Working Backwards


I just finished reading Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Zowie. I wish I’d read it back in 2000. I’d have re-read it six times by now.


I finally saw Superman Returns, and I can recommend, if the topic of conversation goes to the various incarnations of the Man of Steel, that you not state loudly and emphatically that “Tom Welling is soooooo pretty. Distractingly so. What’s he saying? What’s he doing? Can he act? Don’t know, don’t care: he’s soooooo pretty!” just in case he turns out to be your housemate’s sister’s fiance’s former roommate’s brother. ‘Cause such a thing would be, you know, mildly embarrassing.


A couple of weeks ago I went on vacation. I spent part of it having adventures locally (fishing in Puget Sound), and part of it having adventures less locally (hiking up Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island).

I should explain that going fishing was a Big Freaking Deal because I’ve never done it before, unless you count scooping up pond guppies in a mason jar. But guppies aren’t good eatin’. Salmon, however is. Good, good good. That’s one “good” for every salmon I caught. A note for folks who know the limit is two: Cap’n Steve and his assistant let us fish their quota, then split the catch up with the folks on the charter. That means P & I and brought home 6 lovely and delicious salmon, two of which were consumed that very evening in extra-nifty company.

5 thoughts on “Working Backwards

  1. Lindsley

    Ack, a request for thoughtfulness. I knew turning on comments would be disruptive.

    *Beware Spoilers*

    I saw Superman Returns at an IMAX theater, so that opening sequence blew me away (I think it would have do so even on a smaller screen, but still). If anyone ever asks me why I write science fiction, I think I’ll just cue that up.

    The movie looked good, of course. Brandon Routh was fine. Not a lot of depth, but the plot did most of the work on that score. Kate Bosworth seemed way too young for her part, and in fact I had problems suspending disbelief. And when I can still manage to buy that no one recognizes Clark Kent as Superman because Clark Kent wears glasses, well, that tells you something.

    Okay, I did actually have a moment when I thought of this exchange in Mystery Men:

    Mr. Furious: That’s because Lance Hunt *IS* Captain Amazing.
    The Shoveller: Don’t start that again. Lance Hunt wears glasses. Captain Amazing *doesn’t* wear glasses.
    Mr. Furious: He takes them off when he transforms.
    The Shoveller: That doesn’t make any sense, he wouldn’t be able to see.


    Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey: fabulous. Especially the early exchange about creepy guys, where Kitty is clutching a cocktail glass full of olives and a bottle of Belvedere. And I like Kal Penn, but it was weird that he so few lines in proportion to his time on screen. I kept expecting him to say something.

    Also, poor James Marsden: is he always gonna play the heroic nice guy with a gal distracted by a bigger and/or badder hero? Or is that just in Bryan Singer films? At least as Cyclops he got to throw the occasional jealous tantrum and blow stuff up. In Superman Returns he got stuck babysitting.

    Speaking of which, I thought they did a fine job with the kid business. I heard comments that made me worry, but it was okay.

    And speaking of blowing stuff up, I suspect V for Vendetta may have altered my response to fictional mass destruction — the city-in-peril sequences in Superman Returns just made me kind of queasy. But I’m going to hold off on calling this a permanent condition until I see the more cartoonish (and not in a derogatory sense) efforts of Sam Raimi in Spider-Man 3.

    And since we’re talking about queasy, the Passion of the Kryptonian moment didn’t work for me, mostly because my was head already sore from the “I’m sending my only son!” beating. Not that the messianic stuff isn’t in the mythos — and I do have to say that adding an angelic component to the flying made for some beautiful scenes — but I’m more interested in the dual-identity conflict (okay, that’s true even if you take it from the messianic angle). But since that’s key in the earlier movies, they may have been looking for something else to play with.

    *Definite Spoiler Here*

    I thought the Human Family Unit Rescuing the Hero thing was an interesting inversion, but I admit I was a little distracted by the role of the cape in that sequence. Take that, Edna Mode!

    So what did I think of Superman Returns? I liked it, but after a very promising opening it just wasn’t able to keep me out of my own head. I was entertained, and there were whiz-bang moments, but a movie doesn’t score “Great!” if I can tune in to my internal metachattertrack and feel like I’m not missing anything on screen. But if the movie at least creates decent metachatter, I can call it good. Superman Returns was good.

  2. Eric

    Keen, thanks!

    Did Kal Penn get *any* lines? I thought he did a great job conveying an actual character, but from what I recall, he didn’t speak once. Which of course indicates that he’s an awesome actor.

    I almost wet my pants during the Spider-Man 3 trailer, though. Really really looking forward to that.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *