Selasa, Jun 27, 2006

" SUPERMAN RETURNS Press Screening"


*** MAJOR spoiler warning ***

( dari perspektif seorang kaki komik dan fanatik cereka superhero )

This is, quite easily, the BEST Superman movie ever made.

I say that not to disparage other movies, which I certainly love but nothing has ever reached this level before. Ever.

This is also quite easily, THE BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE ever made.

None has ever been truer to the characters, had a more moving story, or literally let you see the comic books spring to life. You will see things that have never been seen on film before, things that no one else can do.

This is DEFINITELY a job for Superman.

I would also rank this in the highest echelon of movies. Not just Superman movies or comic book movies or even action movies. It's one of the best movies ever made.

Let me give you some perspective on this, lest you think I'm some gushing fanboy (which I am now, but I wasn't that 'berat sebelah' before seeing the film).

Having followed the repeated, failed attempts to get a Superman movie off the ground in the past decade and being well aware of what could have been, I had reached a point where I wished no Superman movie would be made simply because I feared the resulting travesty that much.

When I heard about this movie finally REALLY moving into production, I was nervous. Scared. I would have sold my soul for a guarantee that it would be done right. Thankfully, it never came to that.

I followed Bryan Singer's video blogs and every bit of news on the movie that I could find and while I felt it was headed in the right direction and in good hands, there was no way to be certain. Not until I'd seen it.

I don't love everything having to do with the character. There are plenty of other mass media adaptations that I find lacking and writers in the comics who have disappointed me.

I went in to this movie with the highest of expectations and the most severe of my critic's eyes peeled and searching. Surely they couldn't keep everyone in character, give us an intelligent and emotionally engaging story and not have a billion plot holes where things were done simply for the super x-factor.

Happily... I was wrong. It not only met my every expectation for an excellent movie (or a Superman movie), it exceeded them!

The movie has this core... this heart, this feeling and emotion that sets it above and beyond most other movies out there. And given that it's about Superman, who may have the biggest heart of us all, nothing could be more fitting. Effects were astonishing, and never to the degree where it ticked me off how fake something looked. It wasn't overkill on the CGI, which takes you out of the story. The CGI was clearly used as it should be, as an enhancement and not as the end all, be all of an action sequence. It was a wholly new visual experience and something I'll remember for the rest of my life. Seeing it on the big screen for the first time is just an amazing experience.

The music was very good and I'll certainly be picking up the soundtrack. Not only will you hear the main theme, but bits of all the old familiar themes will pop up right where you'd expect them to. Sets and costumes were nothing short of brilliant, from Lois's dress for the Pulitzer party to Superman's suit, from Jimmy's bowtie to Lex's immaculate wardrobe. The Daily Planet newsroom, the Kent farm, New Krypton and the Fortress... even Metropolis itself is breathtaking.

The biggest worry for me going in (besides the story) was Brandon Routh. I had no problem with his appearance but I was worried how his performance would be. I had nothing to gauge his acting ability on. Having seen him, it erased all doubt. He's a magnificent Clark and the second you see him in the suit in action, there's no longer any doubt. HE TRULY IS SUPERMAN. In some moments, it's like he's channeling Christopher Reeve... so much that it's uncanny. And in other moments, he takes the character to new places and heights only dreamed of.

Kate Bosworth made a spectacular Lois. She was tough yet vulnerable, opinionated yet confused. She played her with a real depth and maturity that I absolutely fell in love with. She also gets to show Lois's strong side, as Lois puts herself in danger to save a woman early on in the film and then risks her life to save Superman later on. Finally a screen Lois who's as tough as she should be and as compassionate as she needs to be.

Kevin Spacey was brilliant as Lex Luthor. He plays him with this edge, this fire... I've never seen Lex on screen be more determined, more obsessed or more out for blood. And yet he's never one-dimensional or flat. He's got motivation and he's got depth, and he's also got a mean streak a mile wide. Lex always puts himself first, and that's never more apparent than it is in this film. His performance is inspiring.

Parker Posey though used mostly for comic relief, was still able to bring a depth and an arc to her character that I didn't expect. She's clearly an homage to the ghost of Miss Tessmacher past(see the original Richard Donner's SUPERMAN THE MOVIE), but I think she's got more heart and brains than old Tess was ever allotted.

Sam Huntington was a godsend as Jimmy Olsen. He was born to play that role. He mixes Jimmy's dorkiness with his humanity and caring, making himself truly worthy of being "Superman's Pal". I couldn't get enough.

Frank Langella played Perry perfectly. My only regret was that his screen time was limited and we never see him for more than a few minutes. But to do so much with what little time he did have impressed me.

Eva Marie Saint, though many of her scenes were cut still managed to move me as Martha Kent. The scene where Clark returns to the farm alone was as meaningful as it was because of the amazing job she did making you feel what it was like for a mother to not see her son for five years and to then have him dropped back into her life, unconscious and unmoving.

The cast was brilliant and all had an amazing chemistry together; Perry with Lois and Jimmy, Jimmy with Clark and especially Superman and Lois. They all bounce off each other so well it's kind of surreal.

