on 6 August 2001
Superman 2 overall is the best Superman film ever made. Christopher Reeve once again plays the characters of Superman and Clark Kent which he does absolutely brilliantly. The way he plays the two character's different personalities shows how talented he really is.
This film shows Superman facing his greatest battle of all against three villians from his home planet Krypton. These three have the same powers as Superman and plan to take over the planet Earth. This they do actually achieve for about three days as Superman and Lois Lane fall in love and are unaware of what disaster the world is in.
The three villians led by General Zod who is played by the talented actor Terence Stamp, are unaware that there is someone on earth that can stop them. Until Lex Luther superbly escapes from jail and informs them of Superman. General Zod realises that Superman's father Jor'el is the one that jailed them while they were residents on Krypton and decides to get revenge by challenging Superman to a battle.
This film has brilliant special effects and an excellant story line. The great story line is due to the way they join together a love story with the fairy tale action.
This one is not be missed.
on 24 November 2006
Once I heard about the background to the making of Superman 1 & 2, this release was always going to be of great interest. The new scenes are an excellent alternative to the theatrical release especially the Marlon Brando sequences. They make the film much more believable and add much more depth to the story. It would have been nice for Richard Donner to have been able to finish Superman 2 before he was fired but this version is a great watch, the only downside being the lazy ending which is just all too easy. All in all with the DVD containing both Theatrical (with DD5.1) and this alternative version it is great value and a must for all Superman fans.
on 21 March 2004
Its easy to understand why this movie became an enduring classic.
All the actors in Superman II played even better then in the first. It was one of the most expensive films to date. The special-effects stands up very well even today. They used different types of effect shots in the superman films because they where made long before computer animation. Some of them are glas painting and motion blurring. This movie will always be remembered as one of the biggest science fiction films ever made.
Buy it today!!
on 4 May 2007
Now, for those of you who loved the first film like I do, then if you've never seen this sequel or any of the sequels then my personal opinion this is the best of the sequels (followed closely by number 3 which is at times very good and is a far cry better than number 4).
This sequel has it all, it's got action and , at the time and even by todays standard, great special effects. Good poiginiant moments like when Clark Kent gets beaten up for the first time by a ordiniary human bully after he's given up being Superman. It's got comical moments although perhaps a little too much of them times, especially from Lex Luthor like in the original. It's also got three great main Kryptonian villains, one of them being a really hot and sexy Kryptonian vialliness. So sexy she is that you really wouldn't mind her killing you.
Lois Lane gets a lot more screentime this time around and, as usual it's got 'that' tune to listen to all over again.
My only complaint is that at times it gets a little too jokey and corny. But not much.****
on 23 April 2009
If you love Superman II you'll love this!
The original version was directed by Richard Lester and a superb film it was too. BUT a little known fact; Is that the original director was replaced.
Richard Donner who directed Superman also started work on the sequel. But was replaced for a number of reasons, by Lester.
'Most' of the footage that Donner shot, was discarded by Lester and re-shot!
NOW Richard Donner's version is here.
All the footage that Donner shot was stored carefully as unedited film, is put together to present the film as originally concieved by Donner.
To tell a complete tale though, Donner cleverly uses different 'takes' of footage he originally shot for scenes that Lester later used.
This gives a feeling of familiarity, whilst re-telling a story of a slightly different Superman. At the same time, still delighting the afficionados of detailed movie making, who can tell the differences between the two versions.
Included though is the original Superman II from Lester, so you can really see the differences.
The Donner version is not for everyone though, It is a little rough in places, and some shots were lifted from the 1st Superman movie. But it is complete, coherant and a lot of fun to watch.
If you are a Richard Donner fan, or a massive Superman fan you will enjoy it the most!
NOW THE BEST PART...Christopher Reeve! Was, Is, and always WILL be the man of steel for us!
There is footage here, lots of it, of Reeve as Superman, that you have never seen before. An absolute delight. It's like Christopher Reeve lived again to do this version. A dream many fans may share. Keeping the memory of Reeve alive even brighter than before.
A real collectors item!
Okay here's how it works: Richard Donner and the producers of the Superman films fell out. As a result, Donner did not complete Superman 2 and in order for the producers to be able to claim that Donner was not the director, Richard Lester had to film a certain amount of scenes, which meant that some of Donner's footage was thrown out. Years later, people reassemble Donner's footage and based on his notes try to put together the film he would have made.
