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.
An interesting cut, which I enjoyed despite some of the problems which have been pointed out by others. The late arrival of Luthor didn't bother me as much as I thought. What did bother me is that throughout the film everyone seemed to know so much about things that they shouldn't have. The characters had a history with each other that is not supported by the timeline.
All of the scene transitions seemed fine and I didn't discern any real problems with the audio. I thought there might have been a bit of leftover audio at about 39:30 where Jor-el was saying something that was cut but you could stil hear bits of it. It also seemed as if the video quality skipped around between higher and lower quality resolution throughout. Some of the scenes seemed fuzzy while others were sharp and clear.
The editors used the superior Donner cut for the reveal of Superman's identity, which is distracting because of the problem with his glasses switching types, but this is a limitation of the source material. I still enjoyed seeing these films in a different light and would recommend it.
Review by Kal-El — August 18, 2011 @ 1:10 am
Being a huge fan of everything Superman related, I already downloaded this upon release, but failed to watch it ever since. Now the time has finally come, and I hereby present my review.
No rough cuts or anything of that kind, whatsoever. Flawlessly executed.
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
5 out of 5 stars
Clean and simple. Effective too. Quite funny to see the \CapedWonder\ logo on the Special Features menu. I instinctively knew where that came from :-)
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
THE EDIT ITSELF:
A few mishaps caught my eye, so I’ll detail them all below:
During the rogue rocket scene, Superman’s fly by scene starts at night,
and immediately shifts to daytime when he’s on to the rocket.
The front page of the newspaper Lois is holding first shows the \How I Spent the Night With Superman\ article, but in the next shot (from Superman II), the front page shows \Lex Luthor’s Scheme Bombs, Superman Saves Nation\.
The first encounter on the moon was also over 20 minutes before the second encounter, where they destroyed the lunar lander. It’s not that big a thing, but it was kind of odd to jump back to the moon all of a sudden, after all that time on Earth.
I’m glad Lois’ second try to plunge herself into revealing Clark has been removed, in favour of her plot to reveal Superman’s identity through use of blank bullets. The obvious fault of Richard Donner footage remains (Reeve’s hairline), but that doesn’t make any difference. It’s material of epic proportions. Nevertheless, as mentioned by Stankpac, it all happens too fast. She \knew all along\, when only a single day had passed. I was pleased to see Lois figuring it out so fast, but this was a tad too much. It still beats Superman Returns though. Stupid broad.
The baffled fisherman has been removed from the Kryptonian’s entrance onto Earth. Perfect.
To my horror, the one scene I had hoped removed, was not only intact, but the wrong version as well… Superman slept with Lois BEFORE losing his powers. That leads straight into Superman Return’s events, and we all know how I feel about that one. Oh well…
The guy who was standing in the corner of the diner, near the flower pot above a beaten Clark, disappeared from the following angle when Lois helped Clark up. L8 and Jelio couldn’t have possibly fixed this, but I just noticed it. That’s all. No biggie.
Seeing Luthor appear out of nowhere is both funny and awkward. He sort of introduces himself anyway, so that clears the air a bit, but it remains faintly odd nonetheless. Nothing I can’t live with.
Although that unfortunately all changed in the minutes to come. Having trimmed Luthor down to an extended cameo does bring up other issues. Luthor not only reveals Superman’s origins to Zod, but also knows the location of the Fortress of Solitude. He also knows Superman and Lois are an item. If you thought Lois was quick in revealing Superman, check out Luthor! What did he do? Read the newspaper article of Lois’ night with Supes, and read between the lines? These are some big plotholes. If it weren’t for his presence in the Fortress however, Luthor could have easily been left out altogether. During those Fortress scenes, Superman and Luthor’s conversations also indicated a shared history, which in this edit, they haven’t.
Also, in both instances Superman steps into the chamber, the person inside looks nothing like Christopher Reeve, especially the first time. Can anyone confirm this? What’s up with that?
Ahh, no memory-wiping kiss, or no turning back time. Lois knows… Just like in the comics. Sweet justice.
FINAL SCORE: 4 out of 5 stars
For this edit: 8 out of 10 stars. It’s a far better Superman movie than Lex Luthor’s obsession with soil could have ever been, but there are some holes in that cheese that just don’t cut it. It could have been 9, or even 10, but that ball has left the park. Too bad.
DEFINITELY RECOMMENDABLE THOUGH!
Review by Brumous — January 18, 2011 @ 2:58 am
This is an audacious but uneven fan edit that is reasonably entertaining. The basic idea is to merge the first half of Superman I to the second half of Superman II, The Donner Cut. Remarkably, this turns out to be a logically sound idea and it successfully refocuses the story arc on Kal-El and his self-identity and purpose. Other Superman II edits have wrestled with the ending: how Superman fixes his bad choices and redeems himself. This version has the most satisfying and convincing resolution of them all and is the new gold standard.
This edit weaves together different sources made by different directors. Technically the edit is fine and mostly seamless. But the seams do show in the way the acting, direction, and emotional tone shift gears in abrupt and confusing ways, even where the storyline makes logical sense. For instance, the Clark-Lois romance, where Lois starts off being starstruck, then familiar and jokey in the newsroom, then distracted and sarcastic in the newlywed suite. There are also noticeable and probably unavoidable shifts in picture quality from the different sources.
In this edit, Lex Luthor is a sneaky but endearing con man with no sense of menace. I agree with the other reviewers that his introduction too abrupt, but I can overlook it because Hackman is entertaining to watch. It's less easy to overlook the Kryptonian villains, who are cardboard cliches. Their approach to Earth and their takeover is dragged out too much, slowing down the pacing of this edit. The climactic fight plays out like a bombastic pro wrestling match and could use even more trimming. Various other sequences could also use trimming or deleting to improve the overall pacing.
