I saw Superman 2 when it was originally released and since I was 10 years old at the time I just loved it. It was not until years later that it didn't feel right to me. Why was the Father /Son aspect suddenly gone and replaced by his mother? I was not aware of the removal of the director until the commercially available release of the Donner Cut. So now we had two unsatisfying versions of a potentially great movie. The theatrical cut was not consistant with the first movie...and the Donner cut was plagued by bad CGI and a forced ending. I always knew that if someone was able to edit the 2 together that the movie would be almost perfect...certainly stronger than the 2 existing.
I was very excited about this version when I heard about it and by the time I became aware of the cut is was hard to find....luckily Booshman made it available again and I was able to experience it myself.
I will have to say it is just wonderful. I have some minor nitpicks but I believe they have to do with personal taste because I am sure that there are valid reasons to do it the way he did.
I suppose that there are no great solutions on how to handle the recap from STM in an effective way so it is overlong....and because there is no satisfying ending an editor either has to include the memory kiss (with a different office than has been establised earlier and a frailer looking Lois) or the silly turn back time ending, or do as Booshman has done and edit the Donner ending to appear as if the inconsolable Lois from the previous scene on the balcony has suddenly gotten it all together and is willing to play out the daily charade with Clark. Not any of them work. I suppose I would have preferred the "Super Kiss" version because although it is an absured super power (and how did he find out he could do that?) it is at least an ending that wraps it all up without turning back time again. Which seems callous that every time Superman has an issue he can just spin back the world and fix it. The ending used here makes Clark look like a jerk because he comes in with the same ol' bumbling having just seen the night before that Lois has a broken heart.
The added scenes while well done don't work for me either...especially Lex at the Fortress of Solitude. You mean to tell me that Superman's place of solace from his earthly worries is now acessible to the rest of the world including the police?
I have one last nitpick and that is the scene with Jor El when he is seeking to have his powers restored. It seems a lot of new cgi has been done to show Superman flying away after he is repowered. I don't know if that is necessary. First it looks worse than any of the phantom zone stuff in the Donner Cut...and also I think it is much more powerful to not show what happens ...so it adds excitement to him flying into Metropolis to confront the villians "Would you care to step outside?" I would have left the Donner version in tact or cut to the Daily Planet after the flash so we don't know what has happened.
Like I said this is an extraordinary edit and clearly a lot of hard work has gone into it. I will use it as my Superman 2 of reference from now on.
Any quibbles that I have with it are minor...and for that matter I could get rid of with a snip of my own.
It is just really excellent work and very enjoyable.
The theatrical version (ie. Lester Cut) of Superman II is good, but people take issue with the various inexplicably added on powers that Supes and Team Zod have, such as levitation-vision, teleportation, holo-projection, and memory-wiping kisses. Plus there's the complete of lack of Marlon Brando's Jor-El.
The Donner Cut, on the other hand, is so fixated on utilizing alternate shots, scenes and dialogue that there is little thought given to whether or not these bits from the Lester Cut are in fact better. For example, having a toilet flush sound in the Fortress of Solitude is just retarded.
I've also watched ADM's Hybrid Cut, and you know, it just doesn't feel quite right. ADM mixes the two versions together in what appears to be big chunks; you watch the Lester Cut for a while, then switch to Donner, then back to Lester for a bit.... What made me notice it most was during the depowering scene. ADM uses the Donner Cut during that whole scene, even though various shots from the Lester Cut are far better.
THIS fanedit, Booshman's Superman II Redux, is /fantastic/. I've always said that the key to making a wonderful fanedit is to make it appear as though it's not a fanedit at all, and Booshman accomplishes this beautifully with the quality of the video and audio, transitions/cuts, etc. It's just first rate. Again, I notice a major difference (in Booshman's favor) between Redux and ADM's Hybrid in how here, during the depowering scene, Superman says "Father (from Donner)... I love her" (from Lester), various visual shots from the Lester Cut are used with Donner's audio during the actual depowering, and Jor-El looks at a Lois who /isn't/ wearing a Superman-themed nightshirt (in Donner's Cut it is supposed to be part of his suit, but fails).
Also, the replacement of inexplicable powers with established ones are /very/ well done; the actual depowering includes various Lester Cut visuals; and the White House lawn fountains are no longer from an obvious still shot.
Further, there is the branching option of letting you decide if you prefer the pink bear scene or the intercut screen test (ie. do you prefer Superman subconsciously, yet purposefully revealing himself to Lois, or else Superman being outsmarted by Lois.) I prefer the former, which ADM's cut does not offer.
I could go on and on. This cut is just fantastic.
...oh yeah--Lois is allowed to remember everything. Because, you know, she isn't so annoyingly selfish that Supes has to kiss her memory goodbye; and we don't have to groan at the recycled used of the same reversing time bit as was done in Superman: The Movie.