Now, I am a huge fan of Superman 2, the story of Superman's conflict with the Kryptonian criminals and Lois Lane's discovery of Superman's dual identity. The first film you get is the one that you've watched on Bank Holidays. It is a lot of fun, very knockabout and irreverent, but it has a couple of plot holes and it has the Kryptonians displaying powers that seem a little off. I still love it though. Then you get the Donner version. This is not quite the film Donner would have made because it wasn't finished but it gives you a good idea of it. And it is still highly enjoyable. It removes the plot holes (such as how Superman gets his powers back), makes Lois more intelligent and has the wonderful scene between Clark and Jor-El. That's a great scene. It's much the same story, but staged differently.
So which film is better? I dunno. I like them both. There are scenes in Lester's film, like the Eiffel Tower bit or the bit where Clark burns his hand, that I love. Similarly there are bits in Donner's film that I love too. However, there are also bits in both films that could be improved on. In fact, if there was a way to edit together your own version of the film, that would be perfect. Simply the fact that we get more of Chris Reeve playing the definitive Superman is enough for me.
But you get so much more with this set. There are some TV specials, one of which is Superman's 50th anniversary - a tongue in cheek show set in Metropolis presented by Dana Carvey (Garth of Wayne's World). It's silly but fun. Much better is the inclusion of Fleischer Studios' Superman cartoons. They're very 40s in their styling but the animation is fantastic. Such care is taken. And the writing! Such adventures!
You're getting a lot of stuff here, it's a fantastic collection.
on 16 March 2008
The strengths of this cut are: the general beefing up of Lois' role, so that she is acting as a proper investigative reporter who works out about Clark from the get-go and acts on it, rather than having her suspicions confirmed by a convenient trip on a bear-skin rug; the removing of Non's comedy squeaks; the editing back in of the scene in which Jor-El sacrifices himself to restore his son's powers; the nuclear missile from the first movie being the cause of the destruction of the villains' prison, and more footage of Hackman.
The strengths of the theatrical version remain: the better pace (Donner's cut may be faster but the moment of the villains' first arrival on Earth to the army coming in is ludicrously quick, excising the much-needed scenes in Lester's movie of them roughing up the townsfolk); the heart-wrenching moments between Reeve and Susannah Yorke, who gets the chance to do her motherly bit when Superman confesses his love for Lois; the villains' story being given more weight and menace because they are seen to do terrible things more frequently in this cut, and the greater amount of action, including the fight in the Fortress of Solitude between the four super-beings.
Perhaps the biggest revelation is how both versions rely on jokes no matter what the anti-Lester brigade argue about his version being more comedic. It isn't. Sure Donner is less interested in slap-stick to lift the violent moments but he's not above a toilet joke or three either!
Ultimately, neither the Donner cut nor the Lester version is perfect but the latter feels more complete (obviously), better structured and with a greater amount of action. While the full Donner version we were denied may well have been better, this one truncates too many essential moments (was it necessary to be quite so ruthless with the available Lester footage?)
How about someone give us a version that pulls together the best of both directors' work? This is interesting but I'll stick with the cinema release.
on 31 July 2006
This is by far the best of the superman movies, this is a total classic. this is one superman movie i can watch over and over again. If you not seen this and you love superhero movies get this or if you like superman you will love this anyway, Superman at its best, Top class
on 18 November 2006
Having viewed this version of Superman 2, it is radically different. I viewed this film as a separate entity and I found in its own right if Richard Donner had completed this film back in the late 1970s the edit of scenes in the film would have been flawless, but in 2006 as Richard explains in the interview on this DVD, only his footage around 70 percent was filmed, therefore compared to the theatrical version the Donner Version on this DVD looks like huge chunks of the film are missing. Nevertheless the Marlon Brando scenes are spectacular. The fight scenes are a bit more brutal.
If you watch this 'Donner Version', watch it as an independant film, and you will enjoy it!
NB - As is their wont, Amazon have put the reviews for multiple format releases of this title together on the same page.
Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut isn't a perfect film by any means, but it's a huge improvement over the Richard Lester theatrical version, which I found almost completely lacking in soul and filled with incredibly awkward shifts in tone - indeed, Lester's determination to abandon the verisimilitude that was Donner's watchword and turn the whole thing into a cheap custard pie comedy showed how little he cared for the material. As with Superman III, where he had more of a free hand, he seemed more interested in an Adam West-style slapstick spoof than anything else.
Although some have compared it to a rough cut, despite Donner only finishing about 70% of the film, the reconstruction is a lot smoother than expected. Aside from the awkward 'Last week on Superman' opening which goes on forever, it doesn't look bad at all - even the screen test used for one key sequence is shot in full costume on a fully dressed set, and is more competently executed than many of Lester's scenes. Using the first film's turning back the Earth plot device yet again is awkward and the effects reintegrating the unused Brando scenes aren't always as smooth as they might be, but it never looks particularly unfinished. If anything I found the editing much more disjointed in Lester's cut, where the additions were painfully noticeable - not just the different film stock or change in tone but the fact that everyone suddenly looked so much older in the reshot footage.
