Is it a bird?

I've never been into soft drinks, or 'sodas' or 'pop' or 'fizzywet', very much, and so I don't really understand the people who have fierce brand loyalty about them. You know who I mean. The people who only drink Pepsi and hate hate HATE Coke, or vice versa. To me, they are both the same drink, just as Sprite, Sierra Mist and 7-Up are all just overrated water. Maybe it's just because I've never been a 64-oz a day kinda guy, but I've never felt the need to get that passionate about carbonated beverages. In England, I was quite partial to Lilt,
because it was totally unique, and totally tropical. But my fandom was not extended to the point where I'd forsake every other product.

My lack of brand loyalty extends to other things, too. I love iTunes and my iPod (when it works) but I can't imagine buying a Mac computer, despite what that guy who plays the same character in every movie might have me believe. My favourite pairs of trousers are from both Old Navy and American Eagle. When I was a lot younger, I favoured McDonalds over Burger King, simply because their toys were better, but now I dislike them both equally. Adidas edges it over Nike because of a) my fantastic $12.99 three-stripes, and the best TV advert I've seen in ages.

In fact, the only are I have any semblance of brand loyalty is the one area where I'm always going to be let down. I loved Nick Hornby's first few novels, so I had high expectations for 'How To Be Good', but it was rubbish. I stay loyal to Manic Street Preachers, even though they've only recorded one good song this century (that'll be 'Intravenous Agnostic') and their singer's solo single sounds a bit plops. And, though, most people won't admit it, the vast majority of Christopher Walken's films are in fact cripplingly, unwatchably bad.

I'm yet to be disappointed by Bryan Singer, though. It may be the world's worst kept secret, but 'The Usual Suspects' is an incredible film. If he were Michael Owen, that film would be his goal against Argentina in 1998. That film he made about Nazis (Singer, not Michael Owen. I don't think Michael Owen has made any films about Nazis) was pretty good, and the two X-Men films were enjoyable enough. I'm no comic books fan — much to the chagrin of the better half — but that first scene in X2 where Nightcrawler goes climbing up the walls in the White House is ace.

Because of my brand loyalty to Bryan Singer, and to a lesser degree, Kevin Spacey, and the way I love going to the cinema alone, and the name of this blog, I went to see 'Superman Returns'. It was nice to hear about a Man of Steel that wasn't Lakshmi Mittal (if you don't get that reference, it's okay, but you should probably read the business pages a little more).

I enjoyed the film a lot. First things first, Brandon Routh was inch-perfect as Clark Kent (perfect mix of young Christopher Reeve and Stephen Malkmus), and very good as the big S. Spacey can do hilarious megalomania in his sleep, and was always fun to watch. Except when he said "Bring it on!" which just doesn't sound like something he'd say. Kate Bosworth and James Marsden were impressive as well. It was a waste of my facesake but not my namesake, though. He could've done with more than two lines.

I liked how Singer's film stayed somewhere in between the pop-culture glossiness of Sam Raimi's Spiderman films (nice new trailer, by the way) and the darkness of Chris Nolan's Batman Begins. Superman is the ultimate superhero, and the film pretty much focused on how ultimate he is. Not quite as relentless as Mission Impossible 3, which as I've said before is the cinematic equivalent of 'The Woods' by Sleater Kinney, it's action-packed to the point of queasiness (in a good way) as the man in the cape saves a whole month's worth of days.

So as to keep AYGH? a spoiler-free zone, I won't go into the movie too much now . But if someone who isn't into comics can severely enjoy it then you probably can too. It's great with popcorn, just don't get a Coke. Or a Sprite. Or...


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