With the exception of a few minor scenes, I definitely prefer the Lester Cut. By a mile.
, it has the most iconic Superman moment ever placed on film
: the newspapers furling away from the newsstand as the music swells and Superman arrives. "General, care to step outside?"
This is not just an iconic moment for Superman, it is an iconic moment in film
. Despite having to (by necessity) to use some Lester footage to link scenes for his cut, Donner inexplicably chose to excise this iconic mome
nt. Actually, not inexplicably... he did it because he's prideful and smug. All one needs to do is listen to his commentary track on the Donner Cut to realize how prideful, smug and arrogant he is.
I love Donner as a filmmaker, particularly early Donner. I loved the how the sweeping shots of landscapes really drew you in to the world of LadyHawk
e. And, with Superman: The Movie
, he told the story in a striaght-forward way, a way that was as honorable and straight as the character himself. And in the third act, the allowed some wit into the screenplay. I thought Lester understood where he was going and built onto this. The Lester Cut really plays like a great Superman comic book with the wit intact
, properly excising some of pretention that grounded the first film but would weigh bown a sequel like this. Despite not collaborating with each other, the two talents taken together made for a great Superman film
. I love how peope in the second film had great comic book-like dialogue like "Superman is dead!" or "Man this is going to be good" (referring to the Superman/ Zod showdown, and "Oh, man, Superman didn't even do nothin'." The touch of these moments was perfect. And why aren't we allowed to laugh a bit at the guy on roller skates being blown back. That would really happen in that situation, and it's still funny. It was also balanced with real destruction.
Lester went too far with Superman 3
, but I think that the "Lester cut" of Superman 2 will always be the proper sequel, not the arrogant "I'm entitled to this" cut that Donner tried to sell us.