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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #1
KJ
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Default Seen the Donner Cut of Superman 2!








KJ's Review coming within a day or two? Cos i don't want to spoil it for those of you in North America who have to wait until the 28th?

Its greats, but i should inform you all now that even the Richard Donner Cut of S2 has its pros and cons!

But i'm glad this has finally come to pass. Considering i sent e-mails and signed petitions for a Donner Cut of S2 going back by years to Warners. It makes one feel good that this has happened and that some studios do indeed listen to their fans/critics etc.

I also plan on getting the Superman Ultimate 14 disc boxset and all before Christmas to complete my collection and round out everything.

KJ


P.S. With the Donner cut footage now out there, i suspect those fan cuts of Superman 2 combining both Donner and Lester's cut along with footage from the TV versions will be out there online during the Christmas holiday season. So in a way the story of Superman 2 still ain't over for fans.

I'm betting many will want to envision their own cuts and no doubt will. After seeing the S":TRDC you'll understand why. Great as it is, it still begs several editorial decisions and make fans wonder what happened to alot of the things discussed about the film over the years and why certain things aren't on the DVD though? Anyways, i wonder exactly how many Superman fans will recut and make their own versions of S2 and are up to that challenge as well. (someone page David Kerin )

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Old November 26th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #2
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KJ -

Only two more days to go.....

I'm waiting to buy the Donner version and I'm also waiting to buy Superman Returns as well. I'm debating on whether to buy the box set and get them all in the same package, or not. I guess that I'll wait and see what the pricing is like, though I really don't care about owning SIII or SIV at all...

Cheers mate,

Bryan
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Old November 26th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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Go here Gemini to see some of the deleted footage of Superman 4 on the web at youtube.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC00O...elated&search=

And to save it if your not on firefox, go here at; http://www.youtubex.com/

I don't think i could call myself a Superman fan if i didn't own this DVD set. Once i've spoiled myself rotten with these extras, i might be able to move on with my life knowing somethings have indeed come to pass as it were etc.

But word to the wise, don't throw away your "Extended TV cuts" of the Superman movies like the 3 hour Superman The Movie or the TV cut of S2 and S3. As they still are valuble cos they contain alot of footage no official release ever will now!!!

Yeah i can't wait for you and others to finally see this Gemini1999, although as i said i expect some disappointments from people as well once you've seen this release. With the way the S2 Donner cut was edited, choices made with the footage, use of the good remaining Richard Lester scenes and DVD extras etc.



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Old November 27th, 2006, 06:41 AM   #4
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Old November 27th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #5
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I ended up seeing the Donner cut much earlier than most people thanks to a generous advance copy of the DVD. It was so close to being what it should have been, but not quite.

On the plus side, and a big plus it is, is the restoration of the Brando scenes which are so vital to completing the storyline of the first film. Also a plus is removing some of the more goofy moments.

BUT, and I hesitate to go at greater length about the negatives, but these are the things that knock the quality from a four star effort to a three star effort, there were other problems that could have and should have been avoided when making this.

First mistake was the sloppy music editing that relied almost exclusively on tracked music from the first film. This was especially true in the Main and End Title sequences, where the Superman march is chopped up rather haphazardly, and in the End Credits they should have just dispensed with a chopped up Love Theme following the chopped up March and just let the March play out in full. Also a thumbs down for weakening the impact of the power restoration scene, the most important scene restored to the film, with the "Destruction of Krypton" music. This moment of Jor-El reaching out to his son to restore his powers, required a more soaring, uplifing cue, perhaps the "Leaving Home" music or something similar because the cue just worked against the point of the scene overall, and its a testament to how the scene was directed that it still worked in spite of a bad cue being used.

Then we come to my biggest complaint, and on this one, Donner's egotism is solely to blame, and that was using the "turn back the world" ending rather than just use Lester's ending. I don't care how much Donner hates Lester, the fact is that recycling the I ending ruins the ability of this film to stand alone as a true alternate cut of II to enjoy, and instead makes it take on the characteristic of a feature length deleted scene. I could live with using the test footage for the identity revelation scene, but in this case, once the turn back time ending was used for I, there was no way Donner or Mankiewicz was going to stay with that if they had finished the film. Because you're left with the fact that (1) if Superman turns back time, the scene of him returning to the diner now makes no sense (2) nor does Superman's destruction of the Fortress of Solitude and (3) if he turns back time does this mean Jor-El *hasn't* sacrificed his spirit after all? The Lester ending would have made the film as a whole work. Without it, the film falls frustratignly short of what it could have stood alone as, and I think that's a real pity.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 07:19 AM   #6
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Agreed.

