The Tim Burton Superman movie starring Nick Cage that almost was

A $30 million Superman movie that was planned to be made and released in the late 1990’s but never got completed has been the subject of interesting rumor for years and is now the subject of a crowdfunded documentary finally released. I have been following the rumors for years and the making of the documentary since it was announced last year and just finally watched it.

My reaction is that I would have utterly hated Tim Burtons vision of Superman, but I desperately wish he got to make it. I hate all the Superman movies, so that’s no big D. I would have hated this one for the same reasons I think the Christopher Reeve versions are campy garbage and the 2000’s attempts are melodramatic wastes trying too hard to suck the joy out of a fun character and go for a “realistic” emotional disaster drama. Yawn.

The movie would have focused on a version of the Death of Superman story, which in the 90s was a big deal and would have been a big draw on film. In the comics, Superman is confronted by a new character named Doomsday who, like Soops, is similarly indestructible but bent on killing everything. They fight for awhile, weakening each other in a meta-bar room brawl similar to the way Soops vs Zod was depicted in the most recent iteration Man of Steel until finally they punch each other to death in a mutual loss. Superman is buried and then there’s a couple offshoot storylines where a kid, a cyborg, and a couple other pretenders to the throne try to take the mantle until Superman comes back, now with long black hair and a black uniform. Turns out Superman was only dead-in-name-only by being beaten into a recovery hibernation mode and was able to be revived in the Fortress of Solitude and returned at a weaker power mode to save the day like always.

For a good depiction of the story, I recommend the animated 2007 film Superman: Doomsday.

So in 1996 Warner Bros gave Kevin Smith the opportunity to write a screenplay for either a movie version of The Outer Limits (a forgettable Twilightzone ripoff), a Bettlejuice sequel titled “Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian” (finally answering the questions posed in the first Beetlejuice of “but what would he be like in a tropical setting?”) or friggin Superman (an American icon and comic book legend). Smith picked that one and wrote a script where the alien Brainiac invades the Fortress of Solitude (fighting polar bears in the process) and deprives Superman of his powers, allowing the whole come-back thing and so on.

Tim Burton signed on to direct and retooled the vision entirely ditching Smiths script for a more….Burtonesque approach.

The comics at the time had Superman looking like this:

Long haired sortov mullet, buffed out, boxy Termantor style chin and cheek bones.

This is what Tim Burton had in mind:

It sucks that we were so close to getting a Superman Scissorhands movie and it all fell apart with its budget going to the 1999 Will Smith flop, Wild Wild West.

Warner Bros really dropped the ball here by that fact alone. Because even if Burtons Superman movie flopped, 1) it wouldn’t have been as low as Wild Wild West, and 2) it would have had decades long staying power as an item of interest (where as WWW faded to obscurity outside of notation of its financial and critical negative reception). It would have been the utmost of cool to have the 90s Batman movie series directed by Burton cross over with Superman in a combo sequel like Warner is trying to accomplish with Batman vs Superman in 2016.

And to make it even more deliciously bizarre, the Man of Steel was to be played by real-life SuperWeirdo Nicolas Cage, of whom test footage exists to drool over.

All this and more is in the previously mentioned documentary “The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened” which I just watched. It’s okay. There are animated recreations of storyboards and concepts from the original treatments that I wanted to see much more of, the story isn’t told in an easily discernable beginning-middle-end like I would have appreciated, and the directors distracting head nodding while his interview subjects speak on the topics raised could have been drastically cut for my tastes, but the base material is good and its a good watch for comic, Cage, Smith, or Burton fans.

Here’s the trailer:

If that sort of thing appeals to you, watch the first 10 minutes below and consider buying the full doc itself:

Image credits: the Death of Superman Lives

The Blindside family talks about their story

I saw The Blindside a few weeks ago so naturally, like is the case with everything I take in and dont hate – i have to know everything about it possible, so here are some videos to share that walk through the true story of the Oscar winning movie. I still haven’t found out however, why it was made into a movie at all though. Did Michael Oher, who the movie is about, do something record breaking during his football career? was the book a sleeper hit on a massive scale? It’s a really nice story, but… why? oh well. it’s still interesting.

