April 02, 2013
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.