THE LAST WORD : SUPERMAN II Richard Lester Theatrical Version vs SUPERMAN II Richard Donner Cut!!

https://art-s.nflximg.net/a51de/87597ad788e1e7e1adb2f9171df6be8aca8a51de.jpg

 

Netflix is showing the theatrical cut of SUPERMAN II. Anyone who tries to tell you the Richard Donner cut of SUPERMAN II is better than the Richard Lester theatrical version is quite frankly deranged.

Okay maybe that’s a bit harsh (no it is not) but while there are pieces of the so-called Donner Cut that would be nice added into the theatrical cut, most notably the Marlon Brando scenes in the fortress of Solitude are essential, and the extended scenes with Luthor and Ms. Teschmacher are just a lot of fun (I strongly recommend getting the DVDs of both and cutting those scenes into the Theatrical cut to create something I call the improved cut. It will wow you).

as a whole the theatrical cut of SUPERMAN II is vastly superior and more satisfying then the Donner cut. Full stop.

The opening is vastly superior in the theatrical cut, as is the reason for Zod’s escape from the phantom zone. And the ending of the Donner cut, SUPERMAN turning back time again, is just lazy and stupid, from a creative level, and makes the memory wiping kiss in the theatrical version look like a stroke of genius.

And yes the theatrical version takes liberties with Superman’s powers, force beams, mirage powers, using the shield on his suit as a net, but I never had a problem with these scenes… because they were fun. And really, in for a penny… in for a pound, once you sign off on heat vision and cold breath, then mirage powers, and force blasts, and memory wiping… seems like just enjoying the ride.

Both versions skate over the final reckoning of the defeated villains, so neither version is perfect, but of the two the theatrical version is head and shoulders better. In my opinion Donner wanting to end the 2nd movie with the same unsatisfying gimmick he ended the first film with, like I said, is just lazy writing and unimaginative thinking. I could clearly see based on that, why the studios replaced him.

Final verdict?

The Richard Lester SUPERMAN II theatrical film, trounces the Richard Donner SUPERMAN II Cut by a mile.

Get your copy here:

 

Superman II (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Currently Listening and Addicted to : YOURS TRULY JOHNNY DOLLAR

I have these episodes of Johnny Dollar on CD, that I purchased off of Ebay many moons ago, and I’ve lately taken to listening to them in the morning when driving to work. They are such an enjoyable alternative to what usually is available on radio these days. And most of the CDs I never listened to (they would always take a backseat to other great, but more garish shows… such as THE SHADOW, SUSPENSE or ESCAPE). Reevaluating it now, in my more seasoned years, the show has a compelling modernity and universalness that transcends its 6+ Decades of age.

And I have to say, this show in particular, because of its still innovative format of using an Insurance Investigator’s expense account as the hook into these narratives, is surprisingly addictive. All adults to some extent are part and parcell of the Insurance world, either as an occupation or a customer, so the films slant is familiar and well worn.

A few talented actors played Johnny Dollar, but the episodes with Bob Bailey… read as the show at its best. Starting in 1955 around episode #185, those are the shows to start with.

And because the shows are public domain you can burn to CD or copy to your media player and listen to as you travel or work.

Listen to some here:

https://archive.org/details/OTRR_YoursTrulyJohnnyDollar_Singles

Highly Recommended!

2017 Belt-Tightening/Self Sufficiency Ideas! Farmers, Food-Coops, and Butchers


Well 2017 is gearing up to be a belt tightening year. The poor are on the hook to get poorer and the rich to get richer (the working poor, defined as anyone spending a sizeable amount of their income paying debt and taxes, and living paycheck to paycheck. As in, you miss a few paychecks are you at risk of losing your home or apartment? For the vast majority of us, 6 months to a year without a paycheck will put us on the wrong side of our home’s doors).

Largely this mad push to widen the gap between rich and poor, and do away with this bridge concept of a middle class, is a striving to the return of a time of lords and serfs, masters and slaves.

Liberty not vigorously guarded is vigorously lost, or wrenched away. And you can see that plain in the shenanigans of the 2016 election.

So hopefully that is a wake-up call to all those who danced like puppets to the fairy tales of bigots and billionaires.

Contrary to what the ignorant and the evil will sell you, the war is never one of skin color, or ethnicity, or nationality, those are simply means to the true end. The war is ever one of class. An old war of means and the access to means, and keeping masters few, and slaves many, by having them keep each other busy with bs conflicts, that make them easy pawns for the whims of kings.

So 2017 will see some belt tightening. Which means every dollar spent is precious.

Make sure you are getting your money’s worth.

Most city’s have food coops to link farmers direct with consumers. This does not replace the middle man of the big box grocery store than can bring you a wider variety of items, but what it does do 1/keep your local farmers in business and 2/augment and give you a backup to those big box stores. Because in hard times, one of the first things to begin breaking down is those truck deliveries, often cross country deliveries, to your local grocery or supermarket.

