April 29, 2014
I've lost count of how many times I've seen Superman: The Movie. It was an absolute favorite through my childhood, and many more teen and adult viewings followed. As such, I'm somehow sentimentally attached to it, which makes me overlook many of its flaws, I'm so used to them. Even the turn-back-time thing never bothered me as much as it does other people, since for me it was always there and part of the mythos, as I think I watched the movie before I ever read a single Superman comic book.
As such, this very enjoyable edition by MusicEd is more of a mix than a fix for me. Of course I am happy to see some really bad stuff gone (Can You Read My Mind... ugh), but at the same time there are some bits I kinda miss all along. Not that I have much of a problem with that, as almost all of them can be easily considered a matter of personal preference and the movie works just as well without them. One, however, as others have mentioned, creates a bit of a character development hole: the removal of the "swell" scene results in Clark and Lois having just met in the Planet office cutting to them suddenly walking and talking down the street as if they have instantly grown fond of each other's company. The "swell" scene provided the casual encounter factor needed for this to flow naturally (Incidentally, the last workprint of this that I watched did not have the "swell" scene either but I found it less noticeable there because it kept more of the Planet scene, while the released edit cuts it right after "Any more at home like you?/Not really, no" and straight to the street. It doesn't feel like a proper flow. It is, however, the one real problem I have with this cut.
For the rest, it flows really well and has very good pacing. The trial scene removal is a very good choice, as it is of course irrelevant to this movie, and the rest is a combination of cutting good yet unneeded bits, and cutting garbage and mythos-killers. Even the infamous Clark-turning-to-Superman-in-mid-air is gone. As for the end, before watching I was a bit worried that the movie would end up without much of a climax once the turn back time stuff was removed, but to my pleasant surprise it works really well and is still climactic and strong.
Technically it's all very well executed, except for the music fadeout right after the boat robber hits Supes with the crowbar, it feels too fast and a bit edited. Visually there are also one or two hints of tweaked elements in the opening credits (the theatre curtains, and a couple blue blurs from removed names) if you look closely and with the intention of nitpicking. But overall, a solid job.
Video and audio quality on the disc are top-notch. However, the menus still have the same problem "The Moonraker Plot" menus had: they turn to a completely green screen a split second after they start, if viewed on VLC Player on a computer (and I've tried them on several different PCs). It must be a matter of the authoring software.
Ed's "The Moonraker Plot" definitely became a replacement disc for me, turning a really bad movie into an unexpectedly good one. This, however, is more of a companion disc to the theatrical cut to me, for alternate viewing. But, I must say I definitely prefer it to the bloated and draggy extended DVD cut, and would recommend it to any fan of the movie or the character.