Tag Archives: Superman

A Marvel-ous lunch

AKA Spider-Newman and her Amazing Friends

Hi I’m Stan Lee*

IMG_2752Today Marvel fans we find ourselves in sunny Southend-on-Sea where we join old webhead, Spider-Woman, Iron Man and Captain America at Pizza Express.

Of course any self respecting superhero won’t be in several hundred bounds of Southend as they’ll probably be plenty busy at something like San Diego Comic Con, it was of course Isabelle who had just so happened to have donned a top featuring this fantastic foursome.

Not that it’s that often you hear a peep out of Spider-Woman – or Mrs Spider-Man as Iz called her – so that was a nice surprise for her to pop up on the top and say hi.

Iz’s Marvel-ous pink 3/4 sleeve top displays Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Spider-Woman, with the two Spider folk sporting a somewhat glittery look over their red. Not sure that will follow in the new reboot. She loved it and knew all of the characters, almost.

And it really set her pink converse off perfectly.

I spotted it in Tesco and was just genuinely pleased that there was a superhero top available for girls and not just another My Little Pony or Frozen, not that there is anything wrong with either of those franchises but it was genuinely refreshing to see that the Marvel universe wasn’t just perceived as a boys only universe. Because it isn’t.

SupergirlMarvel’s Black Widow and Sue Storm might be flying the flag for Marvel but with the new Supergirl TV series and Wonder Woman sorting out Superman and Batman , perhaps DC may be more female friendly than Marvel? Besides, Iz loves a little bit of Supergirl.

*Clearly I’m not, that’s just how the likes of The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoons were introduced in the early 1980s.

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Supergirl takes flight…every night at my house

Is it a bird? Yes, Supergirl to be precise.

New footage has been released of the new TV series Supergirl, from the same makers as The Flash and Arrow, and it looks goofy fun in a The Devil Wears Prada/My Super Ex Girlfriend via Gossip Girl type-way with Melissa Benoist (Glee season 4 and 5) donning the cape or glasses (in Linda Danvers mode).

The footage, which went on for a good six minutes, certainly gave us a great insight into where she came from, the usual costume choices montage and some Supergirl action where she saves a plane, something of a Superman staple, but it was done well and had a few neat twists. It certainly is lighter in tone than Arrow and is probably more inkeeping with The Flash.

SupergirlSupergirl may well be flying onto a TV screen near you soon but I’m actually Supergirl’s Dad, sort of. Isabelle loved her Supergirl costume when she wore it and loved the running, the fake flying and the potential for superpowers.

Whenever I take her out of the bath I always have to wrap her in her towel to the strains of the original Superman theme and ‘fly’ her into the living room (less easy these days I must admit, she must have switched my powers like in Superman 2).

christopher-reeves-superman-main[1] DSC_0433And it’s hard to not talk of the Supergirl/Superman universe and not mention the late Christopher Reeve. Like Reeve the Super costume really brought Iz’s blue eyes out as she attended a superhero themed birthday party that saw the likes of Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man and a rival Supergirl (echoes of the Superman 3 junkyard brawl there) take to the bouncy castle with their super powers. Guess you could call her Supernewman or Newman of Steel?

red like the sun of Krypton green like kryptoniteThe Man from Krypton coincidences continued throughout the party. The floor was littered with balloons but the only one that Iz was remotely interested in was the singular red balloon, clearly it reminded her of the red sun of Krypton! Iz took more caution as she went for a drink, steering clear of the bright green drink that had more than a passing resemblance of kryptonite about it.

Iz even managed to pull off a couple of his stances, from the hands on the hips to his meaningful stare.

photoWe have a British Superman in the guise of Henry Cavill, so why not a British Supergirl? Iz could quite easily pull off teh mild-mannered Linda Danvers office-based role as well if they ever wanted to do Supergirl: The Early Years.

To paraphrase the marketing campaign for the original big screen Superman back in 1978, you’ll believe a a girl can fly!

