Superman II – The Richard Donner Cut

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  • In the year of Superman Returns, Superman II starring Christopher Reeve also returns – with a totally different beginning and resolution. With Jor-El (Marlon Brando in recently discovered footage) in key scenes that amplify Superman lore and deepen the profound relationship between father and son. With different Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) schemes to unmask Clark Kent as Superman. With.well, with s

Description
In the year of Superman Returns, Superman II starring Christopher Reeve also returns – with a totally different beginning and resolution. With Jor-El (Marlon Brando in recently discovered footage) in key scenes that amplify Superman lore and deepen the profound relationship between father and son. With different Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) schemes to unmask Clark Kent as Superman. With…well, with so many changes, large and small, that this Superman II is an eye-opening alte… More >>

Superman II – The Richard Donner Cut

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5 Comments
  1. Like the Remastered Original “Star Trek” Series that is being

    aired now, Superman II-The DONNER Cut will bring a great

    vision up to date for the 21st Century! Own this and the

    first Superman film on HD-DVD! 😀
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. this product is poorly package when I received it the disc was shaking back and forth. Had to ask for a refund
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. Richard Donner is a good director. He did a fantastic job with the first Superman film. However, what we see here of his work on Superman II, the parts that are not in the version of Superman II that we already know, these scenes aren’t just bad. They are TERRIBLE. Some of the scenes are so incredibly bad – Lois’ first test of Clark to see if he is Superman – throwing herself off the 56th floor of the Daily Planet? That’s ridiculous. At least in the other version, when she throws herself in the river, there is a chance she could swim and safe herself. But she cannot save herself from a fall out of a skyscraper. And the way that she figures it out? With a black marker? That so stupid.

    Then, when she finally proves it by calmly shooting the man in the chest with the gun she just so happen to bring with her on this Niagara trip – I just got mad. Why would she, if there was a slight possibility that he might merely be human and she would have killed him… to say that the character of Lois would have risked another person’s life just to prove a point makes her unlikeable. They really missed the boat with this.

    Richard Lester’s version digs into the development of the relationship of Clark and Lois so well. That does not exist in the Richard Donner version. There are so many terrible edits, that the movie seems so very incomplete. The ending itself is perhaps the biggest disappointment of all. Why would he use the EXACT same device used in the first film? Even if it were just for the purpose of having a different ending from the Lester version, it is a tremendous disappointment.

    If you love Superman II, skip this version all together. It will only upset you.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  4. I can see why the theatrical version was chosen over this version. Avoid this version at all costs.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  5. The so-called Donner cut is an interesting version of the second film.

    It fixes some of the major problems with the Lester cut:

    1. The three villains’ crime seems to be the killing of a guard and

    breaking of a red stick;

    2. They were arrested, judged and sentenced within what couldn’t have

    been more than ten minutes;

    3. The sentencing is restaged without Jor-El when from the first movie

    we know that he described the villains and was the deciding vote in

    the judgement against them;

    4. The Max Fleischer-like cartoon that represented the distintegration

    of the phantom zone plate that incarcerated the three super villains

    and left shards of crystal in space;

    5. Would Clark Kent really be smarmy and ask Lois about the sleeping

    arrangements on their “honeymoon” assignment?

    6. The literal Freudian slip that has Clark accidentally put his hand

    in the fire. Lois thinks maybe it happened because he wanted it to

    happen. Given that he can think at superhuman speed he must have

    really really wanted it to happen. So his “I don’t know why I did

    that” seems self-deluded.

    7. The levitation/tractor beam superpower eminating from the fingertips

    of General Zod;

    8. The magical red beam that allowed the three to change Mt Rushmore in

    mid-flight as they flew across the scene on the TV screen (if it had

    been heat vision they would have had to hover and carve the mountain);

    9. The special effects used to change Lon Chaney, Jr. into the Wolfman

    were far better than used on the deconstruction of Kal-El and the

    transformation of Clark Kent from simply a secret identity to an

    earthly man. Apparently the super suit was also transformed into

    seventies fashion.

    10. The sudden unexplained regaining of Superman’s powers (as big a

    cop out as the turning back of time). Whatever he did to get his

    super powers back also got him his super suit returned.

    11. The amnesia kiss! Where did that come from?

    But while resolving some problems, this cut continues ones from the

    original movie and creates new ones. Donner’s vision of the Superman

    mythos is flawed:

    1. Both movies suffer from mysoginist tendencies. As good as Marlon

    Brando’s scenes are, Susannah York should have been used more.

    2. There’s a difference between comic relief and camp. Donner seemed

    to prefer the latter. The comic book Lex Luthor is a genius as

    well as an ego maniac but he’s a serious villain–physically and

    mentally. Power and revenge are all-consuming for him. Gene

    Hackman’s Luthor is lazy, out of shape and always talking about how

    smart he is but seldom acts that way. He seems perfectly happy just

    putting down people of less than average intelligence. How did he

    expect to control the super villains? Should he have gotten some

    green kryptonite?

    3. We are to believe that Kal-El has supercontrol of his orgasms so as

    not to kill Lois.

    4. After consummating his relationship with Lois, the scene with Kal-El

    (sans glasses in a white shirt and black trousers) pleading his case

    to Jor-El has some mighty bad acting by Christopher Reeve.

    5. If he’s done it before, why doesn’t he simply turn back time as soon

    as he gets his powers back. It seems three super villains on a

    killing spree is much more important than whether Lois remembers his

    identity or not.

    Michael Thau has done a remarkable job and provided us with a glimpse of

    the direction the Donner film was heading. But given the problems with

    this new cut, I wish Donner would have been given the opportunity to

    finish the film. Reshoots, alternate cuts, etc. would have made it a much

    better film despite the camp. The resolution to Lois’s knowledge of

    Superman’s secret identity would have been most certainly different,

    particularly because a repentant son would not go against the rule–it

    is strictly prohibited to interfere with human history–given to him by

    his self-sacrificing Dad, a second time.

    IMO…Superman Returns is a much better film than the Donner/Lester

    films. And despite, the lukewarm reception that Brandon Routh has

    received, he seems much more believable as Superman/Clark Kent than

    anyone since Kirk Alyn. The thing is that Superman Returns would have

    been very different if Clark and Lois had never been intimate in the

    second film.

    Rating: 4 / 5

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