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Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Josh Steinberg

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What's really been disappointing to me about retail lately is that the "midnight release date sale" seems to have fallen off the radar. I remember when I was in college in Boston that I used to line up at one of the several CD/DVD stores Monday night for first crack at Tuesday's releases. Now I'm in NYC, and I'm not even aware of a store that does this anymore. Occasionally you might get something for a huge, special release, but not as a standard, weekly thing. I miss that. There was something cool about staying up late, getting something the first moment it could be gotten, and staying up half the night watching a new disc or listening to a new CD and showing up to class or work half dead but happy the next morning. I remember classmates/coworkers would be talking about "Such and such comes out today" and I could just look over and say, "Yeah, I got it last night, it's freaking awesome!"
 

Paul_Scott

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It appears my eyes weren't deceiving me.


Someone on AVS posted comparisons of the theatrical cut vs the SE of the first film, and both are extremely inconsistent.

It's not just one or two scenes, but a regular see saw back and forth over which cut offers a better, more resolved image.

The Kents finding the baby shows the theatrical to be softer and less defined- but 5 minutes later when Pa Kent has his heart attack, it's the theatrical cut that offers a sharper clearer image.


And so it goes back and forth through rest of the film.


So ultimately no matter which cut you choose, Warner is still not giving you an optimal experience here.


Very disappointing and very frustrating.
 

Will Krupp

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Originally Posted by Paul_Scott

Someone on AVS posted comparisons of the theatrical cut vs the SE of the first film, and both are extremely inconsistent.
Thanks for the heads up Paul. I tried finding the caps on AVS but was unsuccessful (I don't know what I'm doing wrong.) Is there any chance you might link to them? Thanks so much in advance!
 

SD_Brian

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Originally Posted by Robert Crawford

Yes, 54.88 to be exact for me.

Mine was $57.10 but still way better than $90. I haven't received it yet; maybe on Monday...
 

SD_Brian

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Originally Posted by Jeff Robertson

Sounds like a good deal. How long is the wait on shipping??

I've only ordered from Amazon.co.uk once before but I was actually amazed how quickly I received my shipment: If I recall correctly, I had it within a week of placing my order.
 

FoxyMulder

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Originally Posted by Paul_Scott

It appears my eyes weren't deceiving me.


Someone on AVS posted comparisons of the theatrical cut vs the SE of the first film, and both are extremely inconsistent.

It's not just one or two scenes, but a regular see saw back and forth over which cut offers a better, more resolved image.

The Kents finding the baby shows the theatrical to be softer and less defined- but 5 minutes later when Pa Kent has his heart attack, it's the theatrical cut that offers a sharper clearer image.


And so it goes back and forth through rest of the film.


So ultimately no matter which cut you choose, Warner is still not giving you an optimal experience here.


Very disappointing and very frustrating.

Is the additonal sharpness not just edge enhancement, the person at AVS mentions this. I'd be very disappointed to find out in 2011 that studios' still edge sharpen to the point of adding annoyinf edge halo's to the image, maybe the guy at AVS is wrong, i hope people can look and say for sure because at AVS its usually hyperbole and exaggeration these days.
 

Scott Calvert

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Originally Posted by FoxyMulder




Is the additonal sharpness not just edge enhancement, the person at AVS mentions this. I'd be very disappointed to find out in 2011 that studios' still edge sharpen to the point of adding annoyinf edge halo's to the image, maybe the guy at AVS is wrong, i hope people can look and say for sure because at AVS its usually hyperbole and exaggeration these days.


I could not detect any edge enhancement or any other "video enhancement" anomolies on the theatrical cut. It looks natural, and comes from a very good scan. A few short scenes might look a bit "dupey", the scene where young Clark enters the Fortress of Solitude for the first time looks like a dupe. Could be from an optical effect but I didn't notice any special effects in several of the cuts which would have required opticals....not sure what's up with that but IMO it's a minor issue. I still think this is a great disc.
 

Paul_Scott

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Originally Posted by FoxyMulder




Is the additonal sharpness not just edge enhancement, the person at AVS mentions this. I'd be very disappointed to find out in 2011 that studios' still edge sharpen to the point of adding annoyinf edge halo's to the image, maybe the guy at AVS is wrong, i hope people can look and say for sure because at AVS its usually hyperbole and exaggeration these days.
There's no EE- or at least none I can see. The problem is the intermittent softness. I don't know if it is DNR or what. If you didn't have an example right next to it, 99.9% of us would just assume "oh, that's just the limits of the source. Unsworths style and all that". But here, you can put in the other disc and cue up the same scene and see thereis a slight, but definite difference in the resolution of fine detail between the two. But it flips flops back and forth. One scene the theatrical is rendered more precise, the next scene the theatrical goes soft and the SE is the one that looks sharper and more precise.

