Simply put - Amazing.
I love how you picked up the scrambled pieces and laid them in a neat order that makes Superman Returns a way better movie than it originally is!
Since the first time I watched Superman Returns, I've always had a warm feeling towards it. It was a movie that was, in my opinion, the best attempt to re-invent, and re-introduce Superman to today's generation with the style of charm and epicness that Richard Donner did with Superman The Movie back in the 70s. Super-hero movies today have quite lost that element of emotion and charm and often turn out to be shallow CGI driven generic action flicks, as we all know from watching Man of Steel.
Although Superman Returns never will reach the plateau set by Superman The Movie, you have brought it so much closer with your fan edit, by focusing on story, emotion, emphasizing on the key points of the film and telling the audience the story from Clark's point of view.
I love the narration and the pacing, how it started slow with Clark coming back to the world that had moved on without him, and him struggling to fit in once again, and how Clark returns to Metropolis and the action starting to build from there on. The climax of the film was a great balance between story and action and I loved every second of it. Nothing felt abrupt or awkwardly placed, everything flowed smoothly and it was done professionally. Flawless, except for one point where it felt a bit rushed when you cut from 'tell me everything' in the Fortress to Lex and his crew walking into the mansion. But that's not your fault of course so that doesn't count.
Your audio and video editing is just perfect. No awkward jumps and cuts, no disruption in audio levels, the whole thing was a seamlessly wonderful viewing experience. I love the changes you made, especially in putting the airplane sequence after we are introduced to Richard and the kid. I dunno what it is, but the whole thing feels way better this way. I think its wonderful how, Lois sees Superman first in the original version, but this cut shows Lois meeting Clark first through the rearranging of the airplane sequence. I love how you got around to doing this, because its so subtle yet it has such a major influence on the story. Its beautiful. Also that eliminates my question of how on earth Lois didnt connect how Clark shows up immediately after Superman returns to saves the plane! :P
The cuts and changes you made doesn't harm the movie at all, in fact now I understand why you referred to some scenes as 'bloated' and I didnt quite get it before I watched your edit, but now i do, and I'm grateful you altered it like it is. To be honest I would have hardly noticed what was gone if I had not referred to your changes list while watching the movie.
I really have nothing to say about your audio editing, as its just impeccable (if you can use that word). Love the altered musical cues, everything was great.
I'm running out of words to explain how brilliant this fan edit is, Tomahawk, really. I normally notice the slightest of errors, but this edit is marvelous. Very well assembled, very professional. After all of this talk, if I dont approve of your edit and recommend it to anyone I am an ass.
Very well done tomahawk, very well done indeed.
I have only watched SUPERMAN RETURNS twice: one in the theater, one when it was released on dvd. I own it in a SUPERMAN Blu-ray boxset, but I don't ever watch. I say this just so you know I can't remember every single bit about the movie, other than I wasn't a big fan at all. It bored me, had no emotion, and I thought some of the cast was lame.
Given that, I thought this edit was great! It couldn't help some of the problems in the original, but did make the pacing better and seemed to make the story work a slight bit better because of that.
The editing was superb. I think I noticed one spot where I could tell it was changed for this fanedit, but that was it. Audio and visuals were great.
Even though I don't care for the original, you made a great effort with this. Despite my feelings on the original, your score for this shouldn't have to suffer. 10's all around!
To be perfectly honest, i liked Superman Returns when i first saw it. But when i purchased it recently I saw it as a jumbled mess that didn't know if it was a remake or a reboot. I appreciate it for what it was trying to be, bu it just missed its mark so much. Now onto the edit. I haven't been watching fan edits for very long, a couple years at the most. That being said this edit was above and beyond. Near perfection as far s editing. i had to follow along with the cut list to see what was gone. and it wasn't missed. there wre a couple minor cute that felt a bit jarring or sudden, but for the most part it was nothing short of professional. sadly no amount of editing can make me like Bosworth as Lois Lane. I am not a huge fan of the deadbeat Superdad plot but in your edit it actually works and doesn't feel tacked on. You made what was a confused movie into a proper end cap to the Donner era superman franchise. It feels focused. and like a sequel to the previous movies (at least one and two) keep up your amazing work and thank you for bringing out the hidden gem that was in this movie. Just one minor side note that i wish you would have done is reinstate Luthors theme from superman 1. not all the way as it got silly at times but there are parts of the score that sound menacing that could have been used. but that really is a nitpick.
Recently I listened to a fan discussion on Superman Returns on the Movie Moan podcast which featured a special guest Robert Meyer Burnett who worked closely on the film in a documenting capacity. In the discussion he describes Singer's original opening of the film. Essentially a tone setting fifteen minutes of footage with pretty much no dialogue. Watching Tomahawk's cut of Superman Returns I felt like I was watching the opening that Robert was describing.
In Superman Returned scenes are added, trimmed and re-ordered for a dramatic effect. Now one gets the experience of rediscovering these characters in a way that doesn't feel rushed and at the same time not sluggish in the slightest.
It's easy to understand why Singer felt the need to cut the return to Krypton sequence. He wanted to move things along. But Superman Returns was still an origin story, just a different form and it needed to be given the time to evolve and then launch into some action.
I can honestly say that I feel a casual viewer would be far less lost watching this version. But most importantly the film better resonates the message that it is trying to sell. Now when Superman stands over his son and repeats Brando's dialogue I didn't find it corny, I was actually quite moved. Similarly when Superman confronts Lex and calls the creating of new Krypton 'an old man's sick joke' it's a powerful line.
For the first twenty minutes of this cut we are entirely immersed in Clark's world as we see his struggle to fit back into society all the while knowing the horrors that he has seen. When he meets Lois again it's as Clark and not Superman. This was shear brilliance.
From here on end the movie gathers momentum as Lex's plan takes shape but not in a way in which the audience has to be spoon fed everything. Rather the movie builds towards a third act which moves faster than the theatrical cut.
With subtle trims performances are much stronger in this cut and I'm talking primarily about Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey. Bosworth is still for mine the worst Lois Lane ever. She was much to young for the role and the way she was written was very unlikeable. However in this version she is at the very least more understandable which is a pretty awesome achievement. Spacey was lauded by most but I always found his portrayal of Lex to be very cartoony. In this version we get a more evil and original Lex Luthor with much of the one liners cut.
In summary the core idea of this film now resonates with me in a way that it did not before. No longer am I bother by the subtle nods to Superman the Movie as I now feel Donner's film is being celebrated in a better movie than what we got. This is the version of Superman Returns that I'll reach for every time I spin the Superman series. Great job Tomahawk!