling of majesty that no other superhero movie will touch. It's a bit overlong, there really isn't much action (either Supes is stopping bullets with his eyes, or getting the crap beat out of him while Lex slices him up with a Kryptonite dagger -- there's not much in between), and those who are looking for something a bit more accessible may not find it. Come with an open mind and a desire for storytelling, drama, and grandeur, and you won't be disappointed.

Okay, and now for something completely different...

The NBA Draft was held today, and the Jazz were in DIRE need of a shooting guard to complement our stable of big men (Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur) and our point guard of the future (Deron Williams). The draft this year was littered with several promising talents, including J.J. Redick of Duke, the consensus Player of the Year and 3-point shooter extraordinaire. Well, he was snapped up by the Magic with the 11th pick. The big man we had coveted, Mouhamed Saer Sene from Senegal, had vanished with the 10th pick by the Sonics. So we sat at number 14 as trades and rumors of trades spread throughout the land.

When our turn finally came around, we settled on Ronnie Brewer from Arkansas, a 6'7" shooting guard and an athlete to end all athletes. His strengths, according to ESPN draftniks, are his slashing ability to get to the basket, his high energy, his long wingspan, and his defensive prowess. However, what the Jazz really need is someone with a good outside shot, and due to a childhood accident that prevents him from fully extending his arm in a proper shooting motion, Ronnie Brewer does not have that. He makes do, and though his shot is ugly as sin, it goes in the hoop. (Players like Shawn Marion of the Suns make do with similarly unorthodox shooting methods.) So I'm cautiously optimistic. He definitely fills a need.

My worries are twofold:
1) That the organization, including Coach Sloan, will treat him like he doesn't belong in the whitebread Jazz system. This has happened before, most recently with Kirk Snyder and DeShawn Stevenson. Perhaps neither of them had the athletic ability or skill that Brewer has, but it's still cause for concern.
2) The look on Brewer's face when he heard his name called and realized, "Aw crap, I'm going to Utah." The kid just guaranteed himself a three-year multi-million dollar contract, and he looked like his ex-fiance who left him at the altar had just run over his dog. I'm telling you, that was not a happy look on his face. Despair would come much closer.

So, if we can overcome Brewer's misconceptions about this great state, and if he gets the playing time he needs, things could be very good. But we'll see.

The other two draft picks we had in the second round were Dee Brown from Illinois and Paul Millsap from Louisiana Tech. Apparently Millsap's supposed to be the second coming of Karl Malone, since he's from the same school. I'll take whatever we can get from him. I'm excited about seeing what Dee Brown can do when paired with his old backcourt mate from Illinois, Deron Williams. That should be fun.

All in all, a good night. We addressed some needs, got some very solid new talent, still don't have a man over 6'10". Looks like we're in for another lackluster year of tantalizing ups and infuriating downs. We'll see.

Next on the list...

So, I spend several hours tonight watching the draft, listening to analysis about all the picks, reading analysis about all the picks online, listening to the Real game (we gave up two goals in the last ten minutes to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory), and had home teaching and played Soul Calibur with Chase in between. (Talk about humiliation. The kid has never played the game before and beat me soundly. I am ashamed.)

The problem was, I had put my phone on silent while my home teachers were here. So, I didn't hear Shae call to tell me about her New York trip, AND (stupid stupid stupid my gosh I'm stupid) I didn't get a call from a girl in my ward who I think is so cute it's like kryptonite and I just REALLY want to do things with but she's always working except tonight she wasn't and she was going to a movie and she invited me to come AND I DIDN'T HEAR MY PHONE RING BECAUSE I LEFT IT ON SILENT. Heaven forgive me for the profanities that escaped my mouth when I listened to her voice mail and berated myself for seven kinds of an idiot. Man. She's so busy all the time, it's so hard to get a hold of her, and she actually called ME to hang out and I'm sitting here blissfully unaware piddling around on the Internet and getting whacked by a pretend guy with pretend nunchucks on a friggin Playstation game!!

Excuse me.

*bangs head on wall repeatedly*

Ow.

All is not lost. She and her friends have plans to go to Lagoon on Saturday and I am invited, although that will be difficult, as I work till one and they plan on leaving around eleven. I'll have to drive straight up there by myself and spend twenty bucks for about six hours, not including gas. Is it worth it? Yes it is. Okay, it's not, but it helps if I tell myself that it is. Hopefully something enjoyable will come of that.

I just realized I have written far too many paragraphs about things that NOBODY but me cares about. I apologize to anyone who has slogged through this entire post in an attempt to find something interesting. I'm sorry. There's nothing here. These aren't the droids you're looking for. You can go on about your business.

Felt good, though.

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