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Old September 15 2010, 02:00 AM   #57
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Re: Which actor looks the most like Superman to you?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, you must pay more attention to men's bodies than I do, because I never noticed the difference in physique. If anything, I was surprised to learn that Cain was a former football player, because he never struck me as particularly muscular or burly. He always seemed to me like a fairly "soft" Superman, befitting the show's romantic-comedy approach.
You're right. You couldn't be paying that much attention because the difference in physique between the two is fairly obvious.

And I'm surprised by your rather aggressive negativity toward Reeve. Now, for a long time, I'd soured on the Reeve movies (until my recent reappraisal of Richard Donner's work with the character), but I always felt Reeve embodied Superman, looked like Superman, better than anyone else. Yes, there are differences in his facial structure, but there's more to a face than its structure. A face is a dynamic, expressive thing. And the expression, the attitude on the face of Reeve's Superman -- the combination of utter confidence and strength with easy gentleness and boyish openness, so that you recognized his power and authority yet trusted utterly that he was a protector rather than a threat -- that is what Superman should be, regardless of the shape of his nose or the circumference of his chest.
I'm not negative specifically toward Reeve. I loved Superman-The Movie and Superman II and liked Superman III. What I'm negative toward is Hollywood's seeming attitude that it's impossible to teach a bodybuilder how to act well enough to be the lead in a summer superhero blockbuster, which seems to be why we keep ending up with smaller guys like Reeve and pencil-sticks like Routh playing Supes on the big screen. I want to see someone that looks like Superman off-screen play him on-screen. Just once.

But fine, if you're going to insist on talking about portrayal instead of looks, let's talk about portrayal. I still wouldn't pick Chris Reeve. Why? Because everything you talked about in Reeve's portrayal was done twenty years earlier and for about a decade on TV by George Reeves. And done better, without George being a glider pilot and his having to stretch out on a table with that stupid wind sound effect behind him. Anything that Reeve brought to the character he built onto it by standing on Reeves's shoulders.

Just being able to nuance the character doesn't make Reeve the best Superman, by any standard.
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