It's maddening how inconsistent both of the cuts are.

For many people, the differences will be negliable- but for these same people, the differences would also likely be negligible between the 2006 discs and these here. I'm watching on a large front pj set up. The differences are definitely discernible.


FWIW, I watched the theatrical cut of II the other night and didn't think the whole presentation was all that special either. I know it's been getting praise, but to my eyes, Most of the equivalent scenes in the '06 Donner Cut still look better.
 

Kevin EK

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I've been going through this set and enjoying it, without getting into the technical details.


The first film still holds up the best for me.

The real surprise for me was in going back and forth between the two cuts of Superman II. Back in 1981, I went to the movie on its opening day, and was so excited to see it that I bought a movie magazine about (which I still have) which of course spoiled half the movie. I remember getting a ticket and waiting to see a matinee showing at the Mann Village in Westwood very early on a Friday in June.


In the years since that movie came out, I read lots of material on the unseen Donner footage, which sounded amazing - particularly in terms of explaining what the heck happened after Clark goes back to the Fortress and picks up the green crystal. When the Donner cut was announced, I looked forward to seeing what he had intended, and to seeing all the material with Marlon Brando. Like others here, I was vaguely disappointed when I finally saw these scenes. They are certainly very interesting scenes, but I have to agree that most of the material doesn't completely work. The cut does allow a good look into the process of making the movie - because it's clear that Donner would have reshot a fair amount of the material. The Donner opening at the Daily Planet just doesn't work - the Lester version of that scene in Niagara Falls feels more worked out. The Paris opening in Lester's version actually works better to me as an opening set piece than Lois jumping out the window. Yes, it's slow in places but it does provide a nice opening to contrast with the first film. The Donner cut actually does use a fair amount of Lester's footage, by the way - all the material of the villains in East Houston, almost all of the fight over Metropolis - but it clearly minimizes this as much as possible. (There would be no way to put the movie together without the Lester footage.) The crucial ending confrontation at the Fortress actually works better in the Lester cut, even with the strange powers given to Superman and the villains for the fight. In the Donner version, they just land and quickly yell at each other before Superman pulls the ruse with the chamber. The Lester cut turns it into another battle, albeit without Lex Luthor present - when he finally pops up, the footage returns to the Donner cut. (Although any shot of the crystal chamber was done by Lester, since each director had a different version of it)


I would love to have seen what Donner would have released of Superman II had he been able to properly finish it, including the reshooting of much of his material. As it is, the Donner cut is the best we can do towards that end. I'm glad I got to see it, but it really makes poignant how much we missed there. The Lester cut does work in many areas - if anything, it shows Lester and the Salkinds doing the reshoots and completions their way - and many of their choices work overall. They fixed several sequences that didn't work, and they came up with a new ending. I liked the movie when I first saw it, and I still like it today.


I've never been able to make it through the third movie.


The fourth movie sounded good when it was advertised in 1987. I went and saw it in the theater on opening night in Westwood. My jaw literally dropped open within minutes and I still don't think I've recovered. I want the 7.50 back, and I want the two hours of my life back. I couldn't even describe the movie to people without turning red - how do you describe the fight with, er, Nuclear Man, where Superman MOVES THE WHOLE MOON?!!! The materials from the 2006 set and the Rosenthal commentary are at least a help toward unravelling what went wrong here. The "You Will Believe" documentary has a really scary section on the production which is another proof of why Cannon films was rarely known for quality. (I will excempt "Runaway Train" from this condemnation...) The saddest part of the deal was watching Christopher Reeve reassemble everyone to make the movie in the hopes of getting a better result than III, only to have the rug pulled out from under him. Rosenthal's tone in his commentary is appropriately sheepish.


The one major new addition to this Blu-ray set for me is the alternate opening to Superman Returns, with the VFX footage of Superman visiting the old city. Now that I've seen it, I can only express confusion. Everything from the first film says to me that their couldn't be that much left of Krypton for him to make such a visit. And further, even if he could, the radiation we've seen before in the first film would kill him. So why the heck would he go there? As it is, we get a quick look at the city before the green stuff becomes visible, and then he's overcome and has to fly away. So what have we learned? Really nothing he didn't already know...


I'm curious about the new idea of a movie, but I'll wait to see what actually happens. Until that one appears, this Blu-ray set is a nice compilation of history, and a nice upgrade of the earlier set.
 

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