Superman III - Dangermouse Cut
Gone is all the Gus Gorman unemployed stuff. Now he's just a low level peon with a knack working at Webco.
The film opens directly to the Daily Planet, after a new short opening credit sequence built from the trailer.
The "hilarious" drunk break-in scene, and all the scenes of "hilarious" chaos because of Gus messing with the computers - GONE.
Skiing off a skyscraper - and LIVING!!! Gone.
The couple winning the Daily Planet lottery - gone, apart from them as two random tourists in Columbia.
And lots of other tweaks and tucks.
The junkyard fight is sacrosanct, and has not been touched.
I also kept nearly all of the COMPUTER scenes intact, apart from the ballooning down. So, yes, the video game Superman is still there. Hey, it's the 80's!
The film is very dated ("computers" oooh) - but that's part of its charm. Enjoy a 80's romp with Superman, this time without the "comedy".
Dangermouse improves on the original. The flaws of the original are so pervasive, they continue to hamper the story. I agree with much of Batson's review below.
If you want to watch Superman III, watch this rather than the original. If you want a more satisfying Christopher Reeve Superman movie, then watch ADigitalMan's Superman Redeemed instead. That one's not in HD, but its combination of movies III and IV works even better.
First, the good stuff: This is an inspired attempt to salvage Superman III. I was a fan of Richard Pryor back in the day, but he didn't belong in this movie. I really liked the choices made to pare down his role. The technical aspects of the cut are also very good.
Now, the nits: Personally, I kind of like the slapstick opening credits in the release version, but I have no problem with them being deleted in this cut. However, I was bothered a bit by the aspect ratio of the credits being different from the rest of the movie. It started the movie off on a bit of sour note for me. I'd suggest cropping the opening credits to match the film's aspect ratio.
There's a bit of a continuity problem caused by cutting out the Daily Planet Bingo winners scene. As is, we see Perry pulling numbers at the beginning of the film, and a new bingo machine being brought in at the end, but we're never given any reason for why they are there. Also, down in Columbia the two (now random) tourists mention that no one at the Daily Planet had told them it was the rainy season, which doesn't make any sense without tying them into the bingo game. I'd suggest either restoring the scene where they're awarded the prize or dubbing over the soundtrack where the lady complains about the Daily Planet (though this option would still leave the whole bingo game unexplained).
Not enough Brad. I'm not a big fan of Brad, but as is we see him at the reunion and then never again until the very end of the film. There's really no reason given for why he'd show up at Lana's hotel room without a little more evidence that he's been harassing her. I'd suggest adding the bowling alley scene or the phone call in the kitchen scene, or both, back into the film to give him a little more motivation for showing up at the end.
There's an unpleasant cut at about 46:06 minutes into the film. The evildoers are in the gym portion of the set and then suddenly the babe is on the couch in the office part of the set and her cohorts are walking in the front door. These two scenes need to be broken up by inserting another scene between them. Maybe the Brad calling Lana in the kitchen scene? This would also show us why Lana later turns up in Metropolis. As is, the cut is just too jarring.
Personally, I'd like to lose the Superman video game footage. Yes, it's an 80s thing, but I didn't like it when I first saw the film in the 1980s either. I'm not sure if the game footage could be cut without messing up the soundtrack, but if it could I'd take it out.
For me, the ending is too abrupt. Clark excuses himself from the office by saying he has to do something, then does nothing--except the obligatory flyover before the end credits. He needs to actually have a reason for leaving the office, otherwise he's just being rude. I'd suggest restoring the re-leaning of the Tower of Pisa scene in order to explain his abrupt departure. Of course, this necessitates adding back the scene earlier in the film where he straightened the tower in the first place. But you could substitute the straightening of the tower scene for the blowing out the Olympic torch scene, if you think having both are a bit much.
Verdict: I don't want to make it sound like I didn't like this cut, because as I said at the beginning I think it's inspired. In fact, I'm going to use it as a template for my own personal cut of the film, though I'll probably leave in a couple of other bits that didn't bother me as much as they apparently did Dangermouse (such as continuing the scene of bad Superman's après-ski visit to Lorelei to its conclusion). Overall, I thought that this was a very enlightening edit of "Superman III" and it has done much to rehabilitate what was a very disappointing film on initial release.
'Superman III' is a film that goes too deep into goofy and cheap territory. But there's an interesting story there. This edit deletes the worst offenders and the result is a solid film.
It's full of underrated foreshadowing. For example, the weapon that helps defeat the sentient computer is skillfully introduced way before the final fight. And heck, the last enemy makes sense in context of the themes here.
Please don't take the edit's information too literally. There are still some laugh-out-loud moments. "Gus, if there's anything I hate, it's greed."
Superman III... a true love hate relationship I have with this movie. I love all the Smallville/Lana Lang/Evil Superman elements. I hate pretty much everything else... LOL! And yet, I probably watch this movie about once a year... though with my finger on the fast forward button.
So I was very curious about this edit. Can Superman III be truly decrapified?
The new opening was definitely a step in the right direction. A very clever and simply solution. Bravo!
I like the new intro of Gus. I never bought his computer "genius" role in the original, but now it feels more acceptable.
All the cuts made were good choices and a step in the right direction. It is significantly better. But from a personal taste point of view, I wish this edit had been even more aggressive, as this edit is still overflowing with typical Lester hijinks and smelly cheese. Though how much more could have been cut with out the movie devolving into a choppy mess I can not say. I do wish somehow the meeting between Lois and Lana could have been cut. To this day, when I see Lois's expression when looking at the ring, it feels very cruel and hurtful.
But if you have been on the fence about viewing this edit, I would recommend it to my fellow Superman fans.
I enjoyed this edit a lot. But I missed a couple of scenes like Pryor getting drunk with Brad and straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Also a couple of scenes seemed to jump to the next. Other than that, this was a great edit. It is now my go-to copy of Superman III and I will recommend this to everyone.