So yeah get in good with your food coop now, so you have that network already in place of local food producers.

The same goes for local butchers. My nonvegan and nonvegetarian friends, it is a good idea to know the local butchers and livestock farmers in your area, as again when the truck deliveries to your big box super market stores go dark, it takes no time at all for the shelves to empty out. And in such a scenario it behooves you to already have a relationship with a butcher or live-stock farmer.

And if your city or neighborhood does not offer such alternatives, maybe look into creating them in your area if feasible (and you have the support). If the support or infrastructure isn’t there, and isn’t in place to put it there, then be open to looking at other areas that may be a better fit.

Where you find yourself beginning the day, may not always be where you should end it.

Well that ends today’s hopefully helpful hints.

Be good out there.


What I’m Watching : SUPERMAN RETURNS (2006) Revisited after 10+ years!

Dracula Movie Poster

Recalling this is Frank Langella’s Birthday and how much I’m enamored of his performances (particularly his DRACULA I think is hypnotic and astounding), I went looking for films courtesy of streaming/VOD and I came across SUPERMAN RETURNS.

 

Superman Returns Movie Poster

Unlike the vocal few, I’ve always liked Bryan Singer’s SUPERMAN RETURNS. It is not perfect but its weaknesses are minor, and its strengths… deserving of praise.

Watching it today, over 10 years after its release, the film holds up. It is visually stunning to look at, gorgeously filmed and sumptuously framed, outright beautiful. Going for and achieving that feeling of awe, that particularly the first Richard Donner Superman was able to achieve, And it has that romanticized feel, and familial pacing, and doe-eyed optimism that both of the first two Donner Superman movies were able to achieve. But all of this lensed through Bryan Singers unique and ambitious take, his more otherworldly, take on the Man of Steel.

Where some people only saw ‘stalker’ Superman, those of us acquainted with reason, saw an obvious moral quandary tackled head-on. You want a being that can hear you when you call? The price and burden of this means he is always listening and always watching. So the film plays wonderfully with this idea of mensh unt Ubermensh. Of Man and Superman, and the burdens and trials of both.

The film does lose itself toward the end, but not enough to keep the journey from being rewarding, and memorable and fun.

This film falling in solid Bronze medal contention as one of the best Superman Movies of all time, beat out only by those two films that it is a natural sequel and follow-up to, Richard Donner’s SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN II.

MAN OF STEEL, as well as the other post Donner Christopher Reeves films are all left far in this films wake.

My grade after revisiting SUPERMAN RETURNS after 10+ years?

Well, Great Bryan Singer Direction, excellent visuals, stunning production design by Guy Hendrix Dyas, great performances by Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey and Tristan Lake Leabu as Lois’s son.  Also the flying scenes (all of them but particularly, That flight with Lois, a definite homage to the iconic scene in the first film, and I think it’s great),the plane scene, the yacht saving scene,the Daily Planet globe scene, the eye scene, the car scene that is a homage to a classic comic book cover, the mensh unt ubermensh overtones, and just the sheer fun of it, all of that is a solid A.

If you watch those scenes and don’t feel a sense of awe, possibly you shouldn’t be watching a film called SUPERMAN or there may be something fundamentally broken in you. 🙂

Now in the minus column you have that the Lois Lane performance sometimes grates and the general denouement/climatic battle/wrapup didn’t quite work for me (through I appreciate it more on re-watching then when I initially saw it in the theaters), those are a C- at best.

So averaged together the film as a whole is still a solid B+.

[possible spoilers]Too bad Bryan Singer didn’t get to follow this up, as I would have liked him exploring the dynamics of a SUPERMAN with a family, and a kryptonian impervious to kryptonite, and just some of the other ingenious ideas touched on in this film.[spoilers done]

Revisit it yourself on Netflix or better yet get the Blu-ray with Directors Commentary. The film will stand the test of time against the cynics, romance always does. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

 

 

Superman: The Movie / Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut / Superman Returns [Blu-ray]

Superman Returns (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Drácula (Blu-Ray) (Import Movie) (European Format – Zone B2) (2013) Frank Langella; Laurence Olivier; Donald P

First Birthday Shout-outs of 2017!

John Smith – Explorer/Mercenary 1 Jan 1580

Morris Chestnut -Actor – 1 Jan 1969

Paul Revere – A merchant, whose act of warning has become legendary, A terrorist by the laws of England, and a Patriot to the nation that would be born out of that successful Terrorism. 1 Jan 1735

Tank – Grammy Award Winning R&B Singer 1 Jan 1976

And Frank Langella – Actor and Hollywood Legend notable for his compelling performances from DRACULA to FROST NIXON to GRACE OF MONACO. 1 Jan 1938

To name a few.