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Superman Returned- A Tomahawk Re-Edit

tomahawk

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[video=youtube_share;DQjuIO4Fv-A]

30 Minutes deleted. 16 Minutes added. Rearranged, reassembled, refreshed. 140 minutes.

One of the biggest complaints I heard about Superman Returns was that it stayed too close to the pace and structure of Superman The Movie. The biggest complaint I have with Superman Returns, is that it didn’t.

In STM, the world we are introduced to is unveiled to us in a way that is focused and engaging (for the time) by introducing us to, and remaining with, the characters that matter to us. They matter to us because they set up who Superman will become and where he came from. By the time we have arrived in Metropolis we believe and are invested in Clark Kent and how this character is going to make his way in a world that is, for all intents and purposes, our own.

In Superman Returns, that 40 minutes of investment conveyed to us in STM is instead written for us on a text card. The introduction to Kal-El’s origins is a voiceover and the opening shot is of a Gothic mansion with manic characters. We are simultaneously being asked to believe in the film as a continuation of the world introduced to us in STM whilst in the first 6 minutes of the film we are told in no uncertain terms that this world is most definitely not that one, and we still have no character to attach to. When Superman does finally appear we have no idea where he has been and really, do we care?

My Re-Edit seeks to address this.

DL DVD and Blu Ray now completed. DLC Submitted to info.
HD mkv and SD mp4 now available. DLC submitted to info.
 

tomahawk

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I have not really left a scene untouched with basically 30 minutes deleted and 16 minutes added. The film has been reassembled in many respects with some scenes now at different placements and interwoven. New score has been added at certain places and the whole film including credits comes in at 2hrs 20 min.

I really wanted to have Superman's journey resonate more fully and have his journey
start before the opening credits and end before the end credits in a more fulfilling way than what some people suggest occurred in the theatrical. I believe I have strengthened Lois's character and the Third act is more tension filled and suspenseful.

Singer treated Superman with reverence, but the editing may have had trouble conveying that reverence in a way in which was coherent and engaging. I have already received great feedback on a "close to finished" edit and i hope to have this submitted in the next few weeks.
 

Nic

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I only have one question: did you cut the Superson?
 

tomahawk

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Nic said:
I only have one question: did you cut the Superson?

No. But I believe his existence is more poignant in this edit.

I will go into further details of the edit soon.
 

Nic

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tomahawk said:
No. But I believe his existence is more poignant in this edit.

I will go into further details of the edit soon.

AWESOME!

This is strictly me talking, but the presence of Lois and Clark's son is one of the main driving factors of the movie. As much as I enjoy how many stories you can tell with certain characters, I also believe that stories should have endings, and my favorite ending of Superman is Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, where
after defeating all of his villains, Superman strips himself of his powers, lives happily married with Lois, and they even have a son who has super strength.
I don't know if we'll ever get a live action version of that or All Star Superman, but the super child in Superman Returns really helps the story in my opinion, as it flows organically from the tragedy of Superman and Lois' failed relationship and crystallizes the bond that Superman has with humanity. I will say though that the "son becomes the father" lines at the very end feel unnatural, and I really wish that when Superman looked upon his sleeping son Lois was with him, then you could have Lois say "he'll be alone," with Superman replying "No. He'll never be alone." Organic both as dialogue and a callback to the first Superman film.
 

Zarius

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One idea that occured to me after seeing all these SR edits....a sort of backwards take on SR, where the film ends with him taking off for Krypton.:D
 

Fanedit

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Good trailer. If you can make that dud of a movie work, I will be impressed.
 

Ollie W

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I'm one of the lucky one's to have seen this edit after Tomahawk sent me a preview copy. Simply put in my opinion it's the best cut of Superman Returns out there and through it my respect for this movie has grown. I don't know what higher praise I can give it but I'll be sure to write a detailed review soon. Great job Tomahawk!

A fair bit of deleted material is included. But the whole structure in the middle part of the film is rearranged for a much better paced film. A lot of the fat is removed and subtle trims in dialogue make characters much more likable. When watching it I get a better sense of what Singer was going for.

Can't wait to see the finished version!
 

Ollie W

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Can't wait to see the finished version!
 

tomahawk

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One of the biggest complaints I heard about Superman Returns was that it stayed too close to the pace and structure of Superman The Movie. The biggest complaint I have with Superman Returns, is that it didn’t.

In STM, the world we are introduced to is unveiled to us in a way that is focused and engaging (for the time) by introducing us to, and remaining with, the characters that matter to us. They matter to us because they set up who Superman will become and where he came from. By the time we have arrived in Metropolis we believe and are invested in Clark Kent and how this character is going to make his way in a world that is, for all intents and purposes, our own.

