I was already aware of the mountain of material that was not included in the theatrical release including the return to Krypton sequence as well as all the other deleted scenes on DVD. However, there are still missing elements that have yet to be released including the original opening of the film which began in a movie theatre with Tristan Lake Lebeau’s voice over, similar to the text prologue that exists now, featuring clips from Superman: The Movie. This would have segwayed into the reveal of Krypton, the opening titles and the crystal ship. Also still missing is a scene involving Clark Kent running down the alley ripping open his shirt only to discover that he isn’t wearing the red and blue underneath and is forced to return to the Daily Planet closet to change. Yes, this is the often talked about scene of Superman “coming out of the closet”. A shot of it does exist on the Superman documentary by Ken Burns but there is hardly enough material to restore that sequence with any sense of dramatic flow. In the end, they decided to digitally superimpose the shield over his chest negating the need for these shots.
My goal with this version of the film was to make as many, if not all, of the alterations as smooth and unnoticeable as possible. I can’t say that the film runs any faster or is more intense than what was released.
Unfortunately after putting this version together I came to the conclusion that the filmmakers had, right or wrong, set out to tell a very bloated and laborous story that is almost impossible to get around without excising massive amounts of story material which exist to create the overall structure. What I can say is that this version does allow you to more strongly connect with Superman/Clark Kent and understand him more throughout his emotional journey.
If you were never interested in that story then this film was never for you. If you were but felt that the film lacked an even stronger character arc then you will probably find this fan edit a more satisfying experience.
COLOUR CORRECTION THROUGHOUT THE FILM
Warner Bros. logo music removed.
Legendary Pictures logo removed.
Film begins with John Ottman score over both logos.
Text prologue removed.
Main Titles unaltered.
Return to Krypton sequence reinstated with John Ottman score and two pre-selected cues.
Lex Luthor introduction replaced Martha Kent and Ben Hubbard scene.
Martha stepping out of pick up jump cut corrected.
Lex Luthor scene introduced and trimmed in various places for pacing and delivery.
Clark Kent wake up scene restored with new music cue.
Clark remembers unaltered but includes x-ray vision of barn doors.
Clark throws baseball unaltered.
Clark enters the barn restored with new music cues and flash back of Kryptonian memory crystals.
Clark discovers “Why the World Doesn’t’ Need Superman” article.
Clark stands before crystal ship. Composite alters head position so it matches following shot.
Lex Luthor and crew aboard the Gertrude unaltered but includes pre-existing music cue.
Lext Luthor in the Fortress of Solitude unaltered though trims the last line “…starting with crystals.”.
Clark watches television and talks to Martha unaltered.
Kent mailbox shot moved to transition restored scene with Clark and Martha discussing return to Metropolis.
Music cue added when mentioning Lois Lane.
Original top portion of music cue added for Ben Hubbard arriving for date with Martha Kent.
Clark Kent returns to the Daily Planet unaltered.
Jimmy gives “Welcome Back Clark” cake deleted.
Lex Luthor and the train set moved and trimmed for time.
Sound effect added to Lex revealing Kryptonian memory crystal.
Clark stores his suitcase in the closet. Contents of suitcase and music cue reinstated.
Clark looks over Lois Lane’s desk. “Why the World Doesn’t’ Need Superman” article deleted.
Clark stating “Mother?” deleted.
Clark breaks picture frame audio enhanced.
Space shuttle piggy back scene unaltered.
Clark and Jimmy at the bar trimmed for pacing. Source music added.
Lex Luthor cuts memory crystal. Scene slightly re-edited for pacing. Original music cue partially included.
Mission control trimmed for time.
Engine failure trimmed for time.
Mission control continued trimmed for time.
Lex Luthor train set destruction trimmed.
Metropolis establishing shot inserted to bridge power restoration in bar.
Shuttle engines re-engage trimmed.
Perry White and media reaction trimmed.
Clark changes in the alley. Alternate shot inserted.
Fighter pilot reaction dialogue added.
