“Kneel Before Zod!”

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, Superman II is The Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the poster above or the movie’s title to download our review of the film, featuring the return of Sean “Hollywood” Hunting.

PLEASE NOTE: Sean’s sound is going to be a little off until we can arrange a better recording set-up for him. Please bear with us.

Review in a Nutshell: Cobbled together from elements filmed by two drastically different directors, Superman II is one of those films that we loved as a kid that doesn’t hold up well when viewed with the eyes of an adult. Some of the fight scenes and special effects are still nifty, though.

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25 Responses

  1. Both of the first two Superman movies are great. The reluctant lonely hero theme is powerful stuff for action drama and this film and Spiderman 2 both do a spectacular job with it; in my opinion.

  2. Are you going to review “The Ridchard Donner” cut?

  3. No! Stop asking!

    The first Superman movie is super boring and all of the Spider-man films were terrible. Also, Christmas is canceled. Bah humbug!

  4. joel schumacher did lost boys, not richard donner

  5. Oh Goki, you are breaking mah heart! 😛

  6. Apparently Donner produced The Lost Boys. Alex is right, though, it was Schumacher that directed it.

  7. I watch the first Superman movie whenever I can’t sleep. Works great, especially since they were kind enough to include a music-only track on the disc. Lulls me right into dreamy land.

    Seriously, I’m sick and tired of superhero movie franchises thinking that they need to have a “Begins” movie. The origin story is always the most boring. They should skip it and move onto the more interesting stories. It’s not like nobody knows the back story of Superman.

    Seriously, in no other genre is this necessary. In 24, do we need to see the story of how Jack Bower became a special agent? No we don’t, because nobody cares.

    I’m glad you skipped the first Superman film, Goob. We don’t need to sit through a movie that wastes well over an hour just to give us Marlon Brando with a spit curl and some no-name actor with prosthetic nose throwing a green crystal at the North Pole.

    Superman II is the only one in the series that needs to be seen, even if it is a little silly in retrospect.

  8. Regarding origin stories — someone commenting on short stories once said something to the effect of, “If you have a toaster, and you like the toast it makes, knowing the entire history of the toaster’s manufacturing process doesn’t make the toast taste any better.”

    Superman 2 has aged as well for me as it has for Goob. And the Donner cut — no gold there. It just takes the bad parts and replaces them with other different, but equally bad parts.

    I still think Superman: The Animated Series and JLA/JLU are the only places they ever really got him right.

  9. Don’t forget the 1940s cartoons

  10. Hey Paul it seems your resurrection is still incomplete. Eraserhead and Flight of the Navigator don’t seem to work in the archives or the feed.

  11. My RSS podcast app isn’t showing the Superman podcast in the feed. It shows this post but not the actual mp3 file. I use doggcatcher to get the podcasts. Help!

  12. Nevermind my comment about the podcast not being in the feed. I set the feed up wrong on doggcatcher. I’m still not used to how it works. (I’m an idiot.) 🙂

  13. Joseph,

    I’ve checked Flight of the Navigator in feed and in the Archives, and they both appear to be working properly.

    I’ve decided not to reupload the Eraserhead podcast, because it was an April Fool’s Joke in which Sean and I reviewed the entire film in only ten words, and I don’t think it’s really that funny anymore…

  14. Superman I & II were filmed at the same time. 70% of II was shot when Donner was told to just finish I and it was unknown if II would ever be finished so he changed the ending of I to the spin the world back dramatic finish.

    II was supposed to be a much darker film than the campy version which was released.

    The 3 villans from II were supposed to be released by the nuclear missile at the end of the first movie, not the absurd Lois on Eiffel tower story line. It would have been a cliffhanger ending of Superman saving the day, but unknowingly releasing the super villans.

    The 3 villan’s weren’t supposed to attack Mayberry but like you guys pointed out they were supposed to attack a much larger location.

