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  1. #16
    Senior Member SephirothDZX's Avatar
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    I guess I just think having Superman go back in time and turning the entire 2 movies into an "it never actually happened" experience just feels like a cheap cop out, plus if you ever want to do further sequels you remove any possible tension from those movies.
    Eh, Comics is a pretty cool guy...

  2. #17
    Elder Member The Batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SephirothDZX View Post
    I guess I just think having Superman go back in time and turning the entire 2 movies into an "it never actually happened" experience just feels like a cheap cop out, plus if you ever want to do further sequels you remove any possible tension from those movies.
    He only goes so far back in time so that he can stop the second missile and save Lois and he doesn't do it on whim. It's an anguished and tense moment for Superman and it cuts to the moral core of the character: When Superman can do most anything, should he do everything?


    There's material to be mined from having Superman deal with choosing to save others while letting Lois die, but I'm really not sure that's someplace they wanted to go.

  3. #18
    Senior Member SephirothDZX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Batman View Post
    He only goes so far back in time so that he can stop the second missile and save Lois and he doesn't do it on whim. It's an anguished and tense moment for Superman and it cuts to the moral core of the character: When Superman can do most anything, should he do everything?


    There's material to be mined from having Superman deal with choosing to save others while letting Lois die, but I'm really not sure that's someplace they wanted to go.
    I'm talking more about the supposed plot Donner wanted to do. If I remember right, in Donner's original plan Superman was going to go back in time and undo the events of both Superman 1 and 2.
    Eh, Comics is a pretty cool guy...

  4. #19
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    They're hard to compare. I liked the story ideas (and lack of new made up powers) for Donners version better, but the additional footage for the copy of it they made was pretty sad looking. Also, having used the intended ending in 1, I have no idea how he would've ended 1 or how good his 2 would seem if it didn't repeat what he'd had to do in 1.
    Last edited by dupersuper; 12-18-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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  5. #20
    SHULKAMANIAC supergirls_pal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslibre View Post
    Unfortunately, the best line in the movie is changed. "General, would you care to step outside?" becomes "What's wrong? Don't you believe in freedom of the press?"
    I completely agree, the original line was much better.
    Overall I thought the storyline in the Donner cut was much better, but the ending in the Lester version where Superman flies the American flag to the White House was superior.

  6. #21
    Elder Member marshal99's Avatar
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    So everytime he bangs Lois and reveal his identity , he can always turn back the earth ,reverse back time and go back to do it all over again.

    It's the ultimate get out of jail free card like smallville's Jor-el who seemingly can do everything from giving and taking away superpowers , reverse back time , travel to an alternate dimension etc. The all in one plot device.

  7. #22

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    AMC played this on TV maybe a year ago or longer, I liked it better than the original and its well worth owning on Bluray
    "It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. It ensures his existence." -- James Douglas Morrison

  8. #23
    Marked for Redemption David Walton's Avatar
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    It really is hard to compare an unfinished film with the completed version, but I still think it's safe to say Lester's cut is better.

    For one thing, I like the way Lester handled Lois' theatrics better.

    In Donner's version, Lois jumps out the window of the Daily Planet, and Clark saves her with a fruit cart (if memory serves).

    In Lester's we get the much cooler Niagra Falls scene, where Clark cuts her a branch using heat vision.

    In Donner's version, Lois threatens to shoot Clark, and prompts him to give away his identity (she was using blanks).

    In Lester's, Clark accidentally passes his hand through the fire, and when it comes back unharmed Lois suggests he really wanted her to know. I thought it was a much more tender and believable moment, one fitting with the idea that Clark would rather be with Lois than be Superman.

    Lester's cut of the fight with General Zod is better, too!
    "I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself." -- G.K. Chesterton

  9. #24

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    It's a thought experiment.

    One one level the Donner movie can't compete, because I had the real experience of seeing the Lester Superman II in the theatre with all the hype and the excitement of a first-time theatrical release.