Superman’s heat vision audio enhanced.
Boeing 777 free floating trimmed for time.
Superman rescues Boeing 777 slightly trimmed for pacing.
Boeing 777 pilots reaction deleted.
Lois faints deleted.
Lois and Clark reunited at the Daily Planet trimmed. Awkward kiss deleted. Stapler exchange deleted.
Lois Lane suggesting that Clark is just plain Clark deleted.
Richard White’s acknowledgement that Lois will always remain a mystery deleted.
Lex Luthor reads article “The Man of Steel is Back” with music cue added.
Lois and Clark elevator scene deleted. Source music “Quando, Quando, Quando” moved to lobby.
Superman stalking Lois Lane outside her home deleted.
Music cue included underneath Richard and Lois scene to bridge Superman at the listening post.
Jor-El voice over deleted and replaced with dialogue between Clark and Martha Kent.
Bank robbery security guards trimmed.
“Wilhelm” scream added to bullet ricochet on helicopter.
Bullet eye sequence trimmed. Gun sound enhanced and metal audio hit added.
Kitty car sequence juxtaposed against Lex Luthor museum robbery and heavily re-edited for time.
Lois stating she’s “covered” Superman deleted.
Lois returns stapler to Clark deleted.
Jason looking at Clark and Superman on television deleted.
Lex stating “I did” with regard to the Kryptonite rock deleted.
Richard suggesting that Clark is Superman deleted.
Superman blows out cigarette audio enhanced.
Jimmy swallows a burrito, Richard upset that Lois is smoking deleted.
Lois discovers Lex Luthor on Gertrude slightly trimmed.
Lex Luthor’s “How ’bout that interview?” line deleted. Music cue added to bridge scene to Richard in Perry’s office.
Lex Luthor’s line “Kitty, what did my father used to say to me?” deleted.
Music cue added following Lex Luthor screaming “Wrong!” to accompany Kryptonite reveal.
Richard and Clark accessing Lois’ computer deleted.
Beginning of “Heart & Soul” sequence slight trimmed.
Heavy audio hit added to Gertrude when illuminated from below.
Lois fax machine power loss swapped and trimmed.
Lex Luthor collects Kryptonian memory crystals restored with portion of music cue added.
Sonar signal audio added to graphic.
Lois uses rolling pin to attempt to open pantry door deleted.
Jimmy showing Perry coordinates lifted, moved and paired with their reactions.
Superman rescues Metropolis heavily trimmed for time.
Lex Luthor flies over New Krypton slightly re-edited.
Lois, Richard and Jason sink to their deaths trimmed for time.
Superman rescues Lois, Richard and Jason trimmed for time.
Lois regains consciousness swapped with Lex Luthor and henchmen beating Superman.
Jor-El voice over as Superman descends into the ocean deleted.
Lex Luthor smoking a cigar and Superman descending on New Krypton swapped.
Superman heat vision audio enhanced.
Lex Luthor escapes New Krypton trimmed for time.
Superman’s heart beat while lifting New Krypton restored.
Superman’s last breath added.
Lois Lane names planetoid “New Krypton” restored.
Lex Luthor on desert island deleted and moved to post credits.
Dedication to Christopher and Dana Reeve restored to beginning of end credits.
End title music re-edited to accompany Reeve acknowledgement.
Lex Luthor desert island sequence inserted prior to Peters Entertainment and Warner Bros. logo.
Review by crabmanFE — September 20, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
Bangup job on the edit, but if I could change one thing, I’d have tweaked the opening a bit. Something like this:
blending the opening exploration sequence into the title sequence, ending when he crash lands back on Earth. I’m sure it would’ve been a big hassle, but I really like the effect.
An overall great edit, though. 8/10
Review by L8wrtr — September 3, 2011 @ 8:27 am
Superman Returns, the lightening rod of Superman movies. Love it or hate, there are few who exist in-between when it comes to Bryan Singer’s ode to the Donner/Reeve Superman movies. The thing I find most fascinating about the reaction to this film is that both sides tend to site the same factors as being either the movie’s strengths, or weaknesses; in the most broad terms it’s a sequel, reboot and remake all wrapped into an undeniable homage to Superman the Movie and Superman II. Additionally, the inclusion of Jason’s character is just another point of controversy, his role in the film seems to be loved/hated.
