January 25, 2015
This will be my first ever review, but I can say I am glad I joined this fanedit community. These edits put new twists on established stories and often they are better than the originals. I can say samspider3 does a great job of cutting down some scenes or minor rearrangements of scenes that, as he says in his fanedit description, tells the story from Clark's perspective. The original beginning of the movie (Kal's birth and the conflict between Zod and Jor-El) have been to fit in line with Clark discovering his birth father on the Kryptonian ship and views Krypton's last moments as a greatly shortened and better suited flashback. I thought this was a good idea as well as other minor alterations through the film. Oh, I also really liked the now new flashback scene when Clark visits the Pastor in Smallville and the cut to the Tornado and Jonathan Kent dying. Great cut Samspider3! Much better done here than in original movie. In this cut, we don't know Jonathan is dead yet until that scene of the Tornado and by connecting the Tornado with the church scene, Samspider3 has given this scene even deeper meaning: 1) Clark seeks council and would have gone to his father, but his father is dead. and 2) This is Clark coming to a crossroads between the shadows where he has always kept himself as he is an alien and now being forced to reveal himself to the world for the good of the world. Well done!
As I watched samspider3's edit through Clark's eyes, I noticed though the story telling may be tightened up, as big as a fan I am of Man of Steel (I do really like, I always like new takes on established characters, and it fits really well with Batman v Superman especially if you want the fan edit version told from Clark's point of view) the emotional investment in Clark is still not the nice likable character Christopher Reeve's interpretation of the character. This is perhaps often the biggest complaint of this movie itself (and has nothing to do with samspider3's cut, which is a very good version, thanks samspider3!) that fans of had. And as I said before, I like this interpretation of the Superman story as Nolan and Snyder seek to answer the question what would really happen if the world discovered a being who could do these miraculous feats? Growing up with Reeve's and Welling's Smallville versions of Superman, we see not an alien, but a being of absolute good (and almost too good-natured) who always smiles and everyone is amazed by first and foremost that character's self-sacrificing nature. He is a reminder he is part of the human race and does it gladly and freely. The fan leaves the original 1970's movie inspired, now believing him/herself can and should be ready to prepare for the good of humanity. In Snyder's take, that self-sacrifice is subtle and subservient to the idea Clark must also keep himself hidden as his alien nature itself (which is not the focus in other interpretations as Clark looks human and as such no one cares since he is basically human) may alarm the world. Snyder's take is more about answering the question would the world really be ready to accept the truth if we knew an alien was among us? In a sense through the original movie, we as the audience are the world, we are introduced to Clark just as he is about to appear as Superman (in the original movie) and must trust him even if we have not quite yet developed that trust in the character in spite of the marvelous feats we have seen him perform in the flashbacks of his childhood. We are forced to trust him as opposed to knowing we can trust him because we know how he grows up. Watching Smallville and the Reeve's Superman movies, we don't see an alien, we see a human amazed at the wonder of his own abilities, we see it not through his eyes but our own as we would like to believe we would react the same way given those exact same abilities. We see glimpses of this throughout Snyder's interpretation, especially when Clark discovers he can fly immediately donning on his Superman suit, but as I said before, we do not experience this wonder and develop a trust throughout as we are almost immediately expected to trust him from the start. It almost begs the viewer to answer the question: just because someone can do this, should I trust him? It makes me wonder if Snyder is telling me yes, I see it, therefore I have to (without knowing Clark's background and good-natured heart), I must trust him because of his abilities and strength, not because I know he is a good person.
As I watched this really good cut, I noticed one of the biggest cuts was Lois's detective work in discovering Clark's identity. Knowing samspider3's cut is intended to view the experience through Clark's eyes, it is understandable that he would want to cut out Lois's journey as it really is the same story twice. And as I watched it, it occurred to me there should be a Lois cut! And not because we should write it from each character's perspective (heavens no!), but because you could actually start the movie with Lois going to the ship and through her detective work, go back into time discovering who this might be (and with her, as she visits each place as she did in the original movie, we would live through the flashbacks of Clark). We would travel back in time through Lois to essentially Clark's arrival on Earth and answer the question in a better fashion: why haven't we heard of this Superman before if it was apparently so easy for Lois to find him? The answer is, there is so much hog wash in the news, what are we to believe and until you actually see it, would you really investigate it? So, starting the movie from Lois's unique perspective as being the only reporter on site, she has key evidence that an alien being actually exists, and will discover these wondrous feats he has accomplished on his time on Earth. We might actually trust in Clark more in this case, especially, as I noted above, the audience is being asked to trust him without going through his shoes in the same fashion and enjoyment and amazement as we were asked with Reeve's Superman.
From Lois's perspective, you would essentially go from one mystery into another and not have them overlap. In essence, Act 1: Who is this mystery guy from the world's perspective? to Act 2: Now we know he is a kid from Smallville, an alien, and he has been asking the same question and now he is getting his answer and we get to discover it with him. You could tell the story backwards until she meets Clark in Smallville, then we are in the present and resume with the rest of the story. We could have them meet at Jonathan's grave, then Clark go visit his mother to tell her the good news about discovering his people, stick around the farm that evening to celebrate and long enough to receive Zod's worldwide TV message, and then go back to the ship and have Jor-El tell him more about his past making the message of Zod and his coup even more sinister to samspider3's cut of going to the pastor to ask for advance (flashback to death of adoptive father) and finally CHOOSING to don the suit of hope/Superman as an earned or chosen act instead of just simply a thing he does as presented in the original movie. I just found out that these fanedits exist and sadly I don't have the time to invest into making these cuts, but it would be awesome if someone could! Thanks samspider3, I love these fanedits, they really make you think about storytelling and I enjoyed every minute of it!