With the DVD reissue of all of Reeve's Superman work, a new generation can discover the magic of these movies and of the man himself. I finally watched the original movie again after a number of years, and while there are some dated elements (think clothing, humor, and a cheesy voice-over sequence), it still shines because of the amazing special-effects work, talented cast, and Reeve's genuinely moving and humorous performance. He cleverly played Clark Kent as a clumsy, awkward reporter to contrast his superpower secret identity, who tackled the likes of criminal mastermind Lex Luthor and his father's old nemeses from the planet Krypton. There was a certain naivete to Reeve's portrayal, and the way he displayed his affection for roving reporter Lois Lane was, and still is, genuinely charming and endearing.

That magic is recaptured in the new Superman Returns, an exciting and respectful homage to the Reeve movies, directed by X-Men guru Bryan Singer. Even though no one will ever be a match for Reeve, Brandon Routh succeeds at channeling his famous predecessor while bringing his own personality to the role. The film, which is essentially a Superman II sequel that disregards its less-than-super successors, finds Superman once again taking on the psychopathic Lex Luthor, who has stolen crystals from the Fortress of Solitude to create his own continent (you'll just have to watch it to see what I mean). As with its predecessors, the film's fantastic imagery is balanced by very human performances. It's funny: I never read Superman comics much as a kid, but the movies really do it for me. Perhaps it is because Superman seems more real, genuine, and nuanced on the silver screen, when handled the right way.