Those Whacky Hollywood Folks!

I just finished reading the book pictured above, Superman vs. Hollywood, by Jake Rossen and it was one of the funniest offerings I’ve read in a long time! Of course, as a life-long fan of Superman I could have read this with the mindset of “Woe is me, why oh why can’t those Hollywood folks make a decent Superman movie (and/or TV show)?” But, having seen Hollywood adapt a lot of literary properties and having witnessed the utter crap the movies become I chose to read this book as a delightful tale of the Earth-bound Bizzarro world that Tinsel-town really is and say, “Good enough for them!” If they want to spend decades and tens of millions of dollars trying to produce a Superman film solely to sell massive amounts of brightly colored bits of plastic (licensed toys and such) and then not have anything to show for it (I refer to the abortive attempt to let Tim Burton crap his dark vision all over the myth and Nick Cage to play the character as some brooding flightless outcast), then I say they got what they deserved. Then they turn around and let Bryan Singer do his version which violates the character in different but equally insidious fashion.

The book is a great read starting from the inception of the media interest in Superman and briefly touching base with the evolution of the character in the comics while moving the main narrative through the decades as The Man of Steel moves from radio to serials to TV to feature films to TV and back and forth up and mainly down and down in quality and up, up and away in financial costs.

The way Hollywood is presented, as a miasma of planet sized egos (everyone), spoiled children in the bodies of self-indulgent adults (actors and directors), scheming money-grubbers (studio heads) and complete madmen (Jon Peters) this would be a good book for any aspiring participant in that looney bin to read. As a cautionary tale.

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