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Videos I Love: Men of steel

July 27, 2012

I’m occasionally sharing some thoughts on a few videos that make me smile, make me think, or preferably do both. Read more from this special series here.

The teaser trailer for the new Superman movie, “Man of Steel,” is playing in front of “The Dark Knight Rises.” It opens in 2013. Watch both versions here. Also, here’s a link to the trailer for 2006’s “Superman Returns,” which had some good moments. Re-integrating Brando’s originally unused dialogue was a thrilling treat.

As expected, the fanboys fight over the variations in the color of Superman’s new belt and cape, the look of his new chest emblem, and the actors portraying him. It reminds me of the fights people used to wage over who was the better James Bond. Whatever, fanboys. They miss the point.

As we all know, each film is a capsule of an age of American culture and concerns. The best superhero films, like the best and most interesting graphic novels, are reflections of a generation’s insecurities, internal strife, aspirations, and shortcomings. That’s why people look to the superhero — to fill the gap between what they need and what they are capable of accomplishing — as the superhero looks back down on them. Just ask one of my favorite pseudo-philosophers, Bill, about superheroes and us.

I grew up watching Christopher Reeve in three Superman movies (we will all agree to pretend the fourth one never happened), and I hope a small theater somewhere will host a screening of “Superman: The Movie” before “Man of Steel” opens. That would be a lot of fun. Check out the old trailer I found for it.

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