Showing 1 - 10 of 18 posts found matching keyword: metropolis

Mom spent most of the past month touring the Western and Midwestern United States, visiting sites like Rocky Mountain National Park, Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, and my personal favorite, Metropolis, Illinois.

It's a bird.... It's a plane.... It's Mom!

Yes, she is wearing gold shoes. She always dresses up when meeting famous people.

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Last week, TCM ran a documentary on early 20th-century filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. I've seen at least parts of a few of Micheaux's films, including his response to Birth of a Nation earlier this year. I didn't include the documentary in my most recent movie reviews because I typically like to work my way through what I watch chronologically. However, we are running out of June, and I really should cover this one before the calendar turns to July.

59/2225. Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero of Black Filmmaking (2021)

As you can see from the title, documentarian Francesco Zippel really plays up the superhuman efforts that Micheaux had to perform to get his films about Black American life and starring Black Americans shown to (mostly Black) audiences. The film focuses on Micheaux's works and achievements but is light on actual biographical details of the man himself, admitting that many aspects of the man's personal life are unclear.

But what motivates me to post this during Superman Month is that Micheaux was born to a freed former slave in Metropolis, Illinois! That was 1884, about 90 years before the city embraced its tenuous connection to the Superman mythos.

The documentary concludes with a lamentation that Metropolitans would choose to erect a giant statue to a fictional hero instead of a true native son. But to be entirely fair, Micheaux was public about the social struggles of his early life in Metropolis, and he left town for good at the age of 17. On the other hand, everyone knows that once Superman moved to Metropolis, he stayed there.

A statue might be a bit much, but at the very least, you'd think they'd give him a plaque. Or a star on the sidewalk. If it's good enough for D.W. Griffith....

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Back in February, an image was posted to Facebook along with the news that high winds had blown the head off the Superman statue in downtown Metropolis, Illinois.

Always be concerned about the phrase 'it is confirmed'

In fact, the Photoshopped image and accompanying story had originally been the April Fools' Day prank for in 2017.

But that didn't stop a lot of people thinking it was true. The Metropolis Super Museum had to publicly refute the claim being repeated by "news" sites far and wide. What hope do we have against Deep Fake AIs when people can't even spot amateur use of Photoshop's clone tool?

In any event, we can all rest safe knowing that the statue will still be standing complete when the annual Superman Celebration kicks off this weekend. Better than ever, actually. The big guy just got a new coat of (lighter blue) paint in time for a rededication ceremony at 9AM on Friday.

Take that, high winds!

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After years of pandemic-driven disruption, the 44th annual Metropolis, Illinois Superman Celebration returned to its traditional calendar slot this weekend. The highlight of this year's event was last night, when Smallville Superman (Tom Welling) and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) reunited to re-enact scenes from their television show on stage.

As it happens, the 2022 Celebration is marking the 50th anniversary of Metropolis being the "Home of Superman," a title they gave themselves. While 1972 was inarguably a significant milestone for Metropolis in several aspects, not the least of which is the agreement with National Periodicals to license Superman's name and likeness, many websites, including Wikipedia, mark the start of Metropolis' official relationship to Superman with the June 9, 1972, passage of State of Illinois General Assembly House Resolution 572, which reads:

Whereas, Metropolis is, as everyone knows, the base of operations of SUPERMAN, the Man of Steel, battler for Truth, Justice, and the American Way; leaper of tall buildings in single bounds; overpowerer of powerful locomotives; outspeeder of speeding bullets; changer of the course of might rivers; and performer of other important functions of not inconsiderable civic utility; and

Whereas, the civic leaders of Metropolis, Illinois, have finally decided that their illustrious citizen is, in fact, neither a bird nor a plane but a resource of not inconsiderable civic utility; and

Whereas, the familiar red and blue caped Superman uniform has been seen of late draped on other prominent citizens of Metropolis on important civic occasions (giving one pause to reflect that Clark Kent must have been considerably embarrassed when he last dashed into a telephone booth to strip for action and found that his Superman uniform had mysteriously disappeared);

now therefore be it Resolved By The House of Representatives in the seventy-seventh Session of the General Assembly, that we do hereby commend and congratulate Mr. Robert Westerfield, Mayor J.P. Williams, and Mr. C. Harold Mescher of Metropolis, Illinois, for conceiving and organizing "Project Superman' by which outstanding citizens are honored as recipients of the Superman Award for their contributions to the civic welfare of Metropolis; and we extend the thanks of the civic leaders to Mr. Carmine Infantino of National Periodical Publications, Inc., for his kind permission to use the Superman format and for supplying the original uniform of the television Superman to use in the promotion of Project Superman; and finally we congratulate the Reverend Charles Chandler on his selection as the first recipient of the Superman Award and find it wholly appropriate that a man of his calling be so chosen;

and be it further Resolved, that a suitable copy of this preamble and resolution be forwarded to Mr. Robert Westerfield for acceptance by him on behalf of the Project Superman Screening Committee.

Personally, I'm not particularly confident about that June 9 date or whether the Illinois Senate ever had anything to do with this particular resolution. The actual online records of the 77th Illinois Senate meeting that day do not remark on that specific piece of legislation. Admittedly, that does not necessarily mean the date is incorrect, as the online records themselves warn of their incompleteness. The text above is taken directly from the Illinois House record for April 25, 1972, the date the resolution was introduced and passed the House.

And while we're on that topic, I should mention that House Resolution 572 was just one of many non-binding resolutions passed that day. Resolution 569 congratulated a congressman for staying married to the same woman for 19 years. Resolution 571 gave Chicago Cubs pitcher Burt Hooton a pat on the back for throwing a no-hitter, and Resolution 573 pledged undying loyalty to the Chicago Black Hawks "no matter what."

