Smallville Season 7 ends…one more to go

smallville season 7 On Thursday night, the 20th and final episode of Smallville’s seventh season aired on the CW. As far as Smallville season finale’s go, it was neither the worst nor the best. If you need more proof of that, check out all the messages on Twitter. Some loved it, some hated, some were indifferent. The one thing I can say for certain is that I’m glad next season will be the show’s last (the 8th season was confirmed recently).

The biggest challenge facing the show is the exodus of cast members. Lionel Luthor was killed off earlier this season, which means that John Glover won’t be back. Michael Rosenbaum announced earlier this month that he won’t be back as Lex Luthor. And Kristin Kreuk is only scheduled to appear in a handful of episodes as Lana Lang. Fortunately, Allison Mack will be returning as Chloe Sullivan, despite some difficult contract negotiations.

Two new characters are apparently joining the regular cast next season. The first is a woman known as “Tess” who is supposed to fill the gap left by Rosenbaum. That is, she’ll be looking after Lex’s interests. No word on how his disappearance will be explained. The second is the villain Doomsday, best known in the comic world for being the only character to have killed Superman (Doomsday died too).

The finale on Thursday could have been so much better. Series producers/creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar won’t be back next season, and I think they were forced to leave the door open in order for the show to continue. I am glad the writers and producers tried to close some story arcs this year, but I am left wanting more. I really don’t like the way Lex’s storyline in Smallville was concluded (assuming Rosenbaum doesn’t return for a guest spot or two next season). The final scene with Clark and Lex deserved so much more screen time than it received. It could have been epic, but instead felt rushed. I wonder how the story will progress next season, and I fear that it won’t at all.

I’m hopeful that season eight will be enjoyable, but I also think that the time has come for Clark Kent to leave the farm in Smallville behind.

I'm Batman! No, I'm Batman!

Post Image As you may know, I absolutely loved Batman Begins. I walked out of the theatre totally amazed, and I still have no problem watching the film again and again. Not even Katie Holmes could drag the movie down! Needless to say, I am really looking forward to The Dark Knight.

I was less impressed with Superman Returns, but I have to admit it wasn’t so bad the second time I saw it. I think Bryan Singer’s interpretation of Superman threw me for a loop at first, mainly because I’m a huge Smallville fan and was totally immersed in that world at the time. It’s not as high on my list as The Dark Knight is, but I will definitely check out Superman: Man of Steel.

So, I’m a fan of both Batman and Superman. Should be no surprise then that I’m also interested in the Justice League of America movie. That’s right, another big screen flick with Batman and Superman.

  • 2007/2008 – Smallville Season 7
  • 2008/2009 – Smallville Season 8 (possible)
  • July 18th 2008 – The Dark Knight
  • June 2009 – Superman: Man of Steel
  • 2010 – Justice League of America

I think you can see where I’m going with this. Within two or three years, we’ll have two different actors playing Batman, and two different actors playing Superman. Three if you count Tom Welling in Smallville.

Will simultaneous Batman/Superman franchises work? More specifically, simultaneous franchises with different actors and directors?

Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan have created an awesome Batman. Brandon Routh and Bryan Singer have done a pretty good job themselves with Superman. You don’t want to mess with either of those. Now, if the JLA movie was co-directed by Nolan and Singer, perhaps you could have Bale and Routh in the movie. Same characters, same actors. But they aren’t directing the movie – George Miller is. Which means he’ll have his own vision, and will most definitely want his own actors. I think that’s gonna be strange.

I would love to see Batman and Superman together in the same movie a la JLA, but I really hope Warner Brothers rethink their strategy here. If they release JLA so close to the Batman and Superman sequels, audiences may feel overwhelmed. More importantly, it could seriously damage the momentum that Bale and Routh have going with the characters.

Obviously Bale won’t be the last actor to portray Batman and Routh won’t be the last actor to portray Superman. You’d think they could have some time to own their respective roles, however! Introducing two additional actors in the same roles just doesn’t seem fair.

And yes, I realize that Val Kilmer and George Clooney each took on the role of Batman in a period of two years, but that was with the crap Joel Schumacher was peddling. Make no mistake about it – Nolan’s Batman is an entirely different animal.

Maybe all three movies will kick ass, who knows. My guess however is that even if all three are great movies, either Man of Steel or JLA will suffer at the box office.

Smallville Season 7 Confirmed

Post ImageI just watched the season six finale of Smallville and it ended in a cliffhanger as expected. And it’ll be back next season, also as expected. It was consistently one of the CW’s top-rated shows this season, so I figured it was very unlikely to suffer the same fate as Gilmore Girls. The seventh season should get underway late September or early October.

There’s a chance that Smallville may have an eight season, but that would be its last according to Executive Produce Al Gough:

We’ll officially find out about season 7 on May 17th [during the CW upfronts], but obviously we feel very confident we’ll be back. As for season 8, who knows? There are a lot of factors that will play into that decision, not the least of which is the quality of season 7, so that is what we are focusing on at the moment. If there is an 8th season, that would be the show’s last. Every hero may have a beginning, but every story has an end.

With that in mind, I hope they go the full eight seasons! It’s a nice round number (and lucky in Chinese culture). Would make for an excellent DVD set.

As for tonight’s finale, it was pretty intense. Perhaps not as good as last season’s finale, but still pretty good. I won’t give anything away here, so if you want to read some discussion regarding the episode, check out KryptonSite.

The one thing I will say is this: the Martian Manhunter was entirely underutilized. Such a waste.

