Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kick-Ass - With no power, comes no responsibility. Except, *that* wasn't true

When I first saw Kick-Ass I was dissapointed to be honest. Having read the graphic novel I was annoyed that some of the lead characters were completely rewritten by screen writer and wife of Wossy Jane Goldman. They just came across as more sympathetic. I would of liked it to be a lot more faithful to the book than what it actually was.
Mark Miller (creator of the comic) and Matthew Vaughn (Film director) worked together on the project. Miller concentratd on the material for the comic Vaughn concentrated on the material for the movie. Even thouhg I'm aware of this I still think it's pretty rubbish that the film didn't stick to the comic more. It also shows (in my opinion) that this sort of 'production' doesn't work because it will end in dissapointment for some fans.Someone raised the point ealrier that the comic was still being made when the film was in production hence why some things may be different.
The first hour was awesome and had me going "Oh yeah, great scene from the book". But after that it went a bit wrong.
The whole point of Kick-Ass was it was more based in reality although some of that in the comic is also questionable Ok, Hit Girl doing all her ninja assasination stuff is totally unbelievable as well but atleast it was part of the original story.

While being based on the comic book, Kick-ass had several notable differences than its comic inspiration.

Kick-Ass has been shown to be the only character in the film with a similar costume to his comic book counterpart. All of the other main characters have different costumes in the film.

Frank D'Amico is called John Genovese in the comic book. The name is taken from the Genovese crime family.

In the film, when Big Daddy quizzes Hit Girl, they are in the armory while Mindy plays with her new knife. In the book, he quizzes her on a communication device whilst she is killing gangsters in a bar, with him providing over-watch with a sniper rifle.

In the film, Hit Girl and Big Daddy track Kick-Ass home by re-routing his IP address and tracing a discharge from his taser. In the comic, they simply follow him home.

Big Daddy is not actually an ex-cop in the comics, as he admits to Genovese and Dave shortly before his death. He was in fact an accountant who, much like Dave, fantasized about being a superhero. He made up a fake history of himself and lied that he was an ex-cop with a personal vendetta against John Genovese (Frank D'Amico). He also gets money for himself and Mindy by selling his rare comic books.[108] His comic backstory is touched in the film by his use of comic terminology in the attempted execution scene.

In the film, Big Daddy is killed by being burned and succumbing to his injuries. In the comic, he is shot through the back of the head (in a graphic depiction as the bullet exits through his left eye socket), shortly after he reveals that he was never a cop.

When Kick-Ass is being tortured, he is not just beaten up like in the film, he has a car battery hooked up to his testes and is shocked extensively. The mobsters do not broadcast this torture session on the internet, as they do in the film.

In the comic, Dave never becomes Katie's boyfriend; after he reveals that he was not gay, she calls him a pervert for pretending to be gay and orders her boyfriend to beat Dave. Afterwards they send him a picture of Katie performing fellatio on the boyfriend. In the film, Katie forgives Dave for pretending that he was gay, realizing that Dave loves her, and she became Dave's girlfriend.

At the end of the comic when Red Mist is vowing his revenge against Kick-Ass, he is in fact writing an e-mail which he sends to him, as opposed to the film when he is just talking to himself.

In the comic, Kick-Ass does not use a jetpack outfitted with machine guns during the climactic battle. In fact, he does not kill anyone at all. Instead, he finds and pummels Red Mist with two large pieces of wood, while Hit Girl kills everyone else.

In the film, it is implied that cocaine dealing is the only criminal activity Frank D'Amico's organization is involved with. In the comic, it is clearly stated that John Genovese's organization is involved in gambling and pornography, as well as drugs.

Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) was funny but surely it would of been better to stick to the book with his story arc? He actually says sorry to Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson)!?! The relationship Dave has with Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca) in this was terrible and missed the point.
When we started discovered Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) & Hit Girl's (Chloe Moretz) origin I think that ruined the whole film. I spent a good amount of time wondering when we were going to see his t(r)unk with the back issues in but I realised it was pointless when his former partner tracked him down. He was a cop!?! What sort of rubbish is that. Big Daddy was the ultimate fan boy who took his love for costumed heroes to the extreme and actually went way to far.
Surely no one was expecting it to be that much different though?

