Go Back   Colonial Fleets > ALTERNATE UNIVERSES > Miscellaneous Entertainment
Notices
Miscellaneous Entertainment Talk about any other shows not covered by other forums.

Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old November 4th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #1
KJ
Bad Email Address
 
KJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,425

Default Superman 2 Donner DVD footage spolier scenes!!!

Escape from the Phantom Zone as it was originally intended!

Zod's escape from the Phantom Zone!

http://uk.media.dvd.ign.com/media/84...d_1732484.html

Donner's version of the Metropolis battle

http://uk.media.dvd.ign.com/media/84...d_1732483.html

Various other clips

http://uk.media.dvd.ign.com/media/84...45/vids_1.html

Enjoy!

KJ
KJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #2
kingfish
Strike Leader
 
kingfish's Avatar
 
COMMAND INSIGNIAAdministrator
Battlestar Pacifica
Battlestar Rycon

Join Date: May 2002
Location: Delray Beach, Florida
Posts: 2,949


Default

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/review...11506.html#don


Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
1980/2006 (2006) - Warner Bros.

Film Rating: B
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B-/B+/B

You should know right off the top, that this review is going to feature MAJOR spoilers for both cuts of this film. There's just no way to really talk about Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut without getting right down to its nuts and bolts. Consider yourself warned.

Still with me? Okay.

You all know the story of the original Superman II, so I won't bother rehashing it. Not all of the footage shot by Richard Lester is gone in this new version, and not all of the footage shot by Donner has been restored. When Donner was replaced, DGA rules stated that a director had to direct at least 50% of the film in order to have his name on it. Donner had already shot about 70% of it, at the same time as he shot the first Superman. So when Lester took over... he had to reshoot a significant portion of the film to comply with Guild rules. He therefore proceeded to rewrite and reshoot many of the scenes with actors Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, in particular, as they were among the lowest paid actors on the film.



Key among the scenes Lester redid with them were the build-up to the "love" subplot. He also created a new opening sequence, featuring nuclear terrorists in Paris. Since Donner hadn't yet shot the key moment in which Lois finally discovers that Clark Kent is Superman... Lester rewrote that scene too and shot it himself. Donner also hadn't yet shot the ending of Superman II. Actually, that's not quite true. Donner and screenwriter Tom Mankeiwicz HAD scripted and shot the ending of Superman II... in which Superman flies around the world and turns back time. But as they were finishing the FIRST film... they hadn't yet figured out how that would end. They quickly realized that the ending planned for Superman II worked BETTER on the end of the first film, so they moved it there. The pair figured that they'd write and shoot a new ending to Superman II later, but Donner was fired before they had the chance, so Lester wrote and shot a new ending of his own. Also abandoned by Lester, reportedly to save money on the actor's hefty fee and as an easy way to up his director's percentage of the film, were lengthy scenes with actor Marlon Brando as Jor-El. His part in the film, which was originally intended to be substantial, were partially rewritten. Actress Susannah York was then brought back as Superman's mother, Lara, and the scenes were reshot with her. The result of all these changes is the film you ultimately saw in theaters.

Twenty-six long years passed.

When it came time to create this new "original" cut of the film, Warner's DVD team and reconstruction producer Michael Thau, struggled to find all of the footage that Donner had originally shot. Much of it was found in various places in Europe - six TONS in all. Thankfully, most of it had survived destruction and age-related deterioration. With this footage and the original script in hand, Thau began piecing together a new cut of the film that was as close as possible to the version Donner originally intended. As you can imagine, there were significant problems. First, many of the special effects were unfinished. Second, there was the problem of the fact that Donner hadn't shot his big "revelation" scene with Lois and Clark. And there was no original ending. Thankfully, Donner himself was gradually drawn into the process to give his blessing, and he eventually became actively involved, making notes, suggestions and decisions... and having final approval.

All this brings us back to the question of what's different about Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. To start with, the opening. Donner's cut is fittingly dedicated to Reeve, which is enough to make you love it right there. Then, whereas Lester's cut begins with Zod, Ursa and Non being caught in the act of their crime, the new cut simply begins with a recap of them being sentenced by Jor-El and imprisoned in the Phantom Zone (remember, Jor-El never appears in Lester's cut of the film). Lester's version then quickly moves into the credits and a montage over music that recaps the events of the first film. The new Donner cut abandons much of the montage. Only a small bit of it is retained, intercut with shots of the Phantom Zone flying through space, and then we get a brief recap of the very end of the first film. We see Superman being freed from the Kryptonite and then sending one of the nuclear missiles out into space. It's the explosion of this missile that releases Zod and his thugs from the Phantom Zone, tying the first film together very tightly with the second. We see them released, hear Zod's "FREEEEEEE!" and then we get the film's new opening credit sequence. Obviously, Lester's whole Paris subplot is abandoned, and the film presents an entirely new scene in which we see Lois reading her own story about how Superman just saved the world. She looks at a picture of Superman in the story, standing with his arms crossed... and happens to see Clark standing nearby in exactly the same position. She uses a marker to draw the hat and glasses on Superman's picture... and figures it out. She tells Clark she knows who he really is, and jumps out of Perry White's office window to prove it. Thinking fast, Clark manages to save her without revealing himself.

