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Old July 11 2013, 04:33 PM   #46
davejames
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Dorian Thompson wrote: View Post
That's the bit. That's why Reeve got praise from critics; (I was able to find some reviews from the time online) it was his apt differentiation between the bumbling Clark and the supremely confident Kal El. All in his voice, mannerisms, his bearing. All the critics praised him for that. Some compared him to Cary Grant, who could switch on a dime from debonair to bumbling character lacking confidence in his onscreen persona.
Well the flattened hair and giant glasses helped quite a bit as well.
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Old July 11 2013, 04:39 PM   #47
Christopher
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

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Superman's "General, would you care to step outside?" in the Lester version is a THOUSAND times better than the "General, don't you believe in the freedom of the press?" line from the Donner Cut. Replacing a superior line from the Lester Cut with an inferior line from his own cut was a petty move by Donner. Just acknowledge that the line Lester Cut line was superior and keep it in there.
Well, first off, we've established that the cut was mainly the work of Michael Thau, so he was the one making the choices. And second, I don't think his intent was to make a "better" film, just to make one that would be the most accurate possible reconstruction of the film Donner would have made if he hadn't been let go. So I don't think it was arrogant; it was just the intent of the project to approximate what a pure-Donner version of the film would've been like, for better or worse. I see it more as being a scholarly, historical exercise, letting audiences finally see the filmed material that was lost and be aware of approximately how it was originally meant to work as a complete film. It's more about satisfying our curiosity about the lost material, and allowing students of the film to compare and contrast the alternative versions so that they can understand and evaluate the changes. It's not meant to be a replacement, but a supplement. We're all free to judge what parts we think Donner did better and what parts we think Lester did better, but we can't make that judgment until we've seen both versions, can we?
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Old July 11 2013, 04:43 PM   #48
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Christopher wrote: View Post
DarthPipes wrote: View Post
Superman's "General, would you care to step outside?" in the Lester version is a THOUSAND times better than the "General, don't you believe in the freedom of the press?" line from the Donner Cut. Replacing a superior line from the Lester Cut with an inferior line from his own cut was a petty move by Donner. Just acknowledge that the line Lester Cut line was superior and keep it in there.
Well, first off, we've established that the cut was mainly the work of Michael Thau, so he was the one making the choices. And second, I don't think his intent was to make a "better" film, just to make one that would be the most accurate possible reconstruction of the film Donner would have made if he hadn't been let go. So I don't think it was arrogant; it was just the intent of the project to approximate what a pure-Donner version of the film would've been like, for better or worse. I see it more as being a scholarly, historical exercise, letting audiences finally see the filmed material that was lost and be aware of approximately how it was originally meant to work as a complete film. It's more about satisfying our curiosity about the lost material, and allowing students of the film to compare and contrast the alternative versions so that they can understand and evaluate the changes. It's not meant to be a replacement, but a supplement. We're all free to judge what parts we think Donner did better and what parts we think Lester did better, but we can't make that judgment until we've seen both versions, can we?
It's the Donner Cut for a reason. Even he did nothing but endorsed it, it's still his cut. I don't think directors have the hands-on attitude they used to anyway.

But have you heard Donner's own commentary from that disk? It's appallingly arrogant and conceded.
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Old July 11 2013, 05:03 PM   #49
Dorian Thompson
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Well the flattened hair and giant glasses helped quite a bit as well.
Yeah, totally true, but there was a little more to it than glasses. His bearing and demeanor changed noticeably. The critics were just saying that Clark didn't seem like a one off after thought of a character with Reeve's portrayal and I agree with them.
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Old July 11 2013, 06:10 PM   #50
Mr Light
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Do both versions use the cellophane S Shield throw?
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Old July 11 2013, 06:15 PM   #51
Christopher
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
It's the Donner Cut for a reason. Even he did nothing but endorsed it, it's still his cut.
Well, yes, as I said, that was the point: to do the closest possible reconstruction of what the film would have been like had Donner completed it. Not because it was "better," but for reasons of historical completeness and satisfying our curiosity about the changes in the film.