I must admit Nic Cage was good in this though and his Adam West voice was particuly funny.
The ending was also a bit of a let down. I should of been more alert when we didn't see Kick-Ass getting his balls fried at the start of the film. And a jet pack!?! What was that all about?
I think the whole point of Kick-Ass was missed in this film.
Ha, I know I am ranting a bit so I will shut up. I really liked this film but just felt a bit let down that certain stuff was changed for the worse.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Trailer From San Diego Comic-Con

As you know from my previous blog post, yesterday at the San Diego Comic-Con saw the cast and crew of the show take to the stage to talk about season 2. The session featured the release of the new trailer which sent fans insane.

We wouldn't be geeks though without some folks moaning about how things in this trailer never happened in the graphic novels (Although the "Shane is still alive" debate seems to of passed on now).
I think people need to stop comparing things that feature in this to the graphic novel storyline as a negative thing. As you know I'm also a massive fan of Kirkman's books but I can see the changes that need to be made to make this TV show awesome (and it is awesome isn't it).

To be blunt this trailer makes me sex wee. I so can't wait.

Check it out.

Friday, July 22, 2011

last night Twitter served it's purpose for me - The Walking Dead: Season 2 Panel at Comic-Con

last night Twitter finally served it's real purpose for me. The Walking Dead: Season 2 Panel at Comic-Con Featuring Main Cast and Crew took place and thanks to @WalkingDead_AMC I was able to follow it in some sort of capacity on Twitter. A few tasty bits of info here and it pumps me up so much more for season 2.

Here are the tweets in all their glory.

#WalkingDead will premiere Sunday, October 16th at 9pm!

Hurd says #WalkingDead will be premiering during AMC's Fearfest.

Kirkman joking on how #WalkingDead ended up on TV: "I had no idea it was going on. They called me after it was all done."

Kirkman: "AMC had the vision to try something this crazy." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "Eventually, Frank came along, and never went away." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Hardwick to Darabont: "Can I nerd out on you for a moment? You wrote my favorite Nightmare on Elm Street." [Laughter] #WalkingDead

Kirkman:"I was kind of the mind that it would never, ever been a television show, because it is dark, and it is zombies." #WalkingDead

Kirkman has offered to make Hardwick a zombie, and shoot him in the face.#WalkingDead

Hardwick tells story about scaring girls while nerding out about #WalkingDead. Kirkman: "You're no stranger to scaring girls, right?" #SDCC

Kirkman: "The good thing about the first season is no one actually knew what's coming." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "It's empowered us to try harder, to try more things. We're taking that seriously, and trying to deliver." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Darabont: "This year, we have a room full of writers who have seen the show now, who are fans." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Darabont: "Now we have people who come to the table and say, we want to be a part of this. And that's a great feeling." #WalkingDead #SDCC

On getting ready for Season 2 - Darabont: "The coursework is going back and reading Robert's comics." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Hurd: "Partner with the best people you can find, and I have three of them sitting up with me right here." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Darabont teases that they'll be showing off the Season 2 trailer! Or possibly Kirkman dancing for the crowd. #WalkingDead #SDCC

Trailer is premiering now! #WalkingDead #SDCC

"The end of civilization... Was just the beginning." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Shane running. Zombies. Recap of Season 1. Epic music is playing. #WalkingDead #SDCC

Glenn. Andrea. Dixon. Massive explosions. The worst thing you could imagine for our group happens. #WalkingDead #SDCC

...And then things get worse. #WalkingDead #SDCC

Fans of big zombie action? Get ready. Oh, and maybe there's a glimpse of a certain farm. #WalkingDead #SDCC

