superman.nufacebook    
  •   forum   •   COUNTDOWN TO MIRACLE MONDAY: "THE DISCOVERY OF MAGIC!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
February 19, 2020, 10:27:30 PM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Donner Cut more popular than I thought...  (Read 12279 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
davidelliott
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 267



« on: December 04, 2006, 09:08:50 AM »

Well, went to Chico this evening to run some errands... biggest town near me and home of the Sierra Nevada brewery...

Anyway, went to Wal Mart to get Superman Returns... HUGE display there, so got my copy...  BUT the Donner Cut is SOLD OUT!!!  So I go pretty much next door to Target (next shopping center over) and there was ONE copy left.... ONE!  Guess who snagged it?

Didn't watch either of them yet... I also got Jumanji in the $5.50 bin at Wal Mart and that's what my wife and one of the kids wanted to watch... tomorrow's a new day!
Logged
Great Rao
Administrator
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1889



WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 12:21:07 AM »

I hope this movie is very popular, because it deserves to be seen.

A few thoughts about, and a few SPOILERS for, the Donner cut:

I watched the "making of" documentary and it's pretty clear that Richard Donner is still extrememly hurt and bitter about the fact that Superman II was originally given to someone else to finish.  I've read elsewhere that he is receiving no money for his work on this DVD or for any of the sales.  In spite of that, I don't think he even considered not working on this cut.  He's grateful to the fans for asking that he restore his version of the movie and states that without them it would never have happened.

I'm thrilled that we now have this glimpse into what his finished Superman: Part II might have been like.

The Donner Cut is really a "rough cut":  One of the key scenes was never shot, so he used the screen test version of it, and there were a few times when he had no option but to use some of the Lester footage.  Parts of the film are old and parts are new:  there are some newly-finished scenes that might have been done differently, or not used at all, back in 1980.  He wasn't only restoring the old footage, but also finishing (as much as possible) an incomplete film.

I  like this movie a lot better than the Lester version.  Overall, it's just a better film, much more coherent and better paced.  All the bits with Non being a buffoon are gone. The additional Marlon Brando footage is a wonder to see and there is a lot more interaction - and relationshp - between father and son.  The movie also introduces the idea of a "Kryptonian Prophecy" that, according to Jor-El, Superman has fulfilled by the end of the movie.  We don't see the PZ criminals get loaded onto that "Arctic Patrol" snow-van, but we do see Lex get carted off.  In fact, from beginning to end, there is a lot more Lex in this version of the film.

The Big Spoiler for the end of the flick:

Instead of the "kiss of forgetfulness," Superman erases Lois' knowledge of his dual identity by - yet again - flying backwards around the Earth such that the events of the previous 24 hours never happened.  As in Superman: the Movie, this leads to some major continuity issues:  It seems that only some of the previous events were undone (ie, the ones effecting Lois), but not all of them.  In spite of that, it's great to see the footage that Donner shot for this sequence because as far as I know it's never been seen before and although there are plot problems with it, it's much better looking than Lester's version.

Donner mentions that the going-back-in-time idea was originally intended for Superman II; but that since it was ultimately used for Superman: the Movie, the kiss idea came up later.
Logged

"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
davidelliott
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 267



« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 02:40:32 AM »

Well, I took the time to watch it this afternoon... the joys of working a few hours in the evening gives me time during the day!!!

SPOILERS:














WOW!  What a treat this movie is.  Much superior than the released version.  The recaps in the form of the pre-credit sequence were redundant, but hey, this was a time when VCRs were novelties and we had to wait until movies were aired on TV.  I LOVE the way the 2nd film really continued from the first... the events of the first film came into play in the second, and CAUSED the sequel.  The effects of the PZ escape were pretty realistic and not cartoony like the released version.

Zod was a lot meaner in the Donner cut... Ursa was the same and as Rao mentioned, Non was very threatening... not a clown.

The interactions between Jor-El and Kal-El were brilliant and explained how Superman got his powers back, more so than the released version. Reeve and Brando were beyond words. Also, no beams coming out of Zod's fingers, no cellophane S in the Fortress... more faithful to the comic book universe.  It also hit me watching the Metropolis Battle how it would seem if real life super beings fought such a fight... destruction and mayhem.

The ending.. I dunno... the PZ villains are back in the PZ, Lois is not pregnant (I guess)... it sort of cheapens it for me, since they used the back in time thing in the first film... it's just too status quo for me.  Like the whole movie didn't happen.  I liked the idea of the kiss... a Super Hypnosis thing.  It retained the events of the film and made the story "real".  In the Donner cut, it makes Clark look like a thug going back to the diner to exact revenge on the driver (who now didn't do anything to him, but he did since the owner just repaired the place).  I don't like the selectivity of the time alteration.

