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Pre-Order Superman 5-Film Collection (1978-1987) and Amazon SteelBook Exclusive (4k UHD Combo) (2 Viewers)

Garysb

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I liked Lois drawing glasses and a hat on a picture of Superman to prove to herself he is Clark Kent in the Donner cut. Her jumping out the window to get Clark to change to Superman to save her was nuts. I preferred this to the bomb at the Eifel Tower that replaced it in the original release. Donner obviously did not finish Superman II so the Donner cut is not what would have been released if he had finished it. It's hard to judge it against the completed theatrical release. I am not sure how much was left unfilmed from Donner's version that couldn't be covered by audition scenes and repeating the ending of the first film. I know the ending was originally intended for Superman II but I don't know if a new ending had been written but not filmed when the ending was used in the first film.
 

Jonathan Perregaux

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The title Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut does mislead a bit. Makes it sound like a complete film, which it is not. It is really a reconstruction using available materials to glue it all together (including Richard Lester's material). It was outside of budgetary and tasteful constraints to go back and shoot scenes that were never photographed to begin with (using Brandon Routh, for instance). But it's hard to cover the fact that Donner's work on II was unceremoniously halted in order to get Superman I out the door.

And then, of course, the excrement struck the rotary oscillator with considerable impingement when Richard Donner was fired.

Expectations should be tempered when watching a reconstruction. To bring II to you as originally envisioned (within reason), holes were patched, compromises were being made, and budgets were constrained. Other reconstructions I can think of that might "break the mood" while watching are George Cukor’s original 181-minute edit of A Star is Born (1954), which relied on patched-in stills to recover enough to get a sense of what would have been like. And the 251-minute reconstruction of Once Upon a Time in America (1984), which reinstates important but poor-quality footage.

Neither of these examples were of a film with the insane shenanigans that went into Superman II. I was shocked they could even pull off a coherent edit to the degree that they did, to be honest. The fact that we have this cut on home video at all is a miracle, but it is also by its very nature an oddity.

One time on Hollywood Squares, Paul Lynde was challenged with the question: "In what state was Abraham Lincoln born?" And after a moment, his tarty reply was: "Naked and screaming!" I feel like Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut has a similar heritage.
 
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JoshZ

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Other reconstructions I can think of that might "break the mood" while watching are George Cukor’s original 181-minute edit of A Star is Born (1954), which relied on patched-in stills to recover enough to get a sense of what would have been like. And the 25-minute reconstruction of Once Upon a Time in America (1984), which reinstates important but poor-quality footage.

The "director's cut" of Exorcist III has similar issues, where it jumps back and forth from good quality footage scanned from 35mm to VHS dupes of the production dailies.
 

cineMANIAC

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The title Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut does mislead a bit. Makes it sound like a complete film, which it is not. It is really a reconstruction using available materials to glue it all together (including Richard Lester's material). It was outside of budgetary and tasteful constraints to go back and shoot scenes that were never photographed to begin with (using Brandon Routh, for instance). But it's hard to cover the fact that Donner's work on II was unceremoniously halted in order to get Superman I out the door.

And then, of course, the excrement struck the rotary oscillator with considerable impingement when Richard Donner was fired.

Expectations should be tempered when watching a reconstruction. To bring II to you as originally envisioned (within reason), holes were patched, compromises were being made, and budgets were constrained. Other reconstructions I can think of that might "break the mood" while watching are George Cukor’s original 181-minute edit of A Star is Born (1954), which relied on patched-in stills to recover enough to get a sense of what would have been like. And the 25-minute reconstruction of Once Upon a Time in America (1984), which reinstates important but poor-quality footage.

Neither of these examples were of a film with incorporating the insane shenanigans that went into Superman II. I was shocked they could even pull off a coherent edit to the degree that they did, to be honest. The fact that we have this cut on home video at all is a miracle, but it is also by its very nature an oddity.

One time on Hollywood Squares, Paul Lynde was challenged with the question: "In what state was Abraham Lincoln born?" And after a moment, his tarty reply was: "Naked and screaming!" I feel like Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut has a similar heritage.

Hollywood is so in love with remakes - here's one that desperately needs one. Remake the Donner cut as originally intended, or any film that has had patchwork re-edits done for that matter. Remake 2001 with all the stuff that Kubrick took out and burned. I don't go to the movies much anymore but I'd be first in line if some of these concepts came to fruition.
 

jayembee

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When you look back at the Superman films that featured Reeve, yes, you can see the massive quality drop off in the productions once they get past the second one. It does look kind of shocking but as you said of 4, they were then just throwaway B pictures.

Well, part of the "massive quality drop off" was due to the first two films being produced by Warner Bros., and the other two (and Supergirl) being produced by Cannon.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I’m not sure that’s accurate. I believe the Salkins produced I-III and Supergirl, and only after those did Cannon wind up with the rights to do IV.
 

jayembee

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How would you rate the first two Superman films with Reeve, Jerry? To me the first one is what I consider a nearly perfect film in the genre. I don't recall a lot from the second one but I recall thinking it was a drop off from the first film.