In Superman Returns, that 40 minutes of investment conveyed to us in STM is instead written for us on a text card. The introduction to Kal-El’s origins is a voiceover and the opening shot is of a Gothic mansion with manic characters. We are simultaneously being asked to believe in the film as a continuation of the world introduced to us in STM whilst in the first 6 minutes of the film we are told in no uncertain terms that this world is most definitely not that one, and we still have no character to attach to. When Superman does finally appear we have no idea where he has been and really, do we care?

My Re-Edit seeks to address this.
 

geminigod

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Sounds interesting. I like the idea of staying even more true to the original. This stands out as needing to be even more the case in light of the now present Man Of Steel movie where viewers get the alternate version of Superman.
 

Phantom Stranger

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Just out of curiosity, are you incorporating any dialogue from the video game into the edit?
 

tomahawk

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No dialogue from the game is included. It was considered at one point early on to add the whole "Lex planned the Krypton thing" but decided against it.
 

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In this edit, we are not reacquainted with Lex until after Clark has met Lois, Jason and Richard. I found that the Theatrical version lost focus on the reintroduction of Clark/Kal-El by alternating between the reintroduction of Lex. If I don't yet care about the person being threatened, I surely won't care about the threat. I decided to stay with Clark, have him reintroduced to all the supporting characters and locations which in turn introduces us to this world and enables us to be grounded in the reality unfolding to us, just as it unfolds to Clark.
 

tomahawk

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To me, the third act of this film felt bloated and laboured. This was exasperated by the feeling of not being invested in the characters. if some of the changes earlier have helped some characterisations (namely Lois), then the third act changes should also assist with this.
By trimming a lot of repetitive information (i.e. Lex really doesn't need to explain to Lois how he got out of prison, Jimmy did that for us), and repositioning some scenes we end up with a tighter 3rd act with some added underlying tension.
For instance, instead of Lex and Kitty walking out of the ship and leaving us staring at an unthreatening henchman, with no real sense of an outside threat either, I have moved the scene of the crystal hitting the water and the beginnings of New Krypton to take place beforehand. Hopefully we then get a sense of the aforementioned tension taking place underneath the henchman/piano scene. Adding some score and trimming the guts out of this scene hopefully then creates a whole new dynamic, with the stakes of the threat raised. Some suspense perhaps.
 

Phantom Stranger

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tomahawk said:
No dialogue from the game is included. It was considered at one point early on to add the whole "Lex planned the Krypton thing" but decided against it.

Yea, that's actually the line I was thinking of. It's an interesting reveal. Doesn't really add much excitement to the film but it's a nice little twist.
 

Ollie W

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REVIEW OF SUPERMAN RETURNED

Recently I listened to a fan discussion on Superman Returns on the Movie Moan podcast which featured a special guest Robert Meyer Burnett who worked closely on the film in a documenting capacity. In the discussion he describes Singer's original opening of the film. Essentially a tone setting fifteen minutes of footage with pretty much no dialogue. Watching Tomahawk's cut of Superman Returns I felt like I was watching the opening that Robert was describing.

In Superman Returned scenes are added, trimmed and re-ordered for a dramatic effect. Now one gets the experience of rediscovering these characters in a way that doesn't feel rushed and at the same time not sluggish in the slightest.

It's easy to understand why Singer felt the need to cut the return to Krypton sequence. He wanted to move things along. But Superman Returns was still an origin story, just a different form and it needed to be given the time to evolve and then launch into some action.

I can honestly say that I feel a casual viewer would be far less lost watching this version. But most importantly the film better resonates the message that it is trying to sell. Now when Superman stands over his son and repeats Brando's dialogue I didn't find it corny, I was actually quite moved. Similarly when Superman confronts Lex and calls the creating of new Krypton 'an old man's sick joke' it's a powerful line.

For the first twenty minutes of this cut we are entirely immersed in Clark's world as we see his struggle to fit back into society all the while knowing the horrors that he has seen. When he meets Lois again it's as Clark and not Superman. This was shear brilliance.

From here on end the movie gathers momentum as Lex's plan takes shape but not in a way in which the audience has to be spoon fed everything. Rather the movie builds towards a third act which moves faster than the theatrical cut.

With subtle trims performances are much stronger in this cut and I'm talking primarily about Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey. Bosworth is still for mine the worst Lois Lane ever. She was much to young for the role and the way she was written was very unlikeable. However in this version she is at the very least more understandable which is a pretty awesome achievement. Spacey was lauded by most but I always found his portrayal of Lex to be very cartoony. In this version we get a more evil and original Lex Luthor with much of the one liners cut.

In summary the core idea of this film now resonates with me in a way that it did not before. No longer am I bother by the subtle nods to STM as I now feel Donner's film is being celebrated in a better movie than what we got. This is the version of Superman Returns that I'll reach for every time I spin the Superman series. Great job Tomahawk!
 

tomahawk

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Just finalising DVD conversion on this as we speak. (It was mastered in HD)
 

tomahawk

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Completed. Now available and submitted.
DVD and BD.
 
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