BUT, in all, I loved the released version of S-2... now I ADORE the Donner Cut.  It is a superior version!
Logged
Klar Ken T5477
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: leet


Metropolis Prime, NYC, NY USA


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2006, 03:15:36 AM »

I enjoyed it as a What IF scenario but ultimately felt like ...great now there's two imperfect movies of the same thing.

If only Donner & Mank  had been given the time and money to do it right...then.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 03:18:44 AM by Klar Ken T5477 » Logged
davidelliott
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 267



« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2006, 10:07:46 AM »

Well, I watched the documentary extra on the DVD and thought it was interesting... I didn't realize how much work went into this restoration... PLUS, Donner, though still pained, tried to be a champ about the whole thing AND seemed thrilled to be working on this project.
Logged
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1619


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2006, 06:46:51 PM »

Finally got around to watching it last night, and I have to agree with Klar Ken that while this is a fun film, it's still as frustratingly flawed as Lester's version (just a lot less embarassingly CHEESY!).

Lots of things bugged me.  First, I still don't understand what exactly Jor-El is in the Donner films.  Hologram? Super-advanced computer program?  Ghost?  Some of the crystals seem to bring up recordings of the guy, while others actually summon...well, him...in what passes for "the flesh."  And whatever he is, how can he have the powers of Superman, and pass them to the de-powered Kal?  Does Jor-El have Dr Strange's ability to split off his "astral self," and is this what we're seeing?  Do superpowers reside in a Kryptonian's spirit, or in the cells of his physical form?  And if a Kryptonian doesn't have a body, how can he have any powers under Earth's sun?  It don't add up!

Second, although the timing's a bit reshuffled (now Supes sleeps with Lois BEFORE he's depowered), the biggest flaw of this film is still in place, and that is Superman's selfish and stupid renunciation of his powers for a piece of you-know-what.  In fact, now it's twice as stupid because Jor-El is right there telling him, "Son, don't be so stupid!"  I'm sorry, but any guy who would give up his powers to be with a chick is not my idea of Superman.

Third, and it ties to the second, Donner's version makes the de-powering even dumber than Lester's.  In Lester's version, he has to depower in order to make love to Lois, presumably in a nod to Larry Niven's infamous observations on what sex with a Superman would do to a woman.  But in Donner's version, Lois has already survived sex with Superman, so why depower?  Apparently because Jor-El says he has to.  I get the distinct impression Jor-El is saying (and I'm not sure I disagree), "If you're going to put a woman before your job, you don't deserve to be Superman."  But so what if the big giant head DOES say that?  Why should Superman listen?  Why does he have to choose between sex and his job if sex doesn't kill the girl?  Why can't he keep the powers, even if he's too selfish to actually use them to help anyone?  I don't get it.

Jor-El bugs the poo out of me in these movies.  I often rail against the modern comic Superman's propensity to run home to Ma and Pa Kent for advice all the time, but Donner's Superman is just as bad with Jor-El.  Dad's always there for advice and to bail the dummy out, and here he's even chastising him for his dumb choices.  Movie Superman is all about either obeying or rebelling against Dad, and it's not majestic or quasi-religious, it's just creepy...it lessens Superman as a hero to be a "little boy" answering to his pop.

The one good thing that came out of all this...other than just enjoying Brando's performance (and knowing maybe he DID put in enough work to justify that paycheck!)...was that moment as Superman's going into the booth and Jor-El looks up accusingly at Lois, who shrinks away...as well she might!  Goosebumps.  (Also, it's hard to tell, but is she wearing the "shirt" part of his costume?)

Okay, so bright boy removes his own powers because his Dad says he ought to (not has to, mind you, but ought to).  So how does he get back to civilization?  We next see the couple in a rental car, but how far did they have to go to get one?  Or does Avis have a North Pole branch?  And once he decides he's gotta go back, why not rent another car instead of walking the whole way?  And while we're at it, would it kill the defender of Earth to have some sort of monitoring system in the Fortress, so when supervillains take over the world he isn't the last guy to hear about it?  Screw the tapes of Jor-El reciting Joyce Kilmer poems (which hadn't even been written yet when Jor-El died)...how about a subscription to CNN?

I liked that a lot of the "comedy" was cut out of this version, and in fact somehow this film seems to have a lot less footage than the Lester version all around, despite somehow coming out around the same length?  Editing tricks, I guess.  Donner's goes almost too fast, Lester's dragged horribly.

