July 05, 2012
Review by Molasar — June 28, 2009 @ 10:40 pm
FanEdit Review by Molasar - REVISIONS ALL CAPS
Title/FanEditor: Superman II: The Complete Cut "Version 2.0" by Wearneo
Prologue: Superman II was my favorite sequel as a kid. Great poster, too. As I matured, I grew fonder of the first film. Richard Lester's Superman II was too hokey for me as an adult. It was too light. (Superman Lite?) Anyway, I was very excited to see Richard Donner's version when it premiered on DVD. It treated the characters and their story with much more respect, it was more serious, if that's the right word. Zod and his minions are more ruthless and evil. But, I felt that reusing the "make the world spin backwards and reverse time" ending was lazy. (I don't care if it was the original intention.) With all the new extra footage available, I knew that fans would attempt to combine both versions, especially fans like me who really liked Richard Lester's Superman II growing up. This is the second Superman II fanedit I have seen. Based mostly on Donner's cut, it bills itself as the complete cut. Is it? Read on.
The Edit: Overall, I would say that this fanedit is a complete cut. It includes Donner's version (warts and all) plus the "step outside" line replacing the "freedom of the press" line, the "US Arctic Patrol" deleted scene (poor quality), the "amnesia kiss" scene, the "elevator bully" deleted scene, and it removes the recycled reverse time ending from Superman: The Movie. It retains the serious nature of the Donner cut and even extends the emotional punch of Clark and Lois's relationship by using Lester's ending. The cuts were seamless and well timed. I saw or heard no off musical cues or jumps anywhere. An excellent job as far as cutting. *****/***** ("Warts" meaning the use of screen test footage, stand-ins and ADR.) STILL A FANTASTIC EDIT!
Image Quality: This fanedit was a PAL-sourced edit. It was converted to NTSC on the DVD I screened. The image was a bit soft and jittered during panning shots at the beginning. Colors were a bit washed out. So, good but not great. ***/***** USING MY ALL-REGION OPPO, THE IMAGE IS NOTICEABLY SHARPER IN THIS NEW INCARNATION AND THERE IS LESS JITTER DURING THE PANS. A GREAT IMPROVEMENT OVER THE FIRST VERSION OF THIS STUNNING CUT. NEW RATING: ****/*****
Audio Quality: The sound was a weak MPEG audio decoded into Dolby Pro-Logic II. The volume was barely audible on my preferred listening level (which my wife would tell you is too loud). I had to switch from RAW to PCM for an increase in volume and I had to turn it up several notches. Despite my efforts, there was little panning across the surrounds and no punch on the LFE end. Overall, lackluster and un-cinematic in the extreme. **/***** THE SOUND (ALTHOUGH A 2.0 MPEG MIX) HAS A BIT MORE PUNCH ON THIS SECOND ATTEMPT AND IT’S LOUDER. SEE THE DESCRIPTION ABOVE FOR MORE INFO. IT’S AS GOOD AS A 2.0 CAN GET. IN A WORD (OR TWO) — MUCH IMPROVED. NEW RATING: ***.5/*****
The DVD: Static menu with 18 full motion chapter stops.
Overall Rating: ***.5/***** (not an average) I approve of this cut, given its A/V quality limitations. I'm a stickler for A/V and perhaps I'm too harsh. The edit is so great that I believe it should be seen by others. IMPROVEMENTS IN A/V QUALITY ARE APPARENT AND APPRECIATED BY THIS SUPERFAN. NEW RATING: ****.5/*****
Epilogue: This version will not replace my Donner DVD yet. Better A/V quality could move this fanedit into rotation whenever I spin the Supes series. Wearneo wanted “to stay true to Donner’s vision. Meaning this is not an Ultimate cut of SII, but a more complete and workable Donner version.” Mission accomplished. MY NEW FAVORITE VERSION TO SPIN!
Reviewed using Sony 51" 16×9 RPTV with Oppo DVD player upconverting to 1080i via DVI and Onkyo 650 Watt 5.1 surround sound.