    But working from the Donner cut (which by its very nature is an incomplete suggestion of what might have been Superman II if Donner had been kept on the movie), I can re-imagine what it might have been like seeing a completed Donner movie in the theatre. And I think that would have been more satisfying and awesome. Also Donner would have come up with a different ending anyway, since he had already used the backwards time ending for the first movie. And the whole creative process of shooting the movie likely would have produced scenes we can't even imagine.

    The two movies would have held together better as an epic whole. Scenes that are thrown away and seem to go nowhere would have made more sense. Of course, that didn't happen, but it's fun to imagine the alternate universe where it did.

    The Lester movie has some really great moments, but it often goes off the rails, It's unsatisfying having Susanna York sub for Marlon Brando. Superman demonstrates a weird and ridiculous power set. And the emotional context of the first movie isn't developed in the second Lester version. I feel like Donner had a much better relationship with Reeve and could have gotten a better performance out of him.

  10. #25
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SephirothDZX View Post
    I'm talking more about the supposed plot Donner wanted to do. If I remember right, in Donner's original plan Superman was going to go back in time and undo the events of both Superman 1 and 2.
    No, the plan was in the first film, Superman rescued Lois in the nick of time. In the second film, she's murdered in front of him and in order to revive her, he does the time travel bit to the start of the film. Everything is repaired, the Phantom Zoners are back where they belong and Lois doesn't remember a thing. The dying at the Fortress was dropped, but the time travel was kept and filmed. It would be used to just erase her memories. The dying in the first film was added in the spring of 1978, right before filming the west coast earthquake scenes. The first film would remain the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by supergirl's pal
    I completely agree, the original line was much better.
    The line in the Donner Cut was the original line. The other line was added by Lester to replace as much of Donner's material as possible, in order to have credit.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton
    It really is hard to compare an unfinished film with the completed version, but I still think it's safe to say Lester's cut is better.

    For one thing, I like the way Lester handled Lois' theatrics better.

    In Donner's version, Lois jumps out the window of the Daily Planet, and Clark saves her with a fruit cart (if memory serves).

    In Lester's we get the much cooler Niagra Falls scene, where Clark cuts her a branch using heat vision.
    What makes the river better than a fruit cart?

    In Donner's version, Lois threatens to shoot Clark, and prompts him to give away his identity (she was using blanks).

    In Lester's, Clark accidentally passes his hand through the fire, and when it comes back unharmed Lois suggests he really wanted her to know. I thought it was a much more tender and believable moment, one fitting with the idea that Clark would rather be with Lois than be Superman.
    Except Donner's was more in line with who Lois was in 1977. Lois always wanted to trick Superman into revealing he was Clark Kent and vice versa. That was the dynamic of the comics for years and years. That's why afterwards, Lois is bothered by Clark giving up his powers to be with her. The fantasy is gone now and there's the reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by An Ear In The Fireplace
    Also Donner would have come up with a different ending anyway, since he had already used the backwards time ending for the first movie.
    Indeed. It was Mankawicz (sp) who said that Lois kissing Clark didn't make sense based on how her character was written. That's why they opted not to use Lester's magic kiss. And as the introduction to the film states, this is how it was meant to be based on the shooting script and not the final cut that he would have delivered in 1979.

    I feel like Donner had a much better relationship with Reeve and could have gotten a better performance out of him
    They all did. That's why everyone quit when Donner was fired. Reeve was the first to come back only out of the sake of professionalism. Hackman didn't come back because he had already given his time and effort for one director that he respected. He wasn't going to for someone else due to politics.

  11. #26
    RADI☼ACTIVE nuclearman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslibre View Post
    Unfortunately, the best line in the movie is changed. "General, would you care to step outside?" becomes "What's wrong? Don't you believe in freedom of the press?"
    Agree with that -- the general zod would you care to step outside is one of the great superhero movie moments !

  12. #27
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murrocko View Post
    What are the major difference between the two? It's been years since I've seen Superman II and never got a hold of the Donner Cut.
    -In the Donner Cut, an alternate take of the Kryptonian landscape is shown. This was made for the first film. In the Lester cut, footage of approaching Krypton is recycled from the first film.

    -The Donner Cut had a slightly condensed version of the trail from the first film, with alternate takes for certain shots. The Lester cut was a mix of new and old footage of the trail sequence, with a Brando impersonator recording new dialogue.

