The only small critiques I can offer is that the flashback sequence of Krypton takes too long; it's about 15 minutes long and could perhaps be cut out by removing that "genetic codex in Clark's DNA" subplot (since that doesn't get elaborated on and it's never suggested that Clark is going to renew the race somehow). Shaving just 3-5 minutes off that sequence would be very welcome.
Otherwise the edit is an excellent one, and easily replaces the incredibly dull original. Visually it could do with a colour regrade, like that achieved by Agent 9. If there is a Version 3 of this edit on the horizon, that would be a welcome change.
Otherwise a great work.
This edit rectifies much of that. However, in doing so, it highlights several problems with the film one just cannot escape.
In telling the story of Clark more linearly, more classically, the early scenes of his life just become tedious. This isn't the fault of the editor (and, apparently, I've viewed a version where these scenes were cut down some). However, at least now they make sense -- in the original, these flashbacks were plopped in pretty randomly, with nary a connection to anything happening "now." So this edit alleviates that.
But there are still things which simply make no sense -- for instance, Clark's father going into a tornado to save a dog that Clark could've saved before anyone noticed. It didn't make sense in the original, and there's no way for it to make sense here. Is there a way around this nonsense in editing? I don't know. But it's a shame that it had to be included.
I had also forgotten how much of a retread the scene with Clark meeting his Kryptonian father was. In cutting the laughable scenes on Krypton at the start of the original movie, and inserting some of them as flashbacks in the "son meets father" scene here, it made Krypton more easy to digest. Sadly, things like the Codex, the flying dragons, and Jor-El inexplicably being an action hero were NOT dropped from this edit, and, as such, you're reminded of just how lacking in concept and direction the filmmakers were when it comes to Krypton, which is more than a little reminiscent of scenery from a 1970s issue of Heavy Metal.
After that, I admittedly lost interest and began skipping around. The story still holds together as well as it could. The death of Zod is in tact and, while it never bothered me that Superman killed Zod, the scene, like so many others in the film, just doesn't make sense (Superman had several options -- like flying upwards with him tow, covering his eyes, or perhaps the screenwriters could have had him discover his super-breath here). But the very last moments of the movie seemed more satisfying here, but that could be b/c I had zero recollection of them even happening in the original.
Narrative is a real problem spot for most fan edits in my opinion, and the fact that the narrative is still in tact, and even improved, says a lot about both the original film and the work of this Fan Editor.
Overall, if you're a fan of the original, but didn't like the willy-nilly storytelling, this edit'll work for you. Technically, it was VERY strong. IMO, it's far too much like the original. Hence a lower score on "enjoyment." Good work overall however.
Hi Phlegmbot, and thanks heaps for your review. I understand some of your reservations in the original - I would like to provide some feedback around them. Jonathan Kent wanted Clark to protect Martha, he says that in the scene, and obviously no one would be able to protect her like Clark so he chose to instead save the dog. Not perfect, and not strong reasoning I admit, but under stress with little time it was the decision he made and does set up his death, which is required in the story. On Krypton, I also disliked the flying dragons and I reduced their screentime in this edit. I'm also not a fan of the codecs being spliced into Kal-El's DNA - I think putting them in the Command Key would have been a better idea. I thought about trying to change it but obviously didn't go down that path - perhaps I should have? The Zod murder is an important part of a longer story arch. Clark will be troubled by committing this murder moving forward, setting up Superman to be the "good boy scout" who does no wrong in Batman v Superman. Yes he could have flown away etc. but the murder will have a purpose in making Superman the moralistic hero he will become. I certainly don't expect these explanations to improve your enjoyment of the film, but I hope they make sense in terms of why some scenes played out the way they did :)
Avid 4D's edit completely fixes this problem (as best as possible, given the source material), giving us a true Superman origin story. The entire first half of the movie played out like a movie about a hesitant/lost boy with extraordinary abilities trying to come to terms with his unique powers that he had from a very young age. I think this is the perfect approach to a Superman origin movie, as it is one of the major aspects of Superman that sets him apart from other superheroes. This linear approach allowed me to empathize with young Clark much more so that when he eventually chose to don the costume and reveal himself to the world, it felt more natural.
I thought it was very bold of Avid 4D to place the Krypton scenes in the middle of the movie when Clark meets the hologram of Jor-El. A bold move that works exceptionally well. I like that we, the audience, meet Jor-El and learn about Krypton for the first time, just as Clark does. This further contributes to allowing us to relate to Clark and feel/know what he's going through. (Also, I thought the quick shots of Kal-El's mother giving birth to him during the opening credits were fantastic)
I also felt that the movie was slightly shorter (in a good way), but I couldn't really tell where things were edited out. I never felt like anything was missing.
Assuming I had the talent that Avid 4D has (which I definitely don't), the only thing I'd try to improve upon is removing a lot more cheesy/cliche things. I would have removed Superman and Lois kissing (to be honest, I'd try to find a way to reduce Lois' screentime in general. She was somehow everywhere!), and I would have removed the small subplot of Jenny getting stuck beneath a bunch of debri. I would have removed the small rivalry between Chris Meloni's character and the badass female Kryptonian (I hated the "A good death is it's own reward" line). I would have tried to make Pa Kent's death scene way less lame. Etc.
Overall though, I think this is a fantastic edit that I now recommend to people to watch instead of the theatrical cut of Man of Steel. Thank you very much Avid 4D.
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.