But the real kicker is House Resolution 575, congratulating Illinois native Gene Hackman for receiving the Oscar for Best Actor (in The French Connection). Though Superman: The Movie would be six years in their future, the Illinois House of Representatives still managed to praise both Superman and Lex Luthor in the very same meeting!

That's congress for you.

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Because of the pandemic — which can't hurt Superman but can hurt the very people he has dedicated his life to helping — the Metropolis, Illinois, Superman Celebration was cancelled last year, and has been postponed to the end of July this year.

But in case you ever wondered why it's usually held around the second weekend in June, here's your answer:

Don't ask him to blow out the candles
Superman #263, April 1973

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Today marks the start of the 13th annual Superman Month!

Is this the year I finally make it to the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois? Probably not. It's next weekend, and I already have other plans.

Their guests of honor will include original Supergirl, Helen Slater, and Erica Durance, Smallville's Lois Lane. Their lists of guest artists, however, leaves something to be desired compared to past years. I guess they do have to save something for next year.

Out of curiosity, I took a look at the Greater Metropolis Convention & Visitors Bureau website to see what else there might be to do in town between autograph sessions underneath the Superman Statue. Metropolis isn't a big town, and the Visitors Bureau only lists 15 total "sights and attractions." Of course the big draw is the Harrah's Casino (which I haven't visited) and the Super Museum & Gift Shop (which I have and highly recommend). They also have a bowling alley, gym, state park, and microbrewery. I guess the town isn't big enough to support a full sized brewery.

Their most unusual non-Superman offering might be the Mermet Springs "full service dive site" inside an abandoned stone quarry that includes "the jet airplane from the movie U.S. Marshals." That short sells what they offer, as the Mermet Springs website lists 2 additional planes and 10 other man made objects to swim around. Not counting Jimmy Olsen.

I find it easier to believe that Jimmy Olsen can hold his breath for three hours than that he can win at checkers

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The annual Superman Celebration returns to Metropolis, Illinois this weekend. Scheduled guests include three Jimmy Olsens: Marc McClure from Superman: The Movie, Michael Landis from Superman: Lois and Clark, and Mehcad Brooks from the current Supergirl show on CBS The CW. That's a lot of Jimmies! Too bad the real Jimmy Olsen didn't live to see this. (Rest in Peace Jack Larson.)

Also dropping by is Peter Facinelli (just $20 for a photo op!). He plays Justice League founder Max Lord on Supergirl, but he's no doubt best known for his participation in the Twilight movies. It might be interesting to see how the Twilight and Superman fan bases overlap. Sparkle, sparkle!

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The annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois kicks off today. If you can make it, the opening ceremonies will be at 5PM, with an outdoor screening of 1978's Superman movie to follow at 9PM. Other events this weekend include appearances by Lois & Clark's Lex Luthor and Superboy's Lana Lang, the "Fortress of Jellotude" eating contest, and the Superman v. Batman tug of war. And of course the Superman Museum will be open from 7AM to 9PM every day.

If that doesn't sound like a great way to pass a weekend, I don't know what is. (At least until football season returns.)

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The annual Superman Celebration kicks off today in Metropolis, Illinois. This year attendees will be dazzled by Special Guests Dean Cain and Billy Dee Williams. Cain played Superman on television's Lois and Clark. Billy Dee played Superman... wait a second.

The closest that Williams has ever come to appearing on a Superman project was in voicing Lando Calrissian in The Lego Movie where Channing Tatum voiced Superman. We should probably expect to see Tatum at future Celebrations.

Celebration organizers justify the inclusion of Williams because he played Harvey Dent in 1989's Batman which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. (Damn, I'm getting old.) The role was famously recast for Tommy Lee Jones in 1995's Batman Forever. Will he show up for autographs at the 2020 Celebration?

Listen, Metropilis, I have as much affinity for the voice of Colt 45 as the next guy, but I don't care to see Batman horn in on Superman's celebration. It's bad enough that Batman outsells Superman at the newsstand, the box office, and the toy aisle, but now Batman is crowding his hangers-on into Superman's festival? That Dark Knight is a jerk.

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This Sunday, June 9, attendees of the annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, will attempt to re-set the world record for "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman." (Yes, this is an actual title.)

I reported on Metropolis' initial successful attempt to set the record in 2008 (read here and here). Metropolis' record of 127 was shattered in 2011 when a company called Nexen Inc ordered costumes for all 437 of of its employees in order to break the record! That's dirty pool! And it only makes matters worse that Nexen is an energy company... in Canada!

For Metropolis to reclaim the record for America, they'll need 438 or more people dressed as Superman this weekend. You'd think that shouldn't be too hard, especially with the hype surrounding Man of Steel coming out next week. But here's the amusing catch: Guinness World Records doesn't recognize the costume worn by Superman in Man of Steel as a Superman costume.

In the movie, as in comics for the past two years, Superman does not wear red shorts over his blue tights. Guinness does not consider costumes without red trunks to be Superman costumes. So any costume that is promoting Warner Brothers' movie or DC Comic properties will not count towards the record!

In my 2008 posts, I commented at length on how mass gatherings of Superman impersonators had to be some sort of evil plot. Now Canadian and Irish corporations are conspiring to keep the Superman records away from Metropolis. I don't see what these villains hope to gain from keeping the record away from Metropolis, but no super villain ever makes his plans too obvious. That we don't know what their goal is just means that we haven't gotten to the penultimate chapter of the story yet.

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To be continued...


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