    -The Donner Cut has the explosion of Krypton, along with a new CGI shot of the Phantom Zone prism being buffeted by the shockwave of the planet's destruction is shown. Footage of Kal-El's ship passing by the prism from the first film is shown, along with a voice over of Jor-El talking about the blankets being invulnerable is shown. An alternate take of the rocket being found by the Kents is shown. Footage of the inside of the prism is shown. The film jumps ahead to the launching of the missiles, Superman being weakened by Kryptonite, rescued by Eve and sending the missile into space is shown. All condensed. We see the missile approach the prism which is destroyed by the missile. A mixture of new CGI and old footage is used to show the destruction of the prism and everyone's reactions to being out in space and alive. A shot of Zod yelling, "Free!" is shown as he and the others head for the moon. Then it goes to the opening credits which are now in the style of the first and fifth films. The Lester Cut has the opening credits intercut with footage from the first film. It then goes into the whole terrorist plot with the Hydrogen Bomb. When Superman saves Lois and disposes of the bomb, it destroys the prism.

    -The Donner Cut picks up where the first film ends, a couple of days later with Perry reading the headline about Luthor's plot being foiled. Lois is looking a a picture of Superman when she notices Clark talking to Jimmy and he's standing the same way as Superman. This leads her to connect the dots and while in Perry's office going over the upcoming trip to Niagara Falls, Lois drops hints that she knows to Clark. After Perry leaves to find Jimmy, Lois shows Clark the paper and makes her case. Clark tries to dissuade Lois, but she decides to prove it by jumping out of the window. Clark rushes downstairs and uses his heat vision to open an awning and uses his super breath to redirect Lois to it, before going back upstairs. Lois bounces off and lands on the fruit and vegetable cart from the first film. She sees Clark up in Perry's office and realizes she made a mistake. This was reworked into the scene where Lois dove into the river and Clark uses his heat vision to sever a branch for Lois to use and then tries to pull her out of the river, only to go in himself.

    -The prison scenes are longer in the Donner Cut. Included is Lex insulting Otis about the black box and getting him into trouble with another inmate. Also, when Lex asks for his record back, the inmate doesn't say that there is a scratch but mentions that it'll be there tonight. A longer scene of Lex and Otis as they make their way to where Eve will pick them up, as well as Lex dropping a hint about how they'll escape. After leaving Otis behind, the scene of Lex and Eve talking about what was done to Otis and going north is back to where it belongs. In the Lester cut, it is later on and set during the day time. Also, some of the dialogue was cut.

    -The Donner cut only shows Clark and Lois about to go into their room at Honeymoon Haven. The rest was cut as it does not match up with the footage of the screen tests for Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, which is used for when Lois finds out the truth. Donner's version has Lois getting ready to go out, while Clark in a tux, gets into a heated discussion about how she treats him. This leads Lois to pull out a gun on Clark, after noting that it was odd that Superman was there that afternoon when he rescued the kid. She shoots Clark and he's forced to admit the truth, but Lois reveals that she had blanks.

    -The rescue of the kid is altered with Superman flying faster to rescue him and cut is the scene where Lois comments on Superman's departure. Also cut is when Clark comes back with the hotdogs and Lois's query as to where he was.

    -The moon sequence is the same except for alternate sound effects being used, a different conversation between the Houston control techs that was filmed by Lester and a camera angle pan when the Phantom Zoners leave for Earth.

    -The arrival of the Zoners is divided in two parts. The first part when they land takes place before Lois finds out and the second with the snake, takes place afterwards. Also cut is Non's trying to burn a stick.

    -The Donner cut removes the conversation between the sheriff and his deputy before encountering Zod and his crew. The scene ends with Zod tossing the rifle under the car.

    -Lex and Eve's trip to the Fortress is shown in full, though only part of the final stretch is removed. Namely a short scene where they stop before heading on as well as the activating of the hover craft conversion. All footage in the Fortress of Lara and the elder are removed and replaced with Jor-El as it's supposed to be. The only difference is that Jor-Els' appearance in each holo recording is different. All Lex and Eve footage is the same, but includes Eve finding the bathroom off screen. Holo footage of Zod, Ursa and Non is shown when Jor-El talks about them.