Most people on the net tend to agree with that fact. Great as it is to see the Donner footage, some the trims made to Lester's scenes especially the good ones was unnecessary and way too many seemed to be shorten just for the hell of it! But by adding another time reversal, Donner's added too many plotholes, things in the DVD they try to reason out but fall short on. If Superman turns time back and this movie is followed up by Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, doesn't the time reversal mean Superman/Clark didn't sleep with Lois Lane thus the kid Jason in SR wouldn't be born now?

Also cos they removed Luthor and the 3 villains arrest that many of us have seen from the extended TV cut, did Superman now kill all 4 villains after he and Lois left the fortress? Yet somehow return them to their imprisonment days before hand when he turned back time. Why was the arrest scene cut? It always kinda made sense to me and other Superman fans. Luthor was captured and the 3 villains were powerless and probably ended up in "Area 51" getting probed and held for trial for crimes commited while on Earth or were even experimented on etc! This is probably why there were rumors and stories of Bryan Singer dropping Zod and co from SR but kept Luthor, cos he knew their fates from the extended TV cut thats why?

Also for a special edition i kinda kills me that a mega rich company like warners didn't give Michael Thau and Richard Donner tons of money to do this Donner cut justice with spruced up SFX. I don't expect wall-to-wall CGI oh hell no, but the CGI used and composite shots look like something any fan could do with a little patience (you wait until those fan cuts of S2 arrive and start popping up everywhere?) I heard all the noise about the Washington Monument being destroyed in Donner's cut and looked forward to seeing some never before seen Derek Meddings SFX model shot from 1977. Alas no, just as its said on the restored feature which isn't as long as it should be mind you. Some footage probably was lost and not found along side the fact they had to recreate some new SFX shots. So you'll see the Washington Monument fall and topple, but its nothing out of the ordinary or jaw dropping as fans were expecting.

I appreicate this cut very much however i feel more could've been done to restore the vision to what Donner truly wanted. Considering how the salkinds screwed him over years ago, i imagine the experience of recutting Superman 2 wasn't as easy as fans may think it was for him though. But it still doesn't excuse the fact that many shots from the TV version of Superman 2 aren't even present on the DVD version or added as supplement footage in full.

I'm going to work on my review of Richard Donner's Superman 2 cut tonight and post it up tomorrow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Paddon
(3) if he turns back time does this mean Jor-El *hasn't* sacrificed his spirit after all?
Yup, probably if you think about the events that happened in Superman Returns. And even then, he loses contact with his father once again cos Lex Luthor stole the Kryptonian crystals from his Fortress Of Solitude which some people say is still going to play a part in SR sequel movie in 2009?

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Old November 28th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #7
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I have not seen Superman Returns and have no desire to, but I think it is a big mistake to have a film act as continuation of an earlier film done with a completely different cast. You can get away with having Roger Moore's James Bond visit the grave of Tracy from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" but for Superman you can't do it today and continue off the Reeve films IMO any more than you could have "Force 10 From Navarone" be a true sequel to "Guns Of Navarone" if you were going to have Robert Shaw in Gregory Peck's old part (and no longer with the ability to speak German!).

I don't know how to make "fan cuts" beyond using the pause features of two cued up DVD machines at different points (and I really don't have the time or desire to do something professional) but two ways I will revisit both films in the future will be this way.

1-Watch the Lester cut up to the moment where the power restoration scene should be, switch to Donner just for that, and then back to Lester the rest of the way. I've always wondered if perhaps the impact would have been stronger if the *only* scene where we see Brando in II would be for that one sequence, and then the Lester cut in all respects would be satisfactory as a whole with just that one addition.

2-Watch the Donner cut all the way up to where the Lester ending should take over and see how that cut of the film gets improved by just starting with Superman returning the flag to the White House, the "mega-kiss" and the end.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 05:11 PM   #8
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Sorry guys....

I just whizzed past your posts as I didn't want to read any spoilers yet. I did buy Superman II: The Donner Cut this afternoon and will sit down with it this evening. I'll post my impressions tomorrow afternoon.

