Superman Returns is a gift that keeps on giving. Some of the most refined fanedits in the community have come from attempting to make something more out of Bryan Synger's divisive love letter and quasi-retro/modern take on the Christopher Reeve-led Superman universe, which was inherited by Brandon Rough. Over the years I've often found myself fluxuating between enjoying and merly tolerating the movie due to an endless amount of creative and narrative problems. Now, with "The Superman Returns", I may have found a truly happy medium.
Avid 4d completes his Superman trilogy in not just style, but substance, with crisp colour correction making the visuals easy on the eye and as bright and as impactful as any bit of splash art on a comics page. The substance is where things really shine, from Clark's journey to Krypton setting things up for a full circle climax, to some very firm and interesting trims to make Lex seem more normal yet still supremely sinister. Lois seems less of a bitch in this, simply playing the role of the girl left behind and having to readjust to Superman back in her life. The omission of the kid could not have been an easy couple of days for this editor, but here he pulls it off with no bad audio jumps and smooth transistion cues to keep the kid firmly out of the picture, and keep the focus on Lois and her fiance, and both help play their part in the movie just as well and all the right story beats are hit, you wonder why the kid was remotely neccersary
The editing is for the most part seemless, there are plenty of surprises in this one, helped greatly by the loose nature of the EMP blackout plotline, enabling the rescue of Lois on board the plane to come much later in the story. It also helps launch the film into it's third act with spectacular action, nothing drags out, SOMETHING IS ALWAYS HAPPENING!
The final touches near the end are also very inspired and well realized, it is'nt a perfect execution but it's still very believable and more in-line with what you would expect out of Superman plummeting to his near doom if you were a comics buff. The film wraps up in much the same way Returns does...though without all the preachy stalker and preachy "father becomes the son" fluff.
Avid has succeeded in making Returns a straight forward story of the main man coming home and doing what he does best. A riveting effort.
Do you recommend this edit?
Thanks heaps Zarius... I know you're a big Supe fan so I'm glad you enjoyed my edit. And yes, editing out the kid was certainly a challenge! Thanks for your feedback :)
This is a wonderful edit of Superman Returns, and does almost everything I would want out of a fanfix of this movie.
The restructured narrative is kind of genius in the way that it stitches across unrelated scenes and creates a new flow that feels organic, despite elements being used from very different parts of the film. Of particular note is the use of the plane rescue to kick off the action-packed third act, and the way that ties into Lex's creation of New Krypton. Fantastic work!
The deleted material is not missed for the most part. Getting rid of Jason works a treat (except his ghost remains, playing "heart and soul" on the piano in the background of an early scene. As it stands, the scene's music is quite odd, but not a deal breaker in any way). I also didn't miss those awkward hospital scenes, or the overlong water-based scenes in the original third act. I slightly missed the scenes of Clark reuniting with his mother on the farm and some of the flashbacks to young Clark, but only slightly. Their deletion makes total sense within the structure of this edit.
There are only a couple of visual edits that felt slightly jarring/rushed (eg, after Lois hands Perry the article on Superman, there is an abrupt cut to Lex in the boat, and next thing Lois is on the Plane with no explanation of how or why), but there were only a couple of such examples and they were forgiveable given the material there was to work with. Overall, the narrative flow makes total sense, and gives the material a much needed boost in energy and fun.
The included footage from "Contact" worked very well, but I wasn't quite as sure about the inclusion of the meteor crash from "Deep Impact". The aftershock from the impact clearly sends a tsunami around half the globe, but there is no follow up after that dramatic shot. I understand the need to have superman land outside the city, but to not address the fact that his fall probably decimated half the planet was somewhat problematic.
Other than those small issues, this was a really brilliant edit and may just be my go to version of the film for any future viewings. Congrats Avid, and thank you for making it.
I really enjoyed The Superman Returns. The story moves along at a really good pace. Avid 4D definitely succeeded in bringing his goal of building tension at the beginning and then delivering non-stop action at the end. Interestingly enough, when watching The Superman of Krypton, I felt that not enough was cut from the movie. Yet I felt the opposite when watching The Superman Returns. The ending especially felt too quickly glossed over, without any real tension around the possibility of Superman being dead. All in all though, it was a really good film. And I was super impressed with how seamlessly the kid was removed from the movie! Very good editing. Thanks so much for putting together this trilogy, Avid 4D! I look forward to watching Man of Steel: Recut as well, and I'll be sure to post a review of that when I finish it!
Superman Returns always seemed like the DC universes crowning failure. It was intended to revitalize the universe stemming from the success of Batman Begins and to supposedly provide a proper endcap to the original Superman quadilogy. I never saw the original because I had heard it was slow and boring. But what Avid4D has done here is pretty remarkable. He managed to cut over an hour and 10 minutes from the movie and save it from being a complete piece of crap. Whereas Batman begins was riveting for the vast majority of the movie, Bryan Singer's Superman Returns was plodding and gave little weight to a character that is practically a God.
There's still plenty of things about this movie that bother me. I think it's really strange that Brandon Routh has to wear unnaturally blue color contacts while Lois's character is left with different colored eyes. It seemed truly lazy to make one actor wear contacts and not the other but this doesn't really have anything to do with this edit.
Overall the pacing was really quite good. The removal of the hour plus of depressing bullshit I thought really strengthened the story. I agree with judgementalpigeon that Lois and Clark's scenes were a bit lacking, but this is likely due to the fact that the kid was particularly invasive in most of their scenes and with his removal you realize that the relationship between Lois and Clark was being played out through their interactions with the kid rather than directly to one another. With the removal of the conduit we see just how much their relationship has been hollowed by Superman's departure.
I'm particularly happy with the way the action was placed in the movie. The two major true Superman stunts, the plane crash rescue, and the lifting of the island, were placed strategically to maintain the buildup and tension throughout the movie. Throughout the Superman movies before Man of Steel there have been practically just hints of what Superman is truly capable of, and by condensing these bits of action Avid4D has created a narrative that leads nicely into Man of Steel and a new type of Superman that is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done rather than one who is so weighed down by morality that he is often unable to act.
Overall I really enjoyed these first three edits, but Avid4D's true masterpiece is his edit of Man of Steel!
this reworking of superman returns goes a long way to removing the most drastic of the movies faults, namely the crushingly slow pace, and the child of superman, as well as rearranging the action scenes to create a more exciting series of events, and keeping the action of the film high. im glad to say that Avid4d succeeds.
the flm is blisteringly quick, and film rarely lets up with its acton and plot progression, making the film immensely easy to watch. his edits are professional and unnoticable fo rthe most part.
however, i am not such a fan of some of the edits, such as the speedy ending between lois and clark which doesnt really provide the finally we were looking for, as well as removing the tension from the "superman dead" plot thread.
i also didnt feel the old shot of superman's ship returning from krypton, or his falling into the ocean was a necessary change, and that the clips from the movie worked fine.
however, this is a vastly superior film to the original and i recomend it to anyone who dislikes the feel of the original movie, which most fanedits choose to keep.