*** again... MAJOR spoiler warning ***

So, is Jason really Superman's son? Superman thinks so, Lois might think so, and there's evidence to suggest he might be. But let's look at that evidence. Is any of it irrefutable?


Jason flings a piano on the thug going after his mother. Does he? Possibly, yes or it could have possibly been from the boat rocking on the ocean.

Jason spots Superman down in the ocean when no one else can find him. Telescopic vision? Perhaps. But that's not actually expounded upon, so theoretically he may have just seen something the others didn't because he was looking in a different spot.

Lois says to Superman as he's in a coma, "I wanted to tell you that J..." and she's interrupted. Clearly they wanted us to think that she was going to tell him that Jason was his son but she never actually says it.

Jason calls Richard 'Daddy'. That doesn't mean Richard is his actual father though, so we have more ambiguity. Jason may just call him that as he's been the recent father-figure in his life.

Lois... thinking Jason has powers, later asks him to break open the locked door to get them out of the room they're trapped in on the yacht but just as he's about to Richard flings the door open from the outside.

Special attention is paid to the words of Superman's father, Jor-El and Superman's repeating of those words to Jason. It's implicitly clear at the end of the film that Superman believes Jason to be his son but there's technically no information to confirm 100% either way.

Personally, I JUST FEEL that Jason is Superman's son... JUST A FEELING. Lois seems surprised but not overwhelmingly so, when the piano crushes the thug. Not as surprised as she'd be if he did that and he was biologically Richard's son.

And clearly, since she later asks him if he can open the door to the room they're trapped in, she fully accepts that he may have superhuman abilities.

It's still never explicitly stated that he's Superman's son but there's enough information there for me to be comfortable enough to say, and ALMOST believe that he is.

The Richard White issue is never resolved though, as Lois begins and ends the movie engaged to him. Superman and Lois aren't together and that's made even more difficult a situation by Richard being a good, genuinely likable character. He did seem to have a little bit of jealousy over Lois's past (and current) feelings for Superman though, so it will be interesting to see where they plan to take him in any sequels.

The story was truly fantastic. There are nods to the comics and the original Reeve movies everywhere you turn. The characters are handled with reverence and respect, the story is meaningful and you can really connect with it, the action is intense and amazing, the performances are brilliant and impressive, and I honestly never expected I'd see a movie that was this good anytime soon, much less a Superman movie.

I absolutely could not have asked for more.

The only minor flaw in "SUPERMAN RETURNS" is that even at over two and a half hours, it feels like only half the flick Bryan Singer wanted to make. This is a reintroduction story. Even though there's very little attention paid to the origin story-already covered by Richard Donner's 1978 classic, Singer does spend plenty of time getting you used to Superman being back... back on Earth, back in your heart, back in theaters.

By the closing credits, if feels like the filmmakers are saying, "Okay, the big guy's back... now come back in a few years for more. You know Superman, Lex, Lois and the rest... now watch us build this new franchise of steel."

But also by the end, you'll be cheering for them to do just that. In the end, it's not that there's not enough of the movie, it's that you'll simply want more of everything it gives you.

I never expected it to be this good. I hoped it would be, sure. But then I also just hoped it wouldn't be a complete train wreck and there'd be at least something to enjoy about it. Well, there is something to enjoy about it.


Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd count this movie among the best movies ever made. Never.

I have been impressed down to the core.

This movie was indeed a job for Superman and my Superman is Bryan Singer.

p/s: Mungkin review ini agak 'bias' dan berunsur 'favouritism'... tapi biasalah. Inikan blog aku dan obsesi aku terhadap Superman pun telah lama diketahui umum. Ternyata memang berat sebelah. Enjoy gambar hiasan di bawah ini sekiranya anda malas membaca ataupun tak setuju akan tulisan diatas.

Isnin, Jun 26, 2006

# # # # # OUT # # # # #

..." mengapa terlalu cepat kau berlalu pergi ".


A brutal foul-fest with Portugal, one of the dirtiest matches in World Cup history. Cleats bashed into thighs and shoulders, heads butted and elbows flew. Players faked injuries, complained and brawled.

Every bit is ugly: the blaming and finger-pointing and ill-tempered remarks:

"FIFA talks about fair play," Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "There was no fair play."

The Dutch coach, Marco Van Basten, shot back:

"If you talk about fair play, you should watch yourself first. Portugal needed the shenanigans to beat this young team. They were a bit more experienced with all these tricks and all this time wasting".

"It is sad there was so little soccer played in the second half," said Van Basten.

But when it came to expulsions, the sides were level at 2-2. The four red cards raised the number in this tournament, whose motto is "A time to make friends" already a World Cup record after 52 matches with 12 to go. The Netherlands lost two players to red cards from Russian referee Valentin Ivanov -- Khalid Boulahrouz and Giovanni van Bronckhorst. In the end, the one thing both sides could agree on was blaming Ivanov.

"Our missed opportunities, that made the difference," said Captain Van der Sar.

"It is a pity the referee made a mess of this game," Coach Marco van Basten make his final remark.

