This is old, but I recently watched this and wanted to drop my thoughts. For years, I've felt like Superman (1978) was so close to being the perfect comic book movie. The first half and Reeve's performance are incredibly mythic. The camp really brings it down though. I always thought combining the beautiful Smallville sections with the more dramatic Superman II would be interesting. This edit does that and it's close to becoming my definitive Superman movie. By stripping most of the camp and focusing on the core character of Clark Kent, the editor really is able to create this character driven piece. The recurrent theme of Clark's humanity and destiny (presented to us in the form of Jor-El), coupled with the strong focus on the Lois relationship, makes this feel like one coherent movie. Importantly, it's never disrespectful to the source material. It's fun, but it's also mythic and powerful. That new ending scene is fantastic. I also liked the looming threat of Zod that was present throughout the movie. It's a really creative device that ties both movies together and adds momentum.
As some have mentioned, the big problem that really signals that this is actually made up of 2 longer movies is the sudden appearance of Lex. It does feel out of place. The structure is also a bit weird. As I said, adding these recurring scenes of Zod and Co. was a good way to break up the plain structure of the first two-thirds. Some scenes feel like they should be closer together though. I think the part on the moon feels pretty awkward as is. We see Zod on the moon. We go back to the A-plot for 30 minutes or so. We come back and they're still on the moon. That feeling of momentum is lost. I would also personally add in some extra scenes in those first 2 hours. Since the camp and all subplots have been stripped out of the Superman I and Superman II Niagara scenes, the movie gains a lot of dignity. Unfortunately, it also loses a bit of the "super." We have this core plot about Lois and Clark with nothing else until Zod arrives on Earth. It's nice, but the singular focus is a bit monotonous and it feels a little like we're watching a compilation of Clark/Lois scenes instead of a fully fledged movie. I think adding in some fat (the cut scenes from Superman I) would round it out a bit. This will also give the impression that some time has passed. Currently, it feels like the whole movie takes place in a week.
Aside from those points, this is a fantastic edit. I'll definitely rewatch it L8wrtr ever revisit it.
My standpoint coming in was this:
Superman The Movie- I always loved the film, except I hated the goofy portrayal of Luthor (see the animated Superman series for a faithful comic book adaptation of him) and I never saw the appeal of Margot Kidder. Narratively, however, it works great except for the ending.
Superman II- I've watched multiple DVD cuts, and all of them have good and bad bits. Zod is of course a compelling villain, but a lot of the powers used by those 3 and by Superman look goofy and cheesy as hell. The ending is a mess as well.
So a fan-edit would have to fix the above elements for me. While this one fixes the end of Superman The Movie, the wrap-up from Superman II still doesn't work for me, and the inclusions of some power usage are still problematic. It's an improvement over any other cut of Superman II I've seen, but if I HAVE to choose between watching this edit or just watching Superman The Movie and skipping Superman II, I'll take the latter.
Technically, this is very high quality. Lots of care and expertise put in. The edits are smooth and most cuts are inspired. The narrative KIND OF works, but there are some leaps in logic by characters, some of which were also problematic in the original films. The inclusion of early test footage between Clark and Lois was jarring for me and my friends when we watched it. Cutting back and forth between that and the footage filmed later was very apparent for us. Reeve just looked quite thinner and different in the earlier footage. Besides that, most edits fit pretty well.
Overall, worth a watch, but I'm still looking for some way to incorporate the good bits of Superman II. I'm not even sure if it's possible, tbh. That film is just a mess. Great effort here, though.
I really liked this fanedit. Definitely replaces Supes 1 and 2 for me.
It was good. Not crystal clear but considering the movies are movies from the late 70's and early 80's that's understandable.
Flawless in my opinion. Not one instance that a cut is noticable.
Great except for one thing: How does Lex Luthor know Jor-El and The Fortress of Solitude? He hasn't been there yet. The newspaper? No, it never mentioned Jor-El. If we exclude that, the narrative amazingly works!
Despite my Lex nitpick, I enjoyed this the whole time. It was so fun! No time-travel, no magic kiss, no stupid landgrabbing (even Superman Returns' landgrabbing made more sense!) and surprisingly the Superman Returns Krypton establishing shot worked perfectly!
Overall, I would definitely recommend this to the people who want a near perfect Superman movie!
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyMarch 12, 2014
Thank you for this awesome Review and I'm really glad that you enjoyed it overall.
There is no getting around the Lex issue, and it's one of the rare instances where as a faneditor I relied on implication to tie narrative ends. Because Lex is the 'greatest criminal mind' and clearly his reputation as a really bad guy based on everyone's reaction, I had to let Lex's brief explanation stand.. "How do you know all this?" "Because I'm Lex Luthor, (and I'm smart as hell.)
I've been toying with doing a HD re-edit of this and if I ever really do, I've toyed with creating two versions. One which keeps the original edit which is what Jelio and I worked out, and then one that tries to interweave Lex earlier. I have a few ideas on how I might be able to accomplish that without bringing in Otis and Miss Tessmacher, or at least without their buffoonery.
Anyhow, I'm glad that you enjoyed this in spite of the Lex Conundrum!