Review Detail

9.1 7 10
FanFix March 02, 2013 6266
Overall rating
 
8.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
This was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, b3nmitchell has effectively streamlined the film, cutting away much redundancy and improving the character dynamics overall. But on the other hand, not everything works as well as intended, and cutting away personality extremes from all of the characters (good and bad) leaves everything feeling a bit lifeless.

First the good: this is a very professional editing job in most places. The cutting is frequent but invisible. Going back and watching some of these scenes in the original cut after watching "Resolved," I was amazed by how many changes the editor implemented without my realizing it. The poor writing and casting of Lois Lane was one of the biggest stumbling blocks of the original film, and while she is still the biggest problem here (seriously, Kate Bosworth is just awful in the role), she's not as intensely hate-able due to a lot of irritating lines being cut. The pacing is also much improved over the overly-ponderous original's, with many redundancies and weak plot threads cut away. For the most part, these were all very good decisions. Removing the ridiculous other half of Luthor's plan alone is a massive improvement.

As for the bad, there are a few issues. The biggest for me is that Kevin Spacey's perfectly over-the-top-with-an-edge performance as Lex Luthor has been seriously neutered here. I feel like editor b3nmitchell has mistaken personality for "melodrama" and in doing so has robbed the film of one of its greatest assets. I loved the unhinged playfulness that Spacey brought to the role, and having his performance toned down next to the (necessarily) toned-down Lois Lane saps the film of much of it's dynamism. I also had some problems with the way the ending was handled.
***SPOILER***
The sequence built for Richard's rescue of Lois and Jason doesn't really work. It's really a credit to how well the rest of the film was cut, but this scene sticks out like a sore thumb. The cuts come swiftly and without rhythm, with the result being a choppy, confusing mess. It was a good try, but it's easily the weakest spot in the whole edit. Also, while the final confrontation between Luthor and Supes (a greatly altered scene all the way through Superman's lifting of the island) is really beautifully handled, it felt weird that Luthor would just toss his nemesis off a cliff without relishing the moment. Had there been a way to include Luthor's line "Now fly" just before he does so, this scene would have been perfect. Also, I know the last scene with Luthor and Kitty trapped on the island was a bit silly, but is it really better than him just getting away? Even as a post-credits sequence, I would have liked to have had that closure.
***END SPOILER***

In the end, this edit could not save Superman Returns for me, but I did find it to be an improvement over the original. I'm going to recommend watching it should you be interested, as there is some impressive editing on display here and there are still sequences in the movie that are a lot of fun. Just don't expect it to turn back the earth's rotation for you; this is still the Superman story we were given.

The DVD was perfect, with great audio and video quality and some really beautiful handmade menus.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
DVD
Owner's reply March 19, 2013

Ouch! Kind of a harsh rating, but I guess you can't please everyone. Thanks for the thorough review. :)

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Comments

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March 19, 2013
"Ouch! Kind of a harsh rating, but I guess you can't please everyone." That review was far from harsh.
April 01, 2013
In reply to an earlier comment

I meant that the rating hurt, because it was in the "C" range, not that the review itself was harsh in an unfair way. It was not, so I'm sorry, I should have made that clear.
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