“You can’t control a living thing without destroying what’s alive about it” — Zor-El
That quote is key for Superman Unbound, as Superman deals with a new threat to Earth, a threat from Krypton’s past that threatens the galaxy at large in addition to his adoptive home. Brainiac travels the universe capturing cities in bottles and then destroying their planet of origin, in an attempt to absorb all the knowledge in the universe. In order to prevent new knowledge from existing, Brainiac keeps the cities in the same state they were when they were captured. No one ages, everything stays the same, they are trapped in purgatory. As you can imagine, Superman is not okay with this fate befalling Earth, nor is he fine with leaving the lost Kryptonian capital of Krandor as a bottle decoration in Brainiac’s ship.
Superman: Unbound is based on Superman: Brainiac by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Brainiac presented here is a cold, calculating monster that is an unstoppable force in the galaxy. He’s been at it for decades, adding city after city to his collection and leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake. Brainiac brings up echo of the Borg, as he arrives in a lone ship (though his is shaped like a black skull), his robot troops adapt to the local defenses and absorb the knowledge of his victims. They both carve out cities from the ground, and Brainiac is more machine parts than organic at this point. But he’s also just one guy, as opposed to a collective consciousness. The motivations are similar but also different.
We begin with seemingly normal situations on Earth, massive violence in Metropolis (committed, they say, because Superman will obviously be busy with an earthquake in South America that happened a bit ago!) The heavily armed thugs manage the best the surprisingly militarized Metropolis police, but what they don’t bank on is Supergirl showing up to ruin their fun. Lois Lane (who volunteered to be their hostage) provides the snark as Supergirl rips through their defenses, joined by Superman, who faster than a speeding bulleted his way back to the US in time to take out the last of the bad dudes.
Bill Murray as Don Johnston
Jeffrey Wright as Winston
Sharon Stone as Laura
Frances Conroy as Dora
Jessica Lange as Carmen
Tilda Swinton as Penny
Julie Delpy as Sherry
Alexis Dziena as Lolita
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Just when you think 2005 will go down in history as the year good movies became endangered species, we get an entry that shows us there is still life yet in celluloid land. Bill Murray, reprising his lonely man role he’s been fine tuning in recent films such as Rushmore and Lost in Translation, teams with independent writer/director Jim Jarmusch of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai fame in a film that gives us a man’s journey and self-discovery and some other clichéd sounding plot devices, yet the movie turns out better than it sounds. This is in a large part due to the massive amount of talent throughout the picture, in addition to the two I named previously. Murray is Don Johnston, a ladies man in his later years, who receives and anonymous letter from one of his former flames telling him he has a son he never knew he had who is now old enough he has come searching for his father. Don Johnston does not know which woman it could be, as there are five possibilities.
Halle Berry as Patience Phillips/Catwoman
Benjamin Bratt as Tom Lone
Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare
Lambert Wilson as George Hedare
Frances Conroy as Ophelia
Alex Borstein as Sally
Directed by Pitof
A movie destined to fail, 12 years after Michelle Pfeiffer starred as Catwoman in Batman Returns they finally crank out the spinoff. Except it’s not really a spinoff. We don’t know what it is, exactly, except painful. All of the Catwoman backstory from decades of DC comics is thrown right out, in favor os some multiple Catwomen throughout history garbage. I guess Pitof saw Catwomen of the Moon and decided he liked it. Or not. This movie was plagued with production premonitions of it’s terribleness. It took years to develop, and when Berry was finally signed, it looked like maybe there was something good going on. It was all lies and false hopes. The announcement they were ditching all Batman references was a bad sign, and then Catwoman was announced to not be Selena Kyle but instead the never heard of Patience Phillips. It wasn’t a complete wash yet….
Then the photos of the costume hit.