Richard Donner is an American Film director whose work includes The Omen, Lethal Weapon, The Goonies and one of my favorite films, Superman. Donner was originally commissioned to film both Superman and Superman 2, and so filmed many scenes for both films simultaneously, which meant that when the filming on the first Superman wrapped, its sequel was almost complete. However, due to disagreements with the producers about the direction in which they wanted this follow up to go, after Superman was released around the world, Donner was replaced by a British Director named Richard Lester who re-shot many of Donner’s scenes to enable him to take the Director’s credit. In 2001, whilst Michael Thau was working on restoring and releasing to DVD, Superman and Superman 2, he came across the original Donner footage for Superman 2 in a vault in England. After prolonged pressure from fans around the world, in 2005 Michael Thau and Warner Brothers agreed to create Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut using footage from screen tests to fill in the gaps that were left by Donner’s replacement and it was released to DVD in 2006. In February of this year The Glasgow Film Festival in collaboration with Cineworld Cinemas decided to screen The Richard Donner Cut on the big screen for the first time ever and for one night only, with an introduction from Mark Millar, the creator of Wanted, Kickass and Superman: Red Son. Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to tell you that for this historic event in Superman history, I was there, sitting in the front row like the crazed Superman geek that I am.
Getting to the cinema is not an easy task when ones legs refuse to work properly. Yes, I now had my new best friends, “The Sticks”, to lend a helping hand but it was still extremely difficult to stand up and walk from my living room to the bathroom never mind around the City Centre of Glasgow to get to the cinema. Mr Costner, my own personal Bodyguard agreed to come and pick me up and drop me right outside the cinema. However, some inconsiderate lorry had over-turned and blocked the road across both lanes, resulting in the traffic coming to a standstill and Kevin being blocked in. This left me with two options; I could either wait way for Kevin and hope to God that Strathclyde Police had the brain power to unblock the road in the next two hours or phone a taxi to take me on a different road into the city and to the cinema. I hadn’t spent the last week in hell only to get out and risk missing my stairway to heaven as a result of some nonchalant police officers, so a Taxi it was. Unfortunately this also came with some risks. For example, when it took me 15 minutes to walk the 3 meters out of my driveway and into the car, instead of offering me a helping hand, the driver picked up a newspaper and continued to read that days Dear Deirdre column. I suspect this was because he was; having an affair with a white witch who threatened to curse him and turn his penis green if he ever tried to end it, was considering having a sex change or all of the above. When I then tripped and fell into the taxi, the grunting noise he made was clearly due to his dismay at Deidre’s ill-conceived advice and had nothing to do with the fact that he was a knob. Jennifer Garner met me at the cinema and it took us only 30 minutes to walk the 10 yards from where the taxi dropped us off to Europe’s tallest cinema complex. Luckily for me there was a lift.
As I have worked in retail for several years, I have seen many videos on disability discrimination. Every time I watch one and they show footage of how not to talk to those classed as disabled, I always think to myself, “who the hell does that?” After my ride up in the great glass elevator, I knew. Just as Jennifer and I entered the lift we were joined by a woman who appeared to be an extra from the kids TV program Balamory, due to her choice of primary coloured clothing, cheery manner and the fact that she was a patronising bitch who spoke to everyone like they were a 3 year old child. Hence now she has been nicknamed Balamory. Balamory on seeing me with my new must have fashion accessories for Spring/Summer decided to try and befriend me. Whilst I was standing there in pain she proceeded to patronise me about my choice of Superman bag, (I already told you I was a geek), like I was a child who had ventured out with her new Dora the Explorer bag for the first time. She followed this by then trying to have a conversation with me about disabled toilets. Now by this point had only technically been classed as disabled and out in the “real world” for a day, so I knew nothing about disabled toilets. As my legs were now killing me by this point, I just smiled politely and waited patiently for Balamory to vacate the lift, besides I had just been released from one prison, there was no way I was being admitted to another for breaking Balamory’s skull with “The Sticks”. As she left the lift Jennifer summed up my feelings about this experience in one sentence, “Just cause your legs don’t work, it doesn’t mean you are a retard”. I now knew that she was the reason why year after year I am made to watch disability discrimination videos.
Once on our desired floor we noticed a massive queue had started to form as all Superman fans from across Scotland gathered to worship there God. Now ladies and gentlemen, I never use my M.E as an excuse for anything but there was no way in hell I was getting a shit seat in the cinema or having to walk up 300 million steps to sit down after having already walked more in the past hour than I had done in the past week, so Jennifer went and spoke to the head usher and did what she does best with the males of the species; she turned on the charm and flashed a bit of cleavage. She returned with the news that due to her sex appeal and the fact that I had “The Sticks” we would now be the first people let into the screening. And what did this Usher get in return? A glittering email about how good his customer service was in my hour of need sent to his bosses at head office. I think he would have preferred Jennifer but by that time Kevin Costner had managed to escape the scene of the accident. You win some, you lose some.
Throughout Mark Millar’s introduction and Superman 2 the way Richard Donner imagined it, my legs ached beyond comprehension and I was ready to not move again until at least 2039, but all that didn’t matter, as for those 115 minutes I forgot about M.E and all the shit that comes with it. For those 115 minutes I was invincible and the only thing that could stop that feeling was the end credits.