I also bought the 2-disk set of Superman Returns - I really loved this movie. I saw it 4 times at the theatre and once at IMAX. I can't wait to see the "behind the scenes" stuff as well.

I passed on all the other Superman films that came out today - it's a good thing as I just read about missing features in the box set and the 4 disk version of Superman: The Movie. I can wait for that one when they get it fixed.

Later mates,

Bryan
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Old November 28th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #9
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Default I seen it!!! I seen it!!!

Okay, I couldn't wait to write my post. I finished with the film and most of the extras earlier than I anticipated.

My initial impression is that the Donner Cut is a version of SII that I can watch without wincing at parts and I can live with as part of the Superman film saga. I'm glad that the fans asked for it and got what they asked for - for the most part.

It was indeed quite gratifying to see the footage that had never been displayed to the viewing public. I even liked the "screen test" footage for the Honeymoon scenes. Even in test form, it works much better than the one-liner packed version that was present in the Richard Lester version.

One of the scenes I enjoyed the most was the scene where Kal-El has his powers restored by his father sacrificing the last of his energy. The line "The son becomes the father and the father, the son" is very fitting.

Most of the VFX for the Donner Cut seemed to fit in quite well with existing footage and worked for me. I think that the Washington Monument looked a bit CGI-ish, but I liked it better than the poorly shot Mount Rushmore scenes in the Lester version.

I think that the only part of the film that didn't work for me 100 percent was the opening scenes. It was kind of like a rushed mini-film version of Superman I. The cuts were hurried and I thought that a lot of the footage was unneccesary. It was nice seeing the original version of the Criminals escaping their Phantom Zone prison. It looked much better than the horribly animated escape footage previously seen.

I know that some aren't pleased with the "turning back time" sequence - it feels a bit anti-climactic as it was used in the first film and as Jason and Eric have pointed out, presents a paradox or two. I still think it works much better than the "super kiss" scenes in the original version of II that makes Lois forget her revelation regarding Superman's identity and their romantic liason at the Fortress of Solitude. A scene I found ludicrous even at the age of 20 when I first saw it.

The extras have some nice cut scenes. Some of which were in the extended ABC broadcast version and some not. Most of the cuts, I think they could have left in, but I know how studios like to package their DVDs with extras. It was also interesting to watch the "restoration" extra and hear the explanation of the prodcuers when it came to some of their choices when putting the film back together in as close to what Donner originally intended.

Overall, I enjoyed the restored version and can overlook its shortcomings as they really didn't diminish the experience compared to how I felt after seeing the Lester film 26 years ago.

Eric & Jason - Are we the only three people that are watching this???

Cheers,

Bryan
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Old November 30th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #10
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Nah, you just wait for everybody else to see the Superman 14 disc boxset and Donner cut of Superman 2 then this place will come to life!

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Old November 30th, 2006, 09:27 AM   #11
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Given the technical snafus with I and III in the boxed set we may see fewer buy it! I know I won't, and I won't buy I as a standalone until they fix the glitch. I can get a correct III as a standalone and I planned on getting the new Lester II release separately.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 01:04 PM   #12
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I'll be putting mine up soon enough but here are some more reviews from the net of the Superman 2 The Richard Donner cut.

http://www.moviehole.net/reviews/200...an_ii_the.html

http://www.aintitcool.com/?q=node/30825

Enjoy!

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Old December 15th, 2006, 01:47 AM   #13
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I've seen the Donner cut and although I do appreciate it for what it is, I must say that I enjoy the original Superman II version better. In the original version, the Superman II theme music comes in at all the right places very loud and strong and makes you feel good. I read tha DOnner won't be getting paid at all for his version. Donner was told that he was given the opportunity to complete it and that should be thanks enough......he totally got robbed of his paycheck.
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Old December 24th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #14
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Jason, I saw the Donner cut and liked the extra Marlon Brando footage, the film itself was also a change from the Lester version and the ending made more sense than Superman I where Superman saves Lois by making time move backwards. Superman using the ability to change current events helps this film[Superman 2] because all of the damage that was done by the super villains is undone at the end of the film.
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Old December 24th, 2006, 02:05 PM   #15
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Anyone else notice Clark's glasses changing constantly in the "I shot you with a blank" hotel room scene at Niagra?

