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Superman II

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Superman II - 30/3/2007 12:11:28 PM   
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RE: Superman II - 13/4/2007 8:47:01 PM   


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Like with the other entries in the franchise I can remember seeing Superman II at my local Cinema when I was a Kid, I was totally blown away by the powerful performances from (Chris) Reeve as the titular Man of Steel, (Terence) Stamp's villainous General Zod and (Margot) Kidder's scheming Lois Lane.

The film made such an impression on my younger self that I left the Cinema wanting to be Superman, what more can I say? Although the original version was a pretty decent film I purchased the Region One version of the Ultimate Superman Collection and therein had the opportunity to watch the recently released Richard Donner Cut of Superman II.

Although much is made of the fact that the original version reflects (Richard) Lester's vision of the Man of Steel it is easy to forget that most of the work was done by (Richard) Donner while filming the 1978 original Superman before his untimely dismissal by the Salkinds.

The Richard Donner cut is a much different animal, and in my opinion a much better effort, than the version we have had for all these years. The only shame is that many of the 'deleted scenes' and 'extra footage' are very rough, check out (Chris) Reeve's hairstyle through the course of the Movie and you'll see what I mean,.

I enjoyed the original and watching the newer version brought back some great memories, not least of which is what a loss the passing of (Chris) Reeve was to not only the Movie industry but to the Human race as a whole.

Rest in Peace Chris, you will not be forgotten.

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RE: Superman II - 3/9/2007 1:49:14 PM   

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From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
Legendary. The best Superman movie.

Grew up watching this.


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"No one knows what it means, but it's provocative... It gets the people going!"

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- 17/8/2008 9:42:12 PM   

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From: Sin City
Having seen Lester`s version a while back, today it was time for the "Ultimate comparison" as I saw The Donner Cut for the first time. These are my thoughts:

It took almost 3 decades for Richard Donner`s version of Superman II to be released. With the release of the Ultimate Superman box, the film finally saw the light of day. Really sad that it took this long before it was released and that this hasn`t become the actual sequal to Superman. I thought this version was better than Lester`s version on all fronts. The storyline is better and fits better to the first film, the atmosphere is (at parts) grimmier and more serious (except of course for the parts with Gene Hackman, who takes care of the humour level of the film). Superman is put up with some moral dilemma`s, something the movie obviously benefits from.
Zod still is redicoulous as a bad guy but overall I thought this version was way better than the original Lester sequel.
I`m glad that this version is finally released and that I was able to see it.


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Superman II Review - 19/12/2011 2:16:01 PM   
the film man


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The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.

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a classic - 23/12/2011 2:59:00 AM   


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superman 2 in my eyes was just as good as the first but having also seen the donner cut now i do feel there are important details left out still one to watch but would love for the two cuts to be merged in to one film in the future

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Superb - 8/2/2013 1:12:47 PM   
Mr Gittes


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Neither cut feels complete, but both are still great sequels. I just wish they hadn't fired Donner. I have a feeling that if he had been allowed to finish the movie, it would have been truly epic and possibly even better than the first. But I guess it says something about how great it is that while it's not complete it's still one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.

< Message edited by Mr Gittes -- 31/5/2014 9:23:11 PM >

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RE: a classic - 8/2/2013 2:05:50 PM   
Mr Gittes


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Couldn't agree more with the merged cuts idea, since my favourite section of the theatrical cut (Superman and Lois in the Fortress Of Solitude) is somewhat skimmed over in the Donner cut, which is the version I prefer. Which makes it all the more frustrating because that's the heart of the movie for me.

I recently showed the first Superman movie to a friend of mine and he loved it, and now I'm pulling my hair out trying to decide which cut of the sequel to show him. The theatrical version feels more like a movie and, again, it's got more heart, but the first and third acts are littered with ridiculous slapstick comedy that makes it look more like an Airplane movie than Superman and there's that baffling cellophane S moment. Whereas the Donner cut is more serious and it has Marlon Brando (a monumental plus) but it doesn't have as much heart and the ending is even worse.

It's maddening!

