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I watched the first half of Superman 2 late last night while doing some work. Sad to see Chris Reeve die after making such progress with his condition. Like so many people, I will always associate him with the Superman character and all that it reminds me of. Putting towels around my neck and jumping down flights of stairs trying to fly, strength and a simple sort of goodness that existed for the benefit of others. The first two Superman movies are still the best superhero films ever made, in my opinion. The Spiderman flicks are the only ones that come close. Spidey 2 is so very similar to Superman 2, actually. Similar themes of giving up power and the hero's life for a shot at a "normal" love-life, and then returning to the call and responsibility that they seem destined for. Christopher Reeve also is the only actor I've seen to really "get" Clark Kent. Unlike Peter Parker, who disguises himself as Spiderman, or Bruce Wayne, who dresses up as a bat, Superman is the true being, and Clark Kent the illusion. As such, Clark is a bumbler, a nerd, a country bumpkin lacking any confidence or smoothness. Its not just the glasses and the S-curl on the forehead that keep people from recognizing him, its the total transformation of character that makes it work. With all due respect to Dean "Anaconda" Cain, a Clark Kent that is smooth totally misses whats good about the Superman story, and makes the disguise totally ridiculous. Reeve inhabited both characters so well that, seeing him go from one posture to the next, you could almost doubt that Clark was Superman. That is why Reeve was the best at playing this role. There is something profound about someone who is the most powerful man on earth, so high above anything else you could see or imitate, and instead of exploiting his position to get the girls, money, and fame, he disguises himself as a total loser, with few friends and no real prestige. This is a major part of what makes Superman a classic American icon, the prototype of almost every other spandex-clad hero. This is why I will miss Christopher Reeve, who illustrated our modern mythology for my generation.

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