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Superman II
Superman II
Actors: Ned Beatty, Roger Brierley, Jackie Cooper, Gene Hackman, Clifton James
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG     2001     2hr 7min

Superman battles a trio of superpowered villains who escape from their Phantom Zone prison. They have a final battle over the streets of Metropolis. He also battles against Lex Luthor. — Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Ned Beatty, Roger Brierley, Jackie Cooper, Gene Hackman, Clifton James
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Superheroes, Indie & Art House, 7-9 Years, 10-12 Years, Family Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/01/2001
Original Release Date: 06/19/1981
Theatrical Release Date: 06/19/1981
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 7min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 7
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese

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Movie Reviews

1/3 GREAT, 2/3 JUST OK
Hank Drake | Cleveland, OH United States | 05/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Much of Superman II was filmed simultaneously with the first movie. The original plan was to have Superman I end with a cliffhanger: The nuclear missile that Lex Luthor set for Hackensack New Jersey, which Superman diverted into outer space, explodes, shattering the Phantom Zone and setting the three Kryptonian criminals free. Then the action would freeze-frame, and the screen would flash with "Next Year, Superman II."Time constraints and studio politics put an end to that scenario. As the first movie was hastily completed to meet the release date, Superman II was put on hold. Then, director Richard Donner was fired, and replaced with Richard Lester. Even though 70% of the second film was complete, much of Donner's footage was reshot by Lester. In the final film, about one-third of the remaining footage is Donner's. All scenes with Gene Hackman, Valerie Perrine, Ned Beatty, or E. G. Marshall were shot by Donner. In addition, the scene at the diner where Clark gets attacked was shot by Donner. As sequences for Superman II were filmed as much as two years apart from each other, there are glaring continuity problems in the film. Lester set a different tone than Donner, opting for slapstick humor over the verisimilitude of the first movie. Also, because of legal difficulties, all footage with Marlon Brando was removed, including a moving scene where Jor-El sacrifices his remaining spirit to return Superman's powers (rather like God touching the hand of Adam). Anyone who has seen the original script for Superman II knows it would have been a better film if Donner had remained at the helm.So, how is Lester's Superman II? Pretty impressive overall. There is ample character development, particularly in the Lois/Clark/Superman love triangle, and plenty of action to keep the viewer satisfied. The visuals are mostly on the same level as the first movie, although the destruction of the Phantom Zone and the defacing of Mount Rushmore look pretty cheap. John Williams' excellent score is cannibalized by Ken Thorne, conducting what sounds like a high school orchestra. So, overall, while entertaining, the movie lacks the epic scope of the first film, and is far less memorable. The letterboxed DVD looks fine is unspectacular. The sound is flat and unimpressive. Warner has packaged the DVD in their usual cheap snapper case."
gdb | london | 10/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm really begging with Amazon to not confuse The new Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, with the original Superman II: Richard Lester version because both of these are completely different films & should be treated as such.

1st thing people who truely think that Richard Lester is a great director & did a great job on SII need a reality check. All he did was take an already great script done by SUPERMAN I creative consultant Tom Mankiewicz, and 70-80% shot by Richard Donner shift around some stuff & make the film (all the actors were there for him, a donkey could have done it).

Lester would also add some unneeded slap stick humor (e.g. Metropolis fight scene where the three super villains use their super breath to blow out the Metropolis civilians where after an unneeded and very cheesey moment of slap stick bad homage to Charlie Chaplin stances take place & the earlier scene of when the supervillains are introduced by duking it out in the American wild west???).

Lester would be found out as a director in the poor Superman III where his slap stick humour would basically ruin the film but not to say his version of Superman II is bad but it just doesn't compare to the brilliance of number 1, especially after repeated watchings II just seems like a poor boys substiute!!

Donner on the other hand had completely different thinking for II it was meant to be on the same epic scale & feeling a I & in quality terms match it if not even better it. Also around 30% of the Lester film uses Donner's footage whilst in the SII:DC it uses around 80% footage & will feel like a completely different film.

Having already seen some of the new scenes, e.g. Lois jumping out of the window of The Daily Planet to proove that Clark is Superman, The fight with The Super Villains over Metropolis, some of the new Brando scenes, & Lois's tearful farewell, it's obvious that this film will be entirely different from the original theatrical realise of SII & should be treated as an entirely different film not put as if it's just a normal directors cut of an already realised film!!!

Please Amazon originally the link was seperate so why change it???