Although the film is now a lot tighter, the first half is still awkward - too much Gene Hackman, too little conquering the Earth (gee but the President rolls over easy: fry a few rednecks and knock over a single Washington monument and he'll give you the keys to the planet). It still has too much of that atrocious audio manipulation of Terence Stamp's voice that makes him sound like a bad drag act as well (and this a decade before he became Priscilla). But once the second half hits its stride, it's a massive improvement. While the early Brando scenes are purely functional, there's some real emotional power in his final scene, and with all the infantile cutaways to badly-executed slapstick comic cutaways to people getting ice creams in the face or the like removed, the battle in Metropolis finally works and even takes on an apocalyptic dimension entirely absent in Lester's isn't-this-childish-crap-really? approach to the scene.
The end is a little disappointing, but still perhaps more convincing than the kiss ending in Lester's cut. Most importantly the film finally has the soul that Lester chewed out and threw away. It still would have been a disappointing sequel had Donner been able to finish and tighten it, but compared to the piece of utter junk Lester delivered (and I really do think his version is appalling and was horrendously disappointed when it opened) it's a much more satisfying number. I'm glad to see something finally approaching a decent film.
While many at the time welcomed the lighter, jokier tone of Lester's theatrical version, its determination not to take the material seriously sits awkwardly with its predecessor's verisimilitude and it's strange that those who dismissed Donner's cut on the grounds that it was clearly unfinished seem to be overlooking the fact that Lester's film often looks even more like a work-in-progress cut that somebody okayed for release before it was quite ready. With the exception of a restrained Clifton James avoiding the temptation to do a rerun of his Sheriff J.W. Pepper routine, the performances are generally much weaker too, with Reeve and Kidder (who visibly ages considerably in the reshot scenes) all to often left to flounder in their Daily Planet scenes as if they shot the walk-through rehearsal and never bothered with a proper take.
There are some nice moments in the Lester cut - the "They have a wide selection" dialogue with Clifton James, Superman collecting the exotic ingredients for a romantic meal, the three supervillains facing more resistance in the town - but the picture just feels saggy and half-hearted and shows all the signs of how much worse things would become with Superman III. While there are two action scenes in Lester's cut played without jokes - the Moon sequence and the Whitehouse scene, though the latter is much truncated and considerably less violent than in the Donner version - the others are filled with often tiresomely unfunny pratfalls, be it the town sequences or the big battle in Metropolis where every beat is punctuated by a sight gag. In the superbreath sequence alone you have two separate payphone gags, Kentucky Fried Chicken waitresses blown down the street, ice creams blowing in peoples' faces and a comic turn from a man with an umbrella. And just in case we might still think the situation is too serious, Lester throws in a Daily Planet employee rooting for the villains. There's simply no threat in Lester's cut: he doesn't want to frighten the kiddies and even turns Jack O'Halloran's Non into an increasingly unthreatening comic figure (yes, Donner shot some of that footage but he didn't use it). The less said about the bad Gene Hackman impersonator who dubs Luthor's lines the better.
Lester just seems to shoot the material. He never engages with it beyond the gags, leaving the new scenes flat and lifeless. The change in crew doesn't help either. Bob Paynter's cinematography matches badly with Geoffrey Unsworth's in the Daily Planet and Fortress of Solitude scenes - too sharp, with none of Unsworth's slight diffusion of light, though he does give the film a real comic book look in the battle over Metropolis - and Ken Thorne's reorchestrations of John Williams themes suffer from awkward changes in tempo and an audibly smaller orchestra (thankfully they're mostly dropped in favor of Williams' originals in Donner's cut).
The 2-disc version only offers Lester's version of the film but does at least include some good extras, including several of Paramount's 1940s Superman cartoons and a featurette on the Max and Dave Fleischer cartoons, two 48-minute TV specials, a brief deleted scene, trailer and audio commentary with producers Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler.
The 3-disc UK edition is definitely the one to go for if you can find it, though - as well as including Donner's cut and Lester's much longer theatrical version, it also has an excellent array of extras including several of Paramunt's 1940s Superman cartoons. The single-disc US release only contains Donner's cut, which comes with an audio commentary by Richard Donner and Tom Mankiewicz, introduction by Donner, 6 deleted scenes and a featurette on the fim's restoration. By contrast, the US editions offer both cuts separately.