The Amazing Spider-Dog

download (1)So, Spidey is getting a(nother) reboot and is crossing over into the Marvel universe with Captain America and Iron Man in Civil War.

That certainly gets the spider-sense tingling and it also looks like it’s goodnight Andrew Garfield. So who next?

Well Garfield may have played Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, but this time it could be less of a cat-namesake (tenuous lasagna loving cat reference) and more of a canine one vieing for the role, sort of.

You can forget Spider-Pig, bid farewell Krypto the superdog and utter goodbyes to Underdog (loved the poster though)…there is a new super mutt in town!

Turns out Missy has taken a liking to my Spider-Man dressing gown (alas it comes minus web slingers), so I guess if she’s Spider-Dog then her alter ego must be Peter Barker?

img_1608Not sure there is much need for a superhero dog that can sleep all day (she’s like a cat dog so perhaps she is more mutant superhero) and sense cheese being opened miles away though!

Like Superman she has her Achilles heel in the form of a bark button – touch a certain part of her back and watch her go – and chocolate. She once searched and destroyed two regular Lindt chocolate bunnies (they were only identifiable  from their remaining bells) which saw her turn the shade of the Green Goblin.

photoStill, she’ll always be a superdog to Isabelle, especially with Iz in her head essentially being Penny and Missy as Bolt,  from the film of the same name.

You can hear her now asking Missy to Bolt bark (back to that bark button again) or giving her the command to zoom zoom when she is on her scooter. But most of all, just like Penny and Bolt, they are best of friends and always have been.

iz-and-miss

Iz it a bird…Iz it a plane…

Batman vs Superman might well have started shooting recently but anothsuper rester DC superhero was spotted the other weekend round Southend…none other than Supergirl.

DSC_0433 christopher-reeves-superman-main[1]I think that Iz gave Helen Slater quite literally a run for her money, practically readying herself for take off as she runs down an alley Christopher Reeve style.

Like Reeve the Super costume really brought her blue eyes out as she attended the superhero themed birthday party that saw the likes of Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man and a rival Supergirl (echoes of the Superman 3 junkyard brawl there) take to the bouncy castle with their super powers.

red like the sun of KryptonThe Man from Krypton coincidences continued throughout the party. The floor was littered with balloons but the only one that Iz was remotely interested in was the singular red balloon, clearly it reminded her of the red sun of Krypton!

green like kryptoniteIz took more caution as she went for a drink, steering clear of the bright green drink that had more than a passing resemblance of kryptonite about it.

images[7] DSC_0439Jumping back to Reeve (in a single bound naturally) Iz even managed to pull off a couple of his stances, from the hands on the hips (no, not like the Time Warp) to his meaningful stare.

She even found time to ape his kneel before Zod pose, although she didn’t go round crushing people’s hands.

 

kneel before ZodNo sooner had the party finished that Isabelle wanted to do it all again, alas she was unable to fly round the world backwards at supersonic speed to turn back time.
Instead she went back to being the mild-mannered (yeah right) Isabelle Newman.

But for that one afternoon you’d have believed that a Newman could fly!

Supergirl

Butch Cass-izzy and the Sebastian Kid

IMG_1724Mulder and Scully, Hart to Hart, er Scarecrow and Mrs King, all inseparable duos that have faced all the world has thrown at them together.

Isabelle’s nursery world is faced with her partner in crime, Sebastian.

IMG_1643There may have been no Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head sequence, we had to make do with abortive attempts at hulahooping instead, but like General Zod in the Original Superman (1978) they escaped the confines of their hooped incarceration.

IMG_1690We did however get their own take on the cliff jump from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, of sorts. Shinning up and jump off one of the turrets of a bouncy castle at a recent party was more than a suitable substitute.

There was a recent open day at the nursery which we all went along to, Iz was greeted by a giant bouncy castle and of course Sebastian, the pair really are thick as thieves and I just know that Iz will be the bossy one.

