tom caine

anonymous asked:

It seems Tyler Hoechlin is your favorite live-action Superman, but can you rank the actors from worst to best as you see it (of the current actors, I'm not sold on Hoechlin yet, but I think it has more to do with my dislike of his costume—particularly how the cape attaches—that it distracts me from the character, while Cavill seems to physically look perfect for the part and certainly is capable of the acting and charm, but the script he has to work with is lacking)?

Leaving out Kirk Alyn, John Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher, since I’m not familiar with their performances:

7. Tom Welling

I feel kind of bad about this one. I grew up watching Smallville, y’know? And in terms of sheer man-hours devoted to the role, Welling has more of a claim to being Superman than anyone other than Bud Collyer. But he…wasn’t great, in retrospect. I suspect it was largely a matter of the material he was given; he did well whenever he actually had something to do, whether as dorky reporter Clark Kent intermittently throughout the final season, or various cases of amnesia/mind control/body-swapping/Red Kryptonite exposure. But outside maybe a sweet spot after he’d grown into the role and before he visibly started to get tired of it, and occasionally when getting to spar with (better) actors like Durance, Rosenbaum, and Glover, he had a weird stiffness when playing regular Clark Kent that for the most part didn’t translate into charm once he couldn’t bank on teen awkwardness anymore, and while that frankly made him a pretty honest depiction of the increasingly dicey version of the character he was written as, it didn’t make for a great take on Superman.

6. Henry Cavill

Cavill’s been more let down by the material than anything else - the unfortunate unifying factor of the bottom three here. When the movies let him be great, he really is great, whether promising Martha that he isn’t going anywhere even after learning the truth about Krypton or fighting for the stories he believes in against Perry White. For the most part though he just seems to be called on to look varying degrees of sad and solemn, asked to call on none of the charm he showed in, say, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Granted his Superman has a lot to be down about, but there’s no range on display here; I don’t doubt he’s got a great take on the character in him, but for now it’s being kept under wraps.

5. Brandon Routh

Of all the reasons Superman Returns was such a damn shame, maybe the biggest was that it buried any chance of seeing the performance out of Brandon Routh that he so clearly had to offer. He’s a great dorky Clark, a charming Superman, and when the stars line up just right, he really manages to capture the idea of Superman as a melancholy figure - his take doesn’t just seem to be bearing the weight of the world in the philosophical abstract, but much more palpably feels an entire planet crying out for him, knowing he can never save them all but always trying anyway out of unconditional love, very much in line with Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s take on him in Hitman. Unfortunately all that takes up maybe 10-15 minutes of runtime, spending the rest of the movie stalking his ex with a neutral expression until he gets shived by Kevin Spacey and regurgitates Brando at his secret kid. Superman Returns was weird, ya’ll.

4. Dean Cain

I was honestly surprised with myself when I decided Cain won out as the best of the rest outside the big three - I thought for sure it’d be Routh. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that while Routh’s take is definitely closer to the version of Superman I had in my head, it’s compromised in a way the Superman of Lois & Clark never was: like the take or not, this is a perfect realization of the Superman the creators of the show clearly had in mind. His Clark’s funny, clever, warm, and vulnerable, and while it feels weird for him to be acting that way in the glasses these were the Byrne years, so as an expression of his ‘real’ self it’s pretty on-point. His Superman’s the weaker end, stilted even given it’s supposed to be him putting on a performance in-universe, but there’s such an unironic earnestness there that it typically slid back into charming.

3. George Reeves

I thought for awhile about 2 and 3, ultimately concluding that what was asked of George Reeves was a fair deal simpler. He didn’t much differentiate between Superman and Clark, and his booming radio announcer voice made clear we weren’t supposed to be measuring his performance in terms of whether or not he seemed like a real person. What he was called on to show though, and what he had out the wazoo, was raw charisma. When Jimmy asks him why he burst through a wall rather than using a door and Superman replies with a grin “Well, this seemed a little more spectacular,” you’re 100% willing to buy into that explanation, because yeah, it was spectacular, because Superman’s fantastic. And he could more than hold his own with the best of them when asked to work with more serious material, whether wandering through an amnesic fog in Panic In The Sky with only his instinctive decency to guide him, or here, in the final scene of The Dog Who Knew Superman, where Clark has to deal with a dog not only adoring him, but recognizing him in both identities:

2. Christopher Reeve

I gave Tom Welling his well-earned due earlier, but if you really want to talk about a guy with a solid claim to being Superman, Christopher Reeve didn’t just embed himself on the psyche of a generation, but is still held up today as the unequivocal standard by which the role is set. In all likelihood he’ll always be ‘the’ Superman, in the same way as Sean Connery will always be James Bond, and Bela Lugosi will always be Dracula. He shone like the sun in the costume, he was believably such a wimpy klutz out of it that no one would guess they were the same even when it was staring them in the face, and if anyone has any lingering suspicions that he just had the easy task of playing two extremely arch roles to the hilt, they might be forgetting this bit:

Was it perfect? I don’t know about that - if nothing else there were one or two awkward line readings, and the identity division is so sharp that it’s hard to tell when you’re getting a glimpse of the real guy underneath all the identities. But while I definitely question how much of a positive impact on Superman those movies themselves really had in the long run, Reeve’s performance on its own was an undeniable revelation, everything he did reverberating with such a sincere and powerful sense of decency and love for his fellow man that it not only brought Superman to the life, but frankly changed him forever for the better.

1. Tyler Hoechlin

I expected nothing out of this guy. Not that I by any means thought he’d be bad, but when I heard some dude from Teen Wolf was gonna appear on an episode or two of Supergirl, my reaction was about as intense as…well, what you’d expect upon hearing that some dude from Teen Wolf was showing up on Supergirl, even given who he was playing (granted I’ve never seen Teen Wolf and don’t actually especially know what Teen Wolf is, beyond that it’s based on that werewolf-playing-basketball 80s movie written by…wait, Jeph Loeb?!). Looked fine - and it became clear he actually really did look the part once behind-the-scenes pictures started to come out, rather than that godawful original promo picture - and I figured he’d belt out his best Reeve/Animated Series/Cartoon-on-the-side-of-a-cereal-box brand Generic Superman Performance to cheer Kara on before vanishing into the sunset forever outside of the opening credits. I was plenty interested in the potential long-term ramifications of Superman being allowed on TV again in any capacity for the first time since the 90s, given the influence that suggested Geoff Johns had as the new DC President and what that could mean in terms of other characters showing up down the line, but I wasn’t inclined to think of this as anything other than a stepping stone, only notable in its own right because it meant someone would be wearing the s-shield.

Then we actually saw him.

Where the hell has this guy been all these years? Was he grown in a goddamn laboratory for the part? How did the best Superman ever end up in a minor recurring guest spot on the CW Supergirl show?

It would be so, so easy to leap to the idea that he simply works as a jack-of-all-trades: he’s almost as charming as Reeve, just about as confident as Reeves, nearly as vulnerable as Cain. But that would be selling what he’s doing short - especially given that he probably hasn’t had the opportunity to stretch as far as he could in any of those directions, as his role so far has very much been as Supergirl’s backup dancer. What it comes down to is his general demeanor and how he incorporates those aspects into a whole that feels more fully-realized than any portrayal before him. His Superman and Kent are not only distinctive to the point that within the heightened reality the show occupies you can buy that people think of them as different people, but you can see threads from both of them connecting back to the real Clark you see around Kara. He’s open and warm and authentic in a way none of his predecessors quite were, and he’s able to turn on a dime into steely determination or outright fury while remaining recognizable. He’s above everyone’s heads and vaguely alien at times without ever seeming detached or less than entirely loving of the people around him, able to admit his fears and failings while staying strong and capable of changing for the better, utterly and palpably good without ever sliding into naivete or cartoonishness. In short he has range and nuance, and thanks to that along with the air of laid-back friendliness he brings with him, he more than anyone else to put on the suit feels like a real person. And somehow, that real person feels as much as anyone ever has like Superman. And that’s a hell of an achievement. So someone give him his own goddamn show already.

6

Supermen Sharing Chinese Takeout with Their Favourite Ace Reporters

7

Live action legacy of Lois and Clark.

  • Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill
  • George Reeves and Phyllis Coates 
  • Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder
  • Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher 
  • Tom Welling and Erica Durance
  • Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth
  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams
8

Happy Anniversary, Lois and Clark! (TV: October 6th | Comics: October 9th)

     Lois, I have loved you from the moment I saw you. I love your humor, your passion, the way you just dive right in, even when you shouldn’t. Because you refuse to just watch the world. You demand that it be a better place, and, because of you, it is. And, today, I want to give you as much of the world as I can. So, I give you my heart, my soul, our future.
     Clark, you’re my best friend. Until I met you, I never had a best friend. And falling in love with you has been so easy, I don’t know why I fought it so long. You have such gentle grace and such quiet strength and mostly such incredible kindness. I’ve never known anyone with as pure a heart, and, so, today, I give you my love, and my honor and our life together.

4

“Surviving is enough" 


So a little artsy film came out this weekend, maybe you heard if it? DUNKIRK. Directed AND written AND produced by (In) Christopher Nolan (We Trvst). Now, while I may not have been as excited for the film as many others, that does not mean I turned in my Nolan fanboy card. To clarify, I didn’t have much hype for this film, and went in sort of just expecting a war film by Nolan. But I absolutely got excited to see it in IMAX! Sure Intersteller was a little disappointing and a bit sappy, but Nolan is essentially the next Kubrick. The man is a visionary, a myth, and a legend, and much like my other fanboy stamps of Tarantino, Scorsese, Fincher, and new addition Villeneuve, they have yet to dramatically fail. The film has a few big names, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Caine, but it supposedly had new boys, Fion Whitehead and Harry Styles as the poster boys. Dunkirk weaves a classic Nolan non-linear tale of survival and deliverance in the face of nearly unavoidable fear and death. The true story of 400,000 battle worn, starving, and young and old British men retreating from the impending Nazi Wehrmacht, from Dunkirk, France back to England. While they see their homeland, they lie in wait for evacuation via destroyer, medical transport, and most importantly, civilian boats, to cross the Channel. Separated into three small and localised stories, we follow Fion, Styles, and company on the beach trying to escape by any means, Tom Hardy’s Farrier and his Spitfire squadron, and Mark Rylance’s, Mr Dawson and company sailing across the channel as civilian rescue boats. Each of the three stories are introduced as one week, one day, and one hour, and they occur in a as mentioned above, non-linear structure. 


For starters, my three biggest pieces of advice going into the film, 1.) watch it like it was filmed and meant to be seen, IMAX (70MM preferred).  2.) It’s not a traditional war film. Don’t expect a British Saving Private Ryan or smaller Pearl Harbor tale (not the Bay film, just historical event). It’s a film of survival and finding some solace of victory in defeat. And 3.) the film is loud when it needs to be, and quiet at every other moment. If you go to a proper theater to experience this, your seat will literally tremble to the bombs being dropped and to the Spitfire speeding by. But as for dialogue im the smaller moments, there is little of it. If you’ve seen Refn’s Drive with Ryan Gosling, I would say it’s to that level of dialogue almost. 


As I mentioned prior, the story is one of survival, hundreds of thousands of men and boys desperately trying to get back home after being defeated. From the sea, German U-boat torpedo and explode ships, from the air, the Luftwaffe send dive bombers and traditional bombers to pick off fish in a barrel, and on land, the French and some British hold off the Germans from breaching the beach. There is action in the film, but not in the traditional sense of a war film. This story seems to be more personal and somber, and executes it greatness in the silence, subtlety, and humanity of the historic event. You can tell that Nolan held this close to him, and I even feel that not having his brother for wiring this time, it gave off a much more personal and auteur vibe. I argue that this film will be one of the classics down the line. Say what you will if you didn’t like it, but in a few decades this will be the new generation’s Paths of Glory, The Longest Day, Thin Red Line, etc. It will be a WWII Film that grandchildren will hear about when discussing war film. While I did not find any of the performances to be groundbreaking or highly memorable, I do believe that the sympathetic plight of those stranded men and just the emotion in facia expression throughout the film starkly captured the sentiment of the moment. In a way, it is sort of an epic, and Nolan recreated various events within Operation Dynamo, as well as in his standard practice, making everything seamless and utilizing real Spitfire, real battleships, etc. I will say though, that the starting shots of the City in the background, seemed a bit too modern for 1940s. It’s exotic colors and prestige condition paralleled to the dark tones of the sea, ships, and soldiers took me out of the moment briefly. 


