The Boneyard: Superman Movies, Mandy Moore, and Backyard Jurassic Park

The Boneyard will feature the best of Daniel and Sean’s daily email chain twice a week. Yes, we broadened the definition of “best” to make this happen.

Sean: I forgot to show this to you. It's Max Landis, John Landis' son, talking about Superman. It’s really well made:

Daniel: I remember the Booster Gold part from reading the book. "You look fucked." Hilarious.

And yeah, I also remember reading the part where Doomsday watches the wrestling match on television as a kid and thinking it was the greatest thing ever. I had chills. Knowing what was going to happen, I thought, wow Superman is so fucked. And the beating he gets in the city is awesome. It makes the recent Superman movie look like a sandbox fight between toddlers. Every time he talked to Lois, he looked worse and worse. 

Superman dying and the world figuring out what to do after that was a cool concept. But the four Supermen were lame. Except for maybe the Cyborg because he made you think he was the real deal for a while there. I wanted Superboy to fall into a lake of Kryptonite immediately right after sucking off Darkseid and Lex Luthor at the same time. I still hate that character.

Also lame: the Guardian. He might be one of the stiffer characters I had no idea existed. That's right, no one cares about him. What is he trying to be a British newspaper (God, that's a terrible joke)?

And Mandy Moore could be 400 pounds and chain-smoking cigar-smoking babies and I would still have her on my celebrity list.

I just read the video description. I totally forgot the part where Pa Kent has a heart attack and goes to heaven. And that's the start of Superman coming back. That storyline came out of someone's brain. And then was green-lit by another brain who thought it was a good idea. Stuff that Aaron Sorkin writes on bathroom walls would be better than that idea. Hell, stuff that you write on bathroom walls to attract older men would have more brainpower behind it than that storyline.

Sean: The Death of Superman sent ripples through the pop culture landscape when it happened. But I agree that Superboy is a dick and just useless. However, the image of him falling in to a green lake of Kryptonite with fresh cum still coating his mouth is pretty funny.

What were your thoughts on the last Superman movie?

To me, Superman will always be the 1978 version. That sums up everything about the comic book and the Superman world. It was a near-perfect comic book movie.

It took me a couple of minutes to get the Guardian was...good...

I agree about Mandy Moore. She could punch me in the face, belittle me as a man, and then slap my momma, but if her bed was open to me I'd be cool with it.

Someone who cared more about money then about story created the post-Death of Superman storylines.

"Wait, we killed him? Shit, he made us mad money. Bring him back!"

"But sir, we can't just bring Superman back. He's dead."


Daniel: Superman I and Superman II are perfect movies, never mind comic book movies. Comic book movies have become way too involved and too dark. After The Dark Knight, comic book movies are kind of a drag. It works for Batman because brooding and pining are things intrinsic to that character. I don't need to see a depressed bunch of Avengers, or a melancholy, tortured Iron Man, or a Superman trying to find himself. I get that you need to make these guys somewhat relatable, but knock it off with so many special effects. It only works when it adds to the story. To me, the effects in Superman II are way more believable than anything now. It just looked right.

Take the Star Wars prequels. They are awful because of hammy writing, horrible acting performances, and overdone special effects. Guess what? The originals had some pretty hammy writing, so-so acting, but special effects that looked real. Maybe we go back to puppets, I don't know. But look at the lightsaber fights back then and the ones in the prequels. Maybe it’s a reaction to our shortened attention spans, but the lightsaber fights in the originals were full of dialogue, actual swordplay, and happened for a reason. The prequel fights were all flash. At the end of Attack of the Clones (hold me Sean like you did at the lake on Naboo), Count Dooku and Anakin have a lightsaber fight that at one point looks like it is just flashing red and blue lights in front of their faces. Worst. Fight. Ever. My younger brother and I had better choreography in the backyard with Wiffle ball bats wrapped in varying shades of electrical tape.

The Yoda versus the Emperor fight is cool in Episode III because it takes some time to develop. And someone should have really offed Yoda early on and everything probably would have ended up fine. Boy, did that green little shit drop the ball. How about you stop writing for fortune cookie manufacturers and start cutting people's hands off.

Sean: I agreed on that those two movies stand the test of time. It's everything you want in a story. They are so well made. The Dark Knight did the same thing to comic book movies that Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns did to comic books. Both were dark and brooding stories that pushed the limits of their medium. But because they did so well, everyone else started copying him and then it got boring. Frank Miller has said that he wishes he had never done that to his comic book. He feels as if it ruined a lot of great stories.

One comic book I wish they would do is Green Arrow: The Long Bow Hunters. That is a great story line. Oliver Queen loses his riches, moves to another city with his girl, and starts fighting crime his way. Fantastic. It's the right mix of dark and comic. But since the Green Arrow is not a big enough star in the comic world, they won't do it. I will say this; the television show Arrow is not bad. It's far from the best, but its good.

A New Hope still looks amazing. The movie built such a powerful world that it will never look bad. The new ones are done in front of green screen, so I know it’s more of a cartoon. Puppets will always seem real to me. Maybe it’s a kid thing, I don't know, but they will.

Jurassic Park! I feel that movie still stands the test of time as well. The T-Rex attacking the parked cars, the raptors running amok in the kitchen, and the ending scenes still look great. I could watch those over and over again.

Daniel: I remember seeing Jurassic Park in the theater. Mind-blowing. That flick and Apollo 13 were two of my favorite early movie going experiences growing up. I had a Jurassic Park action figure set. I turned my backyard into a Jurassic Park-like set up with some friends of mine from around the neighborhood.

Are kids doing any of that stuff today? We spent hours out there running around like idiots. It was glorious. It's all animated now right? They all hang out on World of Warcraft right? How do you think you'd be different if you were a kid right now as opposed to back then?

Sean: I vividly remember watching Jurassic Park in the theaters. I hid under my seat when during the raptor scenes. I was so scared and excited at the same time. I had never seen anything like it before and from then on I was in to movies.

My backyard was Jurassic Park, The Road Warrior, and the battlefield for my soldiers and tanks. The backyard and the carpet were places that I turned into new worlds and landscapes.

I'm not sure about your question. I don't see kids outside as much as I used to. We spent hours on our bikes riding around and playing in backyards.  The outside world is visited daily by sitting in front of a computer screen of some kind.

Would I be different? Um…, I think my parents would have pushed the outside time. I was a fat kid so they were always pushing me outside. "Go out and run or you'll have a heart attack when you are 14!"

How about you? Would you be an outdoor kid or no?

Daniel: I think I would still have been a baseball guy no matter what, so that would have pushed me outside. I am glad Sega didn't have as much of a pull keeping me and my brother indoors as the newer games do for kids. Don't get me wrong, we played a lot of NHL '96, but that was after being outside all day.

Sadly, it's a safety thing too. All these shootings make parents keep their kids inside and safe as possible. There was some report recently that said kids were actually connecting and socializing more with each other through the Internet and social media. The fear was that kids were losing social skills because of all this tech. It turns out that kids are using them more to interact since they have limited ability to hang out with the kids around them. It's not that they necessarily want to be on everything all day, it's just that it's the only place they can be kids without a SWAT team surrounding them. Kind of wild.

Moral of the story: adults ruin childhoods.

Sean: Sega was king for a while. It was hard not to stay inside.

Adults do ruin childhoods, but kids can be massive jerks. I am still reeling from stuff that other kids said to me...15 years ago. I never had an adult make fun of me so badly I had to go home and cry.

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