On July 4th in 1989 my dad took my brother and I to the movies (with a friend of mine and his dad) to see Batman. It was thrilling. (Probably a little more for my brother than for me - he was so excited - but if you saw that Batman movie you know how good it was. Trust me. It was thrilling.)
I have a memory of the 4th of July being the day Batman came out, but I could be wrong about that. (I also remember the line at the movies being around the block.)
24 years later, my brother and I decided to spend the early afternoon of Independence Day at a superhero movie.
This time, it was Superman.
A couple of weeks ago I was with my brother and we were talking about Man of Steel - the new Superman movie. I convinced him to wait until I was down on 4th of July weekend so we could see it together.
Somewhat surprisingly, he did.
So we saw a show early on Thursday, before we headed out for our nephew's birthday party. (The 11:55 show was the matinee! $10.25 instead of $13! When we saw Batman I bet it cost at most $8 for a non-matinee.)
I guess part of my surprise was not that my brother waited for me to see the movie - more that he still wanted to go with me at this point. Man Of Steel has gotten some pretty bad reviews, and I was going to be OK with missing it if he changed his mind. But we soldiered on.
I understand why people didn't necessarily like this movie. I didn't like parts of it. There were essentially three elements of the movie: 1) A very Star Wars-feeling inter-galactic piece, 2) Disaster movie stuff, and 3) the Superman story.
I could have done without all of the disaster movie stuff. The Star Wars stuff was unnecessary - I like my Superman battling bad guys on Earth. But I loved all of the Superman stuff.
This movie had a different take on parts of the Superman story - but I loved the flashbacks to when he was a boy growing up in Smallville. I thought the way the movie played out a lot of the groundwork was laid for good stuff to happen in the sequels of this particular Superman franchise. (I had forgotten until I was talking with one of my cousins at the birthday party that there was a very short-lived Superman franchise that my wife and I saw in the theater a bunch of years back - that one where Lois Lane has a kid? I guess, as rarely as I get to the movies, I never miss a Superman movie.)
One of the better parts of this movie, I thought, was Amy Adams - I thought she played Lois Lane incredibly well, and I thought they wrote that character very well. She's always sticking her nose where it doesn't belong! And not unlike Lois Lane, I just love Superman. How can you not?
So, while there was a lot happening in this movie that I didn't love, I liked the movie overall. And I'm really looking forward to the next one in the series.
In fact, I've already lined up my brother to accompany me.