To me, the best storyline of the three, was Tom  Hardy and the dogfights he has. Just to imagine the pure ecstasy that was an IMAX camera attached to a real Spitfire, zooming through the air, then shown on a 70mm screen! Praise Nolan. And it wasn’t even the action bits of the dogfights in air that had me excited, it was the pure cinematic scope and visual perfection that Nolan and cinematography Hoyte von Hoytama captured. Beauty in the raw. As I mentioned with the facial expressions, even in scenes of action, it was not necessarily the gun shoots and the bombs that were memorable, more so as the personal vignettes of each tale. These are real people, and each one of them experienced something different. The scope of Dunkirk is just marvelous and following each non-traditional story arch really aided in getting a sense of the chaos, confusion, and struggle to just survive. It is to the severity of turning on your own, as Instinct takes over. And talking and overhearing others after the screening, it did seem that the non-linear structure was not very self-aware. It isn’t obvious until about halfway through the film. To some, that may come off as a bit confusing, but unlike most, Nolan trusts in his ability to convey his story to us, his intelligent audience. 


I mentioned that the film is very quiet in terms of dialogue. The script is certainly not one of the best aspects of the film, as it’s minimal and to the point, but also not the most memorable. As a benefit, that means that there is minimum exposition, predominantly given from either Rylance on his boat with his son, or through Branagh’s Admiral. The supposed main character, played by Fion Whitehead has less than 10 sentences, and it is a solid 10 to 15 minutes before we hear much. I personally, do not think that he was anything special, and would even say that Harry Styles did a better job of acting in subtlety. All those big names listed like Hardy and Cillian are more so smaller roles, and predominantly quiet or covered up in blankets or in pilot mask. Overall, the main character is Dunkirk and the overall mass of British, and Nolan just gives us little glimpses into small windows of different individuals. All in all, it is an ensemble supporting role cast. 


Aside from the sweeping cinematography in IMAX blowing my mind, Hans Zimmer gave a superb score. Lately, his scores have seemed to be rather similar to others, but I really loved his score for Dunkirk, and it came off more original and at times felt as if blended with the world seamlessly. The crashing waves, the rising tides, the roaring spitfire, explosive bombs, and the creaking ships, everything was amplified by the score. And one of the most unique and fascinating elements of the film, Hans Zimmer’s continuous background ticking. The second the ticking starts, the tension and the intensity of everything becomes amplified to the point where mentally, I feel that there is some psychological urge being created. The moment the ticking slows to a stop, you are at slight ease, as much like a metronome, the absence of it is inescapable. I highly recommend IMAX, not only for the visuals but for the serene pleasure of the score. 


I urge you to experience this in cinemas, and nothing less. If you can’t do IMAX, it’ll be a shame, but regular cinema is much better than waiting to see it at your house. Nolan films are always an experience and shear ecstasy to both the mind, ears, and eyes. While it may not be his best film, it is certainly one of the best films of the year so far. I would have to rewatch his other films again, but I feel that Dunkirk may file in behind, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception. 


~ 9.0/10 & BSA  ~


END CREDITS SCENE: NO


Small PSA, before to cover my tracks for a small break. I will be traveling abroad this weekend, well actually tonight. I’ll be going to visit the wonders of Perú, and will be gone for about a month. Will I have reviews posted whilst there? Well, it all depends if they release new films, and if I have time. So there’s sadly a chance I’ll be missing out on Atomic Blonde, The Dark Tower (!), Detroit, and maybe a few more. So if the films are released there, I’ll do my la best to find them not dubbed, and if not, I’ll shift back into gear right before school starts. As always, Thank you. 


  ~ Quickee Film Time 

10

By way of comparison to the US and in celebration of the special relationship, lets face it apart from a minor spat in 1812, 1776 is all forgotten. let’s take a look at The Mother Country, the UK’s contribution to the muscle and fitness world. Just to remind you all we’ve still got it!

From top to bottom: Benjamin Reineta, Ash Edelman, Jordan Tebb, Tom Coleman, Owen Harrison, Flex Lewis, Alex Davies, Nathan De Asha, Ashley Cain, Lewis Harrison

For more Muscle hunkery follow @dafyddbach