Review Detail

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Redux
August 14, 2012    
(Updated: September 11, 2012)
Overall rating 
Audio/Video Quality 
Visual Editing 

Review by bionicbob — October 27, 2010 @ 5:35 am

The eternal dilemma of a Fan Boy….



ADM’s Superman II Hybrid Cut
Booshman’s Superman II Redux Edit????

For the last couple of years, A Ditigal Man’s Hybrid Cut has been my definitive go-to Superman II movie. In fact, I had no real interest in even looking at another Superman II edit ever again until I read Booshman’s Thread.

A couple of things caught my mind’s eye…
–a new opening
–a new ending
–new visual effects

Intrigued, I knew I had to check it out! So the following are my observations after viewing the SL NTSC version. Warning, there may be some SPOILERS in my reviews. Also, my observations/reviews are simply based on personal preference and taste, and are in no way meant to be an attack or rip on the Editor.

Let’s get some of the easy things out of the way first….

Technically, in terms of sound and video quality, both are first rate! The soundtrack sounded awesome to me, I love all the new/old cues. For the most part, the video quality is excellent. Though some of the reinserted deleted scenes ( the elevator bully scene comes to mind) are of inferior quality compared to the rest of the movie, but I did not find it too distracting and it is acceptable considering the quality source.
So I would give the audio/video 9 out of 10.

The newly crafted opening is fantastic! Recapping the events of Krypton’s demise, Kal-el’s journey to Earth, the final act of the first Superman movie are all masterfully accomplished. I would say this new opening is far superior to the Donner Cut. I absolutely LOVED it!!

Lex at the Fortress and the new intro of the Kryptonian Villains as narrated by Jor-el…. honestly, I think the Donner cuts works better. The picture seems murky and too dark when viewing through the crystal. I think the Donner version was brighter and cleaner, and more in keeping with the Fortress surroundings. But that is just my personal taste.

I was surprised to see the Blank Bullet scene. Mostly because this edit so carefully attempts to correct continuity errors, that this scene stands out like a sore thumb. Yes I agree the scene plays better than the Pink Bear sequence (and understand this scene is part of the branching option in the DL version) but the hotel room is clearly different and Clark looks completely different, that is sort of breaks the moment for me as a viewer. It stood out in the Donner Cut and it stand out here too for me.

The restructuring of the Fortress of Solitude De-Powering scene, cutting from and combining the Lester and Donner scenes is masterfully done. It is pretty much flawless. I think this version works perfectly. Bravo! Well done!!

The New Ending….
I actually had to watch this part three times before I could decide if I liked it or not.
In the end, I believe I do like it.
It is a clever solution and it plays into current comic book continuity.
Though, I think it would play even stronger if the whole balcony goodbye scene
had been greatly trimmed or removed completely. That scene plays with so much sadness
and finality, that it feels like a sudden left turn when the new ending plays out.

All in all, I like the vast majority of the edits, the selection and combination of Lester/Donner scenes.
I would give the actual editing 9 out of 10.

The New Special Effects….
I must admit, I was very nervous about this going in.
This takes a lot of courage and skill to attempt. And it needs to be good!
Or it will break the suspension of disbelief
and detract from the overall viewing experience.

I will say this, all the new effects were created solely to assist the story and improve the narration.
This is good.

The new effects involving the Deputy and the shot gun, I liked.
It works. Mostly because it so brief, you can buy into Zod using super speed to disarm the deputy.

The battle at Fortress of Solitude and the insertion of Heat Vision, also work extremely well.

The new digital Superman flying scenes did not work for me. They just look wrong for the period of the movie.
They clearly stand out.

The transformation/repowering of Clark back into Superman I am afraid just did not work for me either.
The idea is awesome. I love the whole concept. But it just looks too digital.
I think you could have accomplished the same idea by simply panning the camera down in close up from Clark’s face to his chest and have him rip it open revealing the shield.
Again, this is just personal taste.

So I would give a 10 out of 10 for the concept work,
but only 7 out of 10 for the execution of the new effects.

Overall, the entertainment value was wonderful.
There is some masterful and brilliant moments in this edit.
It was a true joy to watch.

My overall score would be 8.5 out of 10.

Thank You Booshman for some awesome movie fun!

Was this review helpful to you?