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Friday, November 18, 2005
  Man of Steel

Until now I haven't been all that excited by the forthcoming Superman Returns for a couple of reasons. The immigrant fantasy symbolism of Superman never seemed compelling compared to Batman or Spiderman, or even the uber-geeky X-Men, and with a string of non-Spiderman related block busting turds over recent years, the portents have not been good.

The teaser trailer that's just been released here gives me hope though. Sure, some of the effect comes from the old-testament prophetic voice-over from a beyond the grave Brando. And I'd forgotten how excited and nostalgic the John Williams' fanfare could make me feel with it's slowly accumulating layers, but there are a couple of genuinely beautiful images in here.

The first sees a slowly ascending Superman silhouetted against the sun, a visual used so often that you wouldn't imagine it could achieve anything more than cliche. However, the strange orange and grey nuclear sky, and the tiny rising shadow in the absolute distance behind a foreground of black cloud make this a wonderful shot.

Even better is the scene of Superman hanging still but for his cloak, high above the earth, eyes closed, seemingly listening to the whole planet, before rushing down towards a huge bright city through the clouds. I love how dark the planet looks, as if Metropolis is the only inhabited place on earth, and I love the warm electric blue haze on the edge of the atmosphere as the camera pulls back to reveal the curve of the globe.

It's early days, and many a crap film has been preceded by a great trailer, but this is probably the most exciting teaser I've seen in a long time. 
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