But have you heard Donner's own commentary from that disk? It's appallingly arrogant and conceded.
I think you mean "conceited," but that's beside the point. From a film-scholarship perspective, from a historical perspective, it is worthwhile to get to see the original material that Donner shot. As I see it, the Donner Cut is simply presenting that material. It's not saying it's better; that's for the individual to decide. It's just giving us the opportunity to see that material that would've otherwise remained lost. Your personal opinions of Donner as an individual have no bearing on whether we should have the right to see the material he shot and evaluate the process behind the creation of this film.
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Old July 11 2013, 06:29 PM   #52
Dick Whitman
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

It's not just the new footage. The scenes that Donner shot himself that were in the theatrical cut feel completely different. The construction of the scenes and little additions of a line or two. I think every scene Donner shot originally shot is superior in his own cut.
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Old July 11 2013, 06:34 PM   #53
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Christopher wrote: View Post
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
It's the Donner Cut for a reason. Even he did nothing but endorsed it, it's still his cut.
Well, yes, as I said, that was the point: to do the closest possible reconstruction of what the film would have been like had Donner completed it. Not because it was "better," but for reasons of historical completeness and satisfying our curiosity about the changes in the film.


But have you heard Donner's own commentary from that disk? It's appallingly arrogant and conceded.
I think you mean "conceited," but that's beside the point. From a film-scholarship perspective, from a historical perspective, it is worthwhile to get to see the original material that Donner shot. As I see it, the Donner Cut is simply presenting that material. It's not saying it's better; that's for the individual to decide. It's just giving us the opportunity to see that material that would've otherwise remained lost. Your personal opinions of Donner as an individual have no bearing on whether we should have the right to see the material he shot and evaluate the process behind the creation of this film.
You shouldread my previous posts. I like Donner. I like many of his films. I like the first Superman film, and what he contributed to the sequel. In theory I like the idea of seeing what the film might have looked like had he completed it his way. None of those facts are in dispute. But a lot of fans treat his cut as Gospel and I feel that it is greatly inferior, and not just because he had to use screen tests, etc. to bridge shots (I don't mind that). My problem is that his version just sucks, that he was so begrudgingly using Lester shots, and that he had a most lassie-fare, I'm the best there is and only my version counts attitude on his commentary.

Why don't you read my posts from the last few pages?
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Old July 11 2013, 07:03 PM   #54
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

^I know what you said in your posts; I'm just disagreeing with your assumption that the choices were made out of an arrogant belief that Donner's version was superior. I don't think Thau's intent was to create a superior version, just to create a version that would show us what Donner's cut might have been like, for historical purposes.

So I disagree just as much with fans who treat it as "Gospel," a meaningless concept. Yes, overall I think Donner's version would've worked better, but as I said in my reviews, there are things I think Lester did well and there are choices in the Thau edit that I think were completely wrong. All I'm doing is saying that I don't believe Thau's intentions were motivated by arrogance, because I think it's misunderstanding the intentions behind the project to assume he was trying to create a "superior" version.
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Old July 11 2013, 07:27 PM   #55
Dick Whitman
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Whether anyone buys my time loop theory or not I think it's best to view each as separate movies. Both telling the same story in different ways. There are flaws in both. But each director shot great scenes. Some which are incompatible with the others to be seamlessly edited together. There where two different shoots, by two different directors. Now we have releases representing each, even though they both share footage of the others.
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Old July 11 2013, 09:45 PM   #56
sonak
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Do both versions use the cellophane S Shield throw?

Donner's version skips that, and the "multiple Superman holograms" game. It leaves the Fortress confrontation lacking.
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Old July 11 2013, 11:45 PM   #57
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

As I kid, I loved the multiple holograms game. I even thought the S shield was nifty. As silly as it sounds, I still think they are kind of nifty in a comic book way. I would prefer it with those scenes intact.
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Old July 12 2013, 02:59 AM   #58
theenglish
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
As I kid, I loved the multiple holograms game. I even thought the S shield was nifty. As silly as it sounds, I still think they are kind of nifty in a comic book way. I would prefer it with those scenes intact.
They do come across as more comic book of the time than some of the other special powers. The S-shield seems like it could have come from Superman's gadgets in the Fortress. The hologram game was never really explained though--I originally thought that he was moving at super speed using a common Flash trick of the day, but in later years it seems to me that it too is another tool in the Fortress.
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Old July 12 2013, 03:02 AM   #59
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

They probably had accentuated powers in the fortress.
But as a kid, and even now, the sound effects are really cool. Yes. I admit, I still think they are cool.
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Old July 12 2013, 03:10 AM   #60
Christopher
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Re: Superman II (The Donner Cut)

The fact is, in the Silver Age comics, Superman was given random new powers all the time. For instance, I recently read about a story which offhandedly established in the final panel that Superman's telescopic vision could pierce the time barrier and see into the past. When readers complained about this random new power, a reprint of the story changed the caption and art slightly so that Superman was now using his "super-imagination," whatever that means.
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