Jesus
Okay . . . really, does the blogworld REALLY need another theological reflection on the "Superman Returns" flick?  Well "of course" says the ego-centric blogger in all of us 😉

But . . . first things first, I am a horrible movie critic!  I’ll just own it.  I pretty much love every movie I see (Except 1997’s The Peacemaker, HORRIBLE and 1995’s Rob Roy, couldn’t understand a word they were saying.)  There is just something about the movie-watching experience that simply makes me appreciate the filmmaker’s and actor’s effort.  Mostly, I am all about escapism via the movies . . . hey, I LOVED The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift [REVIEW] 😉  So . . . armed with that appreciation, a DSL connection and a BLOG up, up and away!

So first things first, about the movie itself . . . sure, after my disclaimer above, like I have any cred in the critique department.

  • LOIS LANE – Like so many of the critics, I never got attached to what’s her name . . . um, um, oh yeah, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane.  She seemed too young and really, pretty blah.  Now Katie Holmes, she would have been AWESOME (Ooops did I say that out loud?)
  • LEX LUTHOR – Spacey rocked.  not sure he was better than Gene Hackman, but he was pretty darn cool. "I would give thirty thousand coconuts and every ounce of your blood for a quart of gasoline!" Creepily funny!
  • KITTY KOWLASKI – Parker Posey could play a tree and I would still love her.  She can do no wrong. "Weren’t there two of those?" I mean come on, that is FUNNY!
  • SUPERMAN – Brilliant casting.  With all due respect to Mr. Reeves, for today’s context, Brandon Routh was a good call.  Homey pulled off the tights thing pretty darn well.  Made me get my flabby butt to the gym 😉
  • STANFORD – Yes, a bit random guy to pick out, but I must give props to Kal Penn, after all, he made the jump to a block buster after his role as Kumar in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.  It is certainly a shame that, yes, there will be a sequel, Harold and Kumar Go to Amsterdam . . . goodness.  And hey, why’d they name the Asian American guy, "Stanford?"  What’s up with that?!?!?!?
  • MUSIC – I think the best part for me was hearing the Superman Theme Song again.  The music conjured up memories of when the first Superman movies were out . . . back when movies were movies, you could buy bread for a nickle and we believed we would all someday fly around with jet packs . . . or something like that.

Oh yeah, the theological stuff . . . so there seems to be buzz around the Superman character regarding two questions:

  1. Is Superman Gay? [LA Times Article]
  2. Is Superman Jesus?  [Focus on the Family Review]

The answer to the first question for me is, "Would it matter?"  I don’t think Superman is gay, but it does raise an interesting societal question, "Could a gay man be a bonafied hero?"  Wouldn’t he still be the same hero?  Hmmm . . . . something to think about, but I will save that for another post [Or see my post on SEXUALITY].

Now the second question, Jesus as Superman.  Certainly there are some similarities, but I would posit that most of the Jesus parallels are human nature issues of Good vs Evil, humility, love, choices, etc.  Yes, Christian values and struggles for sure, but I am not sold on the entire idea of a "Super Jesus" who swoops into save the day.  My Christology sees Jesus as a much more down-to-earth person.  Think Clark Kent and Superman without the disguises/costume changes.  I think the strength of this movie for theological purposes is that it  does offer plenty of places for Christian reflection however.  For instance, here are some [QUOTES] and questions that I believe are raised.

"How do we listen to/hear those who are suffering?"

Lois Lane: The world doesn’t need a savior, and neither do I.
Superman: Listen. What do you hear?
Lois Lane: Nothing.
Superman: I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but I hear them crying for one everyday. 


"What does it mean for Jesus to be fully human and fully God?"
"How are we called to live and be with people God calls us to serve?"

Jor-El: Live as one of them, Kal-El, to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.

"What makes God, God?

Kitty Kowalski: Lex, you’re not a God.
Lex Luthor: Gods are selfish beings who fly around in little red capes and don’t share their power with mankind.

In the end, this movie, while tempting to see Jesus EVERYWHERE (I think there are meds for that, BTW), this is just another good movie that asks good questions about people making choices in the midst of the tensions between good and evil.  Can the Christian community claim and resonate with the questions and responses, surely, but I am not ready to claim Superman as our new Jesus.

One last quote . . .

Lex Luthor: This ordinary crystal is a seed, and all it needs is water.
Kitty Kowalski: Like Sea Monkeys?
Lex Luthor: [sighs] Exactly, Kitty. Like Sea Monkeys.

Live long and prosper . . . oops wrong flick 😉
Bruce

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