“Doing something a little different today. So moving on to the next cubby on the DVD wall, we came to my Superman box set. I realized that the only Superman movie I’ve blogged was Man of Steel, and lest I start crying, I’m not gonna say anything further about it now. I considered going thru 1-4, but didn’t really wanna hafta sit thru the origin story of 1 and the lower quality of 3 and 4. Then I remembered I have two versions of II, the theatrical release and the Richard Donner cut (aka director’s cut). I thought it’d be interesting to compare the two. I was torn between separate write ups or one big one, but I figured if I split them, the second would be all comparisons anyways, so it made sense to just do it all together as one. I tried really hard to pay attention to both, but I wasn’t able to focus as well as I’d have liked. So I may be relying on the interwebs to confirm what was in each.
Okay so I could explain the differences and the stories, but Wikipedia did a much more thorough and comprehensive job than I possibly could have.
Director’s cuts are a strange beast. There’s no clear pattern about whether they’re superior or inferior. The director’s cut of Blade Runner is considered to be far superior. The director’s cut of Donnie Darko is terrible (and I say that absolutely loving the original). The director’s cut of American Psycho is indistinguishable from the theatrical (seriously, I couldn’t find any difference). Or sometimes you get a Live Free or Die Hard situation where they just add in content to up the PG13 to an R (occassionally you see the reverse). Where does Superman II line up? I’d say Richard Donner all the way.
The main differences are the inclusion of Jor-El and a lot of the Lois/Clark relationship stuff. As far as Jor-El is concerned, any time you have the option of more Marlon Brando, you should \m/ take the more Marlon Brando. I also really liked this set of Lois/Clark banter, even if some of it was pieced together from screen tests. The scene where she tricks him into admitting his secret was gold. In general, I found it much easier to get into this cut than the other.
However, the one point I’ll give the theatrical cut is that I did enjoy the recap of Superman I during the opening credits, instead of just plain words and music (even if it’s awesome John Williams music). Otherwise, it was just too watered down.
While watching, I thought I’d reached a new level of geekitude by comparing these two films back to backish (watched one on Fri and Sat, the other on Sun). Then I remembered how many times I’ve watched the extended cuts of LOTR, and I realized I hit those levels long ago. However, I did geek out further by spending some time figuring out my ideal Superman casting, which I will now share with you because it’s my blog and I can do that.
Clark Kent- Dean Cain; Lois Lane – Margot Kidder; Lex Luthor – Michael Rosenbaum; Perry White – Lawrence Fishburne; Jimmy Olsen – Sam Huntington; Jonathan Kent – John Schneider; Martha Kent – K Callan; Zod – Terence Stamp.
Now before you get on me and argue Christopher Reeve for Superman, I won’t fight back. I just came to knew the man of steel best in Lois and Clark, so Cain is always mine. It’s similar to how I won’t fight anyone who picks Sean Connery for Bond, but my favorite is Daniel Craig. However, in the event of switching Reeve for Cain, then I’d insist on subbing in Teri Hatcher for Margot Kidder. Either way, some amazing people have played these amazing roles over the years. There’s no arguing that.”