    Lois would have caused Clark to reveal his identity, not through a weak sauce trip in the fire, but after suspecting she pulls a pistol on Clark in the hotel room and shoots him. The bullet was a blank, but Clark doesn’t know this and reveals himself as Superman.

    The return of Superman’s powers was to be Brando appearing instead as just a head, he appeared in full body and gives his son the last of his life force.

    To make Lois forget the original plan while filming both movies was for Superman to spin time in reverse, not super kiss her memory away.

    Every ending of the first 4 Superman’s, him smiling at the camera and flying off, all were version’s shot by Donner.

    And Brando, who was paid $3.7 million for I, wanted $20 million for rights to use already filmed scenes in II. He didn’t want to be in it so put out an absurd price. Hackman quit after Donner was fired. You can tell which of Lex’s scenes were done by which director by if you see Hackman’s face. If you see the back of his head or only hear his voice, then this was the Lester version.

  15. “I’ve decided not to reupload the Eraserhead podcast, because it was an April Fool’s Joke in which Sean and I reviewed the entire film in only ten words, and I don’t think it’s really that funny anymore…” – Gooberzilla

    Poor newbie.

    That all good to know Corn. But until we can jump the multiverse, What could and should happen doesn’t really change what the film is.

  16. I always took the “teleportation” as REALLY super speed, so I never had a problem with it. Everything else though is pretty true.

  17. I still like S2 from a purely nostalgaic standpoint; it was just right for me at 15/16, but it fades a little more every time I’ve rewatched it since then. The Donner cut is definitely better, so that slowed the fading somewhat, but it’s still eternally compromised by the filmmaking process.

    What I didn’t like about this ‘cast, however, was the almost CONSTANT BARRAGE of background noise. It made me want to climb into the Tron world, come out at the other end, and slap whoever was doing all the fidgeting. You guys are doing great with content, but I’m not going to listen again unless you promise to SIT STILL.

  18. My public disdain for the Richard Donner Superman movies has been known since episode 4 of the pretty much departed Snacktime Online podcast recorded years ago with Paul. Oh hey, I’m hosting that! http://tinyurl.com/ycc5mnc

    As such, I was with you guys 100% of the way…until Paul had to invoke his “I’m completely wrong 33% of the time” powers by saying he didn’t object to the treatment of Superman’s powers and thus didn’t warrant it necessary for there to be another Superman film. The reason the general public is so disinterested in Superman and thinks he sucks or whatever is because none of the various live-action versions of Superman reflect how Superman has been portrayed in comics for the last 25 to 30 years. The Reeve Supermen and Superman Returns, which in ill-advised fashion was NOT a reboot, work off of the antiquated Superman model of “guy with new powers every week, as the story demands.” That sort of thing only works for Baoh. All of the Lois & Clark / Smallville stuff do a fine job of taking the “super” out of “Superman,” leaving some strong-ish guy that’s a doormat for some girl, whose biggest display of power is throwing someone into a wall or window like this one: http://tweetphoto.com/17150675

    Live-action TV and movies are all people pay attention to, and when Superman uniformly sucks in all of those the end result is that everyone thinks Superman is lame, boring, and outdated. Can’t really fault them. Bill’s big Superman speech in Kill Bill hasn’t applied to the character for decades, but it resonates with what most people think Superman to be. You could try and argue “well, Bill’s an old man so that’s how he’d think,” but you know as well as I that every character in a Quentin Tarantino movie talks with one voice: Quentin Tarantino’s.

    No sir, we are damn well due for a live-action Superman treatment that just uses the default Superman character as he’s been in the comics for about as long as I’ve been alive (Your “Death of Superman” examples are BS, because NONE OF THEM WAS ACTUALLY SUPERMAN). A wise scholarly man named Keith Allison once wrote a few posts above me that the Timm/Dini animated Superman were the ones who got it right, and the reasons why are simple: he’s got a defined set of abilities, demonstrates consistent weaknesses and limitations, and MOST IMPORTANTLY…regardless of what outfit he’s got on, he is Clark Kent first and Superman second.