Taking to the giant castle of bounciness it was almost reminiscent of the Nirvana music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit once they get going, Iz and co were certainly going for it. Slowed down it also reminded me of the scene in Moonraker where the spacestation loses its gravity and Roger Moore and co go for a bit of a float about.

Isabelle and Sebastian may not have been robbing trains of their loot but the did have a few daring raids on the rice crispy cakes and buns…not that the evidence lasted very long!

All that was missing was them heroically trying to shoot their way out from the confines of the bouncy castle surrounded by Mexicans.

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The Dad Busters: Celebrating fathers on film

With today being Father’s Day I guess this could have been alternatively called A Good Day to Dad Hard.

This list is in no particular order but for me stand out as some of the key father moments on film. Of course there will be those that don’t get mentioned or that I hadn’t thought of , but that’s the point these are the ones that sprang to mind for me, these are the ones that – on some level – resonate with me as a dad.

Martin Brody in Jaws (1975)

He’s the Chief of Police on Amity Island (in Amity we say yard!) and there is a rogue killer shark on the loose…not bad for a man who hates water. You know what he faces his greatest fear (quite literally) after his eldest son nearly gets taken out by the Great White. His job may be to serve and protect the community but he also wants to do the same for his family.

Jaws is my favourite film of all time, it was made the year I was born and it’s always been a big part of my life, and Roy Scheider as Brody is fantastic as the former New York cop who has moved to the seaside for a quieter life and a better life for his family. In many ways he will see that he has put his family in danger, it is his fault that they have moved in danger’s way. Director Steven Spielberg often makes films with an absent father or films without fathers (take Jurassic Park, E.T., Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for example) due to the break up of his own parents marriage when he was young but the dad plays a major part in this film.

Father wise it’s a small moment for why Jaws is chosen and its one of the film’s brief interludes where his youngest child, Sean Brody, is sat with his dad at the dinner table and his young son copies his each and every move. It’s poignant and full of sheer warmth and is expertly delivered by Spielberg who manages to eek such moments out of young actors. For me is shows how important those little moments are, how attune young kids are and how…no matter what else is going on in the world…they bring you back down to earth and show you what is really important and really matters.

Jor-El in Superman (1978)

You often hear of stories about people going back into burning buildings to save their children or people giving up their lives so that their children can have a chance of survival. It’s weird but until you become a mum or dad you kind of get it but you don’t really understand it, you will do anything to ensure that they are safe and secure, that they will survive.

This brings me to self sacrifice. Kal-El (AKA Superman) survived because of his dad, because he was looking out for him, because he and his wife sacrificed themselves so that they could survive.

Marlon Brando was paid an astounding (nay super) salary of $3.7 million and a percentage of the profits  for  12 days shooting but he was certainly worth every penny with the gravitas he has in his scenes, a gravitas he carries through to Earth when a young Clark Kent is listening to his words of wisdom, the words that he will live by, the words that turn him into a superman.

Our dads all impart words of wisdom to us, why might not always think it is at the time but over time we’ll revisit it and find us using some of those very same words ourselves. Also see Mufasa in The Lion King, another sacrifice and a dad with wise words imparted to his son that are echoed again later.

George Kirk in Star Trek (2009)

Before he was Thor but after he was Kim in Home and Away, Chris Hemsworth played Kirk Snr in the opening of the JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek. Again like with Superman before it this is about sacrifices and although the father and son bond is fleeting – he gets to hear the cry of his new born son moments before his death, a death that saved countless others, including his wife and son.

George Kirk evacuating the crew of the USS Kelvin, including his wife and unborn son, as he sends it into the enemy craft is an amazing piece of cinema as his death is juxtaposed with the birth of his son. It’s a great opening to the film as initially we are only introduced to him as Kirk – so some of the new to Trek audience will think it is James T –  and it is also the birth of a legend, talk about an apt introduction.