The crowd goes nuts, as the trailer ends. #WalkingDead #SDCC

The cast is hitting stage! Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callis, Jon Bernthal - head shaved! #WalkingDead #SDCC

Lincoln: "This is my second Con, but it's still just as scary." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, and Norman Reedus are all on stage, too! #WalkingDead #SDCC

Callies: "You work as hard on a failure as you do on a success. I thought I had jinxed this, I loved it so much." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Callies: "I think I'm going to get wacked in the next episode." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Callies: "The scripts this season are... Unprecedented. They're the best television scripts I've ever seen." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Callies: "You start to realize the most dangerous things out there are the monsters inside." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Bernthal: "Never does a pilot... I had never read anything that rich." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Bernthal: "Every stage of the way, every person I've met... Only make this better and better and better." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Bernthal: "The #WalkingDead fans are the best fans in the world. You're hungry for it, and we want to feed you." #SDCC

Holden: "Everybody's got their own individual challenges in season two. Everyone is pushed to the max." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Holden: "If you're a fan of the #WalkingDead graphic novel, I think you're going to be really happy with this season." #SDCC

DeMunn on Dale: "I guess he's just so terribly nearsighted, he doesn't see the trouble he's in." #WalkingDead #SDCC

DeMunn on Season One: "I hadn't seen any scripts, but knowing Frank, I said, 'Yeah, I'll get on board with that.'" #WalkingDead #SDCC

Yeun: "I was one of those very fortunate cases where I had just moved to LA. And, I don't know, the stars aligned." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Yeun: "...You go to work. Sweat your butt off. And then do another tick check." [More laughter] #WalkingDead #SDCC

Reedus pumps his fists, the crowd goes crazy. #WalkingDead #SDCC

Reedus: "Dude, I run around with a crossbow and shoot zombies in the brain, it's awesome." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "I've written this stuff so long, and I've seen what would happen to people in this world." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "People say, oh, I'd go to a place with showers... No you wouldn't, you'd be someone's pet." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "I'd jump off a bridge." Hurd: "You need a headshot. Read the comic, learn the rules Robert!" #WalkingDead #SDCC

Darabont: "It picks up 2 seconds after the end of season 1. It literally begins with them driving away from the CDC." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Darabont: "There's none of this six months later B-S." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman, on who would play Tyrese, Micchone and The Governor: "Ed O'Neill, Ed O'Neill, and Ed O'Neill." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "My second go-to is John Stamos." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Darabont: "The fair answer is, we're actually having those conversations as we speak. [Pause] Ed O'Neill." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Lincoln did most of his own stunts - even driving, and he only started to drive four years ago. #WalkingDead #SDCC

Bernthal on stunts: "We do as much as we can ourselves, and it's an incredibly game bunch of actors." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Reedus asked what was weirder, working on #WalkingDead, or a Lady Gaga video: "This is by far the best... And the weirdest."

A fan asks Nicotero for advice on getting into FX: "Take really great pictures every time you do makeup." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Nicotero: "I got a great phone call from Rick Baker saying how much he loved the zombies on the show." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Nicotero: "If I wasn't sitting here, I'd be sitting out there. I get to sit next to Andy Lincoln! How cool is that?" #WalkingDead #SDCC

Nicotero and Darabont went up to Frank Frazetta paintings and geeked out last night! Comic-Con, you guys! #WalkingDead #SDCC

Nicotero: "I've done 800 movies, and this is the best job I've ever had. I get to work with these people every day." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Callies on Carl: "I was brought to tears by how proud I am of him."

Callies: "We did a scene the other day, and he's the first to say, "Hey, good work everybody. Good work."" #WalkingDead #SDCC

Callies on Carl: "He is going to blow your mind this year." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Lincoln: "We're bustling to bring you the best season two we can give." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Lincoln: "You just turn up. Learn your lines. And get out of the way... Because the words are so cool to say." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "I'm now embarrassed because I haven't taken Andrew Lincoln to the Cracker Barrel."

