May 072023

Superman II is hardly perfect and with Richard Lester replacing Richard Donner probably made for a whiplash of a movie in terms of tone, but this still managed to be an entertaining sequel though the goof levels were taken up a notch.



Superman II

Genre(s): Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Warner Bros. | PG – 127 min. | May 9, 2023

Date Published: 05/07/2023 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Richard Lester
Writer(s): Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster (‘Superman’ created by); Mario Puzo, David Newman and Leslie Newman (screenplay)
Cast: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Jack O’Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Susannah York, Clifton James, E.G. Marshall, Marc McClure, Terence Stamp

Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scene, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), German (Dolby Digital 1.0), Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.35
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3¾/5

Plot Synopsis: Superman (CHRISTOPHER REEVE) foils the plot of terrorists by hurtling their nuclear device into outer space, but the bomb’s shock waves free the Kryptonian villain General Zod (TERENCE STAMP) and his henchmen Ursa (SARAH DOUGLAS) and Non (JACK O’HALLORAN) from their imprisonment. Traveling to Earth, they threaten the planet with destruction at the same time that Superman decides to renounce his superpowers in order to live a normal life as Clark Kent with his new love, Lois Lane (MARGOT KIDDER).

Quick Hit Review: The Richard Lester cut of the sequel is only good I suspect because of what Donner shot and not so much the changes Lester made. Since the changes are, for the most part, minute, I’d say this is still a good movie even without Brando’s appearance. Here he’s replaced by Superman’s mom, Susannah York, which is an OK quick replacement as Brando sued the project but she doesn’t carry nearly the weight that Jor-El does when communicating with his son. In any case, the movie itself is serviceable but for all the flaws that might be in the Donner Cut in terms of what footage they were able to use, that is the version I will consider as the sequel and leave this as a fine alternate take.



Feature Commentary – Spengler and Salkind return (again, separately) give their thoughts on the controversial sequel that saw the dismissal of Donner and the hiring of Richard Lester to complete the project. (Available on 4K disc)

The Making of Superman II (52:15) is another expansive vintage featurette, probably made for TV, detailing how the sequel came to be, also with footage of the premiere is interesting in itself. Of course, this is all very PC so you’re not going to get the dirty details of how Donner left the project but still it’s worth watching.

Deleted Scene (0:40) – In this single scene while having dinner with Lois at the Fortress of Solitude, he uses his heat vision to cook a soufflé. It’s one of those scenes where it starts out as something, a sexual innuendo, and turns it into being about something else. It’s the standard sitcom technique.

First Flight: The Fleischer Superman Series (12:55) chronicles the classic cartoon series of the 1940s. Here you get interviews with those in the field including the iconic Bruce Timm, who brought us the “Batman” and “Superman” animated series. Anyone interested in the world of animation will probably be fascinated by this.

The Fleischer Studios Superman (1:19:29) is a compilation of 9 animated shorts for fans to peruse either individually or with a Play All option.

Theatrical Trailer (2:22)



VIDEO – 5/5

Superman II is presented on 4K in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and shown in 2160p high-definition transfer. The picture does look pretty phenomenal, like the previous movie. Detail is incredibly sharp and well defined as colors are vibrant such as the reds and blues in Superman’s costume while others colors are well balanced. The natural film grain is still intact giving this some nice texture.

AUDIO – 4¾/5

The disc includes a new Dolby Atmos track, a slight upgrade over the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track on the Blu-ray disc. Dialogue comes across with good clarity and the score by Ken Thorne, with John Williams’s iconic theme sprinkled in, gives the movie some good depth.



Superman II is hardly perfect and with Richard Lester replacing Richard Donner probably made for a whiplash of a movie in terms of tone, but this still managed to be an entertaining sequel though the goof levels were taken up a notch.


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