Special edition coming of classic live-action comic strip e
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 02/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's very rare for a sequel to eclipse its predecessor (The GODFATHER and X-MEN series feature examples along with THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and SPIDERMAN 2) but this movie comes close to being a better picture than the classic superhero movie that preceded it two years earlier, almost - but not quite.
Perhaps it is the fact that the two were originally shot back-to-back (before the Salkind brothers fired Director Richard Donner and brought in Richard Lester) but this movie shares a tone and panache of the first movie in the series that the subsequent films lacked. I suppose it is no surprise then that the upcoming (at the time of writing) big screen SUPERMAN RETURNS takes place after this entry thereby totally negating the slapstick SUPERMAN III and horrendous SUPERMAN IV.
At the beginning of the first movie we saw Superman's father Jor-El prosecute three criminals and send them out hurtling into space. These events are recounted at the beginning of this movie, and I still remember watching the opening in a darkened theater one night in the early 1980s, wondering if the first movie had accidentally been placed in to the projector.
These three criminals are led by the excellent Terence Stamp (who would later provide the voice of Jor-El in the SMALLVILLE television series) as Zod and included the very sexy Sarah Douglas as Ursa. They subsequently make their way the Moon and after decimating an Apollo crew head for Earth marveling at their superhuman abilities.
Meanwhile on Earth, after rescuing Lois Lane (played by the very appealing Margot Kidder who was the focus of a schoolboy crush on my part) from a hostage situation in Paris, Clark Kent is having an increasingly difficult time trying to keep his identity a secret. Then when Lois learns the truth the two get together, which forces Clark to turn in his powers - just at the very moment that Zod and his companions are arriving to wreak havoc.
Add to the mix Gene Hackman reprising his role as Lex Luthor (who has some of the best lines in the movie) and what follows is a highly entertaining action movie. Will Clark be able to get his powers back? Will he be able to defeat three with the same powers he has and will he be able to exact some payback on that guy at the diner who beat him up when he was powerless Clark Kent? My favorite scenes in the movie are those that center on the battle between Superman and the three supervillains as they duke it out on the streets of Metropolis (actually filmed in England on the studio backlot). The special effects look a little hokey today and the modelwork is very noticeable in some scenes, but this is good old fashioned fun and probably one of the best comic book movies ever committed to celluloid.

Unfortunately the same attention was not given to this movie as its predecessor when the series was released on DVD. Whereas the first movie featured googles of documentaries and even an audio commentary (both worth checking out), this movie's DVD release was limited to the theatrical trailer. With this in mind it might be worth waiting for the special edition planned for June 2006.
The special edition will feature the theatrical version of Superman II on one disc, along with option to play deleted footage and two different commentary tracks, one with Lester and the second with actors Margot Kidder, Sarah Douglas, and Gene Hackman. The second disc will feature the restored Richard Donner version, along with a commentary track by Donner (who was so good, entertaining and informative on the SUPERMAN DVD.) I notice that another reviewer has already provided a comprehensive list of the cuts made so I will not repeat them, but I am particularly looking forward to seeing more of Ursa and Luthor."
Richard Donner Should've Been Allowed To Direct!
Mr. | USA | 07/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ever since viewing the original Superman DVD and learning that director Richard Donner was fired while he was still working on Superman II, and then replaced by inferior director Richard Lester, who was the one who gave us all the cheesy scenes of Part II (and all the cheesy scenes of part III), I felt that the world was robbed of a truly great Superman series. Alexander & Ilya Salkind should be ashamed of themselves. They took a promising franchise and basically flushed it down the toilet just so they could have things done their own way. Typical Bad Producers as usual!The film itself is still strong, though it would've been stronger with Donner at the helm. Can't help but cringe when Sarah Douglas grabs a NASA patch off of one astronaut on the moon, destroying his space suit, watching him crash to the ground as if the gravity was the same as Earths. Pretty unrealistic. Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, & Gene Hackman are fantastic. My favorite scene by Chris is after he's lost his powers and is beaten up by a truck driver at a diner. As he watches the Television and learns that General Zod has taken over the world you can see the horror flooding through him. Even though it seems futile he persuades Lois to go back to Metropilis while he journeys on foot to the fortress of solitude to look for any way to get his powers back. Chris is just so great in the role, you can't imagine anybody else. By the way, I was disappointed that the scene of Superman destroying his fortress of solitude (since people are now aware of its location) was not included in this DVD version. People still look at the first two Superman movies as being the superiors (though the original is Gold, thanks to Richard Donner). Warner Brothers could've at least given us a Special Expanded Edition of Superman II like they gave its predecessor. I mean all you get on all the Superman sequels is the theatrical trailer and cast & crew information. Maybe one day they'll get around to including the bonus features and added scenes we Superman fans would love to have.Again, it's a shame that Richard Donner was not given the opportunity to finish directing Superman II (and perhaps even taking on Superman III & IV, which he would've made so much more enjoyable). The Salkinds didn't even give him a co-directing credit for Part II. It makes me wonder how any good films are made when somebody's always throwing a wrench into the works? Superman II is still a very good movie, but I'll always wonder how much better it could've been."