Kirkman: "The comic book series has been going for so long, I've been able to do all these horrible things to Rick..." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "I think the plan is to get there, but we're not going to rush." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Kirkman: "Putting these characters through their paces is a big part of what we're aiming to do with this show." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Nicotero: "We have a little mouth rinse that we paint the inside of the zombies' mouths with... And it tastes disgusting" #WalkingDead #SDCC

Nicotero:"If you walk on set, there's this little black puddles everywhere, where the actors have spit out their makeup." #WalkingDead #SDCC

Nicotero: "They're troopers, all the zombies. They're great performers, too." #WalkingDead #SDCC

DeMunn asked about translating his theater work to killing zombies. #WalkingDead #SDCC

DeMunn: "I have no idea how Death of a Salesman helps me kill a zombie." #WalkingDead #SDCC

...Hardwick thanks the actors and crew, HUGE applause. #WalkingDead #SDCC

...And the trailer is playing again. #WalkingDead #SDCC

So what do you think then?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Alien vs. Predator - Whoever wins, we lose... or enjoy it like I do.

When it comes to the first AVP film I would of loved to of seen a straight adaption of the original Dark Horse Graphic novel (One of the first I ever read when I was a kid).
If they were going to make a 3rd film which is pretty unlikely now I would hope they would do this BUT anyway...

Lance Henriksen was apparently the first person to be cast in this film according to director Paul W.S Anderson and with that gives us a bit of continuity between this film and the Alien films. Along with Colin Salmon I'd say these were the best members of the cast despite the fact they don't make it to the end of the film.

Most of the other cast in this are terrible. Sanaa Lathan as Alexa Woods (this films Ripley) is terrible. At no point in this film do I feel for the character and even when she is telling Weyland how her dad died I just yawned and scratched myself a bit. Her line about stopping the serpents from getting to the surface is a poor woman's Ripley speech.
Whose idea was it to cast Spud from Trainspotting in this film? The bloke is awful in this. You know he is going to die as soon as he mentions his "Kids back home". I do cringe at his final scene in the egg chamber.

Saying that though it's pretty fast paced and it's only half an hour before all the action starts kicking off and I do like how they accidently trigger the Queen Alien being defrosted. If you have read the various comics of AVP from back in the 90's there are a good few nods to them with the look of some things. Things like that please me.

Maybe it's just a bit picky but I don't understand why Anderson felt the need to make the Predators HUGE. The 3 in this are much bigger compared to the previous 2 we had seen but at the same time we do see some fantastic visual effects for the Predators.

One of my favourite sets in this is the facehugger chamber. It's creepy as hell when the eggs open and we have the slow motion shot of the huggers jumping at the unlucky folks in it. Correct me if I am wrong but not since the Ripley/facehugger scene in Aliens have they been so cool to watch.

One thing I don't like though is how short the time it takes for the chestbursters to appear (It's about a minute).
Are we to presume a huge amount of time has passed since?

This films suffers a bit from what I like to call "Terminator: Salvation Syndrome" where lines from the other movies are pointlessly thrown in to pay tribute. The "Ugly MoFo" line springs to mind which is uttered near the films end.
I do like the Predator/Alien mash-ups in this though. Having only ever seen panels of such fights in the various graphic novels it was pretty damn cool to see them fighting on the big screen.

When it's just her and the Predator at the end and it makes her a shield out of the Aliens head and a spear from it's tail I give a little geeky yelp of joy but I don't really like the ending with the Queen as I am not convinced she wouldn't come out of the water again once she got free from the water tower. Although it is nice to see a fully mobile CG Queen. The bitch had never looked so good before this.

Overall though I do kind of like this film and I don't think it is as bad as some people make out.
I'd rather watch this film by Paul W.S Anderson then his terrible Resident Evil adaption any day.

The Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer released and I get all excited and scream like a girl

You may remember back in May I posted and commented on the first picture of Tom Hardy as Bane from The Dark Knights Rises which you can read HERE.