In the final scenes at the Fortress, it still looks as though the Zoners are killed by Superman and Lois (since their "arrest" remains cut) and in fact since we never see Luthor leave the place, it looks like he's dead, too, given that Superman destroys the place from a safe distance.

And onto the "world goes backward" bit.  I actually like the visuals on this version better than those in "Superman:The Movie," but there are lots of problems.  If time is reversed, then the Fortress is not destroyed, Jor-El is not dead (or is that "double dead"?) and that poor dope in the diner gets beat up for nothing.  I always hated in the first film how Clark went back to beat up that guy -- a petty act at best for Superman -- but in this version, the guy doesn't even know why he's getting clobbered.  That is, if you can call what Clark does "clobbering"...all he does really is a couple of sight gags that would instantly give away his secret identity and most likely would not satisfy his lust for vengeance (because that's all this is).  Also, as in the first film, we're left wondering how Superman can turn back time without running into his previous self.  The "kiss" is almost better as it doesn't screw with the whole world, just Lois.  On the other hand, it was pretty hard to believe Lois wouldn't figure out she was missing about a week of her life once the next TIME magazine hit the stands with a recap of the Zoners' reign of terror.

On the positive side, Lois' restored scenes and some artful editing actually make her pretty likable in this film...smart, sensitive and supportive...and not the shrill nincompoop she is in Lester's.  And Jackie Cooper's Perry White somehow comes out a lot more likable than he ever did for me, though it's hard to say why.  Also the Otis/Luthor scenes are a lot funnier here.  And all the Zoners come off as more threatening now.

In the end, though, this cut just reinforces what I already felt.  Namely, that George Reeves remains the best Superman, and "Returns," for all its flaws, is still the best-made Superman movie I've seen.


Logged

This looks like a job for...
Uncle Mxy
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 809



« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2006, 09:24:54 PM »

Finally got around to watching it last night, and I have to agree with Klar Ken that while this is a fun film, it's still as frustratingly flawed as Lester's version (just a lot less embarassingly CHEESY!).
Many of the flaws are a function of what he had to work with.  This is closer to the script they'd really intended to shoot, but not quite. 

The climax of Superman I was supposed to be:
- stop the fallout from the bomb in a spectacular fashion (never fully shot)
- fix the earthquake resulting from the impact, catch Luthor
- then a cliffhanger involving Zod and crew being freed by the -other- bomb he hurled into space, flying toward earth. 

No Lois dying, no time travel until Superman II.  It was Lester's input (as middle-man between Donner and the Salkinds) that had changed a lot of Superman I things.  Donner and Manciewicz never had a firm plan for how they'd finish II given how they finished I, if I understand things correctly. 

Quote
Lots of things bugged me.  First, I still don't understand what exactly Jor-El is in the Donner films.
Heck, I don't understand much of what Krypton is in -any- of the films, apart from a cool-looking deus ex machina.

Quote
Second, although the timing's a bit reshuffled (now Supes sleeps with Lois BEFORE he's depowered), the biggest flaw of this film is still in place, and that is Superman's selfish and stupid renunciation of his powers for a piece of you-know-what.  In fact, now it's twice as stupid because Jor-El is right there telling him, "Son, don't be so stupid!"  I'm sorry, but any guy who would give up his powers to be with a chick is not my idea of Superman.

Third, and it ties to the second, Donner's version makes the de-powering even dumber than Lester's.  In Lester's version, he has to depower in order to make love to Lois, presumably in a nod to Larry Niven's infamous observations on what sex with a Superman would do to a woman.  But in Donner's version, Lois has already survived sex with Superman, so why depower?  Apparently because Jor-El says he has to.  I get the distinct impression Jor-El is saying (and I'm not sure I disagree), "If you're going to put a woman before your job, you don't deserve to be Superman."  But so what if the big giant head DOES say that?  Why should Superman listen?  Why does he have to choose between sex and his job if sex doesn't kill the girl?  Why can't he keep the powers, even if he's too selfish to actually use them to help anyone?  I don't get it.
The idea was that he was supposed to be blinded by love.  The Superman II script was to have made that more clear, with him doing some playful and irresponsible things on a super-scale.  There was never supposed to be any sex shown or sex before that depowering scene -- the closest is the tease where they make the souffle (which I think was only ever filmed by Lester).  I don't think you can safely assume they went "all the way" just because she was wearing his S shirt, but you can assume they were close.