REVIEW: Superman Returns

Post ImageI went to see Superman Returns late last night with Megan and a couple other people. As you’re probably aware, I was really looking forward to it, and for that reason, I didn’t think the movie would meet or exceed my expectations. And it didn’t. That said, it wasn’t a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, it just wasn’t as good as it could have been. Now, when reading the following review, you need to keep a few things in mind:

  • I do not profess to be a Superman nut. I have never read a Superman comic book. I really wasn’t interested in Superman until I got hooked on Smallville.
  • I’m a huge Smallville fan! I have seen every episode, and read almost everything about the show that I could find. It seems that half of the Superman faithful like the show, and the other half don’t.
  • This review will contain spoilers, so if you’re planning to see the movie, skip this post until after you’ve spent your arm and your leg at the theatre.

And now, on with the review! In point form, so I can break it down…

Comparison to Smallville

  • I really quite enjoyed the “superbreath”. Word is, Clark will gain this ability in Season 6 of Smallville, and I quite like the way it was done in Superman Returns.
  • The full color x-ray vision in the movie is better than in Smallville, but the way Smallville does his superhearing is much better I think.
  • I was really looking forward to Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, as I think he’s a superb actor. I really think Michael Rosenbaum does a better Lex though. The problem is that in the movie, there’s nothing to work with. On Smallville, Michael can be good Lex and bad Lex, which probably results in a better character.
  • I swear I could hear Annette O’Toole in the Martha Kent in this movie, played by Eva Marie Saint.

Things I Liked

  • I absolutely loved the shout out to citizen journalism, even if the kid’s camera phone pictures were far too high quality to be real. Good job Perry White for realizing that the newspaper reporter is a dying breed.
  • The suit and the updated Superman logo are excellent!
  • Brandon Routh did a great job as Clark Kent/Superman. I was expecting him to suck, but he was actually really easy to like in the role. I don’t know what Roger Ebert was smoking when he said he didn’t like Routh.
  • The glasses are an amazing disguise! No seriously, the difference between Clark and Superman in the movie is subtle, but very well done.
  • Jimmy Olsen! What a great character. I wonder if Smallville will introduce him…
  • The beating up of Superman by Lex and his thugs was very well done.
  • Absolutely gorgeous CGI. I think the ability to do so much with graphics is the main reason this film was made.

Things I Disliked

  • Kitty Kowalski. Meet the Jar Jar Binks of this movie. Seriously, what the hell was the point of this character?
  • The superboy tease. After he pushed the piano, I kept wanting to see him use his abilities again. The camera would even pause on him, as if to set it up, but time after time, he was just a normal kid. Very disappointed it wasn’t explored further.
  • The movie was too long. I only noticed it a few times during the movie, but afterward, I felt as though they could easily have cut some of the scenes.
  • The complete lack of chemistry, between any of the actors.
  • Didn’t Lois find out Clark’s true identity? Why weren’t there any references to that in this movie?
  • I felt like the movie wanted to be modern day, but was trapped in the past. Until we see Lois’ car, all of the vehicles look old. The buildings look old. The fashion looks old. Maybe that was the intent, but it looked dumb with cameraphones and LCD tv’s all over the place.
  • Kal Penn is in this movie. You know, the guy from Van Wilder and Harold & Kumar? Yeah, exactly. I couldn’t take him seriously. Fortunately, he didn’t have any lines.
  • Almost as bad was that every time I saw James Marsden, I kept thinking “Cyclops!” – they should have had someone else play Richard White.

The Worst Parts

  • Actually, this one is the best part – near the beginning of the film, there’s a very intense sequence where Superman saves Lois Lane and a bunch of other reporters after a horribly failed Shuttle launch from the top of a Boeing jet. The sequence is so exhilirating and exciting, that everything else in the movie simply cannot match it. That’s why it’s listed here under the worst parts.
  • Lex building islands? How lame is that?! This plot device might have been better if it had been given more time to develop, or if Lex had actually acquired some of the “advanced alien technology” he talked about, instead of just some ugly rock in the middle of the ocean. It was totally anticlimactic.
  • The movie is called “Superman Returns”, not “Lois Lane Returns”. Far too much time was spent on Lois. This movie should have been all about Superman.

Final Thoughts

As far as comic book movies go, this one is not at the top of the list. Spiderman, X-Men, and Batman Begins are far better movies, and maybe this film should have followed the same recipe. I think it would have been better if we’d seen Clark Kent become Superman in exactly the same way we saw Peter Parker become Spiderman, or Bruce Wayne become Batman, or Logan become Wolverine. When I mentioned this to Megan, she said, “so you wanted them to make a Smallville movie?” The answer is no. Smallville deals with Clark growing up, gaining his abilities, etc. The movie I have in mind would take place right after Smallville ends (or is supposed to end). Show us Clark deciding to become Superman! Show the transition, just like the other great comic book movies did.

It seems to me that Superman could have used a brand new introduction to the younger generation, and the need to connect to the old movies and credit Christopher Reeve and Marlon Brando and those other actors held this movie back. Just imagine, a Superman movie created like Batman Begins was, ignoring the previous films. That would have been so great!

If you like Superman, you’ll probably love the movie. If you just like comic book movies, you might be disappointed when comparing it to the likes of Spiderman.

Smallville Season Five Finale

Post ImageI won’t give any spoilers away, but…what an amazing episode! Huge cliffhanger. Lots of action. Excellent special effects. Some very interesting twists. Some funny moments, and some scary moments. Perhaps the only bad part was that it further proved that Lana is the most terribly written character on the show (well that and the few usual plotholes I guess). I’m going to have to watch it again, and then I’m sure I’ll find more faults heh.

The next few months of waiting for season six are going to be unbearable. At least there’s Superman Returns and KryptonSite in the interim.

That is all.