The editors’ choice for the ending scene is right on the money, IMO. It suits very well the focus of the edit, which is Kal-El discovering how to be true to himself and deciding what’s important in his life. Lois is saying goodbye to her dreams of married bliss, so why wouldn’t she cry? And it’s not just self pity; you could see her tears as being for Clark also, for his sacrifice and for his heroism.
I liked the “extra” scene (Clark’s return to the diner) a lot too. It lightened up the heavy mood of the ending and made Clark more human and likable in a way. I like it so much in that position, I would have put it right after the ending as a real coda, instead of in the credits.
Anyhow, this edit succeeds at its main goal, and I was really drawn into the story of Kal-El's moral challenge. I also liked how this edit was made collaboratively, a great example of the fan edit forum opening new doors to creative possibilities.
Review by STANKPAC — December 22, 2010 @ 3:51 am
Watched this the other night and overall as a whole I somewhat enjoyed it, but just barely. There are quite a few things that hinder it from being a great edit. However, the biggest compliment I can give you two is that you were able to construct a consistent story out of 2 movies. It finally felt that Superman actually had a really threat to face. People from his own planet, with the same powers…..actual villians!
Here in lies one of the major problems with this edit though, that was even mentioned by eldiablosuizo. In the original movie we all know he faces off against Lex Luthor and you might be saying to yourself, “Who really cares? True Lex, for all his scheming is no match for Superman and isn’t really a suitable villain, but he serves a purpose in the long run. In this edit Lex has been truncated down to an afterthought and not considered important. There is no background information on who this character is, why he is in this movie, and more importantly why I should care. Lex Luthor shows up out of nowhere for absolutely no reason, none whatsoever. He comes in telling Zod that not only is he searching for Superman, but the actual Son of Jor El. WTF? How does he know this? Takes them to the Daily Planet to capture Lois and tells them that they are an item. Superman and Lois only had one interview or date if you want to call it that. But, he seems to know this plus knows exactly where the Fortress of Solitude is. That is stretching it a bit thin on the whole suspension of disbelief meter, if you ask me! Secondly, the same thing can be said for Lois Lane. Clark reveals himself to the world by saving Lois in the chopper and does a few heroic acts to save the city of Metropolis. Of course, since she is the main character she is going to get the exclusive interview with Superman. After that one night with Superman and the way this edit is cut, the very next day she has already figured out Clark is Superman. Wow, I don’t know about you but that is some unbelievable intuition. Then right after that you inserted from the Donner Cut the shooting him with the gun, “It is you!” “I guess I’ve always known!”. Huh? Known what, after one interview! So much for the disguise there Kal-El!
Other things I didn’t like was that you left in “Holy skunk sweat!” Really? The floating shotgun looks pretty lame. Right after the launch of the missile by none other than John Ratzenberger, the villians are released from the Phantom Zone. However, the scene after Superman talks to Jor-El, you have the scene with the space station checking up on the astronauts on the moon, but John Ratzenberger is there playing a totally different character. Didn’t make sense to me. During the fight around Metropolis, the scene when Superman catches that tower and puts it all gingerly on top of Non, I always found that to be utterly ridiculous. Get the crap up! You have superpowers damn it! No I’ll just lay here like a tortoise on it’s back, “Please help, I can’t move this measely bar!” Wuss. Now the Daily Planet itself. That must be the best piece of real estate I have ever seen with the best view. I mean they are fighting all around various areas in Metropolis, but for some reason everyone in the Daily Planet and even including the people on the street can see everything that is going on in the fight! **WARNING** Suspension of disbelief meter verging on critical!**
Video: Overall I thought the video looked fine. No real faults, considering they are 30 year old movies. Nice job.
8 out of 10
Audio: This was actually quite good. I only noticed one really hard cut. That was when young Clark goes to the Fortress of Solitude, meets his true father, and Jor-El begins to tell him who he is. When the mask is coming towards the screen the audio actually goes silent for a few seconds in mid speech. Found that to be strange. I think that was the only hiccup.
9 out of 10 stars
Editing: Throwing out my long winded rant about the problems I had with this edit, this was a very well edited fan-edit. Like I said before you combined 2 films pretty seamlessly, but of course at the expense of a certain character. I liked how you eliminated the guy in the boat watching them arrive on Earth. You eliminated the silly scenes after with Non and the twig, and Ursa and the snake. You eliminated the stupid line by Zod, “The Planet Houston!”. I liked how you shortened some of the fight around Metropolis to get rid of some of the poor flying effects. No stupid voice over by Lois or her falling from the sky. Glad that nonsense is gone. I especially like how you ended with Lois’s line, “Up, Up and away!”, and then showing Superman flying over the Earth off camera. The one qualm I had was when the credits roll it stopped in mid-music and then shows the whole scene of him getting back at the guy at the diner. Then fades out and credits continue to roll. I think it would have been better at the end of the credits, instead of showing the Alternate Ending sequence. Other than that, well done!
9 out of 10 stars
Entertainment: Like I said before, I was entertained but just barely. I know some of the stuff was a little critical, but I can’t in good conscious call this a definitive Superman movie. Don’t let me dissuade anyone from downloading it because it is edited really well, except for a few niggles. I just feel if this movie was tightened up a little more, you would have a really close to perfect Superman movie.
7 out of 10 stars
Overall: 8 out of 10 stars. I’ll kick it up a star because of the sheer daunting task of combining two movies and for the most part make it work!
Good Job L8wrtr and Jelio