    -The East Houston scenes are severely cut in Donner's version since they were filmed by Lester. Their initial arrival is cut. We only see the camera crew through Zod's speech. The humor is cut down as much as possible and the helicopter's crashing into the house is sped up a bit. The US Army General's response to Zod is also different. The ADR work in the Lester version is gone.

    -Instead of defacing Mount Rushmore, it's the Jefferson Memorial that is destroyed.

    -Lester's footage of Superman and Lois flying to the Fortress is left in, but the following scene where he talks about his past is cut. The post dinner scene is retained, but is edited slightly. Clark and Lois sleep with each other first, before he talks to Jor-El about giving up his powers. The whole sequence is different from Lester who used Lara and had Clark in costume, whereas Donner had Clark wearing part of his tux, minus the jacket and tie. Lois is wearing Superman's shirt and standing further away in Donner's version, whereas in Lester's, she's wearing a nightgown and not as far away.

    -The White House scenes are shown in full and not heavily edited like in Lester's version. Included is a shot of Zod firing an M-16 that he picks up. Ursa comments on the medals that military leaders are wearing.

    -A different shot of Lois and Clark driving to the dinner is shown, rather than the recycled footage from the first film.

    -The sound effects during Clark's confrontation with Rocky are different.

    -Clark in the Donner cut only refers to Jor-El and not both of his parents as in Lester's cut.

    -Clark's trip to the Fortress comes after Lex meets with the Zoners in the Oval Office. Part of the conversation is restored in Donner's cut.

    -The order of Clark's travels to the Fortress is reversed.

    -We see Clark's restoration in the Donner Cut.

    -A lot of ADR is removed in the Daily Planet scenes.

    -Perry's speech and Lois's reactions are different.

    -Non crushes Jimmy's camera and Jimmy insults Lex.

    -Superman's first lines to Zod are different in the Donner Cut.

    -A different cut of the first part of the fight exists in Donner's version. Included is Zod kicking Superman into the torch of the Statue of Liberty and Superman flying back into the city. Superman almost hits Ursa, who comments on it. Superman punches Non when he comes up behind him. Lester just had Non chase Superman and then Non punches Superman into a window. Ursa hits Non with a flagpole. The rest of the showdown is from Lester, but all unnecessary humor is removed and the sound effects are altered. Lex swipes the coffee Jimmy got for Perry.

    -A shot of Superman pushing the bus off of him is added in the Donner cut.

    -A different conversation in Perry's office takes place. This was Donner's footage.

    -There is no fight in the Fortress as in Lester's version. Lex is present the whole time and doesn't struggle to catch up after being dropped off earlier.

    -Donner has Superman destroying the Fortress, while Lester didn't. There is no conversation afterwards, nor at Lois's apartment.

    -Donner has time being reversed while Lester did not.

    -Donner has Lois tell Clark to get them a pizza to split, while Lester has Clark go after a hamburger.

    -Superman does not replace the dome light of the White House in Donner's cut.

  13. #28
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    What makes the river better than a fruit cart?
    ...Edward Nigma, is that you?
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  14. #29
    Elder Member Jared's Avatar
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    The re-use of the reverse-time flight basically ruins the ending. It also means, hilariously, that Superman beats up the jerk at the diner for something he never actually did.

    I do like the Brando stuff, and the Donner version of the Metropolis is better without all the slapstick extra gags.

    Quote Originally Posted by verslibre View Post
    Unfortunately, the best line in the movie is changed. "General, would you care to step outside?" becomes "What's wrong? Don't you believe in freedom of the press?"
    Agreed.

    The ideal version of Superman II would really be a fan-edit taking the better elements from both movies.

    I also think that it should be a effect of Superman's time travel, not a nuclear missile, that frees Zod from the Phantom Zone. Make a direct consequence of Superman playing God, giving him a reason to never do so again. Otherwise one is left to wonder why he he doesn't reset time anytime he misses a save.
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