Quote
Jor-El bugs the poo out of me in these movies.  I often rail against the modern comic Superman's propensity to run home to Ma and Pa Kent for advice all the time, but Donner's Superman is just as bad with Jor-El.  Dad's always there for advice and to bail the dummy out, and here he's even chastising him for his dumb choices.  Movie Superman is all about either obeying or rebelling against Dad, and it's not majestic or quasi-religious, it's just creepy...it lessens Superman as a hero to be a "little boy" answering to his pop.
Part of it is that the movie Superman was taken away by daddy for 10 years right around the time he'd become a man.  That scene never made sense, especially along with the rocket ship flooding baby Kal-El with information.

Quote
So how does he get back to civilization?  We next see the couple in a rental car, but how far did they have to go to get one?  Or does Avis have a North Pole branch?  And once he decides he's gotta go back, why not rent another car instead of walking the whole way?
Those are relatively minor expository things.

Quote
And while we're at it, would it kill the defender of Earth to have some sort of monitoring system in the Fortress, so when supervillains take over the world he isn't the last guy to hear about it?  Screw the tapes of Jor-El reciting Joyce Kilmer poems (which hadn't even been written yet when Jor-El died)...how about a subscription to CNN?
Part of the deus ex machina that is Kryptonian tech, the ludicrousness of which is highlighted in...

Quote
I liked that a lot of the "comedy" was cut out of this version
...Tessmacher finding the bathroom.

Quote
In the final scenes at the Fortress, it still looks as though the Zoners are killed by Superman and Lois (since their "arrest" remains cut) and in fact since we never see Luthor leave the place, it looks like he's dead, too, given that Superman destroys the place from a safe distance.
Did you actually have to see the trucks haul him off before you believe that the trucks hauled him off?

Quote
And onto the "world goes backward" bit.  I actually like the visuals on this version better than those in "Superman:The Movie," but there are lots of problems.  If time is reversed, then the Fortress is not destroyed, Jor-El is not dead (or is that "double dead"?) and that poor dope in the diner gets beat up for nothing.  I always hated in the first film how Clark went back to beat up that guy -- a petty act at best for Superman -- but in this version, the guy doesn't even know why he's getting clobbered.  That is, if you can call what Clark does "clobbering"...all he does really is a couple of sight gags that would instantly give away his secret identity and most likely would not satisfy his lust for vengeance (because that's all this is).
I agree it would've been better if he sat there, nice and innocent, and the trucker bully approached him with intent to rumble. 
Logged
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1619


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006, 03:40:47 AM »

Quote
Many of the flaws are a function of what he had to work with.  This is closer to the script they'd really intended to shoot, but not quite. 

The climax of Superman I was supposed to be:
- stop the fallout from the bomb in a spectacular fashion (never fully shot)
- fix the earthquake resulting from the impact, catch Luthor
- then a cliffhanger involving Zod and crew being freed by the -other- bomb he hurled into space, flying toward earth. 

No Lois dying, no time travel until Superman II.  It was Lester's input (as middle-man between Donner and the Salkinds) that had changed a lot of Superman I things.  Donner and Manciewicz never had a firm plan for how they'd finish II given how they finished I, if I understand things correctly. 

You raise an interesting point.  This is not really Superman: II as originally intended because even Superman:The Movie wasn't finished as originally intended!  Wonder how long it'll be before they go back and re-edit that one so we get a special-special-edition?

Quote
Quote
In the final scenes at the Fortress, it still looks as though the Zoners are killed by Superman and Lois (since their "arrest" remains cut) and in fact since we never see Luthor leave the place, it looks like he's dead, too, given that Superman destroys the place from a safe distance.
Did you actually have to see the trucks haul him off before you believe that the trucks hauled him off?

What trucks?

Look at it again...the bit with the Arctic Police is only in the "Deleted Scenes" portion of the disc.  It does not survive Mr Thau's "final" cut.  So if you just watch the film, without checking the deleted scenes and doing a back-and-fill, what you have is Supes and Lois "killing" the Zoners, Luthor pleading, "Let's make a deal..." and then Superman flying Lois a few hundred yards away, turning and destroying the fortress.  Without that deleted "arrest" scene...campy as it is...it sure looks like Luthor meets his end.

Speaking of that scene, I was confused by the editing. It looks like Superman and Lois fly to a nearby ice flow and look back at the Fortress.  Only then Superman turns and aims his beams at the Fortress, which is about 90 to 120 degrees from where they were looking a moment at before.  So what are they looking at before they look at the Fortress?  Some other structure?  The Arctic Police driving off?  The last sunset they'll ever see as a couple?  I don't get it.

Logged

This looks like a job for...
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!