Superman

by carlocmd

it’s been a busy year, but things have started to slow down.  i find a few precious moments in the clinic… sitting, thinking, wondering… remembering.  it actually feels good to have nothing to do for once.

did you catch the latest superman movie?

we did.

i hesitate to recommend it because i am frankly uncomfortable with its message.

if you were familiar with the superman myth (i grew up reading those old superman comics), you might understand when i say that this movie is not something i would want my children to watch.

when superman was growing up, he had difficulty reconciling his powers with his responsibilities.  he could do so much, but he had no direction.

then his father died.  jonathan kent had a heart attack.  and here was young clark kent, born with these amazing abilities and powers… and he could not save his father.

contrast with how this scene was adopted in the movie.  a hurricane, a dog stuck in the car, jonathan kent saved the dog but got his foot injured.  clark kent watching with his mother under the bridge.  he was about to go super to save his dad… then his dad puts a hand up to stop him.  do not save me, he seemed to say.  your secret identity is more important than my life.

what the…?

from the original story, you see that as a superman with all his powers, there are some things he cannot do.  this shapes him to do his best anyway, because it was what his father had always taught him.  it was what his father wanted.

from the new story, you see a superman with all his powers, and there are things he must do (or not do) because he must protect something else.

no wonder, then, that the old superman would always do the hard tasks, ensuring that everyone is safe, even when just killing the villain who caused all the trouble would be so much easier (my favorite superman story to date is All-Star Superman – take a look at it, it’s worth it).

no wonder, then, that the new superman, faced with a difficult choice… will find it in himself to kill the villain.  the tears that flowed down his face were my tears too — tears of realizing that this superman was someone i did not recognize.

of course the CGI was awesome.  there were so many things mindlessly blowing up.  if you find yourself with free time, and you enjoy watching things blow up (because probably your real job is so serious — like being a doctor.  haha), then this is a movie to watch.  then talk to your kids about the special effects.

then bring out your old comic books, show them how the man of steel became who he is, and start teaching them your life lessons from there.

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