First, an interview with Michael Lewis, author of the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, which became the basis for the Sandra Bullock movie. Lewis discusses what inspired him to write the book about Michael Oher and sets up the story:

Here’s a CBN piece on Michael, the Tuohys, and Tony Henderson (aka Big Tony), who helped to look after Michael prior to his time with the Tuohy family. Big Tony was also responsible for getting him into Briarcrest Christian High School:

Here are the Tuohys talking to Mike Huckabee on his weekend show:

Part 2:

Tapped flick claims plastic is poisoning us

Tapped is a film that examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

Some of it makes me shiver in fear, some of it makes me roll my eyes in disappointment. As a youtube commenter noted on the video: “1 person in charge of regulating bottled water” well yes? i expect that, like 1 person in charge of the USA, one person in charge of a football team. I support the general need to reduce plastic waste and transporting water, but films like this need a lot of stone cold facts, not clever wording.

Princess and the Frog

Princess and the Frog isn’t nearly the heaping pile of shit it looks like it would be. Someone gave me a bootleg and I enjoyed the crap out of it. Disney returns to hand drawn animation, Broadway style musical numbers, actually developing fkking characters within a coherent storyline and flavors it with a spicy blend of humor, drama and – yeay! someone dies! – thumbs up.

Plus they can finally inject some personality into Disneylands New Orleans Square now that they have a movie that takes place there.

FrogPrince does look a lot like Prince Eric but I don’t think there’s much of a template to the Disney dudes outside this comparrison so I let it slide.

The villains had a little more depth to them as well: Lawrence didnt start out with bad intentions but was tempted into villainy which he later had doubts and regrets over and Dr Penis/Phallus/ShaddowMichaelJackson seemed to me to stay within a reasonable character profile.

I liked how there were nice people and cruel people, heart warmers and skeptics, charitable people and greedy people – of both races and it never appeared forced. you never, as you do with Pocahontas, see a jerk with X skin and know its just a matter of minutes till they balance it out with a jerk with Y skin. They even cleared the “work hard and don’t wait for handouts” + “womanizers outta settle down” + “think outside of your current view” + the all the other little anecdotes sprinkled about without sounding preachy and forced. the more i think about this movie, the more im so proud it wasn’t an embarrassing Fail.

If you have an ear for voices though, watching a dude with Goliath from Gargoyles voice doin a soft shoe (Dr F) and hearing Tigger (Ray the fly) with a Cajun accent could get distracting here and there.

Disney does Anne Frank…maybe

I’ve been loosely following the development of this ever since I heard the news that Disney had hired David Mamet to write a screenplay for a film adaptation of an Anne Frank story. They later rejected it because it was “too dark” (wtf?) and didn’t focus on Anne enough…or at all. wait what? eh-yea… Apparently Mamet was all “mm. ya. Anne Frank. cool chick. – hey, what iiiif… we doooo… *THIS*…instead..ya?” and wrote a screenplay not about the teenage author of the diary he was assigned to write about, buuuut… about “a contemporary Jewish girl who goes to Israel and learns about the traumas of suicide bombing.” okay.. but what? Would it have been released under the title “How the Diary of Anne Frank made me think of this other neat story I think should be told”?

Made me remember some of the comments I saw on the DailyBeast – “What’s next? Giget Goes to Auschwitz?” – “Anne Frank the musical To be followed by The Diary of Anne Frank On Ice!?” Reminds me of the Saturday TV Funhouse SNL sketch of a Disney version of Titanic that included a preview of Anne Frank singing “I’m gonna write a novel some day”.

Is this what we have to look forward to?…

Witless Protection

I’m watching this movie right now on Showtime. Unfortunately, the funniest part so far is the title.

