April 29, 2014
I don't know if I am just getting old, but this is THE Superman movie (just as Tim Burton's Batman is THE Batman movie in my book).
I saw Superman in a theater as a kid (I think I was in 4th or 5th grade) and I loved it. Later, I think I saw it on HBO 1000 times, and I have the VHS tape and a cheap DVD somewhere as well. I never got into what was the Donner Cut vs other cuts. So it was a huge surprise to even see some footage here that I had never seen before---the "tests" Superman passes through before reaching Luther in his underground lair, the revisit to the Fortress of Solitude after Superman discovers he enjoys helping people. These scenes were great and I am shocked I had never seen them before, as they add so much to the movie.
This is absolutely my go-to version of Superman now (it was mentioned in a previous comment, but "Batman: Descent Into Mystery" similarly makes Burton's Batman considerably more awesome).
I had read the reviews prior to watching this, so I was prepared to feel like something was off when Superman sees Lois after the excised reversal of time segment, but it did not feel off at all! I thought Superman's reaction to seeing Lois seemed perfectly natural--it is clear from everything leading up to it that Superman/Kent has a thing for her, and his somewhat heightened emotions to seeing her make perfect sense. He did save her life, as well as millions(?) of other people by righting the tectonic plate inside the fault line. (Is that what he did? Whatever it was, it was much better than turning back time. )
The lack of Zod and Pals was a very good move. I was under the mistaken impression for years that it was Luther, Miss Tesmacher and Otis who dragged things down in the original, but your cuts throughout work extremely well. They feel much less cartoonish now. And Gene Hackman really is great in this role--but it shines through much more in your excellent edit than it did in the original. It's funny, but this movie makes me DISlike 2013's "Man Of Steel" so much more. Superman is supposed to be fun! Superhero movies in general, IMO, should be fun. "IronMan" and "The Avengers" seem to remember that. And this edit of Superman:The Movie definitely also remembers that! This one goes on the shelf next to "Batman: Descent Into Mystery" as the two best superhero edits I have seen---striking the perfect balance of serious stakes with humor and fun. Loved it.