Even FIFA president Sepp Blatter was unimpressed with how the game was handled.
"The refereeing wasn't up to the level of the teams. Today certainly wasn't a fair-play day."




Khamis, Jun 22, 2006


The Netherlands started the better but the second half was largely a non-event. Argentina and Netherlands already qualified for the knockout stage of the World Cup, put out weakened teams and cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw. The result meant both finished Group C on seven points with Argentina finishing top thanks to a superior goal difference... Nazri,Gayour and for all who support that so-called dreaded blue and white striped nation: IT AIN'T DONE YET !!!



Rabu, Jun 21, 2006

So... what day is it again?

" Where is the moment we needed the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue skies fade to grey
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces everytime
And I don't need no carryin' on

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

Well you need a blue sky holiday
The point is they laugh at what you say
And I don't need no carryin' on

You had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day

Oh... holiday.

Sometimes the system goes on the blink
And the whole thing turns out wrong
You might not make it back and you know
That you could be well oh that strong
And I'm not wrong

So where is the passion when you need it the most
Oh you and I...
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
You've seen what you like
And how does it feel for one more time
You had a bad day. "

I had a bad day

p/s: ... Thank you for the friend who gave me this song. You're truly my Wingman! ; )

Ahad, Jun 18, 2006


First half goals from Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy secured victory over the Ivory Coast and progress into the knockout phase of the World Cup for the Netherlands on Friday. Although Bakary Kone's superb goal gave the Ivory Coast hope of a comeback the game ended 2-1; a result which ends the Elephants' tournament dreams.



Selasa, Jun 13, 2006

It's called... "ABOUT LOVE"

An excerpt from a friend's blog-journal... very ENLIGHTENING.

" If you find yourself in love with someone who does not love you, be gentle with yourself.
There is nothing wrong with you. Love just didn’t choose to rest in the other person’s heart...

If you find someone else in love with you and you don’t love him/her, feel honored that love came and called at your door, but gently refuse the gift you cannot return, do not take advantage, do not cause pain...

If you fall in love with another , and he/she falls in love with you, and the love chooses to leave, do not try to reclaim it or to assess blame, let it go. There is a reason and there is a meaning. You will know in time...

Remember that you don’t choose love, love chooses you. All you can really do is accept it for all its mystery when it comes into your life. Feel the way it fills you to overflowing, then reach out and give it away...

How you deal with love is how you deal with yourself, and all our hearts feel the same pains and joys as you, even if our lives and ways are different...

The first blush of new love is filled to overflowing, but as their love cools, they revert to seeing their love as need. They cease to be someone who generates love instead become someone who seeks love...

Isnin, Jun 12, 2006


Holland got their World Cup campaign off to the perfect start with a 1-0 victory over Serbia & Montenegro in Leipzig. The highly impressive Arjen Robben scored the only goal of the game in the 18th minute and caused problems all afternoon. Serbia & Montenegro rallied after the interval but rarely looked like creating an opening. HUP HOLLAND!



Khamis, Jun 08, 2006


It's completely different. It's like a brand new world of story. The blend of the images and the text creates this poetic thing we call 'comics'.

There's nothing more exciting than seeing the story you write with balloons and captions. With words that tell a story to go along with your images.

Together, image and words tell the complete story and none really works without the other. Not entirely, anyway. My excitement only grows as the other artists from the anthology start to send in the pages they're doing. It makes me want to do my best work, which is the whole reason you look for collaboration: working with others makes you think about what they're doing and about what you're doing, and thinking is the most important part of the creative process.

Think about it.

Isnin, Jun 05, 2006


The Netherlands team celebrates with the winner trophy after beating Ukraine 3-0 to win the European Under-21 Soccer Championships in Porto, northern Portugal. Will this mark the beginning of something BIGGER in the upcoming World Cup in Germany?


Jumaat, Jun 02, 2006

ideas are on their way...

I don't get it.

When it comes to doing what you love, it doesn't help trying to explain how things work, even if they do to people that only want to know how it ends. They'll always miss the important bits.

New things are moving. Slowly, but forward. We still have a lot to do (don't we always?), but this week and the next hold the promise to be the busiest from the entire year.

Maybe I'm wrong, and let's hope that this isn't the case, for we certainly need to keep working to get things moving.

Why should we try to follow someone's steps? Why should anyone? Shouldn't we all try to make our own decisions and tell our own stories?

'Ideas' are on their way.

By me... at least, but I hope we have company. I'm only one person and I need much more for the revolution that is coming.

If you're into comic book writing or comic book arts, you'll find that you spend a lot of time alone, sitting on your table or drawing board, away from the outside world and from more pleasurable things, like sun, fresh air and the company of your friends. It's very easy to get lost on your own thoughts when you spend so much time alone, with no one to talk to, no one to show your daily work. That's the reason it's so good to work with alone, the best bouncing board I could hope for.

Feedback is the key to a better tomorrow. You learn from your mistakes and it takes somebody else to tell you what they are. You could find out on your own, of course, but most of the time you're just to close to the problem to see it and you need an distant look.

(sometimes I walk the dramatic road and write like this. I'll come to my senses soon.)

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