This week saw the release of the first teaser trailer for the final part in Chris Nolan's Batman trilogy. I watched this last night for the first time in it's official capacity and not some dodgy mobile phone recording and really got all excited about it.

There are a few good questions that are raised after watching this.

1 - Will Bruce confess to Gordon that he is Batman then?

2 - Is Bane the reason for Gordon's condition in hospital?

3 - Does this mean it won't be the Bat that gets broken? (click on the name Bane in the last point if you want to know what I'm going on about)

4 - Will Tom Hardy manage to pull of a convincing Spanish accent?

For those who don't know what is being chanted at the end of the trailer apparently it is "kill him, kill him, Bane, Bane" in Spanish since Bane is Spanish.

I've downloaded this to my phone and will be watching again and again for a while. All we need now is that first official picture of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.

"You fail me yet again Michael Bay" - Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I can honestly say this is the worst film I've ever seen. I booked the ticket on Saturday and since doing that came down with a bad cold. I didn't want to waste my money so yesterday I struggled down to cineworld to see it. I think the other people in there must of misunderstood my sniffles and constant wiping my eyes for joy and sadness with what happens in the film. They thought wrong.
The best bit about this film was Leonard Nimoy (Sentinal Prime) paying tribute to his most famous character. Apart from the "Needs of the many" line there were a few Star Trek nods in this film. Spock's "I am and always shall be your friend" was sampled by Bumblebee when he said goodbye to Sam. Wheelie watching the original Trek TV show and Sam saying the museum looked like the Enterprise.
I couldn't tell you who any of the new Decepticon/Autobot's featured in the film were individually despite their names being mentioned. Only looking ar IMDB now informs me that the great James Remar voiced Sideswipe AND WTF was Shockwave all about!?! I thought he was going to be a major bad guy but all he did was get his giant metal Decepticon penis to destroy buildings. And who was the Autobot with Wheelie? And what was with the hair?
It was nice to see some sort of live-action Lazer Beak on screen finally though.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was just terrible and Megan Fox was seriously missed in this movie. And that is me refering to acting ability there as well.

Overall though this was worse than the second one and as much as I don't like that I'd call it a masterpiece compared to this.

As a fellow SFX forum user said "If you're expecting a decent plot, good acting, humour that's actually funny, etc. then you'll be disappointed. If you're expecting excellently-crafted action sequences, then you'll lap it up with a spoon."

Dear Mr Bay

Please don't make any more movies.

That is all.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

James Cameron Previews First Footage of 'Titanic 3D' - Decency Dies

Frame-by-frame conversion of 1997 blockbuster relaunches world-wide in April 2012
This news left me gobsmacked when I first heard about it back in 2010. The film Titanic (one of James Cameron's most successful films) to be converted to 3D!?!
Isn't it a bit wrong to make this film into a 3-D EXTRAVAGANZA! It's going to be released one hundred years and the same month (April) the actual boat sank and 1,517 people died.

And people argue that 3D's isn't gimmick.

I can't wait until Schindler's List 3D is announced and hits theaters in a few years time.


Doctor Who Series 6: Part 1. Most Disappointing.

I bought the first part of series 6 on dvd last Friday and once again I'm of the opinion a mid-season finale was a very bad idea. Not only were the first seven episodes of series 6 most unsatisfactory (apart from The Doctor's wife), to suddenly end it with a poor finale like it did just added to my "Don't really care" factor for it's return later in the year.
I was a huge supporter of The Moff when he was announced as show runner but now I'm changing my mind as he seems to be throwing in unneeded twists and confusing story arcs that even he seems to be have trouble keeping up.
While a lot of people got bored with Russell T. Davies by the end of his run I think he managed to get the balance right across seasons and while Season 3 isn't a favourite of every ones I think It had just the right amount of arcness(?) about it to make it enjoyable. Season 3 is still probably my favourite series since the show returned.
For now though while Matt Smith continues to shine as the 11Th Doctor I'm afraid he seems to be suffering a lot like Colin Baker did back in the mid-80's when John Nathan-Turner was doing his best to run the show into the ground.

