Excellent idea for a thread.
It's interesting that you mention the time travel turn back, because in the beginning, when Donner was directing both I and II and they were being filmed simultaneously, the writers hadn't intended for Superman to turn back time at the end of the first film. Lois didn't actually die. When it became clear they wouldn't finish II in time for I's scheduled release and the problems happened with Donner/Brando, the ending for one was changed because it wasn't deemed "dramatic" enough. At least that's the case according to Donner in an interview I watched.
You see, I liked Clark going after the trucker even though it was kind of mean because it made him seem less than a perfect boy scout. Or maybe I'm just vicious, LOL.
Why not go after him after he was humiliated?
- I liked seeing Clark get his powers back. It was a little more than just a handwave here.
That's the scene that sold this cut of the movie for me. Admittedly, I'm the world's biggest fan of Brando's work, but seeing Jor El in the flesh (or was he a ghost)? and able to touch his son gave me shivers. The son becoming the father, the father becoming the son, Jor El using every last bit of the power within him to make his son whole again and forgiving him for not listening to him--this scene makes the Donner cut worth the price of admission to me. Kal El lost his father for good just because he made a mistake. Steep price to pay.
No, Supes didn't leave Lex in the fortress. He called the arctic police, didn't he? I assumed they'd taken him. Of course, the Donner cut does feel a bit incomplete due to some of the editing and unfinished material, but I'm so glad I saw it.