That was very telling in the use of the test screen/audition footage.
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Old December 25th, 2006, 01:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingfish
Jason, I saw the Donner cut and liked the extra Marlon Brando footage, the film itself was also a change from the Lester version and the ending made more sense than Superman I where Superman saves Lois by making time move backwards. Superman using the ability to change current events helps this film[Superman 2] because all of the damage that was done by the super villains is undone at the end of the film.
I disagree.

Its like saying the film never happened at all. The 1977 script refers to the 3 villains taking over the world and trashing cities and armies a la War Of The Worlds style, but the Donner cut only played around with the Lester's East Houston footage at best and removed the defacing of Mount Rushmore with a poor man's Washington Monument destruction CGI scene. And Superman turning back time in Superman: The Movie was far more emotional than the lets turn time back cos Lois Lane knows my secret identity issue. Seeing Supes break his natural father's advice and laws layed down throughout the early part of the film by Jor-El and going with his adopted father's knowledge Pa Kent's instead (you're here for a reason) was far more creative cos he did it cos of the woman he loved from afar, not cos it was his 'ho-hum' duty to fix things willy nilly.

Nah the Lester's kiss worked better, people have come to hate it over time but it worked and the damage done to the world by the 3 villains probably was fixed over time by Superman at 'Super-Speed' anyhow. There must be some consequences left over even for a Superman. To just simply magically fix things a second time by turning the world back means Supes could easily 'copout' and come to rely on breaking his father rule all the time and turn the world back whenever people died in the hundreds by his supervillain foes.

Super-kiss ending was better. At least the bully at the diner wasn't beat up for nothing cos time was reversed and Clark whupped up on him regardless.

Although scene flow better for a majority of the time. the Donner cut suffers from bad editing and hawkish cuts cos of Donner's dislike of the Richard Lester scenes etc. The Donner version also toned down effects like 'heat vision' and certain louder effects from Lester version that sounded much better originally.

I'm kinda looking forward to seeing how fan edited cuts of Superman 2 will take the best of both versions and try to complete the story in their own minds. And i'm sure with enough effort and clever re-editing with the existing footage, that fans of the Superman movies can make the 3 supervillains "REALLY" takeover the Earth in a montage sequence of events by adding fancy CGI PC computer program effects of their own.

I like the Donner version don't get me wrong. But at least the Lester's super-kiss version ties into Superman Returns (regardless what people think of that movie personally). Warners really should've given Donner the budget to really add alot of effects necessary to make decent eye popping additional SFX effect for his brand new cut despite the problem of trying to match it up to the older optical special effects of the past, and some of the other Lester trims could've been added here to make things flow better storywise.


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Old December 26th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #17
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I bought both this and Superman Returns the day they came out on DVD.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the Donner version. I enjoy both versions of Superman II to be sure. They both have servicable elements that, if done properly, could make an ULTIMATE SII cut.

I really would only be interested in getting the boxed set of the Superman films if SIII and SIV had the extended footage restored into those films...but as it stands right now, I have the only three Superman films that (IMVHO) really matter: Superman, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, and Superman Returns.

I like how they redid the opening credits, and it sounds like they used the arrangement from Superman Returns to fit the credits. (You can tell it's a new edit for the opening titles because they added Michael Thau's name to Stuart Baird's as editors for the film.)

I didn't have a problem at all with the quickened retelling of the Criminals Three's origins....and I really liked how they tied in the climax of Superman as the means to their release from the Phantom Zone. If that was indeed the originally shot sequence, then it was 100 times more impressive than the version shot for the Lester film.....otherwise I am inclined to think that it was a new CGI shot version for this Donner Cut.

Even the screen test footage was not enough to detract from my enjoyment of this film.

The only thing that makes this film run counter to what we see in Superman Returns (as a direct sequel to Superman II) is the destruction of the Fortress of Solitude.

Oh, and BTW, I don't know if that was Margot Kidder in the "renouncement of power" scene at the Fortress (because we never saw any close ups) but whomever that was, she had some nice legs....and her wearing a Superman T-shirt was a nice touch.

And if you watch the end credits all the way through, you'll see a "politically correct" addendum to the credits at the end, by Richard Donner.

Overall, a fun, if slightly flawed cut of a fun, if slightly flawed film.

Respectfully,
Martok2112
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