I've never attempted a fan edit, but Superman: The Movie has long been on my list of movies I'd like to see re-cut with the modern audience in mind. While there is so much the film got right -- Reeve's casting, Williams' score, memorable lines, great character acting, etc. -- there's also several missteps in the final cut that can make sharing the magic of this film difficult to someone who prefers the faster-paced movies of today.
I've had a vague idea of the changes I'd like to see made to this film for several years now but I can enthusiastically say that Music Ed's edit not only captures them, but contains numerous additional edits I had never considered that make substantial improvements to the film overall.
It trims out a little over 30 minutes of fat out of the movie, helping the pace big time. The best part about these edits is that they're pretty seamless and actually improve pacing without seeming off -- I've seen a few fan edits that throw the pacing off by trying to get rid of unwanted scenes. This one mostly feels like a studio edit to me, with very few, if any, awkward scene transitions.
Some of the edits that made the biggest difference to me include:
• He changes the opening and reduces the time of Krypton by quite a bit -- as the fan wanted this to be a tight stand-alone movie, he removes the Zod and Phantom Zone stuff, since its all set-up for another movie. So the film opens on Krypton, with Jor-El warning the council. From there, he makes a lot of little edits that improve the pace -- it doesn't feel as slow as the original.
• The Superman opening credits and march come after Kal-El's rocket leaves Krypton and I really like what he did here, mixing in little snippets of Kal-El traveling in the spaceship (sans Jor-El voiceover). While I love the grandiose nature of Superman's opening credits, it can feel tedious to see name after name beam onto the screen -- by cutting away to Kal-El growing and traveling in the ship, it provides a nice bit of visual interest to the opening credits while keeping that amazing John Williams' theme front and center. And the funny thing is, that wasn't even the intention -- he wanted to get rid of the Phantom Zone actors names in the opening since they weren't in the edit and this was his solution. This may be my favorite single edit of this effort.
• He gets rid of the "Can You Read My Mind" voiceover while still keeping the Lois flight scene -- he edits it down very nicely. And what's great is that this scene fulfills the scene's point much better and actually feels sweet and romantic. It's a massive improvement.
• He trims down the parts with Otis being followed by the cops by quite a bit. Over time, I've come to like some of Otis' antics here but they do undermine the scene. As a kid, I didn't really even understand what was happening because I'd always zone out during this -- it's so much better paced and to the point without feeling rushed or awkward.
• He deletes the scenes where Luthor and his sidekicks change the missile coordinates. This is huge, because those scenes really drag and we really don't need to know how he pulled it off. In The Dark Knight, he just accept that the Joker pulled off all these schemes and traps -- we didn't need to see him setting them all up ahead of time.
Is this a *perfect* cut? No, because I don't think that's possible without access to the original footage and sound. While I miss a few little moments and on-liners (Superman running up to the public phones and seeing they're not booths, his line to the cat burgular, "Something wrong with the elevator?", etc.), I understand the reality of having to deal with a film's musical score forcing a fan editor into some difficult decisions on whether the good outweighs the bad in any particular scene.
Finally, he edited out the biggest flaw in this movie, the time reversal/travel ending. Now, Superman just averts the disasters and then flies down to talk to Lois as she tries to start her car. The edit itself is very tight, but the one problem it creates is that the film has no climatic, emotional moment. It's a tough call to make -- I really hate the whole deus ex machina of the idea, but it injects that extra emotion into the climax (thanks to Reeve's amazing acting) that you usually need in a movie.
I'm conflicted and still undecided on this edit, but I'm glad to see an edit that gets rid of this just to see how it would flow. It'd be interesting to see how this edit would play out to a person who has never seen this movie before -- would they feel something is missing or that it's an anti-climatic finale? Is it better to have that feeling than keep in one of the worst movie endings ever? I guess each viewer will have to decide on their own.
In any case, if you're a Superman: The Movie fan that would like to see a tighter cut with faster (and better, IMO) pacing, this is for you. This could be the version you might want to show to a friend who you know wouldn't like the slower pace of the first movie. At just under two hours, it covers all the bases and gives us the magic of this film without all the fat weighing it down.
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.
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!
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 really liked this edit of Superman. I was glad to see someone brave enough to ditch the turning back time scene. I always thought that was a stretch, even for the power of Superman. Similar to "Batman Descent into Mystery" this one simplifies and streamlines the story well. Now its like watching a Superman comic book come to life.
All the video and audio cuts felt seamless. I enjoyed it very much. This is definitely my choice over the original cut.
Warning, this review will contain spoilers.
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.
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!