OK, so a friend and I1 watched the Richard Donner cut of Superman II—all right?—and I've got to say: the non–Richard Donner cut was better (ice-cream cone, toupee, and all).
But that's neither here nor there.
Best things about Superman II:
- The part where Superman gets beaten up at a truck stop when he's lost his powers!
- The part where Gen. Zod says, "This...'super-man' is nothing of the kind"!
- The part where Ursa2 burns up a snake with heat-ray vision and gets all excited and says, "Did you see that? Did you see what I did?" (HOT)!
- The part where Superman "kneel[s] before Zod" and then totally crushes Zod's hand!
Best things about the Richard Donner cut:
- The part where Lex Luthor says he can offer Gen. Zod the son of Jor-El, Zod says, "Jor-El, our jailer?" and Luthor says, "No, Jor-El, the baseball player."
- The part where a postcoital Lois Lane is wearing Superman's shirt (see shitty homemade "screenshots" below).3
Things my doctor friend1 said while watching the Richard Donner cut:
[As Gen. Zod and his cronies destroy the Daily Planet offices and most of its windows]
Do you think they hate glass?
[As Superman is flying around in outer space at the end for no evident reason]
Dr. Get out of space!
S.R. "Get out of space"?
S.R. What's that supposed to mean?
Dr. It means stop being an asshole!4
And it's true: Superman's a total asshole. What is he even trying to do when he's hitting on Lois Lane as Clark Kent? What's his plan? Does he hope to seduce her as Clark Kent and then never tell her about Superman? Does he have multiple-personality disorder and actually believe his bullshit, identifying entirely with Kent while he's Kent? Is it the opposite of what Bill says in Kill Bill [Vol. 2], and this fucking alien weirdo sees Kent as the "real" him and Superman as some unfortunate necessity? I don't buy that: I think Bill's right that Kent is some kind of ultimately condescending or even outright hateful expression of contempt for humanity, and this time around I couldn't help but wonder whether crazy Kal-El5 was kind of getting off on these fucking games and deception. Relatedly, what the hell is he doing wearing glasses after he gets rid of his powers? It's a pretty safe guess that those glasses have non-prescription lenses in 'em6, in which case who's he trying to fool up in the fuckin' Arctic? Or if they're really prescription glasses, what are the odds that the ones he bought so he could pretend he was nearsighted actually perfectly matched the level of myopia he happened to have when he lost his powers? I mean...
Whatever. Whatever. Fuck Superman. He's dead to me.
2 I would not have actually known "Ursa"'s name without looking it up. I'm not saying I haven't watched Superman II eight hundred million times.
3 Side-note / note to straight women generally: wear men's shirts. For serious. God damn.
4 Which is additionally amusing because my doctor friend is an anusologist.
5 Come on, Nic Cage—really?
6 Unless one of his seemingly endless list of superpowers (like the kiss of forgetfulness that isn't in the Donner cut) includes seeing perfectly through distortive glass.