Hopefully the second part of series 6 will pick up. It has to with an episode titled "Let's Kill Hitler" doesn't it?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fantastic New Pictures From Amazing Spider-Man

You may remember back in January I posted a picture of the first official shot of Andrew Garfield in next years Spider-Man reboot HERE. Well last night Entertainment Weekly released some fantastic pictures from next years Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors aka The Lizard.

I think these pictures are just "Amazing". Andrew Garfield looks awesome. He looks just like Ultimate Spider-Man. Fantastic!

I so can’t wait for this.
What do yo think?

Click here to go to Entertainment Weekly for more pics…

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

'Let's find George and Gracie' - A few thoughts on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

I remember this being one of the first Trek films I ever saw on video back in the 80's and since then it's always held a special place in my heart. Although it is a very shoddy idea (Alien Whales for goodness sake) I still love it to bits.
The whole start of the film with the probe reaching earth is just silly if you ask me and goes on for far too long but I suppose it is setting up the rest of the story. I've always found it rather annoying that we could never understand what the probe was going on about but I suppose that was the point in the first place.

It's only right that the noble crew of the Enterprise would want to go home and face the music for their actions and I love how they rename the Bird of Prey the HMS Bounty (Nice one McCoy). Spock on Vulcan still struggling to discover his true self really interests me.
I love Amanda and her speech which sums it up perfectly.
Amanda: Spock, does the good of the many out weigh the good of the one?
Spock: I would accept that as an axiom.
Amanda: Then you stand here alive because of a mistake made by your flawed, feeling, human friends. They have sacrificed their futures because they believed that the good of the one - you - was more important to them.
Spock: Humans make illogical decisions.
Amanda: They do indeed.

Saavik also has a final scene in the movie where I feel she gives Kirk some sort of peace of mind over David's death in The Search For Spock.
Saavik:[to Kirk] Sir... I have not had the opportunity to tell you about your son. David died most bravely. He saved Spock. He saved us all. I thought you should know.

This film also features the debut of Brock Peters as Admiral Cartwright. For the amount of time he is in this film I enjoy his scenes very much and obviously we all know about his fall from grace in a couple of films time so I will shut up about him for now. I also wonder if it has ever been implied he is a descendant of the Sisko family?(I know I am clutching at straws there because of Brock Peters playing Joseph Sisko in DS9).
When they finally get back to 20Th century earth you can tell this is going to be a 'more for laughs' film from the previous instalments but I don't really think that is a bad thing. 23rd century humans suddenly trying to look 'normal' in modern day is going to be funny no matter what. I must admit though I don't know if I should laugh or groan when the Bird of Prey lands and Kirk says the 'Remember where we parked' line.
There are to many great scenes in this film to mention but a few of my favourites are the scene involving Scotty and McCoy -
McCoy: You realise that by giving him the formula you're altering the future.
Scotty: Why? How do we know he didn't invent the thing?

Scotty talking to the computer via the mouse is a classic.
The crossing the road scene -
Taxi driver: [disgruntled] Why don't you watch where you're going, you dumb-ass!
James T. Kirk: Well, a double dumb-ass on you!

The bus scene with Kirk and Spock and the punk-
(Got to love the lyrics)
Just what is the future?
The things we've done and said?
Let's just push the button
We'd be better off dead
'Cause I hate you
And I berate you.

Spock having his 'funny/crazy' moments through out this film are priceless.
The final scene where Kirk is demoted back to Captain is cheesy but satisfying and also when Spock speaks to Sarek I like that Sarek admits he may of been wrong about Spock joining Starfleet in the first place.
Sarek:As I recall, I opposed your enlistment in Starfleet... It is possible that judgment was incorrect. Your associates are people of good character.