    Who should play this new Superman? Why, Neil Nadelman of course: http://tweetphoto.com/17151392

  19. Maybe my computer was just acting up on me the other day when I tried to download flight of the navigator. I was right about Eraser Head though! I would have known that it was a joke if I had been following your podcast since then. For that, I apologize sir.

  20. Paul, I’ve been a fan of the podcast for a LONG time. And I have to say that I am VERY disappointed that you refuse to give the Donner cut of the film ANY chance at all. I’m not asking you to be a fan of film but for a proper review of the movie as WHOLE it’s almost an obligation. A lot of the questions you have i.e. “How does he gets his powers back?” is not only answered, but is perhaps one of the most powerful scenes in the cut. I felt the same as you did when I re-watched the theatrical cut. But once I saw the Donner cut it forever replaced the theatrical as the DEFINITIVE Superman II. Is it PERFECT? No, there are still moments that I question. I hope you give it some more thought. This podcast is INCOMPLETE as far as I’m concerned.

  21. I’m sick of taking flak for this. I should have known better, really.

    Allow me to make this absolutely clear: When I say I have no interest in watching the Richard Donner Cut, I mean exactly that. I don’t care. I do not care. At all. There is nothing about that version of the film that interests me in the slightest. I don’t even have a glimmer, an inkling of a desire to see it. I have better ways to use my free time.

    All of the people giving me static about the Donner Cut has only served to solidify my desire not to see it. Stop pressuring me. I respect your opinions, but I do not share them. Do me the same courtesy.

  22. I’m going to agree with Gooberzilla on this one. As a kid I loved this movie when it came out in the theaters (I was four at the time) and then watching it last year I thought to myself, “I was a dumb kid”. I watch both cuts of the film and it did not change my mind. Two things took me out of the movie. First were the product placements like Superman hitting a Marlboro truck; that made my eyes roll. The second one is what Sean said in the podcast about what a moron Clark became when he went to the dinner after he got his powers back.

    The thing that infuriates me the most is that actions in this movie caused Superman Return movie to be made. I can just see the screenwriter thinking something like, “In Superman II Lois and Clark did it. Let’s not play it safe and make Lois have a kid without Superman knowing it. Yea that’s fine art man!” Superman now has a bastard child and is a deadbeat dad.

    I am now scared because my dad has the Flash Gordon movie on DVD that I will need to watch. I also loved this movie as a kid but it does have the awesome “Flash, Aww Aww. He saved every one of us” playing in the background. I whish Superman II had an awesome soundtrack by Queen. That might have saved the movie.

  23. I just flashed back to a cold call I got once in the early years of my storyboarding career. It was from someone at John Waters’ production office. I have no idea how they heard about me or got my number, but the enthusiastic young man on the phone asked me if I’d be interested in working on the next Superman movie. Of course, I was floored.

    I asked what it was about, and the guy proudly announced it would be “the one where Superman dies but he and Lois have a baby with super-powers he becomes the NEW Superman.” Stated like it was a personal victory. Of course, I immediately thought this sounded like a bad idea, but said I’d be interested anyway. (You never know where these things will lead.)

    That was the last I ever heard from them, obviously because the movie didn’t go into production. I forgot all about that call until I was sitting in a theatre watching Superman Returns and…well, you know the rest…

  24. I do agree that S2 does not hold up with the passage of time and in the eyes of a “sophisticated” adult, but it was spectacular for a 13 year old boy in 1980. It is also true that the characterization of Big Blue doesn’t jive with the general ideals associated with the character, but in actuality, we should be thankful for that. Take a look at a Superman comic in the late 70s and how generally terrible the character was written and I’m actually surprise how well this troubled production turned out. Even with one director and full studio and cast support, you can end up with a (recently viewed) horrid disaster like GI Joe. Give me Superman II over one of those loud, flashy wastes of two hours.

  25. Even if God himself directed a Superman movie, it would still be terrible. Quit hanging on to a lie. Stop making Superman movies.

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