All I was looking for in an edit of the first Superman movie was the removal of two scenes: Lois' spontaneous mid-air poetry and our titular hero's time reversal shenanigans. I didn't realize that so much more could be cut while only serving to improve the film even further!
Let me be blunt: THIS EDIT IS PERFECT.
Ever change works like gangbusters, and they're all invisible. It looks great. It sounds great. The DVD is terrific. Watch this now!
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.
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.
Like Bionicbob said, there's a few recognisable moments cut, but I didn't realise several of them until I came and checked the cutlist AFTER i'd watched the film.
This is a tighter Superman edit, and one I'm very happy with. I'd always wanted Superman: the movie to be tackled as a standalone project rather than a hybrid with Superman 2, I think I prefer this to the theatrical cut and will be my 'go to' version in the future. Namely for the ending which had always bothered me since around the age of 11. I don't care that Lois isn't in peril. We get to see Superman clean up around him, and now Jimmy's line when he catches up to Lois & Superman makes sense.
This is a very good candidate for FEOTM and well worth a watch.
Owner's replyMay 12, 2014
Thank you for your interest in my edit and taking the time to review it. I knew that messing with some of the most recognizable moments would be noticeable, but I tried to make them as less jarring as possible. I'm glad you enjoyed my take on this classic and thanks for the confidence booster on mentioning it as a candidate for FEOTM!
This was a refreshing Superman fan edit. So many attempt to either combine SI and SII into a single epic or blend the best of the Lester/Donner cuts into a coherent narrative but Ed's edit takes a different track. He keeps the focus on the original masterpiece and cuts it into a more tightly and faster paced adventure.
Gone are the Kryptonian villains and any set-up for a sequel. And this works wonderfully and in my opinion, makes the relationship between Jor-el and his son even more intimate.
The story moves swiftly and the majority of the cuts are perfectly executed. So much so you don't realized many iconic moments are completely gone until their scenes are well past. This is a testament to both Ed's smart storytelling skills and the strength of the original material. I enjoyed many of the little cuts, particularly any scene with Clark transforming into costume, because even as a little kid I could not figure out how Superman did it? He is SUPER not Magic...LOL! One of the biggest cuts is the two missile reprogramming scenes and they are not missed in the slightest. The way Ed has recut it, it is perfectly clear to the audience that Lex is behind the missile malfunctions -- BRAVO on this!
I had only very minor nitpicks..... I thought for pacing reasons there should have been a scene between Clark arriving at the Planet and the mugger's scene. It is still well cut but it felt just a wee bit too soon to me. Also, in this cut there is no Death of Lois, so there is no real payoff to her being in false jeopardy or Superman's clearly relieved express when he finds her..... but this has more to do with the source material than Ed's editing ability. I think he did a fantastic job with the entire sequence and injected some freshness to this well known tale.
A very clean and technically solid edit that kept me entertained. A very nice alternative version which I happily recommend to all Superman fans.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyMay 12, 2014
Hey buddy, thank you for your help throughout this edit. I remember us talking about that ending part after the cut of the turning back the world and how Lois and Superman looked at each other so longingly. I like to think that since that whole Lois dying part didn't happen, it could be looked as Superman, after everything that had just happened, just needed to see her. Those costume changes were disappointing! My favorite costume change from the Reeve films was in SII in the alleyway. Yes, I also agree that the scene does feel a little rushed going from the Daily Planet arrival right into the mugging, but it wasn't too jarring, so I figured I'd leave it as is. Less Lex felt like certainly more evil Lex!
Thank you very much for your help and taking the time to review this edit!