weekend box office: Superman flies high

American audiences thrilled to Superman Returns this weekend, to the tune of just over $84 million. Well, actually, that’s a cumulative amount counting from the first public screenings last Tuesday late-night as moviegoers got a jump-start on the long Fourth of July “weekend,” which is still in progress — look for another “weekend” box office take today and tomorrow.

The holiday timing seems to have inspired some of those strangely demented right-wing “pundits” who find a lack of patriotism in everything that once, in a saner world, defined patriotism, like enjoying and utilizing one’s Constitutional rights (freedom of the press, freedom to protest). Michelle Malkin, an Asian-American who has defended the internment of innocent loyal American citizens during World War II merely because they happened to be of Japanese ethnicity, is among those decrying the substitution in the film’s script of the Superman-standard “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” with “Truth, Justice… all that stuff.” Malkin says, “Brandon Routh was adequate,” as if the unknown actor had anything to do with the script (as a nonsuperstar, he wouldn’t have had the privilege of script approval the Tom Cruises and Julia Robertses of the world enjoy), but

I prefer my superheroes old school and unashamed of the American flag. No globaloney for me.

What with the current “American way,” in which truth and justice are rather degraded, not being so popular around the world these days, and with Hollywood being an industry with a global audience, that would seem to be simple, smart business sense.

The blog What Would Tyler Durden Do? is unhappy because of this exchange — quoted at Jeanne Wolf’s Hollywood — from Super screenwriters Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris:

Dan: “I don’t think ‘the American way’ means what it meant in 1945.”

Mike: “He’s not just for Metropolis and not just for America.”

Dan: “He’s an alien, from Krypton; he has come to Earth to be kind of a savior for this world, not our country . . . And he has no papers.”

Mike: “What would happen with the immigration laws we have now?”

Dan: “I’d like to see someone kick him out!”

WWTDD’s response? “I bet Stalin and Kim Jung-il couldn’t be prouder.” (Of course, this comes from a writer with such a poor grasp on American history that s/he thinks that women couldn’t vote in the U.S. in 1945.)

But that’s not all that the right-wingers don’t like about this new Superman. “Conservative pundit” Debbie Schlussel calls Supe a “dumbed down girlie-man… Even the formerly bright red of his cape is now a muted, dingy brownish-burgundy. All masculinity is toned down…” And Lois Lane is a “slut” who “slept around,” and the film “TELLS [KIDS] SINGLE MOTHERHOOD IS NOT ONLY OKAY, BUT SPLENDID AND GLAMOROUS.” (Evidence to support this contention is absent.) She also bitches about the “testosterone of career woman Lois, who doesn’t believe in marriage,” which is extremely odd, since Schlussel’s bio doesn’t mention a husband yet does go on quite a bit about her clearly testosterone-fueled career, including a run for political office, a solo law practice, and a stint as a sports agent. Fortunately, we can expect her to put down her pundit’s pen at some point in the near future, because, as an article she says best represents her says, “She looks forward to having a marriage where the husband is in charge.” Which means she will, of course, be leaving public life, because “the fact is, men are made to be the breadwinners… What happened to men being men and women being women?” (her words, from the aforementioned article). Her ridicule of “career women” who “don’t believe in marriage” assures us that she will, with ladylike grace, shut the hell up as soon as she gets hitched. Right?

[box office results via Box Office Mojo]

(Technorati tags: , , )

share and enjoy
1 Comment
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
Thu, Jul 06, 2006 3:21am

3 out of 4 female right-wing pundits are trying to be Ann Coulter. Thankfully, they–like the female “artists” who attempted to out-controversy Madonna in the late eighties to mid nineties–have come nowhere near the putrid lows the insane one has set.

For example, the two quoted above demonstrate substantial self-loathing, Coulter has said that women should not be allowed to vote. (Looked at yourself naked in the mirror lately, Ann?)

Anyway, a lot of the “American Way” stuff was thought up back in the days of the comics’ propaganda extravaganza of the late ’30s and ’40s–where Captain America “slapping a Jap” was cheered, and non-white characters were at best caricatures. They never dropped it (the American Way bit–though the propaganda thing continued well on into the ’60s and ’70s)…even though, yes, he is an alien with superhuman powers. (In fact, a storyline roundabout 2000 was titled, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?”, where Superman cuts loose and kills so-called heroes who shrug off collateral damage, and are incredibly popular with certain segments of the population. You know the type; the ones who saw Bad Boys II in the theater more than once. Not only does he do it without causing harm to anyone else, but at the end, he reveals he didn’t kill them, merely made it look like he had for the cameras, demonstrating that his approach to superheroing was not only viable but superior. I find it pointed that even up till 2000, the American Way was something Superman could be proud of demonstrating …but now…not so much…)

As for Lois/Superman, I love the bit in Mallrats where Brodie points out that Superman, having sex with Lois, would probably “blow a load out her back like a shotgun”. “The only safe way for them to do it would be with a kryptonite condom. And that owuld kill him.”

Also, a counterpoint to “I’d like to see someone kick him out!” It would take a nuke to so much as faze him. I’d like to see someone try. (Though that’s probably what they meant.)

Comic geeks! Whoo!