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11-25-2006, 03:29 PM #1
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Review...
***CAUTION: MAJOR SPOILERS***
Do Not read further if you don't want to know.
Before seeing the film first hand, I came across some reviews online. Check out Bill Hunt's review at www.thedigitalbits.com. It fills in what I don't talk about in my review. I'm just going to focus on a couple issues. The response to Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut was not what I was hoping for, and now, having seen it, I understand why.
One thing should be noted though. This is truly a part of cinematic history for a director (Richard Donner), who was fired off the project back in the day (26 +/- years ago), to be able to go back and redo (sort of) the film according to how he originally intended it (with available resources of course). Obviously, in the beginning, Donner didn't want anything to do with revisiting Superman II, but Michael Thau starting re-editing the film (like 6 tons of it), and over time Donner warmed up to it, and put some input here and there.
The film is different in tone. Gone is the stupid slapstick that the producers wanted (which they fully achieved with Superman III... and we all know how well that went over).
Gone is the opening scene where Lois Lane goes to Paris to write about the terrorists with a hydrogen bomb in an elevator which Superman takes into space and blows up the Phantom Zone where Zod and the gang are imprisoned. Instead Superman (from the first film) throws the rocket set for New Jersey out into space and that's what blows up the Zone.
Gone is the scene where Lois tries to uncover Superman by throwing herself into a river and later when he reveals himself by tripping on a pink bear rug. Instead they use screen test footage where Lois shoots Clark with a blank to get him to reveal himslef. It was okay.
Gone are the scenes with Superman's mom and the bald kryptonian poet guy in the Fortress of Solitude, now replaced by the original footage shot with Marlon Brando and Reeve.
Gone is the scene at the end where Lois tells Superman that she is jealous of the world becase she can't have him all to herself, and he kisses her to make her forget it all... better known as the amnesia kiss. Instead Superman turns back time again to when nothing has happened, I guess. The ending of Donner's version does not work for me. More on this one later.
Gone is the scene where Zod and the gang deface Mount Rushmore, instead they take down the penis monument in Washington DC, which makes more sense logically because, if you think about it, they originally land in Houston (Hoostin), Texas, and then fly to the White House to take control. In Lester's Superman II, they make their way from "Hoostin" to DC by taking a "shortcut" through South Dakota to deface Georgie-boy, Theo, Tommy, and Frankenstein... how they knew the faces were there and what they meant... who knows? But, hey, let's not be picky.
Or maybe we should be because there are some changes in the film that can make a Superman film-geek (like myself) say WTF?!!!
One change of logic in particular is the scene where "Supes" gives up his powers. Well, it's all fine and good... he's talkin' to dad sayin' how he's done enough for the people and wants to live his own life and love Lois and all that. Dad's like fine, if you want to pump one of them then you have to be one of them. Okay... well he already got it on with Lois in a scene prior to this one. She's even chillin' in Superman's top and some socks watching the conversation between father and son.
Now I'm not a huge comic reader or anything, but from what I have gathered from friends who are, is that it is possibly impossible for a superpowered alien (Superman) to have intercourse with a mere mortal human being simply because when "Supes" is pounding said mortal (Lois) and hits his soprano moment whilst inside of her, his super-sperm would probably shoot through her and come out the other side of body and embed itself within the walls or the floor (depends where he's pointing) of the fortress.
Lester's version makes way more sense in this regard because he gives up his powers before he makes love to Lois. Sorry, Donner, Lester wins this one.
Another part that got my attention (and other reviewer's) is the diner scene. Okay, so "Supes" is just Clark now, so they drive back from the North Pole to get a burger at a diner on their way back to Metropolis. We'll suspend all logic in how they get back from the North Pole and get a car and drive to said diner without freezing their asses off. Clark and Lois go in and order. Clark goes to pee and "Mr. Wonderful" shows up and hits on Lois. Clark ain't havin' it, so he postpones his piss to teach "Mr. Wonderful" some manners in the ways of hitting on other peoples biotches. "Mr. Wonderful" in turn hits on Clark with some diner decor and makes him bleed his own blood. "Ex-supes" gets his *** handed to him.
Later on, by the end of the Lester version, Clark has absolute power again and goes back to the diner to get even with "Mr. Wonderful" with a rather humorous outcome. Cool right? No.
As I mentioned earlier, the ending of the film has been changed with the turning back of time, which would mean that Clark and Lois never even set foot in the diner. So, now it just looks like Superman goes to some diner just to beat the siht of some poor guy (Mr. Wonderful) who logically never even met him before. But, hey, "Supes" pays for the damage and excuses himself with the immortal words, "I've been working out."
I also don't like the recap of the first film at the beginning. It is sluggish and shows too many moments that really don't have anything to do with setting Zod and the gang "FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
Sorry, I couldn't resist. You'll see what I mean when you watch it, but that moment, to me, belonged on Lester's list of cheese. It was a horrible Zod moment. I laughed when I saw it.
Actually, the pacing for the whole film of Donner's version is rather off. It's choppy at best. It doesn't flow like Lester's version. Some of the "new and enhanced" special effects look like they were executed on After Effects 4.0, bad matting.
Now, don't get me wrong.
I'm all about what Michael Thau and party was trying to do with this project. I back it 100 percent, but I'm just not completely happy with the final result. It was as if the film needed to be screened and reviewed and changed before final cut, and they just seemed to skip that step. Also Warner Bros. is at fault... yes, yes... kudos to Warner for supporting the film redux, but shame on them for not investing a little more money into the project and really giving it a glossy finish.
One big improvement, though, was to my ears. The sound for Donner's version is pretty freakin' powerful. Like the first film, this one also has a new sound fx mix strapped to it, and you'll feel it... deep. Also included in Donner's version is John William's score from the first film. Sure, sure, it also has some of Ken Thorne's stuff, but Thorne's orchestra for the score of Superman II sounds like a string quartet, with a guy on a french horn, another guy on some drums, oh, and a guy recording it. I really wish Williams would have jumped on board to do a couple extra pieces for the film. That would have been a nice touch.
Overall, it just seems to fall just a little short. Ultimately, there are parts in both versions that are cool, and parts in both versions that are the suck. I guess, I'm just going to have to re-edit and combine both versions of the film into a "Blossman Version" to which I can enjoy time and time again, while jumping up and down on my bed with pajamas and a towel tied around neck, spankin' it to Ursa saying to the "Hoostin" Hillbillies, "Let's just hold hands."
11-27-2006, 12:44 PM #2
I rather have this version than the Richard Lester's version!!
According to IMDB, the Richard Lester's version has undergone several changes over the years:
12-06-2006, 07:27 PM #3
hey guys Donner did the best he could with what he had to work with but I think he did a great job and it 's an even better movie than it was before.
12-06-2006, 09:06 PM #4
I totally loved the Donner version, but mostly because of the Brando scenes. Some of the humour didn't work for me either. I think that if Donner was able to film the movie in it's completion it would have turned out way better than this version that they released...I think he filmed 75% of it. And it kind of shows at times that it was incomplete.Homer Simpson: "I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman."
10-28-2009, 10:21 PM #5
I am bringing a copy home tomorrow!!
I read on IMDB that they cut out the Brando's scenes because Brando wanted more money to keep his scenes in there!!
He didn't care about the quality of his acting and the contents of the scenes; he was only in it for money!!
What a Dufus!!
11-18-2009, 10:31 PM #6
I have this also it came with the big Ultimate Collection thing I bought. I thought this version was alright I can't say I liked it better the the other one. There were parts of it I liked and there were parts that I didn't but all in all it was nice to see this version of the film but I just can't say it is the best.
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