When Man of Steel first came out in 2013, I remember thinking that this is the Superman movie that humanity deserved. Having seen Superman in almost every live-action incarnation so far, except for the live-action TV series Lois and Clark and anything before 1978, I always found the representation lacking (particularly in Smallville, so much angst). Here we have a Godlike character only doing things that humans do, with just a sprinkling of superhuman achievements. There have been plenty of animated adaptations of Superman that have showed the Superman that's willing to go above and beyond in order to fight for the greater good and have displayed his godlike attributes when necessary. In fact, the DC animated universe is overall much stronger than most of the live-action projects that DC has created thus far. Regardless Man of Steel finally gives us Superman the God rather than Superman the man.
However this first attempt in true Godlike action was not flawless. This is where Avid4D has taken up Zack Snyder's slack. I would say that this edit is not only masterful, but is Avid4D's masterpiece (though I have not yet seen his edit of Cloud Atlas). The transitions between scenes, particularly the transitions between Jor El's explanation of krypton and then the actual scenes on krypton was particularly inspired. Rather than starting the movie on krypton and then referring back to it later, we get to see the weight behind Jor El's words with the actual story as it happened. I also really liked how it was rooted in smallville and made Superman seem less like an alien than he did in the original cut. Overall the reordering works extremely well and strengthens the narrative and rather than getting the sense that Superman was an alien with little to no remorse we instead feel with him at the end of the movie when he must snap's Zod's neck to prevent him from eradicating humanity.
In particular the structure of this edit made me once again realize how truly epic Man of Steel was, and how different it was to most other live-action Superman incarnations before it. This edit seeks to both humanize a Godlike alien and the rearranging of structure for better flow made Henry Cavill's performance more weighty (though it was still a little stiff at times). Overall the end fight scene seems trimming was well served and turned what was otherwise an almost too long of a fight scene into something a little more reasonable at just about 11 minutes long. I remember when watching the original cut thinking during the entire last fight scene that all Superman would have to do in order to defeat Zod would be to clap both his hands over Zod's head so that it would explode. It was something I saw on a Hulk comic once and having to watch Superman and Zod beat each other across miles of a completely destroyed city seems somewhat superfluous if all it took was a simple handclap motion. Of course for the narrative to work then it would have to dawn on Superman earlier that Zod could not be saved from destroying everything. This edit saves a bit of the unnecessary destruction and the implied amount of lives decimated by focusing the action on just Superman and Zod and makes Superman seem like a bit less of an asshole for further destroying an already almost completely destroyed Metropolis.
Once again Zack Snyder has made a great movie that suffers from pretty shitty editing, and Avid4D stepped up and made a truly remarkable edit to an already fairly good film. I watched all of Avid4D's Superman movies in one giant Superman movie marathon in one day and what a day it was! I would highly recommend anyone trying to watch good live action Superman movies to watch Avid4D's take. I cannot praise enough how fantastic it's been to have a nice streamlined narrative for Superman with a focus on the things the viewer cares about and less about what hollywood can shove down our throats. Bravo, sir! I can't wait to watch your Cloud Atlas edit and eagerly anticipate more of your work.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJuly 12, 2014
Gee thanks bucsboy... very complimentary review and I appreciate the effort you have made to provide feedback. I'm just glad to hear you enjoyed the films :)
the last time i saw MoS was in the theater. reading this was such a dramatic rearrangement had me excited to revisit this movie that i thought was actually really boring and detached.
the restructure is brilliant. we are more involved with Clark's growing up with the Kents and his journey to become better than what he was destined to be.
there are a couple less-then-perfect transitions but not serious. video/audio quality is also great.
obviously, i enjoy this version over the studio release, i don't need to say anything else.
i totally back MoS:Recut up for anyone else to see.
Splicing the studio credits with glimpses of Lara giving birth felt awkward. I would rather it be kept like the theatrical cut except with a gradual fade-out as Jor-El looks down on the baby. There's a few odd frames that's all black with lens glare before we see Clark in the classroom. The transitions could be smoother in the early half of the movie.
Story-wise, the linear editing to the narrative made it easier to connect with Clark and the Kents. It also made the Kryptonians mysterious and intriguing when their past is explained. Placing the Krypton scenes within Jor-El's exposition to Clark was a good decision because it was repetitive in the theatrical cut, however I would rather the transition be subtle rather than an artistic effect. The edits in the latter half of the movie were very well-done. They felt natural and kept the scenes focused. Cutting down awkward dialogue made the script much better.
Overall, this edit made me like the movie more than before. It cleaned up rough edges while keeping the story and the majority of the movie intact. Sometimes simpler is better. Since the story itself isn't very complex, the linear narrative improved the viewing experience.
When I first saw Man of Steel, I hated it. I've seen it again since, and wasn't as annoyed by it, but I still had issues with the story and Zack Snyder's penchant for blowing up everything he possibly can for the sake of it. I also wasn't confident that simply rearranging the story would do very much, but man am I eating those words now.
I love this edit. Any problems I had with it were problems I already had with the original film, but most of those were fixed for me with this cut. The movie feels very natural now, and a lot more of the beats work for me this time around. Nice work.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyApril 21, 2014
Thanks heaps for your feedback. I also felt the over use of explosions was too much, and I did tone it down a bit by removing one collapsing building completely, and trimmed other shots in an attempt to keep Superman or Zod in the center of each frame where ever possible. Glad you enjoyed the rest of it though :)
This was a fantastic edit, not once did I notice any awkward cuts. The restructured narrative was perfect, it made the connection to Clark a lot more evident. I actually cared during the action scenes even tho I still felt they went on a little too long especially with all the product placement distracting me and making me burst out laughing. I actually had no problems with the opening fading in and out to Superman's birth, I actually thought it was very well executed and helped set the tone of the film. I was really excited when I saw the trailers like a lot of people but left the theater disappointed. The theatrical version of 'Man Of Steel' was average at best, and after watching the hilarious 'Red Letter Media' review of it, they made me realize even more of its problems and I began to start hating it. The main problem with this film is the way the narrative is handled and this edit perfectly fixes these problems. The film went from a 4/10 to me to a strong 7.5/10. I still have a lot of minor issues that I hope a future edit resolves, but overall this is my go to version and should be a sort of blueprint for any future editor trying to improve on it anymore.
I'll include my issues, in case anyone is interested. I still think some of the action could have been trimmed even more, it still felt too excessive. The product placement was still very noticeable and still very laughable to the point of effecting my emotional interest. It shouldn't be too difficult to remove shots here and there of IHop, Sears, and 7/11, without effecting the narrative and flow of things, or at least keeping them out of focus.
My last point is not really an issue but more so a recommendation for a future edit. I personally believe that the John Williams score could actually be implemented slightly during certain scenes to give the film a more heroic feeling, even tho I think the Hans Zimmer score is more appropriate overall. I'm also interested in any attempt to color correct the film to lighten it up a bit. I don't mind the dark world Superman lives in, but I would at least like the film not to hit me over the head with the drowned out colors and bleakness of it.
Once again great edit, One of the best I've seen. I hope to see more great edits from you in the future.