Larry the Cable Guy plays a small-town deputy with big dreams about becoming an F.B.I. agent. Somehow, he’s banging Jenny McCarthy, who is still not past her expiration date at 36 (in real life, not the movie). She works at some food service place thing and the F.B.I. comes in with a lady in the witness protection program while Larry is there and somehow (I was trying not to pay attention) he ends up confiscating this chick from the F.B.I. guys and going on the run. So now the men in black dudes are trying to find them and Larry for some reason is trying to bang this girl who is less hott than his gf Jenny and I have no idea why. The witness protection girl is a bitch and Jenny shows no signs of being anything other than a great girlfriend so wtf?

There’s a lot of racial humor that doesn’t really make sense. Like the black F.B.I. guy orders coffee and Jenny McCarthy asks “black?”… cuz he’s black… get it?… I don’t either. Then later when Cable Guy and witness girl check into a hotel the clerk is the middle eastern lookin mofo from 40 year old virgin and there’s some references to his accent and nationalism and — why is he stealing this girl away from the government? I still don’t get this. And why is this girl the main female supporting actor when all the promo stuff has Jenny on it? And who is being made fun of exactly I’m not totally sure. Are the racial jokes supposed to be jokes?

Larry and witness girl go to the airport for some reason and have trouble with security cuz the mall-cop type TSA employees are drunk with power in a few digs at the Patriot act. Awesome humor in this scene includes noting that Larrys feet stink and then him shitting on a TSA guy? I think? They strip search him in full view so he’s nude and just covering his junk out there in front of everyone and they decide to investigate what might be a fuse coming out of his ass by a cavity search. Larry warns them that they don’t want to do that, but they do, and something terrible happens off screen to lead another employee to page “officer down!” before a smash-cut to another “meanwhile” scene.

this is what I look for in a movie. always.

While driving, Larry calls a friend and asks him to punch up the DOJ (Department of Justice) website for him. The friend asks “Dynomite Juggs?” I laughed. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was supposed to react when Larry now on the phone with someone else notes that “News travels fast – faster than Angelina Jolie adoptin jungle babies”. Really?…

The internetz says this movie was released in was released in theaters on February 22, 2008 but I never heard of it. You didn’t either? That’s odd. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 0% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 24 reviews.

Why the Dark Knight Sucked

Just a quick summary to hold you over until a detailed essay and companion video or two are released:

instead of messaging me and yapping on my comments about how dumbfounded you are that anyone couldn’t be in love with this garbage of a movie – my criticism is not of it as a “film”. only as a batman film. as a crime drama/psychological thriller, it was pretty decent and fun with some clever and cool parts that i enjoyed. as a batman movie it was shit.
WHY? because this “interpretation” is more of a “reinvention”. it doesn’t add and subtract things from the characters to fit a specific narrative – it trashes the source material and completely rewrites the villains personality, history, mannerisms, thought processes, approach to crime, criminal philosophy, and relationship to each other.

To fully understand why this matters ladies – imagine if the upcoming Twilight movie did that… exactly. you’d be squirting yourselves with rage.

so chill out if you liked the movie and don’t care about batman. but a thousand shames be upon you if you call yourself a batman fan and think this movie was a respectable addition to the legacy.

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this guys shitty makeup and costume is actually better than Ledgers

here is the breakdown:

Gotham City: mediocre
Mobsters: mediocre
Bruce wayne: mediocre
Batman: 50/50 crappy/good representation
Gordon: great
Alfred: great
Harvey Dent: terrible
Two-Face: terrible, with the exception of him looking great
Joker: unforgivably terrible in every way possible. Awful times a thousand plus one. shares 100% of nothing with the character in any part of its history (besides killing people and robbing banks, but they don’t count).

Those are the 9 main “characters” of the movie and 3 are yawn worthy, only 3 managed to get it right and 3 were truly terrible.

THATS why it sucked.