|Fantastic Four (DVD, 2007, 2-Disc Set, Extended Edition) (DVD, 2007)|
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|Fantastic Four (DVD, 2007, 2-Disc Set, Extended Edition) Chris Evans, Jessica Al|
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|Fantastic 4 Starring Jessica Alba-2005-DVD-PG13-Widescreen-Extended Edition|
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|Fantastic Four ~ DVD ~ SCI-FI|
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As the current wave of digital special effects superhero movies go, the Fantastic Four doesn't match to others in the genre like Spiderman 2, the first X-Men movie, or the recent Batman Begins. Like the X-Men, the F4 are a team, but what's central to the film is the personality dynamics and clashes that occur between its four members, Reed Richards, Susan Storm, her brother Johnny, and Ben Grimm, whose alter egos are respectively the elastic Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, who can also generate force field, the Human Torch whose temperature can go up to a supernova, and the Thing. In the movie, it's the bratty, arrogant, smart-aleck Johnny who comes up with their names.
As the film begins, the four are working for Victor Von Doom of Von Doom Industries. An outer space experiment goes awry as the team and their boss are caught up in a cosmic storm appearing earlier than predicted. Back on Earth, everything seems fine, until they discover their special powers. However, for Ben Grimm, who's transformed into the yellow, rocky behemoth, is less than thrilled, as he stays the way he is, coupled by his wife's leaving him. He is thus the one most eager for Richards to find a cure to their condition, an eagerness than turns to impatience and frustration.
Part of that is due to Johnny, who's carefree, insulting, bratty attitude grates on his nerves. I know-it sure did mine, as I've never seen anyone as obnoxious since Tom Cruise's character in A Few Good Men. In a scene where the Thing crumples Johnny's expensive red Porsche into a compact ball, I mentally raised a fist in the air. "Well done, Thing!" Johnny's the only one for the four who celebrates his condition, and the special effects of him as the Torch are actually laudable. His flaunting attitude causes trouble for the other members, who want to be discrete so they can be left alone to find a cure, and for Doom, for whom the publicity causes his company's decline.
Much of the film focuses on Richards' attempts to reverse their condition, meaning to recreate the cosmic storm in the Baxter building. However, there's also a subplot involving Reed and Susan, who were exes, but Reed was too focused on his work, so Susan drifted off to Victor, who was more a take-charge kind of guy. Their predicament unites them together, as they try to sort out why their relationship ended.
Given Victor's last name, it's clear as to who he eventually becomes, but he too is affected by the aftereffects of the storm, and he turns darker as his stockholders decide to jump ships following the catastrophe.
There is a feeling that too much was being attempted in F4, the romantic subplot, scientific experiment subplot, conflicts within the members, which I found the most interesting thing in the movie, and later with Doom, and the two major action sequences. But at least the Thing's clichéd line "It's clobbering time" is used only once. The ones to watch are Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm/the Thing), Jessica Alba (Susan Storm/Invisible Girl) for obvious reasons, and despite what I said before, Chris Evans (Johnny Storm), with Julian McMahon (Victor von Doom) being a pale corporate head turned villain.
At least it's better than Daredevil, and hey, in terms of action movies, I've seen worse.
The Fantastic 4 is a awesome movie; it has great special effects, great fighting scenes, great character chemistry, a great storyline, & it even has great humor, which I must say is hard to find N a sci-fi movie - none of the other comic book movies has even an ounce of it. When Victor Von Doom finances a trip to space, everything goes wrong with the advent of an unexpected cosmic storm and being bombarded with super high levels of radiation changes the 5 passengers forever. Heroes: Reed Richards(Mr. Fantastic) gains the ability based on the incredible strength, durability, and stretching ability of plastic; he is also the leader. Ben Grimm(Thing) becomes this hideous, but super strong and invulnerable rock monster. Johnny Storm gains the ability to heat his body up to super temperatures, even approaching the sun and he can even form fiery blasts and fly like a rocket. Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) is the most powerful of the heroes & she needs to be, as she has to make peace between the always bickering friends; her abilities include projecting invisibility and an invisible force field. I kinda wished they had allowed Sue Storm to do her flying invisble force field bubble. I digress, maybe it's coming in the sequel. Villian: Victor Von Doom's(Dr. Doom)body becomes this super metallic alloy, which is also super conductive; Doom's metallic alloy condition also suits his personality very well; his abilities are the most powerful of the 5, but he finds that it isn't so easy overcoming the 4.
Character Traits that factor into the movie: Dr. Doom hates Reed, because they both love Sue and because Reed is the bigtime scientific genius and everything goes wrong under his watch; Reed's mistake makes Doom look like a laughingstock, causes him to lose what must of been a huge investment, and causes him to lose his job. Dr. Doom eventually hates Sue, because he's use to getting everything he wants and when Sue rejects him, esp. for Reed, he just can't take it. Dr. Doom hates the 4 as group, because of his quest for ultimate power and they are the only ones able to stand in his way. Johnny's "classroom clown" and "wild" personalities completely alienate the group; he completely irks Ben and you'll definitely feel sorry for him with all that he goes through. Johnny is also torn between being the next big thing and embracing the maturity that come with the costume.