Nothing in this film really bugs me but something that has never made sense to me is Dr. Gillian Taylor and her willingness to bugger off to the 23rd century with just the 'Ive got nobody here' line to cover it!?!

And who can resist that fantastic shot of the Enterprise-A at the end and Kirk saying
James T. Kirk: My friends... we've come home.

It's interesting to note The Shat said he would only do this film if he got a pay increase and the promise of directing the next movie. We all know how well that went don't we but that I think I'll save for another day.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

I watched Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut again last night.

For the people that don't know.

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut is a 2006 re-edit of the 1980 superhero film, Superman II, by Richard Donner, who shot a large part of the original movie before being replaced as director by Richard Lester. It stars Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Terence Stamp, Margot Kidder and Marlon Brando. The cut was supervised by Donner, creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz (who penned the 1977 shooting script for Superman II,on which the Donner cut is based), and Michael Thau, an editor who worked with Donner on the 2001 DVD director's cut and restoration of the 1978 film Superman.

Unlike many "special edition" and "director's cuts" released over the years, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut is a very different film, despite both versions following roughly the same storyline. As much as half of the film contains never-before seen material filmed by Donner, including 15 minutes of Marlon Brando scenes as Superman's father Jor-El as well as numerous new Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder scenes. Some of this "new" material has appeared in earlier extended television cuts. Some of the existing scenes were also replaced with alternative takes or footage from different camera angles. There are also several newly-filmed shots and many new visual effects. Richard Donner is credited as director of the film instead of Richard Lester. More than half of Lester's footage filmed for Superman II has been removed from the film and replaced with Donner footage shot during the original principal photography from 1977. Certain footage filmed by Richard Lester remains in sequences that were not shot by Donner (due to the halt in production for this film) for purposes of story cohesion. As a result, approximately 83% of the footage in the film is Donner's footage.

When I first watched this I wasn't really expecting the film to start so differently straight away with Zod. The first scene wit Clark and Lois is fantastic and I love Lois diving out of the window of The Daily Planet.It's classic Superman how he manages to save her while still remaining undercover.
It's scenes like that that make you completely forget the Nuclear bomb opening scenes in France in the Lester version.

The extra bits with Lex Luthor and Miss Teschmacher in the Fortress of Solitude and Marlon Brando in even more scenes as Jor-El is awesome. Jor-El explaining all the little bits Lester cut out is fantastic but was there any need to imply there is a toilet in the fortress?
The scene at Niagara falls is a bit strange to watch now what with the previous scene with Lois nose diving out of the Planet a short while earlier. I like how it cuts to test footage though after the Zod scene splicing two separate test scenes together. The new way Lois finds out he is Superman by shooting him is great. Funny how Clark stitches himself up then Lois admits it was a blank.
I can't help but notice a lot of the slapstick Lester moments are no longer in this.
During the scene with Clark stepping into the chamber and loosing his powers I love how the hologram or Jor-El looks at Lois and she steps back to try to get out of sight. Does anyone else get the impression Lois regrets him doing that? Clark getting smashed up in the diner is still shocking though.
When he returns to get his powers Jor-El brought a lump to my throat with his speech.

The fight in the White House is pretty brutal now. Zod using a machine gun is scary.
"Would you hit a woman"
Again I can't help but wonder how cool a massive face off between Superman and someone with equal powers would look today with CGI effects.The fight in the city in this film still impresses me to this day.
I was expecting a bit of a better ending for Zod and co but it seems they did just fall down the cracks in the fortress in this one as well as the original. Not too sure what I think about the ending with Superman reversing time though. The only gripe I have there is that it's a bit pointless and I prefer the Lester ending in that respect.
So Donner would of ended both films with that trick then???

I remember watching this film for the first time being worried that it would change my opinion of the Lester cut but I can honestly say it hasn't.
The Donner cut is an enjoyable version of Superman II. I wonder how well this version would of done if it had been released back in the day had Donner not been fired?