Superman 2 theatrical vs Richard Donner Cut

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by crookeddy, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that's a widespread problem in it. It probably affects my enjoyment of the Honeymoon Suite section, for example.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Given the circumstances under which it was assembled, the Donner Cut probably looks the best that it could ever look.
     
  3. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Commodore Commodore

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    There are a numer of fanedits that combine both versions and various deleted scenes with some editing and trimming, but I'm not sure which one is supposed to be the definitive cut.

    The time travel wasn't meant to be used twice, but Superman 1 and 2 were recorded at the same time, and some footage winds up getting used differently in various cuts. Maybe there is another cut or draft of Superman 1 that would have resolved it without the time travel.
     
  4. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The original shooting script for Superman I was the same up to the point of Superman repairing the damage from Luthor's nuclear quake. When the ground opens up under Lois's car and it falls in, Superman is almost immediately there to raise her up and out.

    SUPERMAN: Sorry about the car...
    LOIS: Forget it, it's a Hertz.

    Superman then saves Jimmy from the breaking dam, speed-blurs him to Lois's location, then returns and stops the flood-in-progress via rockslide. He returns to check on them (where we sync back into the final movie), then heads off to capture Luthor (the deleted alligator pit scene) and drop him off at prison.

    After the triumphant sight of Superman grinning at us from Earth orbit, with the music rising to a crescendo... we then go to the missile in space exploding and springing Zod and company. "FREEEEEE!!!!" Smash cut to black.

    A mini trailer of Superman II scenes (Clark and Lois in bed! Jor-El meets Clark in person! Clark gets beat to a pulp by a trucker! Zod, Ursa and Non take over the world!). The comic book from the beginning of the film is closed, revealing the words "DON'T MISS THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN! COMING SOON!" Roll credits.

    So... yeah. Moving the time travel scene to I was definitely the right call.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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  6. Commander Richard

    Commander Richard The Man With the Zapper Gun Premium Member

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    That does sound pretty good.
     
  7. Timby

    Timby Game ... OVER! Administrator

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    And there are still questions about how heavily involved Donner was in the re-edit. For ages, Michael Thau -- who's always come across as a Donner uberfan more than anything else -- was saying that Donner wasn't participating in the project, and Donner was saying the same thing. Then, a few months before the DVD was released, everyone changed their tune and said that Donner had been supervising the entire thing.
     
  8. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There is reportedly an extended version of the Donner Cut on Vudu/YouTube now, about six minutes longer. Among the scenes said to be in there:

    - Some dialogue from NASA Mission Control reinstated
    - Extended Lex/Jor-El scene, leading to a shock ending: Miss Teschmacher falls victim to the Super-toilet in the Fortress of Solitude (Teschmacher: "I found it, I think... *SCREAM*" Lex: "Ha ha... she found it.")
    - A slightly reworked (read: less stupid, no levitation) version of the Sheriff and Deputy scene
    - How to cook a souffle with heat vision
    - The villains hit East Houston / Ursa's arm wrestling match
    - The young boy (redubbed) who tried to run on horseback, but didn't get far... (no finger beam on his daddy, though)
    - Non heat-blasts a military jeep

    Those who have seen it think this was the version Thau was originally working on, before Donner told him "Cut this, this, and this, and I'll put my name on it."
     
  9. Armus

    Armus Commodore Commodore

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    The theatrical cut is better for several reasons but Donner's original work looks amazing and he got better performances out of Margot Kidder. There's a spark missing in the footage not shot by Donner. I still think a super amnesia kiss is a much better ending than turning the world back in time. And using test footage in The Donner cut stood out like a sore thumb. It might have been awesome if Donner hadn't been fired but Lester did a competent job finishing II.
     
  10. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are SO many things wrong with that character-destroying amnesia kiss that ANYTHING is better by having it removed.
     
  11. Armus

    Armus Commodore Commodore

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    Turning back time worked alright in the first one but I never understood it. If he flies around the earth to turn back time how exactly does he change history so Lois will not learn that Clark is Superman?

