A very skillfully edited edition of the first outing for the man of steel, and it's astonishing to think with a little more paitence, the Salkinds and Donner could have delivered a movie which felt a lot more focused and more in-keeping with the kind of groundedness Donner was aiming for in these movies. There's more of a reality to this cut, no silly indulgences into silver age comic book tomfoolery, no shock value death, no time twisting, no weird costume change in mid-air, and the best thing was how easy it is to remove the sequel hook of the three Phantom Zone criminals, allowing Jor-El to ease back into his more traditional role as a desperate scientist rather than some cladestine proesecutor. For anyone wanting a nice smooth done-in-one telling of the Superman mythos, this edit is highly recommended. A great yarn.
Do you recommend this edit?
Thank you Zarius! I've been sitting on this edit in my mind since long before discovering FanEdit.org. While Superman II was more about action and the romance, Superman I to me should've been about the relationship between Jor-El and Kal, Clark and his adoptive parents, and Superman and Lois. There is a lot of heart to this movie and it was bogged down by a lot of silliness. I chuckled when you mentioned this as being more grounded in the way Donner wanted because I thought about how grounded MOS was supposed to be and that certainly didn't turn out as planned. Regardless, I'm glad you enjoyed the story I've been wanting to see told for a long time. Thank you for taking the time to review!
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.
This is a pretty great fanedit. Superman The Movie is my favorite Sups flick and this makes it even better. It runs smoothly without dragging, while retaining the deliberate pace and character moments. Recommended for fans of Superman.
It was darn hard to pick a Superman edit to watch, with all the choices. But after reading through them, I was thinking a combination of movies I and II would be a little too much. And I believe I made the right choice.
Audio/Video quality was good, except at times the action sounds were particularly louder than the speaking voices and I had to do some adjusting. Maybe just my system, hard to say. Never noticed any audio or video breaks, and wow I'd forgotten what a great movie sound track it was.
Narrative was stellar. Maybe a bit too fast moving for me here and there, felt like things jumped ahead. But most importantly the turn back time part of the movie was gone. That is the prime reason I never really liked Superman following the movie - if he can just turn back time, then there really is no suspense. Can always hit rewind - lame! Thank you for an enjoyable ending. I recommend this to anyone who wants a simple introduction to Superman.
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.