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RE: a classic - 8/2/2013 3:53:06 PM   
Professor Dent


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Never seen the Donner cut, though I understand it omits the Eiffel Tower set piece?

Superman II rubbed me up the wrong way slightly, it starts with a massive recap of the first movie which isn't necessary mostly esp as everyone had seen that film, it was a massive hit. I didn't like the way it cuts to the chase with the Lois Lane Supes revelation; so much for wil he won't he! Now we know the romance between them is a non-starter, it's the moment when the series jumps the shark really. The film also seems quite grim and serious, needlessly so, I found it a bit depressing to see Clark get beaten up in a diner, not having his powers. Or rather too sadistic treatment by the three villains out to get him, all a bit too nasty for my tastes.

Didn't see how he got all these new powers too, like using red lasers to cut through a branch to drop it into the rapids. Where did that come from? Ditto loads of other powers in the Fortress of Solitude.

Of course, its quality stuff compared to Superman III, someone high up should have got fired pronto for messing up the franchise, esp when you consider just how successful the first two were, and they were sort of done back to back.

IMO Superman has a bit of a problem: who can he fight? He is an alien, so taking on humans doesn't exactly make him an underdog, while to have him fighting other aliens somehow seems implausible on screen in a way it doesn't in a comic book.

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RE: a classic - 8/2/2013 5:11:49 PM   
Mr Gittes


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Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the recap opening either. Yes, the Eiffel Tower sequence gets the snip in the Donner cut. I actually thought the opposite; that the theatrical version was far too light in places - 'tis probably why that whole grim stretch is my favourite part of that cut. Also, hasn't Superman always been able to shoot lasers from his eyes? Granted, I'm not sure about some of his powers in the Fortress Of Solitude but i thought they were pretty cool, except for the cellophane S (WTF was that?).

I've actually not seen Superman III. It's the only one I've missed out on and I'm happy to keep it that way from what I've read about it. Quest For Peace was painful enough, thank you.

I thought they handled the aliens fighting each other quite well actually; very well considering the time it was made. Apart from the laughable product placements throughout the fight sequence, I felt like I was watching a proper page-to-screen adaptation of a great comic book (not to mention it felt like one of those edgy graphic novels in that diner scene). Many moments throughout the movie almost gave me goosebumps because I thought they did a great job at handling and breaking new ground with the Superman mythology.

It's interesting though that you mention how limited a big screen approach to Superman is, because I'm sure I read in an interview somewhere that Tom Mankiewicz pretty much said that even if he and Donner had gotten the first two movies 100% the way they wanted them, there'd be nowhere else to take the story. As you say, there's only so much drama you can get out of an invincible alien.

It makes you wonder about the upcoming Man Of Steel. If it does well, and I hope to God it does, it will of course get a sequel. And if that movie's good too then what of the next instalment? Will Mankiewicz's theory be proven wrong or will the superhero threequel curse (with only one exception I can think of) strike again? I'd like to think there's more juice yet to be squeezed from the Superman legend.

I'm no doubt getting way ahead of myself so for now I'll just cross my fingers and hope that Man Of Steel will be great. Anyway, back on topic, I recommend you give the Donner cut a shot sometime, if just for curiosity's sake.

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RE: a classic - 8/2/2013 6:10:18 PM   
Professor Dent


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Ah, well, yes there are some silly bits in it too, sight gags, and they jar with the other serious, depressing elements imo.

Oh, another thing that annoyed me. My fave bit in the first film is his big appearance, when he saves the day in one night across New York! The surprise and gratitude of the citizens is quite moving. In this one, he's taken for granted. It's like, right, okay Superman can sort this mess out. Now, where is he, the useless son of a ....

I agree the aliens smashing things up scenes are done very well, sort of anticipate the Transformers I guess. It's just, as a human (!) you feel a bit sidelined watching it.

Man of Steel looks awesome, but so did Superman Returns, and both seem to have this Second Coming vibe about them, sort of reverential and biblical. The downside is Cavill's outfit, which seems a bit indiarubber and lacks the red underpants, ok I can see why you can't have those, but a chunky red belt would make it look better.

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