At this point in time I have not watched any other released edits of Returns, so I have no other edit to compare this to.
The thing that must be said about this edit is, if you didn’t like Superman Returns due to the reasons listed above, you simply will not like this edit. It is not for you, do not waste your time even finishing this review, and absolutely do not download and watch this. It wasn’t made for you.
If however, you enjoyed the original film on any level, this very well may be the edit for you, so read on to see if it’s worth your time to download and watch.
This edit is provided only in MKV, and this is a shame. The film simply does not hold up well as it is played on larger televisions. I watched this on a 50″ Plasma and the image resolution was soft with a great deal of banding in certain scenes. Also I noted that some deleted scenes had a bit of a stutter to them. Color correction however was quite nice. Supe’s suit is restored to its appropriate color and overall it is a really nice job. I did not notice any offensive/inconsistent skin tones, but I wasn’t looking for them either. The color was undeniably an improvement over the dull, muted filter which Singer ended up applying. 6/10
Audio was good overall. No need to keep my remote at the ready. The treble was a bit muted, but overall this sounded great.
Here is where the released format really hurts because the technical execution of the edit is exceptional. Scenes are seamlessly re-integrated, audio transitions are fantastic, and there are many wonderful choices in terms of added soundtrack. Of particular joy was hearing a perfectly placed Wilhelm into the scene of the Bank heist, major bonus points for that.
So with the tech out of the way, is this edit worth it? If you like Singer’s intention with this film, then absolutely. The driving force behind this story is Superman’s sense of ALIENATION upon his return and the regret he feels for having abandoned the people whom he cared about in order to explore the near impossible unlikelihood that there were any survivors on his home world. This is the crux of the film and it defines his actions, people’s reactions and it is this crucial issue which is resolved by the end of the film, Superman making peace with his ghosts and rediscovering why he is on Earth, recovering his conviction and resolving his strained relationships. The reinstated scenes bring even more depth to Superman’s character, adding layers to Clark’s frustrations and hesitancy and for me, made the resolution of the film all the more satisfying. But this edit isn’t just about sticking in deleted material, there are many instances where the editor has nipped and tucked within scenes in order to improve pacing, which is needed because the deleted scenes add a lot more talk time to a movie that is generally a little light on action. Although one action scene notably trimmed is the Kitty in the Mustang action bit. The editor has done a fantastic job of trimming this down to be far more realistic and enjoyable.
In the interest of full disclosure however, I’m not in love with all of the editor’s choices. His trims to the scene where Richard, Lois and Jason are rescued by Superman are all in the wrong direction in my opinion. For me, the original sequence is gut-wrenching. Perhaps it is because I have a spouse and child, but everything about that scene just turns my stomach into knots, it does a great job of conveying a sense of fear, terror and hopelessness, even though you know Supe’s is going to swoop in and save the day and when he does, it’s with a tremendous sense of relief. The re-cut of the scene removes the emotional tension from the scene, they’re in some danger and then BAM! Superman is there. By cutting the sense of dispair the reward of their salvation is greatly diminished.
But more, I was simply shocked to see that he left the Emergency Room scene in. If I could change only one thing about the theatrical version, it would be to remove this sequence because it distracting and absurd, entirely taking me out of the movie.
Ultimately however, the two complaints I have are far outweighed by the ways in which this edit adds more humanity to the film. The film does feel a little long, however it does not drag. If all you want is action and flying, this isn’t your edit, but if you enjoy character development and human stories, than this is worth your time, even if it doesn’t replace your theatrical (which I’m not sure this does), it is worth the time to watch just to see what Singer was really trying to create here.
This would be a 9/10 if it weren’t for the MKV quality, so overall this is an 8/10 for me.