Negative: One scene didn't add up for me; only Doom's additional power capabilities could power up the machine to change The Thing back into Ben Grimm; however, Ben Grimm didn't need Doom's electrical energy source to power the machine up & change himself back to the Thing.
Sidestory: Ben Grimm was tired of being the rock hard Thing, because of how hard his life had become. Doom, /w a villianous heart, powers up the machine to change Ben back, using the additional powers that he gained in space. Doom's alterior motive is breaking up the 4, so he can one by one destroy them all, becoming the ultimate being on the planet. Ben later realizes that through self pity he has dodged his responsibility to the team & wants to change back, bringing him back to the machine that have given him what he thought he wanted - a chance to be human again.
Marvel's second attempt to bring the Fantastic Four to the big screen is a much better ride than I had anticipated. The story is written much like a comic book with comic book situations created (Johnny Storm's flame goes out of control as he careens into a snow bank, resulting in an instant hot-tub. "Care to join me?" he asks the cute nurse he's flirting with.)
As a life-long comics fan, I was concerned more with how Dr. Doom was presented. Tim Story nailed the FF- no question about it. Yes, even Jessica Alba was good as Sue. Michael Chiklis was a great choice for Ben Grimm.
Doom was my one dissappointment in this film. In the comics, Dr. Doom is the supreme sovreign of Latveria. He is the son of gypsies who were persecuted by the Nazis in World War II. He has a genuis rivaled only by his arch-nemisis, Reed Richards, and he has even dabbled in magic. His past efforts at conquest have left him horribly scarred, and Doom is so vain, he cannot allow anyone to see him as he truly is and find acceptance from others. His ego is so over the top as he speaks of himself in thrid-person (No one dares assault DOOM!), but Doom is also very cunning, having laid out every detail of his plan and forcing others to play his game. He has taken down the FF, the Avengers, the X-Men- without having some super-team under him.
In the movie, Victor Von Doom is the head of a major corporation. His arrogant demeanor is almost prissy and sniveling instead of larger than all life. He absorbs metal and electricity to become the armored Doom. The costume falls short of the modern knight Doom is in the comics. He is in space with the FF when the cosmic storm hits, making him almost a fifth member of the team, and no one in the group looks down on him for what he did on the space station (except for Sue, but she doesn't vocalize it). But there are refernces to him being from Latveria. The ending to the movie opens the door to a sequel- maybe we'll see if Doom's character develops.
I guess the problem I have with the movie is that while the characters of Ben Grimm/Thing and Johnny Storm/Human Torch are developed pretty well according to the comic books, Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic and Sue Storm/Invisible Girl are thinner than they are in the comics, which is already less three-dimensional than the first two characters. However, the comics always made up for this lack of character development by the sheer magnitude of the plot. Just the size of the machinery in Richards' inner sanctum in the comics was not matched in the movie. What Richards lacked in character depth he made up for with the conspicuous genius of his daily operation. You would forgive him for being impersonal because that's what's expected of such a brilliant mind. Richards in the movie just doesn't exemplify the brilliant stature of the Richards in the comics. He comes off as a nerd who can't get funding. Jessica Alba is a good actress, but playing off of Ioan Gruffudd's paper thin Richards holds her character development back. Lastly, there is Dr. Doom. While Julian McMahon plays the character with the coldness we need to see from the character, his conversion into the villain goes awry because in the comics he was not part of the space mission and did not become who he is because of cosmic rays. Therefore, instead of a megalomaniac bent on world domination, he is a tragic character that loses his mind and goes bad because he's not only power-hungry but a narcissist. Going crazy because he's losing his good looks may be ironic since McMahon is a lead in Nip/Tuck, but it doesn't do justice for the character of Victor Von Doom. Where is Latveria?
In the end, yes, it's a good family movie and pretty good if you're not a comic fan and aware of the plot deviations and character weaknesses. In the end, the first movie of a comic book franchise is always a little rough due to the origins of the superheroes. But Spiderman proved it can be done well, as did Batman Begins. X-men was a much stronger ensemble movie. I hope they do better on a FF sequel.
As usual, my review will be about the packaging, Audio + Video details, plus the extra features, which are included.
Packaging: 2-Disc AMARAY case, housed in an outer cardboard sleeve, plus two separate inlays inside, one with a few notes one the movie itself, and the other promoting various other films on Special Edition DVD's. The Artwork, throught the packind & on the discs is great.
Audio: We have English 5.1 DTS AND DOLBY DIGITAL, and also Spanish Dolby Surround.
Video: English, French & Spanish Subs, Closed-Captioned, and the picture is Widescreen 2,35:1. Also, both the Theatrical & Extended version of the film are included.
Extra Features: Too many to be mentioned here. Let me just say that in total they are over 4 (yes, four indeed) hours, plus two separate commentaries, one with the main Actors, and the other with the Director + Producers & Screenwriters.
This is the American (NTSC) version of the film, and is far better than both European versions of the film.
I hope the above were useful.
Thanks for reading.