As Scott pointed out in his review, you need not fear that this week's Superhero Movie is another brainchild of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, whose satanic perversions of the parody genre -- Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans -- have been terrorizing unsuspecting audiences every year since 2006. Superhero Movie was actually directed by Craig Mazin, a protégé of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker dream team responsible for Airplane! and The Naked Gun, and produced by David Zucker himself. But it, too, is plagued -- albeit to a much lesser degree -- by what's turning out to be the problem with the entire modern generation of spoofs going back to Scary Movie: relentless pop culture specificity.

The basest incarnations of this, of course, are the Friedberg-Seltzer monstrosities, which may be worthless as comedies but which could prove valuable to historians because they indicate precisely what dominated the American zeitgeist in the few months before their release. It's too generous to call these films' vulgar spasms "jokes," but to the extent that's what they are, they depend entirely on either audience members' awareness of US Weekly-type factoids such as Britney Spears' shaving her head or their recall of particular scenes and characters in recent box-office hits. That's not to say that these kinds of jokes can't be funny -- the problem with Friedberg and Seltzer, as others have pointed out, is that they think throwing something current on the screen ("Look, Paris Hilton!") constitutes humor. But they do limit comedies' universal appeal and staying power.