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For the week ending 3/25.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE
Released May 2001 by Warner Home Video

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For the newly-restored and remastered special edition of Superman: The Movie, director Richard Donner has reinstated eight minutes of footage originally cut from the 1978 theatrical release. The eight minutes are comprised of ten additional scenes and scene extensions that further flesh out characters and story. This is especially important for the character of Jor-El, as his screen time in the theatrical cut is so short. The added scenes include:

Jor-El and the Council -

This is an extension of Jor-El's warning to the council and the refusal of his peers to heed his warning. It begins earlier in the conversation as the council congratulates Jor-El for his success in banishing the three criminals to "eternal living death" in the Phantom Zone. Jor-El reasons that at least they will remain alive, unlike the citizens of Krypton. We also learn that the Phantom Zone was discovered by Jor-El and if he resists the council, he may end up in his discovery. The scene includes inserted shots and lines of dialog that further elaborate on the possible severity of Jor-El's defiance to the council.

Security Council Meeting -

The council is informed by a military officer (like the one killed at the opening of Superman II) that the power input to Jor-El's quarters are in exceed leading them to believe that there has been a misuse of power. The officer is sent to investigate and arrest Jor-El if the findings match the assumption that Jor-El is going to defy the council and flee the planet.

Baby Kel-El's Starship -

Two brief shots have been inserted into Kal-El's journey through space to Earth. These two shot show his starship passing the Phantom Zone with its inhabitants still crying out from inside.

Young Lois with Parents on Train -

A sixteen-second shot has been inserted after the young girl has just seen teenage Clark Kent running faster than her train. When proclaiming what she just saw, her mother appeases her with, "Oh, Lois Lane, you have a writer's gift for invention, I'll say that for you." The scene is also notable because Lois' mother on the train is portrayed by Noel Neill (Lois Lane from the original television series) and her father is played by Kirk Alyn (Superman from the original serials).

Mrs. Kent Opens up House -

This thirty-second insert shows Mrs. Kent, after the death of her husband, early in the morning as she opens doors, says good morning to her bird and calls for Clark to get up for breakfast. It's a really nice scene, but unfortunately it breaks up a bit of the rhythm between when Clark discovers the green crystal and when Mrs. Kent sees her son off in the horizon.

Clark and Jimmy -

This is a twenty-three second insert where Clark introduces himself to another writer at the Daily Planet as Jimmy Olsen brings him his towel. It's an interesting scene because it reinforces how uncomfortable and invisible Clark Kent can be with other people.

Jor-El and Superman -

This is, I think, the best addition to the film. This is a two-minute, twenty-second scene where Superman, after his first big night, speaks with Jor-El about all that has happened. The scene takes place in the Fortress of Solitude as Superman admits to his father that he enjoyed all the good he was able to do. Jor-El explains to Superman that, since he has already revealed himself to the world, he must keep his secret identity for two reasons. The first being that he would always have demands placed on him by humans who waste their resources and would call on him for all tasks, no matter how menial. The second, Jor-El reasons, is that the only way his enemies would be able to hurt his is to hurt those that he cares about.

Jor-El then explains to his son that vanity can exist as long as it is controlled. He explains that if it wasn't for the vanity of some on Krypton, who considered themselves indestructible, he would be able to embrace his son in his arms. It's a touching moment in the film and one that is important because it's the only true interaction that Superman has with his father, calling on him for his wisdom and advise.

Pedestrian and Clark -

This is sixteen-second insert where a disbelieving man tells Clark on the street, "That'll be the day when a guy can fly." The man who says this to Clark is director Richard Donner, making a cameo in the film.

Fire and Ice -

This is probably the most well known and talked about addition to the new cut of Superman. As Superman makes his way down to Lex Luther's lair, Luther confronts him with several obstacles. First, several machine guns emerge from the wall, spraying Superman with bullets, which merely bounce off of him with sparks that fly everywhere. Then he roasted in a flame tunnel that also does nothing to slow him down. Finally, the Man of Steel is frozen in ice but breaks through and continues toward Luther. This is a great looking scene and it's really cool, but it really seems to not belong. Luther, Otis and Teschmacher have already had a conversation about how fire and bullets can't kill Superman, yet that's exactly what Luther uses. It seems to have been done because it would be cool rather than because it would make sense.

Hollywood Sign Falls -

During the earthquake sequence, a fourteen-second segment showing the Hollywood sign fall around a bunch of girl scouts. This is probably the most useless addition in the entire recut film.

 

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Superman: The Movie: The Unoffical Novel
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