Family Movie Night
by Karyn Bowman
How do you feel when an old favorite movie gets a makeover?
I was thinking about this as my husband made plans to see The Lone Ranger at the drive-in. He is planning to take us to a double feature that also includes Man of Steel, the latest vision of Superman.
Both movies represent something from my childhood. Both movies present former heroes in a new light. And to be honest, I am not sure I want to see these movies.
I grew up with Clayton Moore playing the former Texas Ranger out to find justice. By his side was Jay Silverheels as Tonto. My brother and I watched the old serial episodes on Channel 9. It didn’t matter that we had seen many of the episodes time and time again. We loved them and played out the episodes in the yard.
So imagine my surprise when I saw the first renderings of Johnny Depp as Tonto. The white face and dark eyes along with the strange crow hat made me wonder just what Depp was doing? Would this be the ruin of the new movie or something interesting? It makes me wonder how far into the metaphysical world would director Gore Verbinski dip into in order to bring a different story to the big screen.
And then there is Man of Steel. The story of Superman’s escape from a dying planet is the same but like never before Clark is aware that he has to hide his powers. Like never before he is aware of what makes him different and that fact is not going to be lightly glossed over. He cannot reveal his difference because people will not take the time to understand him.
Should we have pondered this before? I mean, why else does someone choose to leave their family on the farm to go to New York? Perhaps, it is why most people leave the farm and head to the big city – they hate the farm. A lot of people have done this in the past and no one gave it a second thought. Who wants to stay on a farm when they can be the big cheese elsewhere?
But what we love about Superman are his small town values. We love that he wants to help people, right wrongs and help America remain free. He fights for Truth, Justice and the American Way. He helps the little guy and children while protecting the Earth from outside force.
Recently, my 16-year-old watched Superman 4 in which Superman is working for World Peace and Lex Luthor is trying to destroy him. I forgot about some of the awful fashions but I also forgot the wistfulness of Superman and Luthor’s out-and-out greed.
Can I bear to see Superman/Clark Kent portrayed by someone other than Christopher Reeves and believe that person is Superman? Will I be able to watch Johnny Depp’s version of Tonto and not snicker – too much? I am not sure. But after Wednesday night, I might have an answer for you.
Until Next Week, see you in the rental aisle.