The next major difference is that scene I mentioned that Donner never got to shoot, in which Lois again decides that Clark is Superman and he finally reveals himself. It was also intended to take place in the Niagara Falls hotel room. They're getting ready for a party, and she pulls out a pistol and shoots him with it. He breaks character, revealing himself to be Superman, and chews Lois out, saying that Clark would be dead now if she'd been wrong. Lois reveals that the gun held blanks. Donner never got to shoot the final version of this scene... but luckily, he did shoot the complete scene with a number of actors as a screen test, including both Reeve and Kidder. So the version that appears in this cut is edited from this screen test footage. It's very rough, but they're in costume and it works.
kingfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #3
kingfish
Strike Leader
 
kingfish's Avatar
 
COMMAND INSIGNIAAdministrator
Battlestar Pacifica
Battlestar Rycon

Join Date: May 2002
Location: Delray Beach, Florida
Posts: 2,949


Default

10,000 characters stink IMHO.


As in Lester's version, Superman flies Lois to his Fortress of Solitude and romances her, revealing his love. After they sleep together, he goes down to talk with Jor-El (instead of Lara) about his feelings. In a series of extensive scenes, Brando now appears in the role to console his son. As he's about to give up his powers to be human, there's a great moment where Lois, wearing nothing but Superman's S-logo shirt, sneaks in and watches part of his conversation with his father. There's an even better moment, as Superman is surrendering his powers, where Jor-El looks up and glares at her. The idea of all of these scenes, of course, was meant to play on the notion of Superman I and II as a story of fathers and sons. It ultimately pays off later in the film, when Superman returns to the Fortress to try and get his powers back. He finds the last surviving crystal... and Jor-El appears once more. Jor-El tells him that he CAN restore his powers, but doing so will use up the last of the crystal's energy, meaning that Superman and his father will never meet again. Jor-El says the lines recently used in Superman Returns: "The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son." And then he's gone forever... and Superman's back to full strength.

The final major change in the film is the ending. As Donner and Mankeiwicz originally intended, Superman flies around the world and turns back time, undoing all the destruction that Zod, Ursa and Non have caused. Turning back time also means that Lois no longer remembers that Clark is Superman, therefore allowing the omission of the "kiss of forgetfulness" that Superman gives her in Lester's version.

I have to say that I REALLY love all of the scenes with Jor-El in this new cut. I also love that it's Superman's actions in saving the Earth at the end of the first film that result in Zod being released. And I love the new scenes where Lois plots to uncover Clark as Superman, even if the second one of them is very rough. Unfortunately, though, because there's still footage that Donner was unable to shoot as he originally intended, the editing and pacing is quite rough. Particularly clumsy is the way this version intercuts the love story with the arrival of Zod on Earth. Many of the new effects shots are also... well, budget rate. They look like something done for a direct-to-video project, which is a shame. And having the same ending to both Superman I and II just doesn't work at all. Given that he hadn't come up with a new ending of his own for the second film, I almost wish he'd just used some of Lester's (though I can understand why he wouldn't want to). The good ultimately outweighs the bad with this new cut... but not by a lot. The flaws are enough that this film can't really be called the "ultimate" version of Superman II. Right after we watched the recent screening at the Director's Guild, a good friend of mine called this version the ultimate deleted scene, and I think that's a great way to think of it. It's the ultimate DVD extra: An entire, feature-length bonus item - Disc Three for the new Superman II: Special Edition. Still, if it doesn't quite replace Lester's version, fans have been hoping for this release (and actively campaigning to make it happen) for many, many years. That Warner was finally willing to do it, and Donner agreed to participate, can only be considered a rare and special gift.

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen on DVD, and it's of decent quality. Obviously, some portions of the new footage are in better shape than others, thus the B- video grade. Mostly, it looks quite good, but there are patches of uneven quality and some effects that definitely don't hold up on large screens. I will say, however, that the effects look way better on DVD than they did in an actual theater setting. Audio-wise, the Dolby Digital 5.1 quality is better and more even, by and large as good as the original Superman II DVD release (though some music and effects cues are obviously different, and some of the dialogue has a rougher quality to it).

One of the best things about this DVD, in my opinion, is that Donner is actually a tangible presence in the extras. The film starts with an optional new video introduction, shot right after he first saw the final new cut. He and Mankeiwicz also appear in a fantastic and feature-length audio commentary track - something fans will definitely not want to miss. Donner is just a real character and a gentlemen... a very down-to-earth guy. He and Mankeiwicz obviously have a long friendship and their commentary is a great listen, full of interesting stories and revelations about the difficult making of the film. Six more deleted scenes are also included, Donner footage all, in anamorphic widescreen. There's also a short but interesting featurette on the restoration of the new cut, again in anamorphic. It's not a lot of material, but all of it is well worth your time.

What I can say without hesitation after watching this DVD, is that if Donner had been allowed in 1979 to finish Supeman II the way he intended, it would have been vastly superior to the film we ultimately saw in theaters. Superman I and II were originally meant to be halves of a single long film... and you get a much better sense of that here. The real shame remains that the Salkinds pulled Donner away from the task - it's one of the great injustices of cinema history. In any case, Warner's new DVD offers a tantalizing glimpse at the Supeman II that might have been. I think you'll enjoy it.

Bill Hunt
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com
kingfish is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




So sez our Muffit!!!

For fans of the Classic Battlestar Galactica series



COPYRIGHT
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:41 AM. Contact the Fleet - Colonial Fleets - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.11, Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content and Graphics ©2000-Present Colonial Fleets
The Colonial Fleets Forums are run by Battlestar Galactica fans, paid for by Battlestar Galactica fans, for the enjoyment of fellow Battlestar Galactica fans.



©2000-2008 Colonial Fleets