May 30, 2015
So, this is the first Superman IV edit I've plucked up the courage to watch. Well, not counting Adigitalman's Superman Redeemed that is. I was intrigued by Billy's cutlist, as it more or less would be the way in which I would approach an edit on this maligned disaster of a movie and on the whole I was thoroughly entertained.
I remember seeing Superman IV on its initial release, the same year as Universal unleashed the mighty Jaws The Revenge.... wow, what a year for movies huh? At the time I was pretty crushed in how cheap the movie looked in comparison to the previous movies, but that hasn't stopped me watching it numerous times since. I still get a kick out of seeing Christopher Reeve in the title role, not to mention seeing Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure and Margot Kidder back one more time. However, there's no denying how much of a missed opportunity this is. Reeve's nuclear weapon's crisis storyline actually has a lot going for it. You can tell it's heartfelt, even though the way in which the message is executed is pretty heavy handed and seems a perfect moral tale to end the series with. It's just a shame that half the budget was cut and that the effects are for the most part, well, very cheap looking indeed.
As Billy states, there's no real saving this movie in terms of making this stand beside Superman I or II, but what he has done here with this workprint style edit, is present a much more coherent version which is certainly better than the theatrical print. Whilst some of the deleted footage is inserted a little clumsily, including one hard audio cut which brings a little too much attention to itself, on the whole it works skillfully in adding more meat onto the bones of what was a very convoluted last third act of the film. I particularly enjoyed Lex's scene in Moscow, and also the deleted footage which certainly adds more weight to what happens between Lacy and Nuclear Man. That was always a real problem with the original version and Billy's work here certainly improves this.
The work around restructuring the scene when Superman actually gets rid of the nuclear weapons and then the birth of Nuclear Man are much improved too. Big kudos to the work during that sequence.
I also adored the missing scene where Lacy says goodbye to Clark in the taxi at the end. A really lovely scene that definitely deserved to stay in the film.
Oh, and thank you sooooo much for deleted the Clark and Lois flying scene. It's probably the worst scene of the movie for the exact reasons you explain in your cutlist.
Overall then this is vast improvement on the theatrical cut. The fact that the inserted deleted scenes are that much lower in quality, even including some unfinished special effects, means this is truly a workprint style fan edit, but don't let that stop you viewing it. Recommended to all Superman fans.