Review - Superman IV: The Quest for Peace - Deluxe EditionThis review covers:
- Disc Nine in the "Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition" 14-disc box set,
- Disc Eight in the "Christopher Reeve Superman Collection" 8-disc box set, and
- The standalone "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace - Deluxe Edition" 1-disc DVD release
This disc offers a pristine copy of what is, undeniably, the worst Superman film ever made. Of course, Mole Men comes close, but in the end, I think Batman and Robin is a better Superman movie, because at least if you pretend Batman is Superman that movie is kind of fun, because you're wondering, "Hey, why did Superman turn into George Clooney? Is that Alicia Silverstone?"
In all seriousness, though, the extras are pretty much the only reason you'd touch this disc, and at that in some kind of attempt to understand why they did the things they did with Christopher Reeve and the icon of Superman in Superman IV: The Quest For More Money.
Many things plagued this production, from a small budget to a collapsing production company to, well, someone not just standing up and saying, "WHAT ARE WE DOING?" The commentary in this disc is actually surprisingly insightful in this process, but still, as is common, proves the most boring part of a given set of extras.
Mark Rosenthal, one of the co-screenwriters, steps in and gives apology through commentary, explaining some of the missing sequences, trying to tell us what they intended certain scenes to become. It's obvious that they did everything Donner didn't try to do, which is turn it into a kind of comical pop culture farce, and Rosenthal only seems apologetic that it failed cosmetically, which is neither here nor there, because it's still interesting to hear about the failure and why it occurred.
The big beef is that there are prolonged periods of time where he's quiet. Not minutes or anything, but it always seems they get caught up watching their own work in commentaries. TALK, that's why you're there, heh.
The real meat of this disc, as I anticipated, is the deleted and expanded scenes. It offers some perspective into why the narrative jumps, and also shows some neat scenes we never saw on film, like the awkward, bumbling first nuclear man (whose musical theme is enough to make you want to kill yourself. Literally), and a Smallville scene involving a twister.
I was hoping in some way that they'd redeem the film. You often read that if they hadn't butchered the final cut, the movie would have been a lot better. But EVERY single scene shown here is better left out, repetitious, and a failure.
In the end you're left wondering why this was ever done. Most franchises have a black sheep episode worthy of derision and mockery. Point being, there's always something of interest there, and I will say for this disc that it made me waste ANOTHER two hours on Superman IV, and there's something to that.