Man of Steel: A Symbol of Hope

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(Updated: August 28, 2023)
Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
I won't write too much but the changes made here, both big and small, really improve the flow of the film. Some of the more gratuitously adult material has been removed (like taunting the hologram about pain, Mr. Kent saying to leave a bunch of children to die, some of the cursing, etc.) and I'd argue the film is better for it. It's a Superman movie, I don't need too much gritiness.

The color changes are the part that really worked for me. Seeing his suit pop with red and blue like that made it feel way more like a Superman movie, and reducing the eggregious action/destruction to the bare necessities really kept the pace moving. Also removing Lois from a few key moments, ever so slightly, really kept the focus on Superman where it belonged.

Highly recommended. It won't change your opinion about the movie if you hate it, but if like me you thought it was a 7.5, it'll make you think it's an 8.5.

"A good edit is its own reward."

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Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Right off the bat, this isn't my exposure to a "Man of Steel" fan edit, in fact there were three different edits before hand with very different goals and results. Thankfully though, I myself haven't come across a single bad one, and TM2YC's experience is no different. Similar to most takes on the film, color grading is a lot more pleasing thanks to saturation/brightness adjustments, the pacing is a lot quicker via carefully timed cuts to plotting and action, and I can easily call this a superman film that rings true to the character. Only this time, a huge emphasis is put on "the character of Superman", with cuts to a lot of swearing, more restraint on the cgi infested battle sequences, a much less angsty atmosphere due to simple changes to the soundtrack and more subtle edits, heck even the addition of nicely placed title cards in the opening gives a proper feel to the whole thing. Are there still issues that keep it from reaching "Wonder Woman" level of quality? Sure but to be honest most of them come right down to the script being to focused on exposition/self important speeches and the hand held cinematography (would've been nice to have a tripod there, Zach). All in all, the edit is very well executed top to bottom, and frankly I would love to see TM2YC take on Batman V Superman in the future. Grab an American flag and put on your red capes, here comes Superman to save the day.
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(Updated: November 03, 2017)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
TM2YC once again establishes his firm place among the great faneditors. The color correction alone makes this version of the film an improvement over the original. What was a hampered by Snyder's seeming obsession with washed out and muted colors has been replaced with vibrance and life.

The number one edit that made me rewind and watch again was how TM2YC reworked Johnathan Kent's death. The way he edits this scene brought an instant emotional response that I did not get from the theatrical version. Masterfully edited here.

I'll admit that I didn't care for the extra Hero themes throughout the film, but the their integration was wonderfully executed. I enjoyed this edit and will be rewatching it in the future.

I highly recommend TM2YC's work. This again is a textbook example of how to do things right. The attention to detail, collaborative approach, and patience throughout the editing process has resulted in another phenomenal edit from the man whose cinema we all want to be taken to.
D
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(Updated: November 05, 2017)
Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Visual Quality + Editing are phenomenal. The Y+G gain (an annoying staple of Snyder films) has been lowered, saturation boosted, and oh my the difference in the interrogation room is HUGE.

Audio Quality is fantastic and the editing barely stood out. There is a slight blip at (53:56) where Clark says "I'll go get him" and repeats the latter half of his sentence, and occasionally the re-scoring was slightly abrupt. Otherwise great.

The Narrative is not hugely different from the original, but slight changes certainely make it easier to stomach. Fight scenes are reduced, although damage is still extensive. Characters are less monologuey, although still a bit too earnest. All things considered, there is very little an editor can do, without completely rewriting the film that could perfect the narrative, and taking that into account TM2YC has made a valliant effort.

I ENJOYED (TM2YCs) Man of Steel. I smiled (at least 3 times). I shed a tear for Pa Kent and Clark when he died, and Lois didnt bother me nearly as much, and lets not forget that glorious "Flight" sequence. I can say none of this about the original and that should speak to the quality of this edit (It made me FEEL more than the OG). The few things I wasnt totally fond of-- I recognize that rescoring is tricky-- The insertion of the "Heros theme" became slightly tedious and after hearing it a few times I found myself annoyed by it. And personally I would have liked more extensive changes (as that was clearly not the intention of this edit, it does not affect my rating).

Wonderful work, and I'd like to thank you again, you have given me hope to revisit my abandoned MoS edit, and in the end isn't the point of Superman, to give people hope? ;)

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(Updated: December 31, 2020)
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I'm one of the five people on the planet that really like Snyder's DCEU movies, so any fanedits/fixes for me have to focus on the details. It's also unrealistic to expect that every aspect of an edit is going to work for you, unless you do the edit yourself.

"Man of Steel" has always been a movie I've defended more than it deserves. I'm a Superman fan and I have a special relationship with the character, but it's impossible for me to ignore this film's terrible screenplay or its overlong, loud action sequences. Any fanedit would find it hard to fix the former (for obvious reasons), but it can do a lot with the latter.

"A Symbol of Hope" is not a very invasive edit and, for my purposes, this is a good thing. With a few seemingly minor changes, it makes a world of difference. "Man of Steel" 's problem for audiences was that it wasn't "fun"; one can interpret this in a variety of ways, but knowing the target audience for this type of film, the answer comes down to it not being a superhero movie. "Man of Steel" is an alien invasion movie, about an orphan alien living among us, until his biological family comes to claim him for their own. The set up is clever (and would've been amazing with a better writer), but this means the action is framed through the eyes of the humans, the audience; that's why there is so much unnecessary destruction. It's a disaster movie, but there's Superman in it.

This edit manages to fix this by employing two basic tricks: for one thing, it adds the "heroic" theme in key scenes. It's so minor you'd think it doesn't matter, but it actually does a lot to change this to a legit superhero movie.

The other, far more important trick, is the editing down of action sequences. TM2YC's idea to trim down the action to only the sequences that involve Superman actively trying to save people was brilliant in its simplicity. Not only does this make the film less tedious and less loud, not only does it change the tone of the movie without ever needing to actively change the tone of the movie, but most importantly it creates a bond between the audience and Superman, the hero. It's that lack of a connection, this alienation, in the theatrical cut that led so many to blame Superman for the destruction of Metropolis. By keeping the action focused on Superman, no matter how loud and violent it gets, you invest in the character and his struggle to stop it all. It doesn't matter if he often fails, what matters is that all you see is him trying.

There are other small cuts and fixes here and there, some minor moments I'd have preferred to keep in (why does everybody cut out the truck, or Superman crashing in his first flight attempt?), but this isn't really criticism. As I said, no fanedit will be perfect for you; where it counts, in its stated purpose, "A Symbol of Hope" succeeds and then some. I *enjoy* watching this edit. It has pretty much replaced the theatrical cut for me, whenever I feel like watching Man of Steel. This is near damned perfect, assuming you don't outright hate the movie as it is. If you already like Man of Steel, but you wish it was a little less exhausting and a little more Superman-y, I highly recommend this one.

PS: I would recommend not using the Extra Heroic Mix. It does wear the theme out a bit and I'm not entirely comfortable with the music being used for Jor-El. I understand the father-son connection, but a lot of this film is Clark not being a product of Krypton. I think it loses of a bit its punch. The regular Heroic Mix is plenty effective as is.

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