Superman II
Superman II
PG | 04 December 1980 (USA)
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Three escaped criminals from the planet Krypton test the Man of Steel's mettle. Led by General Zod, the Kryptonians take control of the White House and partner with Lex Luthor to destroy Superman and rule the world. But Superman, who attempts to make himself human in order to get closer to Lois, realizes he has a responsibility to save the planet.


Best movie of this year hands down!

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This movie is the proof that the world is becoming a sick and dumb place

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An Exercise In Nonsense

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Jenna Walter

The film may be flawed, but its message is not.

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This film is very controversial. Mainly because "Superman" and "Superman 2" were both being shot at the same time. When production fell behind schedule Richard Donner stop filming the scenes for "Superman II" and concentrated on filming the scenes for "Superman 1". When Donner was ready to finish work on "Superman II" he was fired. Now why he was fired is up for grabs. Truth be told everything with Gene Hackman is "His Footage". Richard Lester ended up being the director of record for "Superman II". The 1981 film is still a good film. 25 years later Warner Brothers released "Superman II" the Richard Donner cut and it is good but the restored International Cut is actually the best cut of the film. It re-incorporated many scenes that were shot by Richard Donner. In fact the balcony scene in the international cut is much better than the scene that Donner used in his cut. Both scenes however were shot by him. In this film the three villain from Krypton have now found there way to earth and they are taking over the world with a little help from Lex Luther. At the same time Lois Lane is out to find out if Clark is really "Superman". This film has more action than the first film but it doesn't have the heart but its not meant too. Its meant to be an action adventure film and succeeds. THis version (RESTORED INTERNATIONAL CUT) is not available to buy but you can download it. I just wish the Richard Donner would have used more of the Lester Footage to so his cut did not seem so jumpy. Trust me must comic book films today are terrible when compared to "Superman" and "Superman II"

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Owen Ogletree

The original "Superman" was revolutionary and set the bar pretty high. This sequel is nowhere near as good, but it's still great on it's own right and a worthy continuation of the Superman story.The film isn't nearly as well-paced as the first film and the special effects are even more dated. Also, the humor, while not as over-the-top as in the 3rd and 4th films, can occasionally be too cheesy. However, there isn't much else to complain about.Christopher Reeve is still magical in the role of Superman, and Margot Kidder is also great as Lois Lane. I love that this film further explored their relationship.Zod, Ursa, and Non are really fun villains, and their battles with Superman are very exciting and epic. We also get the return of Gene Hackman's spot-on portrayal of Lex Luthor.The legendary music score by John Williams is as invigorating as ever, and the sets are once again great.It doesn't hold a candle to the first film, but it's still a more than worthy follow-up. It's a shame that this was the last "Superman" film that was any good.RATING: B+

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While 1978's Superman launched the superhero movies genre and proved that good movies could be made out of (to be blunt) childish comic book characters, it was it's sequel that set the standard for just how great superhero movies could be. Sam Raimi's wonderful first two Spider-Man films (in particular his second one, a masterpiece) can both be traced back to this, as it focuses on the man behind the blue costume. The film focuses on Superman ultimately being forced to reveal his secret identity to love interest Lois Lane after a series of clues causes her to catch on. As they fall deeper in love, he ultimately decides he wants to be with her, and gives up all of his powers to do, although after an ugly encounter with a man named Rocky at a cafe that makes him uncomfortable with how vulnerable he now is, and the arrival of escaped Kryptonion criminal, the ruthless General Zod, who conquers Earth with the help of his equally dangerous associates Ursa and Non, he is forced reconsider. The plot ultimately resolves itself after Zod's defeat, with Lois becoming depressed at the thought of never being able to be with him or or move on from him, so Clark does the noble thing of wiping her memory of his true identity to spare her the pain. This aspect is very well written and one of the few romance story lines in the superhero genre they've managed to get right.Acting wise, I can't even express how good Reeve is as Clark/Superman. He absolutely nails Clark's awkward facade to a tee, and strikes the perfect line between corny and badass as Superman. I'm still not sure how he manages to pull off this character so well. It's uncanny. Kidder also impresses as Lois, being given a much wider range of scenes and emotions in this, and thus more to do. Gene Hackman also returns as chief antagonist Lex Luthor in a supporting role, and even he is much better in this than the previous one, finally free of his annoying associates and awful dialogue that dragged his character down in the first movie. It's Terrance Stamp who owns the entire thing though, with his scene stealing performance as the diabolical General Zod, completely nailing every line, facial expression and movement for his character. He's so good that he managed to turn a forgettable character from the comics into a cultural icon.This movie had a troubled production, with director Richard Donner being replaced after completing half of the movie due to conflicts with the producers, with credited director Richard Lester finishing the product. Donner's full vision for the film would be released as "The Richard Donner cut" in 2006, and is also brilliant, but the theatrical version remains just as good and just as well made despite the behind-the-scenes nightmare. In fact, Lester's more comedic version seems to work well here, blending in with the drama seamlessly (with the exception of the terrible slapstick used during the Metropolis battle scene) to to create a highly enjoyable film filled with romance, humour, action and drama and ultimately the best Superman movie of then all. Just a shame Lester then ruined it all with installment.