It’s the strongest moment of the new Trek universe that has yet to be equalled, nevermind bettered in its execution.

Bryan Mills in Taken (2008)

When I was growing up Brian Mills was a catalogue, now he’s a kick-ass former special ops dad in a leather jacket played by Liam Neeson who acts as a sometime bodyguard for Holly Valance. Neeson himself thought the film to be no more than a straight to video thriller but the central crux of the story, his daughters kidnap into a people trafficking ring in France, and particularly the trailer that features the now famous “I have a certain set of skills….I will find you and I will kill you” dialogue over the phone as he speaks to his daughter’s kidnappers sent it into the stratosphere. It’s the pre-kidnap scene where he is telling his daughter to remain calm, to remember details, to hide under the bed…and to prepare to be taken that is the stand out moment for me.

It really touched a primeval nerve that we would do anything and go anywhere to save our sons or daughters or to avenge what has been done to them. He’s the Jack Bauer and the Paul Kersey in all of us, doing whatever and taking out whoever it takes to get the job done. The same could be also said of Russell Crowe in Gladiator after the murder of his wife and son, although he dies at the end his mission is accomplished and he gets want he wants, to be with his wife and son in the afterlife.

This revenge/avenging role is also used to great effect by Mel Gibson in practically everything where he is a wronged dad – see The Patriot, Ransom and Edge of Darkness for details.

Michael Newman in Click (2006)

Like most of Adam Sandler’s films this has plenty of infantile moments, such as repeatedly farting in David Hasselhoff’s face but this It’s A Wonderful Life-esque comedy also has its fair share of well-handled drama. Christopher Walken hands Sandler’s character a TV remote control that can control life itself, pausing or fast forwarding through life…the pefect tool for the over-worked architect fighting for promotion.

It’s a genuine surprise to find such a funny and touching film that has a real emotional core and an important message about spending time with your family taking precedent over your job. Life is short and it can’t be repeated and moments can’t be recaptured, essential to this are great performances by Henry Winkler as Sandler’s dad and with Sandler himself as he grows older, which culminates in his own moving death scene in the pouring rain trying to conect with his own grown up son outside the hospital. It’s this moment that’s my highlight.

The idea isn’t a new one, you’ve only got to look as far as A Christmas Carol and The Family Man for that, but its mix of humour and heart coupled with its contemporary setting and theme of work/life balance shows us it is perhaps more relevant than it ever was.

More than notable mentions also go out to the “I am your father!” scene in The Empire Strikes Back, the baseball game scene where Kevin Costner ‘meets’ his dad in his former cornfield come baseball diamond in Field of Dreams, the interplay of Henry Jones Jr and Sr in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the moving penultimate scene in the original version of The Omen where Robert Thorn hesitates in killing his adoptive son who just so happens to be the son of the Devil, and the Chariots of Fire-inspired scene onwards of Clark W. Griswold in National Lampoon’s Vacation. Perhaps I’ll return to these dads in more detail next year.

The ice-cream girls

IMG_1270With the Bank Holiday sun we took to the back yard and transformed it from just being a drab yard into a multi-coloured haven for Isabelle with a new slide and see-saw.

Missy, still recuperating from her operation certainly enjoyed it, she always has been something of a sun goddess absorbing the rays of the sun so her white coat  glows like Marlon Brando’s outfit in Superman.

IMG_1276Taking a moment’s rest from sliding, cycling on her trike – looking like Jigsaw from Saw on holiday – and play sword fighting with me Iz cooled down with a Smarties ice-cream. Missy hung round like her shadow, a very patient shadow I might add, waiting for a taste of ice-cream, or orange smartie, and was rewarded with the end of the cone and the ice-cream that was left in it. It certainly didn’t have time to melt in the early afternoon heat.

Clearly, when it comes to cooling down from the sun only Smarties ice-cream have the answer!