    And if history was changed this scene doesn't have the same resonance.

     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  12. crookeddy

    crookeddy Commodore Commodore

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    The endings of Superman 1 and 2 are a complete mess because of the politics that went on. I don't think we will ever know the full original intent, but it was certainly better than what we got.
     
  13. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    The amnesia kiss is not identical to turning back time. Turning back time as it played out in the theatrical cut of Superman 1 was necessary to save Lois' life, and thematically, it allows Kal El to become an adult by rebelling against his father's rules. The amnesia kiss in the S2 theatrical was a decision Superman makes (perhaps poorly motivated up until that point) that a full open relationship with Lois would be impossible. A lot of the best romance stories are the torrid affairs that are doomed to be short-term flings. The Donnerverse comes to the conclusion that as great as the chemistry may be between the two of them, that they really should not proceed beyond will they/won't they. And really, who would want to see a domesticated Superman married to Lois? Sounds better in theory than reality. You can see how the affair spirals down a problematic detour as it is in Superman Returns by portraying Supes as a deadbeat dad. It just never works to have them consummate and settle down. Just a taste of it is enough for the shippers.
     
  14. Armus

    Armus Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think it's so hard to believe that Superman can kiss a woman and make her forget whatever she was thinking about at the time. It's silly but it wasn't the worst ending they could have come up with.
     
  15. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Clark and Lois as a married couple is the current status quo in the comics, and had been for many years before that, interrupted only by the ill-conceived blip of the "New Fuck-me-two." Of all superheroes, Superman is an incredibly natural fit as a husband (and now father).
     
  16. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's not the ability to do so that's the problem, but the action to go through with it and what it represents. That Superman erased her ability to choose, to deal with and grow, to move on and potentially be happy again. He made the decision for her, treating her like a child and not the extremely strong, smart and capable person that she is.
    Lester pulled this magic power out of the air with barely a thought to these two characters and how an adult couple should respect each other and deal with a relationship.

    They have Professor X do this crap all the time, too, and it does no service to his character, either.
     
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  17. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's the ability to do it as well though, a kiss that selectively erases only "Clark is Superman" memories is pretty stupid, even for a movie with a big cellophane S. ;)
     
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  18. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Captain Captain

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    In a way, it's a little unfair because the Donner version really was incomplete. As others have pointed out, the ending would never have been that ending had Donner actually stayed on board. I'll give him a pass on the ending because of that, though as filmed, it basically meant that Zod was never released from the Phantom Zone and Superman never even needed to fight him.

    Yes, the inclusion of Jor-El was much better, though I actually didn't like that heavy price for getting his powers back. I understood the logic behind it, but didn't like it.

    Lois finding out that Clark was Superman was much better in the Donner version. Clark wrestled with the idea of telling her in the first movie, but I felt that having him just trip into a fire was not the best call.

    Lester did have some things better--like the iconic line, "General, would you care to step outside."

    I think the problem with the Donner version for me is the music. It wasn't cut together nearly as well as in the Lester version, and that did affect the enjoyment of the movie. The Superman music is so iconic and the scoring in the Lester version was just better.

    I think that's why it does feel more cobbled together than a finished product.
     
  19. Kirk Prime

    Kirk Prime Captain Captain

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    In the first movie, things had to happen that we didn't see onscreen. My theory is that Superman went back a little further and did a few things to prevent Lois' accident, that we didn't see, while the Superman of the present was doing his thing.
     
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  20. Armus

    Armus Commodore Commodore

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    I think if Donner had stayed on his Superman II would have been amazing. But the producers fired Donner and they finished the movie without him. He would have come up with his own ending to Superman II that wouldn't have undone everything that had taken place. I loved the Brando footage in the Donner cut. The Father-Son relationship was at the heart of the first movie and the original script by Mario Puzo. The theatrical version was a solid albeit flawed movie. Lester did a competent finishing it. I don't see the need to trash it, aside from the stupid cellophane "S" and the little boy who sounds English.
     
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