Dear Superman III,

I missed the first few minutes today, but we have met before.  Remember, in a theater on the southside of Chicago around 1983.   My Aunt Donna might have taken me since she was in love with Richard Pryor.  Or Mommy or Uncle Torry might have, I don’t remember, I was only nine.  What I do know is that I was in love with Christopher Reeve and wanted him to marry my mom and then life would be perfect.  (My dad only talked at me about life lessons that I’ve learned I don’t really need, so Superman seemed a much better choice for a dad.)

Anyway, when I turned it on I remember thinking it was terrible at nine and it wasn’t one of my favorites to watch on a cold rainy pizza day.  But then I was struck.  And here are some observations I think you should take into consideration Superman III so that you can…uh…right, they’re both dead… So you can…aww fuck it, so I can unpackage some of my own shit.  Like:

  1. That taking a half penny and depositing it in your account, cudos Mr. Pryor.  Wait, does that computer have a touch screen?  WTF?  Mind you, you need a pen to touch it with, but way to go. I still don’t have an iPad and only got a touch screen phone last year. 
  2. Oh Dr. Robert Vaughn.  You are our favorite bad guy.  Even Pooty Tang knew it.  We love you so.  You are the embodiment of capitalist evil.  Even though you have a Ph.D in communications from USC.  A capitalist who was born rich (like Willard) and has never worn the same set of socks twice.  A man who in order to win must destroy everyone else.
  3. Why wouldn’t Superman just blow the chemical fire out or freeze the room with the chemicals.  I’m so sick of superheros being kinda super sometimes and overly super at others.  [Tangent alert: It’s like Jean Gray & Storm in the X-Men movies.  Really Jean, you could take out one missile but not the other?  And Storm couldn’t just have a mighty wind blow the fuck out of it?  I don’t buy it.  Weak!] 
  4. Back to the chemical fire.  I’m assuming the fact that the chemicals in that room can’t become volatile is some kind of foreshadowing. (See those degrees in film haven’t gone to waste.)
  5. Jimmy Olsen is stupid.  And when did Superman go to med school to know Jimmy broke his fibula.
  6. That has to be the worst fire department in the history of fire.  You have a GIGANTIC chemical factory and run out of water. But here comes Superman to MAKE IT RAIN BITCHES!
  7. Then find time to make it to his lame assed high school reunion.  I just went to mine and it didn’t look anything like that.  Lame! And why wouldn’t Lana have some kind of committee to help her clean up after the dance?  And wasting all that good potato salad. Shame.
  8. Nobody noticed that a kid that bowls like I do sober suddenly burst the pins like I do when I’m bowling drunk (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
  9. It’s true, we do now have those blasted computers do the dirty work.  They’re called derivatives and they just tanked the world economy. But I don’t think weather satellites can actually change the weather.  That’s not how they work.
  10. “I don’t want to go to jail because they have robbers and rapists and rapists who rape robbers."  -Richard Pryor as August Gorman.
  11. Small towns freak me out.  & where would Richard get cocaine from there?  
  12. Was Lana gonna kiss Clark after he just ate dog food?  Gross!
  13. I think this is why I thought Superman/Christopher Reeve would be up for being my dad.  The whole Lana Lang storyline with the kid did it.  Cause his mom could call Clark Kent and be all "oh, little Ricky told all his friends Superman would be at his birthday party."  Like what?  Who does he think he is? That’s Superman dude.  Then Clark said yes?  What?!!!  You’re Superman dude.  You come from a distant planet and can leap over buildings in a single bound, but you’re going to some geeky assed kids Smallville birthday party?  Bullshit.  He’s gotta stop using his powers for petty bullshit.  But that’s all gonna change because my boy is gonna show up soon.

Thanks to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and his butch sister for creating an alternative to Kryptonite that Richard Pryor added tar to because he was smoking some Camels.  (Now this is also after RP had famously set himself on fire and I’m sure wasn’t smoking NOTHIN!  Especially not Camels, he should have told them they would have been Newports, let’s tell the truth Richard.)

But then the magic happens.  Superman turns into a drunken urbanite and starts fucking shit up.  He straightens the Leaning Tower, blows out the Olympic torch, and totally bangs The Man from U.N.C.L.E’s old lady.  He’s unshaven and his suit is all dirty.  He’s better than Bizarro, he’s a real asshole.  Then he’s sitting in a bar busting bottles with peanuts and stupid little Ricky goes and fucks up his groove by telling him he’s "in a slump”, what kid talks like that?  This makes him split in half and Dope Superman has to fight Goodygoody Clark Kent and I know I’m supposed to root for Kent, but now that I’m older and unemployed and drinking beer from a 40, I get the Dirty Dope Superman.  He’s tired.  Sick and tired of everybody expecting so much from him and not getting no tang.  Then stupid Kent chokes Dope Superman out and becomes good and goes about fixing the things he broke like some pathological people pleaser.

Now Richard Pryor’s got the bad guy to build him a super computer in a silly subplot and more wasted Pryor time where he has to ride a donkey down a mountain instead of taking a cool assed balloon cause he doesn’t think a man can fly in a Superman movie.  Hijinx ensue.  An Atari 2600 like scenario follows.  The sexy chick gets cold dissed cause Superman’s like, I don’t know you lady after probably blowing her back out the other night, and she’s all dissed. They have a real Kryptonite laser beam now and then RP turns it off and saves Superman and acts like a coon and makes me terribly uncomfortable.  (Not as uncomfortable as when he acted like a General to give the fake Krypto to Superman in the first place.  Mortifyingly unfunny for one of the top comics of the century.  Sad. But don’t cry for Richard, he signed a $40 million contract after this movie.) Then the machine wants to live and makes the sister all Borg and she attacks everybody with lights that pin people to the wall. 

Ahh, thanks foreshadowing, cause Superman gets some of that acid from the beginning and it kills the computer.  Hurray. 

What I learned:

  • I could totally live off of the half cents left over from corporate entities.  EASY!
  • Drunk Superman is cool.
  • I never want to see Superman give a soul pound in my life.
  • Money can make people real assholes.

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