I rate them excellent. Superman II has some narrative issues, in my estimation, but I love it nonetheless. As for the first, it's been said that in the early days of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige would start production of each film by showing the cast and crew that first Chris Reeve Superman film, which he thought was the gold standard for superhero films.

Plus now the second one has more than one cut. As does the first now really.

Assuming you're talking about the 2000 "Director's Cut", yes. But depending on you define it, the first has almost always had more than one cut. It's initial airing on commercial television was a considerably extended cut -- about 3 hours long -- which was shown over two nights. Donner had no input at all into this version, though he apparently had some measure of control over the theatrical cut.
 

jayembee

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I have to respectfully disagree, though I haven't seen the Donner cut since it was first released on Blu-ray.

I think having Brando address Superman in The Fortress of Solitude rather than his Mother is an entirely better approach.

I don't quite remember what other changes there were, but that was the primary one that made me enjoy the Donner cut better.

The story goes that the reason Lara was substituted for Jor-El in the theatrical cut was because the Salkinds didn't want to have to pay Brando's salary, especially for what amounted to a small part.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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The story goes that the reason Lara was substituted for Jor-El in the theatrical cut was because the Salkind's didn't want to have to pay Brando's salary, especially for what amounted to a small part.

Oh, without a doubt. I knew that without even checking the facts. I believe Brando was paid, at the time, the highest salary ever paid to an actor for his role in the first film.
 

Jonathan Perregaux

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And he had all his lines written down and littering the set. I wouldn't be surprised if he had one taped to baby Kal-El's belly. "You will travel far..." <reads line> "...my little Kal-El." <reads line> "But we will never leave you." <pockets a million bucks>

Worked for him on The Godfather:
o-MARLON-BRANDO-GODFATHER-CUE-CARDS-570.jpg
 

Josh Steinberg

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Donner’s commentary noted where he was reading his lines from, if memory serves.
 

Tino

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I would rate the Superman Films as follows.

Superman:The Movie
Man Of Steel
Superman II
Batman vs Superman
Justice League The Snyder Cut
Superman Returns
Superman (Jose!) II The Donner Cut
Superman III
Superman IV
 
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dpippel

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I would rate the Superman Films as follows.

Superman:The Movie
Man Of Steel
Superman II
Batman vs Superman
Justice League The Snyder Cut
Superman Returns
Superman (Jose!) II The Donner Cut
Superman III
Superman IV
I'm almost in-line with you, Tino:

Superman:The Movie
Superman II
Man Of Steel
Justice League The Snyder Cut
Batman vs Superman
Superman Returns
Superman (Jose!) II The Donner Cut
Superman III
Superman IV
 

Todd Erwin

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Received my review copy just now, but will not have a chance to take a look at the actual discs until tomorrow or later.

I can confirm that Warner swapped the 5.1 track with a 2.0 track on Superman: The Movie, and worse, they are using the same UPC code as the original release (each movie comes in its own keepcase). And, I guess to keep buyers who purchased the original 4K release from trading/selling the digital code from the first film, Warner has only issued one code for all five films in the set - this could also mean headaches with how these redeem on MA retailers, but we'll have to wait and see what happens after street date, as "packages" often translate with odd consequences at iTunes/Apple TV and Vudu.

Also, all five films in the set have Dolby Atmos mixes on the 4K discs.
 

Lord Dalek

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Received my review copy just now, but will not have a chance to take a look at the actual discs until tomorrow or later.

I can confirm that Warner swapped the 5.1 track with a 2.0 track on Superman: The Movie, and worse, they are using the same UPC code as the original release (each movie comes in its own keepcase). And, I guess to keep buyers who purchased the original 4K release from trading/selling the digital code from the first film, Warner has only issued one code for all five films in the set - this could also mean headaches with how these redeem on MA retailers, but we'll have to wait and see what happens after street date, as "packages" often translate with odd consequences at iTunes/Apple TV and Vudu.

Also, all five films in the set have Dolby Atmos mixes on the 4K discs.
It is the same transfer right? With the added orange flash after Reeve's name disappears in the credits?
 

WillG

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. I know the ending was originally intended for Superman II but I don't know if a new ending had been written but not filmed when the ending was used in the first film.
very doubtful a new ending had been written at the time. Work on SII footage ended with about 70% completed to focus all attention on finishing STM. As you mentioned the intended SII ending was shifted to STM. STM was finished just barely in time for its release date and Donner was let go shortly after and I don’t believe Tom Mankiewicz contributed anything to Lester’s material. So pretty sure there was nowhere in that timeline where a new ending was written by Donner/Mank

I knew going in that the SII Donner Cut was never going to be complete. But what does disappoint me is how cheaply it was made apparently. The opening shots of Zod and Co escaping from the phantom zone and the space star fields and the opening credits look bad. There’s a shot near the end with Lois in her apartment starting to type a story that is so very clearly a double (they couldn’t find anyone who could remotely pass for Kidder in a long shot? And ironically even in 82 Kidder looks strikingly different in appearance depending on whether you are seeing Donner or Lester footage)
 

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