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At some point with certain kinds of movies, you just have to ignore whatever preconceived notions you have about the subject matter, sit back, and enjoy what unfolds before you on screen. I wouldn't call myself a Superman fan, per se, but midway through this film I decided to stop resisting and let it be. I wouldn't exactly call SUPERMAN II superb filmmaking, but as a blockbuster sequel it's certainly up there in terms of quality. It also makes a knowing turn toward the silly, which was present in the first one, but here is utilized even more. Yes, there are plot elements that make no sense, but what's important is that I had some fun.The film begins by doing a recap of its predecessor, in case you forgot the events that occurred beforehand and then launches straight into the main story. When Superman saves a bunch of tourists (and Lois Lane) in Paris from terrorists wielding a hydrogen bomb, he leaves Earth's atmosphere and releases it into space. The force of the explosion shatters the Phantom Zone prison where Zod, Ursa and Non are kept and they make their way to Earth in order to rule it. There's also the risible subplot about Superman giving up his powers in order to be with Lois Lane, but thankfully that doesn't take up as much screen time as you'd think. Lex Luthor also shows up for a few scenes, but isn't really given that much to do.First, the good. At first, I was taken aback at just how silly the film was. However, it grew on me. Zod and his minions were easily the best part of the whole film. Campy? Yes. But what exactly did you expect from an alien whose only motive is subjugation, and who is completely out of touch with Earth culture? I think I liked Michael Shannon's take on the character better, but Terence Stamp was great too, in a different way. Other elements I liked were the improved special effects, although a climactic fight scene between Zod and Superman in the air kind of showed the limitations of what was achievable in the early 80's. Still, the production values were excellent. And the sweeping vistas during the flying sequences were something to behold. Acting was generally good across the board, although no one was "awards-worthy." Christopher Reeve was undoubtedly the best among the cast, and I like how played up the differences between Clark Kent and Superman. And of course, the score was phenomenal. Apparently, John Williams wasn't the composer this time around, but they used a lot of his material from the first film.All of my complaints are largely to do with incredulous or ludicrous plot elements. First: Superman gives up his powers to be with Lois Lane? Come on. He's supposed to be devoted to "truth, justice, and the American way" (however corny that is), and he lets a woman come in between him and the mission handed down to him from his father? Sure, whatever. Directly tying into that scene, how does he get back to Metropolis after giving up his power of flight? In the scene where he goes back to his Fortress of Solitude to reverse his previous decision it's implied that he walk. But seriously? Not only does he walk from the North Pole to Metropolis, but does it twice? That part really took me out of the story. And then there's the part towards the end where he uses the Superman symbol on his chest to incapacitate Non. Even in a movie that's knowingly campy, that was a little much.However, despite the campiness there was a sense that the filmmakers were aware of this fact, which made the film more palatable to me. The source material isn't the greatest stuff in the world and yet they managed to make an entertaining blockbuster sequel that builds on what they created in the first one. Yes, there are some absolutely gut-busting funny moments, and not necessarily in a good way, but there was a pervasive sense of fun that allowed me to overlook a lot of what didn't work. If pressed to choose, I still think I enjoyed SUPERMAN a little more, but SUPERMAN II is no slouch either.

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