Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Flashback: "SUPERMAN RETURNS" (2006)


The 2006 Summer movie season was a memorable one for me.  I never got around to review movies like"MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III""POSEIDON""THE DaVINCI'S CODE", and "X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND". I had just started on my first blog and never really bothered to put much effort into a movie review.  However, I did managed to write a few words about "SUPERMAN RETURNS".

I wish I could say that I had loved "SUPERMAN RETURNS". I wish I could say that I found it very original. I wish I could . . . but I cannot. Because I would be lying if I had said so. Do not get me wrong . . .  "SUPERMAN RETURNS" was a pretty good movie. Well . . . it was entertaining.  And the movie featured a first-rate performance from leading man Brandon Routh as Clark Kent aka Superman.  Unfortunately, the movie also turned out to be something of a disappointment for me.

First of all, I felt that it was a big mistake on director Bryan Singer's part to continue the story following 1981's  "SUPERMAN II".  It was bad enough that he had re-used John Williams' score and Marlon Brando's image as Jor-El. But he also used plot lines from the 1978 film, "SUPERMAN"(1978). He re-hashed the following: 

*Lois' rooftop meeting with Superman, followed by a flight over Metropolis

*Some of Chris Reeves' dialogue

*Lex Luthor's plot to destroy part of the U.S. for a land swindle (which was not handled very effectively).

Singer also borrowed the love triangle from Marvel's 2004 movie, "SPIDER-MAN 2" . . . but with only a few twists. 

In the end, I could not tell whether the movie was a sequel to "SUPERMAN II" or a remake of "SUPERMAN". Very confusing and very disappointing. Although it was a pretty good movie with a first-class cast, it was also the most unoriginal comic book hero flick I have ever seen. Singer could have done better. I rated the movie a “B-“.

Monday, February 8, 2016


Below is a list of my favorite television travel documentaries in the past twenty to thirty years: 


1. "Long Way Down" (2007) - Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman embarked on their second motorcycle journey, traveling from John o'Groats, Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa; via Europe and Africa. This was a follow-up to their 2004 trip across Eurasia and North America.

2. "Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days" (1989) - Inspired by Jules Verne's 1873 novel, comedian-actor Michael Palin embarked upon a journey around the world within 80 days, without the use of air travel during the fall of 1988.

3. "Long Way Round" (2004) Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman embarked upon their first motorcycle journey in which they traveled from London to New York City, via Eurasia and North America.

4. "David Suchet on the Orient Express" (2010) - As he prepares for an adaptation of Agatha Christie's famous 1934 novel, actor David Suchet embarks on a journey across Europe on the famed Orient Express train.

5. "Five Takes: Pacific Rim" (2006) - In Season Two of the Travel Channel series, "FIVE TAKES", five young American "travel journalists" traveled to different countries around the Pacific Rim.

6. "Himalaya with Michael Palin" (2004) - Actor-comedian Michael Palin embarked upon a six-month, 3,000 miles trip throughout the Himalaya mountain range.

7. "Moms on the Road: Africa" (2006) - The BBC America produced this special about eight American mothers who traveled to and explored various countries in Southern Africa.

8. "Sahara with Michael Palin" (2002) - Michael Palin hit the road when he traveled through various countries around the Sahara Desert in Northern and Western Africa.

9. "Jeremy Piven's Journey of a Lifetime" (2006) - Actor Jeremy Piven embarked upon a journey from Northern to Southern India.

10. "Pacific Journey: Adventures of a Musical Mariner" (1989) - This two-part documentary featured the late composer David Fanshawe's ten year journey around the southern Pacific Rim, when he documented the music and oral traditions of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia for his incomplete choral work, "Pacific Odyssey".

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD" (1998) Photo Gallery


Below are images from "FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD", the 1998 adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel. Directed by Nicholas Renton, the television miniseries starred Paloma Baeza, Nathaniel Parker, Jonathan Firth and Nigel Terry: 

"FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD" (1998) Photo Gallery

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