Fantastic Four

Cover Art: 5/10
Jessica Alba, that’s all you need to know about this cover. The thing with Hollywood is that they have an unwritten rule that no matter what the movie is about, if it’s starring the latest eye candy they put her on the cover. I can’t blame them I suppose, but it’s painfully boring and as far as this movie is concerned, I personally think The Thing is the star of the show. So, cover = blah.

Features: 6/10

  • Exclusive look at X-Men 3 – Is this an extra?
  • Cast Commentary – The cast talks through the movie which is a nice plan, but they don’t all chime in on the things we as movie lovers might want to hear about. It’s mostly superficial with stories of how hard certain days were, how there wasn’t enough footage to make a whole film so they had to do some reshoots and extra shoots. Since I wasn’t that fond of the chosen cast I guess what they had to say didn’t inspire me to change my opinion of the movie.
  • 3 Deleted Scenes – Deleted scenes that are no more than extended scenes that end up in the movie should not be considered extras from this moment forward. I get the strange feeling that DVD authors have a little list of what they consider to be a healthy dose of extras for those of us willing to collect these crazy things, and on that list they have deleted scenes because it’s easy to go to the producers and get the scraps.
  • The Fantastic Tour Featurette – If this featurette had any real information about how the movie was made, or a more detailed history of the comic book I would be interested. As it is it’s just one of those fluffy things that they slap on cable to promote the film.
  • Making Of Fantastic 4 – Again, a lot of flash and little substance when it comes to real information.
  • Making A Scene & Casting Session – I think I’m just not impressed with this movie or DVD at all, so any of these extras seem like an extension of being bored with the whole thing. I certainly didn’t find much of anything interesting with the casting session, and the Making A Scene was the only thing I was looking for, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. I want a couple hours of detailed footage of how a scene is prepped, how the performers are trained and prepared, how the whole thing is set up from concept to realization…that ain’t here.
  • Music Videos – Let me scream! Ah…music videos are not extras for DVD’s in my opinion.
  • Theatrical Trailer – Trailers are a modern business card for movies. Super hero movies all offer standard fair to promote their modern day big action flicks.

The Movie: 5/10:
Since I haven’t read many super hero comic books in my life, I can go into movies based on their stories with an open mind. I don’t mind if the film version is different from the original, because I haven’t had the chance to be acquainted with their legends, myths, or any other details. I do love super hero stories and that whole genre of movies.

The story is interesting and has that very familiar “how a super hero was born” kind of thing going on. Four ordinary people encounter an outer space incident and become super charged with various abilities.

We  have a woman who can become invisible, quite handy really. Jessica Alba is one of those young actresses who kind of slips by my “wow I love her” radar. She’s lovely and charming and all that good stuff, but I guess my lack of testosterone puts me at a disadvantage in seeing all her real talents. J

Next is a young man who can catch on fire and fly really fast. This guy is the definition of boring to me. He’s a hot shot show off with nothing to offer but some lame one liners, that “oh isn’t he cute” whiter than white toothy smile. I like the idea of a guy who can control the forces of fire and all that good stuff, but the character himself is the second weakest thing about this movie.

The number one weak link in The Fantastic Four is a scientist who obtains the strange and bizarre ability to stretch, bend, and contort into some pretty amazing configurations. This guy is a real snoozer from start to finish. He’s a decent guy, but he’s wishy washy and to tell ya the truth I kind of hoped he’d snap in half during one of his long stretching sessions rescuing someone. Evil me, yes, but a girl can dream. I dig his name though, how great would it be to be called Mrs. Fantastic?

And last but not least, my favorite part of the movie. The final fantastic is a nice guy who has the misfortune of becoming a thing made of rock, solid rock. They call him The Thing, clever. Guess who came up with that name, The Boring Fire Guy himself (aka The Human Torch, but I like to call him The Boring Fire Guy:).

We, of course, have a bad guy, but he’s a weasel if you ask me. He’s that sleazy guy who wants a pretty girl on his arm and throws money around, yuck. However, his name is in the crazy cool department, Dr. Victor Von Doom…that’s a kick arse name folks. He’s just not creepy enough to get away with being mostly human and he’s not intense enough to be a top quality villain who makes you sit up in your chair just a little straighter when he/she comes on the screen. He is vicious and as he transforms seems increasingly unbeatable, but there’s something missing and I can’t quite figure out what it is. I think because the movie is washed out a bit to make it more kid friendly, they could not have a villain who was completely ruthless, at least on screen. I miss the good old days when bad guys were bad guys, none of this touch feely badness.

I love the bridge scene when The Thing’s feet dig into the pavement as he saves the fire truck. The long stretchy thing that Mr. Fantastic does is a bit unsettling though. I felt like most of the movie was just strung together with scenes of Alba looking cute, blazee dialogue and so-so action scenes with what seem like cheap CGI. I know, it’s a big budget flick, but I tell you right now you can see when they try to do things on the penny in Hollywood and I would say this is one of those times. They put as little into it as they could and still get a movie that could produce lots of merchandising and (goodness forbid) sequels and spin-offs.

Value: 5/10
If you like super hero stuff you will enjoy it. I did like the adventure of it all, I just didn’t like the poor characters, the lame effects and cheap stunts, and all that Alba can be a bit much.

Overall Score 5/10